Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Paleo Sausages, and The Recess Problem

Argh! School starts tomorrow and I'm up so late (for my standards anyway). I'm starting year 11 so there will be a humongous workload continuously being put on me for the next, say... 28 months? I think it's easy to say that the whole blog-daily thing won't be happening as well as I'd want it to. But before I go, I just thought I'd pop in for my daily blog post.

Today I discovered a sausage shop that sells sausages that are grain free (mostly), use intestines instead of plastic and have good ingredients. I bought a packet of their sausages for tonight and they were insanely good. I really want to try their pork, fennel and chilli ones, and the honey lamb with mint and rosemary. I got the plain beef ones, because my brother wouldn't eat one with funny flavours in it, and like I said, they were superb. If you wanna check them out, have a look at them here.

Wow it's late. I'll wrap it up quick smart.
With school coming up, we're going to have breaks for recess and lunch, which sounds all good and familiar and normal, but during the holidays I've gone from a snacky grazer to a predatory cavewoman who could easily thrive on two meals a day. I only found this page today but it really epitomises my outlook on not just what to eat and what not to eat as a primal person, but also how to live. Anyway, so with this random 'recess' thing where the general convention is to put something in your mouth, I've decided to make this time a bit more rewarding without food. So I'll have a drink instead. A good one that is, and not just water. Tomorrow I'm having fresh ginger and lemongrass tea in a cute glass bottle, and I'm thinking that my little nourishing drinks will consist of ice teas and juices in the summer, and broths and hot teas in the winter. I can't wait for that!

I might come on. I might not. I'll just see how everything goes, and if all goes well and the homework gets done and the assessments are checked a hundred times and the exams are all studied for, I'll give you guys a post.


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Roasted Spatchcock

I've done it.

I've finally gotten myself a whole organism from the anamalia family, drizzled some fat on it, and whacked it in the oven all by myself.

A whole spatchcock is a whole animal, no matter how small it is, thank you very much.

(I must admit, it wasn't a whole whole bird - he didn't have any organs or a face, but he was nearly there.)

We'd kept him frozen until I was ready to tackle him, so after roasting a duck with my grandmother, I got the gist of how to prepare a bird for eating.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

It's Coco Snow, Yo

Let's just face the fact that I'm never going to be bothered enough to make a proper, smooth, nut or anything butter. Butters that don't come from a cow (and really, aren't real butters) all seem far too laborious to make. I think the title of 'Butter' should only really go to raw dairy milk that gets shaken up, but for now I'll continue calling it 'peanut butter' and 'almond butter' for the sake of ease.

Like, why has it taken me over an hour to get to some sort of stage where both me and my blending ingredient - coconut - can agree with? Yeah, ok, so maybe I've done other things between blend and shake my blender around and have tantrums at it but let's forget about that... Everyone else's takes twenty minutes! Why does my blender not accept the fact that I'm trying to make it a Vitamix?

Remember that coconut I cracked a few days ago? This is the result from that, high expectations and not wanting to spend $9 on an Artisana more-like-just-a-taste Coconut Butter jar. Stupid curiousity makes me want to shove fresh coconut into a blender and perform some sort of HIIT arm workout to make it spreadable. Would a normal person do that? I'm not even sure. Is there much point to making blended coconut? I'm really not sure. Apparently it's nice, when it gets to butter. But, of course, my blender does not contain the engine of a fighter jet so a velvety, creamy jar of spreadable stuff is not what's going to happen.

So we had to negotiate a middle ground.

Foodie Trail

I have a legitimate reason for being away, I promise! I went for a drive up the coast for the week, for a half-holiday-half-collecting-stock trip. And boy, did we collect stock. Have a look at all these beauties:

Friday, 18 January 2013

Super Lazy Almond Spread

I'm not going to lie. This stuff is not amazing. It's nothing like almond butter. It goes to show that if you're bothered to put the effort into something, it will turn out great. The opposite is true in this: I didn't try and so the result was not so fabulous. But I knew it wouldn't be spectacular, and I didn't try to make it spectacular, so that's ok. This stuff comes down to versatility, patience and time

I soaked a big batch of almonds nearly a week ago and they've dried a bit on the outside but they're nowhere near dehydrated. I wanted to make almond butter with almonds in this weird middle state so I popped a few in the blender and carelessly knocked the power to high.

