Sunday, August 21, 2011

Feeding Baby

Since starting paleo, I've had a real increased interest in cooking. Another factor in my recent kitchen habit is preparing food for Molly-Pop. I love making her food from scratch for a number of reasons: I know what's in it; it's healthy; it's (mostly) paleo; she gets a great balance of macronutrients in every bite; it helps offset some of my "working mom" guilt; plus I have a theory it's part of the reason she's such a fantastic little eater. Too many little ones "won't eat anything but toast and pasta." As God as my witness, this will not be Molly Brown.

So, here's how Molly's food prep generally goes down... I take a large pot and throw in a bunch of veggies, whatever I have on hand. I try to make the base something orange and sweet, like squash, carrots or sweet potato. Other common veggies I turn to include broccoli (I always include something green), kale, spinach, cauliflower, and peas. I steam the veggies until good and soft (adding greens later in the process, as they don't require much time). Meanwhile, I'll poach some good quality (local, organic, grass-fed if possible) beef, chicken or pork.

Once the veggies and meat are cooked I pull out my handy stick blender. I cut the meat into smaller pieces, throw it in with the veggies and add a good bit of canned coconut milk. The coconut milk is not only an excellent source of added fat, but it helps give the mixture a nice creamy consistency and flavour. I let the hand blender have at it until it's well mixed.
Molly's 14 months old and can certainly handle eating whole foods with her own two hands. However, she's still quite agreeable to being spoon-fed her meals by us (though I fear the end of this is near). I'm still doing purées for her for a few reasons: we worry less about choking; every mouthful is balanced, she can't just pick out the stuff she likes best; and she eats more than if left to her own devices.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Skin Update - 3 Weeks Low Histamine

On June 24 I realized that almonds were not the answer for my eczema issues, rather a suspected histamine intolerance. I'm delighted to report that I'm on to something. For the past three weeks or so, I've limited my diet to mostly the following foods (with the odd exception):

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Sweet potato
  • Turnip
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Salad greens (no spinach)
  • Eggs (only the past few days)

After 2-3 weeks low histamine.

    Before: Ouch, so much histamine...

After: Freeing myself of excess histamine (taken Aug. 13).
As I get my skin under control, I hope to be able to slowly relax my histamine restrictions. Perhaps someday I'll once again enjoy the deliciousness of Bluefield Meat Shop bacon. I do consider myself extremely lucky to have figured this out before my whole body was covered in rash.

Any takers on the paleo spaghetti leftovers in my freezer??

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tenderloin steaks with roasted veggies

We had a couple of friends over for dinner last night. So here was my quest: prepare a paleo, low histamine dinner that is delicious, low-prep, and does not require many dishes (the last requirement was from husband). Well, I'm delighted to report it was a success. With the exception of some slightly too-salty steak, it was tasty, easy, and dirtied few dishes.

On our way home we picked up some fantastic beed tenderloin steaks from my favourite (local, organic, mostly grass-fed) meat people, Bluefield Meat Shop. Combined with fresh veggies for roasting, we were set. Below is the approximate recipe for this meal. I tend not to measure ingredients unless I'm following a recipe myself, so these are estimates.

Roasted veggies
  • 1/2 large stalk of broccoli worth of florets
  • 8-10 large brussel sprouts (ends removed and quartered)
  • 1-2 small onions (we're not big on onions, but used one of our large fresh CSA green onions)
  • 1 generous handful of walnut pieces
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
We had some fresh, organic yellow and green string beans, so I threw those in too. Technically a legume I believe, but I'm not going to sweat this one.

Simply toss your prepped veggies and nuts in a large bowl with the oil, salt and pepper, until nicely coated. Spread mixture out on a large foil-lined baking sheet. Place on the middle rack of the oven (preheated to 350 degrees) for about 25 minutes. You'll want to take a peek at your veggies after 15 minutes or so, just to be sure they don't start to burn. 

  • 4-6 beef tenderloin steaks
  • 1/2 T sea salt
  • 1/2 T freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T ground cilantro

Mix the salt, pepper and cilantro together in a small bowl. Stamp (I made this up, there's probably a more appropriate cooking term) your meat into the rub thoroughly on both sides. From here you could simply grill you meat on the BBQ as per normal, but I'm afraid we haven't got our BBQ out at the moment (I'll save the lengthy explanation - our loss). I started the steaks by grilling them for a few minutes on our George Foreman grill, just for the marks and to seal in juices. After about three minutes, I transfered the meat to a foil-lined baking sheet and added them to the oven with my roasting veggies (at 350 degrees). The meat was a nice medium rare after about 15 minutes. Upon checking the meat it seemed still too rare, but our veggies were waiting, so I went ahead. Turned our perfectly.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Reading Paleo Magazine

Just a quick post to share my delight over receiving my first Paleo Magazine in the mail. I've been anxiously awaiting this second edition since swapping my subscription to Women's Health for this new paleo-centred publication. I enjoyed it earlier this evening with a handful or two of organic coconut flakes.

I believe this edition has convinced me to finally go "no 'poo," thanks to one of my very favourite paleo bloggers, CaveGirlEats. I love the idea of replacing costly chemical-loaded personal care products with the likes of coconut oil, baking soda, and vinegar. And with hair this short, I can certainly affort the risk and possible transition time. I'll keep you posted on how it works. My one reservation is around the vinegar - as it's a high histamine food. Sigh.

With the money I'll no doubt save on personal care crap, maybe I'll treat myself to a cool new pair of Vibrams, which are also found inside the Paleo Magazine pages. I've been debating these for a while now, but am still in the phase where I have to demonstrate a legit need. For example, a legit need led to my food processor splurg. Meanwhile, a lack of legit need has supressed my urge to run out and buy an iPad 2 (blogging from the couch as opposed to the computer chair does not a legit need demonstrate).

Even Molly had a leaf through the shiny new magazine today. Plus, there's a gluten-free article for Tim. Everybody wins.


In other news, I seem to be onto something with this low histamine business. I've been hard core dialed in on the diet of late and will update soon on the eczema situation...