Posts made in December, 2012

Spicy Lamb Curry

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in 21DSD, Dinner, Lamb, Paleo | 0 comments

Spicy Lamb Curry

I got some lamb stew meat from Fallon Hills at the Farmers Market on Sunday and have been ignoring it ever since. I kept picturing it becoming something similar to beef stew, only with lamb, and it just wasn’t exciting to me. And then it hit me: Lamb Curry! Why did it take me all week to think of that? Clearly the holidays have my brain somewhere else than in the kitchen. I’m not sure where, exactly, because I sure as hell haven’t been shopping. I like to pretend the holidays aren’t happening and then freak out at the last minute. It’s how I do. But tonight, we had a delicious spicy lamb curry on a chilly night, and it was perfect. I’ll start freaking out tomorrow. Or the next day…. I’ve got plenty of time, right?   Spicy Lamb Curry 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil 2 pounds lamb stew meat 2 medium onions, sliced 2 large tomatoes, chopped (about 4 cups) 2 inches / about 1 tablespoon ginger, grated 6 cloves / about 1 tablespoon garlic, crushed 1/2 teaspoon cayenne * 1 tablespoon garam masala 1 teaspoon tumeric 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 cinnamon stick 1 teaspoon salt 4 cardamom pods (optional) 6 whole cloves (optional) 2 small sweet potatoes, cubed (optional) Combine the garlic, ginger, ground coriander, garam masala, tumeric, cayenne, ground cardamom and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a cast iron or stainless pot, melt the butter, ghee or coconut oil over medium high heat. Sear the lamb in batches, 2 minutes or so per side. Set aside. Add the onions, turn the heat down to medium, and saute over medium heat for about 8 -10 minutes, until golden brown. Stir in the garlic / ginger / spice mixture and saute for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and their juice. If they’re very dry, add a bit of water to make sure the spices don’t burn. Simmer  over medium heat for 5 minutes and transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and puree. Return the lamb and sauce back to the pot along with the optional whole spices. Simmer over low heat until the lamb is fork tender, anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours. If using sweet potato, add it to the pot 15-20 minutes before the lamb is done. Continue to simmer until it’s tender. Serve over coconut “rice” or cauliflower rice * I simmered this curry with 2 whole fresh cayenne peppers, expecting them to give a bit of heat, but they didn’t. I added 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne, which gave it a good kick, and was the perfect heat for us. But it’s a personal thing! If you’re sensitive to heat, add a bit less, and if you’re a total animal, feel free to add a bit more.     All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Coconut “Rice”

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in 21DSD, grain-free, Paleo, vegan, Vegetables, Whole 30 | 7 comments

While I can’t remember the last time I made a pot of real rice at home, I eat it occasionally when I’m out. In sushi rolls, for example; I know I can get them without it, or just order sashimi, but I actually feel better when I eat some rice with my sushi than when I don’t. When I eat just raw fish, I seriously feel like I swallowed a live goldfish. True story. Another example is when I go to Burma Superstar, which is one of my favorite places to eat in San Francisco. Everything I’ve gotten there is delicious, and their tea leaf salad is as good a reason as any to fall off the paleo wagon, if only briefly. (we’re talking lentils and a few peanuts here, not a footlong sub) Bonus: The staff is great at helping you navigate a gluten-free dining experience. Their coconut rice is actually too delicious to be rice. But alas, it is. I made this cauliflower rice with Burma Superstar’s coconut rice in mind. It’s the perfect complement to a spicy dish; slightly sweet, creamy, and rich. Coconut Cauliflower Rice serves 4 1 large head cauliflower (about 5 cups) 1 C full fat coconut milk 1 tablespoon coconut oil 2 tablespoons coconut butter 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened coconut (350 for 3-4 minutes) 1/2 t salt Rice your cauliflower by putting it down the chute of your food processor with the grater blade attached (or use a box grater) Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and saute for two minutes or so, stirring constantly. Add the coconut milk and the salt and saute another 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy. Stir in the coconut butter and turn off the heat. Serve sprinkled with the toasted coconut. All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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21 Day Sugar Detox, Day 21: DAY TWENTY-ONE!!!

