Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spaghetti with Bacon....yum

Ethan enjoying zuke noodles

So, I have been eating a lot of beef this week and decided to switch it up and make something with bacon, but pasta sounded good. I'm trying to go mostly dairy free though as well, so all those yummy creamy bacon pasta recipes were out of the question. So, I decided to try something new. I'm not doing grain, so I made some zucchini noodles. All you have to do is take 1 or 2 zucchinis, and peel them with a potato peeler until you get down to the seeds. I usually just save the seedy part in a bag in the freezer until I make some soup or something.

I love spaghetti sauce to taste a little sweet, so I usually add honey, but with the balsamic and vidalia onion in this recipe, you really don't need to add any sweetener.

Tomato Bacon Balsamic over Zuke Noodles

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 tsp italian seasoning
celtic sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 lb bacon, cooked
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 vidalia onion, chopped
two zucchinis, ribboned with a potato peeler.

Combine diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and italian season in a medium saucepan, simmer while you make everything else. In a skillet, use the leftover bacon grease from cooking the bacon to saute the onions and garlic. Once soft, add the 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and cook on medium until it has reduced some. Pour the onion/garlic mixture into the tomato sauce and add salt and pepper to taste. Add more water if it's too thick for your taste. While the sauce continues to simmer, clean out the skillet and add the zucchini, and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Saute until zucchini is tender, but not too soft. Serve the sauce over the noodles and top with chopped cooked bacon. I also grated a little asiago cheese and cooked some broccoli to mix in. Made a nice veggie rich meal. Very filling too!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grain Free! Garlic Wine Chuck Roast, Roasted Green Beans & Chocolate Cupcakes!

I just read (well, skimmed) The Primal Blueprint, by Mark Sisson and was very inspired (partly due to my mom and sister as well) to go grain free. They were doing it for allergies, and weight loss and I am mainly doing it for my allergies. It seems every year around April 1st, I start to develop chronic congestion. I get so congested I can't breathe at night. It usually lasts about 8 weeks. Either this grain free diet is helping tremendously with my allergies, or it just happens to be better because it's been about 8 weeks since my allergies flared up. I know they are seasonal, but I have environmental allergies all year round. The allergy shots help with those though. Anyway, I haven't had grains in about 2 days and I feel awesome. I am never hungry. I still crave sugary things a bit but I think it's because I haven't cut out sugar and sweet fruit yet. I don't really intend to either. I really just want to cut out the grains. This may be a temporary thing, but if it continues like this I might stick to it for life. We'll see.

Being gluten free already has made the transition pretty easy. The only thing I really miss so far is corn chips and salsa. If I could make a grain free chip I'd be in heaven! I think it's also helping that we are at the yummiest season of the year for produce. Corn, watermelon, strawberries, blackberries are all in season right now, and are quite abundant. Unfortunately, we got about 10 ears of fresh local corn in our last produce share and I'm not eating any of it! So sad. Oh well, my son and husband will enjoy it with gusto I'm sure. I haven't attempted a grain free pizza yet (well, I guess chebe mix is considered grain free, because it's made from tapioca but still processed pretty highly), but I'd like to because I really love my pizza. With peppers, and sausage and lots of onions.. drool....Hell, I may still eat the chebe. I don't think it bothers my allergies. Only one way to find out!

Tonight I made an amazing chuck roast in the crock pot. My sister helped me out with this one.

The recipe:

1 cup dry red wine (I actually used pinot noir, which isn't dry but it's all I had. Dry would be better)
1 grass fed chuck roast (mine was about 3 lbs, bone in)
8 garlic cloves, sliced
1 onion, sliced into rings
1 can organic diced tomatoes
salt and pepper ( just throw some in)
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 springs fresh rosemary

Layer all ingredients besides the roast into the crock pot.
Brown the roast in a little coconut oil before placing in the crock pot.
Cook on low all day (mine cooked from like 11-6)
If your roast is boneless, just remove and slice.
Mine was bone in so I had to remove the roast and take the bones and fat and cartilage and junk out, then chop up what was left and put it back in the pot to cook for a bit more. Drizzle with the juices from the roast.

And as a side:

Roasted Green Beans

1-2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
sea salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Toss green beans in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on cookie sheet. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, or done to your liking. I like mine really done!

For dessert, I made grain free chocolate cupcakes, thanks to Elana's Pantry!

Adapted from Elana's Pantry recipe:

Grain Free Chocolate Cupcakes

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 cup refined coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2- 1 tsp almond extract
  1. In a medium bowl, combine coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda(I used my hands to smooth the lumps in this step)
  2. In a large bowl, blend together eggs, oil and maple syrup
  3. Blend dry ingredients into wet thoroughly
  4. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners and scoop a 1/4 cup into each
  5. Bake at 375° for 20-22 minutes
Makes 9-10 cupcakes

Mine turned out a bit dry, but very tasty. I'm thinking butter might help with that next time? Honestly the batter tasted like chocolate pudding. I might just eat the batter next time!!

Elana has a recipe for vegan buttercream frosting on her site, but I am trying to cut back on sugar, so I didn't frost them. I just ate them like chocolate muffins. Still yum!

And onto my child, my 17 month old toddler. Can't believe he's 17 months! He's now saying "Nee Na" for clean up, no, hi, bye, mama, dadda, knee, eww, oooh (like in amazement), yumm, doggy, puppy, poopy, wa wa (water), Beeba (which is his nickname, but we say EEB, because those are his intials), up, many words! He's no sleeping about 4-6 hours in his bed at night and then when he wakes up he walks into our bedroom and sleeps with us the rest of the night.
It's called part time cosleeping. I like it. It's a nice compromise! That's all for today. I'll post again soon!