I made much better tasting mayo today.

I made mayonnaise again today, but modified my original recipe. What it created was at least 10 times yummier.

Rae’s Homemade Miracle Whip-like Paleo Mayonnaise

Yields 4 Cups

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ c. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 c. extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. Get out your food processor and put in the sabatier blade. (That’s the “S” shaped one that spins towards the bottom.)
  2. In the processor bowl, place the egg yolks, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, and salt.
  3. Turn the machine on (not on pulse, but in the “on” position) and as slowly as you can, start to drizzle in the oil, drop by drop until the mixture starts to look like mayonnaise, then a slow steady stream of oil can be added.
  4. Turn off the food processor.
  5. Use a flexible spatula to scoop the mayonnaise out of the bowl and into a container that is suitable for the refrigerator. If properly refrigerated, homemade mayonnaise can be used for 2 weeks.
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It’s about time for an update…

It’s been a while since August 8. Lots of things have happened. That’s life!  I figure that it’s time for a good update.

What’s new with my MS

The last time I took any kind of disease modifying drug to help slow my MS progression was July 11th, when I quit Tecfidera. For those of you who are not inclined to do the math, that’s about 6.5 weeks ago. I wasn’t even on a therapeudic dose long enough for it to be helpful for me, so if you really want to know how long it’s been since I was on medication to help my MS in any meaningful way, we’d have to look at when I stopped Copaxone, which was on June 2nd. This means that my MS has been running amok for almost 3 months. That’s an entire season!

Honestly, I miss Copaxone. I never thought I would say that, since I hate giving myself injections, but I haven’t been enjoying the come-and-go nature of my MS symptoms which are more pronounced since I stopped. Numbness and tingling on my left side and on my back has been annoying, but it hasn’t stopped me from doing anything. Fatigue has been significantly worse. Bladder/bowel stuff has been annoying but not disabling. Fortunately, I stay pretty close to a bathroom at all times. I’d hate to already be needing Depends. I’ve had spells of time when seizures returned with force. Last night, for example, was pretty tough, but today has been fine.  I’ve noticed that getting enough sleep (which for me is apparently about 14 hrs a day) is absolutely necessary to proper bodily function.

By and large, I’ve been alright. I’ve enjoyed not dealing with any side effects from meds. I’ve enjoyed not injecting myself nightly, and I’m actually surprisingly optimistic about starting Gilenya (a once-a-day pill for MS) on Thursday of this week.  I have to be at the hospital at 8 a.m. for the administration of my first dose. I’m hoping that the 6-hour observation period goes smoothly.

What’s new with the Paleo Diet

Well, first of all, I feel like an ass-and-a-half for sharing those ketchup recipes with you. I was so proud of my work at the time — but I’m really not pleased with what’s come after the first day. I’ve been using the stuff that I made for a few weeks now — and the first thing that happened with it is that the condiment got super thick, just like tomato paste. I have to dilute it with water every time I use it.

I intend to make another batch using a different recipe.  This recipe is based on Heinz ketchup, and has gotten good reviews.

Ingredients

6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/2 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. water
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until smooth.
  2. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove pan from heat and cover until cool. Chill & store in a covered container.

To make it paleo-friendly, I’m just substituting honey for the corn syrup and sugar. Because honey is 1.5 times as sweet as sugar, I’m only adding 1/3 c. for the whole recipe. I know agave nectar would be a better 1-to-1 substitute for corn syrup, but it’s also a high-fructose syrup (90% fructose, 10% glucose).  Honey has a better ratio of fructose to glucose (40% fructose, 30% glucose, 30% other).

Several folks commented on the recipe that they subbed honey with good effects, so I’m hopeful that my next batch of ketchup lives up to my expectations.

As for other paleo-ness: Adam and I decided not to join in on August’s Whole30. I started making a meal-planning calendar and it just got too overwhelming. Right now, I’m just focusing on yummy, simple recipes. I promise I’ll share more.

