Terri's Airy Fairie World

Musings on Music, Tea, Gardening, Food & Life…


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Smokey Beef Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw…

Have you heard of Siete Tortillas?

I first saw them on Julie Bauer’s blog, PaleOMG.com, and of course, I immediately ordered a case. And I truly enjoyed them. Now I’m enjoying my 2nd case! They are grain/gluten free, and come in 3 varieties: Almond flour, Cassava & Coconut, and Cassava & Chia.

Spicy foods are no longer on my menu, since I removed all nightshades from my diet. That includes tomatoes, potatoes (but not sweet potatoes!), all varieties of peppers & chilis, & eggplants (which I never liked anyway). It also includes chili powders. Having abstained from all these wonderful foods & spices for most of the last year, I’ve found that I feel so much better without them, and I’ve also found that when I eat them, I suffer: arthritis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, I end up having trouble walking because my feet don’t work right, and I have various other aches and pains. Gratefully, it all goes away when I abstain.

But who doesn’t love a taco? Or a tostada?  I’ve tried various homemade paleo/grain free tortilla recipes, and some of them are pretty good, but they do take time to make. Although I don’t use a lot of pre-prepped foods, I have to admit that having tortillas in the freezer once in awhile is a pretty handy thing! Especially since they take almost no time to thaw, and make for quick, easy, & versatile meals. I haven’t tried the Almond flour tortillas, because I don’t really digest nuts well.  For tacos, I think the Cassava & Coconut come out the best. I like to crisp them a little in a skillet, and then fold them over. They come out a mix of crunchy & chewy that way. For Tostadas, the Chia version got especially crunchy overall, but both versions make great tostadas. They also are both great just lightly heated, or cut into tortilla chip shapes and cooked until crispy to dip in Guac.

For dinner last night we had them with Bolyard’s Pulled Beef, another handy  & convenient food that I’ve been keeping in stock recently. Bolyard’s Meats and Provisions is a butcher shop in Maplewood (St. Louis suburbs) that I frequent often, in part because it’s half a mile from my house, and also because everything they sell is pasture raised, local, & fresh. Also, everyone there is super nice, especially the owner, Chris Bolyard!

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Bolyard’s Pulled Beef! Just heat it gently (or eat it cold), and it’s ready to go.

I save a lot of money by filling my deep freeze once or twice a year with locally raised beef, pork, lamb, & chicken, and although I source the majority of my meats from a few local farmers that I love, sometimes I want some thinly cut breakfast steaks, or maybe I’ve used up all of my soup bones. Or I’d like some special cut of something that I don’t have in my freezer. Bolyard’s is the place! Tell them what you want, and they will cut it for you on the spot. If they don’t have it, they will suggest alternative cuts. They also make their own lunchmeats, sausages, and a variety of other things, and you can pick up eggs, grilling supplies, sauerkraut & pickles, & even dinner. Once a week they fire up the smoker & smoke all kinds of things, and that is where the Pulled Beef that I love comes from, and it is flavorful, smokey, and perfect for tacos!

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The final piece to last night’s taco dinner was creamy cilantro lime coleslaw! Here’s my recipe:

First make a batch of mayo, using lime juice instead of lemon juice. I use a stick blender.

3/4 C avocado oil

1 whole egg

juice of one lime

salt & white pepper (opt) & garlic granules to taste… I just sprinkle some of each, maybe 1/4 tsp or so?  You could also add ground cumin or other spices that you like.

Hold the stick blender all the way to the bottom of the container you’re blending in, blend down there for a few seconds first, to start emulsifying the egg, then slowly move the blending stick up to gradually incorporate a little of the oil at a time. The whole process takes maybe 30 seconds. Now you have a beautiful mayo! BTW, to make regular mayo, follow the same formula, except use lemon juice.

Now for the slaw: shred up a variety of veggies. I used 1/4 green cabbage, 1/4 red cabbage, 1 large grated carrot, and half of a vidalia sweet onion thinly sliced. I actually prefer red onion, but we use what we have. Chop up a bunch of cilantro too. If you can eat bell peppers, a thinly sliced red bell would be a really nice addition.  Toss it all together, then add the entire batch of mayo, mixing well. Sample it, and see if it  needs anything: I added a little more salt & garlic to mine, plus about 1 T of apple cider vinegar. Some toasted cumin seeds would probably be an awesome addition! I wish I’d thought of that yesterday!

