breaking free from six decades of tyranny

One day, I got some great golden beet salad at our local Boise Co-Op. I loved it, but have had a hard time recreating it. I know it had mint in it and it was creamy. So today I found a Mint Coconut Dressing recipe from Savvy Vegetarian that is delightfully refreshing, added it to roasted golden beets, and this was the result:

Golden Beets in Mint Dressing

Golden Beets in Mint Dressing

Golden Beets in Mint Dressing

Roast scrubbed, trimmed whole golden beets, tossed in olive oil, in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. Peel and cool in refrigerator. Cube the beets, add some sea salt, and toss with a few tablespoons of the Mint Coconut Dressing.

Enjoy!

Found a good use for some full fat coconut milk left over from making Mint Coconut Dressing. Worked out well!

Chard and Mushrooms

Creamy Red Chard and Mushrooms

 

Creamy Red Chard and Mushrooms

About 2 cups Red Chard, chopped

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 T bacon grease

1.5 T grass fed butter

2 T (more or less) full fat coconut milk

(I threw in a bit of juices left over from roasted chicken for added flavor. You might want to add other favorite seasonings. Turmeric or ginger comes to mind.)

Melt fats in skillet. Add chard and mushrooms. Sauté until chard wilts and mushrooms soften. Stir in coconut milk and blend all until a sauce forms. Enjoy!

Paleo Banana Pancakes

My daughter gave me this recipe and I’m not sure where she got it. It’s very similar to Mark Sisson’s Almond Banana Pancakes but with a few more ingredients and different proportions.

Here’s what I LOVE about these. Growing up, a very special treat for us was my Tennessee-born grandmother’s Buckwheat Pancakes. Or the recipe could have come from my Oklahoma-raised grandfather’s side of the family. No matter.

These pancakes required a starter, were yeast-based, and were weird little tangy, almost crepe-like pancakes. My gentle mother could be driven to distraction trying to cook the Sunday morning treats. They would always stick to the cooking pan, and come to our plates like shrunken, shriveled, blackened bits of heaven.

The magic really happened when butter melted in pools on them and sorghum syrup was drizzled atop the stack. Wowza.

And these Paleo Banana Pancakes have a look and taste reminiscent of my beloved buckwheat pancakes. And while they may look a little dark, they do not taste burned. I have tried them with sorghum and maple syrup. MyBrattyTasteBuds are leaning toward maple syrup.

Paleo Banana Pancakes

Paleo Banana Pancakes

Paleo Banana Pancakes

3 ripe bananas
3 T. ground flax seeds
1/4 c. almond butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
dash cinnamon

Mash the banana. Stir in other ingredients. Drop by quarter-cups onto hot griddle. Cook until bubbles form and pop, then turn. Be sure to cook through, about 1 minute per side. Don’t worry if they cook up a bit dark. They will taste fine!

Chicken Kale Soup

I threw some favorite ingredients together … that happened to work well for MyBrattyTasteBuds tonight!

Chicken Kale Soup

ChickenKaleSoup

(Yesterday, I roasted an organic chicken. This recipe uses the leftovers from that.)

Place in crock pot and cook for 6 hours:

1 chicken carcass (from organic roasted chicken)
cooking liquid from the roasted chicken, plus 8 cups water
1 onion
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. turmeric

Remove bones, and strain mixture, leaving broth in large pot.

Add, bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes:
4-6 small golden beets, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tsp. turmeric
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 tsp. ginger root, grated (or Dorot frozen ginger)
1 tsp. sea salt

Add two chicken breasts, cut into chunks. Cook for about 15 minutes.

Add 2 cups fresh or frozen kale and cook until soft.

Enjoy!

 

Worry-Free Holiday Eating

This is an epic holiday season for me. Epic.

For 60 years, I have dreaded the holiday season while salivating uncontrollably. MyBrattyTasteBuds would be screaming “Bring It On!” while my Brain was cowering in the corner of the kitchen in the fetal position, not an ounce of fight left in it.

My non-Paleo signature treat

My non-Paleo signature treat

My signature holiday goodie was a recipe a friend shared with me years ago that was actually on the back of a chocolate chip bag. Amazingly, no one in my circle of friends and family ever saw that recipe, so it gradually became Mine. If someone would have handed me a plate of these More Delicious Than Snickers bars and I ate one or two, Brain would have been OK. But BrattyTasteBuds would insist on making double recipes, cutting off the ragged sides to make perfect bars, and eating said ragged edges so thoroughly no one ever knew they existed. There are a lot of ragged sides on my double recipes.

Back to the Epic Nature of this holiday season. MyBrattyTasteBuds and my Brain are so very happy together now that there is no war. There are no little battles. There is true joy and peace in this household. There are some Paleo goodies around, and they are so satisfying that BrattyTasteBuds politely enjoy a reasonable amount, and then take a long nap. Brain is free to think about more important things than taming taste buds.

