30 Days Later…

By Monday, December 15, 2014 1 0

At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. -Daniel 1:15

A photo posted by Rosalie (@mrsduryee) on

Chris and I started a Whole30 challenge in the middle of November. If you’re not familiar with Whole30, it’s a 30 day diet (they wouldn’t call it that but it DEFINITELY IS) that limits the foods you eat, not caloric intake. It’s based on the book “It Starts With Food.” For 30 days, we avoided grains, dairy, sugar and sweetener of any kind, legumes, soy and processed food, and synthetic oils.

 

Our fruit bowl overfloweth. (3 bunches of bananas not shown). #whole30

 

A photo posted by Rosalie (@mrsduryee) on

Prioritizing things like organic, grass-fed, pastured and, wild-caught, we could eat any meat and eggs for protein. In addition to a palm-sized protein portion, we ate two servings of vegetables at each meal and an occasional fruit and nut snack. We exclusively cooked with (or used) olive oil, avocado oil, ghee and bacon fat. To see some of the things I made while we ate Whole 30, check out my Pinterest board. We battled Thanksgiving and two Christmas parties with this limited diet, but overall we ate really good food and improved our health. Here are some reasons I am thankful to have completed my first Whole30. I feel better. Digestive issues, muscle cramps and just general feeling gross have all cleared up. I am sleeping better. My 14 month old was not sleeping through the night when we started, and consequently, neither was I. But I was also struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep and feel rested by the sleep I did get. Once we started Whole30, my sleep improved even though Austin’s did not (though it’s better now!). I lost weight and fit into a dress I could not wear in September. We slayed the sugar dragon. Chris eats gluten and dairy free all the time. Sometimes people hear this and say, “you must eat so healthy!” But really, the opposite is true. Gluten-free foods are FULL of sugar to make up for the lack of flavor. So we ate a lot of sugar and craved a lot of sugar. I plan to use honey and maple syrup almost exclusively, and we won’t be eating naughty baked goods quite so often.

I am comfortable making things from scratch. I have made my own bone broth (both turkey and chicken) pasta sauce, ketchup, vegetable oil free mayonnaise, and a slew of salad dressings. Sometimes twice in one day. My coworkers in Spain tell me this will come in handy, because premade food, even spaghetti sauce, is hard to find in Spain.

Sort of related, I learned a new way to cook. I grew up eating whole foods, not packaged, and I am grateful for the healthy foundation I received. But my idea of a healthy plate included a big helping of grains – rice, potatoes, pasta, cous cous, quinoa, garlic bread. Now, while I know I won’t be avoiding every bag of corn chips that comes my way, I am comfortable putting my taco filling (or bolognese or shrimp scampi or even cincinatti chili!) on top of a big bed of sauteed cabbage.

We saved money. Although our grocery bills were higher than ever before, we ate out one time in 30 days (and it was at the Whole Foods salad bar). No fast food, no dinner date nights, no coffee stops.

 

(I included that verse from Daniel to be funny. I know the context is significantly different).

Juggling, And a Tortilla Soup Recipe

By Tuesday, October 9, 2012 3 0

Today at my moms meeting, a wise lady who takes her role as a Titus 2 Woman very seriously talked about juggling the four glass balls of our life, and keeping them in order of priority. In very particular order, here are the priorities we must juggle:

  1. Know and love God
  2. Love your husband.
  3. Raise your children in the Lord.
  4. Manage your home.

In the spirit of being a better manager of my home, I have been working on meal plans that make sense for our family, are easy to execute, and get done at a decent hour without taking too much of my time.

I’ve made a lot of tortilla soups in my day, sometimes following a recipe perfectly, but this is the best (and cheapest) version yet. Susanna even at e a few whole spoonfuls after she had finished her own chicken and black bean dinner.

