Paleo – Whoopie Pies

I’ve never had a real whoopie pie for comparison, but I guess I’m on a roll for trying new things this week (yesterday I invented coconut milk, apple, cranberry pudding).  The Whoopie Pie  recipe came from my Paleo Indulgences cookbook.  I couldn’t find the recipe online.  This one was pretty close on the cookie part, but the icing was different.  The icing pictured in my cookbook looks thick, but mine came out runny, despite not putting all of the coconut oil in.  I’m hoping it will firm up a bit more in the fridge.  Still, the icing tastes really good!  Actually, the whole thing was quite yummy.

http://foodiepaleo.blogspot.com/2013/07/whoopie-pies-paleo-indulgence.html

Um, yeah, Paleo Whoopie Pies.  I love creative Paleo folks!

Um, yeah, Paleo Whoopie Pies. I love creative Paleo folks!

Paleo – Eating When the House is Sick

Ugh, so EARLY Wednesday morning (1:00 AM), my husband awoke to a barfing puppy.  He put her in the bathroom to clean out her crate, and by the time he finished the crate…..  Well, let’s just say the bathroom smelled BAD.

2:00 AM, there’s a poke at my side, “Mom, I had really bad diarrhea.”

Me: “Are you ok?”

Cavan: “Yeah”

Me: “Ok, go back to bed.”

He does so, but I hear moaning the rest of the night. 

5:30 AM, my alarm goes off to rise and (just can’t put “shine” in here) get ready for work.  I go in Cavan’s room to check on him, just in time for the projectile vomiting.  I had no bucket.  Yeah, it was bad.  And it continued for 2 1/2 days.  Ugh.

Good news, although I think I have the same germ (my stomach is making very entertaining sounds), I haven’t gotten sick.

Bad news, I don’t feel like cooking or really eating after witnessing so much… yeah, nastiness.

What I ate today:

Breakfast:

Shake (banana, coconut milk, cocoa powder, frozen blueberries, blended).  I’d normally put in some greens, but I think the 17 degree temps finally killed off my collards.

Lunch:

A handful of nuts and some Cuties (you know, those little oranges).

Dinner:

I managed to throw a whole turkey in the oven, but was too lazy to make anything to go with it.  My husband managed some sweet potatoes.

I guess that’s not too bad.  I’m sitting here thinking that I don’t think I managed a glass of water or tea today.  Hmmm.

Paleo – What I Ate Today

Sometimes I think it’s helpful for folks to know what people eat on this diet.  Here’s what I ate today:

Breakfast:

  • 2 omega 3 enriched eggs, over easy
  • 2 pieces of uncured bacon (microwaved)
  • water

Lunch:

  • 1 1/2 pieces of honey mustard chicken (leftover from dinner last night)
  • roasted cauliflower (leftover from last night)
  • 2 small clementines, peeled and in a few tablespoons of full fat coconut milk
  • 2 squares of dairy-free dark chocolate, peppermint flavored

Snack:

  • Kit’s Organic date bar
  • herbal tea

Dinner:

  • breakfast skillet (sweet potatoes, onions, sausage, bacon)
  • herbal tea
  • 2 squares of dairy-free raspberry dark chocolate (dang my addiction!)

Tomorrow for breakfast, I’ll probably have some leftover skillet with a couple of eggs cracked into it and reheated in the skillet.

Recipe – Paleo Breakfast Skillet

I thought I put this up a while ago, but I couldn’t find it, so I guess I didn’t.  I invented this recipe over the summer, and it worked well to take, pre-made, on a camping trip.

At the end, I like to crack a couple of eggs in there!

At the end, I like to crack a couple of eggs in there!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 to whole yellow onion, diced
  • 4 strips of bacon, cooked and broken into crumbles
  • About 8-10 ounces of Italian Sausage, broken into bite sized chunks
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Eggs, if desired

In a large skillet, preferably one with a lid, place a tbsp or so of olive oil to coat the pan. Place the sweet potatoes in and cook on medium/low heat, stirring as needed, with the lid on until sweet potatoes are tender, but still a little firm.  Having a lid on seems to cook the sweet potatoes much quicker.  Add yellow onion, sausage, and Italian Seasoning.  Cook until sausage is done and onions are translucent, stirring as needed.  Add bacon crumbles and stir.  If desired, crack a couple of eggs in there and cook until they’re done (you can scramble them in or leave them whole.  If cooking whole, which I like, I would put the lid back on).  There should be enough for leftovers.  Enjoy!

Recipe – Carnitas

I was unfamiliar with what a carnita was until a recent jaunt to a new restaurant.  I liked it so much, I decided to try my own version.  Think of a Paleo version of a pork taco.

Meat:

Step 1:

  • Boneless pork shoulder roast (ours was 3+ pounds) with visible chunks of fat removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • about 1 tsp salt
  • about 1 tsp paprika
  • about 2 tsp basil
  • about 2 tsp majoram
  • I would have added some oregano as well, but we were out.

Make a dry rub on the pork out of all ingredients except garlic.  Place roast and garlic chunks in crock pot and cook on medium to high all day (6-8 hours).

Step 2:

  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped into about 8-10 pieces each
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 lime

In a large skillet, place bacon.  Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until you have some good grease going and bacon is starting to look cooked.  Add onion and cook until onion just starts to turn translucent.  While this is happening, remove pork roast from crock pot.  It should be falling apart into thin strips.  Break apart any parts that are still in chunks and remove any large fat chunks.  Add the pull-apart pork to the bacon/onion yumminess, stirring and cooking until well heated through.  Remove from heat and squirt the juice from 1/2 lime on top and stir.

