Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Two Good Reasons to Eat In - Paleo inspired!

Eating in is so much more easy than going out and more affordable and tasty. Here are two good reasons:

I made pot roast again. It was a precooked one for $11 from Costco. Morton's of Omaha, USDA Choice! It is really fabulous. It comes in a plastic bag and you heat it up by boiling it in hot water or the microwave. So while I was boiling...;-) I chopped up some fresh beets and carrots. I tossed them generously in Garlic infused olive oil, kosher salt, Italian seasoning and lots of cracked black pepper. 425 degrees for 30 minutes and you are good to go. So delicious!

A friend of mine told me today that fresh beets and goat cheese were made for each other. In tasting the raw root veges I got inspired with a raw vegetable/salad idea. I'll be making it as soon as I get more fresh beets! They taste like earth! Stay tuned for more healthy paleo-inspired eats!

One of my all time favs is below. It consists of beef tenderloin, salt pepper, sweet potato and heat. Oh and some good Pinot Noir. Not too shabby for a Monday night dinner. The plate looks unfinished and meager without a salad but this post is about the food, not the photo of the food!

I bought the peeled beef tenderloin from Costco and it's great! I cut 10 substantial steaks from the $50 piece of meat. I've used their unpeeled ($4/lb less expensive) tenderloin and you truly lose a lot of meat skinning the sinew, fat and connective tissue off of it. So I was happy that they sell a tenderloin ready to cut into steaks or cook in one piece. I highly recommend it. It's an easy, fancy, delicious paleo meal. Throw the left over steak on a salad the next day. Or make an extra steak specifically for that reason!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sausage Pumpkin Soup - Paleo Style

With Thanksgiving arriving next week, I thought I'd share a wonderful soup recipe designed for paleo-eaters out there. It's not strict paleo in that there is more animal fat involved than usual. This soup can be made and stored in the fridge for up to a week. Experiment with the spiciness. Be careful not to make it too bright by adding more ginger than needed. You can omit it altogether if you don't care for the taste. You'll find it has plenty of stick-to-your-ribs heartiness. Heat up the soup and pour into a to-go cup for a wonderful AM breakfast while you commute to work or run the kids to school.

You can use any breakfast sausage you like - pork, turkey, chicken, etc. I like the pork variety. I've used Jimmy Dean brand and Aldi, Puritan's Pride- Sage brand. (Sage is the spice that makes turkey stuffing taste like stuffing). Use can use fresh spices in the soup also. But take note that it will change the coloring. You'll have a brown/green soup. If you're cool with that go for it and add a 50% more fresh spices than dried amounts.

Sausage Pumpkin Soup

1 16oz package of breakfast sausage (not cased, the kind packed in a plastic tube)
1 15 oz can of solid pack pumpkin (NOT Pumpkin pie mix)
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. of coconut milk
1 large onion - chopped
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika (use spicy if you have it)
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
black pepper to taste
Olive oil
Pat of butter

  • In a large sauce pot heat olive oil and sautee onions until translucent. Remove to a bowl.
  • In same pot, add sausage and cook until browned.
  • Add all the spices
  • Return onions to pot along with the can of pumpkin and stir well
  • Add 4 cups of chicken broth and stir well
  • Get a handheld blender and puree the entire soup. You can use the blender. Be careful not to seal the blender cap firmly. The hot air will make it explode and make a big mess. If using a blender, return soup to pot when done with puree
  • Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk (I used light from Trader Joes)
  • Add a pat of butter and mix in with a spoon. This will make more velvety.
  • Taste and add black pepper.

Serve or store. Allow to cool before you place in the fridge.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Failed Paleo pancakes

How hard could it be? Pancakes are pancakes, right? Sure but not all
flours are created equally. But my failure is your success.

I used coconut flour, which is gluten-free. It absorbs liquid quite
egregiously. I added a 1/3 cup! I had thick paste. I thinned it out
with water and liquid egg white. After many instances of watering it
down and cooking I made the "big pancake". Looks good but is a bit
eggy. I'll add 100 percent maple syrup and I'm sure it will be fine.
I'm eating it regardless- coconut flour is expensive and hard to
find! Here's my new coconut flour pancake recipe

2 eggs
1/4 c milk or cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbl coconut flour (yes not much)

Mix wet ingredients into dry
Cook in skillet on med heat

If you have any recipes using coconut flour that are worth making send
it over!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tis the Season for a heart attack

It's here, Christmas Season. What? You think I'm on crack because it's only early November? Before you raise an eyebrow, look around. Everywhere is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere you go. From the red Starbucks cups to the clearance Halloween candy at Target surrounded by full priced Christmas candy. Same stuff, different package. It was at Costco too. When you walk into the store, this is what you see...There are fresh pine wreaths for sale too. Makes the place smell like a christmas tree.

