First off, thank you to everyone that participated in my Nikki’s Coconut Butter giveaway. I wish I could give all of you a jar and make everyone a winner, but well … I can’t. Anyway, I’m thrilled to announce that the winner of the giveaway is TAMMY!
Tammy says : September 25, 2012 at 11:05 am Wow – honey pecan pie definitely! Liked and liked!!
Tammy, you will soon be the proud owner of a jar of honey pecan pie. Meanwhile, please email me at email@example.com with your shipping address! Congrats on winning!
- Four, 6 oz steaks (I used grass-fed top round)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Soak wooden steak skewers in water for an hour prior to grilling.
- Cut steaks into cubes and place in a 1-gallon ziplock bag.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients.
- Pour marinade over steak, seal ziplock bag and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour, up to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Skewer steak onto wooden skewers.
- Grill skewers 12 -16 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes.
- Plate steak skewers over your choice of salad or sides, and serve.
As you may know, I’ve been cooking a lot from Diane Sanfilippo’s new book, Practical Paleo, and have even posted a couple of the recipes. In honor of everything I’ve made so far, as well as her awesome book, here’s a little photo recap of the dishes I’ve tried. In case you’re wondering, all the dishes were delicious and are worthy of making again … and again … and again. Sorry, but aside from the dishes and recipes I already shared from Diane’s book (I mentioned below – in the captions of the photos – which recipes you can find in previous posts), I did not share the other recipes I tried. Hopefully, it’ll be an incentive for you to buy the book! I can’t keep giving away all her recipes, after all!
It’s true … I am officially addicted to Diane Sanfilippo’s book, Practical Paleo, and all its wonderful recipes. Seriously, I can’t stop cooking from it, and I want to try everything! I think I’ve made seven different recipes now (and counting) and will be making yet another tonight. At least this is a healthy addiction to have, right? Plus, it’s refreshing to have some new and easy, not to mention delicious, recipes to try. I can honestly say that I’ll be cooking a lot of my dinners from this book for a while, so you’ll probably see many more reviews. Maybe I’ll do a photo recap post of everything I’ve made from her book. It may convince you to go out and buy it if you haven’t already!
I whipped up Hayley’s Skirt Steak Tacos from the book the other night, but made it as a salad instead. This is a matter of chopping the lettuce versus using lettuce wraps. I like using lettuce as a wrap, but on this particular night, Jesse and I decided we wanted to eat it as a salad. Here’s the recipe, as printed in Practical Paleo:
Hayley’s Skirt Steak Tacos
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1-1 1/2 lb skirt steak
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- I head bib, butter or Boston lettuce
- 2 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved (or one large tomato chopped into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Gently separate the lettuce leaves and rinse. Set aside to dry.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest, garlic and chili powder. Place the skirt steak in the bowl and massage the seasonings into it. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Grill for approximately 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked steak aside to rest for 10 minutes, then slice against the grain into small strips. You may want to divide the skirt steak into two or three sections before slicing, as it is typically very long.
- Serve the steak, tomatoes, cilantro and avocado in your lettuce leaves. (Alternatively, you can chop the lettuce and mix all the toppings and meat in a bowl to make a salad, as I did).
I’ve been digging into the recipes in Practical Paleo this week and have not been disappointed thus far. Before this week, the only thing I made from the book is the summer squash caprese noodle salad, so I was anxious to try more, especially after meeting and listening to Diane speak on Sunday. The recipes are easy to follow, uncomplicated and flavorful — a winning combination if you ask me!
One specific recipe from her book that I want to share is the Moo-less Pistachio Mousse. Oh.My.Gosh. It’s unbelievably creamy and almost brought me to tears. Yes, it’s that good. It really does remind me of pistachio pudding, minus the green dye, chemicals and over abundance of sweetness (I used to love that stuff and could eat a whole mix by myself … funny to think about now). Here’s the recipe, as written in Practical Paleo:
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1-2 tsp pistachio or almond extract (use 1 if alcohol base or 2 if oil base)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 large or 2 small ripe bananas
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or softened honey (optional to taste and may not be necessary if bananas are sweet enough)
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 Tbsp chopped pistachios
- Scoop out the flesh of the avocados into a small food processor, or mash them by hand. Add the pistachio or almond extract, coconut milk, bananas, maple syrup or honey, and sea salt, and process until creamy, whipped and well blended. You may whisk the ingredients together as well, if necessary.
- Serve in individual bowls. Garnish with chopped pistachios.
