Monday, June 25, 2012

Paleo/Primal Snickerdoodles

I saw this recipe for Snickerdoodles at The Urban Poser today and had to give them a try. I haven't made many cookies without eggs, but thought I'd try this recipe as written first just to see how it worked. I doubled the recipe to make sure we had plenty on hand now that summer is here and the kids are at home. :)

I tried to use her method of flattening the cookies with a mason jar, but the jar kept getting stuck to the cookie. So I just used my hand to flatten them. That worked much better! The result was very good! They had a slightly crispy outside after I let them cool completely. But the inside was very chewy, which I didn't expect from a paleo cookie. They were near exact replicas of non-paleo snickerdoodles. They are definitely worth making!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cave Kid in Training

So, I've been eating mostly primal/paleo for well over a year. My kids eat mostly what they want but I do try to give them real food rather than packaged or processed junk. If they want toast or pizza on occasion, that's what they eat. But they do know that I don't eat things like that and they do know what foods are healthiest for them. They ask me sometimes why I "can't" eat pizza with them; I say " I can eat anything I want, but I choose to eat this rather than that."

Well, a little while back, the Girl told me they were learning about nutrition at school. Uh oh. She was bringing home worksheets about what foods were healthy and what foods were not. Now for the most part the choices were ok; Like choose an apple rather a bag of potato chips. But there were a few things on there that they considered healthy that I didn't. And of course there was the omnipresent Food Pyramid.

One day the girl brought home some homework in which they asked her questions about said Food Pyramid. She came to me a bit upset and said "They want me to answer this question by saying we're supposed to eat a bunch of servings of bread and grains every day, but that's not what you say we're supposed to do. So I don't know how to answer it." I wasn't really sure what to say to her...I want her to understand what foods really fuel her body, but I also want her to do well in school. So I said "Go ahead and tell them what they want to hear, but know that you might know more about this than they do."

In the end, she wrote the answer they were looking for, but wrote a little qualifier next to it telling them she was telling them what they wanted to hear, but she didn't think that was the right answer. I thought that was a great way to do it!

How do you and your kids deal with authority figures spouting "conventional wisdom" as if it's the only truth?

Paleo/Primal Oven-Baked Meatballs

My family buys our beef in bulk from a local rancher. We usually get a 1/4 of a cow at a time. If you haven't bought beef on the hoof before you may not have thought about what cuts you get. You'll get the usual set of steaks and roasts, stew meat and soup bones, but a lot of what you get is ground beef. I've become pretty good at cooking ground beef, but after a while you get tired of Bolognese and meatloaf and soup. My kids are also pretty picky when it comes to mixing foods. They like everything naked; so no casseroles or soup or the like for them. They like their meat on one part of their plate and veggies and fruits in another. No touching! No Mixing! So that makes it pretty hard to get them to eat any of my ground beef mixtures.

The other day I had a few packages of ground beef thawed and didn't really have a plan for them. So, I thought I'd try to make meatballs from them. My kids love meatballs, but usually eat ones that come pre-made. I'd never tried to make my own before, but it didn't sound too hard. Turns out it was super simple and is now one of my favorite uses for ground beef! I made mine in the oven simply because my cookie sheet is bigger than my cast iron skillet and could cook more meatballs at the same time. But stove top would be a good option as well, if you choose.

Paleo/Primal Oven-baked Meatballs
2 lbs ground beef (grass fed, local is best)
3 eggs (pastured or backyard is best)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper or chili powder
1 tsp herb of choice (I used oregano)

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl using your hands to really mash it all together! Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment, form 1 to 1.5 inch diameter meatballs out of mixture and place on cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 20 minutes then turn each meatball over and bake for another 15-20 minutes until internal temperature reaches 140F or until baked to your preferred doneness.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

First Notable Harvest of the Season

Although we've had a few days of unseasonably warm weather here in the PNW, we've also had our usual share of 50 degree rainy days. Today couldn't make up its mind. It was cloudy, sunny, and windy off an on all day. But I did manage to sneak into the garden for a few minutes after finishing up work for the day. While there I transplanted a few mystery squash starts (I saved seeds from last year but didn't label them. :) ) and picked some spinach and strawberries. The chickens huddled outside the fence waiting on me to throw out any rotten strawberries I found. And lucky for them, there were a few. But for the most part the strawberries looked lovely. We had them with dinner and could really taste the difference between homegrown and store-bought berries!

I can't wait until my garden produces enough veggies to feed us! So far my turnips are growing like crazy, spinach and lettuce are doing well, rhubarb has been harvested once, beets and beans are still small but established and my squash is growing slowly. I've got a lot of other things in the greenhouse, but I'm afraid to put them in the garden until they're a little bigger. Some critter keeps eating all of my brassicas when they're young, so I'm trying to let them get a bit bigger before transplanting outside. Hopefully that will keep the varmints away.


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