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts
Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken stock (or follow my directions below to EASILY make your own)
1 can black beans, drained
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 small can green chiles
1 cup frozen roasted corn
1 Tb lime juice
1/4 cup corn meal slurry (see directions)
1 Tb chili powder
1 Tb cumin
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 corn tortillas
guacamole

Instructions:

  1. In a large dutch oven, heat water to a boil and drop in 3 chicken breasts for 20 minutes or until done (no pink)
  2. Set the chicken breasts aside to cool a bit and shred later, or drop them in your Kitchenaid with the paddle attachment on low for a minute (my favorite Kitchenaid trick ever!)
  3. Save 4 cups of the boiling water and dissolve a cube of bouillon to make 4 cups of chicken stock.
  4. Also save about 1/4 cup of the water and dissolve a tablespoon of corn meal (not cornstarch!) to give the soup some depth. Dump the rest of the water into the sink.
  5. Drizzle olive oil into the dutch oven and saute the onions and garlic with a little salt and pepper.
  6. Add the shredded chicken, chili powder, cumin and oregano to the garlic and onions, and stir to coat.
  7. Pour in the chicken stock and cornmeal slurry, then add the beans, tomatoes, chiles and corn. Stir to mix, and let the whole thing simmer on the stove for at least 20 minutes or until you’re ready to eat.
  8. Top with tortilla chips (I sauteed some corn tortilla strips in olive oil), guacamole, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, diced red onion… whatever you like on your tortilla soup.

Quick and Easy Canadian Bacon and Egg “Muffin”

By Friday, November 4, 2011 0 0

Yesterday we needed a quick snack before we headed out for a ministry visit, so I made these bacon and egg “muffins” over toast.

Ingredients:
12 Eggs
12 round slices of Canadian Bacon (mine came from Trader Joe’s)
Salt and pepper or seasoned salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Press one slice of Canadian bacon into each slot in your muffin tin
  3. Crack an egg over each slice of Canadian bacon
  4. Put in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs.*
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper

*I wasn’t satisfied with the doneness of the eggs after 12 minutes. I was going for “over-medium” and the whites still seemed runny, so I turned on the broiler for another 2 minutes. It definitely finished cooking the egg but I think it would have been better to just be patient with the oven.

This was delicious over toast the next day, but Chris can’t eat bread. He is looking forward to trying it over hashbrowns.

Pintxo: “peen-tcho”

By Saturday, November 27, 2010 1 0

We took some good friends of ours across the bridge to a Spanish tapas restaurant called Pintxo tonight. We enjoyed olives, potato leek soup, Galician white bean soup, bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese, spicy lamb meatballs, a Spanish tortilla, sauteed mushrooms, blood sausage with bread, grilled lime shrimp, pork sliders, vegetable sliders, and chocolate mousse.

The chimichurri sauce always takes me back.

Sigh.

Interested in trying authentic Spanish tapas? Check it out!

Baking Disasters

By Friday, November 12, 2010 4 0

I enjoy cooking and can “saute the aromatics” like a pro. Well, probably not a pro, but I know how do to it and I never mess up garlic, onions, salt and pepper sauteed in olive oil, the base for the majority of my Greek-influenced cooking.

Baking, on the other hand, is the bane of my existence. They don’t have boxed cake mixes in Spain. It’s just as well, because I still fail to measure things correctly.

Once, baking some cookies, I discovered I was out of sugar. No problem, right? Happens to the best of us. So we borrowed from the neighbor. Then I realized I was also out of butter and eggs. Who starts a baking project without checking for sugar, butter and eggs? Me.

Another time, I was making crepes from a mix. I poured the entire contents of the bag into the mixing bowl and added the milk and oil before I realized I only needed one cup of the pancake mix.

Just today, making a cake from a mix, I added significantly more butter than required. We shall see how it turns out. I may or I may not serve it to my guests.

In my defense, it isn’t always my fault. After crying over a chocolate orange (mix) cake that fell in, I learned my over says it’s preheated about 20 minutes before it actually is.

Now we have an oven thermometer to fix that problem.