Archive for paleo – Page 2

Tart Cranberry Relish


This is an oldie but a goodie. I used to love having this at my grandmother’s house when I was little, and now it’s a staple for us around the holidays because it offers the acidity you need to cut those heavy holiday meals. Mine is my own 2015 version because A) it has no sugar and B) I use macadamia nuts instead of pecans because I’m allergic!

Tart Cranberry Relish
What you’ll need: 10 minutes and…

a bag of fresh cranberries
3-4 stalks of celery
1 orange (including peel)
1/4 cup of grapefruit juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup salted macadamia nuts (or a nut of your choice)
1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut

  1. Give orange and celery a rough chop
  2. Combine all ingredients into a food processor, adding liquid as needed. The orange peel is very important to the flavor! Don’t be shy!

Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa

I made this dish for the Friendsgiving we went to last month and it was a big hit. I attribute that to 2 things: 1) sage and butternut squash go together easily and naturally like old friends and 2) butter. This dish is frighteningly easy for how delicious it is and can be used as a hearty side to your holiday feast OR as a main dish for vegetarian friends and meatless nights. My one caveat is that you really brown and crisp up the cubed butternut squash, thus it’s important that you have even and equal knife cuts. This also make a great wheat-free, vegetarian stuffing

You will need 1 hour and:

1 bunch Fresh Sage
1 butternut squash ( they are sold by the squash and not by the pound at Trader Joe’s) 1/2 cup of grassfed butter
2 cups of water or vegetable stock
1 cup of red Quinoa (any color fine though)
1 tbsp rosemary
optional: 1 cup of macadamia nuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Chop butternut squash into even, bite sized cubes by slicing in half long ways, and then removing seeds and slicing each half. No need to removes skin. It will crisp up and be delicious!
  3. Place squash cubes on a sheet pan and season with salt and an olive oil drizzle. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned on edges
  4. While squash is baking, heat 2 cups of water or stock in a pot on the stove. Once it has reached a boil, cook your quinoa for 20-30 minutes or until most of the water is gone and quinoa seeds are fluffy.
  5. In a large skillet, heat your butter on medium, carefully stirring so as not to burn it. You want a golden-brown butter
  6. When butter is thoroughly melted, add finely chopped sage. It is important to give the sage a fine chop so that the soapy consistency is cooked off.
  7. When your butternut squash is done, transfer it to your butter-sage mixture and add rosemary, stir and fold to incorporate and cover squash with buttery mixture.
  8. Transfer squash and butter mixture to a serving dish and stir in your quinoa evenly
  9. Sprinkle with crushed macadamia nuts

12 Meals of Christmas

One of the big changes I’m making to my own daily diet and thus my blog is reducing animal protein and saving those valuable calories and nutrients for local farms, where I’m assured of the quality of life of the animals. This has added a new dimension to my recipe creation, and really challenged me outside of my comfort zone, so I’m excited to share a compilation of mostly vegetarian, and some vegan and pescatarian recipes.

I’ve been training really hard the last few weeks, and I’ve been replenishing with lean protein from wild-caught fish and shrimp, in addition to more carbs than were in my previous diet. These recipes reflect that nutrient shift,  as well as the seasonal quality of the starches and vegetables that I’m using in my dishes. I’m hoping to use the cohesiveness of these recipes {seasonal, varietal, mostly plant-based, healthy alternatives to comfort foods, and still allergen-free} to create a compilation or cookbook as I build on and test out these recipes. All these recipes are also grain, sugar, soy, and lactose free. So over the next 12 days, you can expect the following recipes:

  • butternut squash & sage quinoa
  • sweet potato cheese fries with curried ketchup
  • broccoli cheddar soup
  • Vegan Holiday Truffles
  • twice baked sweet potato with green onions and herbacious compound butter
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • tart cranberry relish
  • dressed up hearts of romaine
  • SCD/ Paleo Sticky Toffee pudding
  • curried spaghetti squash {with shrimp} and golden raisins*
  • paleo peppermint bark
  • Match stick root veg

