Posted in Side Dish

Cook Ahead!

One thing I have learned over the past few years of my real food life is to cook ahead. When I first quit eating processed food, mainly bread, I would find myself in the kitchen starving and panicked by my lack of quick choices. This is when most of us would slap some sort of sandwich together and call it good. Since I’ve been bread free for six years or so, I’ve figured out some other choices that are actually much more satisfying and healthier. I spent about four hours over the past two days planning and preparing  different dishes. Each at least 6 or so servings. I made egg salad (with homemade mayo of course), meatloaf, broccoli & beef-from the Paleo Magazine Readers Favorite Cookbook, beef stew with garden veggies, bone broth, chicken soup and pesto. My goal for the next few months is to try at least one new recipe a week, this week that was the broccoli & beef dish Also, I’ve discovered that pesto is good in just about anything! Even chicken soup.  Here is how I made mine:

pesto

PESTO

Basil (I used two small bunches, probably two cups loosely packed), 1 bunch cilantro and 1 bunch spinach. Remove stems,  put the leaves from each bunch in the food processor. Pulse a few times.

Add juice of a lemon, 1/4 -1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt, 3 garlic cloves,  1/4 cup pine nuts, 1/4 pecans. Mix in the food processor, scraping the sides as needed until well blended.

Posted in Dessert, Side Dish

Plantain Pancakes

ppan

Sarah Ballantyne, PhD,thepaleomom.com, saved our holiday breakfasts with her Perfect Paleo Pancake recipe. Seems silly, but when our family transitioned to paleo (real food) we were stymied on what to do for special occasion breakfasts.  I thought I’d never use my pancake grill again.  They cook like, look like and almost feel like gluten bomb pancakes. We like a berry compote over sunflower seed butter as a topping. I use a little honey or real maple syrup in the berries to sweeten them, but you can leave that out if you are cutting out sugar.

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/09/perfect-paleo-pancakes.html

I followed the recipe the first few times, but now I just toss the ingredients into the food processor and eyeball all the measurements and they turn out great. I’ve also used squash & bananas instead of plantains, but they need a little nut butter or sunflower seed butter to hold them together and they don’t cook as easily.

They can be stored in the fridge and reheated as well if you are looking to maximize the resistant starch available in green plantains.

Give them a try!

Posted in Low Carb, Side Dish

Kale Salad

Happy Monday! I saw this Chris Kresser post on Facebook and it ties into my last post so I wanted to share for those who would like more in depth reading on why to choose a real food life.

http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-1-dont-eat-toxins

And I want to share my new favorite salad that is super easy to make and lasts for days in the fridge, kale salad. This is a picture of what I had for breakfast (bacon, duck egg fried in ghee, and 2 day old kale salad-don’t those apples still look fresh?)

kale salad

First, I have a confession. I planted way too much kale (three varieties) in my garden this year. For some reason I always plant too much of something and end up feeling guilty when it goes to waste. I simply cannot eat as much kale as I’m growing. And why does it cost so much at the store? It grows easily and abundantly even when I ignore it. Bottom line is that I currently have an endless supply of kale, so I thought I’d try out some new recipes. Usually I cook it in my leftover bacon grease for breakfast, toss it in soup or meatloaf,  but I wanted to use it fresh so I looked up a salad recipe. I didn’t have three of the ingredients in the recipe, so I improvised and it turned out great.

KALE SALAD

1 bunch kale, stems removed & chopped into bite sized pieces

1 decent sized apple chopped into bite sized pieces (or other fruit-the recipe I looked at used mango)

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (I bought raw and roasted in cast iron on the stove, then salted)( I also used sunflower seeds when I had no pumpkin)

1 lemon or lime (the amount you use will depend on how tart you like it)

¼ olive oil

½ tsp salt (more if you like)

Sprinkle of pepper

Put the kale into a bowl. Squeeze half a lemon or lime, drizzle half the olive oil and sprinkle the salt on the kale. Now massage that kale for a couple minutes until the liquids & salt are well worked into and onto all the kale. Add the apple and seeds & stir. Taste it. Is it tart enough? Oily enough? Salty enough? Add more lemon, olive oil and salt to your taste. Sprinkle on the pepper. This is better made ahead, as the kale softens a bit and the flavors blend more.

What new salad have you tried recently?

