chicken “noodle” soup

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Today I had a craving for some homemade, comforting soup.  It’s cold and rainy and just one of those days.  I love me some soup.  It’s taken me awhile to get Michael to really appreciate it.  He grew up in Florida, so I guess one does not crave a steaming hot bowl of anything when it’s a zillion degrees outside.  But ’round here, when the leaves start to turn and there’s a chill in the air, I could eat soup every day.

Going primal has kind of limited my choices when it comes to soup…at least the kind of soup I grew up eating.  Here in PA Dutch country, most soups contain noodles, dough, or potatoes of some kind.  But I’ve managed to either modify some of my old favorites or learned to like some different kinds.  This is an old fave….just slightly altered.  I’ve replaced the noodles with cabbage that’s been cut into noodley strips.  This is soooo good and I don’t miss the old version at all.

I’m not really good at writing out soup recipes because I just kind of wing it most of the time.  But here’s how I made this one:

  1. Put a small amount of oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add chicken pieces (I used 3 quarters) and brown on each side for a few minutes.  Add some chopped onion and let that cook a little bit too.
  2. Add some water (about 3 cups)  and some chopped carrots and celery.  I didn’t have any celery today, so I sprinkled in some celery salt.  Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover the pot and allow it to simmer.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the pieces from the pot and allow it to cool.  In the meantime, chop up the cabbage, add it to the pot, and continue to let it simmer.  At this point, I decided it needed more water so I added another 3 cups.
  4. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, pick the meat from the bones and add it back to the pot.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Enjoy!

grain-free banana bread

Ok, so I know I just recently mentioned that I try to stay away from primal versions of non-primal foods, but I have found a few palatable recipes that mimic some non-primal treats.  One of them is this banana bread recipe.  Most of my searching for recipes like this happened when I was pregnant and I was having all kinds of cravings and aversions.  I found this recipe over at TGIPaleo after I started to get bored with another banana bread recipe I was using.  I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and I needed to use up some overly ripe bananas.  I liked the first batch I made, but decided it wasn’t quite sweet enough for me, so when I made it tonight, I added a little honey to the original recipe.  The result was a lovely, moist, mildly sweet treat.  This is the kind of food that I probably shouldn’t eat every day, but it’s great to have around if I need to grab a quick breakfast on my was out the door.  I also found it’s great to take on camping trips to have on hand for breakfast or a snack (and my non-primal family gobbled it up!)  the original recipe calls for:

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey (my addition and totally optional)

First mash all the wet ingredients together.

Then mix in all the dry ingredients (I used a hand mixer).

Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes.

I think I am going to try this again in the Fall with pumpkin instead of bananas.  I might even throw in some walnuts or pecans!

diy: flax seed gel for curls

curls

I love my curls. Most people tell me they love my hair and then ask me if I hate it. I guess most people assume that we always want what we don’t have (in my case, straight hair), but that is not the case for me at all. I suppose there was a time when I struggled with my curly hair. I got teased in school and it took me a long time, testing a zillion products (all claiming to tame the frizz) to finally find a routine that works. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I spent.

I prefer not to beat my hair into submission. Spending hours with a blow dryer and flat iron does not seem like a good time to me…and well, I have better things to do. I run into so many seemingly straight-haired girls who tell me that they have natural curls, but if they let their hair go curly it would never look like mine. Well, ok, it probably wouldn’t look exactly like mine because we’re all different, right? That’s what makes the world an interesting place. But, I would argue that your curls can look awesome with a few simple tricks. One of mine is flax seed gel.

I learned how to make it a few years ago when I used to frequent the boards of naturallycurly.com.

It’s really pretty easy.  Go grab the following:

  • a small saucepan and spoon
  • a fine mesh strainer
  • flax seeds
  • water
  • a container for storage
  • *optional*: citric acid, essential oil

Ok, have you gathered all your supplies?  Good.  Let’s get started.

