Paleo Easter Feast

Easter Decor 2

The Treat Spread: Yes, I know the candies aren’t Paleo, but they ARE gluten/dairy-free! Sometimes we make choices that fall into that “80/10″ philosophy, just to enjoy life and keep our sanity. So we opted for conventional candy this year despite the corn syrup and artificial colors. For us, gluten and casein are the deal-breakers.

HAPPY EASTER!!

One must have eggs at Easter, am I right?!
I was too lazy to color and decorate this year, so deviled eggs were the appetizer.

Deviled Eggs
12 boiled eggs, chilled
1 ripe avocado
mayonnaise*
minced parsley and chives
bacon grease
Himalayan salt

crispy bacon bits

[*I make my own mayonnaise using Bulletproof Upgraded MCT oil for completely neutral flavor and MCT benefits.  I think mayonnaise tastes strange when first mixed, so I like to let mine rest overnight in the fridge to bring out the true mayo flavor.  My favorite recipe and method is from Orleatha Smith at Level Health and Nutrition.]

Cut boiled eggs in half lengthwise and place yolks into a mixing bowl.
(Whites go onto a serving platter.)

Add diced ripe avocado, along with mayonnaise, minced parsley/chives, salt and the bacon grease from crisping a couple slices of bacon to the yolks.
[Quantities are to taste.  I just eyeball it when composing stuff like this.]

Whiz with a stick blender, or mash and mix by hand until smooth.  Spoon into waiting egg whites and top with crispy bacon bits, or maybe some smoked salmon or salmon roe.

Easter Feast 1

Appetizers: Black Olives, Smoked Salmon and Bacon-Avocado Deviled Eggs

Our main meal consisted of baked Walleye fillets (a freshwater fish popular in Minnesota) and meatballs (which I have affectionately nicknamed “MN Moo-Balls” due to the Scandanavian twist of topping with Lingonberry sauce).

MN Moo-Balls
ground grass-fed beef
minced parsley and scallions
garlic powder
Himalayan salt

Mix well and form into 1 1/2″ balls and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  Serve with Lingonberry sauce.

Easter Feast 4

Minnesota Moo-Balls and Walleye fillets

Lingonberries

Lingonberry sauce is also excellent with hot or cold salmon and desserts.

The Plate: finished with a side of baby French green beans topped with butter or ghee.

Easter Feast 5

Great News for Twin Cities GF Peeps!

Hubby and I discovered another burger joint here in the Minneapolis area that has both GF burgers and fries.  Red Robin Gourmet Burgers in Plymouth has a separate, dedicated gluten-free fryer!  Now we have another option besides Ernie’s.

red robin logo

Other items are on the menu, but the burgers are the stars here.  Options include lettuce wrap or gluten-free buns, along with their famous fried egg topping.  Good stuff!

Mmm…

royal red robin burger

Completely enjoyed the Royal Red Robin burger with the famous fried egg on a gluten-free bun – but without the cheese!

And check out these chunky, meaty fries!  (Also in sweet potato.)

bg-right_takeover_right_big_5314a1a211f4a

Are y’all drooling yet?!  LOL

Mill City Farmers’ Market

Mill CIty

The Mill City Farmer’s Market is known as a fantastic local organic source of produce, meats, baked goods (including gluten-free!) and crafts.

Usually held the the Mill City Museum in dontown Minneapolis along the Mississippi RIver,
it picked up and traveled to the MN Landscape Arboretum for a special visit.  I love it when they come Southwest to the Arboretum - only about 10 minutes from my house!

Arb Farmer Mkt

My trip to the market yielded some tasty treasures!  Bison summer sausage, local raw honey, lacto-fermented sauerkraut, pastured bacon and bacon bratwurst.  Mmm…  I wish they were out here every week!

And So the Marketing Deluge Begins…

 Target Baby Book

Last year I received one of these the day BEFORE I found out I was pregnant!  

This time, I managed to evade their detection for 3 months – probably due to wearing a parka hood and/or sunglasses when entering the store.  I know it wasn’t due to purchase patterns because I haven’t made any changes or bought anything baby-related besides my usual California Baby Calendula Cream.  It still irks me that the booklet states: “Thank you for being a Targt Baby registrant”, as I have NOT registered since 2004 when my son was born!

