Salisbury Steak (Whole 30)

This post is for Teresa and her son, Carson.  Recently, Teresa told me how she and her son, Carson, make A Solitary Feast a part of their weekly menu planning.  Hey Guys,  thank you for letting me know how you make food from my blog.  It means so much to me to know that.  As a food blogger, I get views and comments, so I know people are visiting A Solitary Feast.  I hope they are cooking my recipes but I don’t often know for sure.  People cooking my recipes is why I do what I do.

Carson, your mom says you would like more recipes with ground beef.  I prefer chicken and pork but I’ll make a deal with you.  If you find some recipes you think you would like,  print them out and send them to work with your mom, I will do adaptions of them for you and put them up here.  You are going to have to deal with the vegetables though.  I have come to really like vegetables and need them to be healthy so they are always going to be part of my cooking.  However, I will try to incorporate more of your favorite vegetables if you let me know what they are.  I also challenge you to try new vegetables and let me know what you think.

Salisbury Steak

adapted from The Domestic Man

1/2 lb ground beef

3 TBS lightly beaten egg

1/4 cup almond flour

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp onion powder

2 1/2 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup beef broth

1 1/2 tsp coconut milk, optional

1 tsp arrowroot

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the beef, egg, almond flour, salt, half the pepper, mustard powder, and onion powder in a small bowl; mix well but be careful not to over mix. Form the mixture into 3 patties.  Place on a baking sheet and bake 25 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small pot, add the mushrooms, broth, and remaining pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms shrink a bit.  Add 1 teaspoon water to the arrowroot and stir it together.  Add to the broth and stir until it thickens.  Place steaks on a plate and top with gravy.  Serve immediately.

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Pressure Cooker Breakfast Casserole

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Sometimes I really hate being proven right.  I have always said “just because they never have doesn’t mean they never will” in response to people who tell me their cats and/or dogs have never bothered their birds or other prey animals we keep for pets.

I keep my bird cage and rat cage in the same room about 50 feet from each other.  I have been very careful about training my birds to stay away from the rats cage.  For the 4 years I have had rats and birds keeping them so close together has never been an issue. Its never been an issue until yesterday morning.

I was in my bed room getting ready for work when I heard a loud squawk.  It didn’t concern me too much because my birds fight like brothers and sisters, someone is always squawking  at someone else.  However, the second time I heard it I went to investigate what was going on and found my cockatiel, Squeak, hanging on the side of the rat cage and my rat, Bug, hanging onto Squeak’s toes.   I grabbed Squeak and saw his toes were bloody.  I freaked out a little bit.  Since I couldn’t see where the blood was coming from I used the corner of my shirt to put pressure on his foot.  Fortunately, the wounds didn’t bleed for long and the wounds weren’t severe.  The situation could have resulted in the amputation of toes or foot.  The wounds could have resulted in blood loss that killed Squeak. I will be watching Squee for signs of infection in his wounds, for probably, a lot longer then I need too.

This story has a happy ending.  As I type this,  Squeak is sitting in his favorite place preening his feathers and telling his cage mate, Riley, off for trying to sit next to him.  Squee is eating well and gripping my fingers with both feet when I pick him up.  As of this posting, Squee’s adventure has been more tramatic for me then it has been for him. If you have a flock of predator animals and prey animals please don’t assume just because the predator animals have never bothered the prey animals they never will.  You might not be as lucky as I have.

Pressure Cooker Breakfast Casserole

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 small bell pepper, diced

1 cup baby spinach

1/4 cup cooked pork sausage

1 1/2 cups potato, peeled and shredded

3 egg , beaten

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

In the liner of your 2 quart pressurecooker, Saute onion and green bell pepper in hot oil until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Add cooked sausage and shredded potatoes.

In a small bowl mix the eggs, cheddar cheese and cottage cheese.  Gently stir into the vegetable mixture.  Lock the lid and bring to high pressure.  Cook for 5 minutes then natural releaase.  

Whole30 Wrap Up

Sunday was day 30 of my first Whole30.  I can’t believe I did it.  30 days ago going soda free, mostly caffeine free, sugar-free, bean free, grain free, soy free, seemed so impossible and so overwhelming. Now it is just part of my life.

The last week of the Whole30 was,  by far, the hardest week for me.  By day 26 I was so over it.  I just wanted to be done so I could eat something besides eggs for breakfast.  I just wanted to be able to call my friend, Steph, when I was having a rough day at work and say lets go to lunch.  I spent a lot of time thinking about all the things I was going to eat when I was done.  fortunately,  I was more determined to finish my Whole30 then I was to eat all the non compliant food I wanted to eat.

By Monday morning, I decided to not do the reintroduction.  I just wanted to be done.  I ate a bagel for breakfast and a cookie for a snack.  I called Steph and we went to one of our of our favorite places for lunch were I had  chips with my guacamole and cheese and flour tortilla with my tacos.  About an hour after lunch I had a nasty belly ache that lasted almost two days.  Because I chose not to do the reintroduction,  I don’t  know what caused it.   The worst part of my Monday is that, although the bagel and cookie were my favorites pre whole30 treats, they tasted like garbage post Whole30.  They were not worth it.  I did enjoy my meal with Steph until my belly started to hurt then it became not worth.  The day did convince me to keep to mostly eating like I have during my Whole30.  I don’t want to further undo all the good things I have done over the last month.  I won’t say that I will never eat a non compliant food, that’s just not realistic but I will conciously think it through and decide if it is worth it or not before I do.