And after a few scrapes and moving-of-chopped-almondy-bits and spooning around in there, I had spready, kinda oily stuff. It was chunky - super chunky at that, I found some whole almonds in there - and moist from the water but it was a quick almond butter style spread. And because the almonds are soaked, you won't feel like you've swallowed a brick when you eat a massive spoonful.

90% of the time, my nut butters just get blended into my smoothies so it doesn't really matter what it looks like or how moist it feels. What DOES matter to me, though, is the time it takes to make, and the cleaning up, which this nutty spread doesn't require a lot of.

So if you're really looking for an easy way to making nourishing nut stuff, have a try of this. You probably don't have to wait a week for the nuts to be in the fridge, but make sure they're not dripping wet or anything. They should only be moist on the inside.

But I'm just going to say, it's not the same as true almond butter.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Art of Teaching

Yesterday I didn't post because I was out til late (well, late for me) doing a stack of yoga. Two hours of purely awesomely fun yoga. Lululemon had their free class for the week on, so I wanted to go there. I went there Monday to see all the lovely stock, and I picked up a brochure to a yoga studio that did hot yoga. I looked it up later and found that they had a good deal and looked really professional so I constantly begged dad to go until he let me. It was on before the lulu class so I decided to go there too.

Hot yoga was fun. Really really fun. It was challenging too, but the heat wasn't as bad as I had imagined. The class started with some nice half moons (where I had to learn to let go and not focus on miss yogi in the corner, or the other guy dripping like a tap already on the far side of the room) and for a bit we did some easy (to me at least), bendy moves where I realised that I was more flexible than half of them. Can't remember what we did exactly but it was basic sort of low lunge and high lunge stuff.

Then we moved onto standing balances, where I finally realised that I'm more flexible than I am balanced. My tree was swaying heavily in the breeze, I could say. And doing eagle, I wobbled before my toes got behind my calf, and then she wanted us to straighten that leg behind us?! I will work on that.

Hip openers were up next, while I was grateful for. I love hip openers, because my hips are not open and so I do these type of moves every day. Pigeon was held for a substantially long time. Which was... not so fun. My hips don't really like pigeon that much. So I watched the sweat drip down my nose into the disgustingly absorbent yoga mat. I really hope they wash those.

The last bit of class was really slow restorative stuff. Once again, I can't really remember what, but some of them required some balance so I tried to focus more on staying upright.

After a towel off, I sat in the park for a while and waited for my next yoga class. Leaving that sauna was probably one of the best feelings of the whole thing. It's like a wave of cool and you feel like you've had this amazing massage that's relaxed every muscle, joint and bone in your body. No wonder so many people love it. I'm going again a few more times in the week while I'm doing the course, but I can't say that I feel like superwoman now.

I ended up waiting outside lulu, and when the doors were unlocked we rolled out our mats and were introduced to Crawf, the owner of another yoga studio, which I WILL go to. The moment I saw his naturally oxygenated face and heard his Yorkshire accent, I knew that the guy I marry better be like him.

We started class in a dark child's pose, and the class was pretty much a basic beginner's class but he added some awesome moves like horse with eagle arms, warrior is with reverse warrior and triangle, and my absolute new favourite: wild thing. Sitting up, one leg is straight in front, the other foot is on your thigh, your bent leg arm is behind you on the floor at your back, and you push your hips up, keeping the bent leg shin on the ground, stretching the other arm past your ear as you do the obligatory growl.

