Make Ahead Breakfast Egg and Veggie Pancakes

This uses my https://dietingsucksblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/my-big-batch-of-primal-muffin-in-a-cup-mix/ recipe, but you could sub out 2T flax meal, or coconut flour, or almond meal. Whatever you have on hand:)

Make Ahead Breakfast Egg and Veggie Pancakes
This makes 6 firm pancakes about 2-1/2″ across each, or 2 servings.

3 extra large eggs
1T coconut aminos, wheat-free tamari or soy sauce (whatever fits your plan)
1tsp good fish sauce (I recommend Red Boat)
1 cup frozen chopped spinach (measure frozen then thaw and squeeze as dry as possible)
1/2 cup finely shredded cabbage
2 Tablespoons My Primal Muffin in a Cup Mix
2 Tablespoons Ghee (or bacon fat, coconut oil, evoo, whatever you prefer)
Salt and pepper to taste (watch the salt: the aminos and fish sauce have quite a bit)

Beat eggs well then add the aminos, fish sauce, a pinch of salt and pepper and beat well again.
Add the veggies, stir in the dry mix and let sit for 5 minutes.
Heat the pan over medium high heat and add the ghee. You want a drop of water to dance when you drop it into the pan.
Scoop out 6 pancakes and flatten slightly.
Cook for about 1 minute then turn and cook 1 -2 minutes until they’re golden brown.
Serve as-is or make a simple dipping sauce like the one below.
Total: 595 calories; 16g carbs; 46g fat; 28g protein; 9g fiber
Per Serving: 298 calories; 8g carbs; 23g fat; 14g protein; 5g fiber

These refrigerate very well, just make sure they’re completely cooled, then wrap in a paper towel and place in a lidded container in the refrigerator. I have not tried freezing them.

Simple dipping sauce(serves 2 lightly) :
1 tsp almond butter
1 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp chicken or beef broth
1 tsp water
optional pepper sauce for a little heat

Melt together in the microwave for 15 seconds, stir to blend.

Calories or Macros?

A current, and ongoing, trend on low-carb and primal/paleo boards is calories versus macros.
*ding*
On this side of the ring: calories in/calories out
In this corner: calories don’t count as long as you have the proper ratio of fat/carbs/protein
And the fight commences. Usually rudely.
“Dear support forum:
WHY AM I GAINING WEIGHT???
I’m only eating 20 grams of carbs a day!

My typical menu is:
1 cup of coffee with half a stick of butter and half a cup of coconut oil, 4 eggs and 27 slices of bacon fried up in 1 cup of coconut oil for breakfast, 2 pounds of 73% lean ground beef and 1 lettuce leaf for lunch and half a cow and another lettuce leaf for supper. I have a latte with sugar free syrup and 1 cup of heavy cream as a snack.
Do I need to cut out the lettuce leaf???? WHY AM I GAINING???! THIS DIET SUCKS AND DOESN’T WORK!!”
Responder 1: Yes, it’s the lettuce.
Responder 2: Are you kidding me? That’s like 200000 calories. Of course you’re not losing!
Original poster: But I thought calories don’t count???!!!
Responder 1 counters: It’s the lettuce. Calories don’t count.
Responder 2 counters: You’re an idiot.
Responder 3: Make sure it’s grass fed, organic and antibiotic free and you’ll be fine, just stick to it!
Responder 1 again: I forgot about that, it’s probably the hormones in the meat.
So forth and so on….

Exaggerated to make a point 😉
The truth probably lies somewhere in between these extremes.
The venerable Dr Robert Atkins stated in his early Atkins Diet Revolution book (paraphrasing) “Calories don’t count as much, but low-carb isn’t a license to gorge”.

This same ideology can apply to the Primal and Paleo diets as well.
You jump into them thinking if you “eat clean” you can eat more.
While this may be true to some extent, taking in excess calories over time will end up on your butt!

So before you order that sugar free coffee drink that can top out over 600 calories, give it some thought if your weight is not moving in the right direction.

My Big Batch of Primal Muffin in a Cup Mix

Born of necessity: I had too many containers in my fridge lol.
Since I used these ingredients to make cup muffins 99% of the time, I mixed them all together (I tossed in what was left, too, but I’ll give you measurements for your own big batch).

Big Batch of Primal Muffin in a Cup Mix

1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond meal/flour
1.5 cups flax meal (I had golden but use what you like)
2T glucomannan powder (omit if you don’t have it)
4T chia seeds (omit if you don’t have them)
2T aluminum free baking powder
1tsp pink sea salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup sweetness of powdered stevia (to taste. I use them mostly as savory, so I use less but can add more to the individual ones, same with salt)

Mix everything in a gallon ziploc bag other container you can seal tightly. Shake well and refrigerate. Shake well before every use.

To make an “english muffin” sized muffin, beat 1 ex-large egg in a 4″-5″ wide bowl, ramiken, or cup (preferably glass, microwave safe)then add 1T water and 1tsp olive oil (melted butter or coconut oil, your favorite cooking fat).
Mix with a fork then add 3T of the muffin mix and stir well. It will thicken to a “quick bread” dough like thickness.
Tap the bowl to settle it mostly flat, then microwave for 1.5 minutes on high (1 minute, 30 seconds).
Let stand 2-3 minutes then turn it out to cool or use immediately.