Just a couple things, I used almond extract (which is mentioned as an option in the book) because I couldn’t find pistachio extract anywhere. Anyone know where you can find that stuff? I also forgot to buy pistachios at the store, so I used sliced almonds instead, but it went well with the almond extract. On top of our individual servings, I also put some unsweetened coconut flakes. Jesse really loves chocolate and I can’t have chocolate or cocoa powder right now because of adhering to the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet), so I scooped some separately for him and mixed in some cocoa powder and a touch more honey, so the chocolate wouldn’t taste too bitter. Diane does have a moo-less chocolate mousse recipe in the book too and the recipe is similar to the pistachio, except for the following changes/additions:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cacao powder
- 2-4 Tbsp coconut milk (instead of 1/4 cup in the pistachio)
- 1 ripe banana (optional in this recipe)
- 1-4 Tbsp maple syrup or softened honey
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (instead of pistachio or almond extract)
- Pinch of cinnamon
What a big weekend for the PDX paleo world! Check it out …
Michelle of Nom Nom Paleo was at the book signing at the very beginning too, but I missed the opportunity to meet and get a photo with her before she had to take off. I felt too nervous, shy and excited when we first got there and couldn’t get myself to walk up to her as she was chatting with Diane and Jen (of Jen’s Gone Paleo, also owner and coach at CrossFit Oregon City). I was totally (paleo) star struck! I know, I know … I’m a total nerd, but I’m okay with that. These ladies are some of my idols though and I look up to and admire them, so I felt slightly intimidated!
Anyway, Jesse and I gathered a lot of valuable info during the Q&A session, which took up nearly the whole two hours. It was great to hear about other people’s experiences, especially those new to the paleo world. We also learned some helpful tips for running a paleo challenge in a gym setting, which is something Jesse and I hope to do together sometime soon. Diane was insightful, smart, funny, honest and real. She was wonderful, and I look forward to the next time we cross paths. Meanwhile, do yourself a favor and go buy her book, Practical Paleo! It is an amazing, thorough and well-written resource. You will not be disappointed!
Some of you may not know this, but wheat has strayed quite far from what it once was. Its makeup is completely different than what it used to be thanks to chemical mutations and genetic modifications, and this didn’t just happen overnight … it has been going on for 40-50 years. It’s frightening and wheat truly is a “franken food,” and something to be aware of. For further information and insight, I strongly encourage you to watch the video of Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, speaking about why wheat has become so destructive to our health. Please visit the link below, on Dr. Frank Lipman’s Web site, to watch Dr. Davis’s presentation.
Also, check out the book review of Wheat Belly (below) from Balanced Bites.
For those who are new to the Paleo lifestyle or have a vague understanding, I strongly urge you to read Robb Wolf’s, The Paleo Solution. This book explains everything, top-to-bottom, in a thorough yet amusing way. In fact, whether you’ve heard of Paleo or not, I highly, highly recommend this book. It will be eye-opening and life-changing, if you allow it.
Something I specifically want to mention that is misunderstood by the majority of the population is that fat (good fat!) doesn’t make you fat and eating cholesterol doesn’t necessarily raise your cholesterol. As cited from Robb’s book, our body needs cholesterol and if we don’t get enough of it our body starts making it on its own, which isn’t good. I hate to break it to you, but carbohydrates are actually the root of the problem. Carbohydrates increase insulin levels in the body and drive fat storage. Not only that, elevated insulin levels can cause a plethora of other problems, such as uterine fibroids, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, alopecia (hair loss), infertility (both male and female), etc. Heart healthy whole grains? Not so much my friend.
Speaking of carbohydrates, another reason eating grains is detrimental to your health is because it causes damage to the gut lining (whether you know it or not, it does!), leads to leaky gut and triggers an autoimmune response (it does other damage beyond these things too). Not only that, grains, especially gluten types are addictive and as Robb Wolf says, on par with smoking a pack-a-day. Here’s a short list of some of the problems associated with leaky gut and the autoimmune response:
- Type I diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Anyway, that is where I stop, but hopefully it’s enough to make you want to read and learn more. After all, what do you have to lose?
While you’re waiting for your copy of The Paleo Solution to arrive, please check out Mark Sisson’s posts here about common reactions and responses to not eating grains, and here to eating a high fat diet (because I’m sure these are questions some of you may have already). Mark Sisson is the author of The Primal Blueprint and maintains a well known Paleo/Primal website called Mark’s Daily Apple.
Please know, I’m not trying to stir the waters here, but it is my goal to spread the word and increase awareness. My intentions are nothing but good.