What’s new with life in general

Well, this past weekend was all kinds of freakin awesome. My parents and my brother all came in town to visit me.  It still weirds me out to think that Mom and Dad are in the rural sticks of PA and that Daniel is in Denver, CO. Some part of my brain still acts like I’m in college and they are still living together in our home in Collierville, TN even though we’ve all moved on with our lives. We’re all still really close and talk frequently, so it feels like we should just be able to hop in the car to see one another, but that’s not the case. We actually hadn’t seen each other since Poppy’s funeral last year.

This weekend was pretty great because we made a commitment to being relaxed. We went out for delicious (and very non-Paleo) meals, and otherwise, we just hung out – no pressure.  Sure, my type-A personality required me to put together a wicked long list of things we could do, but it was more so that we could acknowledge that we had options and feel good about our decision to do nothing. 🙂 All that any of us cared about was just being together. So, Dad and Dan got to play chess while I showed Mom my Sims 3 game one day and after walking through a 4-story mall and hitting a bookstore, we watched a few episodes of Too Cute: Puppies back at their hotel room the next.  I feel like I made out like a bandit, honestly. I got to spend time with people I really, deeply love, was treated to fantastic meals, and Mom even got me some nail polish and mascara. (BTW – I totally endorse Maybelline’s Volum Express Falsies Big Eyes Washable Mascara. It is the shit. It adds volume and length without being clumpy, and it doesn’t flake off.)

Other than that, life is good and simple.

I’ve graduated from cognitive behavioral therapy. My therapist is so pleased with how I’m doing that I only have to have a visit with her now if something comes up and I need to call her, which is great.

I’m no longer afraid to take public transportation unless I’ve had a seizure in the last 24 hours, so I can get out of the house fairly easily, and I actually do have places I want to go to from time to time.

As for other activities, I’m currently working on writing a novel — an activity which is simultaneously frustrating and entertaining.  Currently, I’m only 2 chapters in, but I have faith that in time I’ll get through the whole story.

Adam and I are still working out at the YMCA at least 3 days a week, doing weightlifting on resistance machines and cardio on the elliptical or a treadmill.

And I’m still adding recipes to the Paleo Compendium every day, always in an effort to make my relationship with food easier and yummier.

I’m still butt-crazy in love with my husband after almost 3 years of marriage and 3 years of courting, and our dog is at least 5 times cuter and sweeter than he is a pain in the ass. 🙂  I really couldn’t ask for more out of life.

Right now, I feel very lucky.

Makeover Success!

Grammy Would Be Proud.

After I posted the recipe “Mom’s Flank Steak” on this blog, I found out from my father that the recipe was actually not originally Mom’s, but my Grammy’s!  (Grammy was my Dad’s mom. I called my mom’s mom “Grandma” for anyone who’s curious.) Apparently, Grammy gave my mom the recipe before I was even born! Boy am I glad she did. Dinner tonight was *fan-tastic*.

20130808_193754

Flank steak with mashed potatoes & broccoli… 100% paleo. It doesn’t get a lot better than this. 🙂

Monday, I had to pick up more ingredients, so Tuesday, I made the paleo ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. This morning, I made the Catalina dressing, and tonight, we had (in the words of my hubby) “fuckin’ delicious” flank steak.

I *did* have to make some revisions to one of the recipes, though!  I promised you that I’d let you know if we had to make any changes, so here we go!

Paleo ketchup that makes the grade!

(Revised!)

This was adapted from a highly-rated ketchup recipe on Allrecipes.com and the rich and deep-flavored ketchup on Paleo Diet Lifestyle. This ketchup recipe can be bottled in sterilized jars and kept for up to 6 months in the fridge.

Recipe makes about 5½ cups

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 stick of celery, chopped
½ fennel bulb, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 small bunch of fresh basil leaves
30 ounces tomato paste
3 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons white vinegar
1½ c. cold water
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ground coriander

Directions

  1. In a frying pan, heat up 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Toss in the celery, fennel, ginger, and basil and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the contents of the frying pan, and put it all into a food processor.
  4. Blend into a paste.
  5. In a large (preferably glass) bowl, stir the green paste, tomato paste, honey, and vinegar together.
  6. Pour the water into the bowl and continue stirring until smooth.
  7. Add the spices (paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and coriander) and stir to combine.
  8. Transfer to a container (or a few containers) that is (are) good for refrigeration.
  9. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before using.