 

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Heat up your tortillas, heat up your pulled beef, or some leftover chicken or whatever, layer on some slaw & a blop of Guac or avocado slices, and enjoy!

No tortillas? Or maybe you don’t want the carbs? Pile some slaw into a bowl, top with protein & guac & chow down! A great way to use up leftovers!

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If you want to check out their tortillas, here’s a link to Siete Foods.

If you live in the St. Louis area, here’s a link to Bolyard’s Meats & Provisions.

If you live in the St. Louis area, and you’re looking for a source of pasture raised beef, pork, chicken, etc,  so that you can fill your deep freeze, here’s a link to my good friend Bob Eckenfels and his family farm. I like supporting the local economy, and the Eckenfels family are also super nice folks!

Tell them all that Terri HarpLady sent you!

 

 


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My Offal Lunch, 7/20/16

First, I haven’t posted in awhile, for a variety of reasons, mostly just life in general, but Life is Good, and always better than the Alternative! So here I am, it’s mid-summer now, and although I haven’t really stuck with my plans for this blog entirely, I’m always willing to try to get back on track (in every area of my life). Every day is a new adventure!

I’ve been planning on doing a series called My Offal Lunch (pronounced Aweful, but not  necessarily tasting so) for awhile, so today is the first offering!! Why Offal, you ask?

  • Because that stuff is really good for us, but many of us tend to go into an avoidance pattern with liver, heart, and other such things. I’m no different, and this is an opportunity for me to share my experiences, and encouragement.
  • Because I have a bunch of these things in my freezer, and they are taking up space!
  • Because many of us don’t know what to do with this stuff, so again, I’ll be sharing  my ideas.

Today  is just as good of a day to start as any other, right?

French Lamb’s Heart & Veggie Soup

This soup isn’t really French, but I used herbs from my garden that might be considered French, so I figured Why not? As with all of my recipes, it is free of gluten, dairy, nightshades, and various other inflammatory things, and many of the ingredients came directly from my Garden.

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Step one: Slice up a few shallots, and by a few, I mean as many as you like! I went with 3, but I wished I’d gone with 5 or more. Heat a little fat in a sauce pan (I used bacon fat leftover from breakfast), add the shallots, and sauté until nicely caramelized.  This step isn’t necessary, but does add a richer flavor. You could also substitute an onion, a leek, or any kind of oniony things. Once they are to your liking, add some broth. Any broth will do, although beef broth would be especially flavorful in this case, and of course homemade broth is the best! I freeze my broths in pint sized containers for making soup. I also freeze them in 1 cup containers and ice cube trays, because you never know when you’ll want some broth, but not necessarily a pint! Anyway, if your broth is frozen, bring it up to a simmer.

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Step two: While your broth is heating up (or, more smartly, before you’ve even started cooking), prep some veggies. I wanted spiralized noodles, but didn’t feel like hauling out the spiralizer, so instead I opted for using the veggie peeler. I used a carrot, a red turnip, and a golden turnip. BTW, the red turnip is much milder than the golden one, also, because of the extreme heat lately, that golden turnip never got very big, and was a little pithy. The nice thing about using the veggie peeler to make your noodles is you can peel off strips until you get to the pithy center! So this is great for any root veggies that have a tough center, but still have some use! Other possible veggie choices for this soup would include parsnips, parsley or celery root, rutabega, radishes, beets (golden would be especially nice), squash, and really any veggies that you can spiralize or make ribbons out of. Not in the mood to spiralize? No problem, just slice things up into bite size pieces. Or if you have some leftover spagetti squash, use it.

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I also thawed and chopped up a lambs heart. It was actually frozen when I started the broth, so I put it in a tub of hot water to thaw for about 10 minutes, and then removed the tough looking parts, which is easier to do if the heart is still a little frozen. I added those scraps to my freezer container of bones for next week’s broth making. and sliced the heart into smaller chunks. Heat a little bacon fat in a skillet, saute the heart a little and set aside. Good news, I ate a piece and it actually tasted good! Kind of like sirloin steak, only a little stronger, but nothing like liver, just in case you were wondering.

Step Three: Once the broth is simmering, stir in the veggies and let them cook until tender to your liking. At this point I also started sampling the broth and adding salt to taste. I was initially thinking I would go with Asian flavorings, but ended up adding a few sprigs of French Thyme, a small amount of Lovage, and a little pepper.

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Finally, I stirred in the heart, a sprinkle of dill, a large pressed garlic clove, and a little Red Boat, because you can never have enough umami! I also considered adding some greens, but I ate a  pile of them for breakfast. I let it simmer a few more minutes, and then enjoyed a savory satisfying lunch!

