I’m so excited to post about my recent experience Paleo Pen Pals! They match you up with another member of the Paleo community which provides such a fun interaction with someone you don’t know! Basically, all you have to mail each other a Paleo ingredient and make a recipe from it! I remember having pen pals in grade school and being so giddy when I would receive a letter from them. This giddiness was felt again when I received my Paleo ingredient from Tanya at Feed the Clan 🙂 Her recipe using the star anise that I sent her is here.
I was pretty nervous to do this because, while I love sharing recipes, I haven’t exactly really created many on my own. Sure, I’ve deviated from other recipes by adding or changing some ingredients, but I haven’t really come up with anything from scratch. After stressing out about this (#firstworldproblems), I realized that maybe I can still tweak something I know about. After all, isn’t that how people come up with some recipes in the first place?
So…here is what Tanya sent me:
Tanya told me the Hatch Red Chile Infused Honey was from a local source in her area, which I loved! I was so excited to see how I could use this in a recipe! When I tasted it, I was reminded of the red chili powder that my mom often used in her many delicious Gujarati (state in India) dishes. I’m not sure if it’s very different from what we get at the supermarket in the states, but that was my experience with it. So basically, this powder was infused into honey and was quite yummy 🙂
I had some home-grown cabbage at home, and my mom had brought some beautiful purple and white carrots from a farmer’s market. So I decided to make a Spiced Honey Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots based off a Gujarati dish I ate growing up. Usually, my mom never added any type of sweetener or carrots, so I was curious about how this would taste. This recipe can also be made without the carrots.
Spiced Honey Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup shredded carrots
3 cups shredded cabbage
2.5 tsp Hatch Red Chile Infused Honey
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
Dry roast the mustard seeds in a pan until they pop – this increases the mustard flavor in the dish. (You can also add sesame seeds to this if you’d like). Heat oil in another pot or wok, and add mustard seeds and turmeric. Let it sizzle for a little bit so it’s mixed in well. Add cabbage and carrots. Mix this thoroughly so the turmeric covers the cabbage and carrots completely. Add the honey. Then cover until the cabbage is cooked but still a little crisp – about 10 min. Add salt.
And VOILA! You are done. At first, I didn’t feel like I tasted the chile flavor. And it still isn’t as strong as my mom’s, but the point is that it didn’t NEED to be spicy. What’s really cool is that the honey flavor really makes it yummy and the spicy kick comes at the end. This can be a great side dish with any meal. You can also add some chicken, pork, or beef to this dish as well. I’ve never done it, but I think it would be really great!
I hope you enjoyed my first real recipe 🙂 Paleo Pen Pals was such a fun experience that pushed me to be creative. I will definitely be doing it again!
My birthday is Friday (yay!), and I wanted to do a giveaway to celebrate 🙂 I was trying to think of the best thing to offer you all, and I realized I needed to go back to my roots…my Paleo roots that is 🙂 So…I’m going to give away a copy of It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, which outlines how to do a Whole30 which I did last year. This book literally changed my life, inspired me to start this blog, and has gone so far as to inspire me to learn more about biochemistry, permaculture, meditation, and farming practices! (WHOA!) And this all comes from a person that grew up in the suburbs of Chicago! Now, Dallas and Melissa clearly state that the basis for the book is health, not necessarily the ancestral/paleolithic way of thinking. So if you’re not interested in that angle, which is fine, this book is still a great way to think differently about your overall health.
I returned from Europe about a week ago, and I had an amazing time! Here are my top 10 takeaways from the trip:
1. Restaurant service in America is incredible (as compared to London/Paris).
2. Dairy and meat quality in Europe (at least London and Paris) is phenomenal, and most food was very fresh.
3. London is expensive!
4. But visit the Borough Market in London anyways 🙂
5. Paris is beautiful!
6. French food is rich, simple, and delicious.
7. Don’t eat French food if you need to compulsively use Sriracha (or insert other hot sauce) on everything.
8. While, the service in Paris is mostly crappy (compared to the states), most Parisians seem to be ok with it. Maybe it’s because they aren’t always in such a hurry like Americans. 🙂
9. It’s hard to stay Paleo in Paris and avoid baguettes, croissants, macaroons, and crepes 🙂
10. Biking around in Paris was one of the most adventurous things I have ever done in my life!
Overall, it was very, very difficult to stay Paleo, especially because of #9. All the gluten, grains, and alcohol I drank definitely had a negative impact on how I felt physically and mentally. I also did not have the best quality of sleep because of it. However, since I have returned, I have a renewed passion for the Paleo lifestyle. And I feel great!
