Category Archives: turmeric

Sweet ‘n Sticky True Blood Sweet Potato Fries with Roasted Plums, and Lip-Smackin’ Lamb

Hi kids.

It is sunny, hot, muggy and humid.

That is an observation, not a complaint. I’ll take it over winter any day.

I haven’t been posting food epic-ness in a while, not because I don’t cook, or because I don’t love you. But because I’ve been eating the same boring shite for weeks!

Meat, fat, veggies. Repeat. Nothing exciting enough to post for you lovelies. I do have one trick up my sleeve though. Sweet ‘n sticky True Blood Sweet Potato Fries and Roasted Plums. These were made weeks ago. I filed them in my brain under “Post Later”. Why the True Blood reference? First of all, I am obsessed with the show, and am truly enjoying the latest season. I added plums to the mixture, and once they cooked down, their juices and skin wept, oozing dark crimson red that glistened and gleamed, like blood. My iPhone camera simply did not do these tasty morsels justice. You’ll know what I mean when you whip these up.

I know some of you have found my site looking for help and advice in dealing with candida. I am no expert, and am not a medical practitioner. I have spent months researching, and practically ripping my hair out in frustration. This is an awful affliction, and I would wish it upon no one. In reading about hormone imbalances, I’ve now come to the conclusion that my candida may be a problem of estrogen dominance. I have contacted a naturopathic clinic in Toronto as a last resort. I’ve had it with this crap. I’ve also considered traditional chinese medicine, which I may still look into. We’ll see.

I will list some examples of anti-fungals one should add into their diet to weaken candida. I will also mention that it helps to rotate anti-fungals. Candida is one sneaky bitch. She’ll get used to one anti-fungal, and when she does, you have to switch.

Coconut oil – this magical oil is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides, which your body will burn for energy immediately. It is also extremely high in lauric acid, second to breast milk. Lauric acid is anti-fungal. It is best to take coconut oil on an empty stomach, but I’m warning you: die-off symptoms of candida are brutal, and coconut oil produces some of the worst, I found. Think nausea, bloating, and gas. I feel like vomit for hours after taking coconut oil. In fact, right now, I can’t even stand the smell of it.

Kyolic garlic supplements – this is aged garlic that is super-concentrated. I took several high dose (1000mg) a day for a month. Be sure to rotate, and be forewarned: die-off symptoms are yucky.

Onions – add onions to everything you cook, as they are nature’s anti-fungal as well as garlic. Raw garlic is best, but wow, oh wow…the pain and discomfort of die-off!

Oil of oregano – this oil is a real killer. I always have some in case of sniffles or flu-like symptoms arise. You need the super potent version, however. Look for 90% and above potency. Carvacrol is the active ingredient. Take an eye-dropper full under the tongue several times a day. It’s nasty, and there’s some die-off, but it’s not horrible.

I’ve also used different yeast-eating enzymes with some success. Candex was the first I tried, then Syntol, now YST Management. Remember to lay off all starchy foods (no sweet potato fries, parsnips, or even squash), no fruit, no dairy, absolutely nothing fermented (vinegar, soy sauce, alcohol), no mushrooms. Meat, fat, veggies. Repeat.

Diet will not help alone. I’ve read countless stories of men and women who’ve been on an anti-candida diet for up to two years, and still can’t get rid of it. This is why I’m finally reaching out for more help. You must be relentless in your search, no matter how crazy you think you’re going. You cannot give up. You will destroy this beast. I know I will. I have to keep reminding myself.

Edited March 27th, 2015:

THIS STUFF ABOUT CANDIDA IS BULLSHIT. CANDIDA IS WOO. SYSTEMIC CANDIDA IS PREVALENT IN TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS, NOT YOU. PLEASE STEP AWAY FROM DR. GOOGLE AND STOP GIVING NATUROPATHIC “DOCTORS” YOUR MONEY.

Who wants some FOOD?

One evening, I threw a lamb shoulder into the oven with only a few ingredients: dried sage, dried rosemary, garam masala, salt and pepper. I smashed up a ton of garlic and stuffed it under the lamb. I blasted it in the oven on convection roast at 400 degrees for about half an hour. This is when I thought to myself, “SELF! You have PLUMS! Throw ’em in there!” I cut up two plums, and dotted the whole thing with butter, because butter = love.

After ten minutes, I realized “Dude. You suck. The lamb is nearly done and the plums ain’t”. By this time, I had sweet potato fries in the oven as well (this was before I realized I can’t have even sweet potatoes as a safe starch at all, or fruit for that matter). They had been cooking for about 20 minutes. I threw the plums in with them, adding in some juices from the lamb shoulder, and the butter. I cranked the oven up to 425 for about 10 minutes. Sizzle, bake, roast. I checked on them, and found oozy, awesome, sticky fries. WIN! I cranked the heat up again to 450 for another 10 minutes.

