Wednesday, April 23, 2014
So, I've been gone for a good long while. I know I know, since February ('13!!). Things got pretty weird in 2013, not going to lie. What happened you ask? Well, long story short I guess, I got pregnant with twins and had tons of food aversions, so much so that the very idea of even reading a food blog, let alone cooking, made me queasy. Just a handful of foods have been palatable to me for the last 6 months. I was also a nervous wreck (surprised? haha) and just too jittery and on edge to focus on much. Cut to 22 weeks or so when I started having cervical issues and started home bed rest, then 23 weeks and an emergency cerclage, and finally here I am at 25 weeks, in the hospital where I've been for two weeks and will remain for probably the duration of my pregnancy. It has been a bumpy ride so far, to say the least. Nothing we can't handle, and luckily I have a sweet husband, a helpful mother-in-law, darling little girl, and an incredibly generous and thoughtful mom who will be traveling back and forth from Chicago to KC, to thank for keeping me somewhat sane.
Hospital bedrest is no joke. I have the utmost respect for women that have to do it for their whole pregnancies. Whatever preconceived notions you may have about it, don't. It's not only hard on you, but your whole family, household, your friends, co-workers, everyone. Simple things like getting yourself something to eat, going downstairs to throw in a load of laundry, putting your child to bed, these things are just gone. Everytime you get up to pee you wonder if you're putting yourself in jeopardy. Maybe your little one at home is too young to understand, and has nightmares and develops separation anxiety. Maybe your family can't visit often, and you spend most of your time alone, except for the staff.
If you're lucky, you are strong and can tell yourself this is only temporary, and for what better cause?You remind yourself that you won't even remember it when it's over, and will soon be something you can barely even recall with any clarity. You'll emerge stronger and more resilient and more adaptive and, much, much more empathetic to others. I know I'll be grateful for this someday.
What I won't be grateful for are some of the ridiculous things people think it is actually ok to do. "Some people would kill to be on bedrest!" is a nice little gem I've gotten oh so fond of hearing. Oh really? You'd kill to be confined to a bed your whole pregnancy? You wouldn't rather be enjoying it, preparing yourself and your family and household for what's ahead? Enjoying what it's like to have a small, insular three-person familial unit. You'd kill to miss months of work, family vacations, holidays, and your five year wedding anniversary because you were recovering from a terrifying surgery and then mandatory bedrest?
How are you feeling everyone says. Get better soon! I'm not sick. I'm pregnant. I feel pregnant. I feel pregnant and sad that I can't enjoy it. My daughter will be three in September and I am missing three whole months of her little life. She flits in and out of my hospital room, chattering on and on about things I have no concept of, because I haven't been around enough to know what she's talking about. How do you respond when someone says how are you feeling? I can't say what I want to say, which is, I feel lonely. I feel sad. I feel hopeless. I feel like no one understands. Maybe these things aren't true, but I can still feel them, even if I know deep down these feelings are just me having a pity party. Instead I have to fake it, and say, good, great, fine, because I don't want to upset anyone, make anyone feel bad or pity me, and I don't want people to think I'm ungrateful. I appreciate the sentiment, it's better than nothing. Get better soon! they say. What does that mean?
People don't know how to act, I get it. Especially people that have never faced any kind of adversity in their life. They just plain don't know how to react. They are dumbfounded. So in their dumbfoundedness they say whatever comes to mind. A good friend leaves messages saying, "Hope you're feeling great! Hope you're doing well and having a good day! Hope you had a great July 4th!" I appreciate the effort, I truly do. But did you really think I had a great July 4th? I was alone, in a hospital, knowing everyone I loved was somewhere else, without me. I could hear fireworks going off in the distance but couldn't even sit up to try and spot them out my window. And yes, it's one holiday. Just one. I'll get over it. But in this moment, I am just trying to claw my way out of this little hole I've found myself in. I'll get out. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. If I can make it 9 more weeks, I'll be great. I can do it, what's 9 weeks right?
