Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Carnivore's Dinner...

Okay so maybe really an omnivore's dinner, but still.  We have never made ribs at home, so this was a big endeavor.  I got the idea for braising pork ribs from Cosmopolitan Primal Girl's blog.  I have made the recipe my own, but I used her braising process since I am a braising virgin.




Braised Pork Ribs
1 package bone-in pork ribs (mine was 4 lbs.)
3 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dillweed
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 30 oz. jug(?) of low-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Combine all spices together in a small bowl.  Rub the spices on all sides of ribs.  Place in a baking dish with sides.  Fill the surrounding areas of the pan with the chicken broth (till it comes to the top of the ribs-ish).  Cover with tin foil.  Allow to braise in the oven for 2-3 hours or until meat starts to pull away from the bone.  Cosmo Primal Girl suggests braising it beforehand, putting it in the fridge and finishing the process the next day or so.  When braising is complete, preheat BBQ grill to a medium heat.  Place ribs on grill for a few minutes each side.  Drool while ribs are grilling.

By no means are ribs a healthy dinner.  I figured since we are running a 10K race tomorrow morning, it would okay to indulge slightly, and to stock up on some protein, right?  :)  At least that is the way I am rationalizing it in my head...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

You Say Tomato, I Say Frittata



This was our breakfast this morning.  Enjoy!

Ground Elk Collard Frittata
1 lb. ground meat of choice (sausage, elk, beef, venison, etc.)
2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 bundle of collard greens
6 fresh basil leaves
1 red onion
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
7 eggs
1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a small frying pan, cook meat with 1 tsp. of ground pepper, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.  In a food processor, finely chop collard greens, basil, and onion.  In a large bowl combine all ingredients and garlic powder and mix together.  Heat a large skillet on the stovetop with olive oil in it.  When oil is hot, add egg/meat/veg mixture.  Cook on med-high heat without the lid until the eggs start to cook on the edges.  Place the lid on pan once eggs start to cook and reduce heat to medium till eggs are cooked all the way through (about 5 minutes).

Serve with fresh sliced roma tomatoes as a garnish.  Voila!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer with an awesome dish of meatballs

These meatballs were so inspiring, I decided to write a hiaku:

Oh spicy meatballs!
How doubtful I once was.
 I feel Italian.

Meatballs
2 lbs. ground meat (I used 1 lb. beef & 1 lb. elk)
1/2 head cauliflower
2 carrots
4 basil leaves, finely chopped
14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes (drained)
1/2 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. red pepper
pepper to taste
3 eggs

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  In food processor, chop up cauliflower, carrots, onion, and garlic.
3.  Add veggies, spices, eggs, tomatoes, and meat together in a bowl.  Mix thoroughly with hands.
4.  Shape into meatballs (a little bigger than the size of a golf ball).  Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until not pink inside.  

These were so good!  We dipped ours in marinara sauce.

Marinara Sauce
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce (the good stuff)
1/2 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp.  black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 garlic clove
1 Tbsp. oregano
3 fresh basil leaves
freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix together spices and tomato sauce.  Heat on stovetop or microwave.  I adapted this recipe from the one on Primal Homemaking.



Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Lunchtime Blues

Frequently my husband I will make large dinners and eat the leftovers for lunch.  There are those evenings though when we don't have leftovers, or worse, we go out and there is nothing left for lunch.  Prior to eating paleo, the easy solution for this was a can of soup or a frozen lunch.  Now that we are eating significantly healthier, what are we to do for a quick lunch?

I am not someone that can just eat a piece of fruit for lunch.  I need to feel like I ate a meal, which usually means meat. 

First Idea:
Always have either salad greens or a head of lettuce and lunch meat on hand.  I will throw together salads with the "accent" veggies in my fridge, rip up some good and healthy lunch meat (not the greatest but it beats a Lean Cuisine), drizzle some olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and squeeze a lemon on top.  Abra Cadabra!  You got a salad!

Second Idea:
Put lunch meat in a lettuce leaf with something like guacamole, avocado slices, tomatoes, etc.  Wrap it up to make a lettuce wrap and enjoy!

Third Idea:
Cut up apple and avocadoes.  Wrap the cut up veggies in a slice of lunch meat.  This "roll" or "wrap" is delicious, fast, and portable.

What are your favorite in a bind lunch options?  Please share!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chicken Curry with "Rice"

My friend Megan and I went for a run tonight and afterwards, we tried this one out.  We weren't sure how we felt about the cauliflower rice; it definitely still tasted like cauliflower.  :)  Any suggestions for that?





Chicken Curry with Rice

1 lb. chicken breast, sliced into bite sized pieces
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow onion
1 red pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 c. almond or coconut milk (I used almond b/c I didn't have coconut)
1 head cauliflower
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. tumeric
1 tsp. cumin

Heat oil in large skillet.  Add garlic and onions; cook until onions get clear.  Add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.  Add red pepper and spices and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add tomatoes and almond milk.  Simmer covered for about 10 minutes and serve on cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower Rice
1 head cauliflower

Cut the florets off the cauliflower head.  Either grate the cauliflower on a cheese grater or chop in a food processor until it is the same size and consistency as rice.  Either heat in microwave or serve with hot food on top.

