Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Get Your Grass-Fed Beef Stew On!

This recipe was inspired from one that I found on the food network from Paula Dean.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/old-time-beef-stew-recipe/index.html

Ingredients:

2-3lbs of Beef Stew (or Boneless Ground Chuck Roast)
1 Yellow Onion - Chopped
1 White Onion - Chopped
3 Small Turnips - Chopped
6 Celery Stalk - Chopped
4 large Carrots - Chopped
1 Butternut Squash - Peeled/Chopped
3 cloves of Garlic - Minced
1t Paprika, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder
1t Lewis Labs Brewers Yeast (optional)
3t Coconut Aminos (optional)
1.5t Celtic Sea Salt
1/2t Black Pepper
1/4t Kelp Granules
2-4T Grass Fed Butter
5-6 Cups Homemade Chicken or Beef Stock (or Water if you prefer)
1-2T Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil (Or high heat oil of your choice - I like to use Palm Oil sometimes too - Tropical Traditions is my favorite brand)


Directions:
  • Melt expeller pressed coconut oil into cast iron dutch oven over medium heat
  • Add Beef saute for 3-5 min until lightly browned on the outside 

  • Add Onions, Spices from Above, Brewers Yeast, Coconut Aminos, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Kelp Granules - Saute for additional 5 min over medium heat

  • Add Stock, cover & bring to boil over medium heat

  • Turn down heat to low and simmer for 1.5-2hrs

  • Put Stew into bowl & drizzle w/ your favorite olive oil (I have two currently in the photo below).  Last night we used the Greek Olive Oil from Kasandrinos Imports (http://kasandrinos.com/)

  • Enjoy!




Monday, December 19, 2011

Modern Primal Hippy (Hippie - Hipster) Grrl - Natural Basics w/Skin & Body Care

Being a Certified Nutrition Educator doesn't mean that I only care about what I am doing to stay healthy and fit with nutrient dense food and exercises, but also about what is going on my skin, hair and teeth.  Let me give you a little back story of how I transitioned into a simpler way of caring for my skin & hair over the past few years.  While getting my first certification with Bauman College back in September, 2009- March, 2011, I started learning a lot about the benefits of coconut oil and started using it as "lotion" on my body at night and as a deep conditioning treatment on my hair from time to time.  Around this time I became very aware of how bad parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate are for your skin and started avoiding any products containing these. In addition I started using Tom's deodorant & toothpaste (sans flouride but w/ xylitol instead) regularly.  I felt like Tom's smelled great but didn't really stop me from sweating, so I found myself still using the crappy deodorants at work when I was in a situation where I needed something a little stronger.  Over all I felt pretty good about my regimen until recently when I became Paleo in September.  I really started thinking about what I was putting on my skin topically because I still had some issues w/ rashes flaring up on my arms from time to time.  I have found that I have a gluten intolerance and get rashes from it on my skin when it sneaks into my diet (found this out in January 2011 after doing an elimination diet).  It made me start thinking about the actual ingredients in my skin care products and if they contained glutinous grains (wheat, barley, rye, oat) or any of the other grains I was avoiding such as soy & corn.  Turned out most of my beloved skin & haircare products contained soy protein and/or wheat protein and I instantly decided it was time to find a skin & hair care line that contained no gluten, corn, soy, parabens or SLS. While looking into this I decided to use up the remainder of my products and transition onto an easier healthy way.

My friend Diane Sanfillipo over at Balanced Bites (http://balancedbites.com/category/podcast-episodes) teamed up with Liz Wolfe over at Cave Girl Eats (http://cavegirleats.com/) to start up this pretty amazing podcast that covers nutrition, exercise, holistic skin care and many other great topics.  I highly suggest checking it out on itunes - It can be searched under Balanced Bites.  Anywho, while listening to one of their earlier podcasts Liz talks about her skin care routine.  I decided to give some of her ideas a whirl and I haven't turned back to my old ways.

Clear Healthy Skin & Shiny Hair is Attainable naturally...really they are.

