Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pickles...take two

Alright here it is, my second attempt at making pickles.  The first was a disaster and I won't be the only one to tell you that.  The first also involved a whole bunch of farm fresh cukes.  I would say a bushel, or maybe half of one.  Anyway.  I tried the "recipe on the box" for the first time, and guess what, they sucked, they were mushy and gross, so I am trying a new recipe. This recipe is for naturally fermented pickles, so I don't have to cook them.  I am also not sure what is going on in this natural state! I didn't exactly follow the recipe since I did not have any dill weed, I used dill seed, so we shall see.  I will post again in a few days to see how they turned out.  I love taking something and making it into something new!  I like cukes, but I LOVE Pickles, so if I can make it right then rock on, it didn't seem as daunting as the other process where you pour the vinegar and the boiling water and blah blah blah.  Check in later to see how they have come out.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Snack packing for a weekend

So we go away to Mass and Maine every once in a while and I haven't been while I have been on a dietish program. I have been to Maine where I just got some veggies and a chicken and I was good to go, since I didn't have to worry about anyone else wanting some. So I started thinking about snacks and realized veggies are easiest, but when I packed everything I felt like I was taking a trip with a kiddo. Notice the large juice box in that picture. It's adult juice, delish organic red wine called Our Daily Red, so good and cheap! Well primal has been good and finding good snacks is easy!  I am glad I love veggies and I love food because if not I would be starvin!  Don't get me wrong I would love some of those crackers, chips and cookies I am sure I will see on my trip, but you know I think I am over them, they don't do anything good for me, or for you!  I am happy with my veggies, fruit, meat and nuts! Now get your own snacks, these are mine!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Turkey in a Crockpot? Why Not!

I am trying to challenge myself in the kitchen this time around while being Primal. I am trying to challenge myself by eating different things with the same ingredients. I often refer to shows like Chopped and Iron Chef while I am cooking or after I have cooked. I love being in the kitchen and have always loved cooking. I think it started when I was a little kid at home by myself and my mom allowed me to experiment in the kitchen, luckily, no disasters (except breaking the oven that one time.) I think I was 10 when I baked my first loaf of bread and then I ate it all. So from then on I would ask my mom to buy me new things to cook with and I would try new things and always eat them. I am surprised I didn't go into culinary arts, but that's another story. Anyways, back to my point. I am trying to diversify my meals while using the same ingredients. According to the Primal laws you eat what is local and in season, which is great! Except for the fact that I am in the Northeast where it is winter (even though today is 45 and rainy) and according to my Locavore app the following are in season: Leeks, Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Turnip Greens, Kale, Mushrooms, Sprouts, and Collard Greens. While that is good and all, my little garden is brown, my gnome is face down and the ground is well, frozenish. SO I become and hunter/gatherer of the super market and make the best of what is there, which is a lot, although I tend towards the easy and familiar, and my grocery lists have tended to look like this: mushrooms, peppers, onions, kale, spinach, bag o salad greens, cukes, tomatoes (I know, winter tomatoes suck and I buy them even after reading Tomatoland), broccoli, cauliflower, and then whatever meat I am buying, usually some free range organic chicken or whatever we have for grass fed beef in the freezer (it's dwindling now.) So I keep reading about turkey and how I need to eat it because of the protein and blah blah blah, but I did not want to roast it, geez that can be an all day event. I knew there was another way. Microwave? HELL NO! Cut it up into pieces? Nah, pan fry? Nah, Grill? Maybe, but no. Then an idea came to me. I have been cooking so much in my crock pot. WHY NOT! So I looked up to see if it was even possible. Low and behold I found some recipes for bone in Turkey Breast AND they were on sale at Big Y! SO I bought myself and Big old Turkey Breast (it looked like a good old Thanksgiving Gobbler minus the legs) and I let it thaw in the fridge (bought it on Sunday, it was already partially thawed) and cooked it on Wednesday. I got up and set thing in my crock pot, put some butter over it, crushed up some dried sage from the garden, salt and pepper and a tiny but of water and set it at high while I got ready for the day. Before I left I was going to put it down to low (next time I will) but I left it at high, returned about 6 hours later and it was done! I put it down to warm setting the rest of the day. Wouldn't you know it was moist, the right temp, and we had meals for the next few days!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Being primal day 21

So this is it day 21 of my 21 day transformation! Nothing significant to report except my skin is wicked smooth, I don't have stomach pain as much, I don't feel bloated like before and I don't get easily run down! It's amazing what three weeks can do. Do you think I will go back to eating whatever I want to? Probably not. Will I crave a delicious 5 guys burger all the way with an order of fries and a birch beer...yes, will I eat it probably not. I think going back primal for the second time has helped me realize I don't need to live with the stomach pain or eat the crappy food out there, or even listen to the government telling me what I need to eat and what's good for me. I wish some of my friends who struggle with weight and pain would give it a try just to see if those problems would go away. Soon enough maybe.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

not boring chicken recipe of the day...

