Happy Fourth of July all! Michael and I have the day off and I plan on using it to its full advantage, which started with sleeping in until 8:30! I know, that doesn’t seem very late, but it was wonderful. We plan on doing some cleaning, grilling, and of course fireworks watching. It’s our first 4th in San Francisco and I’m hoping for some awesome fireworks displays. As much fun as the 4th is, I’m even more excited about the 5th! Why you ask?… because my parents are coming for a visit! I cannot wait to see my mom and dad for a few days of sight seeing and catching up. For those of you who know me personally you know my sister and I are extremely close to our parents, and I love it! I have yet to meet anyone who shares the type of friendship that our family has… so lucky!
Okay, on to a more Paleo related topic… I wanted to share this quick story of a girl who decided to veer off track for one small meal that included a bunch of rice, and REGRETTED it. This last week I decided to join my co-workers for some Thai food (one of my favs!) and chose the yellow curry served over a big helping of rice. There were hardly any vegetables and a small amount of pork, but it was a decent ‘cheat’ meal, or so I thought. I could feel the pang of hunger a couple of hours after lunch, which I ignored… then I got home. Holy Cow! That rice crashed my system to the point of seeing stars. I didn’t actually pass out, but if I had stayed standing for much longer I would’ve been on the floor. Michael ended up feeding me macadamia nuts while I sat shaking with my head between me knees. I can’t believe how much I was affected by eating a carb-y lunch. I feel like there’s no better proof of the effects of grains (even gluten-free grains) than almost passing out after a major sugar crash. Moral of the story… no more large meals consisting of mostly of carbs. Yikes!
And because this post is seriously lacking some quality food pictures, here’s one of more BUBBLES!! YAY!!
The stomach flu really takes a toll on your cooking habits. Last Sunday night I came down with a very nasty virus, which soon spread to Michael. It wrecked havoc on our appetite and kept me from the grocery store for quite a while. Luckily, we’ve been starting to feel a lot better so we’re trying to get back into our cooking routine. Since I still haven’t created a menu or made it to the store, tonight we opened our fridge and accepted the challenge in front of us. I felt a little bit like I was on an episode of Chopped, given the 3 following ingredients: a pound of ground beef, an avocado, and eggs. Of course, this magic combination screamed BREAKFAST, and oh what a wonderful breakfast for dinner it was! I decided to cook the ground beef with a mexican kick, top it with an egg, and finish it off with a dollop of avocado goodness. Here’s how to re-create our Chopped episode…
Huevos Rancheros w/ Avocado Cream
1lb grass fed ground beef
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 roma tomatos, diced
1tsp red chili powder
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 cloves crushed garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbsp grass fed sour cream
1/8 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook the meat with the vegtables until all the meat is cooked through. Add all the spices and simmer until most of the liquid in the skillet is gone. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside. Cook the eggs in the remaining beef fat until desired consistancy is reached.
Using a hand mixer, beat the avocado, sour cream, and spices until fluffy.
Serve each egg sitting on top of a spoonful of meat and a dollop of avocado cream.
Whenever we make homemade mayonnaise, I try to come up with a lot of recipes to use it up during the week. The mayo only stays good about a week and a half, so that’s a short window to not be wasteful. One dish I made this week is a great lunch item and can be eaten as leftovers several days in a row. Chicken salad is easily thrown together, especially when you take some shortcuts like I did. I always use a rotisserie chicken, and with the mayo already on hand this was the perfect lazy lunch for our staycation.
Lazy & Delicious Chicken Salad
1 rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup grass-fed whipping cream
1/2 cup paleo mayo
1 tbsp mustard
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 stalks of celery diced
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 cup diced red seedless grapes
Salt & pepper to taste
Pull apart the rotisserie chicken into bite sized pieces and refrigerate until cold. While the chicken is chilling, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Combine all other ingredients and mix well. Mix in the chicken and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
The final product served with some baked sweet potato fries.