Face:

I used to get cystic acne & pimples on my face which started around the age of 22.  I never had the teenage acne, but instead the adult type.  My biological father had cystic acne and it appeared I inherited it too or so I thought.  I have learned that the diet has such a huge role in how our skin looks & ages.  So why wouldn't putting clean natural products on my skin help make it look healthy too!?   Since going paleo and not eating grains or much dairy(if at all) my skin has cleared up with an occasional breakout around my cycle but at this point it's so minimal I almost don't notice it.   This coming year I will be turning 34, call me a little vain but I am trying to hold onto my mid 20 - late 20 youthful skin appearance as long as I can and eating healthy, sleep and treating my skin right is the best I can do..outside of medical treatments of course (which I am not sure how I feel about yet - the thought of putting botulism between my eyebrows kinda freaks me out - it would be just my luck that I would end up with this life long unicorn bump between my eyebrows from having an allergic reaction to the product.  I am not even sure that's possible but that's what I would picture could happen worst case scenario..).  All kidding aside my skin texture and appearance have changed so much since starting this regime.  Just remember as with any new regime things take time to work, and don't always happen over night and might need some adjusting based on your specific needs.  Thank you Liz for testing out the waters and introducing us to these natural skin care ways!!

Face: Oil Cleansing Method
I found that my skin was probably more balanced now that I have been eating paleo the past few months.  Her blog recommends the following for ratios on the OCM.

Face Wash Ingredients:

  • Castor Oil - Cold Pressed - I use Click to go directly to Amazon) Heritage Castor Oil
  • GrapeSeed Oil - I purchased mine from Aura Cacia Natural Skin Care via Amazon, but I am sure Trader Joes or Whole Foods sells this type of oil near the oil section or skin care area.  I would assume the oil section where the cooking oils are might be cheaper.
Ratio Directions for Face Wash - Only needed at Night before Bed - Upon waking just a light sweep of a warm wash cloth on the face will cleanse just fine.  
  • Oily Skin - 30% Castor Oil to 70% GrapeSeed Oil - Blended Together
  • Balanced Skin - 20% Castor Oil to 80% GrapeSeed Oil - Blended Together
  • Dry Skin - 10% Castor Oil to 90% GrapeSeed Oil - Blended Together
You can tailor this regime to your needs, if your skin feels to dry use less castor oil next time around.  Castor oil helps pull the dirt, blackheads and grime out of your skin.

Regimen - Complete 3 rounds (make up on is okay this process will remove it) 
  • Repeat these steps 3 times
    • Use a dropper or squeeze bottle to administer your needed oil and massage liberally onto your face and neck.  
      • Keeping bacteria out of your oil mixture is necessary & key to keeping your skin clear and healthy and void of any bacteria that can cause acne.  
    • Use a microfiber wash cloth as this type helps draw out impurities from the skin for the washing method.  Here are a couple of good choices in varying price range.  I have been told these type of cloths last for a long time.  
    • Turn the water on hot, get the washcloth nice and hot and apply to your face and let it steam for 1-2 min and wipe of oil. 
      • Ensure it's not so hot that you burn your skin
    • Rinse out wash cloth and start out with step 1 until you have completed 3 rounds.
Face Moisturizer:
  • Jojoba Oil - I use Dessert Essence Organic - Bought it at Whole Foods but I think Trader Joes sells it too. 
    • Apply thin layer onto skin and if excess looks like it is sitting on your skin lightly pat your face with a clean dry towel. 
Exfoliating for Face or Body:
  • If you feel your skin needs a ligtht exfoliating using baking soda works great as a morning step once a week or so.  Just remember to be super gentle and don't scrub hard or your face will feel raw and look red.  
    • Take a little baking soda add water and make a paste and lightly use to exfoliate your face or body.
    • Rinse with Warm Water 
    • Add your thin layer of Jojoba Oil to moisturize and go on with your soft amazing face out into the world.
Acne Protocol:
  • Possibly cut out dairy as this is known to be very clogging to our system and can cause acne in some.
  • Tea Tree Oil or Witch Hazel - 2 drops mixed w/ water and lightly swept across trouble area.  Be careful not to use in full strength as it is VERY drying to the skin and should only be used in situations where you are spot treating a pimple or area.
  • Liz also recommends using Brewers Yeast (made from Beets), Coconut Oil & Fermented Sauerkraut - Her blog post on this is linked here: http://cavegirleats.com/2011/04/27/wap-me-pretty/
My 2 oz Travel Size Face Wash, Moisturizer, .5oz Baking Soda & Coconut Oil Deodorant & 1oz Tea Tree Oil for Emergency spot treating if needed - All set for my trip this holiday season.  

