Who’s Hungry?

The belly is an ungrateful wretch. It never remembers past favors; it always wants more tomorrow.

–Alexander Solzhenitsyn

It’s time to think about some more recipes! There are, by the way, some great sites out there to search for Primal or Paleo style recipes. If you haven’t already found some you like, I’ll provide some links. Some of them will or will not use dairy–if you use dairy, you might have more luck googling “low carb” and “primal” than “paleo.” Some of them fully embrace the whole carbs-that-aren’t-carbs idea, which I’m not a huge fan of. But there’s some great recipes, as well as ideas to get you using your own imagination. It’s not all just bacon and eggs people!

It’s mostly bacon and eggs, but not all.

The Primal Palate

Girl Gone Primal

Paleofood

Primal Kids

The Well Fed Homestead

The Foodie and the Family

And here’s some of what I’m eating for….

Breakfast

The Roommate is a big fan of a new way of doing eggs and bacon:

6 strips of bacon

3 eggs

2oz grated extra sharp cheddar

3 T butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the bacon strips in half. Put a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and heat oven to 375. Weave the strips of bacon together in three groups (2 strips worth in each group). Alternately, just place the 12 pieces on the pan in three groupings, with the members of each group slightly overlapping each other.

Meanwhile, heat butter in cast iron pan till melted. As bacon cooks, crack three eggs into butter and proceed to “poach” as you would poach eggs in water. Only do it in the butter.

This is pretty filling, if you’re wondering.

When bacon is crispy, remove three groups and place on plate. Top each with one butter-poached egg. Salt and pepper, then cover with cheese.

Or, if you’re a fan of Mexican flavors:

3 eggs

1 T butter

1 T sour cream or creme fraiche

2 T salsa

Grated cheese chopped onion, cilantro to taste

Melt the butter in a skillet and mix all the other ingredients together, except cheese. Scramble and top with cheese. You can also hold out everything but the eggs and do an omelet, filling with the sour cream, salsa, cheese, etc. Another delicious way to do it is throw a few strips of bacon in the oven and then put them in the center of your omelet as well. That gives you that crunch that many people miss without corn chips.

This next one is a nod to convenience more than anything else. Sometimes you just need something you can eat really quickly and run, and bacon and eggs don’t lend themselves to this. In fact, this kind of convenience is about the only good thing I can think of with breakfast cereal. Making this will take a little time, but do it in quantity and it keeps quite a while. It goes very well with yogurt, and I’ve even had it with a little whole milk before exercising. I decided I preferred not to have milk with mine, but kids would undoubtedly love it. When in milk or on yogurt, it has the consistency and flavor of a granola. I’m just guessing here, but I don’t think your kids would even know the difference unless you made a big deal of it. The original recipe is here, and these are the changes I’ve made to it:

3 C unsweetened coconut shreds or flakes

2 C of nuts and dried fruit. What you use is up to you. My favorite is a kind I can get here that’s from Germany:  mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts) and raisins. I chose this one because it has no sugar added to it, and the nuts aren’t roasted in vegetable oil. I’ve also done it with raw pecans and dried figs. Both were extremely good.

1/3 C flaxmeal (just grind flax seeds up for a sec in a blender or coffee grinder. Easy peasy).

1/2 C almond flour

1/2 C coconut oil, melted

3 egg whites

1 T cinnamon

Drizzle of honey or maple syrup (to taste)

optional: chocolate chips or roughly chopped chocolate bar

Heat your oven to 300 and mix together everything except the dried fruit (and chocolate if you’re adding that). Spread it out on trays and bake at that low temperature until it turns the color brown that you prefer. Flip the mixture about 10-15 minutes in. This is filling, delicious and does not result in any kind of sugar crash two hours later. I haven’t made it with the chocolate chips yet, but I think if you wanted a trail mix kind of thing for when the kids are running around or everyone’s going hiking, this would work beautifully. The egg whites, by the way, make the mixture clump up the way you’re accustomed to with traditional granola.

Lunch/Dinner

Fried chicken with macadamia nut crust

I like me some fried chicken. Who doesn’t?

Eggs

Chicken thighs, breasts or whatever pieces you want to use

Macadamia nuts

Ghee, lard or bacon fat

Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

Grind up your macadamia nuts, roughly. Mix with however much garlic powder, salt, pepper or whatever other spices you prefer. Whisk your eggs together in another bowl. Get your fat hot. You can use coconut oil if you want that “tropical flavor.” Dip the chicken in the egg mixture first and then pat it all down with the macadamia one. It won’t cling to every inch like a grain crust, but don’t worry. It’s very good. Throw it in the skillet, and as soon as it’s going turn the heat down just a smidgen. You don’t want to burn the macadamia nuts. Fry each side about 5 minutes and then finish in a 325 oven. The total time is going to depend on the size of your chicken piece and whether it has bone in it.

