Friday, August 31, 2012

Primeval Deliciousness

Last day of August, so happy it's almost over. August in GA is long and hot and I'm always thrilled when the calendar flips to September. Here's a bunch of food porn from what I ate this month. Looking over these photos, I think it's safe to say that embracing a Whole 9/Primal lifestyle is definitely nutritious and delicious, varied and satisfying. I'll talk more about the lifestyle aspect in another post. But for now, let's eat!

Breakfast


"Paleo Porridge"  ground nuts, raisins, cinnamon and coconut milk heated up.  Absolutely delicious!  Small portion because nuts are high in Omega 6 and too much can be inflammatory.  It's also quite filling, much more so than one serving of oatmeal, and it kept me much longer.  The Standard American Diet is overblown with Omega 6 from industrial oils which is one of the reasons it's so unhealthy.


Green eggs with green olives and Bubbie's sauerkraut.  I blended spinach into the eggs in the Vitamix before cooking.  I aim to have vegetables with just about every meal and this just one more way of getting them in.


Sunday, that means BACON!  Pastured eggs scrambled in homemade ghee, Bubbie's pickles and Coleman's bacon, my absolute favorite.


Pastured local ham steak.  It's not cured ham, it's just a cut of pork that we seasoned with salt and pepper.  Fried eggs and pickles.  Bubbie's pickles and sauerkraut pull double duty, they are vegetables but they are also fermented and traditionally fermented foods are crucial to gut health which is where your immune system lives.  Heal your gut and you will be much less likely to get sick.  No flu shot for me, thanks!


Meat and spinach muffins from  Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat.  Although I used kale and added a shredded sweet potato.  Very portable, very tasty!


Omelet on leftover smashed sweet potato.  I have mastered making an omelet in a stainless steel pan thanks to the Barefoot Contessa.  Hot pan, cold fat and nothing will ever stick.  Thanks Ina!


Breakfast hash with eggs over easy.  The creamy yolk dribbling over the crusty hash is a revelation!


Another bacon Sunday.


Avocado, omelet and cantaloupe.


Eggy muffins and cantaloupe.
Lunch


Leftover roast chicken over a chopped salad and homemade herb dressing.


Beef burger and friends.  I only ate one of those pickles.


Peppers filled with chicken salad.


BBQ chicken, baby peppers and pickles.


Leftover BBQ chicken, green olives and kiwi.


Chicken salad over leftover smashed sweet potato.


Leftover cinnamon beef stew from Well Fed over smashed sweet potato.


Tuna salad with green and briny things.


Waldorf tuna salad.  Nuts and apples and herbs and celery and onion.  So yum!

Dinner


Shrimp, melange of leftover vegetables.  I cook them in batches so there is always veggies at the ready.  Homemade seafood sauce on the side.  It's just homemade mayo and hot sauce but it's GOOD.


Pre-dinner salad.  I often do a green salad before dinner.  We love beets here at Shady Dame.


Country Captain Chicken from Well Fed with a side of zudles.  This chicken dish is a keeper.  I've made it several times.  You must try it!  Here's a link to the recipe.


Cinnamon Beef Stew with a side of cauliflower puree.


I made the Country Captain Chicken again, this time I cooked it over a bed of sliced sweet potato rounds.


Pastured pork carnitas, Rick Bayless method.  I marinated the meat in garlic and lime.  Served with avocado crema and wrapped in tender Boston lettuce leaves.


Crab cakes with roasted red pepper drizzle with roasted cauliflower and broccoli.


Zudles Bolognese with a dollop of ricotta, my soul food and I enjoyed every bite.  I didn't enjoy the cold symptoms the store bought ricotta caused the next morning.  Will have to be more diligent in sourcing grass-fed and raw cheese.


Steak with roasted broccolini and delicata squash.  These veggies were in my delivered produce box yesterday.  That squash was so sweet and creamy, I even ate the peel.  Tonight I'm making Crunchy Joyful Fingers with roasted kabocha squash, also from the produce box.  


This isn't everything I ate the whole month but a good representation.  Going forward, I will make an effort to make the "what I've eaten" posts on a weekly basis. I can't do it daily because that would be boring for you and like Sweet Brown says, "ain't nobody got time for dat!"  This one was way too long, so here's your reward for making it to the end...

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Goodie~ Pure Wraps

I stopped into a small Mom and Pop health food store near the gym this morning to check out the place. It's like a mini-Whole Foods with only with fair prices.  I was surprised by the great selection.  I was so excited when I saw they had Pure Wraps.  I had read about Pure Wraps on the Whole 9 website but hadn't seen them anywhere local.  I chose the curry flavor because everything tastes better with curry!

Pure Wraps are a limited ingredient, grain and gluten free alternative to traditional sandwich breads and wraps.  They contain NO sweeteners, artificial or otherwise, no industrial oils, no soy, they are GMO free and contain only coconut meat, coconut water, Himalayan sea salt and curry flavor. 



Pure wraps are paper thin but very sturdy.  The curry-coconut aroma is very appealing!


I layered on avocado mashed with salt and lime, mixed baby kale greens and leftover roast chicken.


It rolled up beautifully and stayed together very well.