Paleo Treats

Paleo Treats made by my daughter. Full of healthy fats and protein!

It is the most amazing thing to be craving-free during the holiday season. It is the most amazing thing to be guilt-free at this time of the year. Amazing. And Epic.

(Recipes for Paleo Treats are easily found online!)

That soup. The one from Everyday Paleo website I said I was going to make? Here’s my version:

Creamy Chicken Soup

And it is delicious. I followed her recipe, but added two handfuls of fresh spinach, 2 carrots and about a tablespoon of onion.

Kitchens and I … definitely a love/hate thing. LOVE successful meals, hate the cleanup. HATE experiments that fail, hate the cleanup. LOVE that my husband cleans up as a thank you for all meals, successful or not … at least most of the time!

Full disclosure time: I’m getting a little tired of all the cooking that Paleo entails. I think I’ve hit a wall of sorts. I know I will pass through the wall and come out into the sunshine again, but let’s fact it. I’m heading into my least favorite months … winter … where lots of cooking is expected … and that doesn’t exactly excite me.

Except for soups. I LOVE soups. And I have a crock pot and a Vitamix. Haven’t made a Vitamix soup yet, but eager to give that a try. Should be quick, don’t you think?

But today, I found a recipe on the Everyday Paleo website I’m going to try. Crock pot, chicken, coconut milk and spices.

Everyday Paleo Chicken Tomato Soup

 

MyBrattyTasteBuds just gotta have some chocolate in their lives, and they are now very particular about it. They like it rich, creamy, salty, smooth, melt-in-your mouth delicious.

They helped the Brain create this treat to float islands of Cappuccino Coconut Bliss:

Hot Paleo Fudge Sauce

Hot Paleo Fudge Sauce
Single Serving

2 T. Enjoy Life mini-chocolate chips
dash cinnamon
dash sea salt
1/4 t. coconut oil
sprinkle of instant coffee (can omit)
dash of almond or coconut milk

Place all in a small microwavable bowl. Nuke for about 30 seconds. Stir well. Plop a few teaspoons of your favorite Paleo frozen dessert into this delectable soup and enjoy! No guilt allowed, by the way. It’s OK to lick that bowl clean.

Another Foodie Success

I HATED Chemistry. Hated it in high school, barely squeaking by with a low C. Hated it when I tried it again in college. Dropped the course and never looked back.

Come to find out, cooking is basically chemistry. You have all these different elements with unique properties … you make mixtures out of them … you heat them up or cool them down … and hope they end up edible.

So, I have always pretty much hated cooking. Elements don’t mix quite right for me, or I put weird combinations together, or I heat too much or too long, or I don’t cool enough or at the right time, or I just end up with a big mess.

Thank goodness all my children are better cooks than I ever was. Probably figured with a little effort, they could surpass my efforts easily … and they were right!

HOWEVER … Thanks to my children and some wonderful Paleo cookbooks and blogs, I have been experimenting more and enjoying more success with chemistry … er, cooking.

So before I forget tonight’s success story, I need to record it!

Yam Hash Browns

Three C’s and a G Yam Browns
Makes 1 serving

1 T. coconut oil
1 T. grass-fed butter or ghee
1 small yam (the one with orange inside), grated
¼ tsp. coarse ground sea salt
¼ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. coriander
¼ tsp. curry powder
¼ tsp. ginger
1 T. almond milk

Melt oils in a non-stick skillet. Add grated yam, salt and spices. Let brown on one side, then stir and flip to brown the other side. Add almond milk at the end and gently stir to blend.

MyBrattyTasteBuds would argue they have always been Foodies, because they would eat anything that tickled their little fancies. They would argue they have always loved food.

And they would have a point. But I’m going with a different definition of Foodie. I’m thinking of a person who likes to know where their food comes from before shoving it in the mouth. Who likes to know how it has been prepared before swallowing. Who enjoys the taste so much that smaller amounts satisfy the stomach. Who never feels guilty about eating.

And that would definitely NOT have been me during the reign of MyBrattyTasteBuds. Ninety-five percent of my meals and snacks were guilt-inducing. They were full of sugar and bad fats, or processed beyond recognition, or enormous.

In honor of this change of status, I finally bought this:

Mortar and Pestle Box

 … And used it to make a delicious spice blend from the awesome book by Diane Sanfilippo, Practical Paleo:

Mortar and Pestle with Spice Blend

… Which I used on a whole roasted chicken, again from Practical Paleo.

I feel very much in touch with ancestors of long, long ago who developed this tool to “process” food in new ways, adding enjoyment to what most likely was a pretty mundane existence. It has definitely spiced up MyBrattyTasteBuds’ lives.

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