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Domino’s Gluten-Free Pizza: The Crust That Launched 1,000 Ships

29 May

We here at Highbrow are pretty understanding people. For example, if you accidentally stepped on our toes we’d probably be okay with it, and take it all in stride. Similarly, we understand if you had some serious pizza cravings from time to time. Heck, we all do. Most likely this stemmed from those rascally Ninja Turtles from our youth.

But this isn’t a post about why you still crave pizza. It’s a post about how to stave those cravings by eating the closest representative to real (good) pizza available. You’ve got a few options, really: you could a) make a meatza, b) use a mushroom crust, c) try out a frozen gluten-free crust, or d) fork out some dough (ha!) to try out one of the new gluten-free pizzas from Domino’s. And for your reading pleasure, two Highbrowers made the ultimate sacrifice and ate some Domino’s pizza so they could tell you about it. They’re heroes. Science heroes.

Russ:

I ordered a ham, pepperoni, mushroom, and black olive pizza. First of all, I should mention that these little buggers aren’t cheap – this pie cost me nearly $12. It is definitely small – I plowed through my 10″ in just a few minutes, and ate half of another and still wasn’t full. The taste isn’t bad, just like your average takeout pizza, which is exactly what I was both expecting and hoping for.

Texture was not great. The bottom crust was very well baked (nearly over baked) and the outer crust was really crunchy (vice “crispy”). Meanwhile, the upper part of the crust (that was touching the tomato sauce) was slightly gooey. The transition from the gooey to the crunchy made a little “squeak” sound with my teeth which I hate (literally gives me the chills – I’ve had the same experience with the Udi’s frozen GF crusts).

The whole experience wasn’t bad, and taste won over any texture issues I may have had. My wife and son didn’t notice anything wrong with the texture other than the crunchiness of the crust, which they didn’t really mind. No ill health effects afterwards.


weird crust – crunchy bottom, squishy top

Kamal:

Over on this website called “Facebook”, I spied that a certain Russ Crandall had just ordered a gluten-free pizza from Domino’s, and had reviewed the crustlational properties of his pizza. That was all the excuse I needed. At 11PM on Sunday, having already eaten dinner and dessert, I ordered a gluten-free pizza with bacon, feta, and mushrooms. From some internet browsing, I found that the crust was made of “rice flour, rice starch, potato starch and olive oil”, amongst other ingredients.

The crust was quite sweet. It tasted very slightly burnt, but not in a bad way. I love variety, and having never had a non-frozen gluten-free crust, I was loving it! You see, having lived in Chicago for several years, I liked to rotate my pan pizza with deep dish, and throw in some thin crust or calzone-action at times. So I actually enjoyed this gluten free crust moreso than the normal crust, just because the odd texture and sweetness was a change of pace.

Now for the bad. I already ate dinner and dessert, so this post-dessert pizza wrecked some extra havoc on the gut. Anecdotally, some people’s tummies seem to disagree with gluten-free pizza (Is it the wheat flour substitutes? Is it gluten cross-contamination? What about the veggie oils and toppings? Or…is it…the guilt??) I ended up being extremely full, while watching John Travolta eat at a diner with Uma Thurman on TV. Uma ordered a five dollar shake, and Steve Buscemi was the waiter? I couldn’t pay attention…would my grumbling tummy hold up? Was I entering puke city…in the name of science?

Luckily, all was well in the in the intestinal world the next morning, so no harm no foul my gluten-free friend. I may order you again. (PS: If you haven’t ordered Domino’s online…it is AWESOME! You can watch a cute animation of your pizza being made, and send notes of encouragement to the pizzamakers.)