I hope you’ll tune in and discover the 12 meals (or desserts)  that you can either enjoy during the holidays or put on the metaphorical “back burner” for next month when you’re trying to reset. And I hope this “plant-based paleo” movement really takes off.

https://static.pexels.com/photos/5876/food-salad-healthy-vegetables.jpg

A Week of Whole 30 prep: salads, snacks, and meals

a Week of whole 30 prep Practice makes perfect when it comes to paleo and whole food recipes, so after almost 2 years on a Paleo-ish & Selective Carbohydrate diet (SCD), I have an easier time with the few things I do have to give up. I know it’s hard when you are doing a 30 day challenge because it almost feels as if you finally get the hang of cooking, planning, and filling yourself up after that month. Hopefully, the groove you get in after about 3 weeks is what keeps you going down this path, eating more of what we were meant to eat as a species, for your improved health and thriving! Here are some of the tricks of the trade to get you through your first full week of our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.

  1. Planning ahead is key. I make a Large salad on Sunday evening, and there are some fabulous options all over my blog, like this one. This week, since I try to east seasonally, I mixed up an entire head of Tuscan Kale (which is my favorite because it is so hearty and stands up to creamy dressings), a bag broccoli slaw veggies, which is essentially julienned sliced broccoli and carrots, and raw Brussels sprouts that I shredded in my food processor by pulsing for a few minutes. I pre-dress this salad with with a cup of homemade salad dressing since these are all hearty veg. Tuscan kale either needs to be “massaged” or softened in dressing before eating it raw. This salad will be my base for all lunches this week, and I’ll add variety to the meal by changing up my protein anchovies, tuna, free range chicken, etc. Before dressing and dividing it up, I took out a sheet pan’s worth to coat in olive oil and roast for our dinner tonight, alongside bison patties.
  2. Every time I make soup or chili, I make a huge pot in my slow-cooker, and store half in the freezer immediately. This week, I get to take out 2 soups and a bison chili, and each will provide us with at least one dinner. This means my only prep for dinner those nights is to a) make a few bacon wrapped dates  to go on the side of my cauliflower soup, b) chop up some cilantro and green onion for my curry soup, and throw them in a green salad to go on the side  and c) slice some avocado for my chili.
  3. During Whole 30, I always have a large head of cauliflower in my crisper, ready to be called upon for my other dinners This week, I will take a sharp knife and cut the head in half. One half will be pulsed in my food processor until it is a grainy rice, and will be pan fried in one egg then mixed with vegetables, shrimp, coconut oil, and coconut aminos for my cauliflower fried rice. The other half will have a bit more processing to go through, when I turn it into my cauliflower pizza crust recipe, coming to the blog tomorrow!

This is a really simple way to get all your lunches and dinners out of some good produce and minimal prep.  I go with smoothies or smoothie bowls packed with fibrous chia and flax to keep me full in the morning. If I do get hungry before lunch, My array of mid-morning snacks include: 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, pistachios, 2 soft boiled eggs, extra bacon wrapped dates from dinner, almond butter on celery, 1 piece of fruit,  or a palm full of plantain chips.

Ok, get to prepping! I hope this was helpful for a week of whole 30 prep!

Paleo on the Go: 3 simple and filling lunch ideas for the woman on the move!

Today’s post is brought to you buy the 3 S’s of our modern lunch time: salad, sandwich or soup (or one of each). I don’t have as much time in the kitchen now that I have 3+ jobs and my sanity to keep, but these are some paleo on the go items that keep me happy and healthy!

