Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Finds at the Green City Market

Chicken Livers and Pork Rinds!
pork rinds!

(First, I realize it has been FOREVER since we've posted - since our last post we have gotten engaged and married, and finally life is settling back down a bit)

Now, back to chicken livers and pork rinds, which are my new favorite items to pick up at the farmers market.  I think the chicken livers have always been around, I just didn't know to ask for them.  But, I'm pretty sure the pork rinds are new - and they are so tasty!

Meadow Haven Farm, which I have mentioned before, is where I got the chicken livers - from happy pastured chickens.  I can't help but hear all the hype about organ meats and wanted to find some way to incorporate them more into our meals.  Well, I tried Balanced Bites chicken liver pate recipe, and it is dee-lish!  Seriously way better than I thought chicken livers could be - I brought a big batch of pate on a camping trip and everyone devoured it.  Ok, maybe it was mostly me that devoured it, but a lot of other people helped.  I just bought two more pounds of chicken livers, so I may have created an addiction for myself. 

Now, pork rinds - seriously such a crackly, yummy little treat.  The company serving these up is Cookies and Carnitas and they use Becker Lane organic farm pork to do it.  They also serve porchetta sandwiches, which I have not tried and seem to be the more popular item, but the pork rinds are an awesome Saturday treat.  I actually bought two little bags, planning to serve them when we had friends over for a cook out.  I completely forgot to take them out of their hiding place in the cupboard and after everyone left realized we have 2 bags of pork rinds to ourselves!  Although disappointed that I couldn't share my little pork treasures, I was also secretly happy to have them all to myself!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thoughts on Paleo Magazine

Initially I wasn't sold on the idea.  As a matter of fact, I felt fairly confident that a magazine dedicated solely to paleo wouldn't last.  The amount of paleo info out there is abundant.  There's blogs galore, and even a handful of books out there now, and there's more on the way.  Why would I want to pay $6 a pop for info I already have in a book, or can find easily on the interwebs?  And what is a magazine anyway, but a couple decent articles, a few nice pictures, and a ton of ads.  Nope - Paleo Magazine is not for me...

That is until Stacey pointed it out to me on the checkout stand at Whole Foods!  Can you imagine?  The word "Paleo" big and bold among all the other typical periodicals.  It took a whole 2 seconds before I exclaimed "Let's get one!"  Part of me was curious to check it out, and part of me really just wanted to support the cause.

Overall, I'm most excited to see the magazine at Whole Foods.  I looked around and have to assume that over a thousand  people are in and out of our particular Whole Foods everyday.  Sure, probably half won't even see the magazine on the stand, and even less of those that do see it will pick it up to check it out, but the name is up there, big and bold.  Eventually, people are going to want to see what this whole paleo thing is all about.

But what about the magazine?  Does it hold up against all the blogs I already follow?  Sure.  I like it well enough.  It's kinda nice to not have to sift through dozens (to hundreds when I've been lazy and need to catch up) of blogs on my reader for ones I want to read.  The convenience of the magazine is that ideally, all of the best articles are located in the same place.  It's questionable that most of the articles in the magazine are written by bloggers that I already follow and read on a consistent basis, so I can't imagine the content is going to blow me away very often.  Although, I'm happy to pay my $6 at Whole Foods to support the magazine.  I like seeing it at Whole Foods, and want to see it succeed.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Everybody's Doing It...

A lot of people are doing it.  I feel like I often read about people who are just beginning it.  On occasion, I have heard people cursing it.  And now, we are doing it too – a Whole30!

We are not new to challenges, back in February we completed our own 45 day paleo challenge.  The primary differences between our challenge and the Whole30 are that we included gluten-free alcohol and paleo substitutes (like ‘paleo pancakes’) on our list of acceptable foods.  These are foods that are not acceptable for the Whole30, which we are sticking to 100%!

Today is Day 14 of our Whole30 and so far so good! 

A few things about the Whole30 that make me smile:
  • I’m creating complete menu plans again, meaning I plan and try new recipes and everything tastes wonderful – and there are delicious leftovers for lunch!
  • I feel good, real good.  I am going to sleep early and waking up with lots of energy.
  • I feel leaner, that makes me happy.
  • Everyone around me at work is sick, I am not.
A few things that are challenging me:
  • I miss my occasional glass of wine.
  • I am realizing how most of our social gatherings focus on food and drink, and when I can’t have the food, I would normally at least have a drink – now I can’t have either and don’t know what to do.
  • We have eliminated our occasional cup of decaf coffee, I miss it.
Overall though, it feels great and I'm happy to be getting back to the basics!  Now I just hope that we don't get in trouble when we go to the bar to meet friends to watch football and only order waters.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our Guide to the Green City Market

This summer we have finally taken advantage of our close proximity and become regulars at our farmer’s market, The Green City Market.  It took a few visits, but we now have our favorite stands that we frequent every week, which provides us with consistently high quality foods at fair prices.


We sampled meats from ground beef to lamb to bacon, as well as eggs, from all the farmers providing grass-fed/pastured animals.  Our favorite turned out to be Meadowhaven Farms.  They have a great selection, good prices and are pretty nice too.  They also offer the crossfit meat box, which we have been loving!


