Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Human Beings

Recipe: Holy Mole!

It's cold and damp here in Portland. I keep hearing about sunshine and warm weather in California. While I love our new house, the fact is, it's not insulated. On particularly cold nights the kids come down and sleep on the main floor with us - it's just too hard to heat the upper floor.

We had plans to get our house clean on Saturday, a couple folks were coming for dinner - and the sun came out. I sat on the front doorstep, the sponge of my heart soaking, and soaking. My skin in love. Mind drowsy. So needing the relaxation and the experience of being a flower opening.

"You have to clean the house," said the Critic that lives in my mind.

"Go away," I said.

"No, you have to clean the house. People will know what a slob you are," he said again. (Strange how my critic is male.)

"I will in a minute. I haven't seen the sun in weeks. Let me enjoy it!"

But it's not the Critic's job to let me enjoy things. It's his job to get me to succeed in some way.

While 'getting stuff done' is important, it's not the only important thing in life. We all have an internal Critic. (Most of us also have a few external Judges around that chime in and reinforce our internal Critics, but I'll explore that another time.) That Critic's job is to evaluate us all the time, and make sure we know when we're 'not doing something right'.

But there's that doing word again. The Critic doesn't know much about not doing.

And sometimes we just need to be human beings. Sometimes we need to take advantage of what is happening now, because it's happening now, and might not be continuing to happen once the work is done.

Like sunshine in Portland.

What does this have to do with food and cooking? Perhaps not much. But it has everything to do with nourishment. And being present. And true health can't happen unless we're not only eating well, but also resting, playing, snuggling, meaningfully working, moving our bodies, ... our entire range of humanness needs exercise.

Are you paying attention to your humanness? If not, don't let your Critic know, he'll use it to beat you up. But do shine a light on it. For your health and happiness.

So, how to deal with the Critic skillfully?

Agree with him. "You're right. I'm not getting anything done. Thank you for doing what you know how to do to take care of me." And check in with the other parts of yourself that understand something about balance. Listen to their advice, too.

And, after listening to everyone's input, you decide.

Holy Mole!

Okay, bad joke. But it tasted really good. Low carb, and without the chili powder it's low salicylate. Any excuse for chocolate!


* 1 pound ground grass fed beef
* beef lard or other fat for sauteing
* 1/4 pound finely chopped liver (I used chicken liver, I'm not a purist)
* 1 diced yellow onion
* Celtic sea salt to taste
* 1/2 Tbsp Ancho chili powder, if available (I used Indian chili, not as spicy as cayenne)
* 1 Tbsp ground cumin
* 1 Tbsp oregano
* 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
* 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa (I used raw cacao, because it's what I have on hand. It's not important, though, as it gets cooked.)
* 2 minced garlic cloves
* 1+ cups bone broth, beef if available, but any bone broth will do


In a small stock pot cook the beef and liver in fat of choice over medium to high heat until barely done. Remove to a bowl.

Saute onion in the same pot, adding fat if needed. Sprinkle salt on the onions, and cook until softened and slightly browned. Add the spices and continue to stir and saute for another five minutes until the spices have had a chance to thoroughly cook and meld with the oil and the onions.

Add the broth and meat to the onion/spice mixture. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, with the lid off. Add more broth if needed to keep from drying out. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.

Serve over rice if you must, but by itself in a bowl with some veggies and salad on the side is a great dinner, and so much better for you.

Serves 4

Proud to be a part of Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sage Olive Oil Cake

Just a food post - when was the last time I did that?

I was curious about Rosemary Olive Oil Cake when I first heard about it from Katherine Deumling of Cook With What You Have. It looked like it would translate well to a gluten-free almond flour based cake. And, boy did it! I didn't have any rosemary when I went to make it, but I have a great bush of culinary sage in my back yard, which traveled all the way from California with us a couple years ago when we moved here, so the queen of substitutions made the switcheroo. People were asking for the recipe, and they weren't even gluten-free folks!

I'm planning on making one with stevia and rosemary soon, but thought I wouldn't make my husband live through the uncertainties of baking with stevia for his birthday cake. I'll post that soon if it ends up working well.

* 4 eggs
* 2/3 cup coconut sugar
* 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 2 Tbsp lemon juice
* 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
* 1 1/2 cups almond flour
* 1 Tbsp baking soda
* 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt


Mix the almond flour, sage, baking soda and salt together, and set aside.

With the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, mix the eggs on high for a half a minute.

Add the sugar and mix on high until the color lightens and the mixture gets very frothy.

Add lemon juice. Drizzle olive oil in slowly while the mixer is still on. (You may have to turn the speed down a bit, or you'll get splashed!)

Mix the almond flour mixture into the egg mixture at low speed. Pour into an olive oil greased 10 inch loaf pan or an 8 inch cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, turning halfway through for even browning.

Cake is done when it springs back to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack for a few minutes, and loosen from the edges of the pan with a thin knife. It will be puffy when it comes out of the oven, and will deflate as it cools. Not to worry.

Tip out onto your serving tray to continue cooling. Serve with a light dusting of organic powdered sugar if you want a finished look, but your body will thank you if you serve as is.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's the time for setting intentions.

Recipe: Rockin' Paleo Nog

I prefer the description 'setting intentions' to the more common 'making resolutions'. You can make or break a resolution, but intending toward something is much less black and white. It allows for the possibility that while you may not always be perfect at what you're intending toward, heading in the direction of the change you desire is enough. It feels kinder to me. If you break a resolution, the temptation can be to give up, to think you've failed.

I realize most of you may have already made your resolutions by the time you read this. I encourage you to check in with how you've framed the changes you'd like to make. Are you being kind to yourself with them? Are they realistic? Are they really what you want to do, or are they what you think you should be doing? Perhaps what someone else thinks you should be doing?

Are you getting support in making these changes, either within your community or professionally? There is no shame in asking for help.

Whatever your intentions, may they truly support you in moving toward health and happiness. May you learn from the process of working and playing with them. May you experience deep transformation.

And may you feel the Love.

Rockin' Paleo Nog

Low Carb, Gluten-free, Dairy-free and GAPS friendly

I realize it's a little late in the season, but folks, this is worth making anytime in the winter. It's a great breakfast (yes, you read that correctly) with no sugar, eggs, and coconut milk. What could be better for you?

* 4 egg yolks from pastured eggs
* 2 1/2 tsp Stevita brand stevia extract - if using a glycerite, you will probably need less
* 1 cup coconut yogurt
* 2 cups coconut milk
* (or use 3 cups coconut milk and 2 Tbsp lemon juice)
* 1 tsp alcohol free vanilla
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 4 egg whites from pastured eggs


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and stevia until they lighten in color. Add the coconut milk, yogurt and nutmeg and stir to combine.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until stiff peaks form.

Whisk the egg whites into the mixture. Chill and serve.

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesdays, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop