Finally, my chili recipe

Hey all! Been a very long time since I posted anything here. I get enough requests for recipes that I wanted to put this one in an easy place to share. So here it is! It’s very basic chili, but it’s good an hearty. Goes great over a baked potato, or a pile of mashed sweet potatoes, or a bowl of cauliflower rice.

This recipe scales very well, so I’m going to write it for 1 pound of ground beef but rest assured that you can just multiply it to get it to whatever amount you want to make. The basic recipe originally called for 2 pounds, but I rarely start with less than 4 or 5 anymore.

Basic Paleo Chili

1 lb ground beef

1 tbsp fat (butter, coconut oil or my personal favorite: bacon fat)

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp roasted green chiles, diced

1 can (14.5 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes

1 tsp salt

½ tsp Italian seasonings

1 ½ tsp paprika

2 tsp chili powder

Put the bacon fat into the pot and melt it over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and chiles. Cook until the onions are cooked through, or longer if you want to brown them a little (I usually do). Add the beef and stir. Cook until the beef is brown, or longer to cook off most of the remaining liquid. Add the can of tomatoes and the seasonings, and stir. Turn heat to medium-low. From this point, you’re really just cooking down to your desired level of thickness. I usually simmer at least two hours, but you can cook longer or shorter depending on your preferences.

That’s it! Easy enough to do multiple times a week if you’re us, and it scales beautifully. I’ve made it with as much as 12 pounds of beef (with everything else increased to match) and it works great.
Original recipe here: http://easypeas-y.blogspot.com/2012/04/paleo-chili.html

Pizza Potatoes

Hey all! Haven’t posted here in ages, but I couldn’t go any longer without sharing this recipe. It was adapted from another I found that worked well, but wasn’t quite what I wanted. So I decided to take that general idea and adapt it to be a little faster (something I can make entirely after getting home from work). Here’s what I came up with. Sorry I don’t have any pictures yet. I’ll take some next time I make a batch, and add them in. Enjoy!

Pizza Potatoes

2.5 lbs potatoes, cubed to 1/2″-3/4″

2 tbsp bacon fat

4 oz pepperoni, sliced

16 oz bulk sausage (or link with casings removed)

1 bell pepper, diced

1 medium onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp salt

2 tsp italian seasonings

1 pound shredded mozzarella

24 oz marinara sauce

In non-stick skillet, brown potatoes in bacon fat on medium heat. Move potatoes to 9×13 glass baking dish. Brown sausage and pepperoni for several minutes before adding onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, then add potatoes back to the mix for a few minutes just to get some of the pepperoni juices spread around on them. Add your salt and seasonings. Move everything back to the glass baking dish and stir in the marinara sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese, cover with foil and put into the oven at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 15 minutes. Allow to cool and serve.

We’ve also added mushrooms and black olives to the mix on some occasions. You can modify this recipe any way you like to match your favorite pizza toppings.

Thanks for reading!

More links, as I chew through my Google Reader backlog

Hey all! Back again, with a lot of great links. Most are from The Paleo Mom, since I hadn’t read her posts in far too long and she always has a ton of great ones. I’ll pull a few from other places, too, and probably see if I can throw a few from my overflowing link bucket into the mix, too. Gotta get these things out there!

The Importance of Fish in Our Diets – I’m still not where I’d like to be with my seafood consumption, but I’m to probably one serving a week. It’s not enough, but it’s moving the right direction, at least.

Artichoke Stuffed Artichoke – This sounds really good! I love artichokes, but never really make them myself. I’d love to start though, since they’re so tasty and give me a good excuse to eat something dippable (I’m like a giant, hairy 4-year old).

Coconut Oil Poached Tilapia – More recipes for cooking fish means more chance I’ll cook fish, right? Seems like a solid plan.

Carbohydrate Recommendations for Kids – This makes a lot of sense to me. Kids need some protein and fat as building blocks for their growing structures, and need plenty of carbohydrate to fuel their activity and growth. I don’t think it makes sense to put a child on a very low carb diet unless they’re already overweight and metabolically broken. As long as they’re healthy and active, just let them eat what they want. I really like the recommendation to present them with a variety of choices and let them eat what they want, since I’ve also heard that helps to avoid picky eaters.

Is Fermented Cod Liver Oil Really All That Magical? – Yes? It certainly seems like it is. I don’t eat many organ meats at all, so supplementing with some good quality CLO just seems like a smart move on my part. I also go with the orange-flavored capsules, and they do has a flavor to them (more of a smell, I’d say) and it is distinctly not orange. I don’t get fishy burps from the pills though, and honestly I’m a freaking adult. I can take a pill that’s good for my health even if I don’t love the flavor.