Variations using the same mix:

Measure out the dry mix and add any of the following (individually or in combination) :
1/4tsp cinnamon;
2T s/f maple syrup or other flavored syrup (omit water when beating the egg and use instead);
1/4tsp vanilla extract;
additional sweetener;
1T dry or 2T fresh blueberries;
grated lemon zest (add 1/4tsp lemon extract and 1/2tsp poppy seeds in addition to sweetener for a lemon poppy seed muffin);
3T shredded strong flavored cheese;
2tsp chopped green chilies;
1tsp minced jalapeno;

Because I try to stay low-carb, these additions would add very few carbs to the finished muffin.
Mashed banana, apple sauce, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc would work as well.

Strawberry Lemonade Jelly

Strawberry Lemonade Jelly
Makes 1 pint

2 large lemons
1 cup fresh diced strawberries, about 8 large berries (unsweetened, frozen ok)
2-3T lemon juice
Stevia to taste*
2 packs plain unflavored gelatin**
1-1/4 cups water

This is a simple but so tasty recipe.
Zest the lemon, then carefully remove all of the white pith from the lemon and chop the lemon flesh.
In a saucepan, place the water, lemon zest and chopped flesh, ½ of the strawberries and about ½ the amount of stevia* you feel like you need.
Bring to a simmer for a few minutes then taste and add a little more stevia if you think it needs it.
At this point, muddle the mixture, breaking and mashing it up. Add the gelatin and stir, bring to a boil and turn off the heat.
Let cool until it starts to thicken, then stir in the remaining strawberries(dice small) and the lemon juice.
Taste again for sweetness and add more if needed (or more lemon juice if it tastes too sweet).
Place in a tightly sealing container and refrigerate to completely set.

*I used about 12 drops of Now Stevia Glycerite (http://www4.netrition.com/now_stevia_glycerite_page.html) for this. Use whatever sweetener you prefer.
**This sets up pretty hard, almost like gelatin, you can use 1 packet of gelatin of you prefer a more soft set.

When you taste this as it cools, if it doesn’t pack enough lemony punch, try capella flavor drops (http://www4.netrition.com/cgi/prices.cgi?manu_id=610). 1-2 drops pack a lot of flavor without adding sugar or a lot of chemicals.

I am not an affiliate of Netrition, nor do I get any kick-backs for the links. I just happen to think they have a fantastic variety of products and great customer service.

You CAN Have Primal Pizza Crust without Weird Ingredients

This is a recipe I played with years ago and forgot how good and how simple it is.
NOTE: This IS much better and much sturdier if you refrigerate it overnight, then top it and bake from cold the next day.

Simple Cheesy Spinach Pizza Crust
12 or 16oz bag of frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as you can get it*
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella or “pizza blend” cheese
3 large eggs, beaten
1tsp dry Italian seasoning blend
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4tsp each: black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
Olive oil to lightly coat pan (maybe 1tsp)

Preheat oven to 400f.
Use a brush or a mister and lightly coat a 9×13 cookie sheet or 12″ round pizza pan with the oil. (I now use a silpat)

*I prefer to squeeze the spinach with cheesecloth because you can get it really dry that way.
Mix everything and pat into the pan.
Bake at 400f for 10 minutes, then reduce the head to 300 and bake an additional 20 minutes, or until the top looks lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes, then flip over onto a rack so the bottom cools and dries as well. (Don’t flip it out while it’s still hot or it may fall apart).
Once it’s cooled to room temp, you can use it right away. Just top with your favorite pizza sauce, veggies and meats and bake for not more than 15 minutes at 425f. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

To chill and have a more firm crust: place the room temp crust back on the baking pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
When you’re ready to use, prep your toppings before taking it out of the refrigerator so the crust is still cold when you put it in the oven.
425f for 15 minutes.

Leftover Chicken Casserole

I always have leftover, usually boiled, chicken from making broth.
This is an easy way to use the chicken and make a family meal that is low-carb and primal 🙂

Leftover Chicken Casserole
1T olive oil or your favorite cooking fat
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, sliced thin or minced
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
12oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed as dry as possible
4oz cream cheese, at room temp or softened
2oz heavy cream
2T mayonnaise
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese as a topping

Saute the garlic and onion in the oil until fragrant (2-3 minutes) then add the spinach and heat through.
Heat the cream cheese, mayonnaise and cream in a microwave safe cup and stir to blend.
Mix everything except the Parmesan cheese together in a microwave or oven safe casserole and pat down gently. Sprinkle the Parmesan on top.
Microwave for 5 minutes on high OR bake in a 400f oven for 15 minutes until bubbly THEN top with the parmesan and bake an additional 10 minutes until the top is lightly browned.

