Health · Information

Why I’m Going Paleo

In the realm of paleo, primal, keto, slow carb, and Whole30…what you choose to shovel into your face each day really comes down to personal preference. For most of the last 4.5 years, I have been following the slow carb diet as per Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Body. This summer, after a second round of Whole30 (which you can read about here), I’ve decided to make a small yet simultaneously substantial change. I’m going paleo. Strict paleo, not the “here I made paleo blueberry muffins” kind of nonsense. Basically Whole30 with select days to enjoy my food freedom.

I could probably spend a full day talking your ears eyes off about why I’m making the switch, and The Boyfriend is joining me too, but instead I’ve broken it down into a few main points.

Results: This round of Whole30 has been so wonderfully successful for me, for both physical health and mental health and yes, weight loss too. My weight is something I’ve struggled with quite a bit since my muscle disease started showing itself back in 2010. (Which reminds me, I haven’t done a chronic illness update in years at this point, coming right up!) I made more progress in weight loss and chronic pain relief on this Whole30 than in the last few years of slow carb combined. A paleo-leaning lifestyle just works better with my body and my life and really, that’s enough on its own to make me switch things up.

Continue reading “Why I’m Going Paleo”

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Beef · CrockPot · Lamb · Poultry · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian

Two Years: My Top 20 Recipes!

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been TWO YEARS since I first created SlowCarbSnacktime. It’s been a long road learning how to eat properly and fuel my body, and there’s still a very long journey ahead, but it has been such an amazing and educational adventure so far and I’ve come up with so many healthy slow carb recipes along the way. There’s many more to come, but for now, I’m celebrating two years of SlowCarbSnacktime with my top 20 recipes.

All 20 of these recipes are grain, gluten, sugar, corn, potato, rice, and soy-free. Two recipes use some dairy, but I’ll make sure to note that in the list. I will also note paleo and whole30 compliant recipes (they are obviously all slow carb compliant). Items marked “vegetarian” are either vegetarian or can easily be made so by changing an ingredient such as swapping out chicken stock for vegetable stock.

  1. Amazeballs: Super Scallion Turkey Meatballs – paleo/whole30 – I used ground pork rinds instead of bread crumbs to give these meatballs the fluffiness they need without the carbs you don’t want.
  2. B^3: Butternut Bacon Bitespaleo/whole30 – It may take a few minutes to wrap these precious little pieces of squash in strips of bacon, but I promise it’s worth every second of your time.
    IMG_20140101_092322
  3. Butternut Squeek Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – There are few things better than a hot butternut squash soup on a cold winter day… this soup with butternut squash plus leeks is one of them.
  4. Chicken Liver Mousse – dairy – Okay, I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of butter in this recipe, but it is one of the easiest things to make for a classy dish to stun your guests without sacrificing protein. Also tastes great with eggs for breakfast, or by itself on a very large spoon…

    Beautifully set. Dig in!
    Beautifully set. Dig in!
  5. Decontamination: Ginger Chicken Souppaleo/whole30 – The perfect comeback to any cold, my chicken soup is infused with a ton of ginger to help combat the ickiest of feelings. A favorite of my dad’s to fight back against chronic sinus infections.
  6. Duck Duck Asparaguspaleo/whole30 – Crispy asparagus oven-roasted in duck fat. The way to my heart is through my stomach.
  7. Easy Peas-y: Split Pea Soup w/ Sausage – One of The Boyfriend’s favorites, I boil the sausage in chicken stock and then use that stock in the soup. So rich, so good.
    IMG_20131118_102852
  8. “Gazpacheaux” Gazpachovegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This cold tomato soup is a perfect snack to beat the summer heat or spoon into shot glasses for a classier kind of party.
  9. Hold the Sizzle: Fiery Chicken Fajitas – paleo/whole30 – This spicy little stir fry is a great option for a protein-packed dinner for two and tastes great with strips of beef too!
  10. Holy Crap! Garlic Soupvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – Over 20 cloves of garlic and a whole head of cauliflower into the pot for a super smooth, bright white soup.
  11. Kimchi Fried Cauli-Rice – paleo/whole30 – Cauliflower rice, kimchi, eggs, and bacon fat. What more could you want?
  12. Lamb Chop’s Play Along: One Baaaaad Burgerpaleo/whole30 – This ground lamb burger with fresh rosemary is so juicy, sticking it on a bun would just be a waste.
  13. Perfect ‘Stachio Guacvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – My copy cat version of the stunning guacamole at Jose Garces’ El Vez. Never pay $14 for guac again.
    P1010122
  14. Red Lentils are Dal-iciousvegetarian – My take on a traditional Indian dal, prepared in a slow cooker using red lentils and a ton of fresh spinach. I crave this all the time and it’s a great dish entirely on its own, paired with a meaty protein, or even reheated in a pan with some eggs!
  15. Rosemary Bone Brothcrockpot, paleo/whole30 – This slow-cooked broth is made from beef soup/marrow bones and cooks on low for nearly two days to extract all the vitamin goodness from the bones. When it’s cold, it looks like jell-o, but warm it up for a mineral-packed cup of life. Seriously, I know how cheesy that sounds, just try it. It’s amazing.
    20140523_1634433
  16. Saturday Morning Shakshuka / Date Night Zoodlesvegetarian, paleo/whole30 – These two quick dishes pair great together for a meal so tasty, you won’t even realize there’s no meat!
  17. Sweet Hundos: Oven-Roasted Cherry Tomato Saucevegetarian, paleo/whole30 – This super easy tomato sauce is made with “Sweet 100’s” cherry tomatoes and is unlike any sauce I’ve tasted before. I just couldn’t get enough and ate half the jar with a spoon. Serve with just about anything.

    Mmm saucy!
    Mmm saucy!
  18. Top Secret Deviled Eggs / Devilish Egg Salad – My go-to potluck dish and an easy alternative for cravings at home.
  19. Tiny Viking Funerals – cheat day, dairy – Jalapenos stuffed with chorizo and cream cheese. A cheat day treat guaranteed to knock the socks off all your friends.
    20140209_1734100
  20. Whatsername Fish Tacos – Chickpea flour-crusted tilapia fillets and large lettuce leaves make for this delicate but delicious taco dinner. You won’t even miss the tortillas.
Kid-Friendly · Recipes · Snacks · Vegetarian · Veggies + Side Dishes

Nice Rice: Cauliflower

I’ve been hearing about making “rice” from cauliflower for months now, but hadn’t tried it at home yet. Since I made that Spinach Dal the other day, it was finally time for a rice component, and oh boy is this stuff delicious!!! Any dish where you could want or need rice, this is the most perfect of substitutions. We’ve had it with the dal and some stir-fry, and I can’t wait to try it with my chorizo and eggs tomorrow morning.

All you’ll need for this tasty dish is a food processor, like my beloved Cuisinart Prep-9.

IMG_20140106_093413

Ingredients: 
1 large head cauliflower, washed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp clarified butter or ghee

Seasoning: 
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

Rinse cauliflower thoroughly with cold water, removing leaves and stem. Cut cauliflower into medium-sized florets and spread out on a cutting board or baking sheet. You need to allow the cauliflower to dry after washing it or it will mush together in the food processor.

Once cauliflower has dried (I just let it sit out  for about 45 minutes while we watched Intel’s CEO’s keynote speech for CES 2014), add to the food processor in small batches. Pulse in short intervals until the cauliflower begins to look like rice. Remove to a separate bowl, and repeat with the next batch – I tried doing it all at once and it started to stick together so I ended up doing 3 or 4 smaller batches.

Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a large non-stick pan on medium heat. Add cauliflower and salt, mixing gently to prevent sticking and help expedite water evaporation. Cook cauliflower on medium heat for about 10 minutes, mixing often. Add butter/ghee, onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper(s); mix thoroughly. Continue heating the cauliflower “rice” for at least another 5 minutes, or until heated through and has the mouth feel of regular rice.

Serve with Spinach Dal or any other dish requiring a rice component. Enjoy!

Baked · Breakfast · Kid-Friendly · Recipes · Veggies + Side Dishes

Scrambled Egg Muffin Cups

Oh yes, you read that correctly. Scrambled. Egg. Muffins. For when you are like me, and suck at waking up on time for work every morning. Lately I’ve been reaching for Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Gold Standard Protein Powder for my on-the-go breakfast – it’s pretty damn tasty and both Chocolate Mint and Mocha Cappuccino are aspartame-free (I’m allergic). You can find the good stuff right here. Protein powder might be a little faster, but eggs are essentially the “perfect protein” and sometimes I just want some eggy weggies for breakfast. You will need a muffin pan for this recipe, the rest is pretty standard.

