Macadamia Nut Garden Fresh Pesto

I’ve always been a big fan of pesto.  It’s become one of my favorite ways to dress up salads recently as well.  We have a small (3 plants) herb garden on our balcony and when I returned home from my hunting trip, I found that the basil plant had grown quite a bit so what better opportunity was there to trim it up some and make my own pesto?  Now traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts but I decided to use raw macadamia nuts (a little more expensive I know) since they are naturally ketogenic in nature with a 3:1:1 ratio of fat:carbs:protein.  I was fortunate enough to have a grocery store that sold them in bulk, but if that’s not an option for you, try online.  Amazon has some really good deals.  The result from the macadamias was a much creamier texture and flavor and it came out great.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I like Kasandrinos brand)
  • 1/3 cup raw macadamia nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 3 tbs finely grated Kerrygold Dubliner cheese or other pastured parmesan-like cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a blender or food processor, pulse macadamia nuts until finely chopped.  Add garlic cloves and basil leaves and pulse until evenly combined.  Add olive oil and lemon juice and blend until smooth.  Mix in cheese and add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy on salads or as a substitute for marinara sauces or even on the ketogenic pizza!

Posted in Epilepsy, Ketogenic, Paleo, Recipes, Sauces | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

DogTown CrossFit Presents 2nd Annual ‘Crush Cancer’ Fundraiser

Today, I’m going to take a break from the epilepsy angle and write a little bit about a cause that I’ve been involved in for 4 straight years.  This post contains important information regarding the second annual DogTown CrossFit Crush Cancer 2012 Event!  If you’re one of the two people that have been following me since last year, I wrote about it here as well.  Last year, DogTown went out on a limb, and created their very own event, which was fun, exciting, and simply AWESOME in true DogTown style. The event, will take place on October 27, 2012 at 9300 Culver Blvd. in Downtown Culver City (the parking lot across from Trader Joes and the Culver Hotel). Start time is 9:00am. There will be vendors from the community, food, and most important, a grueling workout!  Afterward, we will host a book signing of Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites as well.

Cancer is a cause that has deeply affected members of DogTown and it is a cause we strongly support. Our very own Adam Noble is a cancer survivor of over 5 years, and Dusty Hyland lost his brother in law to cancer not long ago. We have several members who have also been deeply affected by Cancer and we want to do something important in helping to find a cure.  I myself, have lost numerous family members and friends to cancer.

DogTown’s own words on this charity: “Cancer has touched all our lives, some of us, have lost loved ones. It’s time to Crush Cancer. On October 27 go a few rounds at DogTown Crossfit to help us raise funds to find a cure. We stand up to cancer. Stand with us.
Help find a cure for Cancer! In 2009, DogTown (then CrossFit Culver City) was the top fundraising affiliate for FIGHT GONE BAD 4 in the world, raising 64,000 dollars for Prostate Cancer, Research and the Wounded Warrior Foundation. In 2010, newly opened DogTown CrossFit, was the second leading fundraising affiliate in the world for FIGHT GONE BAD 5 with just over 53,000 dollars. Last year we raised over 50,000 in the first annual Crush Cancer event. Please donate, participate and help us find a Cure for Cancer…….!!!!”

The Goal

Raise over $200,000!!!  Last year we were able to raise just over $60,000

The Workout

3 Rounds- 1 Minute Each Station-Accumulate As Many Reps As possible

  • Power Cleans
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Burpees
  • Shoulder to Overhead
  • Double Unders

One-minute rest between rounds

The Charity

We are using a charity fundraising website called crowdrise.com.  All money raised will benefit Stand Up 2 Cancer. 100% of the proceeds will go to Cancer Research. For more information on Stand Up 2 Cancer please visit:http://www.standup2cancer.org/

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

 1)   Go to: http://www.crowdrise.com/crushcancer/fundraiser/seancoonce

2)   On the right hand side of the page there’s an orange button that says: ‘Donate’

3)   Fill out the donation form

4) Direct any questions you have for me to my Contact page.

5) Feel free to forward this post around.  It helps to get as many eyes on this as possible.

Thank you for getting behind our cause and making DogTown awesome!. Together we can make a difference and Crush Cancer DogTown style!!

Check out the video from last year’s event here:

Posted in Cancer, CrossFit, Paleo | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oven Roasted Crispy Salmon Skins

I love salmon.  In my house, we tend to eat salmon fillet on average of about once a week. Most of the time, I leave the skin on during the cooking process.  Sometimes however, I will cook it with the skin removed.  Since there’s some good stuff in the skins, I feel it’s a waste to throw it away.  So I came up with a perfect side dish utilizing the leftover skins.  If you’re not comfortable removing the skins, fear not, I’ve found a how to video to show how it’s done.   Another option is to have the person at the fish counter remove the skins for you, just make sure you tell them you would like to keep them as well.