Verdict

If you have celiac, or just have really bad reactions to gluten, please don’t order this pizza. Domino’s makes sure to warn you right as you select the gluten-free crust what you’re getting into:

Now for everybody else. I know you’ve been perplexed at least once before, when you’ve got the munchies and are not in the mood to intermittently fast or cook anything at all. In that case, might as well try one of these bad boys. You can order it without cheese if casein gives you gut bombs, or order without tomato sauce if nightshades don’t float your boat. The ingredients might not be organic and locally sourced, but this pizza ranks higher than many other junky foods you might turn to for a binge. Consider this a wake up call, national pizza chains. If you don’t step up your gluten-free offerings, Domino’s will crush you. (at least among the tens? hundreds? of thousands of paleo / gluten-free eaters) The gauntlet has been thrown.

Highbrow Cook Off II: Electric Boogaloo

6 May

Welcome back to our second of however many Highbrow Cook Offs (not to be confused with Iron Chef™ which is property of the Food Network™).  This month we chose ground meat as the special ingredient, with three veggies of different colors and one optional starch.  You can read about some of the other restrictions in our first Iron Chef Cook Off post here.  We are allowed the use of any three herbs and spices, excluding salt and pepper, and unlimited pantry items that we had previously agreed upon.  I loved how creative and diverse all of the entries were.  Let us know if you make any of our recipes at home and how they turned out, and stay in touch because HBP is opening this shit storm up to the public now.  Next months ingredient will be revealed in a couple of weeks, but here is a hint: hike up your big boots and get your digging gloves out (whatever a digging glove is).  But enough of that! Let us live in the moment, and bask in the glow of some ground up meat! Allez Cuisine!

Russ Crandall from The Domestic Man

Russian Cabbage Rolls (Голубцы)

You’ll Need:
2 lbs ground beef
1 cup cooked rice
1 head cabbage
1 onion, chopped finely
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 carrots, shredded (1/2 cup)
1 tsp each salt, pepper, dried dill, prepared mustard
1 14oz can of tomato sauce
8 tbsp butter or ghee
additional 1/2 tsp pepper

Chop the onion finely and set aside. Garlic too. Warm 4 tbsp of the butter or ghee on medium heat for a couple minutes, then add the onion and sauté for about 10 minutes, until the onion is aromatic and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, then add the ground beef, salt, pepper, dill, and mustard. Continue to cook until most of the pink has been cooked out of the beef. Add the cooked rice and carrot. Remove from heat and set aside as you work on your cabbage.

Cut out the core of the cabbage. Bring a stockpot half-full of water to a boil on high heat. Drop the cabbage into the boiling water and press it down with the end of a wooden spoon. Hold it there for five minutes, until the cabbage softens. Pull the cabbage out of the water (I used two forks) and let it drain in a colander for a minute, but keep the water boiling. Peel off the leaves. If you get further down the cabbage and the leaves are hard and dry, drop the cabbage into the water for a few more minutes and repeat the process.

Place the cabbage on a cutting board and cut the spine out of it. Put a spoonful of the filling into some cabbage and roll it together. There’s no foolproof way to do this, especially since the cabbage will be in various sizes and thicknesses; just put the filling near one end and roll it up toward the other end. Easy, right? You should be able to make about 18 cabbage rolls.

Place all the rolls in a casserole dish. In the meantime, heat the other 4 tbsp of butter or ghee in a saucepan for a minute or so, then add the tomato sauce and another 1/2 tsp of pepper, stir it together, and reduce the neat to med/low. Simmer the sauce for about five minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spoon the sauce over the cabbage rolls, and bake everything for 45 minutes.

Overall cost (assuming $6/lb for beef): $22 for six servings.

Amanda Kate Donovan

Harina ~ Moroccan Soup

Harina is a well-known Moroccan soup that is typically served to break fast during the Ramadan holy month. There are a million and one ways to make this soup, though traditionally it is made with orzo, vermicelli, lentils, beans and/or chickpeas. I have made some slight modifications to make this flavorful, rich soup paleo and Perfect Health Diet friendly, and so it’s a quick and simple meal for a busy family. This is a great way to use up a bunch of chicken stock, and is the perfect soup to make when you’re sick. Ras-el-hanout is an arabic spice blend that is becoming easier to find. It will vary quite a bit, but generally is a mixture of turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves.

