Monday, May 10, 2021

May's Challenge, Building a Recipe Box Hacks

                                         

Guilty as charged. I am a junky, reading and collecting recipes. I have hundreds saved in my Pinterest account, magazines, boxes, one might say it is a problem. I call it research. I love sitting down with a glass of wine and going through Bon Appetit! A simple joy and pleasure of mine. There are great benefits to reading recipes, you learn about combinations of seasonings, spices, acid, sweet, heat, new ways of cooking food, new ideas to try. It is fantastic research and learning. If you want to improve your cooking skills I suggest spending some time reading recipes.  

The struggle when you have hundreds, thousands of recipes, too many can be too many. They do begin to run together, sound similar and can overwhelm you. Find recipes you like and read through others to learn.

Two things I do to help with meal time prep and building a recipe box:
weekly menu
have themes for each day:
  • Monday- Grill/Bake
  • Tuesday- Tacos
  • Wednesday- Soup/Salad
  • Thursday- International day
  • Friday- Fish
  • Saturday- Try a New Recipe
  • Sunday- Steak
I truly made most of this up, a few of them I do follow. Come up with themes that will work for your needs, this is an idea to get you started. The benefits of this, you have an idea already each each day what you are going to make. It takes less time to prep and make a menu than if you come up with different things each day. Or you don't plan at all and are left going out to eat consistently. 

This will also help you with pantry and freezer items to keep on hand. You are low on taco seasonings, pick some up the next time you are at the store. You will begin to learn what you need to keep on hand. When you have items on hand you cook with and meal ideas already planned, you are less likely to be left with nothing in the fridge or no time because you don't know what you are going to make and have to go to the store because you don't have ingredients on hand. Easier at this point, order pizza.   

Sitting down and making a menu for a week or two, going shopping once saves time in the long run. Yes, it is some work up front, but you save time by already having the menu and ingredients on hand. 
This also helps with batch cooking. Say on Monday when you grill or bake meat, cook extra meat. Use it for leftovers at work but also on your salad/soup, or tacos. This will help make these meals even faster for you. Meat is already cooked, bring out the tacos ingredients and in 15 minutes or less you are eating dinner. Cooking more meat upfront takes some of the load off for other days. You are already baking or have the grill fired up, it doesn't take much more time to cook several extra pieces or add another protein to the cooking for another meal later in the week. Time saver. 

What tips do you have for building a recipe box? Have you tried any of these before, have they worked? 

Where your mitochondria goes, your health goes.
All my love
Jenn

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tuesday Recipe: Primal Granola

Grain free granola, full fat yogurt

Primal Granola
Ingredients:
A variety of nuts and seeds, what you like
Almonds
Hazelnuts
Cashews
Walnuts
Pecans
Flax seeds 
Chia seeds
Sunflower seeds

Seasonings and spices
Cinnamon, couple of teaspoons
Cloves, 1 teaspoon
Ginger, 2 teaspoons
Nutmeg, shake or two, optional
Allspice, shake or two, optional
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Coconut oil, 2-3 tablespoons
Honey, to taste 
Egg

Equipment:
Baking pan, one with an edged
Parchment paper to line the pan with

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375.
Blend the nuts, seeds and spices together. You don't want to grind it into powder, leave junks of the nuts. Place in a bowl.
In either a double bowler or in the microwave, melt the coconut oil, honey and salt together. Once melted, beat in the egg and all spices/seasonings, blend well. Pour over the nuts and seeds and mix well. Spread out on the lined baking pan.
Place in the oven. It needs about 20-30 minutes to bake, depending on how much you have in the pan. If you made a larger batch, you can split it between two pans to bake faster and more even.
Every 10-15 minutes, take the mixture out and stir around. Place back into the oven. Continue to bake until golden brown and crispy. When baked, let cool. Break it up. Store in an airtight container. 

Serve with fruit, full fat yogurt, milk or eat it by itself. 

