Homemade Mayonaise- It’s a Real Food Life must!

MAYONNAISE

  • 2 Egg Yolks (pastured eggs are best)
  • 3/4 cup LIGHT olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  1. Separate the eggs and put egg yolks in mixing container with mustard, salt, apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup of the light olive oil.
  2. Put your immersion blender into the mixing container and pulse it a couple times. Then, keeping the immersion blender on, slowly pour (think drizzle) the light olive oil into the mixing container until it thickens. Pouring the oil in too fast will keep it from emulsifying and you will have a watery consistency that is very unmayo like.
  3. For about a minute you will pour the oil in while you mix with the immersion blender, moving it up and down while mixing. It will start to thicken up after about 20 seconds or so. Sometimes I have to keep mixing for a bit after all the oil is in to incorporate all the oil.

This is a short video of me using the immersion blender to mix the mayonnaise.

*Mayo fails are not uncommon. I had about 50% of my mayo attempts fail until I settled on this method and these ingredients. I have a harder time getting good emulsification when I use lemon juice in place of apple cider vinegar. I have also had success using my Oster blender, but I have to pour the oil in more slowly and it takes 2-3 minutes to make. I get about a 8 ounces of mayo following the recipe above, which is just about right for as long as it keeps (two weeks).

Making your own mayonnaise is incredibly easy and essential if you are dedicated to a real food life. I have been unable to find any mayo in stores that doesn’t have at least two objectionable ingredients. Below is the Best Food Mayonnaise label copied from their website.

http://www.bestfoods.com/product/detail/96361/real-mayonnaise

SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, WHOLE EGGS AND EGG YOLKS, VINEGAR, SALT, SUGAR, LEMON JUICE, CALCIUM DISODIUM EDTA (USED TO PROTECT QUALITY), NATURAL FLAVORS. GLUTEN-FREE.

This used to be my go-to mayo before I jettisoned, and rightfully so, soy and other toxic seed oils from my diet. I feel so bad when people think they are being healthy when they use soy, canola, corn and other highly and unnaturally processed oils. Tip: If you want to be healthy, you have to eat real food. If you are trying to figure out from a label on a package of food if it is healthy, it is processed. Put it down and go get real food. In my house I use coconut oil, olive oil and ghee for cooking and salad dressings.

Have fun making your own mayo!

 

Paleo Football Snacks – Go Seahawks!

SeahawksHats

We are so lucky to have such delicious and healthy real food choices for football snacks.  When you can’t turn to chips and salsa, what do you do? Here four of my favorite snack foods.

1) Deviled Eggs (mix homemade mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, onion & dill pickles)

2) Honey Garlic Chicken Wings a la  http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/02/recipe-honey-garlic-chicken-wings.html   I like to marinade them overnight and cook them on our Traeger Grill. Definitely a family favorite.

3) Sliced Veggies (cucumbers, carrots, broccoli stems, etc) & Guacamole Dip (mix avocado, lime, cilantro, salt, pepper, onion, garlic powder)

4) Stuffed Mushrooms (Mix cooked sausage, finely chopped mushroom stems, almond meal, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper-stuff mushrooms & bake)

These are just a few of my standards for football gatherings and are always eaten up quickly. We are fortunate to have a seemingly infinite resource pool for real food recipes. Here are a few good ones:

http://nomnompaleo.com/recipeindex

http://everydaypaleo.com/food/

http://paleomg.com

Plan ahead for the next big game and enjoy not only treating yourself, but knowing you are nourishing your body at the same time.

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.

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!

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?

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?

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.

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/

http://chriskresser.com/

Happy day to all and GO SEAHAWKS!

Offal is an essential part of a real food life. Yipee. #eatliver

This is only my second post. I wasn’t sure if it was too soon to introduce the idea of offal, but it’s what I did today so that is what I’ll write about. I also made yet another batch of soup for my daughter who is currently in week four of the GAPs protocol, but that is a different story and recipe.

I’ve been at this real food life for about four years now. Gluten and dairy free for six. Getting to where I am at, especially if you are coming from a typical SAD life, takes time. It took me at least a year before I worked up the courage to take on liver. Anyway, I thought I’d share how I’ve learned to deal with it.

