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Two things I love to cook with are Whole Foods (or Trader Joe’s) pre-cut cabbage and grass-fed ground beef. Both are so simple to cook with and super tasty.   On a Thursday night, I can quickly make taco meat with grass-fed ground, a jar of salsa, cumin, salt, and onion pepper, and I’m done. Add some good guacamole and corn tortillas for the kiddos, and we are good to go!

Or, with the ground beef, I also love to make a good stirfry such as this or this. Again, easy peasy, and they are quick and satisfying!   

With the cabbage…

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I love cabbage because it just feels hearty to me. And, it soaks up flavor very well. If I can find some pre-cut cabbage (or I’m not sure lazy and cut some myself) and a rotisserie chicken, I have at least 4 simple tasty meals that I can quickly throw together. They include:

Chinese Chicken Salad – Good refreshing salad.

Houston’s Chicken Salad – For the leftovers,  I love this dish heated up.

Warm Buffalo Chicken Slaw – If you like Buffalo wings, you’ll love this!

BBQ Chicken Slaw – One of our new favorites!

Today, I decided I need a little bit of a change. And probably because it is the last week of school, I really didn’t want to put much effort into a meal. Alas, I still needed to make something that I could have around for lunch or breakfast for the next few days for myself so I decided to mix together my cabbage and ground beef. So I came up with this Curry Beef and Cabbage recipe. To be honest, my kids didn’t love this one (they didn’t hate it either, just “not their favorite”), but I sure did!! Good thing I made it for myself anyway.:)

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It was a nice change and I really loved it with some of my favorite pumpkin seeds on top. 

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Curry Beef Cabbage
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
  2. 1-2 container of cabbage so about 8-10 cups shredded (I used 2 containers as I wanted to have extra to freeze)
  3. 1 tbsp fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
  4. 2 tsp onion powder
  5. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 tsp coriander
  7. 1 tbsp sea salt (I used a bit more but I love a good salt)
  8. pepper to taste
  9. 3-4 tbsp olive oil for drizzling on afterwards
  10. 2 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Take coconut oil and heat it in pan on medium high until it starts to melt.
  2. Add garlic and cabbage and allow it to cook until the cabbage starts to soften.
  3. Then set that aside in a large metal or glass bowl.
  4. Next, cook the ground beef until it's done.
  5. Add the cabbage back in if there is room in your pan, or you can add the ground beef to your large bowl (that's what I did since I used extra cabbage).
  6. Then add the spices and olive oil and stir together until it's well blended.
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/
 
 

 

My husband and I have always joked about my eulogy. He has always promised me that the first thing he would say is, “If she ever offended you, she is sorry and didn’t mean to. She was just face-blind.”

Recently a friend of mine said that her buddy asked “why does she (“she” being me) act like she doesn’t know who I am?”. It really bothered me to hear that. And then I thought, oh my gosh, how many others think the same?! That made me feel even worse because I would never want to hurt someone’s feeling or seem unfriendly. That’s just not me.

I’ve always said (to myself) that this blog is not about me. But, if I can save some feelings, then I want to take advantage of the fact that I do have a blog, which is a good place to share this really embarrassing tidbit about myself…

I have a mild form (mild because I can remember my husband’s name–kidding, kind of.  No it’s really not that bad), of face blindness. If you’ve never heard of “face blindness” it’s an abnormally hard time remembering faces. Many faces seem almost unrecognizable, even after seeing them, working with them, or meeting them, and sometimes repeatedly but only sometimes.  I know we are all bad with names (well most of us), but this is a little different. I may remember your face after meeting you just once, or it may take a few times to actually stick. But if I have known you for awhile, please don’t feel like you have to wonder if I know you or come introduce yourself to me. Nothing has changed, except for my confession. 

Anyway, you don’t need all of the crazy details and history but I wanted y’all to know that I am so so sorry if I have ever not recognized or remembered you. It’s nothing personal, it’s just, well, unfortunately a part of me.

It feels good to get it out there so hopefully some people will read this and say “Ohhhh, that makes total sense!!”. But others may think I’m just a nut job for even posting this. Now you know a little more about me, for better or worse! And, please if I’ve known you for awhile, then I know you. No need to reintroduce yourself to me next week. It’s bad, but it’s not THAT bad. 

Nice not having to wait till my eulogy to admit that. One benefit of a personal blog I suppose?

Okay, on to something that does stick! And, while I don’t eat almonds anymore (like I said, I wrote this post years ago) I still wanted to share it and the recipe so the paragraph below is old but still pertinent. Oh how I miss almonds…

I’ve heard about making my own almond but just never took the time. Now that I have some, with less phytic acid and easier to digest (due to soaking and roasting) I am completely addicted. It reminds me of the Naturalmond which I love, but it was cheaper, and again, I love that the nuts are soaked in my almond butter! And it’s so easy to make! 