Speaking of chicken, here’s a tip. (If you’re an experienced cook and already know this, just skip down a few lines). But if you haven’t done much cooking, or have spent your life trying to make vegetables palatable without fat, cooking meat might be new for you. If so, this is for you.

If you get your chicken whole and thawed, it’s easy to break into pieces yourself. Of course you can bake the whole chicken, which is delicious. But if you want your thighs, wings and breast separate, and still have some lovely bones to make soup with, it’s cheaper to cut off your own chicken breasts than letting the store do it and charge you for the service. At least it is here.

thigh

See how easy? The thighs come right off.

skin

Then of course you want to skin it. I’ll tell you in a minute how to make crispy chicken skin snacks.

CB

The rest practically disassembles itself.

Crispy Chicken Skins

Skin of a chook

Salt, pepper and spices you enjoy

Bacon fat

Heat your oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and put in enough bacon fat to just cover it all. Spread the skins through it, getting both sides covered, and then sprinkle with pepper, salt and whatever other spices you like. Lay another baking sheet on top of the skins. (This keeps them from puffing up so fast that they get out of the fat and parts of them refuse to bake properly.) Bake about 20 minutes. Then remove the top, drain off the fat and put back in the oven another 5-10 minutes, till they are puffed and crispy.

Mmmm.

Coconut Chicken Soup

2 chicken breasts, sliced up

Coconut milk (enough to cover the chicken in a bowl)

1/2 onion, sliced

Diced scallions and cilantro, to taste

1 bell pepper, diced

2 C chicken stock or bouillon and water

1 T coconut oil

1/2 T curry powder

1 T fish sauce

1 T lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Soak your chicken 15 min to overnight in the coconut milk. When ready, saute the onion and bell pepper in coconut oil. Add fish sauce, lime juice, and curry powder. Then add chicken and cook 5 minutes. Add stock, coconut milk from chicken and greens. Bring to a boil then let simmer lightly about 10 minutes. You can, by the way omit the stock entirely and make this more of a stew consistency.

Steak Salad, Thai style

Around a pound of steak (you can use a cheap tough cut for this one)

juice from 2 limes or lemons

3 T olive oil or coconut oil

1 minced garlic clove

1 T fish sauce

Hot sauce to taste

Thinly sliced vegetables–I like red onion and carrot myself

1/4 C fresh mint, chopped

1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 C fresh basil, chopped

Dry cook your steak. (Hot pan, preferably cast iron, dry, room temp steak well salted and peppered. Throw in pan for around 5 minutes per side–depending on how you like it and how thick it is). Slice the steak thinly. Combine all liquid ingredients, then toss with vegetables and herbs. Toss in steak. Good both when steak is hot and when cold.

This next one is what I like when I’m in a hurry, I’ve managed to get in some clean, safe vegetables (doesn’t happen always) and I’m craving taco salad.  The bacon provides a nice crunch, plus some protein and plenty of fat for a filling meal that doesn’t take much time and allows you to get the vitamins out of all those nice vegetables.

8-10 strips of bacon

2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded

1 1/2 T sour cream

2 T salsa

Hot sauce to taste

Green salad of your choice (I like a handful of Romaine, chopped, with tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, and avocado. Sometimes I’ll even throw in broccoli.)

Cook the bacon till crisp. Then cut or chop into bite sized pieces. Mix into salad with sour cream, salsa, cheese and hot sauce.

Perhaps it’s the English side of my family tree bursting out, but I also really like my cheese toasted. Very few things are finer. And of all the cheeses that taste good toasted, my favorite is goat. I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese just sliced cold, as I like my cheddar and Gouda, or shredded over things as are mozzarella or Parmesan. But toasted? It has a unique flavor that really shines in this application. I highly recommend it, and it sometimes does me for a meal alongside a bowl of bone broth.

You may have noticed that a lot of these meals seem kind of big. 10 slices of bacon? 3 eggs, 6 slices of bacon, cream and cheese? Feel free to change the recipes to suit your needs. We eat this much at once because we tend to eat only two meals in a day. It’s not uncommon for us to only have one big meal and to just have some bulletproof coffee, toasted cheese or something similar for dinner.

Dessert and Snacks:

I’ve given a number of dessert recipes in past posts because that’s what most people ask for. I think there are a couple reasons for this. The most obvious one is that sugar/sweet has an extremely strong, possibly even addictive quality that exercises a hold on many. If that’s you, then do me a favor and tread carefully, ok?

I can honestly tell you that while I may think fondly of dessert at times, the thing that really makes my mouth water is meat. I can think about ice cream and think “that would be fun to make!” But when I think about steak, I have to swallow. When I was a child, I always wanted meat. On the rare occasions our large family could afford to have steak, I would bargain with my brothers to trade my dessert for their second helping of steak. (If there was enough for that.) My years of whole grains, smoothies, and low-fat nonsense made me forget all that. Once I started eating right, I remembered.

If you’re still running the opposite, consider cutting all the sweet out a little longer till its hold isn’t so strong.