My lunch wrap was delicious!  I'm really excited to have Pure Wraps accessible to me for an occasional lunch treat and will definitely be handy for when I want to make enchiladas or fajitas!  They are pricey at $5.49 for a package of four wraps but well worth it for a product that fits the bill of nutritious and delicious.

Have you tried Pure Wraps?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Oodles of Zudles

Going grain free does not mean you have to give up your favorite food experiences.  You just need to think outside the pasta box every now and again.  I was really excited when I saw a post on the Whole 30 forum about turning zucchini into noodles.  AHA!  What a fantastic idea, but only if it tastes good.  There's only one way to find out.

The first time I made what I've now dubbed zudles, I used my chef's knife to cut the long, slender julienne strips.  It wasn't fast, but it worked well.  I prepared them with garlic and crushed red pepper, tossed in olive oil.  It was heavenly! They twirl just like pasta, they absorb all the flavor of the sauce and the texture is so much like spaghetti!  All without the bloat and indigestion that I always get after eating my beloved pasta.

I knew I would want zudles again and again so to simply my life, I purchased the Progressive International HGT-11 Folding Mandoline Slicer that does julienne strips.  As an aside, it works amazingly fast and efficient at making perfect vegetable slices for dehydrator chips.

Zudles a'la Cacio-e-Pepe

4 squash, julienne sliced (I used 2 zucchini and 2 summer squash)
salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
grated cheese to taste (I used Locatelli Romano because it is salty, cheesy heaven)

Toss the zudles with one to two teaspoons of Celtic sea salt, set aside for an hour.  Rinse really well and drain.  I can't stress the rinsing enough, if you don't rinse they will be inedible from the salt.



Place zudles in a dish towel and squeeze out all the excess water.  They are much sturdier than you think, so squeeze!  It will make a difference in the finished dish.


Set a large skillet on high heat and get it screaming hot.  Put zudles into DRY pan and spread out in a single layer to separate the strands.  Start tossing with tongs, this will cook the zudles and cook out any excess water.  The cooking will only take about 2-4 minutes.  Don't cook them too long, you want them perfectly al dente.

Add butter and pepper then toss to coat all the the strands.


Put zudles into serving bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese.  Devour!



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Primal Prairie Pie

Shepherd's Pie is traditional English comfort food and something I've had to learn to make and love seeing that I'm married to an Englishman.  If you swap out the ground lamb for ground beef, it's called Cottage Pie.  Or if you swap in ground bison, like I did, you'll have Prairie Pie.  What's primal about it?  It's got a smooth, creamy cauliflower puree topping in place of mashed potatoes.  Rob didn't even miss them!

Primal Prairie Pie

For the filling
oil for the pan
1 large onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 large carrots, diced
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh herbs, minced (I used rosemary, thyme and oregano)
1 pound of ground bison
1/2 cup chicken stock or beef stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne

For the topping
1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper

For the topping topping
1/2 cup ground almonds toasted in a teaspoon of butter

Get the cauliflower florets steaming over simmering water.  Steam until tender.  Drain VERY well.  Add butter, salt and pepper and mash with masher or puree it.  Set aside.

Start the filling by heating a large saute pan over medium high heat.  Add some good quality oil like olive or coconut.  Saute the onions until they start to get soft then add the celery, carrots and mushrooms.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.  Cook until the mushrooms release their juice and start to cook down.  Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the bison to the pan and cook until no longer pink.  Add the fresh herbs, stock and the vinegar.  Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer until the sauce starts to reduce.

Pour filling into 12x9 baking dish, top with cauliflower and sprinkle on toasted almonds.

Bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes until it's piping hot and all bubbly around the edges.  Devour!








Monday, August 20, 2012

New Goodie~ Nesco Food Dehydrator

The day my Ebates.com rebate check arrived, one of the food dehydrators I was watching went on sale for the same amount as my check.  Serendipity!

By the way, if you do much online shopping and you're not signed up with Ebates, DO IT!  It's so easy, not a scam and totally free money.  You just need to sign up and before shopping, click over to Ebates to search for the store (there are tons affiliated) you want to shop from and click to shop.  Each quarter you'll get a rebate check  for the money accumulated from your purchases.  Awesome!

Back to the dehydrator, it's the Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator.




Why a dehydrator?  Primarily so I can make beef jerky that is free of soy and sugar and make my own raw vegetable chips that are free of industrial seed oils.  I chose this model because it was a great price, it isn't too big, it fits nicely on the pantry shelf, and had some good reviews.


There is a base that works as the first tray and four stacking trays that sit on top of each other. It's also expandable to seven trays.  This machine fits much more than I thought it would at first glance.  It also works quickly and effectively.  It's fairly noisy, but I ran it overnight for the veggies and didn't hear a thing while we were sleeping.


About 8 hours to dry zucchini and sweet potatoes into a pile of crunchy and munchy chips that were absolutely delicious lightly seasoned with garlic salt.  Heaven to scoop up mashed avocado!



And four hours to dry over three pounds of marinated London broil into chewy and spicy beef jerky.  It makes a great on the go snack and perfect post-workout protein.


When you're cooking everything from scratch, it's really nice to have something quick and easy that fits into the nutritious and delicious lifestyle.

I've only had my new gadget for a few days but I look forward to making dried pineapple rings next time pineapple goes on sale.