Making Cream Cheese & Whey

One of my favorite newly acquired homesteading skills is making cream cheese and whey from yogurt.  I originally found this idea here on the Wellness Mama website.  I followed her instructions exactly and with great results!  I went on to use the cream cheese in an Artichoke Spinach Chicken recipe, also found on the Wellness Mama site. You’ll see how I used the whey in an upcoming post (whey stays good for 6 months in the fridge, so you have time to think about what you want to make with it).  Making cream cheese and whey couldn’t be easier, go on and give it a try!

I used Stoneyfield Farm Plain Whole Milk organic yogurt and tied it in a cheesecloth.  The next time I make it, I will use a thin towel (which was actually a flat cloth diaper — they are excellent for use in the kitchen!)  It sat for about 8 hours this way.  Here is the cream cheese finished product:

Note:  The cream cheese is tangier than your normal Philly Cream Cheese, so be prepared for that.

Are you going to give it a try?  If you do, come back and report on your experience, or talk to me on Facebook!

Published in: on March 14, 2012 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Liver

One of the bonuses of buying a section of beef, whether it be 1/4, 1/2 or the whole thing, are the things no one else wants.  A few months ago we went in on a 1/2 beef with our good friends.  They opted out of the organs, ox tail and fat, and we got to have them all!  I’ve known for a while about the health benefits of eating liver, but could never manage to stomach it.  The first time I made it, I ground it up and put it into chili.  I used the whole liver and Nick swore he could taste it and didn’t like it.  I think that is possible.  I think it is also possible that he knew it was in there and his brain told him he could taste it.  This time around, I ground it up again, and put about 1/3 of the liver in the chili and also didn’t tell him about it.  He never said a thing about it.  I think it may be a combination of not tell him and using less.  After this, I decided to freeze the rest of the ground raw liver into ice cubes so that I could sneak this nutrient-packed prize into unsuspecting dishes.

Liver cubes

Well, the cubes have been in the freezer for a couple of weeks, untouched, until I read the article Why Ditch Infant Cereals? on Food Renegade.

This gave me a great idea!  I decided to take one of the cubes and grind half of it into my scrambled eggs with a Microplane.  What a success!  Below, I give you the breakfast of champions.  I already feel on my way to a great day!

Breakfast of Champions

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs from free-range chickens
  • 1/2 cube frozen ground raw liver
  • 1 TBSP bacon fat
  • about 1/8 cup cut up leftover sausage
  • a few dashes of garlic powder
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of salt

Do you like liver?  How do you eat it?

For more reading on the benefits of liver (remember, use grass-fed if you can!):

The Health Benefits of Liver on Livestrong.com

Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 10:38 am  Comments (1)  

Slightly new direction

Hello friends!  I know it has been a long time since my last post.  I stopped posting because I didn’t feel I had anything to share, and I was spending time reading up on my two newest obsessions: minimalism and self-sufficiency.  These are two things everyone can incorporate into their lives very easily and I’d like to share my experiences with you in those two areas, as well as the Paleo eating, Primal living and frugal living.

Today it is a beautiful 68 degrees and finally sunny after days and days of rain, so I’m out in the yard (or yahhhhd, for my fellow Mainers).  I’ll hopefully post what I did out there and some pictures later on.

Make it a great one!

Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

What should you eat? What shouldn’t you eat?

I am completely stealing this from Griff on the MarksDailyApple web forum, but it is just too good not to share with you, my friends.  This list says it all and can be very helpful in meal planning and grocery buying.  That being said, I use honey on occasion to make paleo-friendly goodies and I drink wine, which has sugar in it.  Ultimately you have to do what is best for you and your lifestyle, but the closer you can follow this list, the better for your health and happiness.

If it is…
- A legume (bean, pea, peanut)
- A grain (wheat, corn, rice) or made of a grain (bread, cake, tortilla, pasta)
- A processed food product
- A “low-fat” food product
- A “low-carb” food product
- A “diet” food product
- Anything with an ingredient that ends in “ose” (sucrose, glucose, fructose) or that contains sugar, agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup
- Anything from the center aisles of the grocery store…

YOU SHOULD NOT EAT IT. Throw it away (unless it’s a cleaning or stationery product, in which case use it for its appropriate purpose).

If it is…
- Meat (especially grass-fed)
- Poultry (especially free-range)
- Fish (especially wild-caught)
- An egg (especially cage-free)
- A non-starchy and/or green vegetable (especially organic)
- An avocado
- Butter (especially from grass-fed cows)
- Lard
- Ghee
- Coconut oil
- Coconut milk
- Olive oil (but not for cooking)
- A berry (up to a handful)

YOU CAN AND SHOULD EAT IT. In fact, it should be the backbone of your diet.

If it is….
- A dairy product (milk, yogurt, cream, sour cream, half & half)
- A nut (peanuts are not nuts)
- A seed
- A fruit other than a berry
- A starchy or sugary vegetable (carrot, beet, winter squash)
- A tuber (potato, sweet potato, yam)
- A nightshade (tomato, bell pepper)
- Coffee

YOU CAN EAT IT IN MODERATION, UNLESS:
- You are trying to lose weight (for dairy, nuts, fruits, starchy vegetables, and tubers)
- You are lactose intolerant (for dairy)
- You are significantly inactive/sedentary
- You are insulin resistant (for dairy, nuts, fruits, starchy vegetables, tubers, and coffee)

~Griff

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Insulin

One of the very knowledgeable guys over on MDA just posted a very good explanation of what insulin does in your body, and I’d like to share it with you:

Insulin is a hormone that does many things. The important one for us here is that it tells the body to keep it’s fat stores and NOT release them to be used for energy. Insulin does this after eating carbs mostly (it’s released every time you eat, no matter what you’re eating, but carbs produce more insulin release than other foods, hence carbs being labeled as fattening)

So, eating less carbs causes less insulin release so there’s nothing to tell the body “hold on to your fat!” and it instead starts letting go of it which is what we want to happen.” – iniQuity

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

For more info, read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin

Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm  Comments (1)  

Day 24: Protein Pellets

Today was the best day I’ve had during the Whole30, relating to food specifically.  I found this great recipe for Protein Pellets over at The Clothes Make the Girl.

Protein Pellets

I altered the recipe a bit by using grass-fed ground beef instead of sausage because I’m on a mission to use up the 30+ pounds of grass-fed ground in the freezer.  Also, instead of using the Penzey’s spice she uses, I made two with Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming (freebie from December, woot!), two with Nutritional Yeast Flakes, and one with just ground pepper.  I have no idea which one I ate today, but I ate it with some of this, and it was beyond fantastic.  It was pretty tasty, but what made it fantastic was that it kept me satisfied and super-charged until lunch time.  Usually my stomach starts growling around 11am to alert me to the approach of feeding time, but not so today.  For lunch I had a salad (romaine lettuce, spinach, turkey breast, blueberries, flaxseed meal, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, green pepper, cucumber, tomatoes and radishes).  For dessert I had more blueberries.  For snacks in the afternoon I had beef jerky and fat guacamole devils (using just two hard boiled eggs and a 100 calorie Wholly Guacamole packet).  For dinner we had tilapia brushed with coconut oil and dusted with shredded coconut, pan-fried plantains in coconut oil, and swiss chard sauteed in olive oil.  Totals: 1455 calories, 83g Fat, 70 Carbs, 106g protein.  This is the closest I’ve gotten to my goals all month.  I have great energy!  If it was summer I would go out for a run right now, but it is too cold and I’m already in my lounge gear. Plus, it be cold outside.

If the two videos I’ve posted haven’t changed your life yet, take a read of this excellent article from Outside Magazine (thanks for the subscription Dad, I love this mag!)  This might just do it.

