Flatiron Steak on The Big Green Egg

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It’s BBQ season and it’s too hot these days to even think about turning on your oven so what could be better than an awesome BBQ recipe for the heat of Summer?

First step is to start with a great cut of meat – my favourites include: flank steak, hanger steak, Vacio and flatiron.  No, none of these are Ribeye’s but they are the kind of cuts that are not quite premium (although when you are buying grass fed beef pretty much everything is premium) that you slice and serve.  The end result is that you eat a smaller possibly more appropriate quantity of beef (remember that 4-6 oz constitutes a serving).

Next step is the RUB.  You can buy pre made rubs but in my experience they are almost always laced with sugar as well as MSG and often include bad fats and poor quality ingredients – none of which are desirable or necessary.  So – with a few spices in the house you can make your own in the time it takes to unscrew the tops off a couple of bottles of spices.  Here is one of my favourite combinations – I tend to just shake the spice all over the surface of the meat and, because these are relatively lean cuts I also rub a bit of olive oil all over the surface of the steak.

  • ground cumin
  • ground chili powder (I tend to use mild)
  • ground paprika
  • ground turmeric (I go a bit lighter on this one)
  • dried thyme
  • sea salt

You can rub these in one by one or mix about 1/2 tsp of each (except turmeric 1/4 tsp will do) in a bowl, mix well and rub as one.  To save yourself time, you can also make a large batch – label it and store it in a glass jar.

Once you have coated your steak in this delicious anti inflammatory and aromatic spice mix I like to add one more thing: the juice of 1/2 a lime.

Let it sit and come to room temp for about 15-20 minutes.

Heat your grill to 300 (I cook at relatively low temp to minimize the formation of nasty carcinogens).

Place the seasoned meat on heated grill, these cuts tend to be relatively thin – often less than an inch so I find that 5-7 minutes on the first side and then another 5-6 on the second gets me to a medium rare steak which is exactly where we like it.

If you want to be a bit decadent – add a generous pat of Grass Fed Butter on top of your steak after you flip it over near the end of the cooking time and allow it to melt into the meat (optional but delicious)…

Serve with a mountain of greens to further neutralize any negatives from the grilling process and ENJOY!

Nathalie_SM

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Posted in Beef, Bulletproof, Dinner, Ketogenic Friendly, Paleo Friendly | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Strawberries – The Ultimate Canada Day Treat but…

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Strawberries for sale at Wychwood Barns Farmer’s Market

Sometimes it’s hard to resist cliches – red foods on Canada Day is one of those times for me apparently…as I tried to think of what to post for this Long Weekend I could not help but be drawn to strawberries – big plump juicy strawberries that happen to be in season right now as we speak.  The tricky thing with this delicious fruit is that this year it holds the dubious honour of topping the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) list of dirty dozen – those fruits and vegetables to be avoided unless purchased organic due to pesticide contamination.  You can read the full article here: http://www.ewg.org/release/ewg-s-2016-dirty-dozen-list-pesticides-produce-strawberries-most-contaminated-apples-drop

The good news is that there are ways to work around this – the first and most obvious is to only buy organic strawberries BUT there is another solution that is less used and that is to hang out at Farmer’s Markets and speak to the Farmer.  The picture above was taken by me a couple of weeks ago at the Wychwood Barns Farmers market – I initially walked right past this stand as there was no organic sign on the berries.  A little while later, chatting with another vendor they suggested I speak to the “strawberry guy” as they had heard his crop wasn’t sprayed….curious I went back and learned this:  In certain cases, you will find farms where they avoid spraying their strawberry crops for as long as they can using alternate methods of pest control.  This often can carry them into the growing season (depending on the year) hence allowing them to bring berries to market that have not been sprayed – while there are still issues around crop rotation, soil integrity (pesticide residues can be taken up by plants) there is still a line to be walked…the only good way I have found to walk that line is to have a conversation with the person who did the tilling, the planting and the growing…the scruffy somewhat bleary eyed dude doing the best he can to make a living.  And sometimes, we learn something new and we can find a way to support the guys genuinely doing the good work – this was one of those days.  So.  I would like to leave you with this:

  1. Seek out and speak to the people growing your food – it will always be a learning experience and you may gain access to foods you might otherwise have walked by.
  2. A strawberry storage hack: To avoid your berries going mouldy – as soon as you get them home, wash them in a solution of 10 parts water to 1 part apple cider vinegar – this will kill mould spores and enable you to avoid the sad experience of pulling out furry berries two days after you buy them.
  3. A recipe….after all, It is Canada Day!  The only challenge is that I don’t have a photo of said dessert to share with you…consider this an opportunity to take creative license with the finished product..trust me it will taste delicious!

The recipe is Strawberries & Cream Paleo Style

Step 1:  Macerate your strawberries – a fancy (and ominous) way of saying: hull, halve and let your berries sit in a bowl with 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice.  If they are in season they are sweet enough you should not need to add sugar. Just let them sit long enough to soften a bit and release their juices.

Step 2:  Make your cream:  Take a can of coconut milk (Full Fat, Native Forest if you can find it) and refrigerate it overnight.  15 minutes before you are making your cream put the can, your beaters and your bowl in the freezer.  Remove all equipment and coconut milk from the freezer – empty can into the bowl, add a teaspoon of vanilla (optional) snap beaters into electric mixer and beat away till you have a smooth cream.  If you can do this the day or the night before – refrigerate the cream – it will harden into a luscious and delicious mixture….

Step 3:  Divide berries between individual serving bowls, top generously with your coconut cream….garnish with toasted unsweetened coconut and enjoy!!

Happy Canada Day!!!

Nathalie_SM

 

Posted in Desserts, Health Advice, LCHF, Paleo Friendly | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

While There are several versions of this pudding on the internet – I played around with it to make it suitable for my very clean, low carb high fat program which essentially involved using Monk Fruit (Luo Han Gho) as a sweetener instead of the traditional maple syrup, honey or sugar.  The trick is to use enough sweet and spices to mask the rather distinctive aftertaste of the avocado which, while not unpleasant is a bit distracting.    I really like this version because it is incredibly creamy , sweet enough to feel like an indulgence but it is clean enough to be included in any Paleo, Primal, Bulletproof or Keto plan.  It also has a bit of crunch thanks to the shredded coconut mixed in and the topping of nuts and seeds – in my case I always have some version of my Grain Free Nuts & Seeds Granola around so a couple of tablespoons is just enough to make it awesome.

I added Maca Powder because I am always looking for ways to add functional foods to my recipes.  Maca Root is grown in Peru and it is a fantastic adaptogen meaning that it helps your body deal with stress. It can also help with hormone balancing for men and women and may also help to build muscle and support healthy bones – although, to be fair the amount you will get in this recipe is far from therapeutic.

The amazing thing about this pudding is that it is healthy and satisfying enough to be enjoyed for breakfast as a meal.  It’s a bit low in protein however so to balance it out you could stir in a scoop of unflavoured protein powder (I like Garden of Life) or a couple of tablespoons of Collagen Powder (I use Great Lakes brand – extracted from Grass Fed Beef bones).

For those of you looking for an after dinner treat – this could do the trick although you might be fine with a half portion if you’ve had a big meal.

This recipe makes 6 servings each delivering: 221 calories, 19 grams of fat, 8 grams of net carbs, 4 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar.  Re Carb content – the carb count is actually 18 grams but of that, 10 grams are fibre so if you are counting carbs you want net carbs which is 18 grams minus 10 grams so total of 8 grams.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups full fat coconut milk (Native Forest)
  • 2 Avocados – ripe but not brown
  • 1/2 cup raw unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons Monk Fruit Sweetener (Luo Han Guo)
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 – teaspoons cinnamon (to taste)
  • pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor except for the shredded coconut and blend till smooth.  Add the coconut and blend just enough to mix in.

