Fermented Garlic

I’m a few days late and I missed a few posts… but I was busy trying not to get sick and working long hours (never a good combo). Here’s what I managed to jot down in my free time. 🙂

This stuff. This stuff right here is going to be our savior from the impending vampire apocalypse. Okay. Maybe not. But when my roommate’s fiance saw the massive crock of garlic fermenting on the kitchen counter, he did ask me if I was getting ready to ward off vampires. Without blinking an eye, I replied, “Of course I am.” haha! And if by “vampires”, he meant flu season, than I really wasn’t lying.

Fermented garlic is about the easiest thing possible. But it takes three months to make. That’s right. And you can’t touch it or open it. It’s brutal. The end result makes it all worthwhile – you have a product that tastes like garlic, but isn’t hot like usual raw garlic. In fact, garlic in and of itself is pretty amazing.

It’s a natural antimicrobial. Here’s the study from the National Institute of Health if you don’t believe me. The abstract:

Allicin, one of the active principles of freshly crushed garlic homogenates, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. Allicin in its pure form was found to exhibit i) antibacterial activity against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including multidrug-resistant enterotoxicogenic strains of Escherichia coli; ii) antifungal activity, particularly against Candida albicans; iii) antiparasitic activity, including some major human intestinal protozoan parasites such as Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia; and iv) antiviral activity. The main antimicrobial effect of allicin is due to its chemical reaction with thiol groups of various enzymes, e.g. alcohol dehydrogenase, thioredoxin reductase, and RNA polymerase, which can affect essential metabolism of cysteine proteinase activity involved in the virulence of E. histolytica.

In normal speak, there’s a compound called allicin which is contained in raw garlic. It has four main antimicrobial activities when used in its pure form, i.e. raw. First, it is effective in fighting e.coli. Second, it’s an anti-fungal and some people will put it on fungal infections on the skin or, ingested, it will help with a candida overgrowth. Third, it’s a natural anti-parasitic. And, finally, it’s an antiviral. That last point – I’m digging it. Next time the doctor says you have a virus and there’s nothing you can do, go home and eat some garlic. I don’t like the heat of raw garlic and cooking it makes you lose the qualities… so a few months ago, I started fermenting some.

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There’s more health benefits associated with garlic and I’ll post those later. I’m lazy. And on my lunch break. 🙂

Fermented Garlic

  • lots of heads of garlic – enough to fit in the desired jar you’ll be using
  • A jar with a lid, make sure it’s clean – I wrote about which kinds of jars I like when I posted the South American Sauerkraut recipe
  • 33 grams Kosher sea salt (NO IODINE!)
  • a scale that will weigh the sea salt
  • 1 qt water, left on the counter for 30 minutes without a lid (so the chlorine evaporates off)
  1. Remove the garlic paper/peels, bruised spots, and any green shoots.
  2. Weigh out salt and add to water. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Place garlic in the jar, arraigning it so it’s packed in.
  4. Slowly pour the salt water over garlic and carefully work any remaining air bubbles.
  5. Place a dunker in the jar (a clean rock or glass plate), seal the lid and let sit. This stuff with foam and leak! Place it in a dish and “burp” it a few times a day at the onset.
  6. Let sit on the counter for about one month and then place in the fridge and let it sit for another month or two.

Feel free to sample a garlic clove to test for “doneness” – the clove should no longer be hot and you should be able to eat lots and lots without burning your mouth. If it is still hot, seal the jar back up and let it sit in the fridge for a bit longer. Also, if the brine starts to look cloudy with small white particulates, that’s alright – you’re doing it correctly. If it starts to grow mold, dump it out.

Latin American Sauerkraut

If you had asked me six months ago if I thought I would be fermenting my own sauerkraut, I would have looked at you like you were crazy. Now I find myself fermenting sauerkraut and loving it. It’s delicious. And fresh. And so so so different from the crap you buy in a jar at the grocery store. Imagine that! Fresh sauerkraut is crunchy, tangy, and not overly vinegary. And, most importantly, it’s easy. Oh, and it’s good for you. Like, really really really good for you. In case you haven’t caught my drift, here’s one more “really” to get my point across: REALLY.

And it tastes really good. As in my friends who were lamenting that they “hate sauerkraut” and “how could you make this” blah, blah, blah, LOVED it. In fact, they loved it so much, they might have eaten the rest of my lunch.

