Friday, January 20, 2012

Paleo Progress

We have been doing pretty well with our attempts to shift our eating habits to the Paleo diet.  Dinner has been easy.  We've eaten a Paleo friendly dinner every night for the past few weeks.  As I predicted, breakfast and lunch have been a bit more of a challenge.  In an attempt to get my girls to eat more Paleo friendly breakfasts and not spend a ton of time cooking in the mornings, I made these cheesy egg muffins using a recipe I found on a website my brother sent me.  Here's the link to the recipe.  

I actually messed up the recipe because I doubled it, but forgot to double the amounts of any of the ingredients other than the eggs.  Duh.  They were still pretty good, but a bit dry for my taste.  I also used the same recipe (again, doubling only the eggs) to make another dozen egg muffins, but this time I used blueberries (I smashed them up a little bit when stirring them in) instead of cheese.  I thought my girls would be more likely to enjoy these, and I was right.  They were pretty good, though again, a touch dry for me.  I think next time I'll skip the coconut flour, yogurt, and baking powder and make these more like mini frittata muffins, with just eggs, a little coconut milk, and whatever other ingredients I decide to add.

The girls did eat up the muffins, and they also enjoyed to smoothies I made to go with them.

My favorite smoothie recipe:

2 bananas
2 handfuls of blueberries
8-9 frozen peach slices
Approximately a cup of unsweetened coconut milk (I like So Delicious brand, it comes in a carton like milk, rather than in a can)
I half this recipe for a 3-year-old-sized smoothie.

So, we've had some success with breakfasts.  I also made these pancakes last weekend.  The girls loved them.  There were enough leftover for a quick breakfast on a school morning, but I think next time I'll at least double the recipe and then have some to refrigerate and freeze.

Unfortunately, though I had plans for sausage, hard-boiled eggs and fruit, and a few other good breakfasts, Miss has been asking every morning since the pancakes have been gone for oatmeal.  I guess I just have to let the oatmeal run out and then get back into the good stuff.

Lunch has been similar.  We've had good days (chicken and corn today, ham and fruit the other day, etc) and not so good (PB&J, mac and cheese for a play date).  Surprisingly, I have learned that Miss really likes to eat "sandwiches" wrapped in lettuce.

This from the girl who really won't eat a sandwich otherwise, unless the bread is stuck together by it's contents (PB&J, grilled cheese).  If it's not, she just takes it apart and eats each component separately, so we don't do ham or turkey sandwiches here.  Unless they are wrapped in lettuce now.  I guess her lack of interest in bread sandwiches has turned out to be a good thing, since I don't have to try to get her out of the habit of eating bread so much.

We've done well with snacks, mostly eating different types of fresh and dried fruit, and Miss has discovered a love for cashews.  We have only resorted to bunny crackers once or twice when at the store during snack time.

I even developed my own yummy recipe for Paleo friendly hash, which we had for dinner last night.

I had some huge daikon radishes that I thought would substitute nicely for the potatoes in a hash, so I chopped one of them up into pretty small cubes (about a quarter inch to half inch square), browned it up with some onion and combined it with some browned ground venison. 

And it worked!  The hash was very yummy.  My husband even said it reminded him of the yummy greasy corned beef hash breakfast he used to get at the hospital where he used to work and has craved since.  I'll take that as a compliment, since the result of my efforts was actually not greasy at all.

Here's the "recipe," though I'll warn you in advance it's not terribly precise with measurements.

Paleo Daikon Radish Hash
One huge daikon radish, chopped into 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes (it probably ended up being about 3-4 cups once chopped, if you're using several smaller radishes. I included the photos above, so you could kind of see how much).
One pound ground venison or beef
One medium yellow onion, chopped
Low sodium chicken broth (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp butter
S&P to taste

Brown your meat.  Remove it to a bowl but leave the fat behind.  The venison had very little fat, so if you are using beef you might need to drain some of this off.  I probably had about 2 Tbsp of fat left in the pan.  Add the radish and onion, along with about 1/2 tsp kosher salt.  Stir to coat with fat, add the butter, then cover and let soften.  After a bit I thought it started to look a bit dry, so I added about 1/2 cup of low-sodium chicken broth.  When the veggies start to soften, take the cover off and stir frequently until they begin to brown (you should have the pan on medium high or hotter).  It took about 20-30 minutes for things to get softened up enough and begin to brown (this might go faster if the lid of your pan has a good seal to keep in the steam, mine doesn't).  Add the meat back into the pan along with another 1/2 cup or so of chicken broth.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the radish and onion are soft and nicely browned.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

It was a great warm comfort-food dinner on a super cold night.

And speaking of super cold, I have not really been all that interested in taking the girls out for the past few days because it has just been so cold here.  Today it snowed as well, so we had a stay-in-the-house-and-in-our-jammies day.  It was nice, though I did start to feel a little bit cooped up after two days of not going anywhere.  I felt the need to spice things up a bit, so I brought out the play-dough.

I'll be honest and just say that I really hate play-dough.  It's just messy and I find it annoying.  What can I say?  It's not the most frequent activity in our house.  Okay, it's a very, very infrequent activity in our house.  But, that makes my girls love it all the more!!

 This was her very special creation - A fish!  She said she made it for Grandma.

And I'll be honest, now that we have this little plastic picnic table that I can easily bring into the kitchen for them to play on, the play-dough really wasn't that bad.  In fact, I could see us doing it a bit more often.  Maybe.  The girls loved it, so that made it worth it.

The girls also got creative with their dry erase crayons.  These things are awesome, BTW.  A friend of mine found these for her kids and got some for us too when she learned of my lack of enthusiasm for dry erase markers with a 17-month-old.  These are so easy to wipe off most surfaces and they don't rub off nearly as easily as markers, so if you brush against the board you don't wind up with crayon all over yourself.  But, they do clean up relatively easily with a wet cloth.

Miss kept asking me what I wanted her to draw with her blue (her favorite color).

This is the look she gave me when I asked her to draw a square.  She said, "I already drawed a square Mama."
Well then.

It's supposed to warm up a bit this weekend so we'll be venturing out some.  Stay warm!

1 comment:

  1. Love that look... "I already drawer it!" haha. Duh, Mama! I'll have to check out the dry erase crayons. B just got an easel for Christmas and has a hard time remembering to cap the markers each time...