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  1. #11
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    Primal Fuel
    Mmmmmmmmm, looks like another foodie in the forums! post some recipes, all your food sounds yum!
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    "Not baked goods, Professor, baked bads!" ~ The Tick

  2. #12
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    Thanks, Otter! A couple decades ago I cooked a lot more than I do now--only so many hours in the day, you know? But doing this commitment has made me realize I really, really need--as I put it the other day--a lifestyle reset. Not really worth killing myself for the sake of getting just a little more work done. Just have to figure out the whole $$ thing--I know exactly what part of my life I'd like to reset!

    Now you've got me thinking I should pop over to the recipe forum! And because here is isn't bragging or gloating...just picked up grass fed beef (stewing, which has multiple possible uses....like that curry I never got around to making this weekend!) and bone-in lamb stew meat. Haven't quite decided what to do with that. Mediterranean? North African? Irish? Hmmm.....

  3. #13
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    Oh, and in deference to Otter:
    Roast veggies: pretty much what it sounds like. If I'm adding sweet potato or garnet yam, I bake that first--wash it, poke holes in it, lightly coat it with olive oil, bake for @30-45 min at 425. Pull the potato out of the oven (don't forget that at some point Grok learned to use a poking stick so he wouldn't burn his hands) and set aside to cool slightly. Then, cut a variety of veggies into something roughly an inch thick. I usually do zucchini, yellow squash, onion, sometimes mushrooms--don't cut those: just clean and destem. I usually quarter the onions--1/8ths if the onion is big. Zucchini and yellow squash I cut off the ends, cut in two horizontally then quarter lengthwise. Sort of really big julienned pieces. Put all this into a big bowl and toss with a touch of olive oil and some sea salt. If you baked a sweet potato, cut it into thick slices crosswise and add to the mix. Dump all this onto a baking sheet (the rimmed kind) and bake about 20 minutes. You can add carrots if you want--pretty much the same rules. If anything ends up either too crunchy or too mushy for your tastes, cut accordingly next time. Asparagus--double yum. Just roast for 10 minutes instead of 20.

    Last night's pork chop was pure laziness. Browned on med-high heat @4 minutes each side. Turn heat off and cover about 5 minutes more to cook the innards. Somewhere in there I seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper. Sometimes I use garam masala. Yum.

    Tomorrow I'll add the chili recipe.

  4. #14
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    Ayiyiyiyiyi....note to self: lifestyle, not diet. Yesterday was so insane at work--it's that one week of the month that is so deadline heavy that I hardly stop...and then I forget it's like that until it happens again You'd think after a decade+ of this, I'd remember that!

    This weekend I MUST figure out the salad dressing thing--next week being the "avoid poisonous things" law--and do more cooking. I love chili, but I can't eat it more than twice in a week. So I'm trying to keep myself sane and eating primally without the right kind of prep. A bit heavy on eggs today, but I'll just pretend that Grok found a nest of them and brought them back to the cave

    Yesterday, though, I went wayyyyy off track. Note to self, lifestyle, not diet, etc, etc, etc, etc. Breakfast was...whatever it was. Eggs, left over roasted onion and yam, a bit of leftover pork chop. Lunch....completely SAD, in so many ways. Does it count if it tasted really disgusting, which ought to make me think twice about doing it again? Dinner was leftover chili plus broccoli.

    Today was back on track, but not enough vegetables. Later this week I'll post my primal casserole recipe...and perhaps make it! Today, though: two eggs for breakfast, nothing else. Midmorning: one ounce sharp cheddar, .75 oz dark chocolate (1/4 of a 3 oz bar). Lunch: BA salad with chicken, cucumber, mixed greens, tomatoes. Dinner: bacon and eggs. Dessert: berries with whipped (unsweetened) real cream. I add a splash of vanilla to the cream while I'm whipping it.
    Last edited by PrimalWriter; 01-18-2012 at 05:18 PM.

  5. #15
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    Lorena's Chili Recipe

    This is sort of a cross between the non-primal chili I used to make (beans) and a chili recipe posted here on MDA back in October (Primal Texas Chili | Mark's Daily Apple). Because I'm nearly always cooking for one, the quantities are smaller, too. Because you can't get MUCH smaller, though, this recipe still makes about six healthy bowls full. It freezes well.

    1-2 pounds stew meat (my local grass fed provider's stew meat is so tender this doesn't need the cooking time, either), cubed 1-inch or so.
    2 Tablespoons-ish olive oil
    1 sweet onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced (this was one ingredient I picked up from the MDA recipe)
    1 15 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
    1 4 oz can of chopped green chilies (or chop a fresh one--add it with the onions. Lose the seeds if you don't like heat)
    3 T chili powder (I totally adjusted my seasonings after seeing the MDA recipe)
    1 tsp sweet paprika
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp chipotle powder
    salt to taste
    2 - 4 cups beef stock or broth
    Fresh cilantro for garnish

    Note: if you like your chili to have that thick, floury texture, add a tsp or so of arrowroot right after you brown the meat.

