Recipes · Snacks · Vegetarian · Veggies + Side Dishes · Whole30

Just Beet It! Beet Purée

I’ll be honest, for most of my life beets have been a hard limit. No way, no how, they were not going in my mouth. The taste was fine, a little earthy, whatever; but the texture, ugh I could not get over that texture – and so I spent all my life pushing away my grandma’s borscht and every fancy beet salad at nice restaurants.

“What changed?” you ask. For one, taste buds evolve as you get older. There are so many foods that I used to despise as a child that I love now (mushrooms for one). This doesn’t really help if you have a thing with texture though, so let me just get to the beet story: I recently had the extreme pleasure of ordering my Passover Seder plate contents from authentic-Russian/Ukrainian Portland powerhouse Kachka. Let me just say, if you’re in Portland and looking for a place to eat – you will not be disappointed.

One of the components of the Seder plate is commonly a shank bone or lamb chop, but vegetarians often use root vegetables. Kachka’s z’roah was a phenomenal lamb chop with a beetroot purée. Guys, listen to me when I tell you, this was the most amazing vegetable item I had ever put in my mouth. I licked my plate clean… and the container the purée came in, and the Seder plate, and The Boyfriend’s plate. Revelation: I love beets, and have been on a mission to recreate the recipe since this discovery (took me about… four days). Kachka let me know that their recipe uses a bit of honey which I have obviously omitted as it is not a slow carb compliant ingredient, but feel free to add some in on cheat day or if you’re eating paleo!

If you have never worked with beets before, don’t panic! I hadn’t either, but it was very easy!

For this recipe, you will need: 
Clean kitchen gloves (or two pairs disposable gloves)
Large pot with lid
Strainer (optional, but recommended)
Blender or food processor

Ingredients: 
1 bunch red beets (3-4 large beets)
1-2 tsp olive oil
~ 2 tbsp warm water
Salt, to taste

While wearing gloves, remove greens from beets. Leave the beets whole including the roots (the long skinny part) and about 2″ of the stem – this will help keep the red color from going all over the place. Place the beets in a pot, season with salt to taste, and cover with water.

IMG_20150408_072217

Cover pot with lid and bring water to a boil. Allow beets to boil until tender, about 40-45 minutes (very large beets may need some more time). Immediately drain beets and rinse them in cold water for 1-2 minutes. While wearing gloves, gently peel the skins off the beets – they should just slip right off along with the root, no peelers needed!

Allow beets to cool on a cutting board for at least 15 minutes. I gently cut the beets into a few large pieces so the insides would cool as well.

Once beets are cool to the touch, add them to the bowl of your blender or food processor with salt, olive oil, and 1 tbsp warm water. Blend until smooth or desired texture. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed – if your purée is very thick, you may need to add a bit more water or oil – and blend again.

Serve as is, or refrigerate and serve cool (I like it cold). Eat within 2-3 days.

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Health · Information · Progress

November News & Whole30

Wow, grad school is kicking my butt right now. I never had any intention of letting myself get this far away from the blog and for that, I apologize. People said it would happen, but I just didn’t want to believe it! I’m up to my eyeballs in homework these days so I’ve been pretty slow on writing and updating new recipes. That said, I’m still super active on Instagram and Facebook, so follow me there for all sorts of news, info, and updates while I work out some new recipes.

So let’s see, important things to share…

#1. I haven’t discussed it too much yet, but if everything goes according to plan, I will be traveling to Israel this January! I am so very excited for this trip, and while I definitely will be eating anything I can taste while I’m there, I’ll be walking it all off with one of my biggest fears (and part of the reason I postponed this trip for so long) – a hike up Masada. I’ve been training extra hard in anticipation for this trip, so if you follow me on Fitocracy you’ll be seeing a lot more deadlifts and cardio for the next few months!

#2. Following a heated discussion on Reddit, I just wanted to reiterate that, despite the fear-mongering and ignoring-actual-science approach many health writers/blogs use to back up their claims, that is not what I do here at Slow Carb Snacktime. While I do reference Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Body a lot, I also do my research and share or cite peer-reviewed studies whenever possible (obviously not going to happen on my own recipes). Please, question everything and do your research before uprooting your lifestyle to avoid “yoga mat chemical” because some uneducated twit said you should. End rant.