But the best thing about this guy was that he was a born entertainer. He talked not too much and not too little, he showed us that he knew the universe about yoga, but barely told us much about the technicalities and the beliefs behind it, and he made us laugh heaps. THAT was what made him spectacular. THAT was what made me even stronger in the last minutes of doing two hours of intense yoga. THAT was what made me take the business card off him and thank him like a thousand times for a great class. THAT was what made me do yoga better. Humour. If and when I become a yoga teacher, I WILL be funny, and my students WILL be fantastic because of it.

I guess that's all. Yesterday I leant a big lesson (apart from everything I learnt in acting class). I learnt that every yoga teacher is different and amazing in their own way. They all have a unique way of getting people to do stuff. The girl who took our hot yoga never shut up ("Andwhileyoubendforwardmakesureyourkneeisn'toveryourheelandbringyourpalmstogetheratyourheart'scentreandasyoubreatheintwistaroundtoyourrightside..." - I was scared that she wasn't breathing herself) and Crawf made us fall out of balance from unexpected jokes. Don't just settle for one yoga teacher. Try as many as you can.

The divine in me honours the divine in you.


Monday, 14 January 2013

Creative Thinking - personalish

Today was the first day in my six day course in the city yay! It's a course about modelling and acting which, I know, seems suuuper unrelated to yoga and health and wellness stuff like that but it's just so much fun. I could also be Tara Stiles-y and model and act out my yoga and cooking skillz via commercials and stuff like that. Which would be pretty cool, I reckon. Because modelling is so much fun!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Double Kale Omelette Roll and Colcannon

I promised you two tied-together kale recipes yesterday. And here they are!

Last night I made myself a scrappy colcannon with stuff we had in the fridge. And we had a lot of kale. So a lot of kale went in. We didn't have potato though so I don't know if it's still colcannon... Colcannon is the traditional Irish recipe I was talking about yesterday. It's simply mashed potato with either cabbage or kale, with a dab of butter and maybe some scallions and parsley/chives. I may or may not have looked up the proper traditional herbs before I made it so mine turned out quite differently. And because I felt slightly deprived without potatos, I added the traditional dollop of butter (more than what's in the photo, shhh!). I'll just give you a run down of my super-specially-lazy and not-so-traditional colcannon.


Could this Still be Called Colcannon

Serves as many as you want

Kale (equal amount as pumpkin, size wise)

Dump the pumpkin and kale (kale on top) into a pot and fill up with water until it reaches the top of the pumpkin.
Cover the pot and bring it to the boil, then change the heat settings to however your situation is going. Want that Irish goodness right now? Keep it at full boil. Chicken wings still have twenty minutes to cook (my situation tonight)? Turn that knob down as low as possible. Turn it off even, if it mushes up before you want it.
Once the pumpkin is all ready to mash, drain the whole lot.
Then add the butter. As much as you like. Really. Butter is good for you!
And get a fork and mash it all up. Mashing stuff is always quite fun, especially when you've got curly green bits there too.

Of course you could theoretically make this with any root veggie you like. It still wouldn't be a traditional colcannon. But it still makes for a delicious, healthy, kaley dish.

Onto breakfast!

I had a heap of leftover colcannon (from planning) so I designed a really kaley breakfast for myself. It's an omelette with kale cooked in the eggy bit, and then the colcannon stuff is spread onto the omelette, which is then rolled up. Sounds too good to be true? It's not. Just check out these pictures.

The process is pretty simple. Like I touched on before, you get your omelette going in a rectangular pan, and your mash heating up in another.
Look at all that kaley goodness!

Then, once you flip your omelette and cook it like normal, whack it on a plate or something and smear all the mash over more than 3/4 of the rectangle like so:
Just leave a little on the end, because you gotta leave space on the end of stuff when you roll stuff up.

And now you roll that stuff up.

Serve it with a bit of lemon, and take a photo before your first slice. Because that 'slice' won't end up as pretty as you might think. Instead of getting something perfect like this: end up with a squished:

Yeah, not so pretty as before. But it still tastes good!