Let’s put this in an easy-to-understand format, shall we?

Lip-Smackin’ Lamb

1 approx. 3 lb lamb shoulder
1.5 teaspoons each: dried rosemary, dried sage, garam masala
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 – 3 large garlic gloves, smashed, chopped, obliterated

Coat the entire lamb with your spices. Stuff your obliterated garlic under the lamb and on top. Crank your oven to 400 degrees on convection and cook for about 40 – 45 minutes. Alternately, bake at 375 for about an hour. Your lamb will be medium rare and juicy sweeeeeeeet!

Sweet ‘n Sticky True Blood Sweet Potato Fries and Roasted Plums

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into fry-like shapes
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Cinnamon, paprika, rosemary, garlic powder, chipotle, turmeric, grated nutmeg, sage: sprinkle generously!
Lard, melted about 1 tablespoon
2 plums, cut into quarters
Butter, cut up into pieces to ‘dot’ with

Combine all the above. Crank your oven to 400 on convection if you have it. If not, do not concern yourself with trivial matters. Crank it to the same temp on normal. After about 20 minutes, toss and stir everything. Crank the heat up again to 425. Now, wait another 10 – 15 minutes. Toss, stir, coat. Crank again to 450 for 10 minutes. This is beginning to feel like that scene in Captain America where Steve Rogers is in the ‘MURICANIZING MACHINE screaming “NO! I CAN DO IT!” Yes, your sweet potatoes can do it. And yer plums.

When these are done, they will come out glistening with streaks of blood. I mean, plum goodness. Right.

Even a vampire could appreciate these. Serve with your bloody good rare lamb.

OM NOM NOM.

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Blackened, Rich and Beautiful Chicken Thighs!

Le sigh.

I’m so sorry kids. I’m really, really frakin’ sorry for not having posted in weeks. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. Food’s going down at this Primal-ites house…I’ve just been busy. Know what else?

We bought a HOUSE! I mean, we already have a house. But paying condo fees isn’t fun, and while we love the house, we have longed to move back to our old stomping grounds while we rented: Port Credit in gorgeous South Mississauga.

The Universe did us a solid: it found us a gorgeous, charming and very cute semi-detached home just west of Port Credit, in super-sexy, ultra-pretigious Lorne Park. Oh em gee. Everything came together beautifully. It was all just so easy. Our agent even grew up on the same street as wifey. Too many odd quirks and ‘coincidences’ popped up. I love when that stuff happens.

Now, we will be listing our town home for sale very soon. We have a wee bit of cleaning here and there to do, but our house is fabulous, and we have no concerns about it selling, and selling fast.

As I type this, I have a large chunk of beef roasting in the oven. I am starving. I’m super psyched to eat it with some squash I think I’ll boil up, mash with butter and herbs.

Also, my ass and hamstrings are killing me from the Crossfit WOD I did yesterday. It was insane. Walking, sitting, getting *up* from a sitting position: yeah, it HURTS!

SO MUCH PAIN!

My back is loving all of it. It feels one billion times better than it ever has, in that I am in NO PAIN whatsoever. Car accident? What car accident?

Let’s talk about food. I could write about a lot of things I’ve done over the last few weeks. I’ll space it out instead.

A few weeks back, wifey was battling some infection that comes and goes every year and attacks her vocal chords. Being the health nerd and food nut that I am, I prepared her an anti-inflammatory, immune-system boosting concoction that Mark Sisson of MDA calls Turmeric Tea.

This is a potent, rich, flavourful tea combining powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric and black pepper. In fact, the addition of black pepper is what actually gives the turmeric it’s inflammation-kicking qualities.

Combined with warm, intense, flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, the turmeric blends into a smokey, lingering warmth on your tongue. The coconut milk is rich and smooth; it’s a perfect carrier for all ingredients , its silkiness cooling down the heat of the spices.

Edited March 27th, 2015. NOPE NOPE NOPE. I made said turmeric tea a few months back when I was down with a cold. And you know what? It’s fucking disgusting. Just…NOPE.

I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs to cook. I wanted some deep, rich, flavourful blackened chicken. I knew what would achieve this for longer cooking times: lard!

I made a large batch of this spice mix; I continuously seasoned the chicken while it cooked. I don’t recommend cooking chicken thighs on high. They like long, low heat. These took about 25 minutes.

By now you know I eyeball everything in the kitchen. Take these as serious approximations, and feel free to experiment with amounts:

I used about 1.5 tablespoons of cinnamon as the main ingredient, with 1 teaspoon, maybe 2, each remaining ingredient. Maybe a little less for the nutmeg. Try for .5 teaspoon.

Cinnamon
Chipotle
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Marjoram
Turmeric
Paprika

mmm…spicy!

Combine all ingredients and generously sprinkle over chicken thighs coated with some olive oil. Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat, and add about 1 tablespoon of lard. You know me: I love my wild boar lard. It’s perfect for dark, flavourful chicken. Season chicken with sea salt prior to adding to pan.