This time around, I am much better educated about health and safety, and therefore plan to minimize the plastics and all-around over-consumption of baby goods.  Simple is better – especially in light of our Paleo lifestyle!

Any product recommendations from other Paleo Moms out there?

Celebrating 13 Years with My Kitties

My kitties turned 13 years old this past weekend on March 29th.  Time sure flies!

Highlights from the first 12 years

To celebrate, we got the girls some new Cat Faeries nip toys and fed them raw egg yolks in addition to their grain-free kitty kibbles and freeze-dried raw food.  These Paleo Puddies love their raw egg yolks!!  They slurked them up lickety-split!

When presented with their gifts, Panda sniffed each one, clawed and swiped her choice away to play.  She chose the oyster – so Raven got the fried egg.  (Snooze and you lose!)  Some of their most “well-loved” toys include the shrimp sushi roll, birds and the oyster.  The catnip in Cat Faeries Legendary Cat Toys is especially potent.  There’s nothing else quite like it.

Kitty Panda Birthday

Panda with BOTH oysters – new and old

Kitty Ravi Birthday

Ravi enjoying her new fried egg toy and nip carrot

most loved toys 1

Some of their most “well-loved” toys! Rabbit recently bit the dust – they actually shredded and unstuffed it!

Happy Birthday Kittens!  Looking forward to many more years together.  <3

Coconut Milk Yogurt

I used to culture my own yogurt, kefir, sour cream, etc before I went dairy-free.  I must admit I sometimes really miss these foods, but dairy proteins (casein) cross-reacts with gluten antibodies and therefore are no longer an option for me.  Oh, the joys of celiac! *sarcastic*  Dang, I miss cheese too. *sigh*

Some time ago I discovered the So Delicious brand of coconut milk products.  I enjoy their ice creams and yogurts a lot, but the cost can add up.  So I explored making my own.  

I found a recipe and instructions on Nom Nom Paleo and modified them slightly.  As I had cultured yogurts and viili before, I know some techniques work better than others to get the critters growing.

I used 2 cans coconut milk (cream only), separating the cream by chilling at least 24 hours.  Put it in a saucepan and added 2 tbsp maple syrup to both feed the culture and sweeten the final product.  Warmed the coconut milk until just melted – resulting temperature of 110F.  Added 1/4 cup Plain So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt and mixed well.  Turned on the oven light and placed the sealed jar in the oven for 24 hours as instructed.

coco-yogurt-plain

Ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (WATER, ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM), ORGANIC DRIED CANE SYRUP, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (INULIN), TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, PECTIN, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, ORGANIC RICE STARCH, NATURAL FLAVORS, LOCUST BEAN GUM, LIVE CULTURES, CARRAGEENAN, GUAR GUM, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, VITAMIN B12.
I am not a fan of some of the ingredients shown above (carrageenan, guar gum, cane syrup, rice, etc) and would prefer to avoid them.

The Result:  After chilling in the fridge, this yogurt became VERY thick and creamy – much thicker than the original.  In my book, that’s a good thing as it indicated more cultures and yields a satisfying mouth-feel.  The taste was both tangy and sweet.  Very good.

Yogurt

My first batch made with 1/4 cup plain So Delicious yogurt as the culture. VERY thick!

I believe warming the coconut milk is necessary, both to adequately mix in the cultures and to give a head-start in the incubation process.  Others say to skip it, but if you compare the photos of final products, you can see that this one cultured far better.

As to the culture source, I am going to try it with a probiotic capsule as well, and see which I like better.  I started with the existing product first because I knew these specific strains are compatible with coconut milk.  This probiotic contains the 6 strains used by So Delicious and a few more:

adult biotic

Either way, the cost is significantly less than $1.99 per 6oz container and it avoids undesirable ingredients!  Flavoring should be easy – just add fruit, vanilla or cocoa powder to taste before serving.  Enjoy!

 

* UPDATE: I made a second batch using the probiotic capsules and found that it did not culture as well as using the SoDelicious product as a starter.  It was much thinner and tasted different.