From Here to Health

My journey back from autoimmune disease

Recipe Reviews from Primal Cravings and Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry

on August 8, 2013

Trying to lose weight while cooking 3 meals a day for the rest of my family really blows!  Tuesday was Finn’s “actual” birthday.  We celebrated early with her friends because that was when they were all available.  For her “real” birthday (as she calls it), she was allowed to choose the menu for the whole day.  For breakfast she wanted Hazelnut Coffee Pancakes.   No one in my house drinks coffee so I enlisted my dad (who lives next door) to brew us some coffee the night before.  These were super easy to make, but the batter was thicker than pancakes I am used to?  Not sure if it was something I did or a natural result of the tapioca and coconut flours.  Anyway, the kids and my parents both liked them.  They would have been really good with some chocolate chips:)  I will admit now that I did have one.  Ok two.  But then I ate my sardines.

photo(20)Moving on to lunch, she requested the Bacon Lattice & Tomato Sandwich.  This one, I did not get to try, but the kids loved it!  It was super easy.   The hardest part was making the homemade mayo.  My arm always starts to hurt and I get a little bored waiting on that oil to slowly drip, drip, drip. The kids were hungry (probably because there was no protein at breakfast!) so I got rushed and didn’t get a finished shot.  Let me assure you that they were really pretty, until they were bitten into and then they were a giant old mess!

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Now for the final meal of the day.  We had 11 people so I doubled most of the recipes.  We started out with the Cheese Crackers and Benedict Deviled Eggs for starters.  Keep in mind as you read through this menu that it was chosen by a six-year-old.  There is no rhyme or reason to the menu!  So, the Cheese Crackers.  I had high hopes, but they were too greasy and cheesy.  Not possible you say.  I beg to differ.  I am wondering if it is one of those recipes that doesn’t take well to doubling?  Not sure.  I will make them again in the original proportions and see what happens.  The kids still liked them but I think they didn’t turn out as intended.

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I’m not sure if my crowd just wasn’t an egg crowd or what, but the Benedict Deviled Eggs didn’t get eaten very well.  I didn’t try these because I have been trying to stay away from eggs to see if there is any autoimmune component for me.  Thus far I haven’t really noticed any improvement.  I will probably add them back in the near future.

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For the main course she requested Crispy Chicken Fingers and Hot & Sour Chicken Noodle Soup.  The girl likes chicken!  I had gotten a little behind by this point, so there are no more pictures.  I was running around frying chicken, stirring soup, scraping sorbeta and checking the homemade ice cream churning on the table!  It had gotten a little hairy in my tiny kitchen!  I ended up turning the chicken fingers over to my husband so I didn’t lose my sanity.  He did a great job with them and I think they would have been really good except unbeknownst to me, he covered them with foil and put them in the oven to stay warm.  He wondered later why they were soggy and I told him about his mistake- they had been steaming in the oven and that is a no-no when you want something crispy.  They did, however, crisp back up a little bit when I reheated them for the kids’ lunch the next day.  The kids also drowned their chicken fingers in the Sweet & Sour sauce I made which seemed to be a hit with the whole crowd.

I honestly can’t even speak to the Hot & Sour Chicken Noodle Soup.  I didn’t have a single bite.  By the time I had finished cutting up the 4 pounds of chicken (just for the soup) I had a blister and I had lost my appetite.  I cook chicken thighs all the time so I’m not sure why this time was different, but these just looked super gross to me.  And then I rinsed the Shirataki noodles and they felt really nasty to me.  I am assuming they are made of mushrooms?  Shirataki sounds like a mushroom.  I hate mushrooms.  They feel like boogers going down my throat. Yuck!

For dessert she requested Cherry Lime Sorbeta, Carrot Cake Cream Pies, and the Cookie Dough Ice Cream from Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry.  I know, I know.  I’m CRAZY!  This was a hella lot of cooking for one day.  Let’s start with the sorbeta.  It was ok, but not great.  I think I waited a little to long to scrape it for the first time and then it turns out that I really don’t know how to scrape.  I was basically just mushing it around with a fork.  I don’t think it qualified as scraping.  The consistency just didn’t turn out right and I think that is the real magic of a dessert like this.  It should by light and icy.  Or at least I think it should?  My husband ate it anyway:)

The Carrot Cake Cream Pies were AWESOME!  I made them the night before and they were just as good the next day and the day after that.  They were moist and lightly sweet.  A little bit like the Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies of my youth.  I used to tear up some Oatmeal Pies and Fudge Rounds!  Obviously, my mom did not jump on the health bandwagon until I pulled her on with me a few years ago, so sadly I grew up eating lots of processed foods.  My favorite foods listed in my baby book are M&Ms and bologna!  Oh, mom.  She did breast feed me though, so props for that!

Back to topic. The hit of the evening was definitely the homemade Cookie Dough Ice Cream.  This is where I splurged.  I couldn’t help myself.  I LOVE ice cream, but for the past few years it has not loved me back.  I didn’t know if this ice cream made with canned coconut milk would be any different, but it was!!! No cramps after I ate it.  Usually I am doubled over in pain after ice cream.  I also forgot how much I love the consistency of homemade ice cream.  It is so light and creamy.  It was also super easy to make. Just a quick blender action and then pour into the ice cream maker. Done.  I have only used my Cuisinart Ice Cream maker once or twice because it always seems like such a hassle (it is stored in the garage which is like 20 feet away from my kitchen;)), but this was just too simple not to do it again (and again).

Even though my results were a little mixed this go around, I still highly recommend both Primal Cravings and Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry.  You should check them out for yourself:)

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