Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Celebrate You........with Carbs!

This is going to be a tough week at work, as it is "Celebrate You" week, which means employee appreciation. So of course, lots of food is supplied, breakfast and snacks, consisting mostly of carby, processed crap. At least they have been putting out a good variety of fruit in the morning. Just walking into the break room, I am overwhelmed by the scent of fresh baked donuts, bagels, even cookies! I have to admit, it has been hard. I swear the donuts are calling out to me! I know if I eat those kind of carbs, I will crash within an hour, and feel like crap the rest of the day. So why do I still feel tempted by these carby little devils??? Can you say carb addict? :-)

Morning: 1.5 Scotch eggs, grapes, pineapple and cantaloupe
Snack: Starbucks Berry Chai Infusion (sugar, I know! It's the damn Celebrate You thing!)
Lunch: Joe's Breakfast Special with a dollop of sour cream, 3 chocolate covered cherries
Dinner:Cabbage sauteed with bacon, butter and onions, pork spare ribs.
Snack: 2 cups of homemade stock

I love homemade stock! When I want a little something, but am not really hungry, it really hits the spot. Great way to start and end the day. I made the spare ribs in the crockpot last night, and well, they turned out ok, but a little dry. I used a recipe that was meant to be used for chicken, but well, I decided to use ribs instead because that is what I had on hand. Let's just say that it won't be one I will be making again, but may actually try with the chicken. It is supposed to be a marinade of lemon juice, orange juice (both fresh), soy, dry mustard, olive oil and honey. I decided to just throw everything in the crockpot and let it go. I learned that honey will burn in a crockpot. Lesson learned!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Morning: I started the morning off with a delicious cup of homemade chicken stock. Grass fed beef jerky, a large strawberry, some grapes, and a slice of mango.
Lunch: We celebrated Fat Tuesday early today and it was a fundraiser, so of course, I participated. I had Jambayla, 1/2 a corn muffin and a small slice of King Cake. Mardi Gras only comes around once a year so I'm not going to beat myself up over it...... Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!
Snack: Banana, apple, couple strips grass fed beef jerky
Dinner: Another cup of homemade stock, small bowl of Mac N Cheese, Joe's Breakfast Special, 2 Vodka & Diet, Bakery Cream Puff

Joe's Breakfast Special is something I had a few months back while in Hawaii, and it is yummy! It's a super easy one skillet meal that you will make over and over. In a large skillet or Dutch over, sautee one diced onion, and 8 oz sliced mushrooms in butter. When soft, add in 1 pound ground beef (I used grass fed which is super lean). Cook until almost browned, adding butter (or stock) as needed, seasoning with spices of your choice. Then add 16 oz (give or take) of chopped, frozen spinach. Sautee everything over high heat until most of the moisture is gone. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. In the restaurant version, they make it with scrambled eggs and shredded parmesan. Your choice if you want to add these or not. You can also use fresh spinach, and of course, you can adjust amounts to your liking. This is the kind of cooking I like, stuff you can't screw up! One pot meals are great, and this makes a ton so I will be eating it for several days. Diced avocado on top is also a great addition.

I know, not a great Primal day. But a little primal is better than none at all! I have a friend staying with me for a couple days while she recovers from surgery so the Mac & Cheese and Cream Puff were directly related to her cravings. I know, I could have said no, but I was caught at a weak moment......lame excuse, I admit. In addition to cooking Joe's Breakfast, I also threw some pork spare ribs in the crock pot, made "Scotch Eggs," and put some steaks in to marinade for Tuesday night. No excuse to eat the crap now, as everything I need is right in the fridge!

The idea of "Scotch Eggs" came from Elizabeth over at Caveman Food (www.cavemanfood.blogspot.com). Simply take peeled hardboiled eggs and wrap them with ground pork sausage, be sure the sausage completely encases the egg. Then cook in the over at 350-degrees until nicely browned. Mine came out a little dry but nothing that some added mayo or mashed avocado won't take care of! Quick, easy and portable.......always nice to have on hand!

Making (& Taking) Stock

This weekend I made my first batch of homemade chicken stock and it was WONDERFUL!! For some reason, I had a "fear" of making my own stock, as if I would screw it up or something! Guess what? You can't really screw it up! Who knew?!?! LOL I roasted a chicken Saturday night, and then just threw the bones in the crockpot (have I told you how much I love my crockpot!) along with some carrots and onions that were hanging out in the fridge. Poured in water to cover, seasoned with some herbs that I had on hand, set it on high and let it go the rest of the night. Viola! Rich, delicious stock was waiting for me in the morning! I strained out the bones, but left the veggies in (I know some recipes say to take them out, but I think it's a personal choice). Now I am hooked on homemade stock, and can't wait to make other varieties. I plan on making pork spare ribs later this week, and I am going to try making stock with those bones. I've never heard of pork stock, but why not? I'll keep you posted on the results. Another note on the roasted chicken, since I did it in the oven in a roasting pan, not all of the skin browned up as crispy as I would have liked. So I peeled it off after I removed from the oven, laid it flat on a cooking stone, and stuck it under the broiler for a bit. Crisped right up! There was nothing from this bird that was wasted. That is what I call Living Primal!!