On to some changes! As I mentioned in my last post, I am excited to start sharing different material on the blog and just expanding in general. One change is that I have a Facebook account exclusively for this blog, yay! So please like Cutting the Cheese on Facebook! I also made a new twitter account to really focus on primal/paleo/real food nutrition and lifestyle. My new handle is @cuttingthecheez, so please follow me there 🙂
That is all…for now!
Tonight I’m leaving for London and Paris for a couple weeks! I’m so blessed to go on this trip and see a dear friend (the one who wrote this awesome post) get married, meet family, and simply enjoy different parts of the world! I’m hoping to document some things and perhaps learn some food related ideas about each place while I’m there as well.
How will I stay Paleo on this trip? Well, it will probably be hard as vacations are usually opportunities where I have failed. However, I have equipped myself with some trail mix and grass-fed beef jerky from Gourmet Grassfed Meat! I’m bringing these with me on the plane to snack on as well. I’ll just do the best I can, and, most importantly, enjoy my time 🙂
I also wanted to talk about some changes about the content of this blog. Somewhat deeper thoughts have been entering my mind through various forms of social media, personal life experiences, and discussions with friends. This includes food policy, emotions and eating, the female body image, etc. I definitely have some ideas about these topics, some that have been expressed before, and, perhaps, some new ones. I will say this now and again when I write these posts: I am not an expert in..well…anything! This is purely a journey of learning that I thoroughly enjoy. Prove me wrong, challenge me, I welcome it 🙂 Getting my ideas out there helps me to grow and, hopefully, allows my readers (or maybe just 1 reader at least? hehe) to get a different perspective as well.
Aritey, that’s all folks…see you in a few weeks!
Well I did my abbreviated version of a Whole30 with success. It’s been almost a year since I did my first (and only) Whole30, and I forgot (and was reminded) of some things.
1. Eating out. One lesson I was reminded of was how hard it is to eat out! Regardless of the quality of meat restaurants use, one thing that really gets me is the oils they are probably using. I’m usually too skittish to ask, but I’m guessing most restaurants don’t use Organic Extra Virgin Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil. I guess that might seem like I am really snobby, however, I feel that I have good reason to be picky about this. Also, it is very likely that there might be hidden sugars in food. The best bet is to order a salad, dressing on the side (or request olive oil and balsamic). On many instances, I did eat prior to eating out since I knew I might be limited. I learned that even though I’m afraid, I do need to ask questions when eating out.
2. I love sugar! I really do, well maybe just my brain does (same thing?). The first couple days were pretty challenging in this regard, however, after that it wasn’t too difficult. Fruit provided a perfect sugar fix that didn’t make me feel like total crap afterwards.
3. Variety exists! When I started this journey last year, it was difficult for me to think about variety. In the past year, I have experimented with different types of meat and seasonings, and variety is much more common for me. I have experimented with vegetables like chard, bok choy, kale, etc instead of sticking to lettuce and spinach. I experimented with lamb and pork, which I was very frightened of last year.
4. I feel great. That is a given. I knew I’d feel fabulous when I did this, even though it was only 7 days. My stomach felt at ease, I slept well, my sinus problems reduced, and I didn’t wake up feeling fat 🙂 The funny thing is that even though I can afford to lose a few more pounds, it wasn’t my main goal. It was an added benefit, but I’m so glad I am less focused on this aspect. As one of my favorite podcasters Jason Seib from the Everyday Paleo Lifestyle & Fitness podcast says “Healthy by choice, hot by accident” 🙂
This goes to show that doing something like this, even for a short time, really proves that changes in diet can impact health and happiness. If I did this longer, it would have made even more of a difference!
I do want to do a Whole30 again before the end of the year. I’m thinking I will do it the month of my birthday (September), so stay tuned 🙂
So…that might sound kinda weird right? Isn’t the Whole30 for 30 days? Well it is, but many people change it up after they have actually done a Whole30. I’m choosing 7 days because I know next weekend I will be in some situations where it’s inappropriate for me to eat meat, and, I really just need to do something right now.
So my Whole7 starts TODAY, and I really think it will give me a jump start. While I have mainly stuck to my new eating lifestyle, I have been sneaking in sweets here and there. A couple days ago, I went a little too overboard, and I felt awful at night and when I woke up – physically and mentally. Now I have the tools to help me in these situations as opposed to just feeling sorry for myself!
I just wanted to get my new commitment out in the blogosphere to keep myself accountable! Who knows, it might become a Whole8, 9, 21??? For now I will commit to a week and see how I feel.
That’s it for now!