Baked Apples

This recipe is adapted from Loren Cordain's Baked Apples recipe.  

4 apples, washed and cored (do not core all the way through like a tunnel)
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. pecans or walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. water

Optional:  Add 1 Tbsp. almond butter, or 1 Tbsp. honey, or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except water and stuff into cored apples.  Place apples in pan, add water to pan surrounding the apples.  Stab the flesh of the apples a couple of times with a fork.  Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until tender.  We made this as a sort of dessert, but we ate the leftovers for breakfast the next day.  I recommend using it for either. 


Reharnessing My Chi

Yesterday evening I had a serious gluten craving.  I needed bread.  While I resisted, and was able to make due with pancakes, I was struck by a thought.  Then, later in the evening I found myself trying to look up ridiculous recipe ideas- paleo magic cookie bars (they exist), waffles, and chips.  I again, could not shake the thought from my head-  what am I doing?

I turned paleo to get rid of the crap in my diet.  I wanted to cut out all the stuff that I didn't actually get nutrition from.  What's the point in eating a paleo magic cookie bar?  While it may certainly be better for you than a conventionally made one, what does your body really gain from it?  In the end, am I just trying to find ways to make paleo food crap?

I've found the need to refocus, to harness my chi, if you will.  I need to go back to my roots and the reason why I turned paleo in the first place.  Yes, the fancy recipes of making paleo chicken pot pies or muffins are an intriguing challenge, but I need to think about my nutrition more.  It is easy to get swept away with the frills of diet- there will always be frills and little ways to cheat the system.  The point is  to embrace the system; learn to love it.  That's the reward and the challenge.

I'm challenging you to this:  for the next week, every day, think before you eat.  Do I really need this?  What value will my body get from this, really?  Is there a healthier option to this (an apple instead of a magic cookie bar)?  Am I really getting all the nutrients I need today (protein, a variety of fruits and veggies, nuts, etc?)?  Am I incorporating protein and whole fruits and veggies into every meal? 

Let's see if we can take pride in not just eating primal, but in living a primal example.  Do some spring cleaning, get rid of the junk (even paleo junk food)!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What He Said...

PALEO PANCAKES!!!!!! (finally!)

Seen here with butternut squash hashbrowns

And now the moment I'm sure you've all been waiting for...

We finally made a paleo pancake that was GOOD both in looks and taste!  I know, right?  Contain your excitement please, it only took three tries.  Here were attempt numbers one and two.  I guess the third time's the charm...

Flippin' (literally and figuratively) Awesome Paleo Pancakes!*
1/3 c. Almond Flour
1/3 c. Flaxseed Meal
1/3 c. unsweetened coconut (I stuck mine in the food processor to finely chop)
2 eggs
1/3 c. Almond Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tbsp. honey
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Canola Oil

In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients and add in wet ingredients.  Place a large skillet or griddle on the stove.  Heat on medium-high heat.  These pancakes worked the best by pouring around a 1/2 Tbsp. of oil in the pan, letting it heat up and then spooning on the batter.  They cook pretty quickly and will not bubble up, so flip around a minute or so.  I served mine with real maple syrup (probably not the purest paleo meal, but hey, we gotta live in the 21st century, right? jk).  This recipe made around 6 small pancakes.

I knew we were in for luck when we decided to have a breakfast dinner (my fav).  Now I just need suggestions for what to serve it with other than the (highly delicious) maple syrup.  Any ideas?  Anyone think paleo waffles are possible?

*The inspiration for these pancakes came from a comment left by Sara several weeks ago.  Check out her blog, Edible

Down Two Sizes?

This weekend my husband was out of town, so I hit the mall.  I decided I wanted to get some pants that actually fit because most of my pants are currently hanging loosely from me.  I wanted to feel good about the weight I've lost.  Up until this weekend, it hadn't really seemed real.  I was still wearing my old pants, but I definitely noticed they were considerably looser.  How could they not be when you've lost 23 pounds?

I was absolutely shocked.  I tried on the next size down in pants, nervously.  They fit, but they were loose at the waist.  So I reached for the next size down, and BINGO!  I haven't worn this size since middle school.  I still cannot believe it.  I went home and took all of my big clothes from the hangers.  I feel like this little closet reformation is making my weight loss start to seem real.  The numbers don't lie.  I really can fit into those pants.  I needed this little positive push to reenergize me.  It's hard to believe that I might still be able to continue to lose weight, but I'm gonna try...

Anyone else have paleo weight loss stories?

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Ode to Cherries

With my dorky Literature degree, I am going to channel my inner Pablo Neruda for my new favorite food and write a terribly cheesy (or cherry or fruity or berry?) poem:


Hi-Ho Cherry-O!
I've given you a second chance
You've turned my opinion so
It makes me dance.

Spring makes a great time to eat
You are bright red
I'm so glad we could remeet
You're sweetness fills my head.

I wish you didn't have pits
But I don't mind too much
I hope this poem shows my wit(s)
Cherries:  It is you I like to eat after lunch.


I'm sure this poem will inspire many, because it is so awesome.  Go get some cherries, they are in season and delicious!