Ingredients:

  • Salmon skins cut into strips
  • 3 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbs fresh grated ginger
  • Small handful fresh thai basil finely chopped
  • Sriracha hot sauce to taste
  • lemon juice to taste

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, combine sesame oil, coconut aminos, ginger, thai basil, sriracha, and lemon juice.  Using a fork or wire whisk, mix well.  Add sliced salmon skin and mix well using your hands (don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands, it will ensure that you coat the skins evenly).  Cover and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.  When skins are finished marinating, preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place salmon skins in a sheet pan, preferrably with a rack insert to allow airflow and even cooking.  Roast skins in the oven for 8-10 minutes until crispy and edges start to brown.  Enjoy!

Note: You can also pan fry the salmon skin if you don’t want to bake them in the oven.  This technique works just as well but it cooks less at a time.

Posted in Ketogenic, Paleo, Recipes, Side dish | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Hard Cider Braised ‘Beer’ Bratwurst

One of my favorite summer dishes has to be beer bratwurst.  The long slow cooking process releases all kinds of great flavors from the beer and the veggies along with it.  Follow that by searing them on the grill is the perfect way to have a cookout in the backyard or in my case, apartment.  Either way, it’s a great reason to have a bunch of people over for some good food and drink.  Unfortunately, beer is obviously not the best of choices since it’s grain based.  However, recently I made the happy discovery of hard apple cider thanks in part to my friend Bill over at The Food Lovers Primal Palate.  While it’s not the same in terms of flavor, I figure it’s a good enough beer substitute in the beverage format so why not in the braising of bratwurst?  The following is something I made for a BBQ I had for my birthday a couple weeks back.  I decided to add some jalapeno to my original recipe since cider is inherently sweeter than beer, I figured a sweet and spicy combination would work well.  It didn’t disappoint.  Another option is hatch chiles since they are currently in season instead of jalapenos.

Ingredients:

  • 4lbs or 12 individual bratwursts
  • 1/2 green pepper sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper sliced
  • 1/2 orange pepper sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers sliced, seeds optional
  • 1 shallot sliced into half moon rings
  • 60 oz Hard Cider
  • bacon fat

Directions:

In a large sauce pan or pot, melt bacon fat on medium heat and sweat shallots, peppers and jalapenos for about 2-3 minutes to release some flavor.  Add sweated veggies and bratwurst to a crock pot alternating layers of veggies and brats.  Pour hard cider into crock pot until liquid just covers the bratwurst and veggie mixture.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours.  Once you have finished slow cooking, remove brats ( be careful as they will have softened somewhat) and place them in a baking dish or other large container to cool.  Transfer remaining liquid and veggies to a large pot and reduce by 3/4 on the stove at a medium-low heat, about 2 hours.  Once liquid has reduced, preheat grill to high heat and grill brats for 3-4 minutes per side to heat throughout and produce grill marks.  Spoon reduced liquid and veggies over brats and enjoy!

Note: If you do not have a crock pot, you can use a french oven or large oven safe pot instead.  Set your oven to 250° F and braise for 5 hours.  Repeat same steps as above and enjoy.

Posted in Main Dish, Paleo, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Home Cured Lamb Belly Tacos

As I’m sure it’s been made clear in this blog so far, I’m a huge fan of bacon.  I eat it more often than most I would say.  I do try to keep it as clean a source as possible i.e. pastured, humanely raised, fed a species appropriate diet, cured without the use of excess sugars or nitrates etc.  I usually find this from US Wellness since it’s almost impossible to find quality pork in my area.  A few weeks ago at the farmers market I attend however, there has been a new stand.  This stand is pretty much a one stop shop for most of my needs.  They have pastured pork, lamb, goat, and even have a great assortment of veggies as well.  Last week they happened to have some lamb belly.  Since I’ve wanted to try and cure my own bacon myself, I figured why not try and cure my own lamb bacon?  Turns out lamb belly is much thinner than pork belly, go figure.  So while I wasn’t able to eat it like pork bacon, I still decided to cure it and make some tacos with it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lamb belly
  • 3 tbs salt
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh mint finely chopped
  • 1 tbs mustard powder
  • 1tbs garlic powder
  • 1 roma tomato cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • romaine hearts for taco shells
  • feta or goat cheese (optional)

Directions:

Rinse lamb belly with water, pat dry and set aside.  In a medium mixing bowl, thoroughly combine salt, rosemary, mint, mustard powder, and garlic powder.  If you have a mortar and pestle, use that to combine spices.  I find that it enhances the flavor somewhat…could be all mental but I still like to use it when I can.  Liberally coat lamb belly with cure mixture.  Place coated lamb belly in a covered glass baking dish in the refrigerator for 3 days and up to 5 days turning belly once per day.

Once lamb is finished curing, remove from refrigerator, rinse and pat dry.  In a large skillet, sear lamb belly on a high heat using a stable animal fat such as tallow or bacon fat.  About 2-3 minutes per side.  Set aside and allow to rest.  Slice belly across the grain and serve in romaine hearts with tomatoes and cheese.

Posted in Farmers Market, Main Dish, Paleo, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments