Tuesday, June 28, 2011

tasha's birthday

Sorry for the lack of posting these past few days! Things have been...crazy. And I've been super busy. And I really didn't take many pictures of food...at all. Here's one:

Kait and I split a Chipotle burrito. I never actually get the burrito, or rice or beans. But I have to admit it was amazing.

Tasha's birthday on Saturday was so fun, until it turned into a shitshow with some randos who showed up, but no need to discuss that. Since a lot of my friends took pictures, I'll just steal theirs.


Yes, my good friend Wes does have BEER tattooed on his arm. He's got a Maryland blue crab on the other. I'm trying to convince him to get an Old Bay tattoo.

Birthday girl with her birthday cake.

Birthday girl doing a birthday beer bong. Yeah, we keep it classy in these here parts.

And Nick, doing a keg stand with the help of Tasha's mommy. So happy birthday to my beautiful friend!

I promise to have some food and recipe related posts up soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

smoky chipotle chicken

These one pot meals have taken over my life.

Coated the chicken in S&P, chipotle and cayenne, then seared in butter. Took out and added onions. Put in over on 400 for about a half hour. I love smoky food. It almost tasted like bacon. I served it with an avocado, and sprinkled everything with cilantro.

So legit.

And now I have some leftovers for lunch.

 Yesterday, the owner of my Brazilian dream house emailed me back to inform me he had already sold it. I was SO bummed. I mean it's not really like I could've bought it anyway, but still. At least I've figured that this is something I'd love to do in the future, and I can work toward it. I mean seriously, what a freaking amazing adventure it would be to up and move to Brazil and maintain a gorgeous farm.

Yesterday was my gorgeous friend Tasha's birthday!!

Tasha, me, Katie

We are having a gigantic crab feast tomorrow and I am beyond stoked. I'm going to be making something for it, which she is unaware of so I won't share just yet. I'm REALLY hoping it turns out for two reasons:

1) I'm a TERRIBLE baker
2) I'm not using any traditional refined or processed ingredients

I'll keep ya posted. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

one pot chicken bake

One pot meals are some of my favorite. Mostly because they're super easy and not time consuming. For dinner last night I (actually Kait did this step) seared some chicken in butter

Put it to the side to rest. Then to the same pan, add whichever veggies you like. I used cauliflower, onion and mushrooms.

And of course added even more butter. I put some grass-fed cream in and added the chicken back into the pot

And cooked on 400 until it was cooked through, about 30 minutes.

It was such a satisfying dinner and the sauce from the butter and cream was so delicious.

So, I've found my future home. It is literally my dream property. It's in Brazil. It is a farm on 47 hectares, which is roughly around 116 acres. The house is small but gorgeous, two bedrooms and verandas with hammocks surrounding the house. There is even a pool. 1/3 of the property is protected by the Brazilian government and cannot be cultivated for agriculture or property development (which still leaves a lot of acres to farm). It even comes equipped with cattle sheds and a chicken run. It also has tons of tropical fruit trees, including avocados! And there is a weekly cattle sale in town, which is about a ten minute drive away. The beach is also nearby (including a nude beach!). I've always known I should live near a beach, and there's even supposed to be good waves. Not that I can surf, like, at all. The area is gorgeous, the town is supposed to be full of old architecture and amazing food. The property is not very expensive either! It's for sale by owner so I sent him an email and am waiting to hear back on some details. While I'm not financially in a position to buy a house right now, I will start saving. Hell, I'll even sell my car for this (not that it's worth much).  I'm in love.