Yesterday started out as a normal workday, except for our planned departure to Disney of course. Michael had stayed home the day before with a stomach ache, something we were hoping would go away by the time our New Years Eve fun rolled around in South Beach. Unfortunately, the pain didn’t go away, instead it moved to the lower right of his abdomen. After some Googling, and a quick chat with his mom he decided to get it checked out, just in case. Next thing I know, I’m on my way to the Emergency Room to meet up with Michael before his appendectomy begins. What a whirlwind. In the matter of 8 hours Michael was in and out of the hospital minus an appendix. Our trip to Disney may be postponed now, but thank goodness this happened before we made it to Florida. I can only imagine the nightmare it would have been if his appendix had burst while we were there. We’re both sad to be at home, instead of partying with Mickey, but so grateful we caught it early. When we got home last night, I had strict instructions to fix him something to eat that was easy on the stomach. After a quick trip to the grocery store, I threw together this super fast soup, which is just what the doctor ordered. No pun intended.
4 Ingredient Appendicitis Soup
1 cup water
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup white rice
Bring the water and chicken broth to a boil. Add the rice and cook until tender. Crack the eggs into the soup mixture, breaking apart the yolks. Serve when the eggs are cooked all the way through.
This soup was so easy, and so good for what was in it. I know rice isn’t strictly paleo, but I wanted something that would help keep the pain meds from making him nauseous. The doctors recommended a slice of bread or crackers, so rice was sort of our gluten free compromise. If you’re ever feeling sick and want something easy on the stomach, this is your soup.
Last night we made one of my favorite meals, crab cakes. Crab cakes calls for homemade mayo, which is always a challenge for me. I’ve tried all the paleo variations with little success and always a huge mess. The best recipe that I’ve come across by far, is Julia Child’s recipe. It always turns out the way it’s supposed to, creamy and decadent. The main difference from all other recipes is the lack of egg whites. Here’s how her recipe goes:
Julia Child’s Hand Beaten Mayonnaise (We used our stand mixer)
- Round-bottomed, 2½ to 3-quart glazed pottery, glass or stainless steel mixing bowl. Set it in a heavy casserole or saucepan to keep it from slipping.
- 3 egg yolks
- Large wire whisk
- 1 tablespoon wine vinegar or lemon juice (more drops as needed)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon dry or prepared mustard
- 1½ to 2¼ cups of olive oil, salad oil or a mixture of each. If the oil is cold, heat it to tepid; and if you are a novice, use the minimum amount
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- Warm the bowl in hot water; dry it. Add the egg yolks and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until they are thick and sticky.
- Add the vinegar or lemon juice, salt and mustard. Beat for 30 seconds more.
- The egg yolks are now ready to receive the oil. While it goes in, drop by drop, you must not stop beating until the sauce has thickened. A speed of 2 strokes per second is fast enough. You can switch hands or switch directions, as long as you beat constantly.
- Add the drops of oil with a teaspoon, or rest the lip of the bottle on the edge of the bowl. Keep your eye on the oil rather than on the sauce. Stop pouring and continue beating every 10 seconds or so, to be sure the egg yolks are absorbing the oil.
- After 1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil has been incorporated, the sauce will thicken into a very heavy cream and the crisis of potential curdling is over. The beating arm may rest a moment. Then, beat in the remaining oil by 1 to 2 tablespoon dollops, blending it thoroughly after each addition.
- When the sauce becomes too thick and stiff, beat in drops of vinegar or lemon juice to thin it out. Then continue with the oil.
- Beat the boiling water into the sauce. This is an anti-curdling insurance. Season to taste.
- If the sauce is not used immediately, scrape it into a small bowl and cover it tightly so a skin will not form on its surface.
To go along with the crab cakes we tried out a butternut squash latke recipe I found on this pretty awesome Paleo blog, Paleo on Main Street. So far I’ve tried the latkes and her pecan pie truffles, which were delicious. I highly recommend making them the next time you have a potluck or a party. Our latkes only differed by the type of oil they were fried in, we chose to use leftover bacon grease instead of coconut oil.
The final product… So good!