1# ground lamb (or beef, just not pork)
ghee
olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
1T ras-el-hanout
1tsp grated fresh ginger
pinch of cayenne or de arbol chile powder
7c chicken stock
1 large can stewed tomatoes
1c white rice
1/2c cilantro, minced
1/4c parsley, minced

Brown the lamb in 1T each EVOO and ghee in a dutch oven. Add one minced onion and the spices and cook until the onions are translucent. Add about 5 cups of chicken stock and bring to a rolling boil. Turn down to a simmer, and make your rice. I used short grain white rice, cooked in chicken broth and a bit of ghee.

In a small pan, add a tablespoon or two of chicken stock, almost all of the cilantro and parsley (reserving a bit for garnish), and your tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes or so, and add tomato mixture to the soup. Add in the cooked rice and allow to simmer on low until the soup has thickened up a bit and the flavors have blended. Taste for seasoning, and serve with lemon wedges.

Meredith Harbour Yetter ~ Goose Mortadella

I think I have disqualified myself due to the complexity of this frigging recipe, but I had 2 geese in the freezer that had to be addressed before the next hunting season. I followed this recipe from Hank Shaw at Hunter Gardener Angler Cook.

However to fit it to my tastes/ingredient availability I didn’t add any rendered fat, I used pork cheek for the pork fat, so there was a little pork meat in there, but it was about 98% fat, I didn’t use dry milk or sugar at all or instacure 1, For spices I used corinader, dried chipotle powder and black pepper. I did use some salt as well. I also blended some dried wild morels and added them to hopefully replace whatever binding the milk powder is supposed to do.

I counted the morels as a veggie and just slapped the slices of salami onto some grassfed heirloom tomato and cucumbers. Wah-la!

Julie Barnard from Paleo Republic

Polpette di carne e zucchini

1lb ground beef, 80/20
1/2lb Sweet Italian sausage
1/4c finely chopped fresh parsley – hold a pinch back to use with the zucchini
1/4c finely chopped ramps – hold a pinch back to use with the zucchini *note: can substitute scallion, shallot, or chive
A few pinches of salt
Several grinds of pepper
3c tomato sauce, warmed on the stove
3 zucchini, sliced thinly
8×8 baking dish

Oven to 450

Combine ground beef, sausage, parsley, ramps, salt, pepper, and mix by hand until all ingredients are fully combined.

Roll the mixture into round meatballs about 1-1/2” and place into the baking dish. It’s totally cool if they’re touching.

Roast for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and very carefully drain some of the grease that has accumulated in the pan.

Pour the heated sauce over the meatballs and return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.

While the meatballs are finishing in the oven take a mandolin, sharp knife, or vegetable peeler and thinly slice the zucchini into ribbons. You can quickly steam them but the heat from the sauce and meatballs warms the zucchini up nicely I’ve found, so my preference is raw. Toss with the saved pinches of parsley and ramps.

Remove the meatballs from the oven. Plate the zucchini ribbons and top with the meatballs and sauce.

Serves 2-3

Bree Milne from Real Life

Bahn Mi Lettuce Wraps

I have been craving Bahn Mi lately.  And I’m usually not one to deny cravings, but the best Bahn Mi that I have ever had was at a small little asian grocery store in Prince Rupert, BC.  And since I don’t live there anymore, and it’s quite a ways out of the way to go for a sandwich, I just haven’t done it.  But – lately I had been thinking that I could do it, I could make a pretty good Bahn Mi if I tried.  So here’s my try – a la Paleo!

Do Chua

  • 1 large carrot cut in matchstick pieces
  • 1 daikon cut in matchstick pieces
  • 2-3 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup warm water

Place the daikon and carrots in a colander.  Sprinkle salt all over them and mix with your hands for 2-3 minutes.  Quite a bit of juice should come off the carrots and daikon, and they should become soft.  Rinse them off lightly (or not at all if you like salty food).  Pack them into glass jars.  In a separate container combine the vinegar, warm water and maple syrup (you can use more or less maple syrup depending on your taste for sweet – or omit it completely).  Add the liquid to the veggies.  Seal the jar and put it in the fridge.  I let mine sit for 2 days before I used them and they were great.