Eating a lot of chicken (at least twice a week) you get bored of grilling it or mixing it with veggies, so I figured I would look up a recipe having to do with bacon, which is slowly edging out sausage as my favorite meat. I had some bacon left from yesterday so I googled some recipes to see what I could find. I found one but I didn't have all ingredients so I took what I had and iron cheffed it. In sticking with my Paleo ways it was pretty easy! Also only a ingredients so its pretty cheap. Chicken, Bacon and tomato paste, the veggies could be whatever you have but I had tri-colored peppers from earlier in the week, onion, mushrooms, and broccoli.

So here is how I made it.

Preheat the oven for 400 and grease baking sheet with butter or coconut oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breast pounded thin and cut into 3 strips each
1/2 can of tomato paste
6 strips of bacon (mine was uncured...no nitrites/nitrates)
6 grape tomatoes
pepper/oregano to taste

lay each chicken strip out on cutting board
spread a little tomato paste on each strip and place one grape tomato on each strip
put a little pepper and a little oregano on each strip
roll each chicken strip up
wrap each chicken piece with a strip of bacon
place each chicken piece on the baking sheet and place in oven
bake for 15 min
place under the broiler for a few min to let the bacon crisp

Here are the veggies:
Red, Orange, Yellow peppers roughly chopped
1 onion chopped
1 Cup or so sliced mushroom
1 small head of broccoli cut into florets
1 tbsp butter
chili powder

heat butter in the pan and add onion and chili powder, cook for a few min
add in the broccoli and peppers cook a little longer
add a TBSP of water and cover for a few min
add mushrooms and cook until tender adding a little more chili powder if you would like.

When the chicken was done I nestled the chicken with the veggies and covered just to let some flavors meld. YUM!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

day 14 Paleo again

So as my diet and eating and food consumption is evolving with this new found enthusiasm for being as healthy as I can be. I am starting to eat a few foods that are either foreign (or only ate them a few times) or I was always told to avoid. These of course being the artery clogging coconut oil, shredded, milk (really, can something in nature REALLY clog your arteries,)fattening macadamia nuts (again, bad argument) and Jicama (didn't know what it was until a few years ago.) SO I being of sound mind and feel AWESOME internally will focus my efforts to try new foods like these and incorporate them into my rotating meal schedule. Since one of my favorite shows on TV is Chopped I feel I have learned about new foods and these chefs incredible skills in turning something unfamiliar into something good. Well at least I hope I can accomplish this. I cooked with the Coconut oil last week and even made some macaroons (which I was told were delish.) I have been adding Macadamias as a little snack and well will try some Jicama in my salad or on its own, maybe I will use it as my "potato alternative."
Anyways I have been reading different Paleo-peoples blog and telling my friends and some others about it and even stumbled upon one gal whom I see every once in a while while working at her school who loves the paleo and actually may get a different teacher at this particular school who has Celiac to look into giving it a try. I would love to have a lot of friends and friends who are paleo, but alas it's not happening. I get it from all angles and I am supported by many (except that Lemon pie that has been staring at me in the face everytime I open the fridge, Thanks Randy.) I am glad I have the support I have and I am glad this time the diet is making me feel better and I know it is the diet that is making my body happy. I have to check out an upcoming winter farmer's market and see what kind of delicious local meat I can find, maybe even some tasty lamb (my next "new food.) All I know is spring greens and summer garden harvests can not come soon enough.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to being Primal...day 8

Hey fellow Internet web blog readers. Haven't written a post in a while and thought I would update how my little part of the world is going in this the year 2012! Well I didn't run the NYC marathon as I thought...again...and I think I am giving up hopes of doing it. I think I would like to focus on some shorter running races and maybe a tough guy challenge. As far as the paleo thing goes I was eating rather "loosely" over the summer avoiding as much pasta as I could, unfortunately my laziness got to me and I ate one too many sausage egg and cheese mcmuffins :(. So I gave myself from thanksgiving until new years day to eat basically whatever I felt I needed in order to get it out of my system. I ate anything the hell I wanted, but of course since learning that food is good when I cook it, or when a really great restaurant cooks it I know it's good, so all in all not a terrible stint, but I digress.

As of new years day I have been following Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint 21 day total body transformation, and so far so good. I have been following the diet part the most diligently and have been going for walks every day with Ivy sometime throwing in a sprint or going to the park where there are wooded trails so Ivy can go off leash and I can walk up some hills. Today I tried yoga, for the first time in a while. Now I like yoga, have been attempting it off and on for the better of 10 years or so,maybe even before whenever I started I had a tape of it. So the yoga class today had me attempting handstands and headstands...not quite my level and I didn't feel relaxed after, gotta find a new instructor.

Alright so you may ask why I went back paleo/primal and why wasn't I happy eating what I wanted to. Well I will tell you this. I was feeling like crap. I was eating crap, felt like crap, and my clothes were starting to shrink...JK, I was getting fat. So I figured most of it was the gluten in my diet. So far my gut feels a lot better and my waste has been a lot better! So I am going to stick with it.

Well my plan is to stick with it until my birthday so that is two months, but I am taking one week off while we are in key west, but as much as possible I will stick with the diet...no bread/pasta anyways. Sugar on the other hand...that's another story. So we shall see, I just want my shirts to feel comfortable again.