A lot of you want to know what the final results are for my Whole30.  Do I feel better?  Am I sleeping better?  Was it worth it? In my opinion, it was definitely worth it.  I feel great.  I have more energy and it is more consistent throughout the day.  I don’t come home from work and pass out on the couch for a few hours before going to bed any more.

This time of year my allergies are usually killing me.  My nose is stuffy and usually running.  My eyes are blood shot.  Steph is always telling me how she can find the register I am on just by a for my sneeze.  This year I have none of that.   I am sure of that some of the energy I have comes from the fact my body isn’t fighting itself anymore.

I lost enough weight to need new a pants and jeans.  I got into a pair of shorts that I haven’t been able to fit in for the last two summers.  I didn’t weigh myself before I started my Whole30 because I wasn’t really interested in the wight loss aspect of the program so I will never know for sure how much I lost. I am okay with that.

The part of the program I was interested in was would I sleep better.  The answer is yes, I am sleeping better.  I still have nights where I wake up in the middle of the night but they are less frequent and when I do wake up I can usually fall back asleep instead of being up for the day.  It’s progress even if it isn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  I was hoping to be  sleeping through the night every night.  I have had problems sleeping for a long time so it is possible that I will need more than thirty days to completely get rid of the problem.

I am already planning to do another round of Whole30 at the end of the summer.  In the meantime I will be mostly eating the way I did for my first round of Whole30.  If anyone is interested in doing a round of Whole30 with me or you just need some moral support on your Whole30 journey email me at Juliesflock13 @gmail.com.

 

Whole30 Day 30 — Sloppy Joes

For my last Whole30 recipe of the month, I would like to share a quick and easy version  of one of my favorite foods, Sloppy Joes.   If you have access to fresh dates you don’t have to boil them just toss them in the blender with the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Just add two tablespoons of plain water when called for.  Although this is a good recipe as is, I am going to experiment with the amount of dates and the amount of mustard in the recipe as I like my sloppy joes a little more tangy.  If you can’t find Dijon style mustard use yellow mustard and it will  be fine.

Sloppy Joe

1 lb ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped green pepper

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1  TBS tomato paste

1 1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar

1 TBS yellow mustard

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp salt

5 Medjool dates, pitted

1 russet Potato per person

In a medium frying pan over medium high heat, brown the ground beef and onion until no longer pink; drain the grease.  Reduce the heat an add the green pepper, vinegar, mustard, garlic and salt.  Meanwhile, in a small pot bring the water to a boil.  add the dates and boil for one minute.   Remove the dates and save the water.  Place the dates into a blender with the tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Blend well.  Add the tomato mixture to the beef mixture with 2 tablespoons water.  Heat through.  Serve over baked russet potatoes.  

 

 

 

Whole30 Day 15 — Shakshuka

Today is day 15 of my Whole30 journey.  I am officially half way through the program.  To celebrate, I went to my favorite vintage store, Revolver, and bought myself  a present, a couple of new pieces of vintage Pyrex for my collection.  I bought a beautiful 1 1/2 quart rectangular baking dish and a set of 3 large mixing bowls.  If Whole30 has taught me anything its you can never have enough food storage containers or large mixing bowls.

I began collecting vintage Pyrex about two years ago.  Well, I didn’t start out collecting.  I found a few pieces as my friend, Steph, and I were on one of our long walks downtown.  I loved the color and design.  They were the perfect size for the kind of cooking and baking I do.  It also didn’t  hurt the pieces were pretty. At the time, it was hard to find cookware and bakeware that was small enough for my style of cooking much less stuff that was small enough and pretty.  Once I bought my first piece I started seeing pieces everywhere.  I went a little nuts at the beginning.  I finally decided to only buy pieces that I could actually use for my blog, that meant two quarts or less in size.  I also settled on a pattern called Butterfly Gold , the majority of the pieces in my collection, and Spring Blossom.  I have some pieces in other designs that I found to be unique in design or were given to me.  I even have a few pieces, that I didn’t know was vintage Pyrex when I  bought it.  I just thought they would be good for pot in pot cooking in my pressure cooker.

This is my favorite Whole30 recipe to date.   It’s quick and easy.  It is easy to vary it by changing the spices you use,  I am working on several variations.  I will post them when I perfect them.

Shakshuka

2 eggs

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 15oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch pepper

pinch salt

any random vegetables you want to add, I added mushrooms and spinach

In a 8 inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, until it shimmers.  Add onion and cook until translucent.  Add the tomatoes, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and cayenne, if using; mix well.  Bring tomatoes to a boil.  Add the eggs and cover.  Cook to your desired doneness.  I hate snotty egg whites so I cook the eggs about 8-10 minutes so the white is done and the yolk is hard.