My Heart Burns No More

Ever since my adult life began, I've been plagued by heartburn.  An alcoholic drink, a piece of toast with butter, or a spicy meal would leave up till the wee hours in the morning.  It became a regular occurrence for me to take Prilosec and Gaviscon (especially on a holiday or vacation where healthy diets go out the window).

Ever since I started eating Paleo a weird change has occurred:  I no longer have heartburn.  This disease that has tortured me for years, is no longer present.  I still get nervous.  For instance, making the spicy chicken soup on Friday, I was nervous I would get heartburn, but I didn't.  Spicy foods and alcohol no longer give me heartburn and these used to be my biggest nemesis.  This has by far been one of the most surprising parts of paleo eating for me. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

It Cures What Ails You

Here's what was for dinner tonight.  It definitely hit the spot.




Spicy Chicken Soup
1 lbs. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 small can green chilis (probably not pure paleo, but I'll use the sick excuse)
3 large tomatoes, diced (canned would probably work too)
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. black pepper
1 yellow squash, quartered and sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
3 celery stalks
1 green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves
30 oz. chicken broth (low sodium good stuff)

Combine all ingredients together and bring to a boil.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes to let the flavors combine.  Once you have the chicken shredded, the recipe goes pretty quickly.  Feels great on a sore throat!

Sick as a Caveman

What did cavemen do when they were sick?  Did they open the can of Cambell's Chicken Noodle Soup with their hunting spear?  Did they continue to hunt animals even when their throats were sore and they had post-nasal drainage?  Did they lay on their stone couch and watch old M.A.S.H. episodes on daytime TV (cause MASH is the oldest show I can think of jk)? 

So maybe our society has gone a little bit soft as of late, but I don't feel good.  What kind of paleo remedies can I use?  Here's what I've come up with so far:  herbal tea, Motrin, probiotic, lots of fluids, smoothies for my sore throat, and soup.  There is nothing that fundamentally different in how I'm treating this cold than I would before I was paleo, but being paleo has gotten me thinking about our furrier ancestors and how they would have dealt with such sickness.  Am I just being a wimp?  When I picture cavemen ancestors, I don't picture them being the pathetic mess I am with my tissues and mug of tea. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Check it out!

We've added pages to our blog!  Check it out!  At the top of the page, I now have an 'About Me' page and a page containing links to all my recipes.  Hope you like it!  -Beth

Crock Pot Comfort

Last night I awoke with a 102 degree fever. Needless to say, I didn't go to work today. Unfortunately I have a big award ceremony that I am putting on this evening that I have to attend. To make myself feel better after my night of unrest, I needed one of two things: either a mother or comfort food. Since my mom lives an hour and half away (and I think is in Disneyland with her grandkids right now anyways (out with the old in with the new so to speak) ), it looks like I will be eating my feelings. :)

My favorite part of traditional roast is the potatoes. Since those are not exactly paleo, I'm placing all my faith that these apples will fill the void.

Crock Pot Comfort Chicken

1 whole chicken
3 c. water
1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. black pepper
2-3 apples cut into large chunks
3-4 celery stalks
3-4 carrots

Cover the bottom surface with oil. Place celery and carrots on the bottom of the crock pot. Place chicken on top of veggies. Add spices, water, and apples. Cook either on high for 4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Enjoy!

Here's to being fever-free sooner rather than later...

P.S.  Might I also add that my Mom never took me to Disneyland.  Sad panda.  Stupid grandkids...  jk

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You Know You're Paleo When...

This started as a friendly conversation between my husband and I on a walk this evening. By the end of the walk, we were laughing pretty heartily about how much our life has changed recently.

Top Ten Signs You're Paleo:
10. You start to get really excited when unusual body parts start getting leaner such as the back of your hands or your ankles
9. When you take your dog for a walk, the poop bags are now old produce bags
8. Your pantry now has an inordinate amount of nuts within it
7. You find yourself secretly judging coworkers when they eat their non-paleo lunches
6. You start wondering if it is possible to make your pets paleo too
5. Your standby gift for family and friends is now paleo related books
4. The word 'regular' has a whole different meaning now
3. You find yourself getting offended at Geico commercials
2. When at a pet food store, your husband remarks on the grain-free dog treats and you notice him lick his lips ever so slightly as he walks by
1. When you are at a park and see a squirrel you now have an undeniable urge to spear it and eat the entire carcass raw.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baked Italian Chicken with "Pasta"


The Final Product


Without Sauce


Before cooking

This may be our favorite paleo meal yet.

2 lbs. chicken breasts
3 Tbsp. Canola oil
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/3 c. water
3 tomatoes cut into large chunks
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 c. sliced mushrooms
3 celery stalks, cut down lengthwise, then in 1 inch strips
1/2 zucchini, cut lengthwise, then coined
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 spaghetti squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9X13" pan, pour in oil and water. Add spices and chicken breasts (raw). Add veggies around and on top of chicken. Place spaghetti squash in oven. Cover 9X13" pan with tin foil. Bake chicken and spaghetti squash for about an hour or until both are done.

Either make your own sauce, or try mine:
1 28 oz. can tomato puree
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. black pepper

Bring to a boil in a small saucepan. When spaghetti squash and chicken mixture are done, remove from oven and prepare squash. Serve chicken and veggies on a bed of spaghetti squash with sauce on top. MMMMMmmmm!