Chill before serving – serve topped with Nuts and seeds (I use the Grain Free Granola http://bit.ly/1Klempm ) but if you have none just sprinkle what you’ve got on hand with some extra cinnamon.

Enjoy responsibly!! Lol!

Nathalie_SM

 

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Broccoli Butter Sauce

Broccoli Butter Sauce

Full disclosure: Although I really wish I had, I did not come up with this recipe myself.  However, I can tell you that every person in my world who has tasted it has come back for more.  It’s from the Bulletproof Diet Book and it’s under Creamed Vegetables which I personally do not find an appealing title – hence the title of this post.   For more recipes of this ilk check out this link: https://www.bulletproofexec.com/category/recipes/ or even better buy the Bulletproof Diet Cook Book – it is full of tasty dishes that deliver high on the nutrient density scale.  Back to this particular recipe:

Why you should try it:

  • It is filled with good fats, from grass fed butter to MCT Oil, it includes the goodness of broccoli plus, this version, includes oregano which is not only delicious but one of the most powerful health boosting herbs on the planet.
  • It takes literally minutes to make in your blender – with 1/3 of the broccoli you just finished steaming.

3 Ways to use it:

  • Poured over steamed broccoli it will bring a tear to your eye – not that steamed broccoli isn’t amazing on it’s own but this, well this just takes it to the next level.
  • Bake any white fish fillet and pour this sauce over top, maybe with a bit of extra lemon – or not, you be the judge.
  • Pour over any steamed greens (like the Kale with soft boiled egg for breakfast I recently posted on Instagram)….

Recipe: makes enough for 3 people – or 2 it depends 🙂

  • 1 Bunch Broccoli
  • 3 TBSP Grass Fed Butter
  • 2 TBSP MCT Oil (I like *Brain Octane but there are other brands out there)
  • 1/2 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (use fresh if you have it OR if you want to supercharge your dish add 1-2 drops oregano oil)
  • Sea Salt to taste

Steam the broccoli till tender but still bright green.  Place 1/3 of it while it is still hot in your blender with all the other ingredients – blend till smooth.  If you like you can use a bit of the steaming water to achieve a lighter consistency (& more volume) but go slow so you don’t water it down too much.

Note: If you know you do not tolerate dairy you will need to replace the butter with one of: ghee, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin avocado oil or, you could try Macadamia Oil as it tastes a bit like butter – this may make your sauce a bit oily so one hack would be to add a tablespoon or so of Collagen Powder – this would add protein and some body to the sauce.

Nutrition Info for 1/3 recipe:  198 cal; 1g Carb, 20 g fat, 1g protein, 2 g Fibre

** MCT Oil:  Is the fraction of the coconut oil that your liver will convert into ketones that your brain loves to run on.  The most powerful one you are after is the C8 chain – most of the ones you will find combine C8 and C10, this is not bad just different.  I use the Bulletproof Brain Octane because it is pure C8 and Dave Asprey is a total freak about quality which is generally a good thing when it comes to supplements and such.  That said, the Bulletproof products are pricey – if you want some, shoot me an email otherwise you can find MCT oils in Health Food stores.  NOW brand makes one that is reasonably priced – it is a combination of C8 and C10

Enjoy!!

Nathalie_SM

Posted in Bulletproof, Dips and Toppings, Healing foods, Ketogenic Friendly, LCHF, Paleo Friendly, Sauces | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

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The Twitter and Instagram Post that launched this post gets to the crux of this message – once you have bone broth in your fridge or freezer – you are minutes away from almost any soup you want, assuming you have the right stuff in your fridge, freezer and pantry.  But – The best part about making soup from scratch is that no matter or how much or how little you have in said fridge, freezer or pantry you can always make soup.