When I went mostly grain free with Primal eating and realized my body did not tolerate most grains well and I did better on a lower carb lifestyle, I started to miss granola. It is worth the benefits of not eating grains to me to keep it out of my eating though. In my quest to have something similar, nut and seed "granola" came into my world. This is my take on it! I hope you enjoy deeply nourishing your body with this recipe.

Where your mitochondria go your health goes.
All my love

Jenn


Monday, May 3, 2021

May's Challenge: Building a Recipe Box, Dry Brining

Simple meal of wild salmon and mango salsa

I am a fan of May. The bitter cold of winter has loosened it's grip, we can still get snow but spring snow is different than winter snow. Flowers are in bloom! The bees are buzzing and pollenating. It begins to warm up, longer days, cool evenings. The heavier winter foods are being replaced by lighter foods. Grills come out. It is a month of transition in my neck of the woods.

With a new month, brings a new challenge! This month we are going to focus on cooking skills, building a recipe box, finding routines to bring simplicity to our lives.  

One of the struggles I uncovered and have set out to solve, too many today do not know how to cook. The generational skill of cooking has all but been lost. 

When it comes to food and cooking, I think there are some ideas we need to put to rest:
Every meal does not need to be a "foodgams".
Meals do not need to be complicated to be nutritious and give our bodies the basics building blocks they need to create us.
Simple meals with whole foods are amazing and can come together quickly.
As a general norm, items from a box with a long list of ingredients are not food.
Food is about nutrient density, intaking the building blocks for health, growth, repair, life, should be the focus.
When you learn some basic cooking skills, how to put flavors together, recipes aren't as important.

Take for example that piece of salmon in the picture.
I use a technique called dry brining. I use it on all meats, keeps them moist, juicy, tender and naturally flavors the meat with salt.
Dry brining in it's simplest terms is simply salting a piece of meat generously on all sides and allowing it to sit for a time. Simple and oh so tasty.
With the salmon, this day I put it with a simple mango salsa.
Other times I make a ginger, lime and honey mixture or a honey, paprika and lemon mixture and cook it in that.
I cook it on the stove in a hot pan and some butter. Sometimes I put in a splash of wine. Simple.
The base stays the same, dry brining. I bring flavors, added nutrients and fun with other whole foods. Bringing in acid, sour, sweet, spicy, savory, what ever floats your boat. 
This meal can be put together in about 20 minutes, depending on your knife skills which can be improved. The salmon does do better in the brine when it has sat longer, a couple of hours. When time is short, you can do it.

For this weeks challenge, try dry brining some meat, beef, chicken, pork, fish, turkey, they all lend nicely to a dry brine.

What you need:
Choice of protein
Kosher salt, preferably, any salt works
Time

Salt the meat generously, you want to be able to see the salt. Be generous, meat loves salt. 
Allow the meat to sit, preferably on a wire rack until the surface is dry. Large cuts of meat can sit and do best in the fridge, uncovered overnight. Cook your meat to your liking.

This technique takes a few tries to get the hang of and how you like it, play with it. The only way you learn something new is to keep trying. 

Where your mitochondria goes your health goes.
All my best
Jen


Saturday, May 1, 2021

I Am Verses I Have

 


I am verses I have. Maybe an odd thing to think about, maybe you never have. Very early on after my diagnose of CRPS and disability, this was a distinction I was able to make for myself. This has made all the difference in the world through this journey. I was able to say, I have CRPS and a disability. I am NOT either. Yes, they shape me and have a dramatic impact on my life, but they are not who I am. By not taking them on as who I am, they don't define me. It is not who I am in my core, my soul. The CRPS and disability have stayed external instead of being internalized, becoming who I am, consuming me and destroying me. When we become these things, they have the ability to destroy us, consume us and turn us into someone we are not. 

Who are you verses what do you have?

I hope this can help on your journey.

Where your mitochondria go your health goes.

Love you guys

Jenn