The other side of the scale

Weight fat loss tends to get its share of heated conversations on the net. People stand firm with their n=1s because their own experience is what worked for them, and well, sometimes everyone is right.

I’ve typed before about how (believe it or not) there is a such thing as too much fat on a LCHF lifestyle, but I don’t recall if we’ve discussed the other end of the LCHF spectrum too little fat.

If you are old enough to even contemplate changing your way of eating from the SAD (standard American diet), going against the grain {giggles}, thinking about cutting the sweet poison (to a large portion of us creatures known as humans), and opting for a more un-processed approach, you made it through the low fat craze that’s been going on since most of us were in diapers.

If you never fell for the whole “low fat, heart healthy approved” marketing ploys, good for you! You will breeze through LCHF 101 with flare! You’ve been eating butter and bacon your entire life, you, my friend have no need of BPC or fat bombs. Matter of fact if you’re one of those not losing, it’s not for lack of fat, but I digress, we’re discussing the other side today and I will get back to them presently.

What? You eat butter?

What? You eat butter?

The vast majority of us have been taught time and again that it is very very important to keep the fat off our plate. Fat was always at the top of the pyramid, use it sparingly, and when you do use it, only use these here vegetable oils and shortening. Even better is to have your toast dry, with a bit of jelly. (when did they start putting HFCS in jelly?) We cut our fat that was once on our plate, but we’ve increased the fat on our bodies. It would seem that if cutting the fat helped us to get fatter, then maybe, just maybe eating more fat would help us to not produce so much of our own.

Sometimes, the answer is “up the fat”. I know, it’s crazy. What works for Fred or Wilma doesn’t always work for Ben and Jerry, so one must remember that yes, sometimes everyone is right, but just not always at the same time.

Examples are easier, so I’ll just go with it.

We'll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she's not still dressed up, it's an old pic)

We’ll use Miss Piggy as the example. (no she’s not still dressed up, it’s an old pic)

Miss Piggy started her LCHF way of eating some time ago. At first, she dropped a lot of weight. For the past month or so, she’s not really losing, she’s not really gaining either, she’s hit one of those dreaded things called a weight loss plateau.

Lucky for Miss Piggy, she has the most common problem in her weight loss journey that is easy to fix. See, for years Miss Piggy lived off of heart healthy whole grains for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She traded her mayo for mustard years ago and always cooks in a non stick pan to avoid fats at all cost. She’s meat free on Mondays because she’s going to save the planet and to her, red meat equals heart attacks.

The LCHF change has been a change most difficult, she’s tired of skinless salmon and salad, but what else can she eat*? She’s doing everything right, chia seed pudding or Faux oatmeal for breakfast, salad with boneless, skinless chicken or skinless salmon for lunch and dinner, sugar free jello as snacks. She’s hardly eating 800 calories a day, so it’s not like she can eat less, or can she?

“Give that girl a BPC STAT!” is giggle evoking, but not the answer, well, it could be the answer, but remember, Miss Piggy is having a hard time with fat as it is. A coconut/butter oil slick in her cup-o-joe might just have her running from LCHF like the freaking plague!

While we can all (most likely, maybe?) agree, Miss Piggy is definitely not eating enough fat or calories (can you even eat a calorie?) food for that matter. She has become one of those low-carbers that are not only skerd to death of carbs, but she is skerd of fat too.

Chocolate fat bombs might do the trick for upping her fat, but she was a big fan of candies way back when, so they might also be that slippery slope that derails her entire journey. (Do you see now how everyone’s situation is different, that we can all be right, we can all be wrong, and well, arguing about it is silly, agreeing to disagree works better, truce, maybe?)

*What else can I eat? she asked. How about just eating food? What if Miss Piggy stopped counting her calories and cut her stress by proxy? Instead of looking at any vegetable other than salad as carbs and just ate broccoli, sauteed in real butter (or any other of the many non-starchy vegetables) because it’s food. If nothing can convince Miss Piggy that bacon is ok as long as you stay away from the biscuits, maybe she can work her way up to chicken thighs at least, to up her fat.

