Thursday, July 31, 2014

Awesome AIP Mayo (AIP)

So #30daysofclean hasn't been as easy I thought it would be. I've done the strictest form of AIP, and yet I'm struggling with just cleaning up my diet. I chose a rough 30 days to give it a go (but let's be honest, there's never an easy time). I went to New Orleans for a fun day trip and came across an awesome Paleo bakery called FARE: Food For Health. Let's just say it's hard to turn down a cupcake and a brownie when they're gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, and sugar-free AND I didn't have to bake it myself. Then there was Naked Pizza. Hands down, the best gluten-free pizza I ever had, but it wasn't on the #30daysofclean idea list. So I got de-railed and then unprepared and it's thrown off my schedule. I let it mess me up instead of pushing through. This weekend is my birthday. I'm going to want a cupcake. I can't help it. And I have an awesome Paleo friend, Chrissy, who's offered to bake me a gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, grain-free, nut-free cupcake. I'm going to eat it. But I'm going to stay on track otherwise. Because I know it's important. And I know that the bazillion pimples on my chin and the painful canker sores in my mouth are from eating too many nuts last week.

I could get completely discouraged. Ok, I won't lie. I want to just give up and say it doesn't matter. But the cystic acne lining my jaw and the sores inside my mouth are the reminder of why I'm doing what I'm doing. And I'm going to stay positive. I have learned from this experience even after eating AIP for almost a year. I didn't realize that nuts caused the canker sores and acne, and now I know that it's a good thing that I continue to avoid them. I've also discovered that oil pulling (I use coconut) helps sooth canker sores a lot. If you're not oil pulling, you definitely need to check this out and give it a try!

So instead of giving up, I've devoted some extra time into fine-tuning a recipe that I've been working on: a delicious AIP mayo. I've tried other egg-free mayos; there are some really delicious recipes out there from other AIP bloggers like Mickey Trescott's Garlic Mayo and He won't know it Paleo's Creamy Egg-Free Mayo. But I needed something with easy to find ingredients and a great consistency because I'm super picky when it comes to mayo. So I came up with this creamy, tangy, and delicious mayo that's egg-free and coconut free (for those of you who aren't having success with coconut).

Awesome AIP Mayo
2 perfectly ripe avocados
¼ cup ACV (apple cider vinegar)
¼ cup EVOO
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt

In a tall narrow measuring cup, add all the ingredients and blend up and down with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Chill before serving. Makes about 1½ cups. Good in the fridge for a minimum of 2-3 days.

This may work in a food processor, but I haven't tried it so I can't make promises. If it does work, or you find another method, please share. I love getting feedback!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crockpot Veal Provençal Soup (AIP)

All my life I've been a burgers and pizza kind of girl. I like real, hearty foods and lots of it. Yeah, I know. Neither of those choices are really AIP. So where am I going with this? When you like awesome foods, you tend to have a habit of biting off more than you can chew. And unfortunately, that's the story of my life in general and definitely right now.

I have a Bachelor's in photography. I went to school for cosmetology, and I'm busy starting a career doing hair (which I love). I feel pressured to use my BFA because I spent thousands of dollars on this ridiculously over-priced piece of paper called a diploma and people love my work. While I'm glad that people enjoy it, I don't always. I love my new job at the salon, but I'm paid commission. As a first year stylist, that's a huge struggle. I know that it's going to be worth it in the long run, but it also means days and days that I sit with no clients while I get my name out there. And days that I sit without clients means days that I sit without getting paid. So in the meantime, I'm working a part time job to help pay the bills and work off a scholarship that I received to help fund cosmetology school. And I'm taking photo gigs. All while trying to eat AIP (or mostly AIP after several successful introductions). Oh, and blog out new recipes here. I'm not complaining. I'm still learning balance. I'm still learning to take smaller bites and focus on one thing at a time. I'm trying to really narrow my focus to the things that I love best and to create priorities to what's most important. I know I can do it, but I have to say that I'm grateful for the support, encouragement, and patience so far!

I've let my diet slip a lot in the last few months while I finished school, and started a new career. I'm a little behind blogging about it, but I started #30 Days of Clean on Monday. The idea behind 30 Days of Clean was to reset my mental and physical approach to food. There are lots of friends participating with me, but everyone chose to do their own requirements to "clean up" their own diets. And that's my favorite part of 30 Days of Clean: it's all individual. My requirements are posted below. I'm sharing all of my photos in real time on Instagram, but you can also follow along at the end of the day on my Facebook page. If you follow along, be sure to tag #30daysofclean and @theprimordialtable.

When it all boils down, I am a total foodie at heart. But my ultimate goal is health and nutrition. Some days are easier than others. Other days take all you've got. So for the hard days, I'm working on crockpot recipes. I always love a good crockpot recipe that requires me to simply toss most of the ingredients in and go. This soup is perfect and is a great source of bone broth, which is extremely beneficial to a healing gut. I mean, the stuff helps heal your guts, promotes healthy digestions, reduces inflammation, fights infection, and promotes healthy hair, nails, and bone health/growth. That means it's an AIP power food. Need I say more???

No! Let's eat!

Crockpot Veal Provençal Soup
2 lbs veal neck pieces
2 white sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 celery stick, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp rosemary
¼ tsp savory
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp basil
¼ tsp marjoram
¼ lavender
¼ parsley
⅛ tsp oregano
⅛ tsp tarragon
4-6 cups beef broth

Place everything in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours until meat falls off the bone pieces. Remove bones and reserve for future broth making (I store mine in a gallon bag in the freezer). Add more salt if desired. Serve.