My future back porch.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

how to eat healthy at work

The other day at work we had a a celebration for a coworker. There was cake. This happens pretty regularly. While I personally had no desire to eat the cake, I realize a lot of other people have trouble saying no. What really helps me is knowing I have other snacks on hand, just in case I do get hungry. And what helps the most is thinking about what that cake will do to me. While others can eat refined sugar, flour and food coloring with no problem, I am not so fortunate. First, I'll either get irritable, tired or anxious. Or all three. No thanks. Then I'll crave even more sugar and carbs (eating sugar and carbs only makes you crave them more. This goes for everyone, btw). And the next morning, I'll most likely wake up with a breakout. Sugar and grains really affect my skin. There are also times when I'm pressured into eating things that I know aren't good for me and will make me feel like shit. And yes, I have caved to this in the past just to be polite. I know everyone is well intentioned, especially at my job where I'm fortunate to work with really sweet people. They just don't realize that I don't and can't eat that way. I've considered trying to explain all of this, saying "I don't eat refined sugar or flour," but I don't want to be received as a pretentious asshole since I'm not too close with everyone. Instead, sometimes I'll even resort to white lies, saying, "No thanks, I just ate." I really don't find anything wrong with that. Or, if you are close with your coworkers, explain your situation to them. And honestly, just a polite no thank you is fine. If you're having trouble actually saying no, it helps to focus on how you will feel after. There is nothing wrong with indulging once in a while, I do! But if it's a constant struggle, I understand how that can be difficult to battle. The best you can do is just try to stick with healthy eats and realize it's a work in progress. Don't stress yourself out over every little thing you ate. So that's my advice for the day.

Anyway, last night I was craving Italian. But, not pasta. Meatballs! I love meatballs. I don't know why, I guess I could've just thrown the beef in the pan with everything, but it wouldn't have been as fun. Meatballs got the sparkle. I decided to saute them with peppers and onions. So I could get my veggie intake and because it just seemed appropriate.

-1 lb ground beef with organs
-1 T worcestirshire
-1/4 onion chopped very fine, or put into food processor
-1 T tomato paste
-1 egg

After sauteing the onions and peppers in butter, I added the balls and some spaghetti sauce and let it simmer. On the side I had stuffed mushrooms:

-raw cheese
-little bit of onion
-little bit of tomato paste

And just as a random aside, I consumed 5 eggs before 11am today. With the yolks, of course.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

jk on no food post

Just kidding about the no food today! I forgot I had a recipe I forgot to share with you guys. It was my take on a noodle bowl. Except not really at all. No noods whatsoever. More like a veggies and meat bowl.

-half head of cabbage
-green onions
-1 lb beef
-liquid aminos
-rooster sauce

Saute all the veggies in butter. Add meat and sauce at the end. That easy.

Looks sort of noodley...

And here is a pretty picture of the sky while I was at the gym the other morning

Hopefully tomorrow it is as pretty. And sunny!

no food. gym rat.

In my typical bag blogger fashion, I totally forgot to take any pictures of dinner last night. Which is unfortunate, because it was pretty legit. I sauteed onion, green pepper, garlic and a tomato in butter before adding chopped chicken. And then just a little spaghetti sauce...and even more butter. It was pretty delicious. I also made Julia Child's braised cucumbers, exluding the mint because I don't like mint in savory dishes, and because I didn't have any. After hearing how amazing they were, I was disappointed.

So. Gym at 5:30am > gym at 6:30pm. Yesterday morning I was so tired from the weekend so I slept in and went at 6:30 after work. It was fine and all, but way more crowded and cut into my chill out time after work. Plus, I feel much more productive when I go in the morning. I'm thinking tonight I'll even clean my room.

Sorry for the short and lame post today. On the plus side, I'll be making grass-fed meatballs for dinner!

Monday, June 20, 2011

weekend recap

Mostly pictures.

Elevation Burger, fancy fries!!

What I wore to the fundraiser. My legs are NOT this skinny or short, this is an optical illusion, and not a good one.

These two dudes were dressed identically at Madams Organ, so I made them pose together. What else was I supposed to do.

JUMBO SLICE. Which I got while walking back to Hayter's house in the middle of the night. It was delicious, but I couldn't finish it. I tried to offer it to people but they declined, until I finally tossed it and heard, "Why'd you throw that away?! I could've eaten it!" Ya snooze ya lose.

On Sunday I decided I wanted Italian and that we should make an Italian feast. Started out with bruschetta. Sliced a local baguette, topped with butter and put 'em in the oven on 400

Topped with:
-local, organic, AMAZING tomatoes from the farmers market
-raw garlic
-olive oil

You see how red those babies are? Delicious.

We had some rice pasta with a cream based tomato sauce courtesy of Kait. And I made chicken rubbed with rosemary and s&p. I put a little chicken stock in the pan so they chicken wouldn't dry out, covered it and put in the oven at 400.

Love pecorino romano.

Awesome dinner, awesome weekend. I hope everyone has an amazing week, and GO SEE FARMAGEDDON!


