Category Archives: Recipes

Mushroom Leek Soup

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I have a homely one-quart slow cooker. No frills, just a plug. I bought it two jobs ago in the hopes of making lunch at work. My colleagues did not think this was a good idea. It sat in the basement for the last five six years because it runs on US current. I have a fancy one too. It has a chip-based timer and multiple heat settings. I can never use that one here in Europe because even a power converter won’t fix the frequency. So that one is still in the basement. But I digress. As I mentioned before I am trying to eat breakfast more regularly, and without eggs on my menu (at the moment anyway), I have been stumped for ideas. I like soup, so that’s what I have been making.

It was delightful on New Year’s Day to wake to the fragrance of fresh mushroom soup. This recipe fills my little slow cooker. You can also use a pressure cooker (less than 10 minutes high pressure, quick release).

2 leeks, sliced thin (use only the white bases)
2 – 3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 cups fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 T coconut aminos
one piece beef bone marrow (I have a package of bones in the freezer)
beef bouillon or bone broth (less that 1 quart/1 litre)

one sheet gelatin


Put everything except the gelatin in the slow cooker. I put the bone marrow on the bottom of the pot first. Add enough bouillon/broth to cover the vegetables. Plug in. Cook overnight. Come back in the morning. Remove the bone. Stir in the gelatin sheet. Use a hand-held wand blender to blend everything into a smooth soup. Or you can use a food processor or blender, in batches.

I enjoyed this with some sliced ham and spinach (briefly cooked in some water until wilted).


I thought I’d have enough for leftovers, but my husband finished the rest.


Salmon salad

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pink salmon, 2 cans (200g each), drained
caper, 1 tablespoon
cayenne pepper pinch
Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon
mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons
pepper, 1/4 teaspoon
salt, 1/2 teaspoon
fresh dill, 1 tablespoon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
lemon juice, 1 tablespoon
scallion, 1, sliced thin
small shallot, 1, sliced thin
parsley, 1 tablespoon

mix it up! Serve on a bed of lettuce with other raw vegetables.


really easy, really delicious roasted Brussels Sprouts*

*even my husband likes these.


these tasty little bites can be made while you are roasting something else. they take less than 20 minutes to roast, so you can time them to be done with the rest of the meal.

a bag of Brussels sprouts (~500g) – the little fresh ones are sweetest
1 T olive oil
1 t iodized sea salt
(squeeze of lemon)

preheat oven to hot (225c or 450f) and move one of the racks to the bottom.
slice sprouts in half (north to south), removing any yucky outside leaves. slice off the base if it’s hard and discolored.
in a bowl, mix oil and salt
add the sprouts and stir, covering them with the oil
place the sprouts flat side down in a single layer on a tray or jelly roll pan
cover the pan with a sheet of tin foil
put the pan on the bottom rack
roast for about 8 minutes, 10 if the sprouts are larger
remove the tin foil and continue roasting for another 8 or 10 minutes
look to see if they are done. that means, a little brown, not burnt.

Before or after roasting, you can grind some fresh pepper on the sprouts. you can also brighten the flavor with a squeeze of lemon juice (that’s about 1 tsp).

I like these hot or cold. Enjoy!

super power diet

I want to recommend this video by Dr Wahls, who talks about the building blocks of living chemistry. Power Foods

To support energy production at the cellular level, Dr Wahls recommends eating nine cups of vegetables and fruits every day: Three cups of leafy greens, three cups of vegetables from the sulfur family (cabbage, broccoli, onions, asparagus, cauliflower), and three cups of “colours” (blue/black; yellow/orange; red).


I will build my meals around these recommendations. In the past, I have focused more on macronutrients, rather than looking at the micronutrient content. It’s easy to overlook greens when you’re counting grams of carbs, fat and protein.

Dr Wahls also recommends increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets b eating wild fish, meat from grass-fed animals, and flax and fish oils; and shoring up our B vitamins by eating organ meats at least once a week.

I will be making more bone broth this week. I bought some pheasant carcasses. The turkey stock I made last week has been a delicious addition to my soups.

Here’s to a healthy New Year!

holiday week – minimize the harm, spread some joy

every year I hope I prepare in advance. so far that’s a FAIL. November blows by. I’m in denial until 15 December, fretting on 20 December and shopping on 24 December. This year was no different. So I let go of perfectionism and trimmed my to-do list. I am enjoying our beautiful tree and some delicious chili I made in the Dutch oven while we were out finishing up our shopping today.