  1. First, boil about 2 cups of water on the stovetop.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add about 1/2 cup of flax seeds and turn the heat down to med-low.
  3. Simmer the flax seeds for up to 10 minutes.  DON’T walk away!  You really gotta watch this stuff once it starts simmering.  It can get thick pretty quickly and if you cook it too long you won’t be able to strain it.
  4. It’s ready when the liquid thickens, sticks to your spoon, and has a snotty consistency.  Sorry, I can’t really think of a better comparison.  It really does look like snot.
  5. Once you think it’s ready, strain out the seeds with the fine mesh strainer and collect your gel in a storage container.
  6. Now you have a few options.  This stuff will go rancid (and stinky) if it’s left on the shelf.  You can either store it in the refrigerator or add about 1/4 tsp of citric acid to act as a preservative.  You can also add a few drops of essential oil to add fragrance.  I prefer to store mine in the fridge because it stays thicker.  I’ve found that if I add citric acid and keep it on the shelf, it tends to get runny, but this method is good if you want to travel with it and don’t have access to a fridge.

Ok, now you have your amazing curly hair gel.  Next, the trick is applying it.  One of my favorite things about this stuff is that it doesn’t make your hair crunchy or sticky.  To get the best results, you have to use a lot of it.  Don’t be afraid to use too much.  I use it in combination with a technique called plopping.  Once I’ve plopped for about 10 minutes, I just scrunch a couple of palms full of this gel into my hair.  It’s ok if your hair feels a little slimy.  Now let your hair air dry and when it’s dry or almost dry, you can turn your head upside-down and scrunch it a little to soften any crunchiness that might have formed.  You could blow-dry with a diffuser, but I rarely do this.

Viola!  You are going to have awesome curls!

So, do you have natural curls?  Do you embrace them or fight them?  What do you do to tame the little beasties?

diy: natural styling gel for curls

I love my curls. Most people tell me they love my hair and then ask me if I hate it. I guess most people assume that we always want what we don’t have (in my case, straight hair), but that is not the case for me at all. I suppose there was a time when I struggled with my curly hair. I got teased in school and it took me a long time, testing a zillion products (all claiming to tame the frizz) to finally find a routine that works. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I spent.

20120809-202304.jpg

I prefer not to beat my hair into submission. Spending hours with a blow dryer and flat iron does not seem like a good time to me…and well, I have better things to do. I run into so many seemingly straight-haired girls who tell me that they have natural curls, but if they let their hair go curly it would never look like mine. Well, ok, it probably wouldn’t look exactly like mine because we’re all different, right? That’s what makes the world an interesting place. But, I would argue that your curls can look awesome with a few simple tricks. One of mine is flax seed gel.

I learned how to make it a few years ago when I used to frequent the boards of naturallycurly.com.

It’s really pretty easy.  Go grab the following:

  • a small saucepan and spoon
  • a fine mesh strainer
  • flax seeds
  • water
  • a container for storage
  • *optional*: citric acid, essential oil

Ok, have you gathered all your supplies?  Good.  Let’s get started.

  1. First, boil about 2 cups of water on the stovetop.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add about 1/2 cup of flax seeds and turn the heat down to med-low.
  3. Simmer the flax seeds for up to 10 minutes.  DON’T walk away!  You really gotta watch this stuff once it starts simmering.  It can get thick pretty quickly and if you cook it too long you won’t be able to strain it.
  4. It’s ready when the liquid thickens, sticks to your spoon, and has a snotty consistency.  Sorry, I can’t really think of a better comparison.  It really does look like snot.
  5. Once you think it’s ready, strain out the seeds with the fine mesh strainer and collect your gel in a storage container.
  6. Now you have a few options.  This stuff will go rancid (and stinky) if it’s left on the shelf.  You can either store it in the refrigerator or add about 1/4 tsp of citric acid to act as a preservative.  You can also add a few drops of essential oil to add fragrance.  I prefer to store mine in the fridge because it stays thicker.  I’ve found that if I add citric acid and keep it on the shelf, it tends to get runny, but this method is good if you want to travel with it and don’t have access to a fridge.

Ok, now you have your amazing curly hair gel.  Next, the trick is applying it.  One of my favorite things about this stuff is that it doesn’t make your hair crunchy or sticky.  To get the best results, you have to use a lot of it.  Don’t be afraid to use too much.  I use it in combination with a technique called plopping.  Once I’ve plopped for about 10 minutes, I just scrunch a couple of palms full of this gel into my hair.  It’s ok if your hair feels a little slimy.  Now let your hair air dry and when it’s dry or almost dry, you can turn your head upside-down and scrunch it a little to soften any crunchiness that might have formed.  You could blow-dry with a diffuser, but I rarely do this.

Viola!  You are going to have awesome curls!

So, do you have natural curls?  Do you embrace them or fight them?  What do you do to tame the little beasties?