Deodorant:
  • Baking Soda 
    • Pour into a .5-1oz glass jar & label w/ lid
  • Coconut Oil - I use Tropical Traditions Gold Brand
    • Place into .5-1oz glass jar & label w/ lid
  • Put a very small amount of coconut oil on your finger tips and rub into your armpit
  • Pour a little baking soda into your palm and pat your arm pit until the moisture from the coconut oil has disappeared
  • Enjoy all day freshness and sweat protection sans the nasty chemicals in store bought deodorants.
  • Easy to take on the go in small containers for the gym, travel, or just in case type situations.


After the holidays are over I will be starting to incorporate her "no Poo" method into my routine.  For now I am still using a gluten free brand called Desert Essence Organics Italian Grape Shampoo & Conditioner - It's color safe too.  Yes I am still slightly vain and still planning to use color dye & high lights every 4-5 months(but who knows that could change in the coming months too after doing more research).  Another thing I plan to start experimenting more with is treating my teeth from a holistic view by using coconut oil for mouth wash, and baking soda to brush but I need to iron this one out further before I share my experience on it.

If you can't wait to hear my experience in the coming month on "no Poo", feel free to hop on over to Cave Girl Eats and read up on it.  This link also goes into detail why we might want to avoid so many of the chemicals in day to day skin care lines.

http://cavegirleats.com/bodycare/

2oz & 4oz Face Wash & Moisturizer, Witch Hazel, Tea Tree Oil & Deodorant 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chocolate Shake

I am currently on day 15 of my sugar detox(including alcohol) - 6 more to go!! So many people have thought I am crazy for wanting to do this around the holidays. My response has been - is there ever a good time to take health into your own hands?  There will always be an event or party to attend that will involve eating sweets/desserts, drinking vino or your beverage of choice.  There is no time like the present to make yourself feel great.  After cutting sugars out the first week I felt a little off but my body is feeling great and energetic naturally despite having had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled this past Wednesday.  I haven't had ccaffeine since 11/30 but yesterday I had it in the form of 2oz of black coffee mixed with coconut milk.  I didn't crave it, but rather thought it might be good together.  It was mighty tasty! ;)

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium banana (I used an unripened one as the 21day sugar detox I am following allows this on occasion)
  • 2T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1c cold filtered water
  • 1-2T Hemp Seeds (Grind Prior to adding into blender w/ a coffee grinder or just toss into the vitamix if you have a blender of this caliber)
  • 1/2-1c Full Fat Coconut Milk (Don't be afraid to eat healthy full fats - they can help you lose weight)
Directions:
  • Add all ingredients into blender/vitamix as mentioned above and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into your travel container or glass
  • Enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

We are attending a holiday party this coming weekend, and I decided to try and make some primal friendly treats to take along and share w/ friends.  I am still on my 21 day sugar detox so the version I made for myself didn't include sweetener of any sort.  I haven't had any sugar forms outside of a banana or green apple on occasion since 12/1, as I still have 9 more days to go.  I decided to add stevia extract as the sweetener in this batch since the chocolate I had on hand was 99% cacao - very bitter w/ no sweetener.  It's a hard transition for those who normally eat milk chocolate to taste a bite of bakers chocolate.  If you are trying to wean yourself off of eating milk chocolate onto dark chocolate try something that is 75% cacao or above and slowly move your way up the % scale to the range of 85%-95%.   My hubby was my taste tester on the batch for the party.  I trust his palate since he is such an amazing cook in our house.  