Shells:

  • Butter lettuce or another variety, such as red leaf, that doesn’t have a strong flavor.  Look for largest leaves.  Rinse and pat dry.  These will be your shells.

Toppings:

Guacamole:

Now, most sane people have a better guac recipe than this, and I would recommend using a tastier one.  I’m not a guac fan, but did like it in this recipe.  This is how I made my guac, but I’m sure there are much better recipes out there.

  • 2 small, ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and placed in a food processor
  • 4-5 scallions (green onions) diced and placed in food processor.
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Grind in food processor until smooth.

Update 2014:  Awesome guacamole recipe here: Bacon Guacamole

Pico de Gallo:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red or yellow onion, diced (I prefer red, but yellow is all we had).
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro, if desired

Combine and stir.

Pineapple:

  • 1/3 to 1/2 of a fresh pineapple, diced small.

I can’t say enough good things about the pineapple.  It made an awesome flavor with the salty meat.

Assembly:

Take your lettuce leaf, and use it like a taco shell.  Add some meat, small dollop of guacamole, a sprinkle of pico de gallo, and a respectable amount of pineapple.  Wrap tight and eat!

 Modified Version:

I didn’t have a pork shoulder roast, so had to use a pork sirloin.  Because it had much less fat, I had to put it in the food processor to grind it up and mix it with the cooked bacon, bacon grease, and onions.  I also didn’t do the pico de gallo this time and left the pineapple in bigger chunks (would have been better smaller).

 Carnitas, modified version

Food Security – Least Harm Principle

I’m up to Episode 64 of The Paleo Solution podcast (downloads free from iTunes, and if you can tolerate all the Crossfit talk, the nutrition and autoimmune information is spectacular).  At about 37.5 minutes in, a woman wrote in with a question of Paleo and sustainability, something I think about a lot.  Anyway, the answer was long and complicated, but went into comparing the environmental damage from Veganism (ok, they  think Vegans are all going to die sick and young).  They talked about Least Harm Principle, basically meaning that grain/crop farming kills just as many animals as meat-eating in terms of lost animal habitat, death of mice, gophers, rabbits, worms, etc… that live in fields.  When eating meat, you have the death of the animal, but if done well (like grass-fed beef), habitat is minimally impacted.  If you haven’t checked out Polyface Farms, the habitat is so well cared for, it’s amazing.

The answer on the podcast was long and complex.  It really involved that yes, people need to eat meat to be healthy, and yes, we need a lot fewer people in the world to be sustainable, and yes, to eat healthy we need to stop feeding every critter grain. 

I wondered if I’m the only one hung up on sustainability or if others worry about it.  Anybody ever see where your food comes from?  Join a CSA?  Visit a farm?

Rheumatoid Disease – Again with the Elbow!

Today, I saw my rheumy, and he showed me the radiology report from the MRI I had done on my elbow.  Let’s just say that it said nothing good about it.  Edema in the bone, lots of fluid, partially torn ligament, etc….  Their impression was that this had RA written all over it, but I still haven’t been buying that fully.

When I injured my elbow (7 years ago, carrying my son in his infant car seat), my elbow went POP, hurt like and SOB for about 5 seconds, then didn’t hurt, but didn’t ever straighten again.  Granted my RA was really bad at that time, but my elbows actually didn’t bother me in the least bit.  The pop didn’t bother me until about 2 years ago, when I started getting more aggressive with an exercise program.  It hasn’t really hurt during the day time, but when I exercise, it hurts at night (when I lie down, specifically) and locks up so severely, that sometimes I can’t rotate it (at 90 degrees stomach to outside).  It wakes me up frequently, and has been a near nightly problem since they tried to straighten it in the MRI machine a few weeks ago.

Apparently that pop was a tear in the ligament, but now there’s all of this fluid and swollen bone stuff.  Who knew?  The joint is not warm or red like a usual RA-impacted joint would be for me.  Anyway, the radiologist recommended an ultrasound guided draining and injection, as the joint appeared so severely impacted that he wasn’t even sure that they could get a needle in there.

I love my rheumy.  Did I mention that the orthopedic surgeon still hasn’t called me with any MRI results?  Anyway, he did the ultrasound thing, got it all lined up, and got the needle in.  Guess what!  No fluid came out.  He verified via the ultrasound that he was in the right spot, and he was.  If I understand this correctly, this could mean one of two things.  1- this could be severe ongoing RA (I don’t think so) or 2- this could be an old injury that didn’t heal properly, and the fluid has thickened such that it won’t come up the needle (that’s what I think).  He successfully injected it with a steroid, and we’re going to see if it does anything.

Yesterday after the procedure, it bothered me quite a bit (even in my muscles around my elbow).  Last night was the first night in a long time that my elbow didn’t wake me.  Today, it’s feeling a smidge better, but hurts with some reaching backwards things like getting my seatbelt on and washing my hair.  The risk here is that the ligament tear could cause a change in my elbow that could cause wear and tear damage on the joint over time or that the joint could become unstable as some of my other joints have (swollen for so long, then not swollen, and all the ligaments are stretched out).  Time will tell.  I thought the procedure was worth the risk, as it seemed to be worsening after several years of not having any problems (other than it didn’t straighten all the way).  Hopefully that hardened fluid will work its way out???  I’m not even sure what the steroid will do, but I guess that’s the goal.

I have to get the “all clear” from the orthopedic surgeon on the torn ligament.  Is it safe to exercise?  Does it/can it be repaired?  Of course, he hasn’t returned my rheumy’s calls either.  Sheeesh.

I’m sure there will be more to come on this story, but the moral is… don’t blow off a “pop” in your elbow, even if it doesn’t hurt anymore!