Now, if you’ve never had fresh fermented foods: be cautious. Too much could cause die-off and no one wants that. Seriously. It’s not fun. Die-off is caused when the bacteria and yeast in your gut die off and start releasing their toxins into your system. The result: what looks like, acts like and feels like the flu. But really isn’t the flu. Try telling that to your body. Which means…

  • muscle aches
  • fever
  • chills
  • headaches
  • skin rashes
  • brain fog
  • excess mucus production
  • increased GI problems – it gets worse before it gets better
  • and a whole myriad of other issues

So now that I have you all terrified, here’s the good news: you have to eat a whole lot to cause it. When you first introduce sauerkraut or other fresh lacto-fermented foods into your diet, do it in small quantities. A small portion of sauerkraut, like a ¼ cup will suffice. And increase from there. You may notice a bit of stomach gurgling after you eat it the first few times – that’s okay. That would be the good bacteria waging a war the likes of the movie “300” on the bad bacteria. 

A few notes before we get started – cabbage is one of the Clean 15 and does not need to be organic. You will need a jar that you can burp. I write about which jars I like in my Fermented Red Potatoes post. And, finally, you will want to put the sauerkraut somewhere where you don’t mind a little stank while it ferments. Some of the juices will leak out and it can be mildly smelly. Not too bad. Make sure you place a pie dish or something under it so you don’t have a huge mess to clean up on your counter.

Latin American Sauerkraut

  • 1 head cabbage, washed, cored and shredded 
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and very finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • ¼-½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp sea salt (no iodine!!!!!!)

  1. In a large bowl sturdy bowl (I use a massive stainless steel bowl), mix all of the ingredients
  2. Now comes the fun part: Pound with a wooden pounder or meat hammer for about 10 minutes, until the cabbage starts juicing well. You will see it becoming more and more wet as the time goes on and when it is finished, you will be able to squeeze some in your hand and have the juices run between your fingers.
  3. Place in 1- or 2- quart, wide mouth mason jars and press down firmly until juices come to the top of the cabbage. Do this in small increments, making sure to have all of the air bubbles pressed out.
  4. Place the lid on the jars and let sit on the counter for 14 days (after three days, there will be bacteria growth and after 14 days, there is a more complete panel). Place in the refrigerator and let sit for an additional week – do not open during this time.
  5. Open jars once a day during the sitting-on-counter phase to allow gas to escape. 
  6. Sauerkraut will keep indefinitely in the fridge. Enjoy!

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

Chicken Fat

Today’s blog post will probably go against everything that you’ve ever been taught about how to eat. I suggest you sit while you read it. I, probably like many of you, grew up under the notion that consuming animal skin was bad for you. There was so much fat and fat and more fat that it was just no bueno. Ready to have your world rocked?

Wrong-o.

Consuming chicken skin isn’t bad for you. Nor is rendering the fat from it. Only one caveat: not all skins are created equal. Meaning that if we’re talking about our “normal bought at a conventional store” product, probably not the best idea. The skin and fat stores things – like toxins, excess self-produced hormones (chickens are not allowed to be fed/injected with hormones in the US, if you buy chicken because it’s “hormone-free”, you’re being duped) and other icky stuff you really don’t want in your body. 

Conventional chicken skins are raised in a mass barn, where the chickens are crammed in with each other, often walking on dead chickens, with no sunlight and crappy feed. Mmmm… I don’t know about you, but if I were being raised that way, I’d probably be pretty sickly, not grow well and be nutrient deficient. The same goes for the birds – if they’re raised in a crappy environment, they’re not going to produce the same quality of meat which means you’re not going to get the same nutrient panel from them. So, moral of the story: eating organic, free-range humanely raised chicken isn’t just a Portlandia joke, it’s really really much better for your health.

Now to talk about chicken feed. There’s a newish movement to feed chickens vegetarian feed. When you see that, think chemical shit storm. Seriously. While chickens aren’t allowed to be given hormones, they’re allowed to be given soy…. which acts an an estradiol. Which means… they’re being given a nutrient that works to create excess hormones in their body. See where I’m going with this?  mmmm – excess estrogen ingested into our bodies. Sign me up for none of that, please.

Further, chickens don’t eat soy. Nor do they eat a vegetarian diet. Like most birds, they’re foragers. And they eat bugs. They’re actually really good at bug population control – especially ticks and mosquitos. Those bird brains LOVE to eat them. A chicken that eats a natural diet is going to yield more healthful nutrients in its skin – like high levels of vitamin D3 and gut-healing properties. So… what does all of this have to do with chicken skins?

