Tag Archives: Meat

Halfway there – 21 Day Sugar Detox

Ed and I are already halfway through our 21 Day Sugar Detox! This round has brought a few different challenges than the first did, as well as some new opportunities. You know how necessity is the mother of invention? Well, it’s something like that. Here’s how things are going so far:

Weight loss: I’ve lost what was left of my pregnancy pounds and then some. However, I met that on day 2 of the detox, so it probably had more to do with my pre-existing eating patterns.

Detox symptoms: Ed didn’t appear to have any negative reactions, but I suffered some cold/flu symptoms last week. I didn’t experience this during my first round. My best guess for this is that the first round was with the ebook guidelines, which suggested an additional starchy carb for EACH MEAL for the nursing modification, while the current guidelines only suggests a starchy carb at least once a day. I don’t have an intellectual problem with eating more starches (I normally have a moderate carb diet already), but since Ed isn’t on an energy modification, it’s usually easier just to steam up some cauliflower for both of us instead of preparing a starch source for myself in addition to everything. Thus, I’ve been eating lower carb than I normally do.

Positive reactions: Ed’s moods have improved and we’ve both been better at eating more vegetables.

Cheats?: Of course. Last week Ed ate a jelly donut at work without thinking, and when he forgot his lunch today he ate at Taco Bell, later noting that everything tasted very processed and super-sweet. My cheats have really been “bending” of the rules. For example, 2 pieces of approved fruit instead of 1, a full 16 oz of kombucha instead of 8, or level 1 approved rice at the Thai restaurant even though I’m following level 2. Today I ran out of green-tipped bananas and supplemented with my frozen overripe bananas. THAT tasted REALLY sweet! Other than that, I think the biggest cheat was the Thai restaurant. We both ordered red curry and stuck with rice, but I’m positive the sauce had sugar in it. Ah well.

Food I’m missing: Chocolate. Wooo boy.

Best detox meal: PIZZA. I made this cauliflower crust and loaded it with peppers, spinach, mushrooms, olives, Italian sausage, tomato sauce, and a FULL POUND of whole milk mozzarella. It was so beautiful I instagrammed it, and Ed said it was better than Dominos or Pizza Hut!

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Worst recipe: I’m working on a tortilla recipe. It’s still in the fail box in my mind, but I’m not giving up!

Best recipe adaptation: Alton Brown’s Shepherd’s Pie. I’ve used this recipe for my Shepherd’s Pie for years since the flavors are so spot-on, so when I was inspired to make a 21DSD-friendly meat pie, I went back to this recipe for guidance. In the end I made quite a few changes. Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb, so technically this would be closer to a Cottage Pie since I used beef. I also wanted to make my meat stretch, so I added diced mushrooms and … chicken livers! I’ve been meaning to get more organ meats into my diet, and grinding livers and adding it to ground beef is both nutritious and economical, and it makes no difference in taste. I changes a few other ingredients to be more detox-friendly, and I did make two different toppings for Ed and myself–a cauli-mash topping for him and a Japanese sweet potato topping for me!

 

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 Shepherd’s (Cottage) Pie  – (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo, Primal, 21DSD, WAPF)
Adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 6

*For sweet potato topping:

2 lbs Japanese sweet potato
2 tbsp butter, ghee, tallow, or lard
1/4 cup milk type drink of your choice
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk

For cauliflower topping:

1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup chicken or beef stock
2 tbsp butter, ghee, tallow, or lard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg yolk

For the filling:

1 tbsp butter, ghee, tallow, or lard
1 small chopped onion
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
1/2 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb liver, finely diced either by hand or food processor, or ground (I used chicken, but I have it on good authority that lamb liver is great as well)
2 tbsp arrowroot flour**
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup beef or chicken stock
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp fish sauce (Red Boat brand is sugar free and therefore 21DSD-friendly)
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

If using sweet potato, peel and chop your sweet potatoes into medium chunks. In a large pot, add the chopped potatoes and enough water to cover. Bring to boil and allow to cook until potatoes pierce easily with a fork. Using either a potato masher, a food processor, or hand mixer, mash or puree the potatoes roughly. Allow to cool a bit. Add the butter, milk, salt, and egg yolk and continue to mash or puree until smooth. Some small chunks are fine.