#3. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have noticed a lot more makeup-related posts lately. It’s my newest hobby and the most relaxing form of self-expression (for me) outside of the kitchen. When I’m not neglecting social media, you can find me occasionally posting on my makeup-focused tumblr as well.

#4. As you may have seen mentioned on both Facebook and Instagram, The Boyfriend and I have decided a new challenge is in order. After a successful Sober September, but otherwise stalled weight loss (lots of lifting progress though), we’ve decided to go ahead and give Whole30 a whirl! It’s a little different from slow carb, more like super strict paleo, but the mission is the same (high protein, moderate fat, no sugar). There’s no cheat day, but some fruit is permitted so I’m really looking forward to trying an alternative approach to improving health and losing weight (which you’re not allowed to track at all for 30 days!) It’s just us for Thanksgiving so we’re gonna power through and go to Christmas Eve. I’ll post as many recipes as I can, and will definitely be sharing other news and info about our whole30 adventures frequently via Facebook and Instagram.

#5. In response to the excessive liberties people seem to be taking with their low carb high protein lifestyles, abuse of “cleaneating” and other related tags, and the frustration it causes me, I’ll be using the tag #THISISWHATCLEANEATINGACTUALLYLOOKSLIKE as much as possible on all my Whole30 posts from now on. If you work hard to stick to your program rather than finding a way to work around the rules, please join me in using this tag. As so eloquently stated in the Whole30 rules, a sentiment I have often shared – “Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients.”

#6. A popular topic on YouTube, I’ve been watching a lot of “Fall Favorites” videos lately so I’ve decided to share mine as well:

  • InTouch leggings – My favorite leggings, you can dress them up or down without having to worry about your underwear showing through.
  • Adidas Amberlight wedge sneaker – I’ve been on the hunt for a good wedge sneaker forever and finally found these babies at the Adidas store last week. They are so comfortable and look great with anything, plus they’re actually normal width for normal feet (unlike super-narrow Nike).
  • 50lb kettlebell – The 50-pound kettlebell is my new go-to for workouts to help with mobility and flexibility for my deadlifts.
  • Purity Farms Organic Ghee – Find it at your local Whole Foods, this clarified butter is some of the best I’ve had and makes for an absolutely delicious Whole30-compliant omelette!
  • Fed Up – The newest food documentary to hit theaters, this one was spearheaded by Katie Couric and takes a look at sugar consumption in the US.
  • Kate Spade planner – Between grad school, two blogs, home ownership with The Boyfriend, and job hunting, I rely pretty heavily on my adorable Kate Spade planner to keep me organized.
  • Sherpani bag – The newest addition to my purse collection, this cross-body tote is perfect for travel or an active lifestyle in the crazy Oregon weather. I picked this up for my Israel trip, but it’s already my new favorite.
  • Tretorn Rain Boots – I used to hate rainboots and pretty much refused to wear them, riiight up until we moved to Oregon. Now I am constantly grateful my mom made me buy a pair to keep my toes dry in the never-ending rain!
  • Lauren Conrad Beauty – Surprisingly simple, but helpful book full of tips, advice, and beauty basics.
  • Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream – Normally my skin is super oily, but come winter in Oregon, my face feels like sandpaper and this seems to be the most helpful product so far. The rest of the time, I use The Body Shop’s seaweed mattifying day cream.
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Social Media Update & Other News

Okay I can now finally tell everyone that The Boyfriend and myself are moving! Say goodbye to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia… ’cause we’re moving to Portlandia! In 30 days, I’ll be updating from our new home in Oregon and couldn’t be more excited. New home, new kitchen (with so much counter space!) and the next step in life with my wonderful man. Can’t wait to see what all my new adventures bring to the table!

You can follow all the adventures of Slow Carb Snacktime & Co. here:

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Pinterest

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Date Night · Information · Poultry · Recipes · Skills/Techniques

Fish Sauce Chronicles: Episode I – Chicken Stir Fry

EDIT: This post was edited on 03 September 2013. Further experimentation has resulted in a slightly updated and improved recipe, but still quick and easy!