Oil: Black Gold


Whenever I think about cooking oil I am instantly taken back to a Simpson's episode in which Homer decided to become an oil trafficker. He goes into fast food restaurants, retrieves their used oil, and then sells it. At one point, he goes into a fast food restaurant and sees the pimply teen behind the counter and remarks 'There must be $20 worth of oil on his forehead alone!'

But I digress. Oil is something I've been thinking of a lot lately. From the big oil spill, to cooking oil, I can't seem to escape it. Today, I will discuss cooking oil, because I have nothing intelligent or original to comment on about the big spill.

Calcium intake is often people's largest concern about eating paleo. The fact is, your bones don't absorb the calcium in your yogurts and milk anyways without a sufficient omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, decreased sodium, and Vitamin D intake. To increase your omega-3 to 6 ratio, you can try a couple of things: buy omega-3 enriched eggs, use oils high in omega-3, and increase your consumption of fish.

So oil. I have a comment on my blog from several weeks ago urging me to switch to coconut oil from canola. The problem is coconut oil contains NO OMEGA-3s. In fact, Loren Cordain (who has a Ph.D. in nutrition and developed the Paleo Diet) recommends not eating coconut oil at all. He recommends using Flaxseed Oil as his first choice and Canola as his second. The problem is, Flaxseed oil is incredibly expensive. For a 10 oz. bottle it is around $20 at my local grocer. So for me, on my teacher's salary, it's Canola.

I mean coconut oil no ill will, but I've yet to see any research that suggests it is better than canola or that canola is bad. What are your thoughts on the issue? What's your preferred cooking oil?

Brave Little Brussels Sprouts



Well folks. I did it. I am no longer a stranger to the Brussels Sprout. That's right. Our brave vegetable for the week was faced head on in a fight to the death last evening. The Brussels Sprout won. It was delicious (at least I thought so, Marcus was not so sure). Here's what I did:

Brussels Sprouts

1 lbs. Brussels Sprouts
15 oz. Chicken Broth
1/4 yellow onion
1/4 c. dried cranberries
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Pepper
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash (is it sexist that she is indicated as Mrs. Dash? I think it might be. Ms. Dash or whatever her unknown first or maiden name may be. Damn patriarchy. jk) :)

1.Soak the Brussels Sprouts in a bowl of water for several minutes to remove dirt. While soaking, pour chicken broth into a deep frying pan and bring to boil.
2. Cut the ends of the sprouts and cut into bite sized pieces. Place in boiling broth. Cover. Simmer until sprouts are soft (around 10 minutes).
3. Drain the broth; add oil, garlic, onion, spices, and cranberries. Sautee for several minutes (around 5). Makes about 2.5 servings.

I served mine with grilled Talapia, but these make a great side dish for anything. The cranberries really made the dish in my opinion. :) Bring it on creepy vegetables/fruits! I bought a starfruit this week. That's up next. My 5 year old nephew would be so proud...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Confessions of a Reluctant Eater

First a confession: I'm the skeptic of the family. I naturally question nearly everything that I read, hear, and see. I once told Beth that I was only 92% sure that I was alive. I need proof. I need facts. Personally, I consider this a sign of intelligence. Others find it a sign of annoyingness.

When Beth first started her Paleo adventure I was more than a little reluctant to join her. She would rave about her vastly improved fitness, her incredible new outlook on life, reduced auto-immune symptoms, and other seemingly countless miracles stemming from her new diet. I would nod and smile politely while quietly recalling my high school psychology class discussions about the placebo effect and the poor delusional minds kidnapped by its powers.

Don't get me wrong. I knew that diet is important. I knew that vegetables and fruits and nuts are good for you. With a little research (I was a vegetarian for some time) I even reluctantly conceded that some meats are good for you. But I also knew that green beans and mashed potatoes are good for you. I knew that milk and whole grains are good for you. I knew that nothing cured a cold like orange juice and chicken noodle soup.

But, like Copernicus and Darwin before me, there came a time when I had to question what I knew because I was facing irrefutable proof. My wife was undoubtedly losing weight. She was without question becoming fitter. The psoriasis that had plagued her for most of the time I've known her was almost certainly disappearing. Unless I missed something in psychology class, the placebo effect explanation was beginning to lose footing.

So, like any good skeptic I tried it for myself. The challenge: eat strictly paleo for one full week. If it sucks, (which I assumed it would) I would support my wife in her endeavor and go on eating however I wanted. If it rocked, (which I was sure it wouldn't) I would change my outlook on nutrition for good.

That was three weeks ago and I'm sad to report that this skeptic has been swayed. Despite my doubt and my years of contrary teaching, I have fallen for this lifestyle. I feel many of the same benefits that my partner raved about and I truly believe I'm healthier now than ever.

I still drink orange juice religiously. I still drink a good micro brew or glass of wine more days than not. And I'll be damned if I have to give up coffee. But when it comes down to it- I'm a believer.

Good luck Mike and Megan. Here's to your new endeavor. It's worth it.

The First Cut is the Deepest


All you Cat Stevens (or Sheryl Crow) fans out there know what I'm talking about. This is a little tribute post to my good friends Mike and Megan who (after relentless convincing on my part) have decided to try paleo for a week. Good for you guys!

