Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

6 Things I Love About Guadalajara, Mexico

by Kristen Suzanne in home school, travel

We recently went on a two week trip to Guadalajara, Mexico where Kamea received her first stamp for her passport. :)

One of the reasons we are excited to homeschool Kamea is that we love to travel, and this offers both flexibility in our schedule as well as a rich education for her. As part of Kamea’s homeschooling (she’s 3.75 as of this writing) we have a native Spanish-speaking woman come over weekly to play with Kamea, while speaking primarily Spanish. It’s a way for Kamea to get exposed to another language but not in a typical classroom setting. We started this before she was two and she learned to say “rojo” before “red” (except she pronounced it “hoho”). So, going to Guadalajara was a great way to build upon those lessons.

Guadalajara, Mexico and six things I love about it.

Sunrise and Venus in Guadalajara, Mexico

Sunrise (and Venus) in Guadalajara, Mexico

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Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie Gluten Free (Pizzookie)

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (Pizooki) Gluten Free

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (Pizzooki) Gluten Free

Wow. I’m truly in heaven. My Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (gluten free) recipe is, officially, my favorite gluten free homemade dessert recipe. My second would be my Pumpkin Pie, but that’s a recipe I’ll share later. I can’t take all the credit for coming up with this masterpiece though. I was inspired by two things.

  1. Over a decade ago I ate a dessert at a local Italian restaurant where they had a “Pizzookie” which was a giant chocolate chip cookie served in a small cast iron pan with ice cream on top. I have longed for that for years, but I wouldn’t get it because it’s so unhealthy, obviously. Instead, I dreamt about it. For over a decade.
  2. Then, a few months ago, I was reading a fun blog, Cave Girl Eats. I saw that she made a giant paleo chocolate chip cookie in a pie dish. I thought to myself… THAT’S IT! I can recreate the Pizzookie! Now, mine isn’t strictly paleo like hers because grass fed butter belongs in this bad boy. Be sure to check out Cave Girl Eats’ blog. I call her “funny girl” because I’m frequently giggling when I read her work.

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Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Recipe: How to Pressure Cooker Grass Fed Beef Chuck Roast

 

All Clad awesome pressure cooker

All Clad – awesome pressure cooker

I originally found myself in the market for a pressure years ago when I was eating a plant based vegan diet (here’s why we stopped our vegan ways). We consumed a lot of beans in those days and I wanted a faster way to prepare them instead of watching them cook in a big pot on my stove all the time.

Fast forward to today… my pressure cooker was sitting on my counter not being used because we don’t fancy beans much these days. I was eager to make a meal quickly with a cut of meat that would usually take all day in the slow cooker. Hello, Pressure Cooker. This thing rocks for its speed and simplicity.

That’s my pressure cooker pictured above: All Clad (I bought it at Sur la Table). This gem was worth every penny because of its high quality. It’s stainless steel and I wanted something that wasn’t non-stick crap or aluminum. I also like this one because I don’t have to stand around the stove watching it (it plugs into the wall), so I feel safe using it. It’s basically a “set it and forget it” piece of kitchen equipment.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chuck Roast

You can get very creative here and add other flavors like a halved onion, a few cloves of crushed garlic, etc, especially if you’re using water as the liquid. I usually keep it extra simple though with just flavorful homemade broth and generously salted grass fed meat.

Put all of the ingredients in the pressure cooker. Cook at HIGH pressure for about 45 minutes. Voila! You’re done.

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Friday, February 14th, 2014

Omnivore Food Journal

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal

Here’s what’s on tap at our house…

Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage

Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage

Breakfast:

Lunch:

Dinner:

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Saturday, February 8th, 2014

How to Sous Vide Grass Fed Ribeye Steak

 

Alderspring Ranch organic grass fed ribeye steak cooked perfectly medium raw sous vide

Alderspring Ranch organic grass fed ribeye steak cooked sous vide – perfectly medium rare.

Dear Sous Vide Supreme,

I love you dearly. Thank you for coming into my life and making it so much easier. I call you my BFF in the kitchen because cooking steaks (and much more, like bone broth) is a piece of cake with you. I love my sous vide supreme so much that I even took it on our road trip from Arizona to Michigan.

Your raving fan,

Kristen

If it isn’t obvious, I love my sous vide supreme kitchen appliance. Thank you to my husband, Greg, for showing me it was an option after I turned too many expensive grass fed steaks into chewing-gum-shoe-leather. Not anymore now that I effortlessly prepare steaks with my sous vide, yielding beautiful steaks with even color and temperature throughout – every time. The best part is that it’s so easy. I don’t need any skills to cook the meat.