We all know we need to eat our sustainably raised offal, but it is so gross. Right? I say get over it, ‘cuz you really need to be eating it. Today I did what I do to add offal to my families diet. I prefer to hide it in entree’s like meatloaf, stew or meatballs (or as I like to call them Offal Balls). I keep it simple.

Thaw it:IMAG0936[1] Beef liver & heart (I cut out all the nasty tendons and grisly bits)

Cook it:IMAG0937[1] I like to pressure cook it. Only takes a few minutes + the cool down time.  Get the ventilation going though, because it is stinky.

Grind it:IMAG0938[1] Love my Kitchen Aid Food Processor. Vital kitchen tool.

Add it:IMAG0942[2]   I mixed it in with my meatloaf. Recipe below….

Freeze the excess for later use.IMAG0939[1]

And here is why you should be eating it, offal that is:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/04/why-everyone-should-be-eating-organ.html

HACLIFE Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef

½ lb breakfast sausage

1 ½ cup ground offal mix

¾ cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped mushrooms

½ cup grated carrot

1 cup chopped kale

2 duck eggs or 3 chicken eggs

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper (fine ground)

2 tsp paprika (omit if AIP)

1 TBLS garlic powder

1 TBLS Italian Seasoning Blend

Other stuff to add/substitute per your own taste if you like:

Worchestershire Sauce (make sure it doesn’t have corn syrup or other crap)

Ketchup (make sure it doesn’t have corn syrup or other crap)

½ cup almond meal

Grated zucchini

BBQ Sauce (make sure it doesn’t have corn syrup or other crap)

Be adventurous. Meatloaf is pretty forgiving

Bake in whatever dish you want at 350 degrees until cooked. Usually 35-45 minutes, but that depends on your dish type. If I’m in a hurry I cook it at 375 degrees, cuz I’m tricky like that.

The Magic Pill is Real Food – So you’ve decided to be healthy. Now what?

So much information, so little time. We all want to be healthier, but with so many experts telling you what you should be eating or what supplements you should be taking it can be confusing. I say strip it down to the basics. Just eat real food.

What is real food as I define it? Sustainably raised meat, poultry & eggs, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds. What isn’t it? Processed food like bread, pasta, cereal, or pretty much anything with a label. Most of what’s in the grocery store actually. Typical SAD (Standard American Diet) food. Does it mean you can never have a treat again? No. Once you make improvements in your health, you can have occasional splurges. For me personally, my digestive health and overall wellbeing improved so much typical SAD food isn’t even tempting. I’ve become a much better cook and I’ve learned to genuinely enjoy whole food based treats.

I’m not a nutritionist and have no medical credentials, so what I offer here is not in any way medical or nutritional advice. I think of myself as a whole food facilitator. When you have decided to make improvements in your diet, it is hard work. Most of us are so entrenched in our food preparation and eating habits we don’t even know where to start. I’ve been down the path and regained my health. I no longer rely on allergy medicine, heart burn medication, Nsaids or acetaminophen to feel operational. My migraine frequency continues to diminish.  So I want to help you if you want to try it out! If you are ready…dive in.

STEP 1: Clean the crap out of your kitchen. Box up unopened SAD food and take it to the food bank. If it is opened, throw it out. This includes cereal, bread, crackers, chips, anything with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils-canola, soy, safflower, corn, etc. JUST GET RID OF IT! This is not negotiable. If it is in your house, you will eat it. Set yourself up for success.

STEP 2: Meal plan. This includes making shopping lists and cooking several meals for the week. Plan on at least five hours to get yourself set up for the week. The upside is you’ll have free time during the week because you’ll have planned so well. No need to spend a bunch of money on cookbooks to start off, there are plenty of free resources to get you started.  Here are some great links for recipes and information on real food eating:

http://www.thepaleomom.com/    http://everydaypaleo.com/    http://theclothesmakethegirl.com/                                                   http://nomnompaleo.com/recipeindex

STEP 3: Sleep. At least 8-9 hours a night. This is not negotiable. Get a sleep mask and earplugs if it helps.

STEP 4: Get more sunshine & increase your activity. Find a walking/workout buddy. If that isn’t an option, use a website like http://www.meetup.com to find other people in your area that have the same health and fitness goals. Make plans, not excuses.

That’s all I have for now.  Hope it helps! If you have questions or need tips or encouragement, e-mail me at: haclife@outlook.com