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Three recent purchases have completely revolutionized the way I cook. I could not be happier. If you are not in possession of these items, go out and get them pronto.
Extra Virgin White Truffle Olive Oil: If you distill heaven into a liquid, you'd have truffle olive oil. This stuff is gold. It has made plain, steamed vegetables a delight and something I look forward to. Boring steamed cauli, broccoli, green beans, in just a few minutes you turn a bland veggie into something rich and extraordinary. You don't need a lot, just drizzle a bit and you're good to go. It's incredible over plain, raw arugula and baby spinach. With some sea salt sprinkled on top, you are seriously going to have a culinary meltdown. So simple and so good. It's not as expensive as you'd think. Whole foods sells little bottles like this for $5. I'm not quite sure how they bottle "truffle aroma" but they do and it's f*cking delicious. Get some.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
1 32. oz container fish stock
1 can light coconut milk (or regular)
2 cans water
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup fish sauce, like red boat
salt and pepper to taste
1 bag trader joe's seafood blend
1 bag shrimp, chopped fish, langostinos, etc
1 bag frozen cauliflower florets
Saute your veggies in some EVOO until translucent, 5-7 minutes, in a large stock pot. Pour in your seafood stock, coconut milk, and water, and add your garlic and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add your fish sauce, and taste. Add more, or more seasoning, to taste. When you've gotten it right, add in your frozen seafood and cauli. Bring back up to a simmer and you're done! This tastes great right away, and really good after a day in the fridge. Enjoy!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Paleo Banana Bread
2 medium bananas, mashed
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup walnut or coconut oil
3/4 cup nutmilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
4 droppers nunaturals alcohol free liquid stevia
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut flour
Mash your bananas in a large bowl, add in your eggs, extracts, stevia, milk, and oil, stir well. Add in your dry ingredients (try to get coconut flour lumps out prior to adding) and combine well. I lined my loaf pan with parchment, but you can grease yours if you prefer. Pour your batter into the loaf pan and drop on the countertop a few times to get out any air bubbles. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon if you like! When a knife comes out just clean, take it out. It will firm up a bit as it cools. Mine was still pretty squishy in the center. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. This is now your go-to, easy peasy, one bowl banana bread recipe. Enjoy!
Friday, February 15, 2013
Kale chips are a fun, easy, delish way to shovel in lots and lots of veggies. I like the plain old EVOO and salt kind as much as the next guy, but when I recently saw a recipe for pizza kale chips, I knew I had to try them out.
Here's the thing about kale chips though. It bugs me that most recipes call for large quantities of cashews. I eat enough nuts throughout the week, I don't want to drown my veggies in them too. I get that the creaminess is needed for that cheesy coating that we all love, but seriously, I just don't need MORE nuts in my diet, trust me! I get enough as it is.
So I decided to try the recipe without cashews. It works great. I imagine even better if you had a proper dehydrator. But no matter, you can have nut-free pizza kale chips any time you like.
Pizza Kale Chips
1 bag washed/chopped kale, from Trader Joe's for instance
1 6 oz. can organic tomato paste
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup EVOO
In a mixing bowl, combine your paste and seasonings and EVOO. Dump your kale onto a baking sheet, and then dollop the pizza sauce onto the kale by the spoonful. Using your hands, work the sauce into the kale, making sure to coat all the leaves evenly. Bake at 400 until crisp. This will depend on how much you have, how big your baking sheet, etc. Took me about 20 minutes. These will taste even better the next day!
I researched juicers for about a week. It was clear to me in the end that the best kind was probably the Omega J8006. But for about $250 or so, kind of a steep entry point for someone that doesn't even know if they'll like the stuff. Finally, I settled on a clearance juicer from BBB, and I figure, I'll learn on it and see if it's something I even want to do on a regular basis. If it is, I will upgrade to a nicer one, and if not, it wasn't too big of an investment.