It just so happens that I made this broth yesterday and still had the chicken meat from the somewhat scrawny egg laying hen that had come to the end of her laying days and ended up in my soup pot.  Sidebar 1: The best news about this little hen is that she had spent the better part of her days scratching for bugs and seeds and doing the things that chickens do when they are being happy chickens….but all good things must come to an end, so there she was in my pot along with a half dozen or so chicken feet for extra collagen. Sidebar 2:  I was in a huge rush when I made this broth so probably paid a bit less attention than I should have to what went in the pot with the chicken and bits so the resulting broth in all honesty was a bit bland – sometimes this happens.  The downside is that it is less enticing on it’s own but the upside is that it is much more versatile.  In any event – back to the subject at hand.  Having the chicken meat meant that this soup could be lunch for the boys on a lazy Sunday….and, I had this Red Thai Curry Paste, so this happened:

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres Chicken Bone Broth or good quality organic Chicken stock
  • chicken meat shredded (without the skin – trust me, it’s better that way)
  • 1 package Shiratake Noodles (the Black or White Yam kind – not Soy)
  • 1-2 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste depending on how much heat you like
  • 2 tsp Fish Sauce (I brought some Red Boat back from Florida at xmas – if you don’t have any and want to avoid the junky kind just melt 1/2 an anchovy fillet in a bit of warm water – mash it into a paste and add to soup)
  • 2-3 Kafir Lime Leaves – it’s worth it to track these down – they give an unmistakable asian lime flavour to the soup
  • Lemongrass (I used dried but if you have fresh it’s the best)
  • 1/2 can of full fat coconut milk (Native Forest if possible)
  • Fresh squeezed lime to taste
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of baby spinach or bok choy (chopped)

Directions

  • Combine the bone broth, chicken meat, curry paste, fish sauce, lime leaves, coconut milk and juice of 1/2 a lime in a soup pot and mix well to blend.
  • Bring to a simmer and allow to cook covered for 10-15 minutes or until fragrant
  • Add the Shiratake Noodles and cook for 2-3 more minutes till heated through.
  • Raise the heat to med-hi and add whatever greens you are using – they should wilt quickly at which point you want to take the soup off the heat.
  • Taste to correct the seasoning adding more salt or lime juice if needed – remove the Lime Kafir leaves and Lemongrass if you used them and serve in big bowls.

One other thing: If you are lucky enough to have leftovers this broth gets batter when it sits overnight or even for a few hours….try it out and let me know how you do!

This soup is appropriate for Paleo, Primal, Ketogeneic  (the noodles have virtually NO carbs) and almost any variation thereof.  You can also whisk some MCT (Brain Octane Oil) at the end of cooking the soup before adding in the chicken and noodles to amp up your ketone content….and, if you aren’t on any of these lifestyle plans you can still enjoy it cuz it just tastes good and it’s good for you.  Cheers.

Nathalie_SM

 

Posted in Chicken, Dinner, Healing foods, Ketogenic Friendly, Lunch, Paleo Friendly, Soups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Morning “Green” Challenge – Shake # 2

 

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Green Shake 2 – After the Filter

I posted this shake on Instagram this morning as part of the “seven days of green every morning” challenge that is launching through the Academy of Lions podcast this week.  You don’t have to be a member of the Academy to join, all you have to do is post your green creations (and it can be food – doesn’t have to be a shake) and include hashtags #inthis2gether ,  #greencleanlean and tag me @nathalieniddam and @academyoflions and you will be a part of our challenge and eligible to win prizes!  The challenge does not officially kick off till Monday Feb22nd but I like to get a head start on these things myself.  In my world this challenge is also coinciding with the first 7 days of my 30 Day Personal Keto Challenge which I will also be writing about and posting about on Instagram.  The upcoming podcast that will also be up on the Academy of Lions site will be all about Keto so if you are interested, you may want to check in on that as well.

Ok back to our shake.  The actual shake looked ….well it looked like this :

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Green Shake 2 – Au Naturel aka “no Filter”

Definitely more brown than green and definitely a bit less appetizing looking than the top view….hardcore green shake enthusiasts are used to this effect and understand that the taste is unaffected but to newbies, it doesn’t take much to put people off the plan and pea soup looking shakes is definitely at the top of the list.  Hence…applying the filter.  Why am I explaining all this?  Because if you make the recipe below I want to save you from tossing the whole thing down the sink thinking you messed up.  It’s not you.  Really.