I am easily overwhelmed, especially at the farmer’s market.  It is always busy and there are so many different things to look at and consider – and there is the smell of baked goods driving me to distraction.  Anyway, when I don’t know what veggies to buy, or haven’t properly menu planned – I dive into the Green Acres stand and load up on greens.  They have a huge variety of leafy greens; all types of kale, chard, collards, lambs quarters, bok choy…everything!

Majestic Farm pick your pint tomatoes

Green Acres leafy greens

I’ve also been loving the make your own pint cherry tomatoes from Majestic Nursery – the dark orange ones are my favorite.


The Flamin’ Fury Peaches people get me every time.  They sit there in their bright shiny stand right at the entrance to the market, forcing there samples on me – their super ripe and sweet samples – and I inevitably end up buying something.  I’ve tried their peaches and various berries, all pretty good. 


We generally do not eat dairy.  It was actually finding this grass-fed butter from Nordic Creamery that led us to introduce it back into our diet in the first place, and all has been well.  Have not noticed any adverse side effects from either their butter or on a very rare occasion, goat cheese.  I mainly like to use the butter for frying eggs – and the occasional goat cheese crumbled in a salad, hmmm – now I’m hungry.

And of course, I always find it near impossible to leave the market without buying some fresh cut flowers...so many to choose from!

Tuberose, my favorite - smells like heaven

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Best BBQ Rub Ever

This rub is so good, Stacey caught me licking it off the spatula while grilling.  It's perfect.  It's spicy and tangy and works with just about anything.  I've put it on burgers, fish, and so far it's my favorite on pork chops.  It's no wonder that it's called Magic Dust.  We found the recipe here, and we're glad we did.  Their note at the bottom of the page is right, it keeps well, but it won't last long.  You'll want to put it on everything!

Magic Dust

  • 4 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt, finely ground
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp cayenne
  • (2 tbsp sugar) we omit the sugar, but it's in the original recipe

Here it is on Swordfish, with a side of Japanese Yams (topped with coconut oil) and grilled okra:

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Meadowhaven Crossfit Box


Sometime mid-Summer while we were ordering an absurd amount of grass fed beef, and pork from the guys at Meadowhaven Farm at the Green City Market, they looked at the amount of food we were buying and asked us if we'd heard of their Crossfit Box.  We had, but we weren't quite ready to spend $200 at one time.  A few weeks ago we gave it a try, and found it to be a pretty decent deal.  We had enough meat to last us about 2 and a half weeks.  High quality, grass-fed, delicious meat.  This weekend we bought the Crossfit Box #2, which has more pork than the Crossfit Box #1.

It seems so much easier to meal plan when we know we have a steady stream of quality meat coming out of our fridge.  Plus, our trips to Whole Foods seem that much less expensive!

Crossfit Box #1

  • 10lbs. Ground Beef
  • 2 Beef Roasts
  • 4 Whole Chickens
  • 1 Package of Leg Quarters
  • 1 Package of Wings
  • 2 Packages of Bacon
  • 4 Various Ground Pork Products
  • 2 Packages of Pork Chops or Steaks
Crossfit Box #2
  • 10lbs. of Ground Beef
  • 1 Beef Roast
  • 2lbs. of Stew Meat
  • 1 Package of Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Package of Leg Quarters
  • 1 Package of Wings
  • 3 Packages of Bacon
  • 2 Packages of Pork Chops or Steaks
  • 1 Pork Roast
  • 4 Various Ground Pork Products

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Make Your Own Coconut Butter!

Coconut Butter - It's SO Good

Coconut butter, also called coconut creme concentrate, is one of those amazing foods I only discovered after beginning to eat a paleo style diet...and I LOVE it!!!  I mean, really - it is so good, SO good. 

I've tried a couple different brands, both are good and neither is cheap:
  • Artisana Coconut Butter - It's organic, it's delicious and it has been my preferred brand, at about $10 per 16 oz jar at Whole Foods
  • Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate - also organic and delicous, but only available by mail (not good for instant cravings) and a bit pricier at $18 per 16 oz jar. Although Tropical Traditions is the master of the two for one sale and discounts in general, they always seem to be having some type of 'get it now!' sale.
  • Let's Do Organic Creamed Coconut - available at Whole Foods, this coconut cream comes in smaller plastic packages.  It is tasty, but I don't like the texture as much as the Artisana version.  It would be convenient for travel though and it is less expensive.

How to Make Your Own

This is ridiculously easy, why I didn't try this sooner - I have no idea.  Simply throw some organic coconut flakes, I used Tropical Traditions coconut flakes, into your food processesor and let it go.  I let the processesor run for 3 minutes at a time, stopped, scrapped down (and let it cool down) and ran it for about 4 of those intervals.  You will definitely notice the point it goes from really fine shreds to a more buttery liquid type of consistency.  The result was amazingly similar to the commerically produced items and will definitely work for my favorite guilt free blueberry and coconut dessert!