  1. As of late, my go to lunch is a Paleo Caesar Salad with this amazing dressing from Primal Palate and anchovies on Romaine. My favorites are only 1.69 per can at Trader Joe’s and 120 calories per can with 8 g of protein! WHAT!? If you don’t have a taste for anchovies, acquire one! Seriously, if you are missing potato chips or salty fries, then this is a great way to curb that craving! prepare the dressing the night before. You can even use this recipe in a “mason jar salad” if you like. Just remember! Dressing on bottom, lettuce in between, anchovies on top!
  2. Cabbage leaves and Collard leaves are the new sandwich wraps to reach for. No more iceberg! Yesterday I had two cabbage leaves filled with Dijon, sliced turkey breast, tomato, and avocado and dipped them in homemade mayo (egg yolks +olive oil). It was decadently delicious. I use the collards more frequently with larger wraps like turkey burgers and bison burgers, It adds amazing flavor and nutrients, but those do need to be cooked (or at least blanched) There aren’t any excuses when it’s as easy as making a sandwich.
  3. It’s that time of year again when we can warm up soup for lunch and try not to drip it on our snuggly sweaters and scarves! My freezer is stocked right now with bison chili, cauliflower soup, and lemongrass pumpkin soup because I have to have back up. Here’s another quick option for you if you aren’t as over-prepared as me for a September blizzard 🙂
    Roasted Root Veg Soup
    -Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On one pan, roast: 2 sweet potatoes, 1 large yellow onion, 2 lbs of carrots (1 bag), and one head of garlic for 25 minutes. Cover vegetables with olive oil and sea salt.
    -In small batches, use a blender, immersion blender, or food processor to incorporate 4 cups of chicken broth and 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
    -Season with herbs of your choice!

low-fat roasted winter vegetable soup recipe | writes4food.com

 

30 Day Clean Eating Challenge- Starts September 10th!

Maybe some of you have a nutrition cycle like me: You do really well all week long with few indulgences. You make your balanced lunches, and dream up nutritious dinners like zoodles with homemade pesto or buffalo chicken lettuce cups with homemade dressing. You eat vegetarian for most meals, vegan even, and lots of fish and lean protein to fill you up after workouts. THEN the weekend comes along… One indulgence becomes EVERY MEAL, drinking alcohol leaves you feeling too lazy for morning workouts, and everyone is eating out and using food to socialize, right?

Usually for me, Sunday ends in a necessary liquid fast after this type of weekend and I start my week off feeling less than great, and back on my clean eating train. That’s why I’m challenging myself to a 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge or WHOLE 30. This type of whole food cleanse is so good for your body (unlike the water-cayenne pepper-lemon juice kind) and is REALISTIC to maintain over a lifetime. I could honestly not imagine going back to sugar or wheat after my first 30 days without it and there is a distinct possibility that you could find a similar culprit for your headaches, fatigue, stomach aches, anxiety, and be free of it after October 10th. What a fabulous way to start out the Fall Season? With all your clothes too big and a new palate for healthy, seasonal food.

I only have success with this type of thing when I have accountability partners! That’s why I am participating in my 30 Day Whole food Challenge via my friends over at Supersisterfitness.com  The program includes meal plans, supplements, nutritious cleanse day drinks and a built-in support system, so that you really can’t fail. Comment below or Send me an email if you want details on how you can participate!

Here are some rules to guide our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

  • NO Processed foods– meaning nothing pre-packaged or not REAL
  • NO SUGAR- this includes added sugar! (I’m looking at you, Greek Yogurt)
  • NO Alcohol (ok, one glass of red wine a week if you must)
  • NO refined carbohydrates (which should already be clear from #1) but I’ll say it again: don’t eat  white rice, corn, or wheat
  • DO YOUR BEST to eat organic, antibiotic- free meat. Local is best. Know that the animal that is feeding you had a normal animal life.
  • LIMIT Dairy. I do not have milk, cream, or any milk by-product because these foods are inflammatory for me. I DO have low-lactose cheeses, dark chocolate, and make my own yogurt. Find a balance and do what works for you!
  • NO Soda or beverages other than water. Only green tea or “bulletproof”  coffee…more on that later

If you follow the rules above, I KNOW you will be feeling better in 72 hours or less. Take your Summer challenge to the next level with this me this month and start Fall off on the right foot!
30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

Two grain-free “shortbread” cookies: rosemary and lavender

It’s like picking a favorite child. The woodsy, savory flavor of the rosemary cookie pairs so well with this buttery recipe, but the lavender is so fresh, subtle, and unique. I make two batches: one of each, so I can alternate flavors as I eat them.  I adapted this recipe from the Nourish Blog for the lavender cookies. Lavender is my absolute favorite, and a good friend gave me a gift of culinary lavender for my birthday this summer, so I had to make a grain-free version of these cookies that I made with her back when I was wheat-eater.  Baked goods are a rare treat for me, and these most certainly top my list of favorites.