I want to give a shout out to Mark over at
www.marksdailyapple.com for the recent mention in his blog. Thank you Mark! You are a true inspiration! I know I have been slack lately about posting but I promise to start blogging alot more. I started this blog to hold me accountable so I promise you, I am back on track. School sidetracked me for a couple weeks (did I mention I am also a grad student?) but my health is too important to let anything deter me from getting the results I want. The sun is finally starting to come back to the great Northwest so I will finally be able to get out and enjoy some nice long walks with the BF and the pup. An interesting note on the BF, he's not fully on the Primal wagon, but he doesn't complain when I cook that way either. Saturday night I set out the roasted chicken along with a bowl of raw baby carrots and some dip for dinner and he dug right in without complaining one bit. It will be interesting as time goes on if I can get him to go more primal.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who loves their Crockpot?

Man, I LOVE my crockpot!!! If you don't have one, run, don't walk, out to get one! I swear I use mine at least once a week! I admit, it took me a while to actually use it correctly -- I know, that sounds weird, but the first couple times I used it, I took the meat out too early, causing it to be tough, and well, just not very good. I was having a hard time seeing what people were raving about. But once I gave into it and left the meat in there for the entire 8-10 hours, I was in meat heaven!!!! I absolutely love cooking whole chickens, roasts, ribs, you name it, it goes in the crockpot!

So last night I used it to make my breakfast this morning. I found a recipe that isn't primal, but overall, it's not too bad. It has layers of frozen hashbrowns, grass fed pork sausage, eggs, cheese, leeks and half and half. Let me tell you, waking up this morning to that smell was all the motivation I needed to get out of bed! I am going to attempt to make this more primal by adding more veggies, maybe some mushrooms and spinach, and double the meat. And I think shredded turnips would be a good sub for the potatoes. Once I get a great primal version of it, I'll post the recipe.

Morning: Crock pot breakfast casserole
Snack: Organic apple
Lunch: Grass fed London broil, with butter sauteed onions and organic mushrooms. Pork rinds with Atkins Sour Cream Clam Dip.
Snack: Grass fed beef Summer Sausage
Dinner: Pork rinds with Atkins Sour Cream Clam Dip, Crock Pot breakfast casserole, Half Cobb Salad
Snack: 20 oz Sugar Free Mocha

As you can see, I haven't given up my dairy yet. Maybe one day, but for now, it's easier for me to keep it in, except regular milk. I have noticed that when I have milk, my stomach has severe reactions. I am fine with sour cream, cheese and the like. But man, I had the mocha tonight at a meeting and wow........was I in agony! I love milk, though I have cut my intake significantly over the past couple months. I do seem to do ok on Raw Milk, but it is hard to come by in the area, and when I can find it, it is expensive! Guess I will have to suck it up and spend the money for the occasional milk consumption. Overall not a great Primal day, but not exactly horrible either.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I'm a slacker!

I admit, I have been slacking. I have been off track so I haven't been posting. Well, I had a chat with myself and determined that this is just not acceptable. I started this blog so I could give myself accountability. I don't have to be perfect to post, I am human after all. I think if I put it all out there, it will motivate me to do better. So here is my food from yesterday:

Lunch: 2 hard boiled eggs, grass fed summer sausage and 1/2 an avocado, mixed all together like egg salad. Sounds weird, but it is actually good, I've had it for lunch two days in a row.
Snack: organic apple, organic pear
Dinner: Grass fed London Broil with organic mushrooms and onions sauteed in butter, mashed califlower with leeks and diced ham. 2 glasses red wine.
Snack: Dreyer's ice cream, 1 slice Dave's Killer bread with butter and honey.

I made London Broil last night for the first time and it was soooooo good! I can't believe how easy it is to make, and it was an inexpensive cut of meat. The ranch where I get my grass-fed meat has raised prices (who hasn't?!) so I need to explore how to prepare some of the less expensive cuts. This is definitely one I will add to my monthly order. I've also started getting deliveries from a local, organic produce company. Every other Friday I come home and there is a box of produce waiting for me. This is really helping me expand my veggie intake. This week I will be trying rhutabuga and jersulum artichokes. I'll let you know how that goes!

I admit that my snacking options were not the best, but it could have been so much worse! I could have eaten the entire container of ice cream, but instead I scooped out a small bowl and enjoyed every bite of the Girl Scout Thin Mint concoction! I am justifying it by saying they only have this flavor once a year! LOL I am going to need some serious willpower when the Girl Scout cookies are delivered at the end of the month! I know what some of you are thinking, why are you eating that crap if you are going primal? Well, remember that Mark tells us that we can indulge every once in a while, as long as we control it and make reasonable choices. A reasonable choice will be a few cookies, instead of the whole box!