 

Homemade Almond Butter
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Ingredients
  1. I've heard about making my own but just never took the time. Now that I have some, with less phytic acid (due to soaking and roasting) I am completely addicted. It reminds me of the Naturalmond that I love, but it was cheaper, and again, I love that the nuts are soaked so it is easier to digest!
  2. 3 cups almonds (we like unsalted and roasted)
  3. 1 tsp honey
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Place the almonds in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pulse until they become the consistency you would like so from crunchy to smooth. You can process for as long as 25 minutes to get it really creamy. Stop and scrape the sides as needed.
  2. Transfer the almond butter to a sealed glass jar, and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Notes
  1. Works better in food processor than a Vitamix or other high speed blender.
  2. If you soak them, be sure to dehydrate them completely then blend. They also blend better while warm and the taste is to die for!
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

First, quick note. I will be speaking at my office in Brookhaven this Thursday at 7:00pm on how to lower levels of inflammation. It’s a free class but please be sure to email Carol to sign up. Hope to see you there!

So this past Sunday Alice and I decided to have a lemon cake/muffin bake off! The challenge: who can make the tastiest treat and take the prettiest photographs. Alice has been watching a lot of Master Chef Jr., so she was ready to take me down. I on the other hand wanted to make paleo lemon muffins without nuts or coconut to see if it could be done and still taste good. I see a number of clients with intolerances to nuts/coconuts, and it is hard to bake paleo treats without those substitute flours. 

I also wanted to make a treat that was low in oxalates, so I used pumpkin seeds (which I made into flour), since almond flour has very high oxalate content. You may be wondering what is she talking about…Oxalates?  It sounds like a made up word that couldn’t possible effect you, right? I’d heard about oxalates for years but never personally paid much attention until, recently, I went to my doctor with lower back pain. After some testing testing, it turns out I have oxalate crystals in my urine. So what does that mean? The first thought was kidney stones. But then I learned that oxalate crystals can cause so many more issues. I was fascinated and excited and bummed all at the same time, since I had been pretty tired and a little achy the past couple of months and couldn’t figure out why. It turns out, I think my body just reached my maximum oxalate load. 

If you also tend to eat a lot of these foods, your levels can be elevated. 

  • spinach
  • cacao
  • chocolate
  • almonds
  • chia seeds
  • sweet potatoes

Pretty depressing list, right? Go to the yahoo low oxalate group to get the most up to date list.

High oxalate crystals in your system can cause many symptoms. Fortunately, I was just having symptoms of the first two listed below:

  • painful or inflamed joints, similar to fibromyalgia or arthritis 
  • fatigue 
  • burning urine flow
  • interstitial cystitis
  • vulvodynia 
  • depression
  • leaky gut or all sorts of other gut problems
  • kidney stones i.e. oxalates combine with calcium to form these
  • developmental disorders in children, including autism
  • hives 

If this sounds like you, get a oxalate crystals urine test or an OATS (organic acids test) test or begin to slowly follow a low oxalate diet to see if you notice any improvements. There are also some deficiencies that people with high oxalate levels so it is good to test if you can. 

OK, Back to the treats. Here were the outcomes. I honestly LOVED my muffins. And I think the pumpkin seed flour turned out really well. But with that said, Alice’s lemon cake won hands down.  They were amazing! I think the texture of mine was a little dense (be sure to grind your pumpkin seeds better than I did!), but I loved both!

This is what I used to make my pumpkin seed flour. Just add to your food processor and blend until it’s a fine ground flour. 

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I love her hand in this picture. We might need to start with two hands on the camera to help with focus. Gotta start somewhere though! She is definitely creative.

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Okay, including her feet (accidentally of course) in this picture totally makes me giggle….And she needs to do her nails! Those poor toes!!

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She may have had a little help with this picture of her cake…looks good, doesn’t it? She did an amazing job!

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And here are my muffins. Pretty but apparently not as tasty as the cake above but don’t let that stop you from making my muffins. I swear they were so good! I’m making them again this weekend! 

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I hope y’all like these. If you make both, you’ll have to let us know what you preferred!

Here are the two recipes…

Alice’s recipe

  • 5 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix wet ingredients together in one bowl. Mix dry ingredients in another. Combine the wet with dry. Grease a 5×9 bread dish. Pour in batter and cook for 40-45 minutes or you stick a butter knife in the bread and it comes out clean.

My recipe

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl. Combine the wet with dry. Grease muffin tins or use cup holders. Pour in batter to fill cups about 2/3 of the way full and cook for 20-22 minutes or until done. 

ICING optional for both (I preferred without but Alice LOVED the icing and preferred it)

1/3 cup coconut butter (we used Coconut Manna), melted

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp lemon juice

Mix together and pour on the cake or muffins once they have cooled for at least 20 minutes. Enjoy!

