North Dakota is in that strange time of the year where it is too warm during the day to turn on the heat and too cold at night to not have the heat on. I have been compensating by turning on the oven in the morning and making muffins to warm up my apartment. It’s never a struggle for me to make muffins especially when I find some interesting new flavor combinations to try and I found some in Breakfast With Beatrice by Beatrice Ojakangas. I really like how she combines flavors I would have never thought of in all her recipes, not just her muffin recipes. I will be buying my own copy of Breakfast With Beatrice for my cookbook collection and using it often.
I loved these Carrot Spice muffins. They made my apartment smell so good and tasted so good, I didn’t get a picture before they where gone but take my word for it the muffins were very pretty.
Carrot Spice Muffins
Adapted From Breakfast With Beatrice
1 cup all purpose flour
6 TBS sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 tart apple, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 whole egg plus 3 TBS lightly beaten egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
I don’t know how regularly I will be posting for a while. I am in the middle of a huge spring clean. My apartment is getting painted, carpets cleaned, new blinds on all my windows, new light fixtures and possibly new tile in my kitchen and bathroom. My stove is currently sitting, unplugged, in the middle of my very small kitchen. I can get to the pressure cookers on my counter but I can’t get to anything else. Not very motivating to get in the kitchen and get cooking anything for the blog. I will probably be living on tuna fish and sandwiches from Subway for a while. These are two of my favorite things so that won’t be so bad.
Yesterday I found 2 beef roasts in the reduction bin at the grocery store. I don’t usually buy beef roasts because they are way outside my budget. These roasts were over half off so, of course, they came home with me. I am really glad they did. I had forgotten how much I like pot roast, potatoes and carrots. Sometimes simple is really the best.
Instant Pot Mini Pot Roast
From Wellness Becomes Her
2-3 lb chuck roast, cut in half
2 cups baby carrots
4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 large onion, sliced
1 TBS Italian seasoning
2 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups beef broth
Preheat your pressure cooker on the saute setting. When hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, sear the roast on all sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the meat. Add the onion and return the meat to the pressure cooker. In a small bowl, combine the Italian seasoning, garlic and broth; mix well. Pour the broth mixture over the roast. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure 60 minutes. 10 minute natural release. Remove the meat. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure 4 minutes. At this point you can remove the vegetables and serve the broth in the pot as is or you can dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons of arrowroot in 3 tablespoons of the broth, until smooth. Add back to the broth in the pot. Using the saute function, simmer until thickened.
Only 4 more days until I am done with my first Whole30. I can’t believe I made it this far. In many ways the last few days have been harder than the first few days. I am sorta loosing my motivation to keep going. Its also been harder because I am starting to think about all the things I can have on Monday that I can’t have today. The literature says that this happens so i am just trying my darnedest to keep going. i am do close. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS!
Quick Carrot Pickled Carrot Strings
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 carrots, julienned
In a medium, non reactive bowl, combine the apple juice, apple cider vinegar and salt; mix well . Mix the carrot shreds with the vinegar mixture until the carrot shreds are submerged in the brine. Cover and refrigerate for atleast 30 minutes.
I used my handy Spiralizer for this recipe but you could just cut the carrots into thin coins. This recipe would be good for any number of vegetables just use your imagination.
Recipe adapted from Nom Nom Paleo
Todays recipe comes from my friend, Audrey’s, blog, Lady Melady My Castle My Food. Audrey’s blog is packed with recipes for what I call real people food. I can go to her blog anytime of day and find a recipe for things I already have on hand and for the time I have to cook. Her food is always tasty. I have a pile of her recipes in my to adapt file and have already adapted many of my favorite Lady Melady recipes for one or two.
In addition to being a great cook and an awesome blogger, Audrey is an awesome person. After talking back and forth on our blogs, we discovered that we live about an hour away from each other. We decided we absolutely had to meet. Once we did we discovered we had a lot more in common than a love of food and blogging. It’s always fun when we get together. It is also nice to have one friend who understands the cooking and blogging thing as most of my friends and family look at my cooking and blogging as that weird thing that Julie does.
Audrey’s Princess Diana carrot soup is one of my favorite soup recipes. It is deceptively simple. Just looking at the recipe you think it’s going to be bland and boring because there are no added spices and herbs beyond salt and pepper. Then you taste it and realize simple doesn’t mean bland and boring. It is an amazing soup.
Princess Diana Carrot Soup
2 tablespoon olive oil or ghee (to make it Whole30 compliant)
1 medium onion; chopped
2 1/2 cup chicken broth (check ingredients to make sure it’s Whole30 compliant)
1 pound carrot; peeled, sliced
1 3/4 cup potato; peeled, diced
1 1/2 cup milk (I used coconut milk to make it Whole30 compliant)
salt and pepper; to taste
Peel and slice carrots about 1/2″ thick. Peel and dice potatoes in 1″ cubes.Saute onions in margarine in a kettle. Add broth, carrots, potatoes.Bring to a boil; simmer 10-15 minutes or until carrots tender.Puree half of mixture in blender with milk. Return to kettle and heat through, making sure it does not boil (milk will curdle). Season to taste. Note: I make this soup the day before it I want to eat it. I don’t want to put hot soup into a blender. It won’t end well. Besides it tastes even better on the second day.
When I decided to do the Whole30, I spent a lot of time thinking what times I might be vulnerable to making bad food choices. The biggest danger zone I could think of for me is when I get off of work. I get home from work anywhere from 7 to 9 pm. Depending on how I slept the night before and how stressful my day was there are a lot of times I stop by the deli on my way home or toss a bowl of oatmeal or some other grain into the pressure cooker for dinner becauseI just don’t want to cook. I can’t do that on while I am doing a Whole30 so I need another plan. I decided to make a pot of soup on my prep day and eat it as needed throughout the week. The first soup I made was Weight Watcher’s Zero Point Vegetable Soup.
Back when I was a Weight Watcher, I wasn’t much of a cook. I lived on Smart Ones tv dinners, Boca Burgers and Weight Watcher’s zero point vegetable soup. I ate gallons of the stuff. The soup got me through a lot of times when I had no points left for the day and I was starving. I think it is going to do the same for my Whole30.
A lot of my friends are asking how I am feeling since I started my Whole30, so I thought I would post my response here. Day two and three, I woke up feeling like I was coming down with something. I had a vague headache and felt kind of achy. The literature said that is normal and should go away soon. I also started having very vivid nightmares and dreams. I wake up in a terrified and in a sweat or crying or ecstatically happy and I don’t know why. I don’t know if these dreams are connected to the Whole30 or not, but they started the same time as I started my Whole30. The literature says that vivid dreams about eating noncompliant foods and ruining your Whole30 are common. That is not what these dreams are. I usually don’t remember what I have dreamed so this is just weird. I don’t mind the crying or being ecstatically happy but I can totally do without the flop sweats and my heart beating so hard it feels like it is coming out of my chest. The only other physical symptom I have is I fart alot. This isn’t suprising since I have eaten more vegetables in the last three days than I have in the last three months. I am sure this will pass as my body gets used to eating more good stuff.
Weight Watcher's Zero Point Vegetable Soup
2/3 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup diced onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage
1/2 cup green beans
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini
In a large saucepan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, sauté carrots, onions and garlic over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add broth, cabbage, green beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for around 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Lastly, stir in the zucchini and continue to heat soup for 3-4 minutes.