I buy my chicken skins from New Seasons here in Portland. A few times a year, I give the butcher at my local store a ring and request some of the organic, free-range chicken skins. He quotes me at $.99/lb and I tell him I want 5 pounds. It’s pretty easy. As he processes the meat, he throws them into a bag and puts it in the deep freeze. I get a call after a few days saying that my skins are ready and I drive over to pick them up and get a few weird looks/questions while I’m at it. You can set up a similar scenario at your local organic/natural foods store – but the prices will vary from store to store so go with what your butcher tells you. 🙂 I portion the skins out and freeze them into quart bags. I’ll process one pound at a time – it usually renders around a pint and a half. If any of you are good at math, that’s super cheap.

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Okay – so enough rambling. Here’s what I do to render the fat and eat the skins.

Chicken Fat

  • 1 pound chicken fat, washed and cut into smaller pieces (check for boney pieces and cut them out)
  • ½ cup of water
  • a large stock pot and a splatter screen (those things pop!)
  1. Layer the chicken skins on the bottom of a deep skillet or a dutch oven (I prefer the dutch oven, personally.)
  2. Dump the water in the pot and turn the stove top on to medium-high heat.
  3. Mix occasionally.
  4. You will start seeing golden fat float to the top along with some pieces of skin – it it looks more like skin and less like fried crispy goodness, keep going. Also, if you still see bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pan, keep going. This indicates water is still at the bottom. And when you use the fat, it’ll pop and you’ll get burned with hot oil. Again, no bueno.
  5. When the bubbles stop rising and the skin is completely golden and crispy, you’re done.
  6. Let the fat cool for a minute or two and prepare a fine mesh colander with some cheesecloth (this strains out the cracklings and small pieces). Place in a bowl and pour the fat through it.
  7. Allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring it to your glass storage container. Label and place in the fridge. Fat will last for a long, long while.
  8. With the cracklings, sprinkle some sea salt or pink salt and let cool – they make a healthy and delicious snack. Enjoy!

I use the fat to cook everything from eggs to smothering it between the skin and meat of a whole chicken to pan frying my broccoli to sauteing just about any vegetable.  Also, if you need more fat in the pan while you’re cooking, don’t be afraid of glopping it in. The uses are endless. Enjoy!

Oven Bacon

Bacon. Is there anything more superb in the whole meat kingdom? (If any of you say “Yes,” we’re no longer friends… kidding. But seriously.) Anyway, my love of bacon is nothing new – my roommates know when I’m cooking it because the whole house smells like heaven. I’ve also been known to sport the bacon socks on a run or when I’m working out. And my friends in general hear me praise the meat almost non-stop.

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However, I hate cooking bacon in the morning when I’m in a rush and have slept in. There are usually 15 other things I need to be doing on those days in order to get out the door and get to work on time.

To solve this little problem, I started baking my bacon. It’s fast, easy, and has minimal clean-up. Also, it’s easier to capture the fat to add to my mason jar that I keep in the fridge. By the way, I use the fat to cook everything – eggs, chicken, saute onion, pan fry broccolini, broccoli, bell peppers, cauliflower… the list goes on and I’m too lazy to write it all out.

Back to bacon, it’s important to select a good quality meat. A lot of the bacon you buy in packages at the store is crap. Absolute and total crap. Bacon is supposed to have a long cure time. The way many commercial producers make it forces a brining period of a few hours due to a massive use of chemicals. Mmm… chemicals. Tasty. Also, look out for the sweetener – a lot of bacon uses high fructose corn syrup to sweeten it. When you read those words, think “Chemical shit storm.” There’s really no other way to say it.

I generally buy my bacon from New Seasons here in the Portland area. They use a traditional brining process and a honey cure. It’s not pasture-raised meat (and I do buy pasture-raised when I can), but it’s the next best thing. They also sell their bits and pieces for a pretty steep discount – if you don’t mind cutting up chunks of bacon into thinner pieces, it’s definitely the way to go. Search out a vendor in your area that sells good bacon. You might end up paying a little bit more for it but sometimes you have to dish out money to get a better quality product. If you find that your vendor sells bits and pieces, buy those. Unless you’re cooking for guests or it’s a holiday, chances are you and your family aren’t going to care if your bacon is completely picturesque. They’re just going to want to eat it ASAP. Or, visit US Wellness Meats. (I don’t get paid by them… I just really like their products.) Best of luck!