It all boils down to this: There is a such thing as not enough fat, just like there is a such thing as too much fat when eating LCHF. One person’s not enough is another person’s too much. We can all be right and wrong at the same time, but it’s up to the person asking the questions to evaluate the answers and figure out what works best for themselves.

If you, or someone you love is suffering from not losing weight while trying to keep the carbs and the fat low at the same time, here are a few examples that may or may not help you figure out that 1. Fat is not bad, except rancid vegetable oils  and 2. You don’t have to add obscene amounts of coconut oil to your coffee or your cocoa powder.

  • cook whole chickens, eat some of that skin. (hell no, it’s not the chicken skin that makes KFC un-healthy, it’s the crap attached to the skin and having macaroni and cheese as a vegetable option…)
  • Toss out your teflon. Invest in an iron skillet or stainless steel. Why? Because stuff sticks without a little butter or bacon lube. You will be forced to saute your veggies in some yummy butter or bacon grease.
  • Bypass the skinless salmon, opt for wild caught, skin on. Melt some butter in that new iron skillet and sear that skin like a boss. There is seriously nothing better than a nice fat piece of salmon that has been cooked til the skin is crispy.
  • Eat a ribeye. Seriously. Sirloin is ok for Stroganoff over shirataki noodles, but if you’re going to have a steak, you might as well enjoy it, and how could you not enjoy the marbled juicy goodness that is ribeye?
  • Plant your chia seeds. (I’m still puzzled as to why folks started eating them in the first place) Ok, that one is up to you. If you like them, keep them, just not for breakfast. Eggs were made for breakfast, end of story.

 

 

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When less really is more, steak tacos

We were some of the lucky ones during ice-aggedon. Our driveway isn’t a 90° drop off, like many of our neighbors drives. (well, it’s pretty flat out front, past the house it’s like an asphalt slide)

While I didn’t drive the first 13 days, my hot husband was able to get me to the store for emergencies, you know like chocolate. (kidding, maybe) Anyways, maybe it was day 12 when I went with His Hotness to Nashville to see how the roads were coming along, to know if he’d be able to take out the big work truck.

The roads were much better than the roads up these parts, but the work site was a no-go. Anyways, I’ll just claim my 5th amendment rights and not tell you about the amazing authentic Mexican tacos we got just off Charlotte Pike in West Nashville.

Most of my adult life, tacos have been more like the supreme version of Taco Bell, the crunchy, soft is fajitas daggumit (giggle). In those tacos that I will not talk about, I found that really truly, less is more.

Something odd happened that day, he told me he could eat those tacos seven days a week. I was going to hold him to it, they were so freaking easy, but by day three, he was all taco-ed out.

Less is more, gosh I love them, steak tacos, LCHF style

Filling:

  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef steak, round, flank, square (haha), what ever kind, just not the green kind.
  • 1 tablespoon bacon grease
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: pink salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano.
  • coarse black pepper

Cut steak into strips, against the grain. Heat a skillet (I like stainless, use what you like) over medium high heat, add bacon grease. Add steak. When it is no longer pink, add seasonings. For some odd reason, steak in this day and age loses a lot of water, if it gets watery, heat up the griddle and griddle it dry, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks :)

Sorry, this is chicken. With ceviche and steak tacos, do you blame me for not having a chance to get the steak griddle pic? Use your imagination, thanks 🙂

Topping: 

  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • coarse pink salt and coarse black pepper as you like it
  • 1/2 lime

Put the onion and cilantro in a glass bowl. Toss it around with the salt and pepper, squeeze the lime over the top and mix once more for good measure. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge until your tacos are ready. (I don’t always use a glass bowl for cooking, but when I use lime or lemon juice, I always use a glass bowl. You’re welcome)

Because you’ve already made a large batch of the broccoli cheese waffles, tortilla style, pull a few of those bad boys out and heat them up on the griddle.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each.

