Sunday, December 19, 2010

New "Toys"!!

Christmas came EARLY in my house this week!!

I am so excited!! I ordered an Organic Pastured Turkey, a package of GF Steaks, 3 lbs of Pastureland Organic GF Butter, some "Gold Label" Virgin Coconut Oil, and some Coconut Cream Concentrate last week, and it arrived on Friday - what a perfect start to the weekend! I've got BIG Plans for my turkey for Christmas Dinner :) And I'm going to try to make my own coconut milk using the Coconut Cream Concentrate - If it turns out well, I'll post instructions and notes.

I also finally caved and bought a Pressure Cooker this week - I've been contemplating making this purchase for a few months now, but my hubby was concerned about the safety issue. I looked into them and found that they've come a long way and now have a ton of safety features built in, so I made the purchase - and I'm SO EXCITED to play w/ my new toy! I'm going to use the heck out of it when preparing my Christmas Feast this year! I'll post back about my success, failures, and lessons learned while experimenting.

Another Fun Moment of the week was planning out my Paleo Christmas Feast, and doing all of the grocery shopping in preparation. I hit the Farmer's Market early this weekend, so I actually got there before they were picked over and MADE OUT w/ all kinds of leafy greens and root veggies: Beatiful Swiss Chard, Sweet Spinach, Sweet White Turnips, Red Rocket Radishes, Multi-colored Sweet Carrots, Onions, Apples, Kale, Peppers, and some squash. Lots of inspiration for this week's dinners. I've currently got a Garlic Beef Stew cooking in my Crock-Pot that I dumped a ton of these veggies into - I can't wait to see how it turns out - it smells AH-MAZING right now!

Speaking of my "Christmas Feast", here's what I've got on the menu:
  • Roasted Pastured Turkey - Brined in home-made Brine of Sea Salt, Cranberries, Apples, Orange Peel, Juniper Berries, Black Pepper, Thyme, Rosemary, and Sage.
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Paleo Sweet Potato Cassarole (my own recipe - I've combined different parts of a bunch of different recipes that I've found online - if it turns out good, I'll post it after the holiday!)
  • Southern-Style Farmers Market Green Beans - Slow Cooked w/ Hamhock & Sweet Onions (Another of my own recipes)
  • Mashed Cauliflower - Will be making w/ Clarified (at home), Organic GF Butter
  • Sweet & Salty Broccoli Salad
  • Cranberry Waldorf Salad
  • Pumpkin Pie
I'm really looking forward to preparing this feast and gloating as my hubby (who's been doing a bit of "griping" about Paleo-izing this year's Christmas Dinner) scarfs down every last bite!

And now for a quick update on my Whole30 Progress: So far, so good!! I'm not even quite sure what day I'm on right now - I'll have to look it up, but I think it's probably around day 20-ish. I'm past the "this is hard" part, and am cruising right along, enjoying every minute of it. Mid-week last week, I did go a bit "off the deep end" w/the Dried Mango and Dates, much to my tummy's dismay! I'll cover this "divergence" in another post though. One concession that I'm making - I plan to use a smidge of raw organic honey in the Pumpkin Pie that I'll be making for Christmas, and will also be using a bit of Clarified Organic GF Butter in my Mashed Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Cassarole - neither of these items are Whole30 approved, however I'm making the concious decision to consume these items in moderation on Christmas, thus ending my "strict Whole30" at a "Whole25". I will then jump right back on the Whole30 bandwagon on December 26th and start another 30 days. I'm making this decision for personal reasons, and I woudn't reccomend it to many others, but I know that I'm living a "Whole30 Life" and will be for as long as I'm graced w/ breath to breathe - so going slightly off the Whole30 bandwagon w/ some Clarified GF Butter and a smear of Organic Raw Honey is totally justifiable to me because I was never looking at this as a 30 day journey in the first place. Make Sense?


elle pee said...

I look forward to reading about your adventures in pressure cooking.

Happy Holidays!


hip pressure cooking
making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

Lacie said...

Love reading your blog and getting suggestions for healthy meals.

Question: what's your opinion on drinking coffee on paleo?

Christie said...

L - Love your website! Unfortunately I had to return my pressure cooker b/c it didn't seal properly (leaked steam around the handle and wouldn't come up to pressure) - but I'll be buying another one soon :)

Lacie - I'm glad you're getting some ideas from the blog - As for my personal opinion regarding coffee - I don't really have a problem with it, as long as you actually like to drink your coffee black :) I don't use artificial sweetners of any kind anymore, but was suprised to find that I actually like the taste of black coffee. Sometimes I'll sprinkle a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top for variation, but on average I drink one (12 - 16oz) cup of black coffee per day. My caveat is that I only drink really good quality coffee, and I grind my own beans. The stuff you buy off the grocery store shelf tastes horrible black (in my opinion).

There are several people that I know that have recently undertaken a "30 day challenge" and eliminated coffee from their diet for 30 days in addition to the strict Paleo Whole30 - I'm really interested to see what their experiences were - Melissa Urban of The Whole9 is actually one of the people that did the 30 day caffeine kick, and I think she's going to be doing a Whole9 blog post on it soon, so I'll be keeping an eye out for that! "Melicious" Joulwan also recently did a 30 day stint of no caffeine I think, and I'm going to be meeting her next month at a Whole9 Seminar in Houston, so I'll be picking her brain about positives/negatives that she noticed as well. I may change my opinion in the future, but for now, I don't feel any negative effects from the coffee, so I continue to drink it. I may do 30 days caffeine free sometime in the near future if either Melissa reports good results, and will re-evaluate at that time if I feel that I noticed any positive effects from eliminating it :)