What I learned this weekend…

ufff….I had such a bad experience…..I got alcohol poisoned and all day yesterday was spend sleeping, waking up, going to bathroom to puke, then go back to sleep again…

I had no idea that it would be that bad, seems like I start having alcohol tolerance zero. So, there was a birthday party fot my friend from french class and they are really not good cooks and decided to make pizza with some bought dough, so I offered to help them and to make proper dough. Anyways, thought it would be nice to teach others what I know, especially as I don’t eat pizza’s anymore, not regular ones…..Maybe I would have tried this one, but the sauce that they used was full of “red list” ingredients, so I just decided to skip. Anyways, those who tasted, said that pizza was good 🙂 And Keven decided that he wants to have something nice to drink, so we came to agreement to buy some rum and make Pina Coladas, which were actually very nice:

So, the recipe seems pretty much paleo, I just should not have drunk wine before and maybe maybe all would have turned out nice….But it did not….That was worst day of my life….Last time I felt so bad was after my hen party, but then I ate whatever and mixed all alcohol possible….and Friday…no shitty food, wine and Pina Colada…except I ate some apple crumble as birthday cake, just because it had much more apples than crumbles and decided to take a chance as I almost never, literally, never cheat, because I don’t feel like and I don’t need. The only times when I allow myself to cheat is when something is homemade and I feel that it might be tasty and I want to try it and pay courtesy to the person that made food, which happens maybe once in 3 months. Anyhow…..at 20h I started feeling a bit better, drank some hot water with honey, then ate some apple sauce, decided to make myself chicken soup that would soothen my upset stomach:

  • 2 chicken drumstick (or whatever chicken you have)
  • 2 carrots, cubed
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • some persil (dried or fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in pot with cold water, make it boil and simmer for ~1hour or until meat falls easily from the bones. Remove meat from bones, cut into small peaces and return to pot with vegetables. Check for salt and pepper to season and that’s it. Very simple and delicious. I would have wanted to make something more spicy, the one with roasted garlic, but decided that maybe not this time….

Soup and applesauce worked their magic and finally I could relax and not think about running to bathroom to hug toilet bowl. I think I slept in total from friday night till now like 24 hours. Today I am feeling better, though still a bit shaky, decided to go for a walk as obviously there will be no training for me today…Lesson learned: training, healthy living and alcohol does not go together…

But this poster helps to think positive and go through and experiences:

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Pork Tenderloin with apple stuffing and Pecash Butter sauce

Since going pale, I am cooking meat much more often than before and before I wasn’t doing that much with it. Like, for instance, I have never done anything with pork tenderloin, I did not even know how to butterfly it. I had some idea in my head, but I still checked on internet to make sure. So, changing way of eating makes me learn new things and I am really happy about that. So, there was a week of pork ribs, now came time to have some pork tenderloin (my menu of the week depends on what I can find at reasonable price or sales that would be organic and humane raised 🙂 )

The hardest part in this recipe was actually not the tenderloin but the sauce which includes making pecash butter. I do not have kitchen food processor, just blender so it took me a while and some modifications were required to be made to get the right consistence.

Pecash Butter

  • 2/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (if you are stuck with blender as I am)

Basically, the recipe was calling for cups of nuts, but I did not have that much, so I simply chose to keep the proportions in minds, that goes 2:3 and thats it.  If you do have a food processor, then place nuts into its bowl and let it run for 8-10mins. until creamy and smooth texture. If you do not have, then its more work. I had to scape sides of my blender quite often and after around 10mins, I decided that it is going not exactly as I would like it to be, so I decided to simplify work by adding coconut oil to get the moisture out of the nuts and finally get this creamy and smooth texture. It work really feel and in couple minutes I had my beautiful pecash butter which is really tasty as well (Glad that I am over the phase of nut butters, so it will stay in fridge for much longer and I won’t have to make new butter soon 🙂 )

Pork Tenderloin with Apple Filling

  • 2 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 apples (peeled, cored and cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup pecash butter
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butterfly the tenderloin lengthwise to have a uniform peace. Place apples, cinnamon, lemon zest, honey into food processor or blender and process until smooth but still chunky texture. Pour apple mixture onto flattened tenderloin and spread evenly. Roll up the pork and place into baking dish. Bake for 45-60mins (~25mins. per pound of pork). Remove from pan and let rest for 10 mins.

Mix pecash butter, crushed garlic, salt and pepper in bowl. Slowly add water to get desired consistence, something like thick soup. Serve Pork tenderloin with 1/2 sauce on top and rest on the side.