Did I mention they freeze well? In freezer bags, make sure to put parchment paper squares between each. (and OMG if the bacon chicken were really #37, does that make these #38? Gonna have to work hard to fill in the blanks, but at least it has me out of my “writer’s block” good deal, really.

Once your waffle tortillas are heated up, top with filling, top with topping. That’s it. You don’t need no cheese (it’s in the tortilla anyways), no sour cream, just a wedge of lime to squeeze on top before that first bite…

Yummy, yummy

Yummy, yummy

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco... So freaking good.

Ok, so this is like the third bite out of my second taco… So freaking good.

They were really nice with the ceviche and chips last night. So good, that I heated up a couple for a breakfast sammich…

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

This pic is from the first batch. Bacon, egg, cheese, and mayo. Do I miss my fork lately? Oh hell no!!!

 

101 things to do with broccoli waffles, ceviche and chips

I’m seriously in love with these things. In case you missed them, broccoli and cheese waffles, from The Primitive Palate are what I’m talking about. Anyways, my friend Brenda and I got to brainstorming and ended up with some tortillas. I ended up typing myself into a tasty corner by calling the chicken bacon tacos #37 of 101 things to do with broccoli cheese waffles.

Anyways, I figure the #1 thing to do is the recipe as written with a waffle iron. I plan on doing just that, once I make my way to Goodwill or find a waffle iron on the cheap.

The roads are nice and clear now, still cold, but we hit the store. Since the only thing I changed with the waffles was basically the shape last time, well, and my sub for Mrs. Dash, I thought I’d branch out and count using a 50/50 mix of cheddar to mozzarella could at least count as one of the 101, I went ahead and added a bit of oregano to my last batch’s changes.

 

With the cheddar and some eggs from the back yard, they are more colorful.

With the cheddar and some eggs from the back yard, they are more colorful.

Tossing the cheddar in the mix ended up making them more bendy, they almost looked like round doritos, so I thought “what the heck?”, I made some ceviche anyways, what’s the worst that could happen.

Ceviche

  • 2 fillets tilapia (about 3 oz each)
  • 6 oz calamari
  • 4 oz bay scallops
  • lime juice, about 1/2 cup
  • coarse pink salt and coarse black pepper
  • pico de gallo (chop up some onions, cilantro, and tomatoes, mix well, and add a little lemon juice, heck, add jalepeño if you would like)

Chop fish, calamari, and scallops into somewhat uniform sizes. Mix together in a glass bowl with pink salt and black pepper. Pour lime juice over to cover. Use a little more if needed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours to overnight. Seafood is done when it is opaque.

Serve onto dishes with a slotted spoon, topped with pico de gallo.

Love ceviche, normally just eat it with a fork. Not again :)

Love ceviche, normally just eat it with a fork. Not again 🙂

I love ceviche, we make it often. Normally May and I eat it with a fork, not tonight though!

Cut tortillas into triangles, and griddle over medium high heat a couple minutes, flipping as needed.

Cut tortillas into triangles, and griddle over medium high heat a couple minutes, flipping as needed.

Remove the chips from the griddle on to a paper towel.

Remove the chips from the griddle on to a paper towel.

At that point, these were great. May thought they were bland. I told her “more for me” (Big sexy doesn’t like ceviche, so he didn’t get any broccoli cheese waffle chips)

Once we got that ceviche plated, she changed her mind about the chips. Half were on her plate. I couldn’t get mad because I was like OMG… best thing I ever ate a-freakinggain!!!

These things stand up to ceviche, imagine the possibilities.

These things stand up to ceviche, imagine the possibilities.

Anyways, because I missed lunch, had too much time on my hands, and really really wanted tacos again… I made some tacos for dinner tonight with the ceviche. It’s getting late, so I’ll just have to give you the recipe and pictures for that one tomorrow.