Megan if you're reading this, day one is the hardest. Truly. I remember sitting on my couch watching TV the first day I was paleo. Every commercial that came on I said to myself "I can't eat that anymore" "I can't drink that" "I couldn't have that, but I really want to". I swear, after a few days (really more like weeks) primal eating becomes second nature and you won't want to eat anything else. I promise (well maybe except for the occasional pizza).

On the first day I kept thinking about how hungry I was and all the non-paleo snacks I was drawn to. This requires a change of attitude. Instead think of all the options you bought yesterday that are healthy, delicious, and fresh. Try to have fun with your food. :)

Stay strong this week, I guarantee you'll see great results. Anyone else have tips for newbies? Words of encouragement?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Paleo Challenge #1: Chicken Salad


I decided I needed to try to up my creativity. I want to put new paleo spins on some of my old favorite recipes. Here is the first edition of this. I'd love suggestions/challenges of "normal" recipes that I can turn paleo.

Here is my friend Megan's incredible Chicken Salad but this version is a la caveman. This is one of my favorite non-paleo meals and I've been trying to brainstorm ways to make it paleo. I used to eat this in a sandwich, any suggestions for serving now (besides just on a plate)? :)

Caveman Chicken Salad (pretty sure cavemen made this, but I'm no anthropologist):

3 chicken breasts
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
3 green onions, coined
1/4 c. sliced almonds
1-2 c. red grapes, sliced in half
1-2 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. Tarragon
salt

In a sauce pan, boil the chicken with 5-6 celery leaves, 1/2 the chopped onion, and roughly a Tablespoon of pepper. While chicken is boiling, cut up the remaining ingredients. Put the cut up ingredients in a large bowl. After this, make the mayo:

This recipe came from Loren Cordain's The Paleo Diet for Weight Loss.
Omega-3 Mayonnaise
1 whole egg (omega-3)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. flaxseed (I didn't have flaxseed so I used canola)

In a blender, combine first 3 ingredients. Blend of 3-5 seconds. Continue blending and slowly add in the oils. Blend until the mayo is our desired consistency. This was a little bit tricky, it was still a little runny for my taste, but once it was in the fridge, it solidified more.

Dump mayo in bowl with chicken salad fixins. When chicken is done boiling, shred it with a fork and add to bowl. Stir everything together. Add a pinch of salt. Flavor to taste. Obviously, store in the fridge.

Paleo Pancakes Redux

Okay, so because of Adrienne's comments on last Sunday's adventure, I decided to try her recipe for pancakes this week for our Sunday morning tradition. I did as follows:

Pancakes
3 Tbsp. Coconut Flour
3 Tbsp. Almond Milk (she rec. coconut but I didn't have any)
3 eggs
a pinch of cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and a splash of vanilla extract

I will say that the consistency of the batter greatly surprised me. These were very thick and I had to sort of plop the batter onto the frying pan. They flipped like a dream (especially compared to last week :) ). They tasted pretty good and they were really thick. Adrienne recommended making the pancakes small to flip easier and that was definitely good advice. :) Let's just say this week went much better (atleast for us, the dog was sad she didn't get to lick pancake batter off the kitchen floor again).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Quick Curry Soup


I got the idea for this from Everyday Paleo. I had a TON of veggies in my fridge that were starting to go bad. Nothing makes me feel worse than throwing away a moldy or rotten vegetable. I decided to follow her recipe, but add in my own vegetables because I did not have the same leftover vegetables.

Curry Soup

1 lb. ground meat (I only had ground elk)
1 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
4 Tbsp. Curry Powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Ginger
3 minced Garlic cloves
1 tsp. Tarragon
30 oz. almond or coconut milk
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 carrot, coined
1 yellow squash, coined
1/2 cucumber, coined
1 c. chopped mushrooms

In a large stock pot, heat the oil and onions for a few minutes. Add meat, brown. Add spices to beef mixture. Add milk and vegetables. Bring to boil. Simmer for 5-7 mins or until veggies are somewhat soft. Serve with cilantro as a garnish.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bacon, Mushroom, Spinach Quiche

Last night for my celebration I made Primal Eating Modern Table's Primal Quiche, but with my own spin on it. This was AWESOME! Plus, I'm of the school of thought that you can never have too much bacon... (alright so maybe I'm being a bit facetious, but still) Here's what I did:

Crust (Based off Elana's Pantry recipe):
1.5 c. Almond flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. Canola oil
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. water

Add wet ingredients to the dry. This will not become doughy like a traditional crust. It will still be crumbly, that's okay. Dump the contents in a pie pan. Press down on the dough with the fingers, shaping it to create a crust.

