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Cashew-Encrusted Onion Rings and Curing MS

Had a pretty good day food wise, buttery eggs with onions and salsa for breakfast, a thick juicy pork chop and some more buttery eggs (for good measure) for lunch (breakfast #2?) and steak dinner thanks to my boyfriend’s mom. 🙂 Steak is always a highlight but while trying to think of a good side (besides the requisite bag of veggie steamers) I came up with cashew-encrusted onion rings!

I have never made onion rings before so I think it will probably go much better next time (and oh yes, there will be a next time for onion rings!) but what we did end up with was really good!

I am sure it would work just as well with almonds or maybe even macadamia nuts, but we had cashews on hand, and hey, what’s not to like about cashews. I pulverized a bunch of them in my blender into a fairly find cashew powder and sliced up some white onion for the rings. Using an egg wash we went along I supposed to about the same way regular onion rings are made, dipping the rings in the egg and then in the cashew dust. Then we friend them in lard! (The lard aftermath/clean up part was pretty gross though.)

The cashew dust got eggy and unpowdery pretty quick so we didn’t end up with as many rings as I would have liked to, but we will be more careful next time! They were excellent, I topped mine with some reduced sugar ketchup.

There is an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown where he makes leek rings. I think that might be worth trying out sometime. I’ve only cooked leeks once and I am definitely still learning when it comes to those.

So I also wanted to pass along a video at Robb Wolf‘s request (it is posted on his Facebook page). It’s a video of a medical doctor, Dr. Terry Wahls, talking about how she cured her multiple sclerosis by following what is essentially the paleo diet and how the paleo diet can lead us all to healthier lives. It is pretty impressive, check it out.

But the great(er) thing about the paleo diet is that is not all it can do! Here is a news story about a study that involved placing type II diabetics on two different diets, paleo and the Mediterranean diet and compared the results. Care to guess which diet totally crushed its’ opponent? But isn’t the Mediterranean diet supposed to be ultra-healthy? Er, not so much. And the study showed other great benefits of the paleo diet as well.

Here for a Quickie!

Well I started working on a post about the evils of the sugar-pushers and good stuff like that, but I am getting tired and I need to do some studying and I want to be able to put some more time into it than I can at the moment. So hopefully it will be up soon in the future!

I did want to say a little something (well a little more than something, but time, eh) about this article that lists my hometown as allegedly one of 8 of the “most artery-clogging cities in America”. I’m not denying that heart disease might be rampant in this city, but…well, let me just post the comment I am referring to in particular and then I will continue:

“3. Lubbock, TX Although it’s not a big city compared to other Texas urban centers, 32% of Lubbock residents are obese, in no small part due to the preponderance of artery-clogging steakhouses and barbecue joints.”

Number 3 even! Ok, I am mostly annoyed by the “artery-clogging steakhouses and barbecue joints” part. I don’t know, maybe the author was referring to all those baked potatoes and baskets of rolls being doled out at the steakhouses, and maybe the barbecue sauce sweetened up with plenty of added sugar and those tubs of potato salad at the barbecue joints, and they completely left out the fast-food restaurant on every corner (and everywhere inbetween), and all the doughnut shops, and Starbucks Coffee shops, and on and on.

The author sure does make it sound like steak and barbecue, aka MEAT is the culprit behind Lubbock’s high incidence of obesity. I just have to say it is stuff like this that just keep all the misinformation going, that whole grains are heart healthy and that butter and bacon grease will clog up your arteries and kill you.

I don’t have time to go into it right now unfortunately,  but I will post some links with information on why FAT is good for you and DOES NOT CLOG YOUR ARTERIES, and who/what the real culprit is. This article just kind of pissed me off so I had to say something about it. The article was published by “the editors of Prevention”, you can view the entire article at http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/8-most-artery-clogging-cities-america-172200587.html.