On Saturday Mike, Renee and I went to the Fundraiser for my farmer Dan, which was also the premiere of Farmageddon. We have been waiting to see this movie for so long. First, I'll start with the reception that took place before the movie. It was catered by Coppi's Organic Restaurant and restuarant Nora. There were also chocolates from Krishon Chocolate which I really cannot recommend enough. Coppi's walked around with delicious pizza, I loved all of the toppings.

Margherita pizza.

Red onion and green tomato pizza.

Mushroom pizza! My personal favorite. Alongside two little cups filled with mushrooms (loved) and a puff that was full of...goat cheese? Blue cheese? Not entirely sure. Either way it was all delicious. They also had a wonderful selection of wine. I wish I would've gotten the names, they were amazing and I really enjoyed them. After mingling and munching for a bit, it was finally time for the movie to start. I cannot express how excited I was for this movie. I know it will help spread the word for this movement, something I am so, so passionate about.

I really want to give you all of the dirty details of the movie, tell you the story lines and express my disgust of the actions of the FDA, but I don't want to give away the movie. You need to see it for yourself. I will say that it was a great movie and as always, I was so moved by the families who had come under attack by the FDA. And yes, I did cry! There truly is a full out attack on small, organic and family owned farms. If we let this happen, we will not have access to local, organic and nutrient dense food. We can all make a difference by buying local, you really do vote each time you purchase food. I encourage you to get involved and go see this movie. For screenings of the movie and to watch the trailer, visit the Farmageddon website.

If you are not moved or inspired by these stories simply because you do not believe in food freedom like I do, you may be inspired by two other aspects. First, what the FDA is doing is attacking our civil rights. The amount of power the FDA and USDA have is insane. Small farms should have every right to grow in a sustainable manner, which is really the only way we should be maintaining farms. I think it's really a testament to the way our country is operating, and if we don't do something about it, it will only get worse.

Secondly, the amount of money being spent to attack these small farms is heinous. We are in a serious deficit, and yet these institutions are wasting millions upon millions of dollars waging wars on safe, sustainable family farms. I wonder how much money was put into the year and a half "sting" operation on Dan's farm. Should our tax dollars really be spent like this? Do you want your hard earned money to go toward attacking small, innocent families, while our debt just gets larger and larger? This is ridiculous. We've all heard about the spending here in DC, and this really only confirms that we are not properly spending. We are increasing the debt we are in.

We have a basic right as Americans to feed ourselves how we choose. We can consume the chemicals, additives and preservatives that are legally put into food, and yet we can't choose to drink nutrient dense raw milk? How has our country gotten so backwards? We cannot stand idly by while this happens to us and to our fellow Americans. I beg you to get involved. If you can, please donate to Dan Allgyer's fund here. And also check out the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. We should have these basic rights, and we should not be giving the FDA, USDA or any of these other institutions the amount of power that they currently have. The movie began with a Thomas Jefferson quote, and I will end with this one:

"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."

This post is part of Monday Mania and Real Food Wednesday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

homemade mayo, chicken salad lettuce wraps

I don't know why I thought making my own mayo would be hard. It just seemed so daunting, I've heard that you need to heat the bowl, need room temperature eggs, need precise measurements, need to whisk in the olive oil one drop at a time, etc. Haha, none of that is true. I didn't do any of that and my mayo turned out awesome. I was worried mostly about the texture, that it would be too water or something, but it wasn't an issue at all. I didn't even follow a recipe and it was still fine. My recipe:
-2 pastured egg yolks
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-half cup olive oil
-1 teaspoon dijon mustard
-1 garlic clove
-s&p to taste

I whipped out my mini food processor and beat the egg yolks, dijon and ACV for about 20 seconds (don't even know if this actually made a difference in the end texture). I added a little bit of olive oil until it looked thick, then added some more until it looked thick,

then added 1 clove of garlic and the rest of the olive oil. It was delicious. Creamy and tangy and garlicky. The texture was not at all watery, it was thick like store bought mayo, and stuck to my finger

(I am not giving you the finger, it just happened this way)

 I would never eat store bought mayo because it is mainly comprised of soybean and/or canola oil. Even the brands that tout "Made with olive oil!" still use soy and canola oils. I used this mayo to make chicken salad! I boiled some chicken, shredded it and added half a diced onion.

And put it in lettuce boats

And added some chipotle powder to one, because chipotle powder is amazing. It was like chipotle mayo chicken salad.

Such a good completely homemade dinner. Raw egg yolks are so nourishing for your body, filled with essential fats.