Ingredients:
1 - 9-10z bar of dark chocolate (85%-90% Ideal for this recipe - but I used 99% since that is what I had on hand)
1/2-1c Raw Almond Butter (Used Trader Joe brand in this recipe)
3T Coconut Cream Concentrate (optional - I think it adds more creaminess to the mixture but it is not needed)
1t Vanilla Extract
Celtic Sea Salt(optional -  but a great compliment to the dark chocolate)
1/3c Chopped Hazelnuts (or any nut of your liking)
1 Dropper Stevia Extract (I added sweetener again because mine was 99%, if you are using 85-90% you shouldn't need a sweetener of any kind)


Directions:

  • Chop entire bar of Chocolate into small pieces
  • Chop Hazelnut (or not of your choice)

  • Add chocolate pieces, coconut cream, almond butter, vanilla extract into pan and melt over low heat - stirring until completely melted as shown below.



  • Add chopped Hazelnuts & Dropper full Stevia extract(Optional)

  • Line small baking pan w/ parchment paper  - If you want thin bark go with a larger pan/dish.  My pan was 10x8.5.
  • Sprinkle w/ desired amount of celtic sea salt(optional)
  • Put in freezer for minimum 20 min (until frozen) or longer if you can.
  • Once frozen you can snap apart into bark pieces and take to your next social gathering or save them for a tasty treat on occasion for yourself.

  • Enjoy!
-Possible health benefits of eating Dark Chocolate
  • Helps lower mild blood pressure
    • This doesn't mean go on a chocolate eating binge but it's good on occasion for you. ;)
  • Full of Antioxidants
    • Only in the Dark Chocolate form - not when mixed with milk, ate w/ milk or milk chocolate
      • Milk is known to possibly interfere w/ the absorption of antioxidants from the dark chocolate.
Just remember the key to eating chocolate is always in moderation.  I hope you enjoy this easy recipe! 


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20030827/dark-chocolate-is-healthy-chocolate


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grass Fed Beef vs Grain Fed Beef - Is there a difference? Why, YES!

I was born and raised in a mid-size town in the Midwest near the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.  The area in which I grew up is considered part of the Corn Belt..  Most people have heard the saying "There's more than corn in Indiana!", but I have to admit it doesn't seem like much of a true statement given corn is the leading crop grown in Indiana. Majority of the corn grown is given to livestock as feed, and as we know most animals fed corn are considered commercially raised and not treated humanely.  These two industries are tightly woven together like an ugly but lovingly made sweater given to you by your great Aunt Gertrude over the holidays as a child.  Growing up I never liked eating beef much and I didn't really acquire the taste unless it was slowly cooked in stew, chili or soup.  I remember hating nights when my mom was planning to make patty melts, burgers or steaks for dinner as a child.  You would think being a Midwest girl that I would have loved beef...that wasn't the case.  I have memories as a child crying/whining at the dinner table where I was told to finish my dinner, and in most cases it was almost always beef left on my plate that the mere thought of eating made me want to gag.  Often my parents would take us on long country drives on Sundays, and you would see farms with over crowded cows where the smell was wretched...maybe that's where my aversion to beef began.
Commercial Grain Fed Feed Lot

Overcrowded Conditions


No Grass, Exercise or Freedom in site...
Fast forward to just after my 22nd birthday and I am living out on the west coast near San Francisco.



My Aunt Pam introduced me to some amazing types of cuisine and really had a huge hand in refining my palate with food and wine in my 20s.  It wasn't until I was around the age of 24 did I start thinking about where my food was coming from and the importance of eating healthy to feel & look great.  A friend of mine introduced me to the world of being vegetarian, and I started thinking this has to be healthy.  At the age of 19 I was told I had high cholesterol put on lipitor by my Dr, and my Dietician told me to avoid eating meat, cheese and salt to avoid increasing my chances of heart disease.  So my journey with being a vegetarian and eating healthy (so I thought) started and I ate this way off and on for over 8 yrs.