Part Two:

  • 1 kg (~2lbs) ground pork + 1 minced/ground pork liver
  • 6 garlic cloves – minced
  • 6 green onions – chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • lard (I used duck fat – cuz that’s how I roll)

Pre heat oven to 350F.  Take your rings off – put all ingredients in a big bowl and combine with your hands.  Then roll into meatballs.  Pan fry on medium heat until goldeny brown all around (about 5 minutes per side).  Place on a  tinfoiled cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

To Assemble:

Ingredients

  • 1 head of lettuce (I used iceberg)
  • Do chua
  • meatballs

Put them all together!  Be a touch careful – the lettuce is a bit finnicky.  And eat!  Enjoy!

Matthew Dalby from The Call of the Honey Guide

Onion, carrot, leek, potato and mackerel

We don’t have a recipe for this one, but I think it’s pretty self explanatory.  And, this is our only fishy entry.  Wallah!

Carly Caller

Cottage Pie

For the Filling

1 knob of butter
1 large onion
3 medium carrots
3 sticks of celery
1 tsp Turmeric
600g of ground beef (mince beef to ma UK homeboyz)
400g of passata (blended tomatoes in a carton)
400g of beef stock
Salt and Pepper

For the Potato MashTopping

5 large potatoes
Butter to taste ( I use nearly half a pack)
Salt and Pepper

Method –

Preheat oven to gas mark 4, (or the equivalent) I keep my oven dish in the oven while preheating. I’m not sure why. Just do it.
Chop finely your onion, carrots and celery
Melt your butter in a large saucepan, fry on a low heat finely chopped veg with the tsp of turmeric, (simply because I put turmeric in to damn near everything, cos I can) for about 10 mintues, or until soft
Add ground beef, turn up heat to meduim, keep mixing the um… mixture, until meat is browned, add your passata and your beef stock, season well and bring to a boil
Once bubbling, turn down heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes until mixture is thick and glossy

Meanwhile, peel and boil your potatoes until soft, not too long though or the potatoes will absorb too much of the water and your topping will just be a layer of slop. Not nice. Once potatoes have boiled, drain and mix in a crapload of butter and salt and black pepper to taste, mash into a nice thick, creamy, buttery, fluffy, mashy goodness. Try not to eat. Yet.

Take your largish dish out the oven, wear oven gloves. It helps, trust me. I use a ceramic dish. I have used glass and that black bakeware stuff I can’t remember the name of, both work fine too. Just use any oven proof dish, in an oven. I digress..

Pour your now reduced, and thicked mince mixture into your oven dish and spoon the mash mixture on top, using a fork to spread the mash. Bake in the oven for about 40-50 mins, or untill browning and crispy. As you can see from my picture, I like mine, almost cremated, but you can keep an eye on yours, and just take it out when you think it looks right. All the lovely butter in the mash will give for a nice crispy topping. Sometimes I’ll even grate chedder cheese (reccommened) on top for the last ten minutes, but I kept this one “clean” for the benefit of the cook off.

Serve with your choice of vegetable. This is of course optional.

Eat.

The Difference Between Eating Paleo and “Being Paleo”

23 Mar

As the Paleo FX Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium (so glad they didn’t go with the long version of the event’s name) wound down last week, it felt like the Paleo blogging world and its faithful audience (hereafter “Paleosphere”) had worked itself up into a frenzy. Over what, I’m not quite sure. It may have just been the gathering of like-minded individuals with strong online presences. What left a lasting impression was the tone of the Paleosphere during the event, and it just so happened that the timely coalescence of Paleo personalities and its ensuing social media onslaught brought everything to a head for me.

You see, I’ve been following a Paleo way of eating for about 18 months now, and it’s had a profound impact on the way I view the world, how I feel, and (obviously) how I eat. I replaced most grains, dairy, legumes, refined sugars, and seed-derived oils with whole foods and many of my autoimmune symptoms went into remission. I can honestly say with conviction that I “eat Paleo”. However, I do not identify myself as “being Paleo”. I think there’s a distinction that needs to be made before we move on.