Now that I have floated down from cloud nine, I’m ready to share all the wonderful experiences I had in Oregon, culinary and otherwise. One of my favorite food adventures on this trip was the fish sauce chicken wings at Pok Pok Noi, Chef Andy Ricker’s (Best Chef NW 2011) crazy addictive creation. Don’t worry East Coast kids, you can find Pok Pok in New York too! Between the flour for the crust and the sugar to balance out the salty fish sauce, this majestic treat is definitely not slow carb, so naturally I’d be the one to find a way to make it so! My Slow Carb Fish Sauce Chicken Wing recipe is still in the works – first attempt was so salty that even my grandmother, the queen of salt herself, couldn’t eat them.

Until I master that elusive recipe, I’ve been getting creative with fish sauce in other ways, and so here we are: Thai Chicken Stir Fry – a much less complicated recipe with many familiar ingredients, giving you and me a chance to really understand how fish sauce can work. There is a fantastic article on choosing the right fish sauce, which I’ve shared on my Facebook page here (posted on 15 Aug 2013). Philly readers – I get most of my Asian-y ingredients at the market on 12th and Washington (including FRESH QUAIL EGGS, which we can talk about later).

Ingredients: 
1 whole chicken breast (boneless, skinless), cut into 1-2″ cubes
1-2 serrano peppers, sliced into rings
1 long hot pepper, sliced into rings
1 whole red onion, halved and sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced (1/2 for marinade, 1/2 for stir-fry)
2 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup fish sauce
2.5 tsp Stevia or Truvia (~2 packets)
olive oil

Seasoning: 
freshly cracked white pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander

Other than the time it takes to marinate/brine the chicken, this is actually a pretty quick and easy recipe!
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup fish sauce, 2 tsp stevia, 2 tsp ginger, 2 tsp rice vinegar, and 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic; stir well. In a large Ziploc bag, combine the sauce mixture with the chicken pieces and marinate for 1-3 hours. In the meantime, prepare the vegetables (peppers, onion, remaining garlic) and set aside in another bowl – if you are planning on making this dish later on, I recommend covering the veggies and sticking them back in the fridge for a while.

In a large non-stick pan, sauté the vegetables with some olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions and shallots start to soften. Heat a second pan on medium-high heat as well, and using tongs or a slotted spoon, add the chicken to the pan. You can add some of the fish sauce mixture if you like, but keep it to a minimum – I made the mistake of doing this the first time and my chicken was super salty. Add turmeric to the chicken pan and mix well. Continue sautéing the veggies and chicken separately for another 5-7 minutes, or until chicken is almost completely cooked through. In the last few minutes, using a slotted spoon again, move the chicken to the pan with the vegetables and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes or so, mixing well. Your chicken should be white inside (NOT pink) but still juicy.

Place stir-fry in individual bowls and drizzle with sriracha for an extra kick.

Got leftovers? Unlikely if you’re cooking for two or more, but if you’re eating solo, this dish makes for a great breakfast too.
Prepare 1-3 eggs however you like, I recommend sunny side up with clarified butter ’cause there are few things I love more than a nice creamy, runny yolk. Remove eggs from the pan and set aside in a bowl or plate, season with salt and white pepper. In the same pan you used to prepare the eggs, reheat the chicken stir fry by sautéing for a few minutes on medium-high heat. Add the stir fry to the eggs, crack those yolks open, and dig in!

fish sauce chicken stir fry

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Life Update

My apologies to all you wonderful readers for how long I’ve been MIA. It’s been an insane few weeks. I’ve got a few recipes in the works, including a small series entitled Fish Sauce Chronicles, but there have been some crazy [good] developments in my life as well.