Oven Bacon

  • Line a jellyroll pan (one that has the short sides) with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Lay bacon onto the pan and place in a cold oven.
  • Turn the oven on to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on the degree of crispy you like. Monitor closely toward the end.
  • Remove from oven and promptly remove bacon from the hot fat to stop the cooking process.
  • Allow the fat to cool a bit and then drain into a jar for later use or, let fat harden on the paper/foil and toss. Wash pan (which should be relatively clean) and you’re done!

And yes. Seriously. It’s that easy. Here’s some before and after pics from this morning. My pan was still clean when I was done – yey for no dishes! (Sorry for the pics, I slept in, was a in a rush and my trusty 4S came to my rescue.)

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Chicken Marbella

By far my favorite chicken recipe of all time, this used to be my go-to when I had people coming over for dinner. The meal required a bit of planning ahead because I would let it marinade for 24 hours, rather than the instructed overnight. I recently experimented with making it paleo-friendly and the first attempt came out much too sweet. I’ve since cut back on the maple syrup and did a few made a few more tweaks.

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I used to serve it with white rice (I know, I know, I had no idea then) and will every once in a while serve it with brown rice of which I’ve soaked for 24 hours and then rinsed thoroughly (it ferments it of sorts). More often than not, I’ll pulse cauliflower until it’s the consistency of rice in my food processor and then steam it in a skillet with chicken fat or I’ll serve it over roasted cauliflower. It’s fantastic! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Chicken Marbella
(based on the recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook)

  • 1 organic, free range fryer chicken, quartered (save the back and freeze it for soup) with the skin still on
  • 4 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 1 ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup pitted prunes
  • 1/3 cup pitted green Greek olives
  • 2 tbsp capers, plus 1 tbsp caper juice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 tbsp organic grade B maple syrup
  • ¼ cup white wine or chicken stock (if you can’t tolerate wine)
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped
  1. The night before: In a bowl, mix the chicken, garlic, oregano, S&P, red wine vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. The next day: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer chicken to a dutch oven and lay out chicken in a single layer, pour marinade juice around the chicken pieces.
  3. Pour maple syrup and white wine atop and place in the oven.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, basting frequently, until juices run clear in the chicken, when cut.
  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, capers, prunes and olives to a plate. Pour juices into a sauceboat… or just do what I did and serve it all in one massive heap atop a bed of steamed cauliflower “rice”. Sprinkle the Italian parsley on top prior to serving.

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Fermented Red Potatoes

Potatoes. They are my guilty pleasure in life. I love love love good French fries. I love skillet potatoes. I love the roasted potatoes you get with breakfast at Mother’s Bistro in downtown Portland. And kettle chips? Forget it. I’m a goner – and so is that bag. Unfortunately, they don’t love me and usually make me (and my sister) ill. My mom was doing some research a while back to find out why her two favorite daughters became ill after eating potatoes. And here’s what she found.

According to the American Cancer Society,

Acrylamide has probably always been present in some foods, but this wasn’t known until Swedish scientists first found it in certain foods in 2002.

I can’t blame GM foods for this one, fair enough.

Acrylamide does not appear to be in raw foods themselves. It is formed when certain starchy foods are cooked at temperatures above about 250° F. Cooking methods such as frying, baking, broiling, or roasting are more likely to produce acrylamide, while boiling, steaming, and microwaving appear less likely to do so. Cooking at high temperatures causes a chemical reaction between certain sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) in the food, which causes acrylamide to form. Longer cooking times and cooking at higher temperatures can increase the amount of acrylamide in foods further.

This isn’t something that only affects a small population and I’m the unhappy recipient, it apparently reaches everyone but only a small population really really have a reaction. Example A runs this blog. And then upon reading further, my mother found out that fermenting the potatoes, or soaking them in salt water for three days, seriously reduced if not all together eliminated the occurrence of acrylamide. Thus making them safer and easier to digest. Crazy, right?

On another note, this is something that my ancestors in Ireland would have done (shameless Irish heritage plug: Éirinn go Brách!) – they would have soaked their potatoes overnight in a salt water brine, not knowing the science behind the why (that wasn’t discovered until 2002), but knowing that it reduced bloating, gas, general GI discomfort and any other allergic reaction that acrylamide causes.

