Paleo Coffee Creamer

I am a major fan of black coffee. That being said, I spend a significant amount of time in coffee shops, and often turn into the sad little Paleo lurker when everyone around me is downing delicious-looking frothy concoctions. No matter how great your coffee is straight-up, there are times when you want something a little less acidic, and just more fun.

One of those very moods was descending last night, and so M googled around until he found a great recipe for coconut milk “creamer.” We adapted this recipe and used:

3 dates (halved, with the pits removed)*

1 tablespoon of hot water

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

a ton of ground cinnamon

1 can of coconut milk

We put everything except the coconut milk in the food processor first, so we could make sure the dates were finely chopped up, and then dumped the can of coconut milk in. Then some pulsing happened. It just…wasn’t very hard. And this made so much creamer…we’ve had four cups of coffee since then and it’s still around.

This stuff is incredible. The jury’s still on whether it’s good or evil, though, since coconut milk is not exactly low in calories, and I could see myself becoming majorly addicted to it. Still, if you’re trying to minimize the amount of dairy you’re eating (and let’s be real, you’re not giving up cheese, right?) then this is a pretty fab addition to your life options.

*Dates are sort of a random thing to have on hand…until you buy them once, and then you can never go back. They are AMAZING. Seriously. Stuff them with goat cheese and drizzle them with thickened balsamic, and then swan around your apartment with a feather boa because you are so fancy. Or wrap them in proscuitto. Or wait until you have a sugar craving and there is no chocolate in the house and then praise the everloving lord that you bought dates, because they are the sweetest thing to exist in nature. Do as you please, just buy them. At Trader Joe’s. For like four dollars.

Sixteen Days Til Summer

Dude. Sun-dried tomatoes. That is where it’s at lately. I am pretty convinced they are the Paleo crack, because I cannot stop eating them. Apparently consuming them out of the jar with a fork is frowned upon? I guess having to display normal human eating habits is a small price to pay for living with another (really great) human. I definitely tend toward cat lady eating habits when he’s not around, so it’s pretty excellent when he comes home and brings meals like the above back into my life. Another super-easy paleo breakfast idea for anyone contemplating making the jump (or already there and just a little bored): a scramble of eggs, frozen spinach, kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes. He made this in 10 minutes. I timed him. (Not really).

I guess the sundrieds are just as wonderful in normally prepared and presented food as they are straight out of the jar. Doesn’t mean I’m not sneaking them when he’s in class. Ohhhh, the rebellion.

Lamb Scramble with Sweet Potato Mash

He wouldn't move his hands out of the frame because he was "actually trying to eat this right now." Psh, whatever. Suffer for your (wife's) art, man.

I have to say that converting to a (mostly) paleo lifestyle has drastically improved the quality of the food we eat every day. If someone tried to give me cereal now, I’d politely hand back their soggy bowl of mushy grainy ick and find a safe space to cuddle myself.

Clearly my food photography skills leave something (everything) to be desired, but when we were first switching over to this way of eating, I would always be running up against a creativity wall. (“Eggs again? Surely you jest!”) So when I was really digging this breakfast, I figured it was worth a share, if only to prevent another poor soul from gustatory boredom.

It’s a scramble, which is code for “the easiest thing on the planet.” Dice some red onion, and let it cook down for a few minutes in coconut oil on medium heat. M had made lamb burgers* last night, so he just chopped those up and tossed them on the pan. The secret ingredient to all of this is what I like to call “feta eggs,” so named because they are in fact eggs mixed with feta cheese.** Crack your eggs into a bowl, sprinkle in (a lot of) feta, and then scramble in the pan as usual. Throw some chopped tomatoes on after it’s all said and done because they’re just so beautiful. And then embrace your Armenian roots (even if you just wish  you had them, like me) and squeeze some lemon over the whole thing.
The sweet potato mash is (truly) just mashed sweet potatoes, but we combined cinnamon and red chili pepper as flavor agents, and that was among the better decisions I’ve made lately. So yeah! Super simple, but such a fresh, healthy, delicious start to your morning. Try it and let me know what you think!
*Lamb Burgers:
1lb Grass-fed Ground lamb
Rosemary

1 Egg

Salt and Pepper
-In a large bowl, crack an egg over the ground lamb. Throw in the spices to taste. Mix it all up with your bare hands, and curse the gods for how incredibly cold refrigerated meat is. Seriously.
-Form the mixture into small patties and cook on each side for a few minutes. Throw some feta on top if you want to be awesome. (You do.)
**They might also be crack, but I don’t want to talk about that right now. They are SO. GOOD.

Couch-bound and Crazy

I don’t think I’m going to have any weird food combinations left to obsess over by the time I’m pregnant. Pickles and ice cream? Playa please. It’s clearly all about sweet potato fries and German mustard.

What? You’re cringing, but if you tried it you’d be purring. I think so anyway…I don’t know your life.