As many of you know, The Boyfriend has been out in Oregon since March completing an incredible internship. We’ve had some ups and downs throughout our long distance relationship, but overall we are better and stronger. Some of you may also know that I just recently (like, this past weekend) celebrated my 25th birthday. I waited for days and days waiting for The Boyfriend’s gift to arrive… until I finally walked in to my party on Saturday night, and he was standing right in front of me. Let me repeat this: my boyfriend just flew 3,000 miles to surprise me for my 25th birthday. No one in my family knew he was coming, and the friends that did know definitely did not spill the beans. I got to spend three wonderful days with my man celebrating my birthday and planning our next step – his move back to Philly and into my apartment!

Disclaimer: My cake was definitely NOT slow carb, but oh man it was delicious! Created by the absolutely fantastic Sweet Life Bake Shop in South Philadelphia.

Surprise! I had no words.
Surprise! I had no words.
Blowing out the candles!
Blowing out the candles!
Amazing lemon cake!
Amazing lemon cake!
Birthday Dinner @ Parc
Birthday Dinner @ Parc

All that being said, please forgive me for not updating since before my trip out to Oregon at the beginning of the month! I promise there are lots of goodies coming up, and I will be cooking a lot more now that I have the kitchen to myself again (I was forbidden from using fish sauce all summer ’cause my grandma hates the smell!)

Mini-Progress update: Sorry I don’t have a picture yet, but I just fit into a pair of INC size 12 super skinny curvy fit jeans that have been sitting in my closet since March!

Information · Random · Restaurants

Portland-bound

Ahhhhh! I am ecstatic to be heading out to Oregon this weekend to visit The [Wonderful] Boyfriend for 10 days of UFC matches, excellent food, camping, and celebrating our first year together. I don’t usually write entries like this, all personal and girly, but sometimes I guess it just needs to happen!

I’ve said in the past that I will write reviews for local restaurants providing good Slow Carb/gluten-free options. I have written a few, but it’s definitely something I would like to do more of, especially since trying out new restaurants is one of my favorite things. I guess I thought if I wrote it out as a new “goal” on my blog, it would motivate me to actually start doing it (for fear of you calling me out on my lazy restaurant review writing), so there. I am going to be in Oregon for a week and a half and always keep a pretty detailed list of our activities, so maybe this is a good time to work on some restaurant reviews AND travel writing. Stay tuned for reviews of some of my Portland favorites!

Ok the real reason I started writing this post is because I am just super giddy and wanted to share the newest addition to MY “Royal Family”. He arrived today by UPS, weighing in at a solid 14 pounds:

my new baby!
my new baby!

This guy caught me totally by surprise, an absolutely wonderful anniversary gift from The Boyfriend, who has taunted me for days about a present coming my way (now totally makes sense why he had it shipped to me directly). I am the incredibly proud new owner of a Cuisinart 9-cup food processor in brushed stainless. It comes with two blades (a regular one for chopping/mixing and a dough blade), two discs (4mm slicing blade and a medium shredding disc), and all the components are machine washable! For those of you that don’t know, I have until this point been using a food processor that my parents received as a wedding gift… 27 years ago, so this is super f*cking awesome. Really can’t wait to make my summer gazpacho now (this recipe will be up when I get back from my trip).

Just a reminder to “like” my page on Facebook and follow me on Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest/Foodspotting/Yelp! Be good while I’m away!

Information · Random

Life Is Beautiful

Lovely readers, I apologize for slacking on posts as of late. What can I say? Life gets in the way. I’ve returned from my trip to Oregon to visit The Boyfriend refreshed and re-upped on positive energy and I promise to post some freaking delicious recipes this week!

Recipes to expect:
– White BBQ chicken
– Cajun-y pork chops
– Whatever else I come up with after I re-stock my fridge!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at SlowCarbSnacktime and on Twitter @SlowCarbSnacks !!!

In the meantime, enjoy some photos from the beautiful state of Oregon.

Life is so hard in Hillsboro, OR
Life is so hard in Hillsboro, OR
The Boyfriend took me to a Timbers game. So much fun!
The Boyfriend took me to a Timbers game. So much fun!
Faturday brunch in Portland at The Picnic House, a converted historic hotel.
Faturday brunch in Portland at The Picnic House, a converted historic hotel.
An abandoned ice cream shop by Forest Park. Portland, OR
An abandoned ice cream shop by Forest Park. Portland, OR