Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
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
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
- Chop and wash the broccoli.
- 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.
- While the broccoli is cooking, warm the stock in a small saucepan.
- 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.
Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Grass fed beef tongue with Cherry BBQ Sauce
Enter the world of grass fed organ meats with me, if you dare.
Though, if you’ve been reading my blog recently, then you came into this unusual world of organ meats when I shared my delicious and “heart healthy” (hehe) Heart Stew recipe with you.
Heart? Liver? Tongue? What’s next? Not sure… kidneys are in my freezer but would you believe I’m freaked out about those the most?
Grass fed organic beef tongue. Are you ready? It’s so weird.
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Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
Veggie Dinner (Gluten Free Paleo Vegetarian)
- Homemade Liposomal Vitamin C I like vitamin C in a liposomal form because it’s supposedly SO much better absorbed and assimilated. But, it’s not cheap to buy and take on a regular basis, therefore I’m now making my own to reduce the cost drastically, but you can buy it here.
- Grass fed beef n liver cheeseburger (no bun) from last night’s dinner. When I make her a patty I cut it in half so she has half for dinner and 1/2 the next morning cold from the fridge. The cheese is always raw, grass fed, organic/hormone free. My favorite way to consume grass fed liver is to hide it inside grass fed ground beef cheeseburgers (no bun). Will share my killer recipe soon.
- Organic strawberries
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Monday, January 13th, 2014
Fresh organic ginger
Making my own fresh organic dressings is the only way I consume salad. And since I like salad, I make a lot of fresh dressings. This is a 2.0 version of one I used to make, and it is one of my family’s favorites.
Ginger Shallot Dressing 2.0 (Raw Vegan Paleo Gluten Free)
- 5 tablespoons raw organic olive oil or macadamia nut oil
- 3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 1 tablespoon plus 1⁄2 teaspoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot (or 1 teaspoon onion powder)
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
Blend everything up and dress your salad.
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
Organic Grass Fed Eye of the Round Roast – perfectly tender and cooked throughout.
Last year in order to save money we ordered an 1/8th of a grass fed organic cow from Alderspring Ranch where you can get the finest organic grass fed beef. When you order in bulk like that you get all different cuts of meats, many of which I was unsure how to prepare.
Enter: Grass Fed Eye of the Round Roast.
I had made roasts in my slow cooker before so I figured that’d be the best way to prepare this particular cut. But, after researching online, I learned that this is one of the toughest, leanest, (and usually cheapest) cuts of beef. Although slow cookers have a knack for making tougher cuts more tender, I had a little doubt as to whether that’d be the best option for cooking it. Back to researching online to see what I might do with my Sous Vide Supreme for this cut of beef.
After reading a few different articles, I’m sharing what I ended up doing (and will always do for grass fed eye of the round roast going forward). This meat, with the reputation for being as tough and chewy as stale bubble gum was one of the most tender pieces of meat we’ve ever had. Literally, it was tenderloin tender after using the Sous Vide to cook the Eye of the Round Roast. I’m not surprised though since that is a prime reason for using a Sous Vide to cook meats. Not only will you never overcook your precious meat, but you will also save money on buying meat because you can buy the cheaper cuts of meat, but still enjoy it without wearing out your jaw.
See? You can save money on meat and use that saved money to buy a sous vide.
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Saturday, January 4th, 2014
I created a Cherry BBQ sauce that is sweetener-free and oh-so-super delicious.
Ingredients for Cherry BBQ Sauce (Paleo, Gluten Free)
I’ve used this recipe as a BBQ sauce over various styles of grass fed beef and bison (including tongue – strange, bizarre, and weird to be sure, but tasty). I’ve also added it to slow cooker stews for a mega flavorful stew experience.This fantastic Cherry BBQ Sauce recipe makes more than you’ll likely use with one dinner, like the grass beef tongue that will be featured with it soon. But, it’ll store well in the refrigerator for a few days to use on other foods like pastured eggs, wild caught fish, or other meat dishes. Or, you can freeze it.
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Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
Buttered Cauliflower Puree, grass fed bison steak burger, and Basil Tomatoes Provencal
A lot of people tell me they’re looking for dinner ideas. Here’s a dinner I quickly threw together one night, and Greg said he definitely wanted me to make it more often.
Basically, while the tomatoes were baking, I steamed organic cauliflower. Then, I put the burgers on my Le Creuset enameled cast iron skinny grill (mine is the round one, but the one featured on Amazon is rectangle). While those were cooking I blended the cauliflower with grass fed butter and sea salt.
I did my best to present our plates in a fancy way, because I am continuoulsy inspired by cooking shows. That’s clearly an area in which I need practice. Sigh.
Sunday, December 29th, 2013
Here’s a simple french toast recipe that my kid (and husband) love. It’s just toasted paleo bread with grass fed organic ghee, and organic maple syrup… But, surprisingly it tastes quite a bit like french toast, because the bread has both an eggy flavor and texture. It’s so easy that your kiddos can make it all by themselves, supervised while using the toaster.
*I consider this a paleo recipe (though perhaps not super strict paleo) because of the use of ghee or high vitamin butter oil.
Easiest French Toast (gluten free)
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Thursday, December 26th, 2013
Here’s a great side dish recipe to have in your recipe box because it can go with so many meals, it’s easy to make, and it’s nutritious. It has a texture that is like air, if you can imagine that. But, the catch is that you need a high speed blender to get it to perfection, preferably a Vitamix with the plunger.
Buttered Cauliflower Puree (gluten free)
Buttered Cauliflower Puree
Yield 4 servings
Blend the steamed cauliflower and butter until smooth, using the plunger to make the magic happen. Taste and season with sea salt, if needed.
** My favorite steamer is here. I love it! I used to have one of those cheapies you insert in the bottom of a pot. It would always fold in while trying to get out the veggies – total pain. Then, it was hot and couldn’t touch it. I found this awesome steamer insert and fell madly in love. It fits a couple of my pots, I can easily get all the veggies out at once by using the side handles and picking it up and dumping all veggies in a bowl of butter. The handles don’t get too hot to touch. Highly recommend.