Preheat oven to 350 degress. Do not bake the crust yet. :)

Quiche
approximately 6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped up
5 eggs
freshly ground pepper
1 c. sliced mushrooms
2 c. chopped spinach
1/4 yellow onion

Cook bacon. While this is cooking, place mushrooms and onion in frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes. Add spinach. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until mushrooms are soft. In a large bowl, crack eggs. Add pepper and bacon to eggs. When mushroom mixture is cooked fully, add to eggs. Stir. Pour egg mixture into uncooked pie crust. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, take your dog for a walk while it cooks. :)

The best part? Leftovers for breakfast! Or maybe the bacon...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Paleo Celebration

For those who have been reading my blog, you know that I am looking to move across the state. You may have also noticed that I haven't posted much in the last few days. That's because I've been busy, but a very good busy. I got a job yesterday, which I am thrilled about. So tonight, I decided to celebrate my hard work and months and months of redrafting my resume. I decided I needed a good old night of celebration. Unfortunately, with the stress of the last few days Paleo my health (Psoriasis, clenching my teeth, acne, etc.) has gone out the door. I knew I wanted my celebration to be all-Paleo tonight to help my body recuperate.

Ingredients:

1 glass red wine (is there anything better to celebrate with?)

1 dangerously hot bubble bath with aforementioned glass of wine

1 walk with a seriously neglected dog and husband

1 serving of Primal Quiche (with an extra side of bacon. I'm celebrating, right?)

1 viewing of The Blind Side with dog and husband on the couch (I got the movie from Netflix last week but have been too busy to watch)

1 generous scoopful of Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble (still drooling from this)

It will be just what the doctor (or teacher) ordered! :)

One Brave Thing a Day...

I went to visit my nephews in Salt Lake City last month. My 5 year old nephew is a little timid. Everyday, my brother and sister-in-law have him do one brave thing. This could be holding the worm he found in his sandbox or going down a scary slide on the playground.

It's no secret that I am deathly afraid of birds. When I was in SLC with my nephew, we were walking and a gigantically terrifying crow flew in front of us. I reacted with the natural response- shrieking. My nephew thought this was very funny. Suddenly he became very serious though. He said to me "Aunt Beth, you should try to do one brave thing every day too. Like, maybe one day, you could touch a bird."

While you won't find me rustling any feathers (at least not in the literal sense), I love his advice. Since then, my husband I have picked one brave vegetable a week. Two weeks ago it was broccoli (for him, I love broc). Last week, we tried mushrooms. This week, it was eggplant. Next week, I'm thinking brussel sprouts. Don't be afraid to try something new. Reintroduce yourself to something you swore off long ago, you might just surprise yourself. Or you could just hold a worm...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Paleo "Lasagna" (sort of...)

























I got this idea from here. I was nervous about this, but it was so good! The eggplant and zucchini hold their textures wonderfully and taste almost like a real noodle. I wouldn't say it tasted exactly like lasagna, but it was darn close. It DEFINITELY hit the spot!

Paleo Lasagana

1 lb. ground beef, browned
2 eggplants, sliced lenthwise into 1/4" strips
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4" strips
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bag frozen spinach
2 c. sliced mushrooms
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (make sure there is nothing else in the can)
1 (28 oz.) can tomato puree
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil (dried)
Olive Oil

1. In a small skillet, brown the beef
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Preheat BBQ grill for veggies for a medium temp.
3. Cut up eggplant, zucchini, and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle freshly ground pepper on top. We also added a pinch of salt to the whole batch of veggies. Place on BBQ grill and cook until done.
4. In a small saucepan, combine tomatoes and oregano. Heat on medium-low. Add beef to mixture once it is cooked.
5. In a medium saucepan, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, garlic, and onions. Saute for about 3 minutes, add mushrooms. Saute for another 3ish minutes. Add spinach. Cook until mushrooms are soft.
6. In a 9 x 13 inch pan, spoon a small amount of the redsauce on the bottom of the pan to produce a thin coating. Lay the zucchini in strips like pasta noodles on the bottom of the pan trying to cover the entire bottom.
7. Next, spoon half the onion-spinach mixture on top of the zucchini, spreading it out. Pour half of the red sauce on top of onion-spinach mixture.
8. Next, place the grilled eggplant on top like lasagna noodles. Spoon on the other half of the onion-mushroom mixture. Top with the remaining red sauce. Sprinkle basil on top of lasagna. I also sprinkled minced garlic. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

The Most Difficult Part of Primal Eating

My husband was a vegetarian for a while in high school. Whenever he talks about his experience, he always remarks that the most challenging part of being a vegetarian is not your diet, it's everyone else.

I think much is the same with Paleo eating. Food is so closely connected to our culture, tradition, and beliefs. People hold their food near and dear to their hearts. This is why it can be uncomfortable to get into a debate with someone about their food choices. Our government (via food pyramid) has inundated society with differing ideas for decades. Modern research is starting to prove much of that wrong. If you've read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, then you know what I'm talking about. Many of the FDA's decision are motivated by the big corporations in the food industry. This has helped to promote misinformation to the general public. I'm not a big food conspiracy theorist, but think much of the status quo's knowledge of nutrition is flawed.

I think that the most difficult part of primal eating is not reading the ingredients on items, going without the tortilla on your burrito, or trying to live without cheese; it is by far trying to live without criticism, skepticism, or condemnation.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Paleo Pancakes?

My husband and I have a long-running Sunday morning tradition that involves listening to a local radio station, eating pancakes, making Mokka coffee (basically lattes), and reading a good magazine. Many mornings we will go for a run at the dog park with our dog, Seger, after breakfast.

When I decided that I was going to cut out grains and dairy, you can imagine what this did for our tradition. We've done some research and we've been able to improvise. By no means am I condoning that this is a healthy meal, but it is definitely healthIER than what we used to have.