Here are some links to some posts on Mark’s Daily Apple (MDA):

Why Fat, Not Carbs, Are the Preferred Fuel for Human Metabolism

The Definitive Guide to Fats

The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat

Just to get ya started 🙂

So we did have the crab alfredo with the spaghetti squash today. The squash turned our perfectly. It wasn’t a very paleo nor even a very healthy day altogether, dinner was really the only thing close. I have to work on not letting it get me down too much when I slip up on busy, stressful days like today, but I also need to work on my willpower! Here is on more link to a recent post on Robb Wolf’s blog about temptation, CRAZY Cravings: How do cookies, pizza, etc. know your name?? Maybe I should change my name ; )

Devil Chicken Salad and My First Paleo Spaghetti!

I have been studying for an exam all day and I am still at it here at midnight, so gonna make this quick! Even with all of the studying we did manage to eat pretty good today.

It was an early to class day so breakfast was skipped as it usually is. I made chicken salad for lunch and since I missed the deviled eggs on Thanksgiving due to working I decided to throw that in too and came up with “Devil Chicken Salad”! It was evil and delicious. Just mixed together two cans of chicken, some mayo, chopped onion, chopped bits of colby-jack cheese, relish, chopped boiled egg, and some jalapeno mustard and ranch. Certainly not 100% paleo, but we work with what we’ve got here and it was quick and easy to whip up and yummy!

So I read over and over again on paleo recipe sites about the different substitutions for pasta to make a paleo spaghetti, and finally we made some and it is definitely a keeper! We used zucchini and yellow squash for the “noodles”. We don’t have access at the moment to a mandolin or a julienner (however you spell those!), we used what I believe was a vegetable peeler and just whittled away! Tossed the “noodles” in some olive oil, black pepper, and sea salt and nuked in the microwave for about two minutes as directed on http://www.nomnompaleo.com (love the microwave support there!).

I made meatballs with ground beef. I mixed in 1 whole egg and a variety of spices we have on hand (salt, pepper, dried oregano, rosemary, garlic seasoning, sesame seeds, crushed red pepper) as well as some finely chopped red onion. I formed them into good-sized balls, ready to cook.

I browned them in a pan with a couple TBSP of lard then poured in the sauce and let it simmer for a while. We just had a jar of spaghetti sauce we had on hand but in the future I hope to make my own more paleo friendly sauce.

Finally it was all ready and we were both really impressed with the “noodles” and my spicy meatballs! It was actually very filling and really didn’t take an incredibly long time to put together. I sprinkled some shredded Gouda cheese on top for good measure.

We have a spaghetti squash waiting around, we are planning on a crab alfredo to go with that (we have some canned crab and some store-bought alfredo sauce on hand.)

We are loving the paleo-inspired pasta substitutes!

 

 

Hunting & Gathering (or as we call it nowadays, grocery shopping)

Grocery shopping is often a source of stress for me. Usually we (my boyfriend and I) are working with a very limited budget and trying to make it stretch as long as possible. I am still in the process of learning how to budget shop on a paleo diet but it does get easier each go.

Most of the time we have about $40-50 to last a couple of weeks to feed two adults who really like to eat. We have found that a week’s worth of food has been pretty easy to come by with that amount of money, below in the slideshow is a picture of about $40 worth of groceries that lasted us about a week, and it is somewhat bare bones considering all of the delicious paleo-friendly options out there.

The items we concentrate on getting into the basket when traversing the linoleum wilds of the grocery store are meat & eggs, fats, vegetables, and fruit, mostly in that order. If we can afford some extra luxury items we go for full-fat Greek yogurt (FAGE), unsweetened frozen berries, coconut milk, cheese, nuts, seafood, and whatever else might strike our fancy that week.

The meats category mostly consists of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork (which is usually pretty cheap), and hopefully some ground beef and/or maybe even some steaks if we get really lucky. Right now we are just shopping at the supermarket but I want to look into going to a local butcher instead. I have recently found out however that the supermarket marks down much of the meat and the seafood as well pretty drastically toward the end of the night so we will probably start taking advantage of that. Everything gets broken up into meal size portions when we get home and put in the freezer. Eggs are great for breakfast and other things, we always try to keep them in stock.

