Other People’s Recipes: Paleo Friendly Ginger Carrot Muffins

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I’ve had a yen for ginger muffins since reading a recipe in the paleo book that my alternative medicine practitioner recommended. That recipe had too many eggs and not enough ‘flour’ to be anything close to a real muffin.

Internet to the rescue. I found two recipes that I thought might make a decent muffin, both based on almond flour. Blending the recipes, I came up with this list of ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 TBSP coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 TBSP melted butter (replacing the coconut oil both recipes called for)
  • 2 TBSP unsulfured molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (replacing the raisins optional in both recipes)

The method is what you’d except. Mix the wet ingredients (starting at eggs) with the dry ingredients. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

I used parchment paper tin liners and, unlike the sticky blueberry muffins, these came clean out of the papers.  They tasted—a lot—like the zucchini muffins I used to buy at Whole Foods. Maybe a tad too sweet. When I make them again, I’ll reduce the maple syrup by half.

As for nutritional–or at least calorie–information, I tried using the calculator at Spark, but it was clunky at best. None of the recipes provided nutritional information. Again, Internet to the rescue. I did find calorie counts for a couple of similar Paleo muffin recipes–225 per muffin.

I froze half the tin for a day when I need a treat.

An Overabundance of Sedum

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About ten years ago, I planted two sedums–an Autumn Joy and a Brilliant–in my front flower bed. Within five years, I had sedums in every available flower bed, plus some given to friends and family, plus a donation to the local Extension office garden.

This year, as I contemplate dividing irises and daylilies, I look at my overgrown sedum and wonder. What the heck will I do with it?

For those who don’t know, you can tell when a perennial is too big by the ‘donut’ it forms in the plant’s center. While weeding this morning, I asked my husband to chop out half of three sedum plants–the wrong way to divide them–and then to throw the carcasses on the burn pile. Waste of a perfectly good perennial.

But what else to do with them? What if I planted sedum in the culvert that’s so difficult to mow? Or what if I started replacing my ‘lawn’ with sedum? We could have a river of mauve and bright pink for two weeks every fall. Maybe I should pot up divisions and sell them. I should do that for daylilies and irises too. I could start a new business …

Nah.

 

Other People’s Recipes: Blueberry Muffins

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I wanted a Paleo-friendly recipe for blueberry muffins. Something different for breakfast. What I didn’t want was some banana-y or eggy batter interspersed with blueberries. I was bound to be disappointed.

The recipe I ended up with called for:

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Like most muffins, mix wet with wet and dry with dry, then put the two together, mix till just incorporated, then fill your muffin tin. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.

Easy to make, despite the frantic search for parchment paper muffin tin liners. And the muffins were edible. Barely. They had a decidedly eggy taste. Cavepeople must’ve been very hungry to enjoy them. And, despite the special tin liners, they had to be scraped out.

After that experience, I went back to the Internet and looked at other blueberry muffin recipes that didn’t call for bananas. All of them had a high egg content—and I have to question where the cavepeople got all those eggs—but most started with 2 cups of almond flour.

Oh. Well yes. That would help.

I’m looking for a cinnamon-spice muffin next. I wonder if cavepeople ate raisins.

Just Show Up

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I ran across an ad on the Next Door website. A single mom asking for house or yardwork to make some extra money. Affordable.

My flower gardens have been misused and abused all summer. I haven’t been well enough to keep up with the usual weeding schedule. As for watering, I’ve managed to water weeds. I look out from my office window to the front flower bed and see–gasp–grass seed heads waving in the wind.

I could use some affordable help in the garden. After a brief discussion with Jim, in which we verbalize the usual pros and cons about ‘hiring it done’, I give single mom my telephone number via the website, let her know its all about the weeds, and wait for her call.

She doesn’t call me right away. Too bad, too, because the weather turned nice last week. Cooler. Wetter. Better.

On Saturday, she calls me. We dicker for a while about how much she expects to make per hour. She tells me her rate for ‘landscaping’ and I tell her what I’ll pay for weeding. We finally agree on a per hour price and then I say, “You know, it’s gonna be really hot next week. I’d prefer to start after Labor Day.”

But no. She’s  hot to get started. For all sorts of reasons. We agree on Tuesday–that’s today–and set 9 am as the start time. I give her directions to the house.

So here it is, Tuesday, 11 am and where is she? No sign of a car. No calls or texts. Nothing.

And I’m left wondering. Did she drive by and, after seeing the yard, decide it was too much? Or maybe the dogs scared her? Did she get a better gig? Or maybe she overslept? Or her kid(s) held her up?

If only she’d call.

Well. Here’s what I’d say to her after I told her that I can’t use her. If I can’t trust you to show up when you say you will, how can I trust you to do a job?

Was it really Woody Allen who said 80 percent of success in life is showing up?

 

A Recipe of My Own: Shrimp Fried Rice

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Ever wake up with a yen for a particular food? That’s what happened to me about ten days into the plant-based Paleo plan. I wanted shrimp fried rice and nothing less would do.

I searched the recipes in the doctor-recommended book, and found a list of ingredients for fried rice that included bacon, sausage, and a box grater for cauliflower. Since I’m clumsy-fingered, the box grater was out. And the bacon and sausage offended my ‘low-fat is healthy’ sensibilities.

A trip to the grocery store for shrimp and veggies solved my box grater problems. There’s such a thing as frozen riced cauliflower. Armed with my fresh and frozen foods, I pulled out the copper wok and assembled my ingredients.

  • TBSP olive oil
  • Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 slice bacon, chopped
  • Half a red onion, chopped
  • TBSP minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 1 baby bok choy
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into disks
  • 1 bag frozen riced cauliflower
  • 8 large easy-peel frozen shrimp
  • Quarter cup soy sauce
  • Quarter cup brown rice vinegar
  • TBSP raw honey
  • Green onions (scallions) for garnish

Right. I should’ve used coconut amines instead of soy sauce, but when I looked at my dusty bottle of amines and saw the expiration date five years in the past, I decided I was on safer ground to use the soy sauce. And I wasn’t sure whether the vinegar was Paleo approved. I could’ve looked that up but didn’t.

Also, you can add just about any vegetable you think would work: mushrooms, bell pepper, cabbages, broccoli … the sky’s the limit.

Cook the oils and the chopped bacon in the wok until the bacon starts to crisp. Add the onion and cook until transparent. Add the shrimp and cook on both sides. This takes only a couple of minutes, till the shrimp turn light pink. Add the other vegetables, including the garlic, and cook until the carrots are done, about five minutes. If you want, take the shrimp out so they don’t overcook.

While the vegetables cook, mix the soy sauce or amines, vinegar, and honey. If you don’t use vinegar, you’ll need to use lemon or lime juice; something to give the recipe some acidity.

Next, add the bag of riced cauliflower. I didn’t bother thawing it before adding, and had to break up clumps of frozen cauliflower. Once the ingredients are completely thawed, pour in the soy mixture.

I let this sit for a while to meld the flavors. It tasted like fried rice without being greasy. Jim actually thought the cauliflower rice was real rice, so yay frozen foods.

 

 

 

Alternative Medicine

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I’ve had such amazing results with alternative medicine.

In less than two weeks: Blood pressure, lower. Blood sugar readings, almost normal. Headaches, gone. Discontinued the proton pump inhibitor medication. Granted, that one was painful but the pain diminished gradually in a relatively short period of time.

Getting to the root cause of a health issue makes more sense than masking symptoms. Now if only we can convince mainstream medicine to expand its thinking.