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Using My Fitness Pal, I estimate the calories to be somewhere in the 500 – 600 range. Here’s the Macros:

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And below you’ll see the estimated nutrients, although I had to do 2 overlapping screen shots to get it all.

Thanks for stopping by, and feel free to leave a comment, including any experiences you’ve had with Lamb’s Heart! Enjoy the day!


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“You’re Standing in my Cumquat!”

This post contains several links. I didn’t plan it that way, but all of a sudden, there they all are. I suggest reading the article first, and then if any of the links appeal to you, please check them out!

The title of this post is a quote from the off broadway musical, The Fantasticks! For those who have never seen it, The Fantasticks! was written in 1960 by Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, and is the world’s longest running musical. It’s been performed in at least 67 countries, and has been translated into many, many languages. It’s story is universal.

The Fantasticks is a funny and romantic musical about a boy, a girl, two fathers and a wall. The narrator, El Gallo, originally played by Jerry Orbach, asks the audience to use their imagination and follow him into a world of moonlight and magic. The boy and the girl fall in love, grow apart, and finally find their way back to each other after realizing the truth in El Gallo’s words that “without a hurt, the heart is hollow”. (quote from the Greenville College Factory Theatre page).

Anyways, I love this show! It’s hilarious, and the music is awesome, including some classic songs: Try To Remember, They Were You and Soon It’s Gonna Rain. The only accompaniment is a piano & a harp. I’ve loved it since the first time I ever played it. I fall in love with it again every time I get the opportunity to play it (this is my 5th), which is what I’ve been doing for the last week or so with The Factory Theatre in Greenville, IL. It’s an hour drive each way, and last week I drove it every day, from Wednesday – Sunday. We’ve got 3 more performances this weekend, and then it’s on to other projects.

I utilize the drive time get caught up on a few podcasts that I enjoy, such as:

Bee the Wellness This is an Ancestral Health/Paleo podcast that touches on all things nourishing. Adam and Vanessa Lambert, coaches from my beloved Unveil Your Wellness group on Vimify , talk about all aspects of health & human potential: looking at, sifting through, and explaining the latest health related sciences;  interviewing a variety of interesting & knowledgable people; sharing their own journeys; and they also laugh a lot in the process. Vanessa, aka Nesta, is also an amazing singer/songwriter, and the opening and closing soundtracks feature her music. Here’s one of her songs

TAP to Music Podcast featuring Nick Johnson. In each episode, Nick interviews a different musician, sharing a few of their songs and talking about the things that inspire them, their creative process, and music as a part of their life. His guests come from all musical backgrounds, cultures, and styles. I love this show! Every episode inspires me!

So, I’ve gotten way off track here. The real point of this post was What’s a Kumquat?

A kumquat is basically a miniature orange, more or less, roughly the size of a large olive. They are first found in 12th century Chinese literature and have been cultivated for centuries in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and southeast Asia.  Here is a picture of my Kumquat tree, which lives in my Sunroom during the winter months, and then enjoys being outside in the summer.

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The fruits usually begin to ripen around the HoliDaze, and then over the next couple of months I get to eat a few Kumquats a week, to add a little vitamin C & Joy into my life. You can put them in things, like a salad (veggie or fruit), or make marmalade, but most of the time I just pop one into my mouth and savor the contrast between the sweet peel & the tangy sour juices. There are also seeds, which I add to my compost bucket, because they’re rather bitter.

You can also make  Salt Preserved Kumquats, similar to preserved lemon.  This is a popular way to use Kumquats in China, resulting in a traditional home remedy for colds & sore throat. I haven’t tried doing this yet, but my kumquats are at their peak of ripeness, and I’ve had an abundant crop this year (I’ve already been eating/thinning them out since early January) so I think I’m going to give it a try!

I also have a Meyer Lemon tree & a Key Lime.  The Meyer Lemon usually produce an average of a dozen fruits per year, although this year the squirrels stole some. I enjoy using them in a variety of ways, especially salad dressings. The Key Lime is a crazy lime making machine, and although the limes are small, they are abundant, and I never seem to need much lime juice at a time anyway, so I haven’t purchased limes at the store for a long time now. All 3 trees are compact, easy to care for, and easy to move, except for the lime, which is loaded with evil thorns!

I love having my own source of citrus, and if my sunroom was bigger, I’d add a few more!