Pork Chops With Cabbage, Apples and Vinegar

Pork Chops With Cabbage, Apples and Vinegar

2T good quality butter
4 pork chops, whatever cut you like, about 6oz each
2 granny smith apples, cored and sliced into 10 wedges each
1 head of green cabbage, chopped (about 10 cups)
1 large onion, sliced thin
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
salt and pepper
2T apple cider vinegar
stevia or other sweetener equal to 2tsp sugar

Salt and pepper the pork chops as you like.
In a large, deep skillet with a tight fitting lid, melt the butter and brown the chops for about 3 minutes per side.
Remove the chops and add the onion and apple. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the cabbage and saute over high heat for 5 minutes until it just starts to sweat.
Add everything except the vinegar, cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
**You can do this in a 350f oven as well, but it’s Summer in Texas, I don’t use my oven much lol.
After that, raise the heat and add the vinegar, simmer on high for 1 minute and it’s ready to serve.
You can take the chops and veggies out and reduce the liquids as a sauce, if you like.

Saucy Chicken Stuffed Mushroom

No random thoughts today, just a recipe to share;)

For each person:
1 portobello mushroom cap (3″-4″ across)
2oz-3oz chicken breast or thigh (raw), chopped small
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 clove garlic, sliced thin
1 teaspoon olive oil
handful of fresh spinach, chopped (about 2/3 cup roughly)
3T heavy cream
small pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of parmesan cheese, optional

Clean the mushroom cap by using a spoon and scraping, gently, the gills.
Wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave 1 minute to just start to soften it.
Turn it upside down, to drain and liquid, and let it cool while you make the filling.

Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the chicken, onion and garlic until the chicken is no longer pink. Chopped small, so it may only take 2-3minutes.
Add the spinach and stir to wilt, let it cook for a minute to get rid of some of the liquid, then add everything except the cheese (and mushroom cap) and simmer for 1 minute until the sauce thickens and reduces.
Spoon into the mushroom cap and sprinkle the cheese on top.
You can either microwave this now (3 minutes on high will finish cooking the mushroom), or bake it in a pre-heated 400f oven for 10 minutes.

Meal Planning is Chaos lol

Son is home and has not been putting much effort into finding a job.
Hubbs and I gave him a month to “unwind” after college. Tick. Tock.

Hubbs is easy to cook for. He doesn’t care what “diet” I’m on, he eats what I make.
Son learned, at college, to eat fast foods.

We try to have a meal out, together as a family, on the weekends, and not usually “fast food”.
Although, if you’ve ever eaten at what-a-burger, you know their burger patty over a side salad makes a good primal and low-carb meal. (no skimpy 2.5oz patty here, these are full 4-5oz babies!).

So, I have realized, I need to plan the weekly meals ahead of time, not just shop and pick up whatever catches my eye.
Son goes with me most of the time, and he could plan a whole weeks food from hot pockets and ramen lol.
He’s always loved my cooking, and he has some good ideas himself. The smothered chicken I made last week was his contribution, and it was really good.

But his idea of an after shopping meal is a burger or sub or fried chicken.

Hubbs would be just as happy with a pot of chili or hamburger helper as he is with a steak and broccoli.

Sales ads come out on Wednesdays, but I usually shop on Monday, so my weeks are usually off by one.
I’ll go shopping a second time if I see something on sale that really interests me, but otherwise I try to keep it once a week or else I spend way, way too much and end up wasting produce or other things.

So I ask hubbs and son on Sunday: “What would you like this week?” and the answer is usually “I don’t care”. /scowl lol
I do my shopping and the next day one of them will say “can you make xxx tomorrow for supper?” and I tell them to put it on my list for NEXT week!

A definite work in progress, but we’re all getting better about it 🙂

I have an addiction…

I’m a diet book junkie.
There, I admitted it.
Is anyone else like this?
You hear about a new diet (Thank you Dr Oz and the checkout stand at the grocery store, for enabling me)and you Google the plan, read about it a little on blogs, then have to have the book.
Thank you Kindle for at least keeping my house out of the cycle of diet madness.
My latest read: Trim Healthy Mama, or THM, for those “in the know”.
It’s an interesting read, not really new.
A lot of their plan seems based on Somersize, Suzanne Somers plan from years ago, with a little more focus on the lower carb end.
Food combining is not new. “Don’t eat high carb with fat and don’t eat high fat with carbs” has been around a while.
You can find a lot of information about THM through facebook groups and diet forums.

Over the years I’ve probably read hundreds of diet books.
I love to read them.
The theories, the studies, the recipes, the menu plans (especially the ones that use some obscure ingredient one time then never again. “You need 1/2 teaspoon of yack essence, and it only comes in a 1 gallon bottle, but you’ll never use it again”).
And the ones that make excessive use of “chemical soup” diet ingredients that have “no calories, no carbs, no fat” but are supposed to taste like the real thing.

Blogs and Facebook have probably saved me hundreds of $$$ by being able to read the basics of a plan before deciding to purchase the actual book.

No matter what I read, or am interested in, I always come back to a Primal, Intermittent Fasting(JUDDD – Johnson Up Day Down Day Diet, which has a really great sub-forum on lowcarbfriends. All the information you need, and you don’t have to post, just read. I hate sites you have to be registered on to even read the content.) and Low Carb combo for health and weight loss.
It’s really the only thing that has worked for me consistently, yet I still go off and try new plans when they look interesting.

I really need to work on that.