I had my first juice experience today, and it wasn't bad! Actually, wayyyy sweeter than I was expecting. I used too many tomatoes and too many carrots, because I was running low on veggies. But it was fun and clean up wasn't too terrible. Unfortunately S was not a fan, and spilled more than she drank. Ahh well.
I also tried my hand at some stevia sweetened chocolate truffles this week, in honor of Valentines Day. Surprisingly, using nunaturals liquid (alcohol free) stevia produces a really decent flavor. I am just as shocked as you are! They are in the freezer right no, firming up for later.
I hope you all had a great vday and enjoyed no matter how it was spent! Hallmark holiday or not, we could all use a little more LOVE in our lives amirite?
Friday, February 8, 2013
Hmmm... Ok, so this pic is truly one of the most unappetizing pics I have probably ever posted. Sorry about that. The arugula looks tasty at least, right? Yikes.
Anywho. Chicken hearts are a fantastic source of nutrients. They are HEARTS after all! Containing very high quantities of the following nutrients, you really can't argue with 'em:
And for those of you who aren't big fans of liver, hearts have a much milder flavor and are also way less chewy and dense. I suspect broiling or grilling them would be amazeballs.
I picked up about 1 lb and three quarters of the stuff at Whole Paycheck for about $1.40. Certainly enough for two people, with leftovers for the dog. At such a low price point, may as well give it a shot right? Preparation is a snap.
I know it sounds weird. But when you eat a paleo, primal, or ancestral diet, focusing on getting lots of protein, you really have to branch out sometimes. And I am not a big steak eater, so that basically means poultry, fish, seafood, and some pork occasionally. Sh*t gets old eventually. So what the heck? Try something new.
Paleo Chicken Hearts
1.5-2 lbs chicken hearts
1 yellow onion
EVOO, or ghee
Saute your yellow onion in EVOO until its translucent. Season with salt and a bit of pepper. Add in your chicken hearts, and season liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook for about 7-9 minutes until hearts are completely cooked through.
Easy peasy folks. You've got nothing to lose! Try it out!
Friday, February 1, 2013
I dig coleslaw. I dig asian flavors. I really dig cabbage. Cabbage is cheap. Do you agree with these statements? Good. Then try this yummy asian slaw. We had ours with some of nom nom paleo's delish damn fine chicken, second time i've made it in as many weeks.
As you may have noticed, I am really not much for measuring, especially in recipes like this. I'd rather eyeball everything and taste as I go. So this is not so much a recipe as it is guidelines. But spiceyness is such a personal thing anyways!
Paleo Spicy Asian Coleslaw
half a bag shredded carrots (about 1 1/2 cups)
small-med head of cabbage (or use red if you like)
1 small red onion, chopped/diced
3 tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp (or more!) sriracha. There are paleo varieties out there, or you could make your own. Again, nomnompaleo.com to the rescue. I probably used more like 2 tbsp sriracha, but I really like spicy foods.
10 drops alcohol free liquid stevia- NuNaturals is best
In a small bowl, mix your wet ingredients. Taste it! Is it yum? Want it sweeter? Spicier? Tangier? Adjust accordingly. Now is the time to do it, before adding to your slaw. Pour over your chopped/shredded cabbage, onion, and carrots. Season, and mix well. Depending on the size of your cabbage you may need a bit more liquid. Let this sit in the fridge for a few hours so the flavors can come together. It is really good folks.
I know I haven't been awesome in the full disclosure department. January has been.... interesting. Honesty and truthiness aren't at the top of my list right now. Hope that's cool.
How has your January been? 2013 treating you right so far? Anyone doing any cleanses or detoxes worth sharing? I myself am dying to do one of those 3 day veggie juice cleanses, but the juice can be quite carby, and no protein, so I'm not sure it's a good idea. Thoughts?
Thanks GFGs. Much love!