These are not the prettiest thing I’ve ever made, but I’m a real human being with a real 9-to-5 job and not a professional chef. They still taste great and make for the super-speedy breakfast I’m looking for.

Just gettin' in the oven!
Just gettin’ in the oven!

Ingredients: 
clarified butter or olive oil spray, to grease the muffin pan
– 12 large eggs, organic/cage free whatever you want
– 2-3 serrano or jalapeño peppers, halved and finely chopped
– red onion, finely chopped (optional)
– fresh spinach
– 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast

Seasoning: 
– salt
– freshly cracked pepper
– paprika
– onion powder (if not using red onion)

Note: If you are making this for your kids, probably best to skip the hot peppers and opt for bell instead, but really, do whatever you want.

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F. Grease (thoroughly) all the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with clarified butter (or other fat of choice).

In a large bowl, crack and scramble one dozen large eggs and season with salt, pepper, paprika, etc. Slowly add 2 tbsp. of nutritional yeast, making sure to incorporate and mix well so there are no clumps (add less if you like, but I think it makes them really nice and fluffy and adds a great flavor). To the mixture, add the chopped peppers and give it one last good mix to make sure they are spread evenly.

Pour the scrambled egg mixture evenly into each cup, filling them about 2/3 full. (If you notice in my pictures, I filled them WAY too much, don’t do that, it will overflow everywhere). Add one or two spinach leaves to each cup, gently pressing them down into the egg mixture so they bake in rather than just lie on top.

Bake the muffin cups for about 20 minutes and let sit on the counter for another 5 before removing from the pan. Using a sharp knife, loosen the edges of the egg muffin from the sides of the pan so they pop out easier.

Enjoy plain or add some spicy salsa for an added kick! Refrigerate for up to three days or freeze for up to a week!

Second Attempt - way better!
Egg-celent!
Baked · Pork · Recipes

Spare Ribs: Gangnam Style

EDITED 3 Jul 2013: My second attempt of this recipe was far more successful and I have updated this post to reflect the changes I made that resulted in amazing ribs (my friend even said so and he’s from Kentucky so you can believe these are legit).

Mmm porky goodness a la spare ribs! While barbecue season is officially in full swing, sometimes you just crave a slightly different flavor profile. Enter: Korean BBQ (sort of). Tasty things from my oven. This marinade is super quick to make (especially if you already have some grated ginger) and you can bake them inside if you’re a city kid like me and don’t have a patio/grill.

Ingredients: 
– 2 lbs Korean-cut spare ribs (flanken)*
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 oz rice vinegar
– 6 oz Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
– 2 tsp grated ginger
– 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
– 1 jalapeño pepper , chopped
– clarified butter (to grease the pan)

Seasoning:
– salt
– pepper/white pepper
– onion powder
– hot Hungarian paprika

Combine all of the ingredients (excluding the meat) in a medium-sized bowl and mix well.

The ribs came in one long strip and I used a smaller pan, so I cut them into smaller sections just to make ’em fit, but there is no size rule really as long as they can lay flat in the pan. Place the ribs in a large Ziploc bag (heavy duty/freezer bags recommended) and pour the mixture over the ribs, making sure to seal the bag tightly! Shake it around a bit to make sure the meat is well-coated and place back in the refrigerator to marinate – the longer the better, overnight would be great. For my second attempt with this recipe, I intended to marinate them for a full 24 hours, but then I got lazy so it ended up being more like 45. Best idea! (Note: when putting back in the fridge, I would recommend lying the ribs and bag flat on one side and flipping over about halfway through your marinating time. This seemed to help the meat lock in more flavor and kept each piece coated.)

When ready to cook:

Pre-heat oven to 350*F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil (makes for easier clean-up!) and rub the bottom with some clarified butter to prevent sticking.

Remove the ribs from the marinade and place them on the pan, bone side down. Drizzle a few more spoonfuls of the marinade liquid on top of the ribs, but try not to drown them. We don’t want them sitting in liquid the whole time.

Roast ribs until they are cooked through and tender, about 2 hours.

Something about raw meat still always looks delicious to me
“Before”
Something about raw meat still always looks delicious to me
I can't even describe how amazing these smell
“After”
I can’t even describe how amazing these smell

 

Recommended side-dish: Perfect ‘Stachio Guac

*Korean- or Chinese-style ribs can be found in most Asian markets (like the Vietnamese place on 10th and Washington, if you’re in Philly). This cut is also called “flanken” and refers to the cut of meat cut lengthwise across the rib bones.