Thursday, September 30, 2010

Holy Canola!

A couple of month's ago I had a blog post about cooking oils.  By far, one of the most popular comments I get for my blog is over my choice to use Canola oil in my recipes.  I did this because of after reading The Paleo Diet for Weight Loss by Loren Cordain, he advocates for Canola oil consumption.  This morning, I was reading an interview with Dr. Cordain about his upcoming Paleo Diet cookbook.  He has now changed his stance on Canola and no longer advocates for the use of it.  He now recommends using coconut and coconut oils based off of the most recent scientific evidence. 

So all of this has got me thinking yet again, how do you know what is the best oil to use in your kitchen?  Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On the menu for this evening...

Chicken Curry:  It's what's for dinner.  :)  I am going to make this recipe again tonight for dinner.  This time I am going to follow Sara's suggestions at the bottom of the page for making the califlower rice turn out better. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Paleo Pregnancy

Something I've long wondered about is if paleo dieting is possible for pregnant & nursing women; as well as, for small children.  Not being a physician (or a mother) (or a small child for that matter), I was uncertain of this.  I stumbled across this blog post by Dr. Cordain about protein consumption while pregnant. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Leggo My Eggoplant!

Here's a new recipe I created tonight for dinner.  My mom had told me that she tried this a while ago with regular flour and it got me thinking:  can it be done with almond flour?  Yes, yes it can.

"Nut" Fried Eggplant
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch discs
2 omega-3 enriched eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. Chef's Shake (Italian seasoning)
2 c. almond flour
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl (large enough to dredge the eggplant in), add eggs and beat.  In another small bowl, add almond flour, and Chef's Shake; mix.

On an edged cookie sheet, spread out olive oil with a brush.  Dredge the eggplant in the egg then in the almond flour mixture.  Place on oiled cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with marinara sauce and artichokes to start.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I CAN do it!

I turned into an 80 year old woman today, folks.  Okay, well maybe not literally.  I learned how to can today and I might have a slight obsession with Ball jars now.  There is something about all the gadgets and the rewarding "pop" of the can sealing for the first time.  There is also something to hanging out in my parents non-air conditioned house while it is 90 degrees outside and running the stove for the past 10 hours.  I'm a little warm right now and I may be suffering from heat exhaustion.

My school had a fundraiser this year where they sold peaches and other produce.  I decided to buy some (anything for the kids, right?) and try canning.  My Mom is a master food preserver through the county extension office.  Somehow this knowledge never quite landed in my lap.  I grew up amidst all the rings, lids, lifters, stockpots, and pressure cookers, but my sentiment towards it all always fell towards apathy.  I decided my brave thing for the week would be to can the hell out of some fresh, locally grown produce.  That's right, I kicked canning ass.  Hearing this story on NPR this week sealed the deal for me (pun intended).

Now, I know that in order to preserve something, you need to use either sugar or vinegar.  Neither of which is exactly paleo, so I guess just look the other way on this.  :)  The Victoria Sauce that I made is definitely bad for you, but the Chili Sauce is decent.

It is super important when canning to use a recipe that has been tested and published.  Because canning is more or less a science experiment, you want to make sure that the acidity levels are not one that would grow something terrible like botulism.  For this reason, don't make up your own recipe and try to can it.

Victoria Sauce
My parents have rhubarb that grows in their backyard.  I found this recipe in the Ball Blue Canning Book and decided to try it out.  Most years it seems like their rhubarb goes to waste except for a few stalks that always find their way into a pie.  This sauce is extremely sweet.  I tried it today with my porkchops and it was pretty good.  I think it would be really good on top of a pancake or maybe stirred into some applesauce.

2 quarts chopped rhubarb (about 12 stalks)
1 1/2 c. chopped raisins
1/2 c. chopped onion
3 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. vinegar
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt

Combine rhubarb, raisins, onion, sugar, and vinegar in a large saucepot.  Cook until thick, about 25 minutes.  As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Add spices; cook 5 minutes longer.  Ladle hot sauce into sterilized, hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Adjust with sterilized two piece caps.  Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  Since I'm canning at altitude in Colorado, I did a 25 minute hot water bath.

Chili Sauce
This recipe is something my grandmother used to always make.  In my family, we pronounce this chill-a sauce.  Why?  I don't know, but we do, so you better too.  This is a spice-rich salsa that ends up tasting sweet.  I always grew up eating this on top of porkchops (and so did my mother).  I bet it would be a great accompaniment to any meat really though.

4 qts. peeled, cored, chopped red-ripe tomatoes (about 24 large)
2 c. chopped onions
1 1/2 to 2 c. chopped sweet green peppers
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. celery seed
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 to 1 1/2 c. vinegar

Combine all ingredients.  Bring to a boil; simmer until thick as desired (about 1 to 2 hours).  Stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Pour hot sauce into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Wipe jar rims.  Adjust lids and process.  Process in a hot water bath.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dusting off the Archives

Here are some links to my favorite recipes.  I am so in love with this quiche recipe.  I've tried it using different meats and veggies and it is still delicious as ever. 

Need a good paleo dessert?  I don't have the pictures up yet, but the raspberry bars are to die for. 

Here is a GREAT quick and easy tomato cucumber salad.  It packs well for lunches, works as a great summer side dish, and is maybe the easiest thing you'll ever make.  :)

Happy Hump Day Bloggers!