Artichoke Shakshuka

When FOMO turns into reaching my saturation point, I come to the kitchen.  I’ve always wanted to make shakshuka in my own way but never set the time aside.  Looking at my  day planner is overwhelming because I always say yes.  What restless part of the brain is it that causes you to be completely unable to relax?  Yeah yeah, I do yoga, I do the breathing thing, I do meditation, I’ve done float therapy and I ignore my phone often… but it seems futile if shutting off is not what you want.  There’s something about being a really introverted extrovert that makes you feel like you’re missing the point… but then I sit down in front of my food creations and realize 20% of the world goes to bed hungry.  It makes all these feelings so petty, but then they keep coming back.

So yeah, I had an existential crisis and resorted to shakshuka and I was pretty happy with it.  I did a lot of research on the history of shakshuka before making this so just trust the recipe, as crazy as it sounds!

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Ingredients

2 lbs vine ripened tomatoes, cubed

1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

12 garlic cloves (lmao, yeah man)

2 eggs

1 cup fresh oregano

1 tbsp olive oil

2-3 chives

1 tbsp chilli powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

Instructions

Combine all ingredients except for eggs in a large cast iron skillet, or two smaller ones.  Simmer on low for 15 minutes or until tomatoes and garlic are soft.  Make a small divot where you want to put the egg.  Crack the egg into it and let simmer for another 15 minutes or until egg white turns white.  It is customary to have a very runny egg, so it is ideal to use pastured eggs.  Garnish with chives and oregano or parsley.  Add cayenne if you prefer more spicy.

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Let’s Talk About Coffee

This is totally irrelevant to coffee but it shapes who I am as a person so you have to read it anyway. Last fall, I started having back pain out of the blue and my doctor couldn’t figure out what it was so he told me to stop lifting weights until I got an MRI.   I was then told my MRI wasn’t until February 25th, 2017 and I thought it was a joke. I cried so much at the idea of not being able to work out for 6 months. I immediately switched to yoga, which didn’t really help with the pain but at least it didn’t make it worse. The day finally came and I’m going to find out if I can do the squats again this week. The random injury that I don’t remember even doing turned out to be a blessing because yoga has changed me so much in only 6 months. Small things like getting irritated in traffic are no longer a part of my life. Big things like forgiving people who have wronged me, cutting out people who do nothing good for me and being okay with it. Essentially just letting go. It has also made me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. I remember when I did yoga a couple of times recreationally and said I could never be a real yogi because I’m not flexible (loooool). Now when I hear someone say that I can’t help but smile. If you do yoga, you’ll understand how funny that is. To have the option to do weight training again on days that I don’t feel like being a peaceful swan, that would be super cool.


Enough about me, let’s talk about that COFFEE. I was in a coffee shop in Rocky Mountain House this week for work and while I was waiting for my coffee I noticed this poster on the wall that was so inspiring and really just helps you realize how big the world of coffee is. (Click to zoom in)

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Another thing that’s really important that can’t be ignored is the kind of grind you’re using for which coffee machine.  If all you have is a Keurig, you need to go to Winners and pick up a new toy for yourself now.

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I used drip coffee for years because it was $2 and I was in college.  I now use the french press and the italian moka pot… and I have day dreams about owning a siphon and an espresso machine.

Grind Size Ideal Brewing Method
COARSE
  • Plunger Pot
  • French Press
  • Percolator
  • Vacuum coffee pot
MEDIUM
  • Drip coffee makers with flat bottom filters
    (BUNN, Bloomfield, etc.)
FINE
  • Drip coffee makers with cone shaped filters
    (KRUPS, Cusinart, etc.)
  • Espresso moka pots
EXTRA FINE
  • Espresso machines – pump
  • Espresso machines – steam
TURKISH
  • Ibik

Chart from Here.  The siphon isn’t on the list but it should be a medium-coarse grind.

How to Steam Coffee Without an Steam Wand

This is forever my struggle but I make due.  Put your desired amount of milk in a mason jar and shake vigorously.  Remove lid and microwave for 30 seconds.  You don’t want to shake it after it’s already hot because it will literally explode.  Use a spoon to hold back your froth as your pour it into the cup and then spoon the froth on top.

Know Your Milk

I’m just gonna go ahead and say DON’T FUCKING DRINK SKIM MILK.  Maybe I’m biased by a high fat diet but the lower fat content, the higher lactose content.  If you are going to drink dairy milk it should be a higher fat percentage.  The higher fat content will be also higher in calories but if your health regime revolves around counting calories we have a bigger problem.

I don’t use dairy milk at home personally, I use coconut milk and cashew milk.  It’s 2017 so I think we all know not to drink Soy milk.  When buying your nut milks, (or nut juice as I like to call it) make sure to buy unsweetened.  Also check your ingredients because I’ve been finding a huge amount of unnecessary additives in some brands.  Try to avoid any milks with Carrageenan.  It causes serious stomach problems and is also a know carcinogen.  A lot of almond milks also have rice milk added to them so if you’re wondering, that’s not paleo.

Best case scenario, canned coconut milk is always pure.  Never buy low fat.  If you buy low fat coconut milk, they remove 30% of the contents and replace it with water.  You played yourself.

DIY

Best best case scenario is making your own!  It’s very easy to do.  I use a cheese cloth but a nut bag is best.

Soak 1 cup of almond or cashews in water for 1-24 hours.  The longer the better.  Raw, organic and unsalted with no oil if you can find it.  Rinse thoroughly and drain.  Blend with 4 cups of filtered water for about a minute.  Drain!  You can sweeten it with unrefined stevia if you’re drinking it just like that.

Stevia?

The two best paleo sweeteners are unrefined stevia and unrefined coconut palm sugar.  Stevia is a very potent sweetener which is a powdered stevia leaf.  I don’t mind it at all but some people find it has a distinct unpleasant taste.  Coconut sugar is technically okay because it ranks lowest on the glycemic index so your body doesn’t have an energy spike and drop, which is kinda what paleo is all about.  It’s still sugar at the end of the day so it’s not something to put in your coffee every day, more of a treat.

So What’s Bulletproof Coffee?

Kind of a huuuuge internet trend for the last few years.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally on board.  Bulletproof is just a brand name.  They make coffee beans and different medium chain triglycerides and collagen.  People on the high fat train like to blend fats in with their coffee to have a slower energy release that actually gives you some mental clarity.  Bulletproof recommends blending grassfed butter or ghee with your coffee.  I use the brain octane oil with coconut oil when I blend it.  It has to be blended otherwise the fat will sit on top and you’ll take a sip of fat and gag.  Most coffee shops now will actually blend a fat in your coffee now if you ask for it.  It does give it a more creamy texture which is nice if you usually just drink it black.

Here’s my little paleo flat white that I love having as a treat at home:

IMG_0592.JPGIngredients

4 oz coconut milk

4oz moka pot dark roast coffee

1 tsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

Put coconut milk in mason jar with cinnamon and shake.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Make moka pot coffee.  Pour coffee into cup first and stir in coconut sugar.  Start to add coconut milk and hold back foam.  Spoon foam on top.

Cheers!

{EDIT}

I also forgot to mention the caffeine potency in the kind of roast.  Dark roast coffee has a lower caffeine content.  I generally stick to very dark roasts and decafs because I turn into a rabid animal when too caffeinated.  Usually a “breakfast blend”  is a very light roast.  Not because you need light tastes in the morning, because it’s gonna wake you the f*** up.  If you’re looking for a real energy boost, light roast.  If you’re like me, dark roast.

Let me know if I forgot anything else!

Baked Bruschetta Omelette

I wish I had cool things to say but I’m basically just waiting for this year to end.

IMG_2416.JPGIngredients

8 large eggs

3 tomatoes, 2 will be diced and the other sliced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp salt

1 cup chopped broccoli

1/2 tsp black pepper

6-7 fresh basil leaves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine eggs, diced tomatoes, broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in medium mixing bowl and whisk.  Transfer to 9x9x2 baking dish.  Garnish with sliced tomatoes and basil leaves.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve hot.

Cranberry Orange Sauce (and what to do with leftovers!)

I made this secretly paleo different cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner and was left with quite a bit of it so I turned it into a syrup for banana pancakes!  Click for pancake recipe.  I layered the syrup between each pancake and added walnuts and hemp seeds!  I ate it all – it looks like a lot but it’s really just 2 bananas and 2 eggs.

IMG_1823.JPGIngredients

12oz bag of fresh cranberries

1/2 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of organic coconut palm sugar

zest from a full orange

1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil

 


Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and simmer on low stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.


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Paleo Matcha Crepes

FullSizeRender 2Ingredients

1 cup cassava flour

2 tbsp culinary matcha

1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened cashew milk

1 cup warm water

4 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

coconut oil for cooking

palm sugar for topping

lemon for topping

 

Instructions

Combine wet ingredients in blender; cashew milk, water, eggs and coconut oil.  Combine dry ingredients in medium mixing bowl; cassava flour, coconut palm sugar, culinary matcha, salt.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in blender, one quarter at a time.

In a medium frying pan, on a medium/high heat setting, drop 1 tbsp of coconut oil.  Drop about half a cup of the mixture at a time and flip after the corners of the crepe start to look dry, or about 45 seconds on each side.

Garnish with coconut palm sugar and squeeze lemon wedge over crepes.

Enjoy!

Paleo Cinnamon Banana Pancakes

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Ingredients

2 Bananas

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 eggs

2 tbsp Otto’s Cassava Flour

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions

Mush bananas in medium mixing bowl with a fork.  Add eggs and water and whisk until smooth.  Slowly sift cinnamon and cassava flour into banana mixture.

In a medium sauce pan, on medium heat, melt coconut oil and fry pancakes (any size) for about 3 minutes on each side.  Garnish with fruit and enjoy!

Pancakes without the heavy groggy feeling you get after eating pancakes.  Quick review on Otto’s Cassava Flour:  I’ve tried several flour replacements over the last few years and this was by far my best experience.  You can take almost any recipe and directly replace all purpose flour with cassava and it just works.