I bet at this point you’re wondering what is going on behind the scenes, at the small organism level, right? Or is that just my science nerd brain at work? (Btw, great science fair ideas here) You’re growing your own bacterial colony. Gross, right? It’s called wild fermentation and it’s fabulous. Over the course of the next few days, the bacteria that occurs naturally on the potatoes (so don’t scrub too hard or use antibacterial soap), will go to town eating the starch and turning it into other stuff that our body can use more readily. They’re basically starting our digestive processes before we even eat it. Again, ew. But it works. And this is what generations did before we were on this earth. Anyway, the bacteria – the saltwater brine keeps out mold and the bad bacteria and yeasts. We only want the good guys in there.

Okay, that’s a lot of science and history. (If you want more science and history, feel free to email me under contact.)

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Here’s how it’s done:

Fermented Red Potatoes

  • Organic red potatoes, cleaned and quartered
  • Sea Salt (no iodine – I like this salt)
  • A quart of water, that has sat out for at least 30 minutes (this allows the trace minerals to evaporate out)
  • A canning jar (such as this one but I buy them cheaper at Ikea or you can use a standard half-liter canning mason jar with a clean lid)
  • A scale that measures little itty bitty amounts. I like this one.
  1. In a glass measuring bowl or something where you can measure out a quart of water, do so. Pour the water in and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Scrub the taters. Cut off any eyes, the stem part and any part that just looks funky. Chances are it is funky. And no one likes funky.
  3. Toss the spuds in the CLEAN jar (that’s right, you need to wash it and sanitize it – but do not use anti-bacterial soap, instead send it through the dishwasher for a cycle).
  4. Measure out 33 grams salt. Yes, that’s 33 grams. One more time: 33 grams. You’ll have to adjust your scale to zero out for whatever bowl you have sitting on top. But, again, 33 grams.
  5. Once the water has been sitting out for 30 minutes, toss the salt in and stir until dissolved. Add to the canning jar with the ‘tots. Seal the lid, place a dunker (I use river rocks that I found, scrubbed and sent through the dishwasher to ensure all dirt was gone) and let it sit. For three whole days. So, if you want potatoes for brunch on Sunday (because I live in Portland and brunch is the best meal of the week), you need to put them on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Get it? If you don’t have three days, it’s okay. Even overnight will help out a lot. But three days rids the spuds of every single bad thing.
  6. Place it in a cool place… or on your kitchen counter – they look pretty.
  7. When you’re done, and this is important, place the potatoes in a colander and rinse thoroughly. You’ve pulled the starches and any other toxins that they have in them. They have got to go. Also, you’ll notice a “sludge” at the bottom – this is the starch that’s been pulled from them. Ew, right?
  8. After they’re rinsed, they’re good to go – you can cook them any way you would cook regular potatoes. Pretty fancy, eh? I personally like to roast mine with bacon fat (mmm – bacon) and kosher salt and pepper until they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Enjoy!

Not sure what to do with them once you’re done? Or if you even did them right? Check out Fermented Red Potatoes… Pt 2

Agave is Far Worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup | Health Impact News

Agave is Far Worse than High Fructose Corn Syrup | Health Impact News

Banana Nut Coconut Porridge

I might be the last person on this planet who wasn’t traumatized as a child with oatmeal. Trust me, my mother, like all mothers, valiantly tried. But I still love it. Now, when I say I love it, we’re not talking Quaker Oats oatmeal – that stuff… well, I’m pretty sure you can use it like superglue. We’re talking real, Irish oats (imported from Ireland, of course). There is nothing better – maybe it’s my Irish ancestry coming through. And until a few years ago, they were a staple in my life. Now… not so much, except for a “cheat” day. Or a day when I’m feeling like my system might not reject them.

So fast forward to today. And I got my early morning run in. (yey me!) It was dark. It was foggy. It was damp. It was really really cold. And when I got back, all I wanted was a stick to your ribs with warmth goodness that only oatmeal can give. I’m on the Whole30 challenge so my options were… well, cheat days aren’t allowed right now. Luckily, there’s this fabulousness that I make from time to time. The texture is similar and the flavor is amazing – as in, it tastes like Banana Nut Crunch. Minus the chemical crap storm. No joke. I hope you enjoy it! (Oh. And it’s vegan – for all of my vegan readers.)

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A note: I make my own pecan flour from pecan pieces – I place them in a dedicated coffee grinder that is only used for nuts and blend until I’m happy with the texture. This morning, it was more of a pecan butter. Whoops.