The sous vide is also called a water oven, which is similar to a slow cooker but the temperature is tightly controlled and the food is cooked in a vacuum sealed bag. It basically means that you can cook a steak (or any cut of meat, including beef tongue, chicken, turkey, fish and more), perfectly, every time. The meat is cooked through to the exact temperature you want and it will never overcook. I know, magic, right?

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Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Recipe Cinnamon Apple Chicken n Buttered Purple Cabbage Gluten Free

 

Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage

Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage

My Cinnamon Apple Chicken with Buttered Purple Cabbage is soooo good. It’s comfort, health, ease, and deliciousness all wrapped up in one meal and tied with a bow. Cabbage and apples are a great combo that everyone will love.

Most of my chicken dishes are made in a slow cooker, but once in a while, I want some golden (pasture raised organic) chicken skin to sink my teeth into, such as the gluten free recipe below (and also this staple in our house: Garam Masala Orange Chicken). I buy my pasture raised organic chickens here (also available soy-free, meaning they didn’t feed the chickens any soy). Good Earth Farms is also where we bought our pasture raised turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A testament to the quality and deliciousness of their poultry was when my mom, who is always extremely(!) honest, exclaimed three times how much she enjoyed the turkey and she’s never been a “turkey” person.

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Friday, January 31st, 2014

Recipe Carrot Cauliflower Puree Gluten Free

by Kristen Suzanne in carrots, gluten free, grass fed butter, recipe

 

Carrot Cauliflower Puree

Carrot Cauliflower Puree

I love using fresh organic produce which shows off vibrant colors. This recipe of Carrot Cauliflower Puree does just that. It’s the color of a sunset, so pretty. Delicious, too. I can serve this as a side dish to any meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Carrot Cauliflower Puree (Gluten Free Recipe)

Yield 4 servings

  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup homemade broth (learn how to make here)
  • 1/4 cup grass fed butter
  • fresh organic thyme, for garnish
  1. Put the cauliflower and carrots in a large, deep saute pan with about a few tablespoons of filtered water. Cook over medium heat, covered, until tender. Alternatively, you can steam them with a steamer insert like this. (I love that steamer insert because it has handles that don’t get too hot to touch, so I can simply dump the veggies into a bowl waiting with butter in it, in one quick dump.)
  2. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, and add the remaining ingredients. Process to a chunky or smooth consistency, as desired.

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Monday, January 27th, 2014

Recipe: Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

 

Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)

This is YUM.

Here’s a quick, light, and easy snack (or breakfast or dessert) recipe with pears and apples. The colors are quite pretty when using a green pear and red apple (or vice versa).

Apple Pear Yum Porridge (Raw Vegan Gluten Free Paleo)

Yield 1 serving

Put the milk, pear, apple, sweetener, and allspice in a blender and briefly puree. Serve immediately.

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Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Omni Status Update: One Year Post-Vegan

by Kristen Suzanne in food journal, Kristen Suzanne
Kamea when she turned 3 over the summer.

Kamea when she turned three over the summer.

I frequently get asked about my life these days. How is my family faring on our omnivore diet since ending a decade of being vegan (read more about that here and here)? What are we eating? How’s life in general?

Life in general is awesome. :) I’m living a dream life and feeling overflowing gratitude every day. We’ve been traveling a bit, going on lots of play dates, spending extra time with my parents, and we have seen the movie Frozen three times. :)

What are we eating? Has anything changed since my last update? Not much. You can pretty much see what we’ve been eating from my food journals and all of the recipes I post. But, for those who are new here, our diet is higher in fat, moderate for carbs (with some days being lower in carbs), and comprises a ton of high-quality animal products, including:

  • Wild caught fish, usually salmon (including wild caught salmon roe)
  • Grass-fed and pasture-raised meats (including massively nutrient dense organ meats and bone broths) How can I eat organ meats? Well, it’s been a process to find the best way I like them but finally that’s happened. I hide liver in butter-and-brandy-rich pate as well as in cheeseburgers smothered in BBQ sauce like this one. I hide beef heart in stew and enjoy some weird beef tongue in this recipe here (and beef tongue in ratatouille is my new favorite way, recipe coming soon). I am determined to keep my family eating grass fed offal (i.e., organ meats), and so far they’re totally loving them, thankfully, because the nutrition is stellar and unbelievable. These organ meats are the true super foods of the world.
  • Sardines, Oysters (and other shell fish)
  • Pasture-raised organic eggs
  • Organic vegetables
  • A little fruit (usually in the form of berries)
  • Grass-fed butter
  • High-quality oils (grass-fed ghee, high vitamin butter oil, coconut oil, MCT oil)
  • Coffee shakes (yum!)
  • Organic Norwalk cold pressed fresh green juice but the recipe is different from what I used to in the past (no heavy greens like kale, collards, or spinach because when we consume those now they’re cooked). The recipe is usually celery, cucumbers, romaine, cilantro, occasionally parsley and other herbs, and we might have a pint or two every week or so.
  • Supplements These change based on our diet for the week as well as new things I learn every day. I’ll soon share how I make my own liposomal vitamin C.
  • White rice (occasionally)
  • Dark organic fair trade chocolate
  • Raw organic sauerkraut (I love Farmhouse Kraut)
  • Nuts and seeds (sometimes these appear in the form of paleo style treats like my Vanilla Chocolate Chunk Cookies)
  • Dairy products like raw grass-fed organic cheese, grass-fed organic ice cream (not raw, usually Straus brand), and grass-fed organic yogurt (not raw). After some experimentation it seems we tolerate them very well. The ice cream and yogurt make up a very small percentage of our diet and it doesn’t make a regular appearance, but we do have it sometimes. It must be from free range grass fed cows and organic. I go back and forth on dairy… some say it creates inflammation but others say if it’s high quality and tolerated then it can be very nutrient dense.Therefore, we enjoy it at times and other times we abstain for awhile.

As you can imagine, we don’t eat out very much. As much as I love cooking, I do need a break from the kitchen. I make almost everything from scratch, and that’s a lot of time in the kitchen for three meals a day. So on occasion we go out to eat for gluten-free pizza (maybe once every 10 to 14 days) and we also go to Chipotle every couple of weeks. I really don’t care for Chipotle’s crap oils they use on their rice and for cooking, but a girl needs a break from meal prep, ya know? I sure wish there were some options with truly high quality everything. I can find a grass fed burger here in Scottsdale, but the salad it’s served with has junk canola oil on it as an example. Sigh.

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Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Recipes: Buttered Broccoli Soup and Salad (Gluten Free)

by Kristen Suzanne in broccoli, recipe, salad, soup

 

Better Broccoli Soup

Buttered Broccoli Soup

Tonight’s nourishing soup recipe is a real winner: Buttered Broccoli Soup. Greg said it might be his favorite one yet. He loved its vibrant color, super soft mouth feel, and the slightly-cheesy taste even though there’s no cheese in it. Kamea gobbled up all of hers, though she wanted to drop a raw organic chocolate covered cacao nib into each Elmo spoonful. Hey, who am I to stop that? Raw chocolate and broccoli? Maybe she’s on to something here.

Personally, I’m a fan of the recipe because it combines nutrients (namely: kelp’s and broccoli’s – plus butter’s fat soluble goodies) and flavors that pair synergistically (plus its great flavor and texture). It’s especially wonderful during the cold winter months.

Buttered Broccoli Soup

Yield 2 servings

  1. Chop and wash the broccoli.
  2. Cook the broccoli in a large (and deep) sauté pan (I use this one), covered, over medium heat with a few tablespoons of water added to steam/sauté it (about 8-12 min should do it). I say “medium” heat because that is the level of heat I use/need for Le Creuset enameled cast iron cookware. Alternatively, feel free to simply steam it using a pot and steamer insert. Here’s my new steamer insert I love.
  3. While the broccoli is cooking, warm the stock in a small saucepan.
  4. Transfer the cooked broccoli to a high speed blender and add the stock and remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, which is best accomplished with a high speed blender.

* If you don’t have the high vitamin butter oil (which I highly recommend for concentrated fat soluble nutrients), then add another tablespoon of grassfed butter. I like the high vitamin butter oil for the boost in vitamins it offers.

Bonus recipe… see that salad next to the soup? A-mazing. It’s become a staple salad for us. Super easy to throw together on a whim. Here’s what I did…

  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • juice of a lemon or lime
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 to 3 pinches of sea salt, to taste
  • sprinkling of Farmhouse Kraut’s Smoked Jalapeno Kraut (optional, available at Whole Foods)

Toss everything in a bowl and let it set for a half hour or so (covered), if possible. Otherwise just toss and serve. By waiting though, the salt works its magic on the ingredients and enhances the experience.

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