Instant gratification

Here it is, January 9, 2015 (yeah, I backspaced the 4, the 5 is so new and all), five days into getting my head on straight and I’ll be damned if my size eights still do not fit! {pouty sniffles}

Granted I have lost three whole pounds and lord knows I’ll surely find them, but it hasn’t really been all bad. I actually misplaced a couple of pounds Monday morning, which reminds me of finding them Tuesday morning. I don’t even want to talk about Wednesday and Thursday because I didn’t even check in with that old hag the scale.

It’s got to be that I’m not doing it right, I picked the wrong diet, which isn’t really a diet anyways, I call it meleo (combo of primal, paleo, without carb loading and crossfit (giggles) what works for my diabetes and me). It didn’t even make the cut, but it’s great uncle “Paleo” did and came in dead last. {Don’t wag that finger at me, I know, I know, I shoulda done #13, Slimfast (howling laughter at this point, seriously, bottle of chems or whole foods, yep, chems it shoulda been)}

Maybe I should have re-started Atkins, you know, hit the new and exciting Atkins 40, for when you just want to lose a little, but if you checked out the linky-do, Atkins is on the last page too, #32 to Paleo’s #34.

To be completely honest, I’m not even doing anything aside from what I was doing prior to hunting season and really, really, losing three pounds in five days of doing absolutely nothing is pretty spectacular, maybe downright scandalous. What exactly is that absolutely nothing? No sugar, no starches, simple. Leafy greens, meat, cheese, eggs, fish, even slightly higher carb veggies like Brussels sprouts.

Since I proved to myself what I already knew (you just can’t out exercise a bad diet), I’m not even counting my general goofiness like toting firewood as exercise, so without my general goofiness, I’m pretty much sloth-like. (general goofiness takes up most of my time, so I’m not sloth-like often)

I’m not doing anything silly like putting an entire stick of butter into my 32oz coffee, or just eating sticks of butter talking about my deep ketosis. Ketosis-smosis and all that, you won’t see any snap chats or instagrams of my pissedonketostix for a few reasons, #1 I don’t pee on sticks, that’s what potties are made for. #2 I don’t have snapchat which leads to #3 nor do I have instagram.

I am doing what I found to be most helpful when I lost the weight in the first place, right prior to thinking I was ten foot tall and bullet proof…

Dr. Jack Kruse’s Leptin Rx combined with Mark Sisson’s When Hunger Ensues Naturally. Anyways, both of these were big helps back in 2011 and 2012 when I was discovering my path to controlling my diabetes and losing weight. As far as combining them goes, on the days I wake up hungry, I eat within 30 minutes of rising, high protein breakfast, (I never stopped following the sleep well part), wait 4-5 hours (or longer) between meals. The couple days I’ve awoken without a thought of food, I’m IFing and eating when hunger ensues naturally.

Anyways, I was just thinking that with all the technology, things should be going quicker. My eights pert near falling off me by day five, but no, I’m human just like everyone else. Sometimes we just have to think “yeah, I want it now, but it’s going to take time.” Maybe I’m trying to tell any of you sweet folks out there in Readerville that no matter which diet you chose, what eating plan you adapt, that no big change after 5 days is no big deal. Weight loss is not a transporter from fat to flat in an instant, it’s a series of fits and starts, ups and downs that ultimately lead to getting into shape. The key though is not a “diet”, a “pill”, or a “superfood”, the key is to find what works for each of us as individuals and sticking to it.

Dang it, I still taste the coconut, let’s go with “Peanut butter chocolate chip macaroons” for the win please…

Every week, I make a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for May to take to lunch each week. They never really turn out like cookies, more like “cakies” or “muffin tops”, but anyone doing LCHF is already trying to steer clear of muffin tops, right?