Posted by on Dec 16, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 0 comments

Today is the last day of our 21 day sugar detox, and we wrapped it up a bit early for the sake of celebrating Hanukkah and Simon’s dad’s birthday. It just felt right. I couldn’t wait any longer for latkes. And wine. And brownies. I didn’t go overboard, don’t worry. Here’s what we had tonight: chicken liver pâté with rosemary crackers cucumber cups with smoked salmon, capers, and creme fraîche* bread & butter zucchini pickles (from the farmers market) classic latkes with apple sauce and sour cream sweet potato & chive latkes lemon & herb spatchcocked roasted chicken* garlicky rainbow chard double chocolate fleur de sel grain-free brownies* YUM. And with all the cooking I do for work, it’s really nice to make a nice dinner for the family once in a while.   It felt great to say no to sugar for a few weeks, and it’s never a bad idea to cut out the booze either. We don’t own a scale, but according to others, we lost some weight. We eat mostly paleo as it is, so these three weeks weren’t a huge change for us, but were more an exercise in restraint. It was especially tricky when I had to make things like cookies and brownies and not have a crumb. While it felt like torture at the time, the end result was the knowledge that I am in control of what I put in my body, and that is a very good thing to know. Simon felt healthier in general over the three weeks, and was much more aware of his food choices. In my opinion, this type of food challenge is an important thing to do at least once a year, for two reasons: There’s the obvious reason: It’s healthy. It’s a good reset. Sugar is bad. Craving sweets and starchy carbs all the time is not optimal. And then there’s the more subtle reason, which lies in the psychological realm. We ALL have control of what we eat. Even when there’s addiction, we have it at some level; we might just have to work harder for it. This type of challenge, even if it only lasts a few weeks, is something that you can keep on that back burner of your mind. Once you say no to the candy bar in the check out line, the ice cream before bed, the drink as soon as you feel stressed, you can do it anytime. It’s a good thing to remember. Now: there’s a right way and a wrong way to ease out of a detox such as this. For more on that please (please) read this. I have to say, this was so much fun. I’m so glad that I decided to blog about our experience with the 21 day sugar detox. It was  a great exercise in discipline and accountability. I happened to be doing this detox on some of the busiest days I had this year, so it was a challenge. But a good challenge. If you’ve been following along, or reading random entries, I’m glad you’re here. I truly appreciate everyone who reads this blog – Thank you!  * Recipes to be posted soon. Stay tuned!         All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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21 Day Sugar Detox, Day 20: A special guest post from Simon

Posted by on Dec 15, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 2 comments

Dear Sugar, It’s hard for me to say this, but we are done! At least for another day. It’s not me it’s you. I know we’ve been together for a long time and have had a lot of great fun together. Like that time I went to Santa Cruz beach boardwalk and you were waiting for me in the form of a Churo. Your crisp sweetness tempted me like Cindy Crawford to a 13 year old boy. Am I dating myself? Whatever she’s still hot! To be honest I’ve met someone else…Splenda. Just kidding, just making sure you all are paying attention. I ‘d sooner wax Robin Williams  then touch that garbage and if you haven’t seen his back use the great power of Google. I’ve finally learned that I can survive without you and it’s bitter-sweet. (poor choice of words?) I can honestly say that we will meet again, but now it’s on my terms. I think you should move out. I will still see you from time to time, but you can’t stay here anymore. It’s time to slow things down. You see the problem is you have been making me un-healthy and now I know it. Goodbye my love. Simon On a more serious note, I could not have done this detox without Simone. She has made this so easy for me. She made almost every meal and had delicious snacks always around. Thanks babe.     All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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Sadness

Posted by on Dec 14, 2012 in News | 0 comments

It’s a very sad day for this country, and especially for the families in Newtown CT. I grew up not far from there, in Ridgefield CT, and am finding it all quite hard to believe. Of course mental illness knows no geographical bounds, but Newtown is a place I have always put in categories such as safe, sheltered, quiet. I’m going to be skipping the usual sugar detox daily recap for today, as it just seems a bit irrelevant in light of what’s happened. Sending love to everyone affected by this awful tragedy.     All of the links on zenbellycatering.com are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

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