Warm Eggnog

Instead of spending the time searching for a dairy free, refined sugar free eggnog recipe, I decided just to test out things in my kitchen. I remember making eggnog with my dad as a child. Milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a blender. As a lactose intolerant adult that watches the refined sugar, I thought I was doomed…..until now. 

  
This recipe makes 2 cups of eggnog. “Warning: consuming raw or undercooked eggs can have potential health risks.” I have to put the disclaimer just like the restaurants. Also, the quality of your egg matters as far as taste in this recipe. I did not buy the 99 cent per 18 pack at the big name grocery for this, as it will change the end taste of the nog. 

Ingredients:

1 can (13.5 oz.) full fat coconut milk

1/2 cup water

1 egg (yolk and white separated)

1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar

1 tsp honey (more or less to taste)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract 

1/8 tsp nutmeg

Pinch salt

Pinch cardamom

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, on med-low heat bring coconut milk and water to a boil. Then, take off the heat. 

 
In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolk with coconut sugar until light and fluffy. 

  Tempur the egg yolks by adding the 1/4 cup of the hot milk to the  egg yolks and whisking. Repeat this process until half the milk is left. Then, add the egg mixture to the pot. 
Reuse the bowl to whisk the egg whites until frothy. Then, tempura the egg whites as the yolks and add everything back in the pot. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and pour in a cup. Top with a marshmallow and zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds to give it a warm treat-like feeling. 

I made my own marshmallows with the recipe in Real Life Paleo by the Paleo Parents. It’s so easy, you’ll never buy marshmallows again. 

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Thanksgiving experiment #2: Turkey

Apple Cranberry Chutney was first and I converted my pre-diabetic mom from the cranberry jelly to the chutney. Win!

Experiment #2: Instead of 1-20+ pound turkey that is wet brined and baked, according to the Alton Brown recipe, I did 2 – 11 pound turkeys. I dry brined, spatchcocked and baked one courtesy of Michelle Tam’s post here. The other one I wet brined and smoked in our electric smoker. Both were good, but the clean up on the dry brined and roasted turkey was horrible. The dark meat was better on the smoked turkey, a little too moist on the roasted one. The breast meat was more flavorful on the smoked turkey and downright juicy on the roasted one. If I was being picky, I would dry brine the whole turkey, then quarter the turkey to where the dark meat goes into the smoker and the white meat goes in the oven. I would also use a disposable pan and rack for the turkey in the oven. The experiment goes on, but we don’t want to even smell turkey for another few months. Christmas is going to be a different meal all together.

Thanksgiving experiment #1: Fermented Apple Cranberry Chutney

Every year, there is one or two members of my family that like the Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. Every 1/4 cup of this stuff has 110 calories, 24 grams of sugar, less than a gram of fiber and no protein. But cranberries are good for you, right?

Yes. Can you really call this canned delicacy cranberry?

Not really. So, what is a family to do?

Make chutney. Homemade chutney has less sugar, more fiber, and more vitamins and minerals. For probiotic benefits, ferment it.

Perfect. How the heck do you do that? Being this is the first time I’ve ever made chutney, I decided to find a recipe from Cultures for Health. You can find the recipe HERE.
At least 3 days before the big day, make the chutney. I didn’t add the raisins, because I don’t like them. Here is the nutritional run down per 1/4 cup: 53 calories, 11 grams of sugar, 1.8 grams fiber, 0.4 grams protein.
How does it taste? I like it. The true test was with my family. Everyone said it was, “different.” The only one who actually liked it was my mom and me. Goal achieved! In the future, I will only make a half batch of this. Here is the recipe I modified from the original.

Cranberry Apple Chutney
Cranberry Apple Chutney

Ingredients:

1.5 cups fresh cranberries

1/2 cup green apples, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup dates, pitted and chopped

1/2 celery, chopped

1/2 cup water

2 Tbsp raw honey

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 Tbsp Strawberry Acai Coconut Kevita (or homemade water kefir)

Directions:

In a sauce pot, add all ingredients except water kefir. Bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook down to make a thick “salsa” consistency. Take off heat and cool to room temperature. In a clean one quart mason jar, add chutney and water kefir. Stir to combine and tightly secure lid. Leave on the counter or in a cabinet for 2 days then refrigerate overnight before serving.

 

Teriyaki Sauce

I tried a few new recipes this weekend. This one was inspired by Coconut Secrets Teriyaki sauce. I figured, “How hard could in be to make my own paleo teriyaki.” The answer is, “Not very hard at all.”

  
Ingredients:

1/2 cup liquid aminos

1/2 cup water

1 cup coconut nectar

1/2 tsp ground ginger 

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp rice vinegar

Method:

Whisk together all ingredients in a small sauce pot on medium low heat. Let boil, then whisk again. Repeat. Do this until liquid reduces to about half or until the liquid can coat the back of a spoon. 

Total cook time: 5 minutes

Thanksgiving Part 1

I have been a long time Thanksgiving whirlwind of cook. All my friends and family have enjoyed tasty treats from my kitchen. Recently, my kitchen has been morphing into a healthy beast. If you were to compare today’s Thanksgiving to the one 15 years ago, you may not been able to taste the difference, but your blood test may be able to tell. I will be posting all my experiments this year. Stay tuned….

Cucumber salad

I’ve been making this for years, so I thought I’d share. These are very simple ingredients, but very refreshing as a side dish for backyard BBQs.


Ingredients:

4 medium cucumbers

2-3 large heirloom tomatoes

3 green onions

Dressing:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp water

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp basil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp black pepper

Preparation:

Peel cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and width wise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Cut again lengthwise and chop in to bite size pieces.

Chop onions and tomatoes and add into a bowl with cucumbers. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Do not over season. Set aside.

Make the dressing by combining those ingredients in a bowl and whisking. Alternatively, if you have a hand blender, it will make it creamier.

Stir dressing into veggies and let sit at least an hour in the fridge before serving.

Happy Mother’s Day

Every holiday in my family is an excuse for tasty food. Whether we go out for a nice meal, or cook a bunch of food at home, we always overeat. Do I feel guilty? Do I restricted everyone else to my dietary standards? The answer to this is no, and here are some reasons why.

  • Holidays are not every week
  • Special occasions should be celebrated
  • If you stress out about your “diet”, you could be doing more harm than good
  • Desserts are meant to be shared. Don’t eat an entire brownie cake by yourself

Today is Mother’s Day and I did a few swaps. Instead of corn bread, I had corn bread made with cashew milk and a gluten-free box mix. The brownies were Krusteaz Gluten Free Fudge Brownie mix made with coconut oil rather than the weird “vegetable oil” called for on the box. I mean, seriously, have you ever tried to extract “oil” out of a vegetable? The rest of the menu consisted of ribs, green bean salad and sweet potatoes. Not too shabby. This whole meal was shared amongst 6 people, and we didn’t double batch the carbs.

Could I have skipped on the corn bread and brownies all together? Yes, of course. Is all of my family on board with the real food living and giving up grains yet…..No, no they are not. So, instead of looking like the crazy carb police, I will make some exceptions. Change is not well accepted in human nature, but if it comes slowly, it is easier. Before you know it, nobody will know why they are eating real food, they just do because that is the new normal.