Every week, she still doesn’t really like them, and I can still taste the coconut. You know me, I get something in my head and then fly by the seat of my pants with it. I’d wager this week is batch number 5, and I finally decided to use half splenda  and some stevia packets. (I have been gradually switching to stevia in my coffee. It’s getting less bitter as time goes on, so I thought about the worst that could happen, and ran with it.)

These are the cookies but not cookies..

These are the cookies but not cookies..

The worst didn’t happen, these turned out pleasantly sweet, with no after taste like with splenda alone in the cookies or stevia in my coffee, the merge worked out well.

Anyways, the high school band is having a bake sale during their Halloween concert and each member must bring some baked goods. I’m seriously considering Coconut Macaroons from my 1959 Better Homes And Gardens cookbook (wheat free back then).

I’m also seriously considering sending some of these. They are quite tasty, but they aren’t really a “cookie”, maybe a “biscuit” would be the closest thing, the ones without chips remind me of pancakes. Anyways, I figured I would give you the recipe for the 5th generation of these whatchamadigs.

  • 1 cup peanut butter (Natural is a better option because of no added sugar)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/8 c water
  • 1 t vanilla (imitation works as well as real in these)
  • 1/3 c slenda
  • 6 packets stevia
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 coconut flour
  • 1/2 c dark chocolate chips

In a large bowl whip eggs until well blended. Using a wire whisk, mix in vanilla and peanut butter. It will become thick. Thin it out a little with the water.

In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, baking powder, stevia, and splenda. Mix well. Whisk into peanut butter mixture, and finally, fold in chocolate chips. Use a 1/2 ounce scoop and place them about 1 1/2″ apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (Dark works better for browning the bottoms)

Bake for 15 minutes at 350°. Turn around pan and bake 2-4 more minutes. Let cool on the pan. Upon trying out test subject 497, (exaggerating) I bet I could get away with calling them “Peanut butter chocolate chip, mini-individual sponge cakes” (giggling)

Next week, generation 6, I’m thinking about leaving out the baking powder, seeing if maybe they don’t rise so much and maybe become more like a cookie. This evolution stuff is not that bad though, at least I get to eat each generation lol.

If you’re up for the challenge, give them a go, tweak them if need be (I’m seriously serious about trying them without the baking powder, they started with 1/2 c coconut flour, which was really overpowering in a coconutty kinda way. Anyways, I tried using less water, but they are so dry, crumbly even…

On that note, I’ll leave you with something that contributed to a fabulous last week!!!

This is Prancer, my friend Lori picked her up at the winery the other day. She's a Christmas tree decoration, but Cam totally snagged her!!

This is Prancer, my friend Lori picked her up at the winery the other day. She’s a Christmas tree decoration, but Cam totally snagged her!!

As always be sure and test prior to and one and two hours after consuming a new to you recipe. Knowledge is power.

There’s also this super big thing, but it’s not finished yet. Cliffhanger…

 

****UPDATE!!!**** With the bake sale being tonight, I decided to make a batch sans the baking powder. Yeah, fail, of epic proportions. They still rose a little, but are so dense, like brick muffin tops. I think next batch, I’ll just stick with this last version.

Sushi and Nori, with Ham, oh my!

If you are of the belief that it still isn’t sushi without the nori, well then, call it by another name. The nori could care less what you call it as long as you’re not just letting it sit in the pantry.

The last time I typed about sushi, I think it was the freaking amazing blt sushi. Lately though, May has been on a ham and cheese kick. Her bento box normally contains a couple sliced rolls, a cheese stick, strawberries, and a bottle of water.

Let's call this one Sammich Sushi lol

Let’s call this one Sammich Sushi lol

If you’ve never rolled sushi (with or without rice), hit up youtube for some videos or just check out the directions on the back of the nori pack. Sushi mats are fairly inexpensive at ethnic stores.