Paleo Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Prep time: 10 min  Total time: 1 hr 30 min Makes: 18 cookies

1/2 cup (120 g) unsalted butter, softened

2-3 tbs (45 mL) honey, maple syrup, or other natural sweetener

4 tsp (20 mL) culinary lavender, minced

2 cups (240 g) almond flour

½ tsp (2.5 mL) sea salt

First, cream your butter and sweetener together. Next, combine your (3)  dry ingredients and add them to the creamed mixture. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. The next step is of utmost importance. Roll your dough into a 10 inch cylinder, using cling wrap. Make it as even as possible so that you can slice cookies from it once it has hardened. Refrigerate (or even freeze) the dough for 1 hour (freezer) 2+ (refrigerator). Once your cookies have chilled, preheat your oven to 325 Degrees. Remove cookie cylinder from plastic wrap before cutting, and slice into 16-18 cookies. Place them on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes (until edges are brown). Remove, let cool, and enjoy!

Beets by Weez

Weez is my affectionate nickname and today your Whole 30 Tip is for Beet chips!!!

These are not only beautiful, they are delicious and sweet. Summer is DIP season, right? We’re talking salsa, guacamole, queso, ceviche, and hummus galore. Unfortunately, the old celery stalk doesn’t always sufficiently replace our “chip” cravings when we are working toward  a whole food, plant based  lifestyle.  I personally had a serious stomach ache after 4th of July tortilla chip indulgences. Or was that the tequila?

Beets are cheap and keep for a long time in the fridge; they are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, which are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,  and good for digestion (!?!) So eating your guacamole with beet chips is arguably better for you than your usual celery or carrot replacement.

Recipe

The key to a good beet chip is an even slice from a food processor or a mandolin. That’s the only labor.  Slice up  4 or 5 large beets. After that, just toss them in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, spread them on a sheet pan, pop them in a preheated oven on 450 for about 15 minutes, sprinkle with sea salt (and some thyme for good immune support) and enjoy!

I’m going to a Mexican restaurant tonight, and putting some in a baggy so I get to enjoy some guacabole with my friends!

Beets are available year round at farmers markets! I got these beautiful candy cane beets for free from my friend Lesley!

Beets are available year round at farmers markets! I got these beautiful candy cane beets for free from my friend Lesley!

 

PS Was anyone else obsessed with these Beats by Dre commercials like me?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yUj0Ta44DI

 

 

Eating Local- Haw River Ranch

I had such an amazing time visiting a local farm last month- Haw River Ranch in Saxapahaw, NC. I cannot describe what pleasure I got from meeting the animals and seeing them frolic and feed so naturally and happily together.

I don’t make apologies about being omnivorous. It makes me feel strong and healthy when IBD and PCOS make that a battle for me nutritionally.  HOWEVER, I love animals. I want every animal to be as happy and carefree as my puppies Safin and Arthur. Challenging myself to purchase meat from sustainable, small, local run farms has proved rewarding in countless ways. The slightly higher prices are not even a consideration after weighing all the positives of this experience, which I’ll do for you below:

  1. Experience Nature: Getting to spend the morning on the farm: watching chickens run free, cows bathing, and little lambs feeding; it was so beautiful and a perfect Saturday morning meditation. Thank you God for these lives and this beauty
  2. Community: Meeting this passionate neighbors of mine, and rewarding them for their hard work with my
    IMG_0204

    Farm Fresh Eggs Can’t go wrong!

    patronage

  3. Quality: Cracking double egg yolks for brunch when I got home and making the best bone broth of my life
  4. Nutrition: By buying local and on the weekend, I planned our meals ahead and had less meat to stay within our budget. The meat we ate was nourishing and healthy, but we also had more vegetarian meals, which is a better balance.

Thank you to all the small, sustainable farmers out there. Sometimes it may be hard to see that you are making a difference, but I am here to tell you that you are!