To me, “being Paleo” means that you are self-identifying with a group. It’s like calling yourself a musician or a video gamer (as opposed to simply writing music or playing video games). The problem with identification is that disidentification – the mentality of “us vs. them”, and a focus on what you are NOT – often emerges. Consider the in-group-out-group bias. This phenomenon can lead to aggression and prejudice, and some suggest that it leads to a lack of productivity, as identifiers take action while disidentifiers tend to just make a lot of talk. (And who is the “them” in this case? Just about everyone else – those pesky grain-eaters that make up the rest of the population, and those cursed Vegans that try and muck everything up!).

While the Paleosphere (thankfully) doesn’t focus too much on the “them” aspect of the diet, there’s definitely an overbearing “us” momentum that isn’t entirely healthy, either. I often see the Paleosphere as being on this slippery slope towards extremism.

As an ever-increasingly-large group of people that eat a similar diet and in many cases hold similar values, I think it’s important we don’t lose sight of the fact that extremists and ideologists often alienate themselves from the rest of society. How are we supposed to make an impact on the nutrition world if we work the Paleosphere up into a frenzied cult status? John George and Laird Wilcox, scholars of fringe movements, have identified the following characteristics of political extremists and ideological contrarians:

1. Absolute certainty they have the truth.
2. [The belief that] America is controlled to a greater or lesser extent by a conspiratorial group. In fact, they believe this evil group is very powerful and controls most nations.
3. Open hatred of opponents. Because these opponents (actually “enemies” in the extremists’ eyes) are seen as a part of or sympathizers with “The Conspiracy,” they deserve hatred and contempt.
4. Little faith in the democratic process. Mainly because most believe “The Conspiracy” has great influence in the U.S. government, and therefore extremists usually spurn compromise.
5. Willingness to deny basic civil liberties to certain fellow citizens, because enemies deserve no liberties.
6. Consistent indulgence in irresponsible accusations and character assassination.

Does that sound alarmingly familiar to you? Admittedly, the above characteristics have a major political slant, and the fact that big corporations have major influence on what ends up on our dinner plates may not lead to some of those characteristics (like the willingness to deny basic civil liberties part).

I can’t deny that a relatively extreme diet (side note: it’s sad that the Paleo diet is considered “extreme” in this age of processed/fast foods) will attract people that gravitate towards fringe thinking – as sociologist Daniel Bell put it, for those on the fringe, “the way you hold beliefs is more important than what you hold. If somebody’s been a rigid Communist, he becomes a rigid anti-Communist – the rigidity being constant.” How many ex-Vegans are in the Paleosphere? Lots. (As some would argue: not enough.) An extreme lifestyle will attract extremists, which simply isn’t preventable. My point is this: just because there are crazies in the Paleosphere, we don’t have to listen to them, and we need to keep ourselves in check to make sure we don’t become them. An easy way to prevent this is to continually challenge ourselves to question our dietary standards, and to avoid dogmatism.

So where do we start? How can we make sure that we promote this diet in the most open, pragmatic, unobtrusive, and inclusive way? Here are some quick suggestions:

1. Don’t tell people that you “are Paleo”. Hell, don’t even tell them that you eat “Paleo”, because the use of labels is in itself exclusionary. Just tell them what you eat, and maybe what you don’t eat. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that. Look at the Weston A. Price dietary guidelines. It’s very similar to the modern interpretation of the Paleo diet, and they don’t tell you what to avoid, even once. Focus on the whole foods, not on yet-to-be-completely-proven-as-evil grains, legumes, etc.