 

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm  Comments (1)  

Part 2

Now that you’ve seen part one and made the first steps toward improving your life, here is part 2.

Published in: on January 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm  Comments (1)  

This sums it up

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 9:47 am  Comments (2)  

Day 18 or something

I know. I know.  It’s been 12 days since my last confession.

While I do consider myself to still be following the Whole30 (for the most part), I’ve learned some very important things.

#1:  Alcohol makes me feel lethargic, fat and headachey.  My training suffers from alcohol.  That being said, I enjoy a glass of wine with a nice meal.  Thus, I have incorporated 1 to 2 glasses of wine per week back into my plan.  That is 1 or 2, not on the same night, not back to back days, and only if I feel like it.  No beer.  No Beam.  Beam may return after the 30 days, or it may not, beer will not.

#2: Dairy makes me phlegmy and heavy feeling.  Cheese and milk do not provide me with anything I need for my body to run efficiently.  They will not be returning after the 30 days.  Grass-fed butter will.

#3:  I can easily tell when something is made with sugar.  Chili at the ski race, dressing at the Detroit Brewery, if it is sweetened I can tell and it puts me off.  Also, everything is sweeter.  About the sweetest thing I can tolerate now is a prune — they rock, but I can only eat a few, too sweet.

#4:  Legumes make me feel incredibly bloated.  I won’t be adding those back in after the 30 days either.  Peanuts are legumes too, FYI.

I don’t really have anything to say about grains, because (besides beer) I removed all grains nearly a year and a half ago.

It helped to stop keeping track of the days on the blog and to focus on my body’s

C'est moi in the pink hat

reactions, thus my hiatus.  I was also training for the Frosty Freestyle, which took place last Saturday.  In case you missed it on Facebook, I finished 3rd over all and was the winner in 20-29 for the 5k women’s skate and 14th overall for men and women.  My goal is to do the 15k next year, and that is going to mean a lot of serious training in the coming year.

 

My current eating plan with my tweaks will be easy for me to maintain long-term.  I feel better than ever, stronger than ever in training and I’ve finally accomplished something I always wanted — to be able to look at food as a fuel.  I can finally consider a food for its value to my body.  I was skeptical that the Whole30 would “change my life”, but it has.

I hope your efforts to improve yourself are going as well as mine!

PS: the job is going well too :-)

 

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 10:26 pm  Comments (2)  

Day 6, Larabar discovery

Today is the day Larabars became an important part of my life.  I’d read in Whole30 discussions across the web that Larabars are Whole30 friendly, and I thought they might make my life a little easier.  So, while I was out running errands today, I stopped by Whole Foods and picked up a nice selection: Coconut Cream Pie, Carrot Cake, Apple Pie, Chocolate Coffee, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate and Banana Bread.  These bars do not contain added sugar of any kind, grains or flour.  In fact, they contain no unpronounceable ingredients.  I know I know.  You’re thinking “Yeah and they probably taste like something off of the forest floor…”  You couldn’t be more wrong!  I tried the Chocolate Mint today (remember my issue yesterday?) and it was fantastic!  Larabars will help make this month a little easier.  I do not intend to eat them everyday.  They are to be used only for special occasions and unbearable cravings.  Check them out for yourself here.  Larabar does not pay me any kind of endorsement fee, I just really love them!

Today was the beginning of my Pre-Weekend.  Since I work three days, Thursday and Friday are my weekend by myself where I get things done around the house and around town.  That way Nick and I can enjoy the actual weekend relaxing and having fun.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get that much done at home today because I spent the afternoon running errands.  I did shovel the driveway since we got a bit of snow earlier in the day and also cooked a rotisserie chicken (I saved the carcass, so stay tuned for a chicken bone stock recipe in the coming weeks!).

Fuel: nitrate-free bacon, coffee, pot roast, carrots, beef bone broth, Chocolate Mint Larabar, cherries, pistachios, ground lamb, squash, tomatoes, green beans, cinnamon, tea

Play: shoveled snow

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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