The Ingredient Allowed in Organic Food That Can Cause Cancer – It’s carageenan, which we were very specifically avoiding while on the Whole 30, but it sounds like it’s worth being adamant about all the time. I have a hunch (going to be testing soon) that the carageenan in the cream we typically buy (Organic Valley) is what is causing digestive upset for me and my wife, rather than the dairy itself. Kalona heavy cream contains no carageenan, so we’ll be getting that and seeing if we have the same response to it as we have been to OV. I’m hoping not, but Science! will tell us for sure.

Recycled Toilet Paper Not Such A Great Idea After All – Keeping BPA away from your sensitive areas seems like a safe bet. I won’t go far as to say “don’t trust chemicals” because…everything is chemicals. But I will at least say that identified, potentially harmful chemicals don’t need to be in close proximity to my personal areas. That seems reasonable, right?

That’s probably enough for one day. I’ll try to get back tomorrow with more. Thanks for reading!

 

Links! Not too many, but I’m easing back into it.

Hey guys! I had some fun links I wanted to post, so here you go. Not as many as I’d like, but I’ll try to keep ‘em coming.

Also, there’s been plenty going on in my own life, but too much to get to with the time I have today. Suffice it to say that I was at 201 and 12.8% body fat this morning, which is one of the lowest I’ve ever seen on my Omron. Woot!

Calories and Carbohydrate – This is another great example of Dr. Guyenet making me think about things. Nothing in nutrition is as simple as we’d like it to be, but it’s tough to deny that starving people tend to lose weight. I really, really want to see some of the AHS 2012 presentations. I hear that some of them relating to carbohydrates got a little heated, and there’s nothing like a little nutritional brouhaha to get my blood up. I don’t watch much TV, so I have to make my own fun. Sue me.

Suddenly Last Summer – Dr. Feinman discusses some really neat science, specifically treating cancer patients with a low-carb diet intervention. Sounds like it worked very well, and the next step is breaking through the intellectual inertia that just doesn’t want to see it. Fingers crossed that it’ll work out. I think that could be huge for people, and would make such a difference in so many lives.

Healthwatch Reno – More on the program Robb Wolf is working on with Specialty Health in Reno. Exciting stuff, for sure!

Defining Junk Food – This is a great, short piece about the dangers of gov’t intervention in nutrition. As many of us in the whole/traditonal/ancestral food worlds know, there’s nothing wrong with saturated animal fats from healthy animals, or with fruit, or with reasonable quantities of local, raw honey. Even if a government agency wanted to help people avoid “unhealthy” foods, there’s no guarantee that such an agency’s idea of what’s healthy would look anything like what I know to be healthy for me and my family. I’d rather they just stayed out of it entirely and let the magic of the information age work to educate people.

Plantain Crackers – These are nut-free and egg-free, which is important to me ever since we figured out that my wife has an egg sensitivity. They sound really good, and could be great with some kind of dip, or with tuna salad. Actually, that sounds awesome. I love my tuna salad with something crispy, and these would be perfect. I just gave myself a great excuse to make these!

Okay, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

Whole 30 – Week 3

One more week, one more check-in from me. Here goes:

 

I’m really starting to see some difference now. Significantly less on the sides, and a little definition around the upper chest. Score!

I think this perspective shows even more. I’m seeing increased definition in my shoulder, a flatter stomach, even a leaner neck and chin area. Pretty cool!

A couple other cool things. I made this dressing: Paleo Caesar it’s really tasty, and tastes just like creamy caesar dressing from a bottle. I used the It Starts With Food recipe for my latest batch of olive oil mayo and it turned out perfectly. Best taste and best texture of any recipe I’ve tried. here it is, if you want to give it a try:

  • One egg
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups light-tasting olive oil
Put the egg and the lemon juice into the blender or food processor (or bowl, if you don’t have those) and let rest for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Add dry mustard and salt and 1/4 of oil and start mixing. Once the mixture is smooth, you slowly (very slowly) add the remaining oil until it’s all gone. Voila! Mayo.
What else? Oh, I also made the ISWF BBQ sauce, and that’s been really good, too (I’ll post a recipe for that one soon). And we made cauliflower rice to go with a curry that some friends brought over. It turned out so well! Here’s the recipe for that, from Nom Nom Paleo: Another (Simpler) Version of Cauliflower Rice
So yeah, lots of cooking. It’s been really fun! We’ve also gotten into a couple of super easy recipes lately. Oven-roasted chicken parts is probably my favorite. Some clarified butter, some salt, some seasonings, cover with foil, into the oven for 35 minutes at 400º, then take the foil off and broil to get a little brown on them. It’s so easy you don’t even know. It’s tasty, too, and organic chicken legs from Costco are crazy cheap.