Lattes:

We have a mokka pot which makes the espresso and steams the milk on the stove top. We made ours today with decaf espresso and almond milk. My husband likes to have sugar-free caramel syrup in his as well.

Pancakes:

These are still a work in progress. They are incredibly difficult to flip; however, they taste just as good when they don't look pretty.

In a blender or food processor, combine:
2 omega-3 enriched eggs
1/2 c. almond flour
1/2 c. almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 apple, cored

Blend. Heat a large frying on the stovetop. Add a little bit of canola, olive, or coconut oil to the skillet. Pour in the batter. Add blueberries to the freshly poured batter. Cook on each side for 3ish minutes. These are difficult to flip, so be prepared. :) Serve with real maple syrup.

Knowing all of the above did not guarantee success of it this morning. Our "pancakes" while they tasted delicious, lacked all conventionally agreed upon characteristics of a pancake. It was more of a mound of "dough" smothered in syrup, which I'm okay with. In the midst of making the pancakes, my husband tried to reblend the batter, only to forget to place the lid on the blender. Our dog was very pleased with the outcome, our kitchen cabinets and fridge were not as grateful.

So it wasn't exactly the perfect relaxing Sunday morning we sought, but it was definitely a memorable one. At least the dog enjoyed her Sunday morning treat...



If anyone has suggestions (beyond the Krusteaz pancake mix) to make this turn out better, I'm dying to hear ideas!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

BBQ Primal Meal

To kick off the grilling season, here's our attempt at a quick burger dinner. Of course no bun or cheese on these burgers...



1 lb. ground meat (we used bison)
1 avocado
1 bundle asparagus
2 Tbsp. Almonds
Olive Oil (approx. 1-2 Tbsp)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground pepper
1-2 tsp. Paprika

Shape meat into hamburger patties. Ours were a 1/3 pounders. Season meat with paprika and freshly ground pepper to your liking. (Optional: could also add bell pepper and onion to meat).

Either in a grilling vegetable pan (which I don't own) or on some sheet of tin foil that are shaped into a pan (fold edges of foil up to hold in liquid). Wash the asparagus and snap off the ends, place in foil. Drizzle the asparagus in olive oil, add garlic, almonds, and freshly ground pepper. Place on a hot grill.

Add burgers to grill. Cook until both are cooked to your liking. We served ours with avocado slices. The whole meal (prep and cooking) took me 20 minutes and you can't beat that! You can top the burgers with salsa if you choose. :)

Breakfast sans Burrito

We were skeptical of the butternut squash but it added just the slightest sweet taste. These were perfect!



In a small frying pan:

Scramble 4 eggs (this recipe yields 2). Add freshly ground pepper to eggs and any veggies you might want.

In another small frying pan (don't you love washing dishes?):

Fry up 4 pieces of lean, nitrate-free, uncured bacon

In food processor or blender:

Add 2 garlic cloves and approximately 1-1.5 cups of butternut squash. I'm lazy, so I bought a frozen bag of squash at the store. This was incredibly easy to do. You could buy a fresh one and cut, however. I was also out of onions, but had I an onion, that would have gone in as well. But I digress, chop the squash and garlic until it is the consistency you like. Mine were a little larger than a kidney bean.

In yet another frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add squash mixture. Put a pinch of salt on top and freshly ground pepper to taste. Top it all off with a low-sodium salsa and this is one mean naked burrito!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

These are every bit as tasty as they look and sound.



Stuffed Peppers:

6-7 peppers ( I used green peppers, but you can stuff any pepper)
1 lb. ground meat of choice (I used bison)
1 lb. ground chicken Italian flavored (no gluten)
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 zucchini
4 carrots
3 garlic cloves
2 c. mushrooms
2 celery stalks
1 yellow onion
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large stock pot boil several cups of water for peppers. While you wait for this to boil, brown meat in a frying pan. Add spices to meat, set aside. In food processor (yay!) chop up all vegetables except the peppers. Be sure to remove contents as you go or they will get pretty mushy. Add meat to veg mixture.

Cut the peppers in half, remove seeds. Place peppers in the boiling water. Boil for a few minutes (around 5) until peppers are soft. Remove peppers from water with tongs and place in a small baking dish. Try to find a dish small enough to fit all the peppers so the sides are touching. Generously fill each pepper with the meat/veg mixture. Bake for around 20 minutes, uncovered. Let stand before serving. We made homemade guacamole to put on top of our peppers and it was DEFINITELY worth it.

GUACAMOLE

3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper
1/4 c. fresh cilantro
1/4 yellow onion
3 avocados
1 tsp. lemon juice
freshly ground pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients except avocados in food processor and chop. Remove contents to a small mixing bowl. Add avocados, and mash with a potato masher to your preferred consistency. Pepper to taste.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Words of Encouragement

"Have you lost weight?" might be the 4 best words in the English language. Over the last two days, I've had 4 random coworkers come up to me with this question. Why yes, yes I have.

While I know that many might find it rude or awkward to remark on someone's weight (especially if you don't know them that well); I find it so encouraging. It is what is keeping me going. I decided to eat a Paleo diet not just because of weight loss, but also to help with my skin. I feel so great on the inside- alert, happy, energetic- that I love hearing that it is translating to the outside as well.