Edo and I took a holiday to Argentina and Chile in March 2010, and I wasn't left with a lot of choices at the time to eat healthy vegetarian food while on the trip.  I got disgusted at the thought of eating another bowl of pasta with tomato or cream sauce.  




One day towards the end of our trip I snapped and tried a bite of my husband's steak that had these delectable dipping sauces below.  The red one at the top is chimichurri, middle is provencal and the bottom is a tomato/jalapeno type salsa.  The Provencal is what we call chimichurri in the states.
Chimichurri(top), Provencal(Middle)
Edo enjoying one of his many Grass Fed Steaks
It was absolutely delicious and yes I felt a bit guilty eating it, but I did it because my body obviously needed the protein after loading myself the entire trip full of processed crappy white carbohydrates.  Argentina is known for their grass fed beef, and I admit it tasted great.

Over the coming months I started thinking about eating meat again but told my husband for me to incorporate beef or meat for that matter into my diet we would need to support a local CSA where the cows were treated humanely and grass fed from start to finish.  We did some research and ended up choosing Tara Firma Farms out of Petaluma.  We actually had an "interview" with them asking questions about how the animals are treated, raised, what they are fed and they ensured us 100% grass fed free range cows (they also have pasture raised chickens, turkeys, pork & eggs), and they are happy most of their lives with just one bad day.  It seriously felt like an episode of Portlandia...if you haven't seen that show I suggest watching.  It's hilarious!  Here is a link to the scene on youtube if you would like to take a gander - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2LBICPEK6w

Let's get down to business and see what the main differences are between Commercially Grain Fed Feedlot Cows and 100% Grass Fed or Pastured Cows.

Grass Fed Beef Benefits compared to Grain Fed Beef:

Photo from Mother Earth News

  • Research shows that grass fed beef helps lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL, it is naturally leaner and lower in total fat.
  • 3-4x more Omega 3 fats
    • Essential fatty acids that the body can't create on it's own.  
    • O3 helps reduce inflammation in the body and may help lower your chances of cancer, arthritis, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes just to name a few.
    • It's important to keep the proper ratio of omega 3 to omega 6.  O3s reduce the inflammatory response in the body, and O6 tends to increase inflammation in the body opening our bodies up to illness.  
    • The standard American diet tends to err on the side of a higher O6 ratio in the diet.  This is partially due to consuming commercially raised grain fed feedlot beef.  "Grain-fed beef can have an omega 6:3 ratio higher than 20:1"-- J. Anim. Sci. 2000. 78:2849-2855
  • 4-5x Higher in CLA
    • Conjugated Linoleic Acid - linked to long term health and weight management.  The best sources are grass fed beef & raw grass fed dairy products. 
    • Helps combat high cholesterol & triglycerides, high blood pressure, cancer, cardio vascular disease, inflammation, and more.
    • Potential weight loss due to higher content of CLA in grass fed beef
  • Higher in Vitamins A(beta-carotene), B(thiamin & riboflavin), and E(alpha-tocopherol)
  • Higher in minerals, calcium, magnesium & potassium
  • Lower in saturated fats
  • Lower in total calories
    • One 6 ounce Grain Fed steak is over 100 calories more than a comparable Grass Fed steak
  • NO synthetic hormones or antibiotics
  • Animals are free to roam in open pastures eating various types of grasses, bushes, leaves - all the while staying healthy and creating all the nutritional benefits above for you the consumer to enjoy.
  • Virtually void of Mad Cow Disease & eColi.
After hearing all the health benefits above, are you ready to give grass fed beef a try?  
Photo from http://www.greenerbiener.com

Photo from - http://www.ayearinacar.com/
I often hear from others they don't think they can find grass fed beef in their area.  
  • Eat Wild 
    • http://www.eatwild.com/products/index.html
  • US Wellness Meats
    • http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok
If price is a concern a good thing to keep in mind is...your health is your wealth.  If we don't have this, what do we have?  It's better to be proactive with our health rather than reactive.  It's never to late to start being the healthy version of you.

