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Grains—Is Our Love Affair Killing Us? Guest Post by Huw Lloyd Davies

26 Sep
Wheat fields always reminds me of a Woody Allen film, where Diane Keaton says "Wheat, wheat. Fields of wheat." Love & Death, I think...

Wheat fields always reminds me of a Woody Allen film, where Diane Keaton says “Wheat, wheat. Fields of wheat” in a very dramatic voice. Love & Death, I think…

A few years ago, I was a client of BodyWorks Lifestyle, with the formidable yet friendly New Zealander Huw Lloyd Davies at the helm of this successful Orange County fitness company. Huw got me into shape in no time, and was actually the first person to talk to me with any sense about cutting beans, grains and potatoes from my diet. At first I was skeptical, until I started getting results. But, as always, I slacked off and started eating what I wanted again. And the pounds followed. So it wasn’t until I took a blood test to see what my food sensitivities were (and I found that corn was a big no-no in my system—goodbye polenta!), I started looking at this style of eating again.

Huw very kindly wrote this guest post for me months ago, but I’m only posting it now. It’s good timing, since I’ve embraced the Paleo way of eating again (and I intend to stick to it this time, for good) and need to remember why I should avoid these foods—logically. I want them. I love tortillas, I love beans—hell, I’m one of those crazy people who love tofu! But with the way we’ve messed with our food production, what seems good for our bodies on the surface can be hiding some nasty things inside. Well, I’ll let Huw explain.

(Vegetarians and vegans out there, I’m not trying to offend you or say that you’re “wrong” for eating grains and beans. There are just as many arguments against eating meat. We all choose what we feel is best for us ((well, most of us who have examined what we’re eating, why we’re eating it and what’s in it—i.e. NOT most of America)), and we have our reasons. I think we should all worry about Monsanto, animal welfare and over-processed junk food than trying to argue who’s food is “better”. I hope you agree.) Continue reading

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Paleo Slow-Cooker Pork Belly with Vietnamese Salad

20 Sep

IMG_3325Yes, you can tell I’ve gone all Paleo again, with these meat-centered dishes. But without getting all evangelical on you about it (I passed that phase already), it’s just really working for me in a way that no other way of eating has. So it’s been fun to look up some new recipes and try some fun things out, like the plantain “buns” I made last night for some Cubano sandwich-style burgers. Yummy—but it was a lesson in FOLLOWING directions. Sometimes I make assumptions that just aren’t correct. I have to remember that people have researched these recipes….der.

But this is a dish I’ve put together using a few different recipes, and it’s starting to be my go-to dish for when company comes over, even though there’s a lot of slicing and dicing involved. But the best thing is that you can scale that part down, and throwing the pork in the slow cooker is just so easy. Continue reading

Fruits of the Garden: Gazpacho

2 Sep

Gazpacho12Don’t be shocked. Another blog so close on the heels of the last one? I know. I’ve even shocked myself.

Another thing that has distracted me from my blog recently is my garden. Man, it’s been great growing all sorts of produce! My favorite part has been going to the farmers market and saying to myself: “Oh, I don’t need that….that….or that. Got it at home.”

A little smug, maybe, but there’s nothing like pulling some fresh lettuce for a salad, kale for a smoothie or tomatoes for gazpacho. I’m pretty sure the second-best place to eat gazpacho is in California, as we’ve so many similarities to Spain. And, if I look out from my backyard and squint as the sun is setting, Santa Barbara’s downtown does look a lot like a Spanish town on a picturesque hillside. (Have I mentioned lately how much I freaking love this place?) Continue reading

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Homemade Schnickers Bars (and Paleo!)

10 May
Yep, it's food porn.

Yep, it’s food porn.