But there are other, more benign reasons for this request, in my opinion. This way of eating liberates us in so many areas: chicken wings and steaks, roast beef and salads, pork ribs and pork rinds, bacon and green beans, bacon and eggs, omelets and sausages, butter-roasted pecans. All these things that the Calorie Counters think they can’t eat. But the one thing it does restrict is sweets, and for people who’ve grown up accustomed to desserts that almost always include grain and copious, even ridiculous amounts of refined sugar, it can be stymieing at times to think how to have a palate cleanser or a little treat that doesn’t include those things. A square of dark chocolate or two gets boring after a while, and some of the main purposes of dessert are simply pleasure and interest. Guess what? You’re ALLOWED to have pleasure, and there are many pleasures in this world that won’t harm you in the slightest if used wisely.

If you’ve been with this blog at all, you may have gathered my general MO for dessert:

  1. No grain
  2. If humanly possible, no refined sugar. If not possible, start with 1/8-1/4th of what the recipe calls for and see how little is actually necessary. Limit these desserts to only special occasions, such as a holiday or birthday.
  3. Even when using an unrefined sweetener like honey, still use only as much as you actually need. Err on the side of too little. You can always add more next time.
  4. Always include as much fat as possible because:
  • Fat provides all the flavor that sugar is substituting for in those awful low-fat items.
  • Fat limits how much you’ll eat naturally, without requiring you to resort to ridiculous tricks like changing your plate size or color or weighing your food.
  • Fat slows the absorption of the sugar, especially if you’re already full from a meal. You very likely won’t even have a noticeable sugar crash of any sort.
  • A Fat Dessert is A Wise Dessert. Have that made into a plaque and hang it in your kitchen. If you are that worried about your calorie intake or your fat intake for today, you know what? YOU SHOULDN’T BE EATING DESSERT AT ALL. Don’t ever fall for the scam of thinking you’re being “good” by eating a low-fat dessert. “This one’s better because it’s lower in calories” is a vicious and pervasive lie. You’re much more likely to be satisfied eating just a small piece of low-sugar, full-fat cheesecake than any low-fat dessert. If you’re eating right (not stimulating your appetite with wheat and lots of carbs all day) you can push away after a kiddie-sized portion of frozen custard without a problem; you’ll be tempted to down a cereal-bowl-full of regular store ice cream where milk is the first ingredient and cream is entirely absent.

You also may have noticed I feel compelled to give dessert warnings whenever I post any dessert recipes. In part that’s because I want you not to shoot yourself in the foot. In part that’s because I don’t want you to get the wrong impression–I get asked for dessert recipes, that’s why I post them. It’s not because that’s what I’m eating all the time. So with all that said, here’s:

Carrot Cake

The Roommate ordered some coconut flour, just to see what it was like. I was casting about for something to do with it when a friend visiting from Canada gave us a big bottle of very nice maple syrup. So this was born:

2 1/2 carrots, shredded

1/3 C maple syrup

2 T maple cream

1/4 C coconut flour

1/2 T cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

1/4 t ginger

1/2 t baking soda

3 small eggs (or2 large)

1/4 C canned pumpkin

1/2 T vanilla or rum extract

1/2 C coconut oil, melted

3/4 C raisins

First, shred your carrots and put them with the maple syrup and 1 T of the maple cream in a bag. Let them sit in the fridge 1-3 hours. Meanwhile you can also let your raisins soak in the liquid of your choice.

When the carrots are soaked, go ahead and drain out the maple syrup. Don’t worry. It’ll be sweet enough. Preheat your oven to 350. Mix all your dry stuff. Blend your eggs, extract, pumpkin and oil together. Mix in the dry, then add the raisins, 1 T maple cream and the carrots. This will go in a normal round baking tin, but be sure to THOROUGHLY butter the tin so the cake comes out well. Bake 30 minutes.

If you want to ice it, here’s what I used:

8oz cream cheese

1/4 C butter

1/4 C maple syrup

The carrot thing came out very nicely. I am not sure if your normal sugar addict would like it quite as much. That lady who puts an entire 18oz of powdered sugar into her peanut butter balls, or that guy with jelly beans in his office drawer at all times may say it’s more of a carrot bread than a carrot cake. But it certainly seemed sweet enough to me and The Roommate. At any rate, it is particularly good after you ice it and let it sit overnight in the fridge. And if you don’t have maple cream don’t fret. I think you could substitute maple syrup at about 1.5:1 and get the same flavor.

But my very favorite, filling things to have for snacks or dessert are actually one of these:

  • Blueberries and Greek yogurt
  • Strawberries and heavy cream
  • Granny Smith apples with sliced cheese
  • Pecans roasted in butter and topped with cinnamon
  • Macadamia nuts roasted in coconut oil and salted
  • A tablespoon of peanut butter with some cheddar cheese

Nifty noshing!

 

Plato says he’s hungry

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