Double Kale Omelette Roll

Serves 1 pretty hungry person

2 eggs
4 - 5 kale leaves
3 tbsp water
coconut oil or butter
3/4 cup leftover colcannon
more water

Chop up the kale leaves pretty small but still kinda roughly.
Whisk the eggs and the water until combined, and add about 2/3 of the leaves (or 3 kale leaves) to the eggs and mix it all up.
Heat up the colcannon in a small saucepan, add the leftover kale and add enough water for the raw kale to steam and for the pumpkin to not stick to the saucepan. Keep stirring it so it doesn't burn or do anything nasty.
Heat the coconut oil/butter in a rectangular frypan (round would work too, but it wouldn't look as awesome) and pour in the omelette mixture. Cook like a normal omelette.
Once the omelette is cooked, lay it down and spread the kale-added colcannon on the omelette thickly, leaving space at one end.
Roll the omelette up from the colcannony side.
Serve with lots of lemon juice.

By the way, the reason I add lemon to my kale or spinach stuff is because lemons have a lot of citric acid, which reverse the stuff that oxalic acid (in kale and spinach) does in your kidneys. The leaves are cooked, so that removes some of it too. Also, the non-heme iron in leafy greens can't be absorbed without vitamin c, so lemons (and the pumpkin in that colcannon) give you that vitamin c to get more iron than without. Oh, and I just think it tastes good. Think of gozleme. You have that with lemon, so why not something else?

Friday, 11 January 2013

Kale, to start off your Kaley Week

Got the attention of you health fanatics? Fantastic! Let's have a... not a rant per say but just a bit of a blabber about this super leaf.

I'd never head about kale until I joined the health community so I didn't really know anything outside of spinach. It seemed like spinach but a bit curlier, so I kinda wondered why everyone was screaming EAT YOUR KALE! Why was no one eating spinach, that lovely, versatile veggie that pops up sandwiched between pastries and cheese, or hiding among the lettuce in salads?

Down at the markets today, I bought a bunch of kale because it's a bit of a treat for me. I don't normally go to the markets so I don't normally get kale. Anyway, I also got a proper juicer juice from the juicing place with kale in it (plus cucumber, green apples and lime) and it was suuuper amazingly yummy! Last time I got a juice with funny ingredients in it (namely spinach, celery, maybe kale AND rocket) and it tasted like dirt. It actually tasted like they hadn't washed the celery or something. But this juice was soo good! It was super super sweet, probably because it had two apples and like two little leaves of kale but I won't say anything... But this juice was so good that I did a bit of a photoshoot with it. Excuse the bad lighting and the mostly-drunken juice. And the randomness of doing a photoshoot with a green juice, a bunch of kale and the black border around some of the pictures.

Ok, so I like crow.

I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

Coconuts seem to be a staple of paleo cooking, whether it be coconut flour or coconut oil or coconut butter or desiccated coconut or coconut milk or coconut cream... See? Sometimes I think paleo people are a little too dependent on these amazing fruits.

I find it kinda funny how someone can say 'I eat what a caveman would eat' when in reality, unless you lived in the tropics and actually liked exerting large amounts of energy into preparing a single food item, you wouldn't eat coconut as much as we do today. But then again, cavemen didn't know what cakes and cookies were, and he wouldn't need to make coconut flour to make them.

We've gotten coconuts twice, once before Christmas and the other one we got this week. But as much as I love coconuts, the process of getting it from a heavy, hard ball to edibility is pretty darn hard. Let's go through those steps, shall we?

Step One: Drain the Coconut Water. I'm not quite sure how a caveman would do this neatly, but find the three dark dots on the coconut and stick a thick pin type thing in there. I used a meat thermometer, but that's because that's what I found. You may have to get creative with that one. Once you reach the hollowness, tip it upside down and let all that sweet deliciousness trickle out.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Roasted Grapes

Quick one today!

Ever since I saw this recipe, I've wanted to have a go at roasting grapes. But I never got around to it because I kept forgetting to get grapes so it's just never happened.