Iiiit's Friday! I am so, so excited for the fundraiser tomorrow. I got an email detailing some of the food options:

Enjoy food prepared by restauranteurs who led the way in supporting
local farms and local ingredients...Restaurant Nora, the first Certified
Organic restaurant in the US and Coppi's Organic, which has been
sourcing local organic ingredients for almost 20 years now. We will also
enjoy food from Pizzeria Paradiso, and Krishon Chocolates, and ferments
from North Mountain Pastures. Poste Brasserie, one of the BEST and most
supportive restaurants in the city, might also be sending some wares as
well as biodynamic and organic wines.

Amazing. I'll make sure to try and snag some pictures of the event. Have a great weekend!

grain free onion rings!

I MADE ONION RINGS LAST NIGHT! Grain free, as well as death oil (canola/soy/corn) free. I used a traditional cooking oil: lard. Earlier for dinner I made chicken salad with my own homemade mayo (I'll post the recipe later today). Since the recipe called for two egg yolks, I had some egg whites to use up. Thus, I decided to make some onion rings. To a large bowl I added about half a cup of coconut flour, along with about 4 tablespoons of Old Bay. If you are unfamiliar with Old Bay, get familiar. 


It's a staple in my neck of the woods ("That's what Maryland does, baby! Crabcakes and football!") It is always eaten with crabs. I've never been to a crab feast and had the crabs not coated in a thick layer of Old Bay. That is just blasphemous. Anyway, it is literally good on everything. And if you for some crazy reason you didn't like Old Bay, chances are I would not like you. Anyway, you can add as much Old Bay as you want to the coconut flour, I added a lot because it's God's gift of seasonings and masked the taste of coconut very well.

So I sliced one onion, dipped the rings in the egg white, then the flour mixture and then into the lard. I did not do any fancy stuff like soak the onion in milk, or take the temperature of the lard. I really find all that to be unnecessary. The onion rings still turned out awesome.

Although not the most photogenic onion rings, they were still delicious. I dominated all of them. And plan to make more this weekend.

This post is part of Primal CaveMonday Mania and Real Food Wednesday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

barcode...gm salmon got the DENY

I'm currently at work munchin' on a bowl of meat. Yeahhh. This morning I made 1 lb grass-fed ground beef, sauteed it with some onions and hot peppers. It's actually really good. Last night I woke up around 1:30 again! And then I couldn't get back to sleep for hours, there was either a car alarm in the distance or one of my housemates' alarms going off ALL NIGHT. I seriously wanted to cry. The last time I checked my phone it was 3. Eventually I fell asleep, and rolled my tired ass outta bed at 5:25 to get to the gym for an upper body workout. But physically I'm feelin' pretty good.

Dinner last night was delicious. The boys got the shrimpy app

While Renee and I split the bruschetta

I can't pass up grilled bread! For my entree I was going to go with swordfish, but Renee reminded me it was not a sustainable fish (thank you!) so I went with the organic chicken.

Buttery sauce on top and shrooms on the side. It was a really nice dinner and the weather was super nice. I love eating dinner outside. I wish today was as nice but it's stormy. And on a wonderful, positive note, the House has moved to ban GM salmon! The FDA was pushing for it (yes, for human consumption. WEIRD). Please read more about it here, it's nuts.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

blackened salmon salad lunch

This morning before I went to the gym I took a piece of Atlantic (not farmed!!) salmon out of my freezer and put it into a pot of water to thaw. After I got back, got ready and ate some more raw yogurt with honey I seasoned it with garlic, s&p and paprika and tossed it in a cast iron with some butta.

I then chopped up lettuce, tomatoes, onions and carrots. I topped the salad with olive oil, Bragg apple cider vinegar and nutritional yeast.