Banana Nut Coconut Porridge

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened, unsulfured shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup pecan flour
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • ½-¾ cup unsweeted coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • dash of grated nutmeg
  1. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, mix all ingredients and let simmer until thick and creamy, stirring often.
  2. Let cool for a minute but serve hot.

Accidental Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

Ever have one of those nights where you set out to make something and end up with something completely different?

Yea. Those nights. Welcome to my world.

I had some time to kill yesterday and stopped by Bob’s Red Mill to see which spice I didn’t already have and possibly couldn’t live without. Now. I’m not usually one to buy blends. I typically like to make my own – I can control the extras they put in a lot better that way. But I was curious about the Chinese Five Spice – so I bought a small amount of it and figured I’d doctor something up later… with the chicken that I pulled out of the freezer that morning and put in the fridge and that didn’t defrost. Whoops.

After that comedy of errors, I finally managed to defrost it (cold water baths are my friend) and dinner was made (although I was trying to make a different dish altogether) and I’m so very happy for my “mistake!” So, here’s Day 4 of my Whole30 Challenge dinner. Enjoy!

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Paleo Teriyaki Chicken

  • 8 organic Chicken Thighs, trimmed
  • ½ Onion, diced
  • 1 ½ tsp Clarified Chicken Fat (or evoo)
  • Organic Broccolini
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Aminos (can be purchased at a local Whole Foods)
  • ¼ cup organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Chinese Five Spice Blend
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh grated Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar
  1. In a skillet, over medium heat, heat chicken fat and add diced onions. Saute until translucent.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the aminos, evoo, garlic, spice blend, ginger and apple cider vinegar. Set aside.
  3. Spread out onions so they evenly coat the pan and lay the chicken thighs on top. Pour the marinade over top and cover with a lid.
  4. Let the chicken steam until done, only turning once to ensure even coating of the marinade.
  5. About two minutes before serving, place the broccolini on top and put the lid back on. (This will steam blanch the broccolini.)
  6. Serve hot and spoon the juices on top when serving. Leftovers can be in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Paleo Breakfast Strata

I used to love stratas. Nothing beat stale bread, lots of butter, sauteed veggies, some kind of sweet meat and lots of eggs. Unfortunately, they didn’t like me so much. Fast forward to today. And I haven’t had a true strata in over two years. GASP!? I know. This week was looking to be busy (if only I knew HOW busy – a last minute trip to Seattle was tossed in the mix) and I needed a quick and easy breakfast that still fell within the Whole30 challenge I’m doing with a bunch of people at my gym. Cue this wonderful mistake.

I have a bunch of flax meal – I’m pretty sure my roommate wonders what it’s all for. But, I’m trying to use it up so I can make my own fresh meal (the Omega 3’s are even more potent in the fresh-made stuff). And really. I love Omega 3’s and this is a whole lot cheaper than buying salmon (which is on the menu for next week anyway). So, if you’re looking at a busy week ahead and only have time to blanch a few veggies for your breakfast and that’s about it, think about making this.

Enjoy!

p.s. A better picture is coming, I promise. I was trying to get out the house and all I had time for was my iPhone.

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Paleo Breakfast Strata

  • 12 organic, free-range eggs, beaten
  • 5 strips organic, grass-fed non-sugar cured beef bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 small organic zucchini, diced
  • 1 heirloom organic tomato, diced (omit if SCD)
  • 3 leaves organic swiss chard, diced (omit if SCD)
  • 1 organic yellow bell pepper, diced (omit if SCD)
  • 1 cup flax meal
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8"x8" pan with coconut oil.
  2. In a medium skillet and over medium heat, cook bacon until done. Remove bacon from pan and set aside.
  3. Add onions to bacon fat and cook until almost translucent. Add garlic and saute for a minute or two longer.
  4. Meanwhile, chop veggies and toss in a large bowl. Add onions, garlic and bacon (and remaining fat) when done. Stir until everything is incorporated.
  5. Mix in spices and flax meal. Stir. Mix in eggs. Let sit for a few minutes (this gives the flax meal a chance to “activate”) and stir again.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a knife cut yields no runny egg in the middle.
  7. Serve hot with roasted delicata squash and blanched asparagus or cut into pre-portioned sizes and place in containers for the week. Re-heat in the oven, using an oven-safe container.