And then mum bought a big bunch of grapes.

They weren't red grapes like I'd been picturing to roast with, but since I'd been picking one at a time every time I opened the fridge, I thought I should do something more productive with them than make them waste away like that.

So with my salmony, pumpkiny, radiescheny mess of food I plonked into a roasting dish tonight, I added a bunch of grapes, which I made sure didn't touch my salmon. I don't care what my food looks like, just as long as it doesn't taste so bad.

My oily dish didn't take too long to cook, and I made sure my grapes didn't get too oily (coconut oil, by the way). When it was done, the first thing I tried were these bad boys on top there.

Ignore that orange stuff it's sitting on.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Got Leftover Fruit?

We were delegated as 'desserts' people for Christmas lunch, and mum wanted to keep it simple so we wanted to do some fruit things. They weren't exactly 'platters'... We tried to recreate these Christmas tree things that I found on Pinterest but they didn't end up a thing like them.

Anyway, our grandmother had cooked two other desserts as well (and they were maaaaassive, let me just say) and everyone was full from the gigantic feast we'd had for dinner, so our four fruit tree things were barely touched. So we took them home.

What were we supposed to do with these sad looking, toothpick-pricked fruits that still had quite a lot of life left in them? They weren't the prettiest things, but they still tasted great (I mean, it's fruit, of course they did). Out came our saviour...


And did Mr Blender do a good job on those juicy fruits. With the help of my cutting up (and cutting pits out of cherries), and the multiple zip lock bags, Mr Blender turned those sad and sorry looking grapes, kiwis and watermelon bits into this glorious, heavenly nectar of juice, which was then poured into the baggies and frozen.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Surfing and Strength

Argh! This every-second-day thing is NOT working. I may have to make blogging a daily thing just so that I actually keep it going.

So the other day I went for a surfing lesson because I've really really wanted to go surfing for SUCH a long time. I got the lesson as a voucher for Christmas so we picked a nice beachy day and I went out for a surf.

And OMG it was soo much fun!! I slipped into a wetsuit and jumped into the nice surf with a massive group of other pre-surfers with my specially-chosen board (I had about three after they kept swapping them). The instructors stayed around for a while and were super helpful, and they all had their different teaching techniques so that made it that much easier to learn.

And how can I not say that standing up on the board is the best part of all?! One minute, you're in the water, standing on the sand, then you're doing a rigid push up on your board, and before you know it you're on your feet guiding the board down to shore while trying to keep your balance. It's so invigorating and just fun standing up on that board!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

It's been two weeks already?

Did anyone miss me? Christmas-and-New-Years time somehow just flew past my head and I haven't had a chance to stop and write about the fabulous meals I've made, meals I've enjoyed, and most importantly, meals I've spent with family. Or about how drastically my daily life has changed in the last 13 days. So I'll just do a round up of all the stuff that's been going on.

I think it was on the 17th where I decided that enough was enough and my body just needed a break from the unnecessary stress I was putting on it. More, but still not enough food to cater for every bit of my body was just wearing it down, so I decided that from then til the Sunday (the 23rd), I'd not stress about what I ate (of course, I'd still be super paleo and stuff, but if I wanted a bite of bacon when I'd already had breakfast, I'd have it, for instance) and I'd do an entire week of yoga instead of super-crazy-hardcore pilates which was getting to my back and neck. The idea of it was to completely chill my body out and see if stress was the reason why my body was in the weird formation it was in. By the end of my very calm week, I'd definitely seen some change in how I thought and how my body looked and felt, but the only bad thing I got from it was that I didn't want to push myself through another pilates workout again! Stretching and moving slowly is so much more fun than double leg lifts. I've definitely dropped down on how often I do pilates now. Since that week, I've had a ton more energy and I'm so much more relaxed, it's crazy. Having that big week of calm really did change my outlook on bodily stress and I think I'll carry my little experience with me for quite some time.