Thursday, March 28, 2013

Paleo Burger night

My friend Adrian started eating Paleo about a week before I did. I didn't know this until after he found out I'd made the switch too. He's in need of some food-inspiration.

Last night I made burgers for the family. The burger itself is just ground beef formed into a patty. Instead of having a bun (since grains are a no-no on Paleo) I put my burger on top of a portabello mushroom cap. Topped with Homemade mayo, a slice of tomato, some homemade guacamole and caramelized onions. It was phenomenal.

Mayonnaise is a finicky thing to make. If you try it and it doesn't work take some deep breaths and try again. Homemade mayo is far superior to anything you can get in the store. It is well worth the time and effort.

Mayonnaise (Paleo friendly):

2 egg yolks
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
pinch of salt
3/4 cup olive oil

1. Whisk everything except for the olive oil together until well combined.
2. VERY slowly drop the olive oil in while whisking hard. If whisking by hand it's easier to have someone else slowly drizzle it in. It should take 5-7 minutes to drizzle that much olive oil in. If you go too fast you'll break the emulsion. Keep whisking until it reaches your desired consistancy.
3. (Only applicable if you are whisking by hand) Go get a KitchenAid.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Making the Choice: Paleo

Farmers Market Beets

Alright, in blatant contrast to my previous post on gumdrops, I've decided to go Paleo.
I've been feeling the effects of the traditional American diet. Fatigue, weight gain, headaches.
I made this decision a reality about a week and a half ago and have already noticed a tremendous improvement in my mood, energy and productivity.

What is Paleo?
My 4 year old will happily tell you that I now Eat Like a Dinosaur. Focusing on foods that are minimally processed, with particular emphasis on Meat, Vegetables and Fruit. Processed sugar is off limits, while more natural sources such as maple syrup and honey are ok in small quantities. There seems to be some debate on the allowance of dairy. I'm personally going with a more limited restriction of it until it is out of my system and I can reintroduce it and feel how it effects me.
Grains and legumes are out. I already know from previous stints with going Gluten-free that passing on grains makes me less lethargic and keeps my guts happier.

Why am I doing this?
I've been noticing my energy disappearing and my waistline expanding for a while now. I want to change that. At the same time, I've found that when I am strict with myself I'm more apt to fail. What this means is that I'm not going to beat myself up over any slips. That said, I'm making informed decisions and learning more about how these foods make me feel. Finally taking notice of how my diet effects my mood is all the feedback I need to keep going in the right direction.

Yesterday I slipped. The girls and I had some gummy worms. I ate about a quarter of the amount I would have eaten in the past. The rest of the afternoon I felt awful in comparison to how I've been feeling since I started. Reinforcement like that is more than enough to keep me on track.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I love gummi candies. It doesn't matter what shape. Bears, worms, frogs, I'll eat them all. I even once ate an enormous gummi rat. When I found a recipe for them I was so excited. I've altered it a bit enabling me to make some really great flavors. These ones are cheesecake, rootbeer and raspberry flavors.

Gumdrops Ingredients:
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup gelatin
1 1/2 cups boiling water
4 cups sugar + extra for coating approx
1/8 tsp candy oil (like Lorann Oil's) per pan
food coloring

Bloom the gelatin in a dutch oven by sprinkling it on top of the cold water. Wait 5 minutes.
Add the boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the sugar. Bring to a boil over med-high heat and boil for 20 minutes.
Ladle mixture into pans. Divide mixture between 3 5x7 pans. Add 1/8 tsp of candy oil and a few drops of food coloring to each pan. Stir to combine.
Refrigerate, covered, overnight.

If using silicon pans the gummi should pop out easily, if using a rigid pan like I do loosen the edges by running a knife around the sides of the pan, then peel the gummi off the bottom. It helps to sprinkle some sugar on the outside as you peel it off so it doesn't stick. Cut into shapes and coat with sugar. The recipe this is based on says to let them sit at room temperature for 2 days before eating them. They've never lasted that long, they are way too good fresh!