I LOVE SUNDAY BRUNCH! ( the caps do not do it justice)
I love the idea of eggs benedict: poached eggs stacked on top of an array of interesting ingredients that differ from place to place. And I know the Hollandaise is really what makes the Benny the Benny, but never been a big fan of the stuff and well, by now you know this blog does not condone eating gluten, so there goes the english muff.
I replaced the english muffin with butternut squash planks and instead of hollandaise, I just buy kick ass eggs from a local farm. You know the ones with yolks so bright and rich they could kick hollandaise arse in a flavor fight.
The history of the benedict has conflicting origins, but regardless it has become a staple on any brunch menu and I have a new found love for this BS Benny.
BS (butternut squash) BENNY
1 medium butternut squash (more lanky then squatty)
4 Slices Sunday Bacon
1 Small Shallott (sliced thin)
1Jalepeno chopped (I used 1/4 of it)
1 medium Tomato sliced thin
4 LOCAL eggs (otherwise, flavor will not be as rich)
salt/pepper/other spices you like
1. cut the butternut at the neck
-where it starts to bulge. only use the lanky part of squash
2. Slice the skin off and cut horizontally into 1/4"planks
3. Heat a skillet and add coconut oil
-make sure it is high heat oil
4. lay the planks evenly across the skillet and cook both sides on med/high until tender
5. Remove and add bacon slices
-you can also cook them in another skillet at the same time.
6. add shallots and cook until caramelized
7. poach eggs leaving yolk runny (this is your sauce)
-you can also cook sunny side up if you are not into poaching
season planks/eggs with salt/pepper/spices to taste
TIME TO STACK
BOTTOM: 2 BS planks side by side
season w/ salt pepper +hot sauce if you are feeling sassy
REPEAT ON SECOND PLATE
-if you have leftover materials make a stack sans egg (yummy)
Now that I am an affiliate for this WHOLE 30 challenge It is sooo easy to give others advice and write passionately about my journey to longevity and not even listen to it (my boyfriend reminds me to open my ears all the time). As humans we are creatures of habit and athough we may have good intentions, our bad habits are the hardest to change. It is time to step outside of the comfy box of excuse and weakness I have built up lately with travel and lack of sleep and into my colorful CSA box.
Getting creative in the kitchen is a way to stay motivated. Giving recipes an original flair will steer you from the predictable pint of ice cream you run to when you feel deprived or bored of the same ol' same ol',
It is hard to cut out the middle of the grocery, but easy to rid yourself from the paralysis of choice the middle of the grocery has on you. (As the most indecive being on the planet, I f'ing hate paralysis of choice)
Braised Greens with a Tanzanian Twist
makes about 2 cups
2 bunches dinosaur kale or other braising greens, stemmed
1/4 red onion
1 clove garlic
2 tsp fresh ginger
1 jalepeno (optional if you like the spice)
1 spoonful almond butter*
salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil a pot of salted water
2. Add the greens
3. cook for 2 minutes
4. drain and puree in food processor until desired consistency (about 10 sec)
5. remove greens and set aside
6. place onion, garlic, jalapeno and ginger in food processor
7. pulse until finely chopped
8. heat skillet, add 2-4 tbsp coconut oil or EVOO
9. add onion mixture
10. cook until translucent and lightly browned
11. add greens and almond butter
12. stir and spread with spatula until almond butter is evenly mixed
13. Saute for 3-5 minutes
salt and pepper to taste
*The almond butter is a spin off of a baked Tanzanian spinach dish I made awhile back. It gives a creamy texture without the dairy. Sounds odd, but it is dang good!
I paired this side with an acorn squash puree and grilled chicken.
I have officially become an affiliate to the Whole 30 Success Guide. This guide is a great resource to many people who are having a hard time jump starting the process to alleviating health issues through diet.
It is hard to let go of the things you love to eat, even if they make you feel terrible afterward. The Success Guide contains:
detailed shopping lists
science behind WHY it is beneficial to cut the irritants out
food quality tips
meal planning templates
7 day meal plan
on-the-go ideas (THIS ONE IS WORTH IT ALONE!)
other resources to keep you on track
If you have a hard time going cold turkey: this is for you!!