For breakfast I enjoyed some coconut soup, which I recommend for leftover meat.


1 quart (1 ltr) broth
1 1/2 c coconut milk (~350 ml)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 cups leftover meat (chicken, pork, beef, diced or shredded)
2 scallions, sliced.

pressure cooker: bring to high pressure for 5 minutes, quick release. Add raw, diced red pepper to your bowl.

stove top: simmer for 15 minutes.

(I wrote the above on Monday, but it didn’t upload. Christmas dinner is now done. Putting the turkey in brine made all the difference. coconut milk made a perfect substitute for cream in the frosting for the cake. Hope you have a wonderful holiday!)

Pancakes that like me.

A long time ago, I realised that a Sunday morning pancake breakfast did something bad to my blood sugar. Pancakes with maple syrup and a big glass of orange juice would lead to a terrible meltdown later in the day. As a result, I rarely eat pancakes even though they’re a popular weekend treat in my household.

Last week, getting ready for a Clean & Green January, I bought some coconut flour (and assorted other new foods). I tried this recipe the last two mornings. Afterwards, both today and yesterday, I have felt really satisfied and distinctly not hungry. That is a nice feeling, considering hypoglycemic episodes are really awful and have plagued me for as long as I can remember. And when I eat a high-carb meal (or snack), I’ve noticed that my body does not send my brain the “off” signal. Instead, foods like pizza or cookies say “More, please” or “More, NOW!” So when I eat a meal that leaves me feeling satisfied for the rest of the day, I pay attention.

Now, about coconut flour. I’m not in love with it yet. But it has potential.

I used this recipe from Mark’s Daily Apple, which offers a pretty good description of coconut flour. Makes two servings. Mark describes it as “incredibly easy.” Fair enough.

4 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat)

Mix these ingredients and let them sit for five minutes. Oil or grease up your pan and heat over medium heat. Pour about a 1/4 cup of batter for each crepe, allowing each side to brown before flipping it.

Without accounting for toppings or cooking fat, FitDay says the whole batch amounts to:

37.2 g fat (20.9 g saturated)
42.2 g carbs (19.4 g fiber)
30.6 g protein

I found the cakes a little dry and remembered too late not to be phobic about fat. I could have spread some grass-fed butter on them to improve the taste a little. I used more than a pinch of cinnamon – more like a teaspoon.

I also experimented on fed some to my 12 yo son and his (vegetarian) friend. The son said, nah. The friend said, yah! (I note the V status of the friend so you can judge his palette.) The real test will be whether my coconut-despising husband will try a bite. I like coconut, and to me, these did not taste like coconut.

The fry pan matters. Yesterday I used the cast iron fry pan and they looked like wheat pancakes. Today I tried the crepe pan with the same recipe. They burned before the top cooked. I even put a lid over the pancake to try to bake the top a little, but that prevented me from seeing what was happening in the pan. Or maybe it was checking Facebook that prevented me from seeing what was happening.

After the big glob technique did not spread in the pan like wheat pancake batter, I tried pouring a thin layer instead of a big glob. Feh. The cake still resisted cooking evenly. Not the look I was going for.

Make it better: Yesterday, I sauteed a diced apple with bacon to go with the pancakes. Yum. Today, I microwaved some fresh blueberries with a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Yum.

Even though these weren’t the most delicious breakfast eats, I was very happy to feel full and satisfied for about six hours afterwards.

Confetti eggs

Getting ready for New Years. Last week I bought a box of 90 eggs. We have half a dozen remaining. I boiled a dozen for easy snacks. And whipped up this party on a plate. Peel the eggs, slice in half with a wet knife. Tip the yolks into a bowl. Add a heaping T of nice prepared mustard and mayo, each. Mash with a fork or a pastry blender. I fried a couple slices of bacon while peeling the eggs and crumbled the bacon after cooling it. I added a little cayenne pepper and some salt to the yolk mix. I was going to add the bacon crumbles into the yolks, but decided to use a pastry funnel to make the eggs look decorative. The bacon would have clogged the tip of the funnel. As it was, I had to work through a couple chunks of yolk before I got a nice ribbon.

The menfolk cheered.

Party on a plate

I’ll take another 30

okay. off-season. done with racing. done with the mega-deadline at work. time to turn my attention to blogging, cooking, and building my body and life by design, not default. So, beginning 1 October, another Pure Paleo 30. Or make that 31.