If using cauliflower, roughly chop the cauliflower, discarding the steams and leaves. In a large or saucepan, add the stock and cauliflower and cover with a lid. Bring to boil, then lower temperature to a strong simmer. Cook until cauliflower easily pierces with a fork. Drain liquid and allow to cool a bit. Add butter, salt, pepper, and egg yolk, and puree or mash with a food processor, potato masher, or hand mixer.

Set a large saute pan over medium/medium-high heat and add butter. When melted, add onions, carrots, and mushrooms and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for several minutes until the onions soften and become fragrant. Add ground beef and liver and allow to cook, again stirring occasionally until meat is fully cooked and incorporated. Sprinkle the arrowroot flour, salt, and pepper over top of the meat. Stir to mix into the meat, and allow to cook for several more minutes. Add the stock, tomato paste, fish sauce, rosemary, and thyme and allow to cook until the sauce has thickened somewhat, which should take about 5 more minutes. Mix in the peas and remove the pan from the heat.

In a casserole dish, pour the meat filling and then pour the topping atop the filling, using a spatula or back of a spoon to spread the topping evenly, smoothing out the edges to create something of a seal for the juices.

Place casserole dish in the oven and allow to bake for about 25-35 minutes, until topping is lightly browned. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

*Sweet potatoes are only appropriate for the energy modifications during the 21 Day Sugar Detox.

**Arrowroot flour is OK during the 21 Day Sugar Detox when used in sauce-thickening applications such as this one.

 

 

Barbecue vs. Cookout

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When in Texas, there is a marked difference between a barbecue and a cookout.

A barbecue will serve barbecue. And in Texas, barbecue means brisket. Maybe sausage, too, but something will be cooking low and slow over a great deal of smoke, and it ain’t burgers.

A cookout has free reign of everything else. Burgers, hot dogs, steaks, whatever.

Except chicken. Why on earth would you bring chicken to a cookout?!

Anyway, I’m visiting Edgar’s family in the Canadian-Higgins area (just barely on the right side of the Texas-Oklahoma border. And by right side I mean the left side) for the Easter weekend, and today we met up with some of their friends on their land for a cookout.

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There’s something endearing about seeing a lot full of pickup trucks.

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We brought Maggie!

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After about 30 minutes of dragging her around on the leash, we decided to let her roam free. And boy did she ever! She was like a fly on steroids buzzing around the area! She had a blast!

Though I don’t think she was too sure of the stream.

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My father-in-law supplied the fine hors d’oeuvres… (tortilla chips with onion, jalepeno slices, pimentos, and cheese)

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…while some of the other men started up the grill.

If you were wondering, cowboy hats in Texas really are fairly common. It’s not a myth.

 

Well, maybe it is if you’re from the city.

 

But most of Texas isn’t “city,” so there ya go.

 

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Cowboy coffee!

Well, almost.

It would be if I could see a sock.

Well, there could be a sock. I didn’t ask.

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The hostess of the evening showed us some sausage another guest brought up from Elgin (near Austin) for this cookout. Probably not something I’d purchase myself but I sure don’t turn it down when it’s served to me! It was mighty tasty!

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Ahh, the combined smell of mesquite, meat, and carcinogens. It can’t be beat.

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It’s one of Edgar’s favorite smells. That and fired gunpowder.

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Speaking of Edgar….

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A guest brought homemade cheese breadsticks! They were really good!

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There was also chips and dip, pinto beans, fruit, and some mayonnaise-y salad mixes, but yeah. You don’t go to cookout and expect to see anything green, except the lettuce.

After stuffing ourselves silly on burgers and sausage, they pulled out the dessert: buttermilk cake and cherry cobbler. The cobbler is hidden in that red container. I got a little shutter-happy and didn’t wait to photograph the cobbler because I was too excited about…

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…HOMEMADE ICE CREAM!

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My food baby and I are very happy. :]

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Oh, and apparently we’re coming back to Plainview with 6 lbs of free pastured beef from Edgar’s family friends’ ranch! Wooooot! That and two loves of Great Harvest bread (honey whole wheat and Dakota!) we picked up in Amarillo last night. Smile

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Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Amarillo, last night we ate dinner at Jason’s Deli. For me it was only the second time in my life to eat there. The other time was when I was in 7th grade.

I’d like to make this special public service announcement that the Wild Salmon-Wich is floggin’ awesome.

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“Grilled wild salmon marinated in balsamic vinaigrette, guacamole, roma tomatoes, leafy lettuce, smoked red pepper-cilantro aioli on toasted focaccia.”

That is all.

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What do you like to eat at a cookout? What about a barbecue?

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