Monthly Archives: February 2015

Smoky Pumpkin BBQ Sauce

Brrr! We are not used to these temperatures in Houston! The temperature has been in the 30s for the past two days, and that’s too cold for this native New Orleanian to take! It will be even colder when we visit Atlanta to look at potential neighborhoods this weekend. Hopefully we can survive :)

Fortunately, cooking over a warm stove always keeps me toasty. Yesterday, I made a paleo Smoky Pumpkin BBQ Sauce, and per Ryan’s suggestion, used it as a marinade for chicken fajitas!

Smoky Pumpkin BBQ Sauce

Ingredients:

smoky pumpkin bbq sauce ingredients-001

Recipe:

smoky pumpkin bbq sauce 2

Smoky Pumpkin BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups organic beef stock
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 6 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Combine broth and garlic together in a medium sized sauce pan.
  2. Let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the sauce pan and mix well.
  4. Allow contents to simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve warm or store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
http://www.happy-eater.com/2015/02/smoky-pumpkin-bbq-sauce/

This sauce has a great flavor, and it went perfectly with our fajitas! For the fajitas, I marinated sliced chicken breasts in the BBQ sauce for about an hour. I also seasoned sliced peppers and red onion with smoked paprika, chili powder, and olive oil. Everything went in the oven together for 30 minutes.

Question: What non-traditional dishes would you make with BBQ sauce?

Bad Fat Science

I’ve written a few wordy blog entries about this old idea that fat is inherently bad for you. One post I wrote called Fat Lies! talks about the flawed studies that brought about the Non-Fat and Low-Fat era. Another called Why I Find Low-Fat Diets Useless discusses my reasons behind following a higher fat/lower carb diet.

So I won’t bore you by rehashing the content of those posts :)

Today I’m here to say how thrilled I am to see more and more information coming out about how science in the 70s and 80s misled us into thinking fat and cholesterol will kill us all.

The Verge: Low fat diet advice was based on undercooked science

This article discusses some of the faulty science used to demonize fat in the first place. Sources of fat in our diet were replaced with an excessive amount of grains. “Whole grains” became the epitome of healthy eating as people ate fewer real foods and more cereals and granola bars.

Washington Post: U.S. Government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol

This article talks about the recent meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which has decided to remove its warning about consuming dietary cholesterol. As it turns out, eating cholesterol-laden foods might not significantly affect cholesterol levels in your blood or increase your risk of heart disease.

One part of the article I do not agree with is its continued warnings against saturated fat. Sure, we shouldn’t be eating bowls of cheese covered bacon and sausage for breakfast (ew), but foods like avocado, coconut oil, grass fed butter, and whole milk are not the ones making us fat!

Harvard School of Public Health: Low-Carbohydrate Diets

This article summarizes a study that demonstrates how low-carb diets are beneficial for long-term weight loss.

New York Times: The Government’s Bad Diet Advice

This article talks about how, even with good intentions, the government’s dietary guidelines led us to replace meat and eggs with more carbohydrates like bread and pasta. One thing scientists have always agreed on is that sugar is harmful, and our plates have been covered with sugar (in some form or another) for nearly four decades.

One thing not taken into consideration in any of the above articles is the source of meat. Meat is villianized less and less each day, but buying the cheapest meat at the grocery store is not doing us any favors.The diet your meat consumed matters, and humane treatment of animals matters. Buying organic and/or grassfed won’t fix everything, but it’s a step in the right direction!

Okay..off my soapbox!

Question: What is your position on fat and carbs? Scroll down to comment!

Shrimp with Tomato & White Wine Sauce

Before I share today’s delicious shrimp recipe, I wanted to share this Taylor Swift duet with Gary Lightbody. Yes, I am a fan of Taylor Swift, especially when she sings awesome duets like this one:

Just thought I’d share :)

Recipe Time!

Many members of the strict Paleo community would not consider wine to be Paleo. In fact, they wouldn’t consider any form of alcohol to be Paleo. Well, I’m going to  to put in my own two cents in here. The main ingredients exist in nature, and even though it’s not as protective as red wine, a glass of white wine will still give you a healthy dose of antioxidants. Okay, enough of that. Let’s take a look at the recipe:


shrimp with tomato and white wine sauce (3)

Shrimp with Tomato & White Wine Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 3 small garlic gloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups pico de gallo
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Instructions

  1. Melt coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and cook in coconut oil for 3-5 minutes, or until all shrimp are cooked through.
  3. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Add second tablespoon of oil to pan.
  4. Add pico de gallo, garlic, basil, butter, and red pepper flakes to pan. Cook until tomatoes and onions in pico have softened.
  5. Add wine to pan and lower heat to a simmer. Allow contents to simmer until most of the liquid evaporates.
  6. Add coconut milk, shrimp, chili powder, and cumin to pan. (Add salt and pepper to taste.)
  7. Allow contents to simmer for 5 minutes. Serve over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or cauliflower rice and enjoy!
http://www.happy-eater.com/2015/02/shrimp-with-tomato-white-wine-sauce/

This might be a recipe we repeat quite often. Ryan and I love it!

Question: What’s your favorite way to prepare shrimp?

Sometimes, Breaks are Important

So I haven’t written a post in about a week…that’s unusual for me. I think last week my body told me it was time to call it quits. Early last week I thought I was catching a cold, so I drank some kombucha and bone broth, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best. It seemed to go away by the next day, so I considered myself free of the cold.

kombucha

My favorite brand at the moment :)

Then Friday came…and I think a combination of catching a student’s cold and me drinking a few beers immune-suppressing beverages allowed the virus to dig in its heels and stay a while. I didn’t move very much from Saturday to Tuesday, and I had a fever for the first time in maybe ten years.

I slept  A LOT. I think I slept for 10-12 hours each night from Saturday through Tuesday, and I took a nap each day that lasted at least an hour. I watched a lot of Netflix (the end of Orange is the New Black was so satisfying) and ate mostly bone broth and apples w/ almond butter.

Let’s talk about all that bone broth I drink. Its original state is quite bland…it’s broth, not soup. To make it more flavorful, I added two simple ingredients: coconut milk and chili garlic sauce. (I first tried it with buffalo wing sauce, but then Ryan suggested chili garlic sauce…both were good decisions!) The bland broth quickly turned into a creamy and spicy soup.

creamy bone broth-001

And yes, that is a Cadbury Creme Egg in the background. Chocolate and excess sugar help to ease the common cold, right?

The proportions are 1 1/4 cups broth, 1/3 cup coconut milk, and 1-2 tablespoons of something spicy. Chili garlic sauce, sriracha, red curry paste, buffalo wing sauce (try to find a “natural” kind), or any other flavoring would all go well with this recipe. It may sound funny, but I promise it tastes great :)

I also took a break from working out this week. I went for a short run Saturday before I realized I was actually sick, but I haven’t done much since then. Working out tears your body down, and when your immune system is working overtime, there’s no sense in giving it yet another task. I took a brief walk (more of a mosey, actually) yesterday to get some fresh air and work out some aches, but that’s as much as I could extend myself.

I also clearly took some time off from blogging. I had brain fog, and the inspiration just wasn’t there. But I’m back and I have a few recipes ready to go for Thursday and Friday!