Sammich Sushi

  • 1 sheet nori
  • 2 slices sandwich type, deli style, what have you ham (turkey, chicken, and roast beef also taste quite nice)
  • 1 t mayo
  • 1 slice American cheese (or Swiss, pepper jack, you get my drift)
  • 2 leaves Romaine lettuce
  • a little thinly sliced red onion

Place nori shiny side down onto your sushi mat. Spread mayo from 1/4″ up from the bottom to 1″ down from the top (the area you would normally use rice). If you are using pre-packaged sliced baked ham, place slices vertically side by side on nori, over the area you spread the mayo. If you are using circular or whatevs shaped slices, just cover the mayo with it. Fold cheese in half and place half on each slice of ham, towards the bottom, just above the bare area of nori. Next place lettuce on cheese and onion slices onto lettuce. Roll it up.

When you get to the end, dampen the bare nori with a little water. Finish rolling and wrap in plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to overnight (I do overnight for the lunch box, easier to slice when it’s soft).

025

I cannot tell a lie. The other night whilst making May’s sushi, I made myself a little snack, YUM!

 

 

 

 

From garden to ranchero

One of my favorite lunches out is huevos rancheros con chorizo from Jose’s here in Greenbrier. The staff is always great, and if there isn’t a drama club field trip scheduled to do lunch for 25 at the same time you arrive, the service is spot on and the food never disappoints.

It had been a while since my hot husband and I had had a lunch date at Jose’s when I decided on Tuesday that it was too cruel for my taste buds, having kept them from that which they desired for so long. I decided “breakfast for dinner it is” and hit up google on the hunt of the next best thing, a recipe for ranchero sauce.

When you hit up google for a good rachero recipe, you quickly find that there are a gazillion of them, fresh tomato, canned tomato, vinegar, no vinegar, heck even Emeril Lagasse has a friggin’ ranchero sauce recipe.

Preferring to be a fly by the seat of my pants/what’s the worst that could happen kinda girl, I decided to just read a few recipes and then just freaking do it. I read Emeril’s, all recipes’, chow hound (maybe?), don’t remember all the ones I read, but my friend google always turns those linkydos purple, so I’ll know them when I see them again.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

The recipes with fresh tomatoes were out of the question. I already had three quarts of beautiful crushed tomatoes needing to take a taste test, so I set a jar aside.

Some recipes called for bell peppers, most for jalepeños and lucky for my taste buds the plants out back were ripe for the pickin’. I picked one large green bell pepper and a couple of fat jalepeños. I then proceeded to gather my ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 fat jalepeños, seeded and chopped (this was quite mild, use more if you’d like)
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 T cooking oil, I cook with bacon oil, feel free to use olive oil if you so desire.
  • 16 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t ground chipotle red pepper
  • salt to taste

Heat skillet over medium and add cooking oil. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic until veggies are softish and onions are translucent. Add oregano, crushed tomatoes, ground red pepper, and salt. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until sauce is thickened.

SC20140812-172332

The ranchero sauce was quite nice with some chrorizo and eggs. So nice, that last night I used it to make football shaped mini meatloaves for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

Shrimp Scampi-esque

Shrimp Scampi yummy yummy, butter, shrimp, garlic, what’s not to love? What could be better than a nice dish of the warm and cozy to fill one’s belly with?

avocado bacon scampi 1

Adding bacon and serving it in a halved avocado of course!

Shrimp Scampi-esque

  • 3 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 pound of medium peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon dry Vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ripe avocado

I use a stainless steel skillet. I heat it over medium high heat for a few minutes, until I can feel the heat on my hand from a couple inches away from the bottom. Once it’s hot, I reduce the heat to medium and add in the chopped bacon. I like to stir the bacon around with a stainless steel spatula, breathing in the aromas, and making sure that the nuggets of goodness do not stick…..

avocado bacon scampi 2

Shrimp cooks quickly, so don’t leave it un-attended.

Once the bacon is cooked soft add the thawed shrimp. It is important to not drain the bacon, the bacon juice is used in place of the butter normally found in shrimp scampi. Stir it around and add the pressed garlic. Cook a few minutes until the shrimp turns pink and is no longer translucent.