2. Don’t use flawed ideas or gray areas to promote the diet, because it calls the Paleosphere’s credibility into question. Don’t worship bacon, which is likely not good for you, even if it is (was) somewhat fashionable to “baconize” stuff. It’s a useful ingredient in cooking, but it’s not our flagship food. Don’t celebrate “Paleo versions” of sweets like Paleo brownies because that’s not helping people overcome their underlying food issues and if anything it’s guiding them towards failure. The last thing we should do is to set people on shaky foundations. Personally, I’m all about Dr. Kurt Harris‘ incremental process, because it encourages folks to improve their health even when they’re not ready to dive into a full-blown Paleo eating orgy.

3. Avoid dogmatic thinking. Are potatoes evil? What about white rice? What about dairy? Aren’t we supposed to be eating low carb? Remember that human variance, health history, and gut flora are major factors in food tolerance, and macronutrient ratios are highly individualized. This diet is ever-changing (and it should be as scientific study helps enlighten our views on nutrition every day); be open to suggestion.

4. Try not to alienate others by flaunting an overbearing self-identification of “being Paleo.” You’re not a caveman, and you’re certainly not living like one, so why label yourself as one? If anything, I suggest embracing what we do have in common with our ancestors – the fact that we’re all on this planet. Go take a walk/hike. Watch a sunset. Spend a few days camping. That’s certainly closer to being a caveman than eating a pound of lean red meat straight out of a slow cooker after a hard day at the office and then blogging about it.

5. Bear in mind that everyone has their own burden. I’m pretty sure that most people simply cannot afford to eat fresh organic vegetables and grass-fed meats all the time. My family can’t afford it, despite the fact that a huge chunk of our income goes towards our groceries – nearly twice as much as before we switched our diet. Additionally, many people don’t have the resources to find out whether or not they have access to affordable grass-fed meats anyway – online resources are often outdated, and I’ll wager that many excellent farmers are out working and not updating their farm’s webpage and social networking fan pages. Many don’t have access to local, affordable health food markets. This is no reason to make people feel bad for having to make sacrifices to make ends meat meet; instead celebrate the steps that people are willing to take for their health that are within their means.

6. Avoid the fringe, and consider the power of prudence. What is the point of wearing t-shirts that say “Meat is awesome” or “Vegans suck”? Before shouting from the rooftops about how stuff like cold thermogenesis and eating butter straight out of the container is awesome, take a step back and think about how crazy that sounds to the average person. I’m not saying that any of those extreme elements are bad, but they might not be helping the Paleo movement along when that’s the stuff we get identified with. When it comes down to it, who better to police the Paleosphere than ourselves?

Lastly, please don’t take this as an insult to anyone that’s exhibited these behaviors. Dramatically improving your health through simple changes in diet is awesome, and exciting. I don’t fault you for telling people that “you’re Paleo”. My only purpose in writing this article is to help consider the fact that we need to do what we can to impact those that aren’t lucky enough to know much about sensible eating yet. As much as it may be fun to be part of a cool, elite club of Paleo dieters that share cool pictures and sayings amongst themselves, isn’t our energy better spent on refining the diet itself through scientific study and attracting people that haven’t been exposed to the diet yet?

Kids Love This Shit

27 Jan

Or, how to get your offspring to eat a bag of kale.

We all came here for the food.  Sometimes it feels as though parents are in the minority in the world of paleo-ish.  I have a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son, and while they do not eat a paleo diet, I do all the cooking and shopping and they don’t, so they suck it up and deal.  Kids can be picky and downright monstrous around feeding time, and while its tempting to lay a tarp on the floor and toss food down to them from a safe distance,  its not always feasible.

Kale chips, blueberries, and chicken and veal liver pate. Just frickin' eat it!

I have a few recipes up my sleeve that the kids are cool with, and that are cheap and healthy.  My favorite is Sister Slaw.  I originally got the idea from the beautiful and incomparable Primal Kitchen, who you should love tightly, particularly if you have children and you feed them food.  Her bento box posts are hypnotic.  Anyhoo, get yourself a big bag of kale, or two bunches  I have to mince that onion into practically a puree without my daughter seeing it.  She’s highly suspicious of anything resembling an onion, but its an important addition to the Sister Slaw.  We otherwise make the slaw together meaning I (wo)man the blood-thirsty mandoline and she gets to dump everything together.  It’s important to really massage the dressing into the veggies.  Put on some Al Green and work it.  Make sweet love to it and when you’re done, stick her in the icebox for a couple of hours. [Editors note: The slaw, not the child.]  The kids get this with some U.S.Wellness hot dogs and then I congratulate myself.