Find someone you know who's been working hard and tell them they look! It's the small things that keep us all going... :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Elk Crock Pot Roast

My life is busy right now. I'm working full time as a teacher (end of the year is always busy), moving (which entails having my house on the market), and looking for a job for next year. Last night I had an interview, tomorrow night I have an interview. Suffice it to say, my sanity is precariously existing. My one saving grace that has been keeping me eating primal is my crock pot. I know I cooked a chicken yesterday, but today I have a girls running club after school and yoga with my girlfriends this evening.

So here's what's cookin:

Elk Crock Pot Roast
(I'm lucky that my Dad and brother are hunters and keep me supplied, but the recipe would probably work well with beef as well. Grassfed beef would be ideal as it is gamier than conventionally raised beef)

1 pot roast
4 carrots
1 yellow onion, cut into big sections
7 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. dill weed
1/4 tsp. sage
1/4 garlic powder
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
4 c. water
1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Peel carrots and place in the bottom of crock pot. Place half the onions around the carrots and all the garlic cloves. Place the roast atop of the carrots. Pour the water around the roast until the roast is mostly submerged. Drizzle the olive oil on top of the meat and sprinkle the remaining spices on top (placing the bay leaves in the liquid).

Monday, May 3, 2010

What's for breakfast?


Oh breakfast. How I love and hate you. There were many years of my life when I simply lived without breakfast. I now know that this was definitely not the best idea. I have found the most challenging part of practicing a Paleo diet to be breakfast. My husband almost had a panic attack the other morning because he didn't know what to have. There is something in our human nature that likes the routine of sitting down with the bowl of oatmeal, or the Cheerios. What can you do to avoid the grains that dominate this early morning meal?

I have a couple of ideas (and for some reason most of them involve raisins and almond butter). :)

IDEA NUMERO UNO:
Apples, almond butter, and raisins.


Slice an apple up. Slap (yes, slap) a dollup of almond butter on the side of the bowl. Sprinkle raisins on top of the almond butter and dip away! There is something comforting about eating breakfast out of a bowl still....

IDEA B:
Apple Breakfast
(from The Paleo Diet for Weight Loss)

1 apple
1 carrot
Handful of raisins
Cinnamon to taste

Slice apple and then cut slices into bite-sized pieces. Grate a carrot on a cheese grater. Mix in bowl with apple and raisins. Sprinkle cinnamon on top to taste. This sounds strange but it is SO GOOD!

NUMBER D:
Ants on or in a log, you choose.


I have a post about this in April . I am not the biggest cucumber fan, but I am quickly beginning to appreciate it. Follow the recipe in the link OR make the traditional Ants on a Log with celery. Just be sure to use almond butter instead of peanut. I know eating something with the word 'log' in it may not initially appear appetizing, but it is trust me. Desensitize yourself: log, log, log- nope. Still funny.

OPTION TRES:
So Smooth Smoothie!


This was also posted in April. I have to admit that I cannot get enough of these smoothies! They are so good!

Option 5,280:
Leggo My Egg-yo!


You can have roughly one egg per day without adding to your cholesterol. Cordain argues that you can then have a 2-3 egg omelet every 2-3 days. You can make your eggs however you wish- scrambled, fried, hardboiled, omelet... (do I sound like Bubba yet?). Just remember, no salt, no cheese, and no butter. To combat the plainness that can result from this, either make a homemade salsa or buy a low-sodium salsa to put atop of your eggs. You can also get creative with seasonings like paprika or basil.

Crock Pot Chicken

This is what is brewing at home right now. I can't wait to get home this evening and dig in!



The fixin's:

1 whole chicken (mine was 3.5 lbs. I believe)
7ish garlic cloves, peeled, but whole
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cilantro
1 lemon, cut into slices
1/4 c. parsley
1/4 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
approximately a Tbsp of freshly ground pepper
2 c. water

1. Place thawed chicken (with innards removed) in crock pot. Drizzle olive oil over chicken.
2. This is the fun part: Throw, gently toss, or if you are lame, place, the remaining ingredients around/on top of the chicken.
3. I turned my crock pot on low for 8 hours, but you could also cook on high for 4 hours. Make sure you check the internal temperature before eating. Also, eat lean; avoid the skin.

Serve with the veggies of your choice. You can thank me for this later in the comments section. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Need to try a new protein?

Take a look at this. I think I'll try to bake it into a lasagna later this week... :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pale-go?

Need a quick, easy Paleo meal while on the road or on the go? If you're like me, you start to get hungry while running errands. I went to get my haircut today and I was driving there looking longingly at every fast food place I passed.

While my solution for you is certainly not the best thing in the world to eat (and has PLENTY of sodium in it), it is better for you than any mcburger you would eat.

The solution: Chipotle.



Here's what I order:
1. A burrito bowl, no rice, no beans.
2. Ask to start with lettuce
3. I get the veggies
4. Pick your protein (I like the chicken)
5. Pick your salsa (I like the Pico)
6. Top it all off with a little extra lettuce.

If you really want to splurge, you can get either Diet Coke or Coke Zero (Cordain argues that the artificial sweeteners are okay).