I've already looked over the menu at Barcode and pretty much decided what I'm getting. Does anyone else do this prior to going to a restaurant?? Probably not. But I think I'm gonna go with swordfish. STOKED

I've also decided I'm going to start canning and preserving all types of food. Salsa, tomato sauce, veggies, liquored fruits. I think it will be super fun and I'll save money. Plus, I'm going to do it during summer when produce is at its peak. I'll keep ya posted

better than pf chang's chicken wraps

I've been up since 5:15 and I feel GREAT! I made an awesome dinner last night, watched Teen Wolf (yeah, yeah, I know) from 8-9 and was in bed by 9:30. The sky was not entirely dark yet, and it was honestly kind of nice to get to sleep at that hour. Despite being woken up around 1am, (a drunk Kait was convinced I was calling her name, once I convinced her that I did not, she said "creepy" and closed my door) I slept pretty well. I got up easily, chugged some raw yogurt just to have something in my stomach, and headed to the gym, which is about a 5 minute drive. I used to go to the gym with Mike and Nick and considered them sort of my personal trainers, I'd either do whatever workouts they were doing or Mike would tailor one for me. But today I was all on my own, and based my leg workout off of Meg's leg workout. I threw some random things in there but overall did a really similar workout. My legs seriously feel like noodles. Once I got home I had raw milk with Warrior Whey protein and got ready for work.

I was surprised at how well dinner turned out last night since I just randomly threw some ingredients together with chicken

-liquid aminos
-annie's organic worcestirshire
-sesame oil
-rooster sauce (my favorite)

A little bit of everything, except the hot peppers on the far left, I served them on the side. I got them at the downtown Silver Spring farmers market and they are BOMB. I also added two large cloves of garlic, cayenne and some ginger.

I put raw onion and carrot in the lettuce wraps before topping them with the chicken.

I also had an avocado sprinkled with sea salt on the side.

Tonight after work I'm going to Barcode for dinner. I'm really excited, I've only  been there after hours when it turns into a club/lounge/bar. As for right now, I'm going to dominate some hard boiled eggs as my second consistent meal of the day.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

eating schedule and working out

Considering I am joining a gym, I need to be even more diligent about what I eat. Or rather, when I eat. A lot of people don't realize that you really do need to eat more food (not less! no dieting!) when you're working out. Ideally, when a person is working out they should eat 4-5 small, but decently sized meals a day. Roughly every 3 or 4 hours. A lot of times I'm at work and busy and cannot find the time to eat, or I simply don't feel like eating. I have a few plans in place to ensure I'm eating well, and eating regularly. First, prepare food beforehand. This is probably the most important. I would hate to be at work, or out somewhere and have to buy some crappy food because I wasn't prepared with my own. In addition to preparing my food the next day the night before, I'm also planning on boiling several eggs. Since I now will be waking up at 5:15 am to get to the gym (ugh, even seeing myself type that, I think, "are you effing kidding me?") I plan on having either raw yogurt or a hard boiled egg before my workout to get me through, and then a protein shake afterward. The protein powder I have is not only organic, but raw whey! I also have raw liquid whey from my farmer. It is important to consume protein within fifteen minutes of your workout to help refuel and rebuild your muscles. I plan on having a breakfast similar to what I had today,

Don't know why it's sideways but whatever, two eggs cooked in butter, raw yogurt with raw honey and a glass of raw milk (plus two fermented cod liver oil pills). Would've had coconut oil also, but I forgot.

Eating several small meals throughout the day also helps boost your metabolism. Another trick I've used since I started eating well is making way more food for dinner than I can physically consume by myself. Then I always have leftovers the next day. The key is not to overeat, but to eat regularly. I'm super excited to get back in the gym and lift some weights! Exercising has always made me feel a lot better mentally and physically, here we goooooo

gym/tomato basil chicken/best side dish ever

First things first, I joined a gym! I really, really wanted to do crossfit, but considering it was around $160-$200 a month (!), it was just too expensive. So I joined Fitness Evolution (same gym my buddy Nick goes to) for $10 a month...which is a whole hell of a lot better than $200 a month. And my friend Tasha, who dates Nick and is a personal trainer said she can do crossfit workouts with me!! Winning!

Dinner last night was tomato-basil chicken. To a plastic bag I added:
-chicken chopped into pieces
-olive oil

Let that joint marinate for a while.

Then cook it in butter.

I served it with a side dish that was completely random, mostly because I'm running low on groceries and don't feel like buying more, and would honestly rather buy clothes/go out with my friends. I mean, I have enough to last me, I just have to get creative. So I chopped up some carrots, sliced up an onion, and threw the both in a pan with a bit of chicken stock and a lot of butter.

The butta makes it glisten.

It was so, so good. Sweet from the carrots, creamy from the butter and onions make everything taste better.

A well rounded, grain-free dinner. Tonight I'm probably going to try my hand at chicken lettuce wraps. We'll see how that goes.