Second helping of Sister Slaw

Use the other half of your kale for some chips.  My daughter is actually licking the plate right this second.  She just ate an entire bunch of kale. [Editor’s Note: Meredith just tried kale chips with coconut oil and ate all the kale in the whole wide world because it was so delicious.]  A good trick to keep in mind for the kiddos to get them to eat their veggies is to add more fat and more salt.  Plain kale is kind of gross, but drown in sea salt and good quality olive oil and it’s snack.  I serve these up with some sweet potato puffs, or chicken tenders dipped in egg and rolled in crushed Rice Krispies.

Kids are cool; they will generally eat whatever shit you put in front of them if they get hungry enough.  Note that they tend to get hungrier if they are running around than if they are in front of the TV all day.  Adding fat and salt makes things more delicious and harder to resist, and if they had a hand in cooking it, even more likely that they will try it.  Don’t stress, yo.  Also, be confident in your child’s ability to not starve themselves.  They are remarkable creatures who will likely outlive you.

Sister Slaw

  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale (dinosaur kale), shredded
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  1. Stir together the kale, green cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, and onion in a very large bowl; set aside.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables, and stir thoroughly, making sure to coat the vegetables very well. Chill in the refrigerator for two hours before serving.

Kale Chips

  • Some kale
  • some olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the hard center ribs and tear the leaves into pieces. Toss with olive oil in a bowl then sprinkle with salt. Arrange leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp. Try to wait for the pan to cool before eating.

Sweet Potato Puffs

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4c chopped nuts
  • coconut oil
  • cinnamon, salt, other seasonings you might prefer
  1. Stab the potato all over with a fork or knife, and microwave for 5 minutes or so until its cooked through.  Cut it in half, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl, mashing as you do. It doesn’t have to be uniformly smooth, so don’t kill yourself.
  2. Crack two eggs into the mashed sweet potato and mix.
  3. Stir in your crushed nuts, salt and any seasonings you like.  My kids like cinnamon.  I like Ras-el-Hanout.
  4. Fry up in some coconut oil on medium heat until cooked through.

Are You Well Fed?

25 Jan

This post can also be seen at Julia’s blog- Queen of the Stoneage.

I was so excited to learn last year that Melissa Joulwan was coming out with a cookbook. Melissa writes the very popular blog The Clothes Make The Girl, which is my go-to resource for fun Whole30 meals, delicious homemade sauces, and paleo-friendly ethnic recipes. After checking out the handy-dandy free sample though, I saw that this book is so much more!

If you’re a paleo-eater, you may find yourself spending a pretty ridiculous amount of time in the kitchen. I don’t have children or a spouse to cook for, yet I often find myself coming home from the gym, and spending upwards of two hours preparing my dinner for that evening, plus my lunch and breakfast for the next day. I love to cook, and I know this is an investment in my health, but it’s still a bit much! Well, I am happy to say this is now a thing of the past, thanks to Melissa’s tips. Well Fed outlines how to run your kitchen like a restaurant, so you’re never more than a few minutes away from a good meal. Melissa recommends taking a couple of hours each week to cook up a few pounds of meat and partially cook a bunch of veggies (this is the “Weekly Cookup”); these items can be infinitely combined into “Hot Plates” with seasonings and sauces to keep your belly happy over the week. It makes so much sense, I was kicking myself for not thinking of it before! I did my first cookup this past Sunday; my self-diagnosed ADD was raging, but I got it done (and unfortunately burned up a batch of bacon) and it was SO worth the effort. When I got home from work on Monday, I had my dinner on the table within five minutes, ate it, and then had my Tuesday lunch and breakfast packed away fifteen minutes later. Shazaam!