Feeding Lamb while chickens are at pasture

Feeding Lamb while chickens are at pasture

Pregnant Mama in the shade!

Pregnant Mama in the shade!

Welcome to My New Site!

If there is anything I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that most journeys, especially ones toward health and well-being are taken one step at a time. My aim is to be able to share my steps toward holistic health daily, in the hope that my experience will reach someone and make a real difference in their quality of life, the way mine has been forever altered.

My new posts will include recipes, ancestral health tips, archaeological stories & findings, adventures of my doula training, thoughts on sustainable and natural living in the home and garden, and herbal and essential oil remedies. There’s something for everyone, and I’m excited about this new chapter.

Let me know what you think of the new look and if you have any recipe or topic suggestions for the coming year! I’ve got a bunch of fabulous ideas that I can’t wait to share!

Be Well,

Elisabeth

set your life on fire

Vegetarian SCD: homemade blackbean burger

I’ve been thinking, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are THREE really important things that I want to get across to people who choose to follow a Paleo, ancestralized, or SCD diet regime for any reason: weight loss, auto-immune disease, or just general health and wellness, or a simple 30 day challenge–everyone!

1) Cook at home. make everything at home. DIY. Make it yourself.  Should you go out to eat tonight, though? NO. 

It’s so important to cook at home, whether you are trying to get fit or get well. This does not mean opening a box and microwaving or baking something pre-packaged. I used to love prepackaged black bean burgers, but the ingredients are just unnecessary. Why the guar gum? The soy? The unending list of things I can’t eat because of inflammation. Inflammation that MOST of us have. Everything I once loved that was packaged, I started making myself, and GUESS WHAT! I lost my taste for the non-homemade kind. You think you don’t have time? Make time! Make time for your health and start with things that take only a few minutes like my black bean burger recipe below!

2) Being “paleo” does not mean you’re a carnivore– IN FACT, it would imply that you eat a mostly vegetarian diet. I’m looking at you, instagram paleo club…

So I promise not to get on my archaeologist soap box again– about how Paleolithic people actually would have just foraged  nuts, seeds, and fruits, and the way we eat as a “paleo” pop culture is actually Neolithic, but FYI… IT IS! That’s why I’m neolithic elisabeth! the important part of this, though, is not my archaeological background and academic jargon. What you must! MUST! must! remember on your Paleo journey is that our ancestors only ate meat after successful hunts and for special occasions. And they did not have the means to store and freeze and thaw and cook bison patties every day people. So why are you eating animal protein like it’s going out of style? Why consume animal protein when it leaves so much more of a footprint on our globe and uses so many more of our waning natural resources? It’s NOT necessary. I work out EVERY. DAY. And I get the majority of my protein from plants–like hemp, beans, and nuts. THAT is true paleo. That is how you should treat your precious body and our planet. And a lot more days than I would like, I eat lean meat for dinner, but let’s all keep each other accountable to be better.

3) Loosen up on the RULES. We are eating healthfully and nourishing our bodies so listen to YOURS!

Black beans are allowed on SCD but not on a Paleo diet. Personally, they don’t bother me right now. However, at one time they did and for some people they are hard to digest. I don’t think my integrity is insulted by eating black beans when I’m feeling well and I don’t think arbitrary rules make your diet any cleaner.

Ok, that is really it for me. Those are my only rules. Now have fun cooking! You can start with the Black bean burger recipe below (with help from my amazing vegetarian/yogi/nurse/sister/cousin Tricia Ann)!

Veggie-SCD Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients for one week’s worth of black bean burger lunch or 5 burgers for a dinner:

2 cans black  beans
1 cup grain free breadcrumbs ( I use my almond flour cracker crumbs or almond meal)
1 cup fresh salsa (made at home or whole ingredients store bought)
cumin
cayenne
red pepper flakes
olive oil

Directions:

1) Combine first 3 ingredients into food processor (or mix together well, smashing black beans)
2) Add spices to taste
3) Preheat Oven to 350
4) Remove from bowl/processor and form into 5-6 large patties, coat patties in almond flour
5) Cook on medium/high heat in skillet in olive oil until crispy on the oustide
6) After crisped in skillet, move onto a baking sheet to cook the inside for 20-25 minutes

Serve and eat with homemade ketchup or ranch dressing…Oh no, you need recipes for those now!