The main fats we use are unsalted butter and lard. Both are pretty inexpensive so easy for us to get a hold of and they are both also very flexible as far as what you can cook with them. I also love olive oil which we do happen to have in stock now and I hope to keep it that way!

Vegetables can be preferably fresh or frozen, but sometimes canned. We like to keep salad greens on hand and try to have enough to have at least 3 or 4 good sized salads every week. I love the bags of vegetables that you can just throw in the microwave to steam. We will throw in a couple tablespoons of butter at the end to mix up in there. It’s fast, convenient, and they are fairly inexpensive. I think we got them for around 2 or 3 for $5 last time.

We try to pick up a little bit of fruit each time we go to the store. Often it is just a bag of apples and maybe a bunch of bananas. I like to snack on both with peanut butter (one of those no-no items on the strict paleo regimen), but peanut butter is kind of a luxury item and I plan on trying to switch over to healthier nut butters. Berries are always welcome in our household and if we have enough we go for bags of unsweetened frozen berries since it is less expensive and they keep for longer than the fresh stuff.

So that is about how we grocery shop, in a nutshell. We are definitely still figuring out how to stay on top of eating healthy on a tight budget and I will definitely post any tips and/or tricks we come across.

We have talked about making grocery shopping a little more primal by bicycling to the supermarket to stock up instead of driving. That way we would be mimicking actually getting out there and moving to do the “hunting and gathering”, more similar to our paleolithic ancestors, all the way to dragging “the kill” back home.

Hey, any excuse to get that exercise is good, huh? 😉

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P.S. I am planning on taking a photo of everything I eat and posting it here at the end of the day so that anyone interested can get an idea of what sort of things you might eat on this diet. Our meals are generally pretty simple, we are both busy students so we prefer quick, inexpensive meals. There is not really a way out of cooking on this diet, but that should be seen as a good thing. Things that come prepackaged and ready to eat are pretty much awful for you, no matter what they say on the label. Just read the ingredient list and you’ll get the idea.

So for breakfast I had what is fast becoming the usual, a bowl of scrambled eggs. The idea here is to throw in whatever you’ve got and sounds good. We almost always have tomatoes and onions on hand, so those are in there, as well as some pork sausage and shredded Gouda cheese and it is all topped off with salsa. It was all cooked in about a tbsp. of unsalted butter in addition to some of the fat cooked off of the sausage.

As students our days are kind of irregular. We woke up around 11 am so “breakfast” was actually around 12:30. School until about 5 pm so our next meal was lunch/dinner which consisted of a thick, juicy pork chop pan-fried in olive oil, seasoned with dry oregano, rosemary, sea salt, and pepper, a salad of green leaf-lettuce, iceberg, tomato, and onion tossed in olive oil and red wine vinegar, and a bunch of canned green beans (technically a legume, and non-paleo, but probably the most harmless of the legumes).

For a snack, or dessert if you want to call it that we had what was left of our FAGE FF (remember, that’s full fat here, NOT fat free) Greek yogurt. I had mine with a small handful of almonds, some frozen blueberries and rasberries, and drizzled with honey. It was very yummy. 🙂

Chicken & Baby Spinach Salad

Welcome to Sabretooth & Claw, a blog about being on the path to living a paleo-inspired life. I hope to cover a variety of subjects related to the paleo lifestyle. Food will definitely be a forerunner, but I hope to incorporate more and more about exercise and other subjects, such as barefooting, as I work on incorporating these things more and more into my life.

I am a full-time college student working part-time so I am definitely doing this diet on a budget so most of the meals here will be pretty simple and quick although when time and money allow I love to try more exotic recipes.

As of now I am mostly following the edicts of the Primal Blueprint, developed by Mark Sisson. I highly recommend his site http://www.marksdailyapple.com, there is tons of great information there.

I look forward to spreading the word about all things paleo as I work toward transitioning myself into a healthier (healthy?) and stronger self.

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This was our dinner today: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts pan-cooked in plenty of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, seasoned with sea salt, course-ground pepper, and oregano (dry) sliced up over baby spinach, chopped tomato, and sliced red onions, tossed in more olive oil and pomegranate-infused red-wine vinegar.