You will also notice that this shake is definitely less “smooth” than previous versions – I did this deliberately to drive home a point – you need to chew your food – even your shakes.  You see, good digestion is crucial to getting the most out of your food – in the business we talk about the fact that you can only assimilate what you absorb and you can only absorb food that it properly digested…and that process is kicked off in large part but the act of chewing which in part stimulates the release of digestive enzymes….So.  If you make your shake a bit chewy, it will be easier to justify chewing it.  This is also why I add the shredded coconut after blending the shake and just mix it in along with my collagen Protein Powder.

One more thing I want to mention and the reason why I timed the start of my Keto journey with this challenge is to drive home the point that even if you are eating a high fat low carb diet you MUST eat veggies to deliver maximum micronutrient density (vitamins, mineral, antioxidants, polyphenols, you name it) to your body….and you can do this without knocking yourself out of your hard won ketogenic state.  If you do this, you get the best of all worlds.

On to the recipe – this recipe makes enough for one serving.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 100 grams avocado
  • 40 grams frozen raspberries
  • 50 grams frozen strawberries
  • 50 grams (about 1 cup) lightly steamed frozen kale
  • 1 cup fresh arugula leaves
  • 1/2 tsp matcha tea powder
  • 1 tsp Ashwaghanda Root Powder (fantastic Adaptogen, mitigates the effect of cortisol -watch for an upcoming post)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups filtered water

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend till mostly or fully smooth – your choice.  After Blending stir in:

  • 2 TBSP Collagen Hydrolylate Powder – I use Great Lakes brand
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut

In terms of Nutrition Info this shake delivers:

  • 22grams of carbs, and 9 grams of fibre so net carbs are actually 11grams (this is an important detail when you are aiming to keep your net carb intake below 50 for the day)
  • 16 grams of good quality fats
  • 15 grams of protein
  • 6 grams of sugar

All in all, along with my morning version of Bulletproof Coffee a pretty good start to the day.  Oh and as for Shake 1….it’s in the newsletter the Lionshead which should be up within the next day or so.  To find it, check out academyoflions.com and look for the newsletter.

Cheers!!

Nathalie_SM

 

Posted in Breakfast, Detoxing Naturally, Healing foods, Health Advice, Ketogenic Friendly, Paleo Friendly, Shakes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apple Cranberry Butter Sauce

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Long weekend brunches are one of my favourite meals – in my house we tend to the savoury but every once in a while there’s nothing like a pancake breakfast.  Trouble with those is that the classic versions tend to be full of sugar, and pretty weak on the nutrition scale – plus I often end up hungry within an hour post meal.  And.  Pancakes are often bathed in maple syrup…..don’t get me wrong, I love maple syrup as much as the next person but sugar is sugar so if you happen to be looking for ways to cut back on it but still enjoy the “sweet life” this recipe might do the trick for you.

These last two days I have perfected a pancake recipe and created two fruit “sauces” as I’m always looking for ways to add nutrient density to my meals while reducing the amount of sugar I use –  when you pair fruit with butter there’s not really that much that can go wrong.

This morning’s sauce features chopped apples with fresh cranberries…the beauty of this sauce (aside from being delicious) is that it cooks while you make your pancakes – that. and it is just the right amount of sweet and tart.  This recipe makes just enough for three people.

Ingredients

  • 3 small apples chopped into small to medium chunks (if organic peel on)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries (I  keep a bag in my freezer)
  • 2 TBSP GF Butter (if you don’t tolerate dairy you could use ghee or coconut oil)
  • 1 strip lemon zest (because lemon makes everything better)
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 1 stick cinnamon plus 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Directions

  • Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, stir well – turn heat to low and cover.
  • Let the sauce simmer while you make your pancakes until the apples are soft and the cranberries burst.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick before serving

Serve on top of your pancakes or with yogurt (coconut or cow’s milk) with Grain Free Granola http://bit.ly/1Klempm.

Cheers!!

Nathalie_SM

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