Add the Vermouth and parmesan, reducing the heat to low while you halve and remove the pit from a ripe avocado. Plate the avocado cut side up on two plates. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over each half. Top with the shrimp and bacon scampi, add salt and pepper to taste, top with a bit more lemon juice if so desired.

avocado bacon scampi 3

Like with all new to you recipes, if you are Type 2 Diabetic like I am, test prior to, one and two hours after consuming any “new to you” foods.

 

Inspired by Mr. Fitz, trying something new

I don’t quite remember when I stumbled onto Mr. Fitz’s blog, but I so enjoy reading his posts about sausages, dining out across the pond, and his kebab gyros. Since following Mr. Fitz, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making some gyro myself, but it’s hard to find lamb out here in the boonies, I was happy to read his post yesterday using beef and pork. It gave me hope that maybe I could try it out with what I had on hand, which was beef and venison.

May had set to thaw some deer steaks for Wednesday and after showing her Mr. Fitz’s post, I managed to talk her out of a few while also getting her in the kitchen with me. It’s spring break this week and I really didn’t want her to spend the entire time watching MTV.

Mr. Fitz has his own secret blend of spices, so that was the tough part. Since we’ve never before made gyro kebab, it was google to the rescue. We googled Lebanese spices, then Mediterranean spices, and checked the spice cabinet for what we had on hand. Because my mom gave me all her spices when she last moved, we ended up finding a lot of spices we could use and some like curry (we’ve never tried) to use at a later date.

The spices we used were:

  • garlic
  • minced onion
  • onion powder
  • oregano
  • cumin
  • thyme
  • pepper
  • salt
  • cinnamon
  • coriander
  • parsley
  • cardamom

One tablespoon of garlic and a teaspoon of the others. The smell of the blended spices made our noses tingle. While I put a bit of each kind of meat in the processor, May added a spoon of the spices. We pulsed until it was kinda like “potted meat”. It took several “rounds” since we only had the mini processor, but we giggled and planned our day as we went.

Once all the meat was mixed and squished, we realized that we no longer have a loaf pan. We went with “What’s the worse that could happen?” and simply shaped our meat into a loaf. We also thought about that nice sauce they have at the gyro place in town, tzatziki, and once again used google.

IMG_20140319_123247

Yeah, it’s raw, but it smelled so good. We put it in the fridge to let the spices mingle and hit the store to find ingredients for our sauce.

A little later in the year, we could have picked mint from the flower garden, but not yesterday. Luckily google netted us some recipes without mint, using dill, and well, we found a jar of dill weed in the pantry.

If you live in a small country town like we do, you may be able to relate to having to go heavy on the “subbing” when it comes to ingredients. Yeah, we could have made the hour and a half round trip to a larger store in Nashville, but the sun was starting to shine and we had a “21 bow salute” for Allison lined up. (What? You’re not a Teen Wolf fan?)

We were pretty lucky to even find Greek yogurt at the market, the only problem was there were 2 choices, blended with fruit or fruit on the bottom. Once again “What’s the worst that could happen?” had us pick the fruit on the bottom. Kathy, the nice lady at the store arranged the bag so that our fruit would stay on the bottom. She couldn’t make English cucumbers magically appear in the produce section, so we went with a plain ole cuke, besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

When we got home, we scooped out the yogurt and May ate the fruit. I halved and hollowed out the cuke, zipped it in the chopper and gave May the tea towel to squish out the juice. We placed the yogurt, cuke bits, dill weed, lemon juice, and some sour cream in the chopper and blended it up. We tasted it and while it didn’t taste exactly like the gyro place, it wasn’t that bad either.

Once we finished making the sauce, it was time to gather eggs. We didn’t really need anymore eggs, but the chickens keep blessing us each day anyways.

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Plenty of eggs from Monday and Tuesday, so we made omelets for breakfast. On Wednesday, we only gathered 9, we gave Biscuit an egg for being such a good goofy watch dog, and went back to the kitchen.