Posted in Blog

Why I’ll Never Go Back

Want to know a secret? I’ll never give up eating real food even though it’s not always easy. Why? When I started this journey to being healthy in 2003 I was as heavy as I had been 9 months pregnant.  I was taking allergy and heartburn meds, antihistamines, ibuprofen and migraine medication regularly. I didn’t want to be that person. You know, the one that thinks our health just happens to us. Migraines, heartburn, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and many other chronic health issues most doctors want us to think are only controllable, not preventable or curable. Your lifestyle choices dictate your health. Most people don’t want to take that responsibility on, which I find excruciatingly frustrating, but I believe you can massively improve your health through what you choose to put in your mouth. Here are some personal improvements in my health that I’ve experienced:

1) I don’t get tired during the day

2) Migraines down from 20 a year to 5 or less and the severity of them hugely reduced

3) No heartburn

4) No itchy skin

5) Healthy weight

6) No cysts

7) No thyroid issues

8) No gallbladder pain/problems

9) No constipation

So, bottom line? To me it is definitely worth it. Plus, you get to eat yummy food! I feel best following a 95% of the time real food, 5% ‘cheat’ foods plan. However I never cheat on gluten and avoid sugary, high glycemic foods as I’ve discovered they can trigger migraines. Here are some food pics:

food

Top Left: Vegetable stir fry (cabbage, kale, onions, mushrooms), bacon, duck egg, avocado.

Top Right: Pizza w/ ham, onion & broccoli on a cauliflower & tapioca crust. I did use Daiya ‘cheese’ as I’m dairy intolerant. I consider it a processed food so it is a once or twice a month choice.

Bottom Left: Roasted chicken thighs & sweet potatoes

Bottom Right: Roasted beets with fennel, tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper.

How do your food choices make you feel?

Posted in Blog

I’m so hungry, I can eat crap food. #makeaplannotexcuses

Quick post tonight. I was going to take pictures, but I was too hungry. My message tonight is:  being hungry (or hangry) is NOT an excuse to eat crap food. After Ellensburg CrossFit took 4th at the Elysian Games today in Seattle and I got in my car to drive home, I realized I was hangry. What would I do? I had an hour drive home. I made the decision to grab the ingredients for a chop salad when I stopped to get my hubby his whole, raw milk at the local food co-op. It took me ten minutes to shop and ten minutes to fix it. Faster than a restaurant? I say yes. Less expensive? Yes. Better quality, nutrient dense food? Yes. I bought organic lettuce, Applegate Farms meat and tossed myself a quick, yummy dinner. Thank you to myself. 🙂

Be good to yourself and your gut. You are worth it.

Posted in Blog

Real Food Babies

While I could extensively discuss the glories of grandparenthood, I’ll just say this; it is even better then everyone says it is. I’ve decided to quit knitting Seahawks hats for them long enough to talk about what they eat.

SeahawksHats

I couldn’t ask for a more well fed 19 month old granddaughter. I feel so lucky to have children who understand the role and importance of feeding real, nutrient dense food to their babies. And that they were willing to educate themselves from numerous sources, but mainly through Chris Kresser’s Healthy Baby Code. (www.chriskresser.com) They started her off of course on breast milk, introducing no foods before six months and then began soft boiled egg yolks for a week, then avocado and surprisingly liver which she enjoyed. She currently consumes the healthiest looking meals I’ve seen a kid eat. Here are two of the meals she ate last Sunday.

realfoodbaby2 realfoodbaby3     Breakfast: Organic kale, zuchhini & onions cooked with bacon, chicken sausage & a soft fried pastured egg. She also enjoyed some fresh blueberries and strawberries after she finished her breakfast.  Water for a beverage.

realfoodbaby Dinner: Meatloaf (see previous post for ingredients) & raw veggie salad. Water for a beverage.

Now, baby boy is 7 months old and has absolutely no interest in anything other than Mama’s milk. I wish I had a picture of his face when we were trying to give him some sweet potatoes. Let’s just say he was obviously opposed to them. 🙂 His mom’s plan is to try putting some small chunks of soft food choices (avocado, sweet potato or banana) and let him choose what to try. He puts absolutely everything in his mouth  so maybe he’ll do better when he’s shoving it in there.  Until then he’ll be fine eating breast milk as he is quite the big boy already.

The reason I thought it was important to talk about this is because kids will eat real food if that is what you give them. While they are babies and toddlers the caregivers are the ones who make food choices for them. They will eat good, whole, real food if that is what you provide. There are tons of resources for parents around this subject. Check out the following links for ideas:

http://paleoparents.com/

http://www.thepaleomom.com/

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Happy day to all and GO SEAHAWKS!