Thank you for reading my blog.  If you ever have any questions please feel free to contact me directly for nutritional guidance.  

Cheers,
Chrissy

Purchase your shirt - http://savatoons.spreadshirt.com/funny-t-shirts-heart-happy-cows-shirt-funny-A5986979

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega-3_fatty_acid
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm
http://eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm#2
http://products.mercola.com/organic-beef/
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-differences-between-grass-fed-beef-and-grain-fed-beef/


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pureed Mushroom & Leek Soup

This recipe can be made vegetarian/vegan by omitting the chicken broth and using a homemade vegetable broth.

Ingredients:
18oz Baby Bella Mushrooms - Chopped
1 Yellow Onion - Chopped
1 Leek - Chopped
2T Virgin Palm Oil
2-3t Sea Salt
1/4c Chicken Broth
3c Chicken Broth - Click here for a super easy recipe.












Black Pepper - To Taste
1/4-1/2c Full Fat Coconut Milk




















Directions:

  • Melt palm oil in saute pan over medium heat 
  • Add onions & leeks and saute for 5 min
  • Add mushrooms and 1/4c broth - Saute for 5-7 min on medium-low heat

  • Pour mixture into vitamix or food processor
  • Add 3c chicken broth to mixture

  • Blend until smooth & serve!  I won't be eating this for a few days so I'll have to post my end result after. It won't disapoint!


Pureed Asparagus Soup x2 - Delizioso!

This recipe could be made vegetarian/vegan by omitting the bacon and using a homemade veggie broth.  I have one under my recipe page section if you would like to try it out in this recipe.


Ingredients:
1lb Bacon Ends - Chopped












2lbs Asparagus w/ tips broken off - It ended up being 3 bunches that brought me to 2lbs once the ends were snapped off.
1T Organic Virgin Palm Oil
1 Vidalia Onion - Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves - Pressed
1t Sea Salt (or more for your taste)
Black Pepper - To Taste (optional)
Italian Seasonings - To Taste (optional)
1/4c Homemade Chicken Broth - Click here for a recipe.
3c Homemade Chicken Broth

Directions:

  • Turn oven onto 400F 
  • Bake bacon ends for 20 min in oven, Once done remove from pan and toss into your vitamix or food processor.  Strain & save remaining bacon grease for later use as lard in future recipes.
  • Melt Palm oil in saute pan
  • Add onion  - saute over medium heat for 3-5 min
  • Add garlic, italian seasonings, sea salt and pepper - saute over medium heat for 2 min

  • Add 1/4c Chicken Broth - Sweat onions until broth has reduced on medium-low heat

  • Put mixture into Vitamix or Food Processor w/ bacon ends
  • Steam asparagus for 10-12 min over medium heat

  • Add asparagus to Vitamix or Food Processor
  • Blend ingredients until smooth, taste to your liking and voila! 

  • Enjoy!


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Vegetable Broth/Stock

I don't make this type of broth as often anymore now that I am paleo and eat meat regularly, but I wanted to post for those who love a great veggie broth recipe.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 Large Vidalia Onions - Chopped
8 Carrots - Chopped
8 Celery Stalks - Chopped
10 Garlic Cloves - Peeled
2T Nutritional Yeast
1/2T Celtic Sea Salt
1/2t Ground Ginger(optional)
1/2 T Italian Seasonings
2T  Granulated Kelp
3qts of Filtered Water

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients into crockpot and bring to boil over high heat
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8-12 hrs
  • Let cool, strain veggies and compost the remains
  • Put into glass containers for later consumption.  If you plan to keep the broth for over 7 days freeze until ready to use.
  • Enjoy!

Pasture Raised Chicken Stock/Broth

I decided to whip up a batch of stock/broth to use in my soups that I am planning to make on Sunday & Monday for next week.  The recipes on the pureed soups are forthcoming once I experiment and chef them up.  Enjoy this delicious & nutritious chicken bone broth.  If you feel the cold or flu coming on this holiday/winter season drink a few cups of this and it's sure to help heal you faster or prevent that illness all together.