    Over med-high heat, in a heavy pot, heat the olive oil. You don't want it smoking, but if you add the beef when the oil/pan is cool, the meat is more likely to stick. Brown the beef on all sides. If you're feeling lazy, you can do this all at once, but the meat doesn't brown as nicely. Remove the meat and drain the liquid from the pot. Add a touch more oil (maybe a tablespoon) and return the meat to the pan. This is the time to add the arrowroot if you want it thicker--it won't work as well at the end.

    Lower the heat to medium or just below, and add the onions and garlic (and fresh chili pepper if using that). Cook, stirring, just until onions are translucent. Add spices. Stir to coat meat etc with the spices. Add tomatoes and canned chilies. Stir, combining all ingredients thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste. Don't add more spices to taste at this point, or you might end up with more heat than you want. You can always adjust up on the next batch.

    Let cook for about five minutes, stirring, before adding the beef stock. You'll lose some liquid, but not much, in the cooking, so add enough to be just a bit soupier than you like. Simmer about 45 minutes--YMMV depending on how tender your meat is to begin with, but 45 should be about right to get tender and to blend the spices.

    If you do dairy, a dollop of sour cream on top, and/or shredded cheddar, is really good. Don't chop the cilantro for the garnish--just pull the (washed, of course) leaves off the steam. YUMMMMMM.

  6. #16
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    Taking a day off tomorrow--in the midst of "use it or lose it" time, or I probably wouldn't, given how much stuff would be sitting on my desk if I hadn't brought it all home with me...in the hopes that if I take a few steps back this weekend the destressing might help me get through some of the work more effectively than sitting at my desk with the phone ringing, new emails pinging in, etc. I love my job, but wow, I've got to find a way to take a break.

    So tomorrow's plans actually include a bunch of walking. It's supposed to be a gorgeous day--the kind that makes the rest of the world envious of Florida in winter. So...windows being opened, walks being taken, meditation, yoga, writing. Saturday begins week 2 of my primal "reset" -- although I've been far less than perfect this week, with step one, I'm going forward with step 2 as an affirmation to myself that I can do this.

    What gets me is that 2 1/2 years ago, in the midst of a health crisis, this was easy. I had zero cravings. Zero impulse to eat "just one." Zero inclination to go off-plan and have a (really yummy) Cuban sandwich for lunch. Fast-forward to now, and it's a struggle every day. Not every minute of every day, by any means, but I'm really having a hard time even getting to go one day without some kind of crap. Or even when I do, the next day, I'm right back there. The best-laid freaking plans, right?

    The other day I was on the Whole 9 site, and reading stuff, and there was something in the info about the Whole 30 that really hit me (and still pisses me off because I fall short) - the writer said something about certain things being hard, and that drinking your coffee black for 30 days was not hard. I think it's going up on my fridge door, my bathroom mirror, my computer monitor at work. My version: Climbing a mountain is hard. Finishing a novel is hard. Living primal is. Not. Hard.

    Because I'll have time, I'm going to make a primal casserole tomorrow and see how well it freezes (never tried freezing it before, but I almost always end up throwing some out). All ingredients can be switched up as desired. This makes a ton of veggie casserole, but I like having all the colors, and that's the result.

    Lorena's Primal Casserole
    Kale or Mustard greens. Lots of them. Like a whole bunch or box of the baby greens that WF has. If using from the bunch, use a sharp knife to cut out the stems, then chop coarsely.
    1 - 3 medium summer squash: zucchini, yellow crookneck, etc.
    1 small sweet potato or yam (optional, but tasty).
    1 large sweet onion. Sub a red onion for more color if you want
    8-ish ounces of mushrooms, destemmed and sliced
    4-6 cloves garlic, minced (according to taste)
    salt/pepper to taste
    butter or animal fat for the baking dish
    1/4 - 1/2 cup basil, fresh oregano (dried oregano has a whole different taste, so don't use it), or cilantro, or other fresh green herb (dill is a bit strong)
    8 - 12 ounces of loose sausage (not links; the kind you can cook like ground beef)

    Heat oven to 425. If you're using the sweet potato, poke holes in it with a fork or sharp knife, coat it with olive oil, and bake on a baking sheet for 30 minutes. While the sweet potato is cooking, cook the crumbled sausage and set aside. Prep other veggies while the sweet potato is baking, too. Squash should be quartered, onion in roughly 1/8ths. Toss squash, onion and mushrooms with a tablespoon of olive oil. Steam the greens in 1/4 cup water until soft but still bright green, then drain thoroughly. Take the sweet potato out of the oven and reduce heat to 400. In a large baking dish (9x13) combine the squash, onion, and mushrooms. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, add sliced sweet potato, sausage and greens and stir. If you do dairy, this is a good time to add @1 cup shredded or crumbled cheese like cheddar or feta (the strong flavors are a great contrast with the veggies). Mix in fresh herbs. Return to oven for 10 more minutes to heat everything through.

