As you all know, I recently made the leap into true carnivore-dom (yep, I’m totally calling that a word) by killing, cooking and eating my dinner for the first time: lobster! As it turns out, the cooking part of the meal was quite straightforward (aside from placing the live, moving lobster in the water – that one got my heart pounding a little)… if you can boil water, you can cook a lobster. The bigger challenge is getting all that delicious meat OUT of the lobster’s shell so you can actually enjoy it. Luckily, my brother Andy was on hand to do the dirty work of cracking shells and harvesting the meat. Poor guy had no idea how much work he was getting into!
Or, How I Killed and Cooked My Own Dinner.
I am a carnivore. I love meat… grilled, cured, raw, stir-fried, dried, whatever. I’m a huge fan of all pork products, from bacon to jamon to pork belly to chops. Seafood? Yep. Poultry? Yep. I love it all, and I’ve eaten loads of it over the years, giving little to no thought about where that yummy meat was coming from. As long as it tasted good, I wasn’t bothered. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and my dog, Piggy, is basically a full member of the family. That said, I’ve always been able to disassociate my love for animals with my love for eating them. I do truly believe that there is a natural order of things and that our bodies crave animal proteins to function at our very best.
Anyhoo, after years of guilt-free animal consumption, this meat-loving gal met the man of her dreams, and he turned out to be… (gasp!) a vegetarian. Who’d have thought I’d end up marrying my food opposite? Early on, P.J. and I found that we could happily co-exist – a carnivore and a vegetarian living in peace, albeit mostly on pasta at the time. Lately, as a result of P.J.’s influence and my transition to Paleo, I’ve been giving the origins of my food a lot more thought. I’ve been exposed to a whole new way of looking at meat – responsible, sustainable farming practices and cruelty-free animal husbandry. We visit the Austin Farmers Market every Saturday to stock up on grass-fed beef and pork, fresh eggs from happy pastured chickens, and loads of locally grown veggies. When we eat out, we find ourselves gravitating to boutique restaurants serving locally grown and raised fare. It’s been a gradual evolution, and an important one.
On our recent trip to Martha’s Vineyard, while I was snarfing down a silly amount of lobster over three days, it occurred to me that I’d never actually killed my dinner myself. Ever. I can’t even recall cooking a lake fish that I caught as a child (this is probably mostly due to the fact that I was an AWFUL fisherman… fisherwoman?). With such easy access to beautifully butchered and prepared meats, I’ve found it to be so easy to insulate myself from the realities of eating animal meat. It occurred to me on this trip that I should, at least once, do the deed myself… I needed to kill and eat my dinner. Myself. I see it really as an act of respect for the animals we consume… if I’m not “man” enough to kill the thing I’m eating, well then maybe I shouldn’t be eating it. Now, I’m not advocating regular at-home butchery for everyone, but I think there’s something important and elemental about respecting our meat enough to be the one to kill it.
I owe this tangy, satisfying salad all to my husband. I’ll be the first to admit that these days, when I think about what to make for dinner, I think about meat. Mmmm, meat. That sometimes has the unfortunate side-effect, however, of leaving my vegetarian hubby out in the cold. Being that I’ve only recently come to enjoy the greener spectrum of foods, P.J. has been a great resource for figuring out tasty new veggie-friendly dishes, and he’s always game to experiment with whatever’s fresh.
On this particular occasion, we had been to the Farmers Market that morning and picked up some yummy local pomegranates…inspiration! This salad is his creation… it’s got a really nice tang to it, and the pomegranate seeds and almonds add a nice crunch of texture. Follow the jump for the recipe!
Since going Paleo, I have to say that breakfast has become a whole different animal for me. I’ve always been a breakfast person, but for years, breakfast consisted of a glass of skim milk, a banana, and a cereal bar. Holy glycemic spike, Batman! I’d feel great for about 45 minutes, and then I’d be starving and dragging within a couple of hours… it was all I could do to make it to lunch.
These days, I get some pretty awesome sideways looks from my coworkers when I pull out leftover ribeye and salad to have for breakfast. I’ll admit, it took some getting used to, but I feel so much more satisfied having some good protein and fat in the morning… I’m no longer starving by lunch, and my energy levels stay much more constant throughout the day. That said, every once in a while I’ll get a craving for some traditional breakfast food… e.g. pancakes. Given that I love sweet potatoes, I figured I’d give some Paleo sweet potato pancakes a try for me and the hubby over the weekend. There are tons of great recipes out there, and here’s my custom version, topped with sauteed cinnamon apples.
It’s Hatch chile season here in Austin, which basically means that all the grocery stores are overflowing with these gorgeous green chiles. I’ve only recently started using a lot of chiles in my cooking… I found them a little intimidating before I started using them regularly. Needless to say, I hadn’t yet experimented with this particular chile until this past Sunday. The hubby and I were home enjoying some much-needed quiet time, and rather than go out for brunch, I decided to whip up a super simple breakfast scramble using one of the chiles I’d grabbed at the market. I made this version vegetarian so we could both enjoy it, but you could definitely add some cooked bacon directly into the eggs if you’d like! Follow the jump for the scramble recipe.
It’s been a little while since I posted a dessert recipe, so in honor of my 20lb. PR deadlift last night and the upcoming holiday weekend, today’s recipe is a sweet treat. I’m a huge fan of coconut macaroons – they’re such a simple, tasty little cookie – so I decided to give ’em a go. (Plus, they’re gluten- and dairy-free!) For inspiration, I looked to Elana’s Pantry – she’s got some incredible recipes for gluten-free goodies. While I was grabbing supplies at the store, I ran across a gorgeous little bottle of pure lemon oil, and I thought it might pair really well with the clean coconut flavor in the cookie. Follow the jump for my adapted recipe…