Ingredients:
1.5lbs - Pasture Raised Neck Bones (they are pretty cheap from our CSA - Tara Firma Farms and give the same dense nutrition you get from eating the other bones on the chicken).
1 Large Vidalia Onion - Chopped
10 Garlic Cloves - Peeled
4 Celery Stalks - Chopped
4 Carrots - Chopped
2T Apple Cider Vinegar(Got this idea from Balanced Bites a few months ago while looking over her bone broth recipe)
1/2T Sea Salt
1/2T Italian Seasonings (We get ours from Italy when my husband's father comes to visit, or when we go and visit him - I have not found anything like them here in the states.  But the Italian seasonings here in the states could work for this step too)
3qts Filtered Water

Directions: 

  • Place all ingredients above into crockpot on High.  

  • Bring to Boil.
  • Turn heat down to low and cook 18-24hrs.  
  • Let cool, strain ingredients from broth and compost the remains
  • Put into glass storage containers for later consumption.  If you plan to keep the broth for over 7 days freeze until ready to use.
  • The result is amazing and delicious! I will add more photos once it cooks down a little more between today & tomorrow.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Baked Pancetta wrapped Asparagus

Last night we grilled chicken breast, and I decided to chef up asparagus wrapped w/ pancetta as a side.  The flavor combination turned out so delicious!!   These tasty asparagus could also be made ahead to pack in your child's lunch, or an on the go snack! Enjoy!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
2 Bundles Organic Asparagus

1/4 lb Pancetta thinly sliced

1/4c Coconut Oil - Melted

Sea Salt w/ Truffle  -  To Taste
Black Pepper - To Taste

Directions:

  • Turn oven onto 475F
  • Melt coconut oil in oven safe bowl for a couple of minutes
  • Toss Melted Coconut Oil with Asparagus, Sea Salt & Black Pepper

  • Wrap each asparagus w/ some pancetta

  • Toss in Oven and bake 10-20 min.  Checking every so often to ensure the asparagus & pancetta aren't over cooking.
  • Enjoy!  The finished product photo didn't turn out as good as I would have liked.  Trust me it was delicious!

BLT Frittata

I had some left over pancetta from dinner last night, and arugula growing like wild in the garden and our last batch of tomatoes on the vine.  I decided it was time to chef up a BLT Frittata!  It turned out so delicious and it was super easy to make!  When I am not following a recipe I try and remember to measure things out for posting but typically I go by taste.  It makes cooking that much more fun when you are experimenting with flavor combinations based on your palate.  Enjoy!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
1/4lb Bacon or Pancetta - Diced Finely
1large bundle of Arugula - Chopped
1T Organic Virgin Palm Oil (Coconut Oil, Lard, Grass Fed Butter or Ghee could be in used in place but I like the flavor the palm oil adds in the frittata)













2 Large Cloves of Garlic - Minced
6 Pasture Raised Eggs - We get ours from a local CSA - Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma. They are delicious!!
1/4c Coconut Milk - Full Fat












3 Roma Tomatoes - Diced
Sea Salt - To Taste
Black Pepper - To Taste


Directions:
  • Preheat Oven to 400F
  • Melt Palm Oil in an 8 inch oven safe skillet over medium heat, once melted add pancetta and saute for 2-3 min or until pancetta starts to curl up and look a little crispy
  • Whisk together Eggs & Coconut Milk - set aside
  • Add minced garlic into pan saute for 1-2 min additional
  • Add arugula and allow to wilt
  • Add Tomatoes, sea salt & black pepper(to taste) and saute for an additional 2 min
  • Pour whisked egg mixture over sauteed veggies/meat
  • Stir so everything is mixed together.

  • Cook for 2-3 min over medium heat and transfer to oven for 10-12 min of baking time.
  • Remove from oven - slice & enjoy!