Okay, here’s a pile of links for you. I have many more, but this will help.

Vegans Secretly Achin’ for Some Bacon – I’m pretty sure this is why my wife married me. Bacon and underpants are a powerful combination.

Off the Wagon or Simple Indulgence? – “There is no cheating or indulging until you are well.” I like this idea. I also like his explanation for why an “indulgence” makes more sense, linguistically, than a “cheat”. I also think it makes sense to limit your indulgences to things that don’t hurt you too hard. If I have a bad reaction to gluten, I wouldn’t have a slice of cake as my indulgence. Your indulgences should be things you can enjoy a little of while staying healthy. If your indulgence makes you unhealthy, it’s too much or the wrong thing. Maybe it’s worth it to you to feel like a sack of smashed butts for a few days because you love cake that much? More power to you, but that’s not my jam. I can find plenty of amazingly delicious things I can eat that don’t make me sick. I don’t want to eat them for every meal, because that would make me unhealthy, but a little bit sometimes is perfect.

iPhone Appcessory Tests if Food is Really Organic – This is just cool. Science!

Chickens Dying From Fowl Light Bulbs – This is for my friends with hens. You might already know this, but it’s not something I would have considered if I had birds, so I figured I’d share.

How Should Science Be Done? – I’ve heard this argument as well, and I was swayed by it. Shouldn’t you be trying to disprove your hypothesis? If it’s your hypothesis ad you’re trying to prove it, doesn’t that mentality lead people to do bad science? I think it’s a reasonable question, but I can also understand Dr. Guyenet’s points. I don’t think that people are suggesting that we never stop trying to prove hypotheses wrong, though, which he seems to imply. At a certain point, those experiments are no longer useful, and I think everyone would agree. The difference is whether, when designing and running an experiment, you are working harder to prove yourself wrong or right? I can still see some benefit to going in with the mentality of trying to prove your hypothesis wrong, mostly from a psychological standpoint. Anyway, now I’m rambling.

Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 – Dr. Guyenet’s perspective on the conference. I’ll be posting more of these as they become available, and links to the talks themselves as well, when they pop up. Should be awesome! I like Dr. Guyenet’s perspective because he’s a little bit on his own in the ancestral health area, though people are slowly moving more towards his ideas, it seems. But he’s always fun, and sometimes he makes the hardcore low-carbers look downright silly. Or mean. And both are super funny to me.

Epic (Sustainable Farm-to-Table) Mealtime – This looks like a heck of a meal.

Why Animal Fats Are Good For You – A talk by Chris Masterjohn that he gave on the Low-Carb Cruise. That sounds like a great way to spend a week, btw. Steak and lobster and lots of garlic butter? Sign me up. Anyway, I like his approach. I also hear he absolutely knocked his AHS talk out of the park from a couple of sources I trust. Can’t wait to see it!

Okay, that’s it from me for today. Thanks for reading!

Whole 30 – Week 2

Jeez, I’ve been meaning to post more but life keeps interfering. Well I’ll at least get these once-a-week updates out, if nothing else.
Let’s get to it:

Honestly, I don’t feel like the pictures are doing me justice. I can feel abs under a thin layer of skin and fat all around my belly button. I don’t know that I’ve ever had that before. I know that I’ve lost significant fat, but maybe it just isn’t showing yet?

This one shows a little better, I think. Definitely less plump up front. I didn’t have a huge amount to lose, honestly, so I shouldn’t be surprised that the result isn’t super dramatic. What I would love to see is a comparison of myself before starting paleo and now. Unfortunately I didn’t take any proper “before” photos, but I’m so much skinnier! In a good way, though.

Okay, what else? Oh yeah, we’ve been making some recipes, too. Here’s one that worked well for us: The Tastiest Whole Roasted Chicken. Period.

We didn’t actually do it whole, though. I broke it down as best I could with my stupid-dull knives and roasted it in sections in a pan with some carrots, celery and onions. All I used to season was salt and a little black pepper and it came out really good! We also used the carcasses of the chickens to make some stock, which I’m currently working on filtering. I’m struggling with it, as I struggled with straining my clarified butter, but I’ve got high hopes that I’ll figure it out eventually.

Okay, I think that’s it. Sorry I haven’t been posting links for you guys. I just haven’t had the time to do them justice, so I’ll have to hit a few giant posts soon and try to get caught up. Thanks for reading!