Click on the link below or on the left side of the blog to buy the downloadable guide for $39.
I have been out of whack lately and am in need of some "eating alignment", aka a swift kick back into primal land. I am going to start the success guide myself and see how it can really help. It would be hard to really push this without trying it too.
Please email or comment success and failures and once completed if you would recommend this guide to others.
I remember my first restaurant job at Zolo Grill in Boulder, CO in 2004. With amazing upscale southwestern fare, Zolo also provided a "gluten-free" menu. I was always a health nut like many of you and stayed away from white grains of any kind, only eating whole grains because I always found through my own health research that they contained the most fiber and vitamins. Aside from those who were clinically diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I figured this was another Boulder diet gimmick.
I attended the Paleo certification with Robb Wolf in 2009 and as I sat eating my yogurt and granola, he explained the premise of this CrossFit eating lifestyle was to avoid the very "poison" I was noshing on. WHAT?!? I mean, I had owned a small granola business in Boulder through College called, 15th Street Granola. A business I put tons of hours towards to create the perfect, low sugar granola to sell to my friends and professors. Robb himself is a celiac statistic and because I never actually thought about how food really made me feel, I was convinced he was selling me on a cultish gimmick like folks I encountered in Boulder.
Diagnosed with Hypothyroid at the age of 20 was the most devastating period of my life. Prior to the diagnosis, I went from being full of life, super fit and confident in all things I approached, to depressed, exhausted, suffering memory loss. Not knowing what else to do, I basically took a liking to all of the foods I had no problems avoiding before: pizza, ice cream, cookies. This low point for me lead me to seek therapy.
The way out of this dark hole was through Thyroid research. Physiology of the human body was not only my major, but a huge passion and another reason I decided to look into it. In order to gain control of this new addition to my life, I read and read and read, realizing that many people, especially women, suffer from this easily controlled disease via a small daily pill. However, a pill to make slug-like symptoms disappear was only the beginning.
I knew through all of this research on Thyroid treatments that weight gain was common and for me seemed to happen overnight, putting on all of this weight that I had been so adamant to keep off. I know many people who have hypothyroid and have managed to stay lean, but for me, I tried to maintain my religious diet and exercise plan (obsessive in itself) and still gained weight. This was the recipe for me to fall into my eating hole. I became hopeless and self loathing.
Over the next few years, I struggled to maintain my eating problems and control my thyroid issues and all the while wishing I was as fit as pre-diagnosis. Don't get me wrong, I am thankful a solution to the problem exists because my body and mind felt like a geriatric patient's. I truly felt ninety.
I put my granola down and picked up my pen and started writing like a mad woman. Robb Wolf was trying to tell me something or at least lead me to a facet of research I never knew existed. All of these new studies on grain based diets that up until a couple of years ago were really hard to find, were suddenly popping up. I went home and started reading recommended articles and books Robb had suggested and then read the opposing sides to conclude that a grain/gluten free diet may not be a gimmick after all.
I was still trying to gain control of my weight and body image issues and was nervous that this way of eating could throw me back into an obsessive frame of mind that I had finally had control of. However, I could not overlook the writing on the wall and so I turned my body into an ancestral (primal) experiment and never looked back.
I am on my way to a new version of my old self through 80:20 primal eating. Not forgetting exercise, as a cycling guide, I have also found my confidence and competitive edge again. I know that some of you hear Paleo and think, "blah blah, I love bread, I don't feel bad eating cheese" and that may be the case for you (If I did not have hypothyroid, I may have overlooked this whole lifestyle too). I am not here to preach to the choir, but be a guide for those who come to me with issues that you are ready to tackle.
My boss is a recent case; dealing with signs of skin irritation clearly showing some sort of an allergic reaction, has decided to try without gluten and dairy for a few weeks to see if he notices any difference. This guy LOVES LOVES LOVES bread. He already eats well, but when he approached me, I was delighted to share my knowledge. My hopes are that he will notice the difference without it even if it is a trial and error to the original problem.
Eating is love, pure happiness! (I can finally agree with that).
BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "Wheat Belly"
TRAILER ON BOOK:
Stay tuned for review in the next couple of weeks and more recipes too!