The oven was set at 350°, we put the meat in, and hit the driveway for a nice game of basketball, silly girl style. She’s a show off like her dad, so she won, but I ended up having to give her a ticket when she got bored of playing. She in turn gave me a ticket for being “too needy on basketball” when I tried to talk her into another round. With a little time left, we grabbed the long bow and proceeded to honor our hero, Allison.

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My dear sweet Gannicus. One of May’s arrows skidded and pert near killed the old guy. He’s pushing 6 years old, but he’s still spry enough to jump out of the way. Oh look we missed an egg!

By the time we got back in the house, it smelled heavenly. We pulled out kebab gyro out of the oven to cool, taste buds all tingly. “How ’bout we go shoot some hoops?” I asked “How ’bout we “Just Dance”” she replied, so we compromised. Four dances and another round of silly girl basketball.

Maybe we lost track of time, my back pocket buzzed and it was Sir Hotsalot on his way home. The gyro wasn’t quite cooled enough, but the fryer was ready for his fries. We deemed it dinner time anyways and well, my slicing skills left a lot to be desired.

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I’m thinking maybe a slicer for Mother’s Day, and next time we’re chilling our gyro properly.

Hot Stuff had his on a sandwich, May and I had ours on a salad.

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Guess what? No Feta at the market, no problem, we had mozzarella in the fridge.

So, it wasn’t the same as the gyro place in town, but it was tasty, and really, it was our first try. We’ve decided to try it again soon, only next time, we’re getting an earlier start, so that we can chill it properly before slicing.

We learned a few things while trying something new. 1. the worst didn’t happen. 2. substitutions are great, but we’re going to have plain Greek yogurt for next time. 3. we really enjoyed trying something new and are looking forward to the next time! 4. the spice mix we had left over made for some tasty grilled venison steaks!!

Thank you Mr. Fitz for allowing us a look into your kitchen and inspiring us.

Cabbage and cookies

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Yummy yummy for their tummies~!

We had the pleasure of having our three granddaughters stay with us over the weekend, so busy started Thursday prior, with making cookies.

The first batch was kinda dry, so I made another batch. They are kinda cakey, so if you like crispy cookies, these are not the ones for you.

  • 1/4 c coconut flour
  • 3/4 c almond meal
  • 3/4 c splenda
  • 1/8 t xanthan gum (I don’t know if it helped to make them more cakey, next time I will omit it)
  • 1/4 t baking powder

In a small bowl, combine the above dry ingredients, set aside.

  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 4 medium eggs (These were from young hens, large eggs should be fine too)
  • 1/2 c coconut milk

In a medium to large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Then whisk in the dry ingredients. Wait a few minutes to let the coconut flour soak up all the liquid.

  • Stir in 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips. (I do not use “sugar free” chocolate chips because I have a problem with maltitol. If you have no problem using “sugar free”, feel free to do so)

Use a cookie scoop to place them on a parchment paper lined pan. (Edit: Sorry, I forgot to tell you to mash them down with a fork like peanut butter cookies. Oops, my bad.)Bake in a 375° oven for 22 minutes. Check, and bake for 2 additional minutes if needed (my total cooking time was 24 minutes). I was able to get 30 cookies out of this batch. If like me, cookies (even these kind) make you want more cookies and you don’t have anyone to share them with, half the recipe. They keep well in the freezer. The grandbabies loved them.

As for the cabbage, I always use Mark Sisson’s recipe from MDA for sauerkraut, only I normally just use cabbage. This time, I used carrots also.

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Good golly this is good stuff!!

Anyways, yesterday was about day 6 fermenting and good golly it was good. I had some with some corned beef, cabbage, nips, neeps, and creamed spinach.

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Sir hots a lot had chicken wings instead. Doesn’t know what he was missing.

As always, when trying any new to you recipes, test prior to, one and two hours after consuming to see how they effect your blood sugar.