I took this recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods book and it was really nice. However, I was doubtful when I was making it that there is no seasoning on the top of the roll and just apples inside, so I was a bit worried that the taste might be quite bland. Actually it would have been, but that is where the almighty sauce comes in. It really makes all the difference, so if you plan to make this recipe, do not omit sauce. You can use any other combination of nuts, but sauce is a must, because it brings richness of taste.

Trout with pecan crust

Yesterday I made trout with pecan crust that was super delicious. Literally, best trout dish that I have eaten so far (though I haven’t eaten that much 🙂 ). I love pecans and especially when they are a bit toasted. The recipe is really not complicated and I made it for 2, so I needed the following:

for sauce:

  • 1/2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup wine (recipe called for white, but I used red one and it was still really good)
  • 1/8 cup drained capers
  • 1 tbsp parsley

Prepare in separate plated almond flour, beaten egg white and roasted pecans. Place trout fillet flesh down first into almond flour, then egg white and lastly into roasted pecans. Press firmly to make sure that pecans stick to the trout. Heat ghee over medium heat and put trout flesh down first, fry for about 5mins.( the aroma will be amazing), then carefully flip it and roast for other 4-5mins. Take trout out of the pan, add rest of ghee, lemon juice, wine, capers and parsley. make sure you scrap the rests of trout and heat the sauce. Pour over the trout. Enjoy. Yummi!

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers

This recipe is entirely taken from The Clothes Makes The Girl website, but I thought that it would be nice to share it with you, especially because livers are really nutritious, but at the same time not the food that is eaten every day. Anyhow, today I bought some chicken liver, because I saw them in meat section and I already made this recipe once. Keven really likes it and he is all about texture and really hesitant in trying new stuff, so I was pleasantly surprised that he loved them and actually ate almost all of the ones that I just made, before I could take a picture 🙂

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken livers
1/2 cup coconut flour (there still will be left quite a lot, but it need to be a lot for proper dusting.  I just reserve it and used it later with some savoury recipes that require coconut flour, such as Zucchini pancakes – nothing to be wasted)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon  garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I did not have it, so used all spices mixed with Chinese 5 spices)
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
garnish: fresh lemon and chopped parsley

Cut chicken livers into 2-inch pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Mix flour and all the spices in a big bowl. Add the livers and mix with flour making sure that the livers are all covered. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil over medium high heat, let it heat for couple minutes and add livers. I needed two batches to cook them all as they need to have space and not touch each other. Be prepared for lots of some, as high heated oil and flour tends to have such a powerful smokey combination and don’t be too close to the pan. Fry for 2-3 mins. until bottom is browned and crispy.  Flip livers with tongs and brown other side. Put the done ones on paper towel to drain while you make the rest. Serve alone or with squeezed lemon juice.

Chicken soup for sore throat

So, I have been laying around and reading all articles about toddlers and their education and how to deal with different stages of their life, trying to find something interesting to watch (no luck, maybe too picky today), and switching to whole9 website and surfing through recipes. So then I though that it would definitely help my throat to get some chicken soup, especially because I have everything at home to make it. So here it is:

  • portion of chicken (I used some leftovers from cooked chicken) 20120423-151412.jpg
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (best if homemade)
  • broccoli, chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6-7mushrooms, sliced
  • one baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic, or to taste (garlic powder is also good here)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (this will give hidden hotness that helps sore throat)
  • 2 tbsp ghee, or favorite cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt ghee on medium-high heat in large pot. Add diced onions, cayenne pepper, and garlic and cook until onions are starting to soften. Add vegetables and continue to cook 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth and stir.
When it becomes hot stir in chicken and mix it. turn of the heart, leave to stand a bit and serve.


Monday morning surprise

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I had to go to CF trainig today, but I was having sore throat, so I was a bit hesitant. And while waking up I startes hearing shores of rain, wind and snow knocking to my window. Radio turn on and they say that some schools are closed that wind is from 28mph. That’s it…I don’t know if I am gonna take myself out today as I work tomorrow as nanny and one of the girls who is 1.5 years old was having huge fever on thursday. So, I am just gonna stay at home warmly with camomille tea and my whole30 approved smoothie:
Berries (handful)
Mango (1/3)
Grapes (8)
Coconut milk (1/2 can)
2 organic pasturized eggs
Water (to get desired consistence)
1 tsp of almond butter.