Whole 30 – Week 1

Hey guys! Just wanted to check in with some news on the Whole 30. We’ve got over a dozen people taking part now, which is pretty awesome. I’ve finished reading the book, and absolutely loved it. We’ve also been getting as many group members together as possible a couple times a week to eat together, talk about progress, commiserate over foods we miss, etc. Overall, everyone seems to be having a good time, though the people who are transitioning to a Whole 30 lifestyle from a SAD are struggling more than those of us who were already paleo/gluten-free or whatever. We’re all still in the early, induction-type phases, though. I think as we get into weeks three and four, we’ll start seeing people universally feeling better.

In any case, I did want to share my pics with you. I’m doing one per week. Here’s the front shot from the day we started:

Side shot from start day:

Front shot from the end of week one. I can really feel myself leaning out. I’m not weighing myself (Boy do I want to, though), but I can absolutely tell by looking and feeling on my abdomen that I’ve slimmed down a fair amount. Just a week! Maybe you can’t really see it in these pictures, but I feel like I can a little.

Week one side shot:

Okay, here’s the start pic and the week one pic side by side. I feel like I can see some slimming on the sides for sure, though it’s definitely subtle.

Side by side shots of the side:

Not sure how much difference I’m seeing there. Most of the change I’m noticing is in the feeling when I touch my stomach. I know I’ve mentioned before that there’s a “loosening” phase when I lose fat, so it may not be getting smaller immediately, but the fat is much less dense, which has been the thing I’ve noticed first before I’ve noticed it going away completely. So that’s cool! I’m only a week into this gig, and there’s plenty of time left for some really serious changes, physically speaking.

Speaking of non-physical changes (hang on, I will be soon) there are a few things I’ve noticed that I’m really hoping the Whole 30 will help me change. For one, I am in the habit of eating something sweet after a meal. Every meal, it seems. Does breakfast usually include dessert? For me it was, for a while. So I’m working on that. Being done with a meal when I’m full, not when I was already full and then ate something sugary anyway. It doesn’t matter if it’s 85% cocoa, organic, fair-trade dark chocolate. The problem isn’t the sweet I’m eating, the problem is the habit that makes me reach for something sweet even when I’m not hungry anymore. The problem is also that treats should be just that, to my mind. There’s nothing special about Tuesday’s lunch. It doesn’t need to be finished with a dessert. Especially if I’m not even going to pay attention to thing while I’m eating it (which is very much how it tends to go). So what I’m working on now is to go without anything sweet after my lunches, maybe including some berries with breakfast, and I will generally have some fruit when I get home from work and with dinner. We’re going through a lot of fruit, which probably isn’t ideal, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Both my wife and I have noticed that fruit tastes sweeter when it’s the sweetest thing you eat than it does when you’re constantly dulling your tastebuds with hyper-tasting foods. I don’t know that I’ll ever get to the point where something tastes “too sweet” (you’re talking to the man who invented the jamsicle, here) but I’d at least like to be to the point where a sweet taste is a treat instead of the standard, especially if it’s any kind of added sweetener instead of fruit.

So there we go. That’s what’s up now. I’m enjoying good, solid, hearty breakfasts. Eggs with mustard and baconnaise with some paprika mixed in make for a tasty, non-traditional breakfast food. We’re also really loving the sugar-free bacon we got from US Wellness Meats (I won a $100 gift certificate! Did I tell you guys that? It’s awesome, and I bought so much meat.) and we found some clean breakfast sausages as well. Finding things that are gluten free is a cakewalk anymore, but finding packaged foods that are sugar free is far tougher than you’d think. Most any of the regular brands of hot dogs you see will have sugar in them. Lunch meats will often have sugar in them. Most every sauce, dressing, or anything else will. It’s kinda crazy when you think about it. My lunches thus far are mostly leftovers from dinner or my salads. Unfortunately the Applegate Farms pepperoni that I like so much contains sugar, so that’s a no-go. I found some pre-cooked chicken breast strips at Costco that are far from the highest quality meat, but they are definitely super quick and easy to throw together in the morning. For dinners, we’ve had burgers, steaks, chicken, ribs,smoked pork, lots of broccoli, sweet potatoes, a chuck roast cooked in a stew with carrots, celery and onions that was very good, and probably loads more I’m forgetting. We’re not hurting by any means, and we’re actually saving money, surprisingly enough. Gluten free packaged food is stupid expensive. It’s so much cheaper to eat real, unpackaged food that is gluten free because it’s only got the one ingredient. We’re also cruising through our meat stores pretty quickly, which is awesome! Gotta clear out the freezer and make room for the next cow.

Okay, I’m done for reals now. Thanks for reading!