When your pan is hot, add your chicken. Now, don’t crowd it. Meat that needs to sear and brown doesn’t like to be crowded. It’ll be all like:

“DUDE GIMME SOME ROOM MANG. I CAN’T FUNCTION IN THIS TIGHT SPACE OKAY?!”

Or something like that. Your meat will actually start to steam in it’s own juices. We don’t want that.

Let the chicken darken and sear for about 2 – 3 minutes on one side. Flip it. Turn your heat down, and cover. Check on this periodically, and flip every so often. Keep adding seasoning to both sides. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.

I enjoyed this with butternut squash. You can eat it with whatever you like. But please, enjoy it 😉

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Luscious Lamb Curry with Spicy Spaghetti Squash

This lamb curry is out of this world. Wow. I thought my butter chicken was awesome the other week, but this dish is special. However, I have successfully burned my tongue twice since digging in. You can’t fully enjoy food with a burnt tongue, or when it’s too hot. You end up gobbling it down and not really enjoying it at all. It simply becomes sustenance.

Amazing food should be like an awe-inspiring, brilliant album. Or amazing sex. You should want to talk about it, make it for all your friends and family, spread it around (whoa, ok, maybe not the sex part), and proclaim undying love for it. Food that is nourishing, not just filling, should do just that.

Marinating overnight helps flavours mingle and settle in. You know, get to know each other:

“HEY GINGER! Haven’t seen you in a while!”

“What are you talking about, garlic? We were hanging out with butter chicken last week!”

And so forth.

I love spaghetti squash. In fact, I knew not of its existence until a few years ago. It is a more than ‘good-enough’ substitution for actual spaghetti. It is slightly sweet, crunchy and satisfying. Ridiculously easy to prepare, as well.

This curry is full of coconut oil, and coconut milk. I even snuck in some butter. It’s a party going on in there, folks! An intensely flavourful, creamy, luscious party. You know you want to jump in.

Food has better parties than me!

Luscious Lamb Curry with Spicy Spaghetti Squash

Meat and Marinade

1kg stewing lamb chunks (about 2.2 lbs)
1 sweet onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 coconut milk
3 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 tbsp finely grated ginger (I keep mine in the freezer)
1.5 tsp cumin

Other Stuff

10 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 can coconut milk
1 large spaghetti squash, about 4 lbs in size
2 teaspoons turmeric
Black Pepper
Sea salt
Red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the “Meat and Marinade” ingredients and marinate 24 hours, if not more. I think mine chilled in the fridge for about 26 hours.

Remove from fridge. Preheat a large pot, and add 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the pot. Brown this curried mix of lamb and onions in batches. You will need extra coconut oil for each batch. Oh no, more coconut oil. How horrid!

Once you’ve browned all your lamb off, set it aside. Empty 1 can of your favourite coconut milk into the pot, and add 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed, and one whole cinnamon stick. Let this simmer on medium high for about 4 minutes. Add your lamb in. Season generously with sea salt, as we did not put any into the marinade.

Stir. Cover. Add your 2 tablespoons butter. Turn the heat down to low for about an hour. Stir frequently, as coconut milk tends to stick to the bottom of your pot and burn. We do not want burnt coconut milk. No way.

Stab your spaghetti squash multiple times all over with a fork or sharp knife. Sorry squash, but your time has come!

STAB!
STAB!
STAB!

Are you done venting your days frustrations? Place the wounded squash into your microwave, and cook it on high for about 20 minutes. Mine was done at around 18 minutes. Your microwave will vary. If you hear steam escaping after about 15 minutes, take it out carefully with a set of tongs. Place it into a large bowl, and slice it open. Be careful with this step, as you may end up with a face full of steam, and a nice burning sensation that you did not ask for! Using a spoon, scrap out the seeds. Throw this away. Using the same spoon, continue to scrape out the innards of the squash, until all you have left is an empty shell. Discard.

After an hour, remove the lid, and crank the heat back up to medium high. We want to reduce the sauce to make it nice and thick, and make the flavours more intense. Stir frequently again. After about 20 minutes, turn off the heat. Add your cilantro at the very end.

In a large frying pan, add your 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil to a hot pan. Add in your spaghetti squash and leave it to slightly brown. Toss like a professional. C’mon, you can do it! Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric, and about 1 teaspoon black pepper. Season lightly with sea salt. Turmeric will turn the already beautiful, golden squash even more golden. It will add smokiness, depth and a hint of sweetness. Ah, turmeric. You sexy bitch you.

Look at the colour of that squash! This is before adding turmeric. Brilliant.

Serve this up, allow it to cool slightly, as it will be tantalizingly hot. And monumentally delicious. Savour each bite of tender, spicy lamb and aromatic squash.

This is what good food should do for you!

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