This amount was enough for two of us and I think it is a quickest way to have breakfast that would not include cooking:)

Have a great Monday!!!

Urban gardening as a future project

It’s been a long time since I have been dreaming about having my own little herb garden. I think I have been thinking about that for past 5 years, but never came make it happen. But I think that this year I just gonna do it, because we have two huge windows with lots of sunlight and more than enough place on the windowsills for the plants. So, my next project would be to have a vegetable and herb garden. I can only imagine what a great pleasure it would be just to go to the window and pick some herbs for a dish…I though about having small garden back in Barcelona, but as I am quite bad with plants (i forget about them and that I need to water them) and as in barcelona you can buy fresh herbs really cheap or just find wild ones (I always had fresh rosemarie and thyme at home because you can find loads of bushes on the way to climbing sectors), so I did not had a big need for growing them.  But as I prefer now to eat everything fresh and organic and it’s much more expensive to do that, I thought why not to try to grow my own. If I had a backyard probably I would be growing a chicken to have fresh organic eggs at home, but I don’t…

So, I started making some little research to build up the knowledge about urban gardening:

Maybe you have any recommendations regarding this question or already have a little garden in the flat of your own?

Sunday tradition adaptations

As I already wrote on Sundays we always have friends coming over to have brunch with us and most of
the times it consists of pancakes. Since I started to change my way of eating there were all different type of pancakes, most of them with oat flour (the ones with oat flour and ricotta were actually amazing), also with soya flour (I also made pizza base couple times with soya flour). However, as I was finishing to use up all those products and turning more and more paleo, my way of eating also changed. Last Sunday I was making pale pancakes with coconut flour, they were really delicious, but then on Monday I started my Whole30 challenge and such a thing as Paleo pancakes are not allowed. It is not that they would be bad, they are nutritious and healthy, however, it is still comfort food and point of the challenge is also challenge yourself psychologically. I have to admit that I do face difficulties (I would like to have slice of cheese and cottage cheese with berries in the morning) and Sugar Dragon is really attacking me (oh….sweet chocolate and all the nice treats…) and oh how much I would wish to have a nice glass of red wine, but none is allowed, so I just stick to what I have and just think about the end result and about my body being all clean and my taste receptors able to detect natural sugar in fruits and vegetables…Having said that, I still have Sunday brunch and today I decided not to think too much and make for everyone crepes with regular flour. Why? Because we still have them and we need to use them, so Keven was a cook this time 🙂 For myself I just had egg white crepes (1 crepe requires 1/3 cup of egg whites with pinch of salt and vanilla extract. then just pour mixture in pan with some fat, in my case it was ghee and wait until egg white is all done). I could not decide whether I want sweet or savoury, so I decided to have both, because I felt that eating just fruit would not be best idea in the world. So my savoury crepe had guacamole, chicken and cauliflower from yesterday dinner and some indian curry sauce. That was really good and I could not actually make that much difference between only egg white crepe and regular crepe. The second one was a dessert one, so it had almond butter and cut fruits in it (apple, pear, banana and raspberries). So, while my husband and friends indulged themselves in crepes with Nutella, I simply enjoyed my version with a cup of coffee with coconut milk. It was much less awkward than I would have though and I did not feel any less fortunate than them…

 

Snacking around

I love always to have a possibility to have a snack of something that I feel good eating about and that I feel that would actually be fuel to my body rather than empty calories. So, whenever I go somewhere, even to work, I always have to have something as a snack, in case if I wouldn’t have the chance to find food that I could eat, I could still get around pretty well, rather than torturing myself. Plus, as I always like to go from one place to the other, I usually don’t have time to go home to have lunch, so I make sure that I will have enough energy to move forward 🙂

If I am having workout in the morning, I definitely don’t want to have too much of the breakfast, so usually I would just have light snack, something as zone muffin or nut butter or some apple, or I would make big doze of berry smoothy and get a bit of it to get me moving. I wish I would like yoghurt, as then I would solve problem with protein intake, but I really can’t stand it, even idea about it makes me a bit sick. So, normally my smoothy would consist of scoop of protein powder, lots of berries and some around 2 tsp of almond butter. I usually add water to make it more liquid or almond milk. this would be my breakfast after workout if I don’t plan to return home and I really love it. I do the same when I don’t have time in the morning to make and eat breakfast as it is super fast to make.

I always have some zone diet muffins on the go that are easy to make and each contains block of protein (7g), block of carbs (9g) and block of fat (3g). Recipes are pretty basic and yields for 16 muffins that are definitely enough for a week. My favourite would be zucchini chocolate muffins as I just love an idea of incorporating vegetables into something sweet.