Ding ding! Round three! The Virtual Vegan Potluck is such a wonderful highlight in my blogging world. It’s amazing that so many bloggers get together and make this whole thing happen! There’s 169 bloggers from around the world this time. Of course, there’s a few superheroes at the helm that keep us all in check: Annie at An Unrefined Vegan; Somer at Vedged Out; and Jason at Jason and the Veganauts. Hurrah and huzzah to these lovely folks! It must be like dealing with a huge class of kindergarteners.

vvpLOGOAnd this time I’m doing a dessert—homemade Schnickers Bars—after two rounds of main courses. If you want to check those out, they are here and here. I’m happy to say that you can make this a raw vegan dish, but I used roasted salted peanuts and roasted peanut butter, so it’s not technically raw. You could make this paleo by subbing the peanuts for almonds, but I didn’t have time to do that. But at the rate these treats are going to get eaten, I’ll have a chance to try that out very soon. Continue reading

Paleo Pumpkin Lasagne

29 Apr
Who doesn't love a good lasagne?

Who doesn’t love a good lasagne?

I’ve been wanting to post this blog for some time. Not just because I love writing my blog, which I do, but it also turned out so delicious!

But man, I tell you, I love my new house too. I’ve been doing a bunch of cooking, but now that I don’t live in a 650-sq.ft. house with a tiny yard, I’m going crazy. I’ve got all sorts of things happening in the garden, from kale and radishes to squash and peas. Even turnips! Anyone know when it’s time to pick turnips? I’m guessing not quite yet, since I started them from seed a few months ago.

Hey, who else is shocked that it’s May next month? That’s also what’s freaking me out. We moved to our new place officially in December, and almost five months have blown by? I guess that shows how seriously romanced I’ve been by this city and our home. Between the two, sitting at my computer for more than what’s necessary for work is hard to do. Continue reading

Kashmiri Kofte: Lamb Meatballs in Spicy Sauce

8 Apr

KashmiriKofte4We’re seven inches behind on rain here in Santa Barbara. Not that I’m complaining…okay, I am a little bit. I love being safe and dry inside while the rain comes down outside, with the house being warmed with the heat from the oven. We had some lovely rain on Easter Sunday morning, but it was gone by afternoon. So the mornings have been a bit grey here, then it clears up around noon to glorious sunshine, I had to give up. Damn it, I’m making a curry anyway.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’ve got a serious curry addiction. And although there seem to be many Indian people in Santa Barbara, the few Indian restaurants seem to have changed their food to make it more to American tastes. Boo! But let’s be honest—I love cooking it at home whether or not there’s a good curry house down the road. Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash Chorizo Bake

12 Mar
Yes, this was just my first serving...

Yes, this was just my first serving…

Well, it has been hard finding time for this blog since I moved into the new house. I have to admit it’s because we’ve been so wonderfully spoiled with our new home! First of all, we’ve got the landlord to beat all landlords, a ridiculously big lot perfect for planting a garden and letting the dog run like crazy, a spare room for guests, plenty of storage space for bikes and a spare freezer…oh, the list goes on. Sorry to go on about it, but after living in what now feels like a cave for five years, I’m more than a little excited about what I’ve got now!

And between having our lovely friends drop in for visits, digging and planting the garden, training for a half-marathon and actually working, it’s been hard to sit down and get some of the recipes on to the blog. This is one that I conjured up with stuff out of the fridge a few weeks ago when The Husband was back down in Laguna on business and I was all on my lonesome.

I put it down for breakfast, lunch and dinner categories because I actually ate it for all three meals. That’s how good it was! I made it with my favorite sausage—Mulay’s all the way—but if my vegan friends wanted to sub Soyrizo and use some vegan cheeze, you’d have a mighty tasty meal. Seriously. This was hard to share with The Husband when he got home. Actually, he’s lucky there was any left!

This is a great thing to make with spaghetti squash, especially if you need a cold-weather dish of comfort food. And a tip I learned recently—stop trying to cut the squash in half! If you’ve got the time, bake it whole. Stab it a few times (carefully) with a knife, then stick the whole thing in the oven on a baking tray for 40 minutes at 350°F. At that point, cut the stem end off, then slice in half. See if it’s fully cooked; if not, roast it open faced for about 10 more minutes.

Also, I only cooked the squash al dente, as this gets cooked a little more at the end. Enjoy! Continue reading