Cookup #1 (with the Beggarcat)

 
Yes, the cookbook has fantastic recipes too!  Melissa’s Paleo Pad Thai is a favorite of mine, and I am looking forward to cooking my way through the whole book.  My (non-paleo) sis looked through the book and declared that every single recipe looked like something she would like- not too shabby!  If you only buy one cookbook this year, Well Fed is well worth it.
 

Ask nicely and your copy can by signed by the Melicious herself!

Almond-Crusted Cod

10 Jan

This post can also be seen at Queen of the Stoneage and on Chowstalker.

This is one of those uber-easy, yet impressive-looking dishes!  I’ve been disappointed by the lack of wild salmon at my local BJs, but they do have wild haddock and cod; either is great in this recipe. 

Almond meal is something I like to just use in moderation; when I first went grain-free, I was going pretty buckwild with almond flour-based baked goods, but I’ve cut way back since learning about that pesky oxidized omega-6 😦  Yes, some things are too good to be true…  This makes 3 servings (I like to have leftovers to microwave at work the next day and stink up the office).

1 lb cod filet

3/4 cup almond meal *UPDATE* I have also done this with chopped, slivered almonds and liked it even better!

3 TBS melted clarified butter

1 lemon

1 tsp salt

2 tsp Italian seasoning, herbes de Provence or whatever herbs you like

– Preheat oven to 500

– Lay fish out on a cookie sheet lined with foil

– Combine other ingredients and spread evenly in a thin layer over the fish (if using almond meal, it should be a wet-doughy consistency)

– Bake for about ten minutes until fish is flaky and topping starts to darken; serve with lemon wedges

For sides, I just sauteed some quartered baby bella mushrooms and green beans with garlic.

Bacon & Onions, with Liver

27 Dec

This post can also be seen at Queen of the Stoneage and Chowstalker!

I worked through some childhood trauma last week; I’ve had a grassfed beef liver in my freezer for… a year or so. Haunted by memories of “that nasty liver smell,” it took awhile to get the nerve to cook the damn thing, but I finally did it. I want to love liver, really I do, but I think I’ll have to settle for tolerating it; I pulled every trick out of my sleeve that I could, but I still can’t say this was an enjoyable experience. Some of you actually enjoy liver though, so I will share my method. Meh…

Liver

1/2 a liver (mine was a little under 1.5lbs., and I knew I wouldn’t eat it all, so I just made half. I’m no scientist, but I’m not down with eating the filtering organs of sick animals; get a good grassfed one, it should still be pretty inexpensive)

1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled, grease reserved

1 large onion

a few TBS of clarified butter

2 TBS arrowroot

 

Cauliflower Puree

1 head cauliflower, chopped into large chunks

1/3 cup broth

a few TBS heavy cream (optional)

a few TBS butter

Salt, pepper, & herbs to taste (I used herbes de provence)

A few hours before cooking time, slice liver into 1/2″ slices, and soak in milk or lemon juice; they say this will diminish some of the liver flavor. Slice onion and cook in clarified butter on medium-low heat for about half an hour until the onions get a bit caramelized; add bacon and set aside.

At this point, heat broth in a saucepan over medium high heat, and add cauliflower; steam for about 6 or 7 minutes until you can easily poke with a fork. Once it is tender, add butter, cream and seasonings, and puree (great job for a stick blender if you have one.) While cauliflower is cooking, add bacon to the pan that the onions were cooking in, and heat up to medium-high. Dry off liver slices, and place in a baggie with arrowroot, toss to coat. Once pan is hot, add slices of liver, and cook for about a minute on each side; it will be brown on the outside, and pretty rare on the inside.

I was amazed that there was NO SMELL! My mom is a great cook, but we have some, uhh, different ideas about how long to cook things; if you don’t cook the hell out of the thing, you may be spare your loved ones from the liver-stank. Serve with plenty of bacon & onions, and choke it down!

Mmm bacon! Eww liver! So conflicted...