 

I wasn’t sure I was going to get the chance to post this soup before Spring time, especially with the temperatures reaching 85 last week. But, with temperatures going down in the 30’s this week, it’s actually a great time for my final soup post of the Winter. And it’s a good one, I promise! In fact, we loved it so much, Alice, my 11 year old daughter, said it was her new favorite, and I have to agree with her. My husband and father-in-law loved it, too! Tate, my 8 year old son, said it “wasn’t his favorite” but I hope (for his sake!) he will learn to love it because it is a new staple of ours.
 
I first had this Zucchini Cilantro Soup a few weeks back at a luncheon (thanks for the recipe, Jennifer!) and it blew me away. I couldn’t wait to try to recreate a dairy-free version. I’ve never cooked with a poblano pepper before. It added such a nice (and surprisingly mild) flavor!! With the pepper, fresh garlic and lots of cilantro, this flavorful soup hooked me. Anyway, take advantage of the cool weather this week and try it while you can. It was super easy to make! I hope you guys love it!
 
_DSC3789cr_DSC3796cI love to make my soups (like the bacon cauliflower or butternut squash) heartier by adding protein. It’s way more satisfying! 
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Stay warm and enjoy the beautiful weather!
Cilantro Zuchinni Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4-5 tbsp butter or ghee (I love it with ghee)
  2. 1 large leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  3. 1 large poblano—cored, seeded and thinly sliced
  4. 5 medium zucchini (2 1/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch rounds
  5. 2 large garlic cloves
  6. 1 tbsp sea salt
  7. 1 tsp ground pepper
  8. 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  9. 1 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  10. 1/3 cup of the fat from the full fat coconut milk
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, add 4-5 tbsp of butter or ghee and saute the leeks, poblano and garlic.
  2. Allow it to cook until it softens (about 6-8 minutes).
  3. Then add the zucchini and cook until it starts to soften (about 5 minutes).
  4. Pour the chicken broth into the pot with everything above and bring it to a boil.
  5. Then turn the heat down to low medium cook until the zucchini is no longer bright green.
  6. Add the cilantro and the fat from the full fat coconut milk and blend with an immersion blender until you reach the consistency desired.
  7. Enjoy immediately!
Adapted from Food and Wine
Adapted from Food and Wine
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/

  • amanda fraraccio - This sounds yummy, where does the polenta come in? are you serving it over polenta?ReplyCancel

  • tricia - This is DELICIOUS. Perfect for a Whole30. Everyone loved it – husbands, kids, the baby, people not on Whole30, everyone! We’ve passed the recipe on to several people already.ReplyCancel

    • landriav - Thanks so much Tricia! Nice to hear. It is SO good, isn’t it? :)ReplyCancel

Every week for years now we have made a whole chicken in the crock pot, and we have loved it. But, I think it’s safe to say that this particular weekly staple has just ended. My friend Eileen told me about her “very favorite chicken” recipe over a year ago, and I just happened to find it.  I think it took me so long to make it because, well, while it’s pretty, it is also just chicken and it didn’t seem super exciting to be honest (sorry Eileen!). But the taste absolutely blew us away!! While the picture is pretty (except for my sad dish…please don’t judge!) it just cannot come close to reflecting the taste! What makes this so amazing is two things. First, the onions. Next time, I will use at least two onions if i can fit them in the dish. I had no idea roasted onions had so much flavor!! Second, and this is the most important (so why I didn’t start this with one? I don’t know) but the natural sauce is everything with this dish. You HAVE to use the sauce surrounding the chicken for dipping. It’s so good!

Thanks for the great recipe Eileen, and congrats to you and your team on your race this weekend!!

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It was totally his fault. He started nibbling, and then I did, and then Alice did….
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And then after the three of us attacked it (before dinner!), this is what was left. It was so good we just couldn’t wait. Poor Tate. You snooze you loose around here…

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Buttery Crispy Roasted Chicken
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (4-5 pound) whole chicken
  2. 4 tbsp ghee, melted
  3. 2 tbsp fresh or dried thyme
  4. 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  5. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  6. 1-2 large red onions, cut into slices (1 inch or so)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place chicken in roasted pan or dish.
  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel or cloth.
  4. Melt ghee and rub in between skin and chicken. Then rub the remaining ghee all over the skin.
  5. Sprinkle the thyme, salt and pepper.
  6. Place onions in pan on sides and try to make sure they aren't overlapping.
  7. Cook for 30 minutes and then turn pan 180 degrees and cook for another 25 minutes or until the skin is crispy and golden brown.
Notes
  1. Be sure the chicken breast internal temperature reached 160 degrees. Let it cool for about 15 or so minutes.
Adapted from Deliciously Organic
Stir It Up! http://stiritup.me/