    Eat. BTW, if you want as a side dish, just leave out the sausage. Or not.
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

  7. #17
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    I'm having a chat with a life/business coach in a couple of hours. Never spoke with one before, so I'm not sure if tis is the direction I need to take, but my to-do list is unlikely to get much shorter, so I think figuring out some effective ways to target my priorities might be in order. Or I'll figure out a way to sell a million books, which would take care of my 'second-job' time for a few years :-)

    A couple of old dreams have come back to life for me in the past couple of weeks, and I'd like to make the most of them.

    Meanwhile, I'm off for a walk and to clean my cave....

  8. #18
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    Week 2 begins, + Best.Curry.Ever.

    Week two, law two: avoid poisonous things. I do anticipate this will be challenging--no, I'm not trying to set myself up for failure, but I'm not sure how well I'm going to deal with the diet coke issue. Three days of training for CMS for our new website at work....company buying lunches--I'll probably be doing well to stay on track with the food. I will have to talk the boss out of Olive Garden pasta.

    So today was a bit weird: I had breakfast (eggs with mushrooms and kale+a bit of cheese; sausage) around 8 and then just wasn't hungry until mid afternoon. Nothing wrong with that, but usually I have that kind of day if I eat breakfast later. Maybe this was supposed to be a 10 and 4 food day. (shrug)

    I'm still kind of pissed at myself for last week. You'd think it would be easier. Blech.

    So my second meal of the day--which I just finished eating--was Best. Curry. Ever. Yup. Recipe is over on the Recipe Forum. Hopefully it will freeze well, because I do want to make a couple more dishes--maybe one more curry and primal moussaka--for dinners this week.
    My primal journal: My journey, goals, recipes, random thoughts on primal and SAD.

    It's all about the journey. How we get there is at least as important as where we end up.

  9. #19
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    I cut my finger fixing dinner, and my lip burns. That will teach me to try to kss it and make it better after I've been chopping a chili pepper. Happily, there's a new curry in the Best.Curry.Ever thread over on the recipes forum.

    I had fruit for lunch--it was what I wanted. I think, though, I'm going to add fruit to my list of poisonous things fro a few weeks. I had blueberries and cherries, with a little fresh cream, and an hour later felt like I'd just eaten a week's worth of sugar (you know that feeling you get in your stomach--slightly nauseated). So I think a break from fruit is in order--maybe that will speed up the weight loss, too. Or create some. Of course, the fact that none came off last week is probably directlly attributable to the fact that I had three SAD lunches, although only one of them was also evil. The other two were local restaurants (not chains, in other words), one of them owned by the woman who I mentioned is the local foods broker I buy from. Homemade tomato bisque was fantastic, but I gave in on the cheesesteak--not the best choice, no matter who raised the cow, made the cheese...baked the bread (I did only eat half the bread, but still).

    So today--a completely normal Sunday (I had to do laundry, but fortunately for my mood at the time, the laundromat didn't have any diet coke in their machine):

    Breakfast: eggs (four, because I accidentally cracked an extra while deliberately cracking the third), mushrooms, kale and cilantro + organic bacon
    Lunch: the aforementioned eggs
    Dinner: Adapted Vietnamese curry

    Made myself some mate when I got back from the laundromat. I'm not crazy about mate, but I picked some up--a box with mint and a box with hibiscus--in a fit of optimism some time ago, and I decided I should start using it. I'm about ready to go hunt down a bag of Mo-rockin Mint, though. I'd have no trouble breaking the DC habit if I could figure out a way to easily transport this to work!

    One more cooking project today if I get to it--the veggie casserole. Will wait to make moussaka--I've got enough leftovers for the next several evenings, and salad stuff for lunches.

    On a completely unrelated note, there's a lizard on my balcony that keeps moving closer to my screen door. He seriously looks like he wants in. Wonder what smell is attracting him? (It's a gorgeous day out, so it isn't an attempt to escape the weather. We're touching 80 all this week.)

  10. #20
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    OH...forgot. My order for picking up from GS tomorrow includes (I think) a whole chicken. Am thinking North African--maybe a tagine or similar. Man, all these years of cooking either SAD or -- when primal -- just easy-as-possible meat and veggies--I'd completely forgotten how much great cuisine in the world has the carbs entirely optional (on the side).

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