Is it “Paleo?” And is it Real Food? From Real Food Liz

Is it “Paleo?” And is it Real Food?. Real Food Liz is like my spirit animal. #HomesteadingRocks

Real Food Liz

Salad Sundays: Week 3 White Nectarine, Basil, & Prosciutto

img_0001bWill I ever create a meatless salad? Ok, this is my public vow to post an actually vegetarian salad next week. I’ll try! Don’t tell my lover, spinach, I said this, but Arugula might be my FAVORITE salad base! It is so deliciously lemony/peppery and soaks up dressings in a way I can’t describe. The star of this show, however, is the basil! It is so fresh and divine. You can “chiffonade” the herb if you like, but I love getting a whole leaf in my mouth! yum! White Nectarine, Prosciutto, Basil and Arugula Salad with goat cheese vinaigrette  one bag of arugula one package of prosciutto 3 white nectarines, sliced 1 bunch of basil leaves (save a few) for dressing: (stir all ingredients vigorously and dress salad when ready to serve!) 4 oz. goat cheese 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon vinegar 3 Tbs. Olive Oil pinch white pepper and salt chopped reserved basil leaves

thankful.

So happy to share my Thanksgiving Paleo/SCD recipes that will be perfect for your upcoming December holiday meals. People are OBSESSED with my easy Roasted  Vegetables.  But first, a bit on why it’s so important to get fresh, antibiotic/hormone free turkey, and then my Paleo/SCD recipes for the two STAR dishes of my family’s Thanksgiving potluck: acorn squash/sweet potato puree and roasted root vegetables. 

An estimated 30,000,000 (that’s MILLION) pounds of antibiotics are sold yearly for use in industrial farming. That is FOUR TIMES the amount used in human healthcare annually. The antibiotics are issued to perfectly healthy animals because of the disgusting and potentially harmful conditions that they live in (never leaving cages, going outside, being able to move, etc.) We are at ever-increasing risk for antibiotic resistance as a human population, thanks in large part to the meats we consume. In addition to antibiotic overabundance leading to resistance, antibiotics also attack the GOOD BACTERIA we need in our gut to fight disease, aid digestion, and maintain healthy metabolism. The meat industry’s neglectful use of excessive antibiotics and hormones is potentially what is leading to more cases of IBD, IBS, and other diseases related to imbalances in gut-health and the microbiome. As research advances, the gut and microbiome seem to be culprits in, not only autoimmune diseases, but cancer and heart health as well. This holiday, pay the little extra for your bird and smile a bit wider in the knowledge that he saw the sky, ran around, and actually “gobble, gobbled” and didn’t need to be given daily medicine in order to survive hellish conditions. See, there’s a reason for the EAT LOCAL craze.

Crazy Easy & Delicious Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:
Brussels Sprouts on stalk (these are juicier)
1 head of cauliflower
1 red onion
1 bag of multi-colored carrots
optional parsnips

Cut brussels sprouts in half after pulling them off their stalk, chop onions, cauliflower, and carrots into bite sizes. Sprinkle liberally with salt, black pepper and rosemary, then toss in Olive Oil. Cook for 40 minutes on 400 for crispy, flavorful veg.

Sweet Potato and Acorn Squash* acorn squash baby food recipe

Ingredients:
1 acorn squash
2  sweet potatoes
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup butter
dashes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg
2 eggs

Roast acorn squash and sweet potatoes in the oven until they are soft and easily peeled. Transfer flesh into food processor or blender. Add other ingredients and puree until smooth. Pour contents into an 8×8 casserole dish and back on 350 for 30 minutes

This year, I want express how I thankful I am for waking up between my two boys every morning! Those few moments when i get to remember how loved I am all over again are the best of each day, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their constant love and support.

Gratitude feels so good! What are you all thankful for this year?

kissing safin