I am one hundred percent supposed to be writing a paper for my legal profession class, on the subject of “Problems in Legal Education.” The only such problem I can be articulate about right now is the fact that they consider it a good use of 3L Spring semester time to be writing said paper. What about building my sexy attorney wardrobe? Working on the last tan I’ll ever have?* Coming up with unexpected but dazzling food combinations? You feel me.

*If you said, “and first!” we’re friends. I like your sass.

Delta Spirit and Dark Chocolate

A blogger with whom I’m basically in love (Heather Armstrong, from Dooce) posted this video earlier today. I feel like the blogger-shared-music that most often shows up in my Google reader is a little too…how you say…Bon Iver for my taste. But these guys are legen (wait for it. I hope you’re not lactose-intolerant cause the next part is) dary. Seriously. I just pranced around my kitchen making cookies to the beat of their drums, and then sent my brother several MP3-laden emails and text messages. What? I never am the one to find cool new music! There’s a duty to milk it here.

And since you were wondering, the cookies are kind of awesome. They might be too chocolatey, if such a thing is possible. (It’s not. Come on, now). I got the recipe from my beloved Health-Bent, but shopping for the ingredients was a little harder than it should’ve been…you try balancing cocoa powder, chocolate chips and coconut flakes in one hand while the other is holding a phone through which Smash is yelling, “Shot in the FACE” over and over again.* If you foresee a laughing stomach cramp in your shopping future, just get a basket. Don’t be a hero.

Sprinkle sea salt on the tops of the cookies before you stick them in the oven. And then lick the spoon while you wait in agony for them to be done.

*This post may need to be removed if you marry him. Or, you know, sooner.

Crunch Time

I’m a big fan of the way we eat; avoiding grains and sugar make me feel lighter, more energetic, yadda yadda. The only problem with paleo is that it requires advance planning…which happens to be my kryptonite.

For your example pleasure: There is almost no food in the house, but the refrigerator contains four different types of cheese. Clearly every household needs feta, goat, cheddar and parmesan in order to make it to tomorrow. Right? Apparently I am always throwing cocktail parties in my head when I visit the grocery store, since we always run out of cucumbers and tomatoes before specialty mustards and garlic-stuffed olives. I probably need one of those boot-camp coaches to run me through Trader Joe’s with blinders on, yelling “Keep your head in the game!” when I wander off toward the proscuitto for the fourth time. I mean, honestly.

So, the “I am starving but I need to sit here and do my homework and I feel that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the devil’s work” meal needs to be a little bit creative sometimes.

Instant Emergency Meal: Frozen Shrimp, pesto, olives and parmesan. Someone had to eat this cheese. Public service, people. I am always here for you.

Quickly…

I’ve been feeling not-so-wonderful lately, (physically) and yesterday made the re-commitment to get back on the Paleo train. I know it’s impossible to keep it up all the time, but I just felt like I hadn’t even really been trying. So far, so good…two days in a row of Greek salads for dinner, and I feel much better. M is thrilled with the re-appearance of the paleo cookies, too. It’s so funny, once those are available, looking at the cheesecake in the fridge kind of grosses me out a little.

Oh, Mediterranean food, you are my savior… This is an incredibly blurry and awful capturing of the falafel from the food tour we did in New York. You can’t really tell here, but it’s green inside, which is how Salpy always told us to recognize a “good” falafel. I was so excited, I texted her this picture. She “LOL”-ed at me, haha.

So, this is really important: I am obsessed with this blog: www.health-bent.com

I found it today by Googling “paleo” on Pinterest (dear Lord, someone please make me start doing my homework) and now I cannot stop scrolling through it and bookmarking recipes to try. It has EVERYTHING. Ah!!

Deliberation

Problem: Things like the Christmas-decorated duck parade above are now evoking the following thought process:

1. How cute! It’s like “Make Way for Ducklings” in real life!

2. I love that book! I can’t wait to read it to our baby!

That second step is occurring with increasingly disturbing frequency. It also does not help when M looks at all passing babies and goes “Aw! The little guy!” (Pro tip: it is “the little guy!” regardless of the child’s gender. It also applies to small creatures of any kind [dogs, never cats, what are you even thinking?] and regular sized humans when they are being particularly adorable.)

However, time spent taking care of infants decreases his ability to do this:

So…we got time.

Traditions.

My sexy husband, dubious about the need to photograph everything within an inch of its life.

I’ve always loved the idea of “tradition,” despite the fact that we didn’t have many in our house while growing up. [That’s what happens when you’re the child of two people schooled in two very different religious traditions–they don’t quite know what to do with their own children when it comes to “tradition” with a capital T. His involves menorahs….hers involves daily Mass…so their compromise is…I don’t know, snuggling? My parents are pretty much the best 🙂 ]

Anyway, M and I have developed a tradition of an “antipasti” plate. It sounds too simple and silly to be a tradition, but it’s actually the best thing ever.

It doesn’t particularly matter what it’s composed of…we use whatever is on hand. You dip the cheddar in the fig jam, maybe have some rosemary and sea salt almonds, tear up some proscuitto if it’s around. The point is that it’s our little late-night ritual. You can’t watch the Sopranos without fig jam. Come on now.