 

I hope you enjoy!

Paleo Recipe Makeover: Mom’s Flank Steak

Every once in a while, when it was a special occasion, my mom would make us flank steak. It’s one of my most positive food memories, so it’s no surprise that I’d want to create a paleo version of it.

This recipe makeover’s not as simple as quick substitutions. There’s soy sauce in it – and that’s an easy fix. (Wheat-free tamari or coconut aminos) But then, there’s Catalina dressing, which Kraft makes with high fructose corn syrup. Not one to give up, I found a great recipe for Catalina dressing… and found out that it is made with ketchup (not usually paleo) and Worcestershire sauce (also not usually paleo).

Recipe Makeover: Mom’s Flank Steak

Here is my mom’s amazingly tasty flank steak recipe, in its original glory:

Mom’s Flank Steak

Ingredients: 
1 to 1.5 lbs of flank steak
1 small bottle of Kraft Catalina Dressing
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Ginger Powder

Directions:

  1. Cover the flank steak with equal parts garlic and onion powder (the steak should almost be white)
  2. In a bowl, mix Catalina dressing, soy sauce, and ginger powder to taste.
  3. Pour dressing mix over flank steak and marinate for at least 3 hours. (24 is best!)
  4. Grill the steak, reserving the marinade.
  5. In a saucepan, bring the remaining marinade to a boil to remove any possibility of bacteria
  6. Serve the steak in thin strips with hot marinade on the side as a gravy.

Let’s make it paleo.

The flank steak is fine. So is the garlic powder, onion powder, and ginger powder (though I’ll probably want to use fresh). I’ll be swapping the soy sauce for wheat-free tamari. (I just don’t like coconut aminos.) Now, to make the rest!

Paleo Catalina Dressing

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup paleo ketchup
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon paleo worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender (or use a handheld blender) and process until smooth.
  2. Add the oil in a slow steady stream with the machine running until the mixture comes together in an emulsion.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

This recipe makes approximately: 1 ½ cups — about the right amount for my mom’s recipe.

But I need paleo ketchup and worcestershire sauce… and they don’t sell that at the grocery store.

Paleo Worcestershire Sauce

Adapted from http://paleodietlifestyle.com/homemade-paleo-condiments/ (Their recipe contained soy sauce, and I’m just not willing to make the concession.)

Ingredients

½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp wheat-free tamari (or coconut aminos)
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp mustard powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
⅛ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and slowly bring to a bowl while stirring frequently.
  2. Let simmer for about a minute for the flavors to develop.
  3. Cool and store in the refrigerator.

Paleo Ketchup

Adapted from a highly-rated ketchup recipe on Allrecipes.com and the rich and deep-flavored ketchup on Paleo Diet Lifestyle. This ketchup recipe can be bottled in sterilized jars and kept for up to 6 months in a cool dark place. (I haven’t made this yet, but it’s what I’m going to try. I’ll update and let y’all know how it is.)

Recipe makes about 8 cups

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 stick of celery, chopped
½ fennel bulb, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
1 small bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped
24 ounces tomato paste
2 tbsp honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 c cold water
2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground coriander

Directions

  1. In a frying pan, heat up 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Toss in the celery, fennel, ginger, and basil and cook until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend the contents of the frying pan into a paste.
  4. In a large bowl, stir the celery, fennel, and ginger paste, tomato paste, honey, and vinegar together.
  5. Pour the water into the bowl and continue stirring until smooth.
  6. Add the spices (paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and coriander) and stir to combine.
  7. Transfer to a container that is good for refrigeration. (a sterilized jar would be perfect!)
  8. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before using.

The Plan of Action

Tomorrow, I will be making the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Catalina Dressing, and finally, will start marinating the steak, so we can eat it on Tuesday. Updates will follow.