Dry ingredients: 20120324-235302.jpg
1 1/3 cups oat flour (measure, then sift)
4 (1 ounce) scoops chocolate whey protein (amount providing 84 grams protein), scant 1 cup
1 tablespoon non-aluminum baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons apple or pumpkin pie spice
3 cups grated zucchini
1 tablespoon grated orange rind (optional)

Wet ingredients:
2 whole eggs + 4 egg whites
5 1/3 teaspoons unrefined canola oil
8 teaspoons fructose powder or syrup
2/3 cup apple sauce

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 16 muffin tins with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. Sift dry ingredients into a 1 1/2-quart mixing bowl, adding orange rind if desired. Top with grated zucchini and set aside.
3. Combine wet ingredients in blender. Cover and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until evenly mixed, scraping bottom of bowl to incorporate flour and remove lumps. Do not over-mix.
4. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups, evenly distributing it.
5. Bake in preheated oven until firm to the touch, golden on top and around the edges, and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean, about for 20 to 24 minutes. Allow to cool; then run a knife around edges to release muffins. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 1 week or freeze.

So, I always have these on with me or some others, you can check this website for more different recipes.

Yesterday I also wanted to make something more sweet for me to have as a dessert and I stumbled upon couple recipes that I decided to make.

First one was Coconut bars that I found on Elanas Pantry website and they came out super delicious:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk    20120324-235314.jpg
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon stevia
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
  1. Mix eggs, coconut milk, oil, honey, vanilla and stevia in a food processor
  2. Pulse in almond flour, coconut flour, shredded coconut and salt
  3. Transfer ingredients into an 8×8 inch Pyrex baking dish
  4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  5. Cool for ½ hour, then place in refrigerator and serve when chilled.

And while these were baking I decided to make some energy bars to have in my climbing bag to have a snack when I need energy. Before I started to change my diet, I always had some granola bars in my climbing bag, but these were packed with preservatives and other stuff that I can’t read, so as I try to eat as much natural as possible, I had to say good bye to them and make my own. So, here is a recipe for no bake energy bars that I found and adopted from Milk for the Morning Cake blog where she calls the Magic Lemon Bars:

Ingredients:
  • 2 oz each of brazil nuts and blanched hazels
  • 2 oz ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 2 heaped tsp raw honey
  • finely grated zest 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 oz coconut oil
  • I also added some chopped dried apricots to have a little bit more of carbs.
Grind brazils and hazels to a fine meal in a coffee grinder. I think I grinded them a bit too much as the end result was quite oily.
Into the bowl mix the almonds, ground nuts and lemon zest and chopped apricots. Spoon in honey and drizzle over vanilla and cocoa butter. Work until mixture looks kind of like crumbles. I put the dough onto parchment paper and worked it through pressing down and making some square shape when I had the proper square shape. In the recipe it says that it makes 8-10 bars, so that was my goal. Slap mixture with the flat part of the knife to compact it and tidy up the sides. Leave it to sit for 10 or so minutes and then slice into bars and wrap in greaseproof paper or waxed paper, twisting the ends to secure. I keep them in the fridge next to my nut butters :)))) The taste definitely reminds me of marcipans.



On Acting My Age. What does that mean?

 

Do I act on my age? Actually, I don’t know what that would mean. I act as I feel would be best for me. Would it be similar to what other people of my age do? Definitely not majority, however I don’t think I would be unique. I just like experiencing things differently. I stopped drinking my moms milk too early, i started walking too early, I started going to school at the age of 5, i was skipping classes, I dropped out of high school couple month before final exams and graduation and went to hitch-hike around europe at the age of 18. At 20 I studied in 2 universities simultaniously: law and philosophy, because I wanted to see my limits, at 21 I also started working part time in marketing, willing to push my limits even more. Then I graduated, kept working in marketing related area. Dropped everything after couple years and went to volunteer in farm in Italy and Spain for few months. Moved to live in BArcelona and worked in various jobs, like bars, hostels, pub crawls, because wanted to experience that. After couple years moved to Canada, try to enter to do MA and Phd and while waiting for results and immigration papers, started learning french and working as a nanny. If I Plan to have children, better get experience before. Am I acting by my age? I don’t know. I just keep following myself and my sometimes crazy life projects…Life is a gift, I just try to use it as much as I can and try not to forget this simple fact…