I’ve hooked up with an accountability buddy, Danielle, a fellow tri-athlete and all-around interesting person.

I’ve been negotiating with my inner caffeine-addict at the moment. I like milk in my early morning coffee and in my morning coffee and in  my afternoon coffee.  And, well you get the idea. If I’m cutting sugar and starch, then I ought to dump the lactose. And so I’m toying with the idea of dumping the coffee altogether. That  always seems like a good idea in the evening and a really awful idea in the morning. I’ve done well with some good tea instead. So, between now and the 1st, I’ll think about it some more. And try to talk myself into it. Like I do with cold water. It’s easier to just jump in.

I have a week-long training program the first week of October, followed by visitors for a couple weeks. So I’m giving some thought to successful strategies. Apart from starting this in November.

So easy dinner ideas: keep it lean & green

Chicken Caesar Salad. pre-washed salad.  grill and dice chicken breasts. Anchovies.  Cardini’s. (I know, it’s not pure paleo but it’s delicious.)

Veggie Stir Fry + Protein. Fish, beef. Mix up the veggies you choose to keep it interesting.

Grilled Steak and Asparagus. Crush some garlic, drizzle with olive oil.

Pure Paleo Recipe: Deviled eggs with sardines

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Preparation : 8 minutes
Cooking : 10 minutes


4 eggs
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of prepared mustard like Dijon
1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
4 sardine fillets
Chopped parsley
Powdered paprika

Hard boil the eggs for 10 minutes in boiling water. Place in cold water to cool them, then peel the shells and slice them in half lengthwise. They are easier to slice if you run the knife under cold water before each slice. Remove the yolks.  Purée the sardines with the lemon juice, yoghurt and mustard. I used a wand blender and Greek Yogurt.

Work the egg yolks  into the mixture and season to taste. I used a whisk to break up the egg yolks.  Either I was heavy-handed with measuring the yoghurt and mustard, or the proportions for the recipe aren’t right.  If the consistency of the filling is too soft, add another cooked egg yolk.

Add the chopped parsley to the stuffing mixture. Stuff the eggs with the mixture and sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate until serving.  My teenage son saw the plate and said, Oh! Can I have some?  That’s the sound of a success.

Recipe: Rotisserie Turkey

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Three turkey thighs, with skin, on the bone. About 1.5 kilos.  I’m making three because of feeding teens and wanting leftovers. My theory is cook once eat twice.  Hopefully the teens will leave some leftovers.  Preheat the oven to a hot oven.


freshly-squeezed juice of half a juicy lemon

a couple tablespoons of  olive oil

a couple tablespoons (total) of some poultry spices: black pepper, dry mustard, salt, coriander, thyme, marjoram, sage, parsley.

Procedure: mix up the marinade/basting sauce.   Let the turkey sit in the marinade for a while. All afternoon if you thought about it in advance. A few minutes while the oven heats up if you sat on the couch reading a book, like I did, on endurance training for athletes.

I am using my oven’s spit rotisserie.  Here is  very nicely-photographed explanation for trussing the meat.  My best friend Julia Child recommends  smearing butter on the skin and using twine to secure a layer of bacon over the meat. It’s a good idea, but I don’t have any twine. So I haven’t “barded” the meat with bacon either. I’ve done that before and it’s delicious.  I’m using small skewers to pin the thighs around the rotisserie.

When is it done? Julia says roasting a whole chicken takes 45 minutes plus 7 minutes per pound.  To be safe, she recommends adding a buffer of between 10 to 30 minutes.  The  rotisserie instructions I linked above say “check your user’s manual” and that the bird pictured below takes two hours.  I use a meat thermometer and will start checking the thighs after about 45 minutes.  The thickest part of the thigh is fully cooked at 175 degrees F.  The temperature will continue to rise after the turkey has been removed from the oven.

The meat will brown as it cooks.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist including  the animated chicken.)  Since I will be in the kitchen making side dishes, it will be easy enough to check. Besides, a delicious smell will tell me when the food is just right.

If you don’t have a rotisserie in your oven, dig out your Thanksgiving recipes and roast the thighs in a pan until done.

UPDATED: the turkey was done in an hour.

For side dishes: raw cucumbers, peppers and tiny grape tomatoes with Caesar dressing for dipping.  Barely cooked melange of carrots, cauliflower and broccoli.  Red chard sauteed with bacon pieces.