I like Christmas. I like that a Savior was born and that his birth is celebrated. However, how quickly we lose sight of that come Dec 25. Bah humbug, right?

I don't know about any of y'all but I get anxious around Christmas time. I immediately felt anxious the moment I stepped into Costo or walked past the Target Christmas ornaments end cap. For some odd reason my wiring got mucked up. I think of all the gifts I have to buy for strangers. To tell them how much I appreciate them or how to show that I am respected. All this without even knowing if they celebrate Christmas. It seems Christmas is a show your appreciation holiday. That's whacked. It's not about that. It's not even about a decorated tree. But I do like the tree.

I will try to get all of my shopping done very early this year so I am not guilted by advertising to buy things for people I don't know and who may not care. oh, and if you're wondering I like Whiskey and good red wine ;-)

if you need a fun gift for someone else, get this! I have a different model and it's good for producing mood altering Vitamin D! (so they say). Cheers.

the Happy light!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Paleo Food

I've been very busy as of late.

During Halloween trick-or-treating I forgot my phone and have limited photos. I also forgot
my phone when I went to Lincoln Park Zoo with Aislin's preschool class -- in the rain (another rainy, outdoor field trip). It was warm however and we had fun! There are some weird looking monkeys out there in the world. And I'm not just talking about my ex boyfriends and brother. Nyuck, nyuck.

So when did I have my camera or phone to take pics? Well, home of course. Doing one thing I love to do: cook! Lately it's been
Paleo meals (short for Paleolithic). Essentially it's eating stuff a caveman or woman would have eaten. I've added heat, sanitation and tons of seasonings. I'm doing it to try it. I'm not a diet nut. But I know my energy dips in the late afternoon. Since I can't get MORE sleep (not really), I've decided to give Paleo a go. The jist is that it will level off your blood insulin level. Keep it from spiking and keep your body from thinking you are hungry (need energy) when really it's just reacting to the bagel you've had for breakfast. No white sugar. No refined grains (not even whole ones). Berries, nuts, lean meats, fat and healthy oils, tons of veges and some fruit. Red wine, coconut flour, coconut, Of course I eat a cupcake when I want it. And I do. It's been about 4 weeks. And I have to say that my energy is solid all day! When I eat refined sugar (cookies, some bread product) I feel different, bad different. I get a headache and my energy is all over the place. My appetite is unruly and unpredictable at these times too. I don't think of it as restricting carbs, but essentially you are. I'm just laid back about. Meaning if I want or need carbs, I'll eat. I'll keep doing this because it's fun and Winter is upon us. I've also lost about 8 lbs. But there was some intermittent fasting in there (intentionally) followed by some hard CrossFit before I had another meal (not a punishment, a plan).

I love eating meat and definitely enjoy fats and veges. C'mon a steak with sauteed asparagus with a giant salad with blue cheese and fixings. Awesome.
It isn't cheap however. Especially if you get grass fed beef. I got meat from Whole fFods (spent an extra $4/lb) and wasn't sure it was grass-fed. Organic, but may have been grain fed. I'm not a big meat snob, but the logic is sound all the way down to the seed: you are what you eat. So why would I modify my diet and then eat beef from cows who eat refined grains? Sigh. The organic meat DID taste better, I'll have to say. But I cannot afford my own good taste. Beef isn't the first example of this.

Whatever! I went to Aldi and the Mexican market (Cermak produce) and got chicken legs, chicken thighs, and top round beef. They taste good too and I can make suppers for under $5 each. C'mon people, price matters.

My sister lives in Nebraska, beef country. Sal - if you read this, you know what I want for Christmas. Some good grass-fed steaks, girl! Bring it! I'll make the mashed cauliflower! And then we can splurge and get a Dinkel's cupcake (STILL my fav).

Yes, yes, I know all - eek I'll remember to bring my camera next time I do something interesting. All this talk about food!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Becky Mae Poppy Fields Necklace and Earring Set GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Becky Mae Poppy Fields Necklace and Earring Set GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

119 pound pumpkin

I LOVE giant pumpkins! And I hope to pass on this simple pleasure to
my kids! They enjoyed a special visit to our local Trader Joes (I
love that store)

The girls were delighted. Indi guessed the pumpkin to be 100 lbs. We
were gleeful to learn it was 119. So close Indigo. Maybe next year.