I ate oxtail stew for the very first time as a tapa on our honeymoon to Sevilla (wow, was that already 10 years ago? Yes it is! Time sure flies when you’re having fun) and both DH and I loved it. I’ve bought 3 oxtails from Highland cattle lately, as one just isn’t enough for our family of 5. I didn’t look up any recipes for real Sevillian Cola de Toro, I just went with what I had in my kitchen. It turned out really good, although next time I’ll spice it up a bit!
- 3 oxtails, cut in pieces
- 2 big onions, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 750 ml canned tomato (I used homemade “passata”)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- celtic sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- chili powder (or you could use cayenne if you like that)
- 1 cup bone-broth
Mix the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, spices and bone-broth. Put the tomato-sauce in a slowcooker, add the onions, garlic, carrots and oxtail and mix well. Put the slowcooker on ‘low’. Go to work, go shopping, go out for a loooooooooong walk or even a day trip. When you come home 8 hours later you will be welcomed by a wonderful smell. Enjoy the oxtail with sweet potato fries and a salad, or with ‘cauli-rice’, or ‘zucchetti’.
Today I backsquatted 60 kg at CrossFit. For some people this may not be much. For most people at our CrossFit gym, this is peanuts. But for me this is a milestone. Only roughly 10 years ago I cried when I had to pick up Lou, just a baby, from his cot. Because my body ached so much every time I picked him up. I was happy when I discovered ergonomic baby carriers (kubeba and rebozo) when he was 10 months old, because it meant I could carry him around a little longer without crying in pain.
Today I am stronger than I have been in a very long time. Today I can not only pick up a baby from his cot, today I can technically backsquat my 17 year old son. Lou wouldn’t believe it, so he said “Oh yeah? Try backsquatting me!”…And.I.DID!
Saturday is our ‘family-CrossFit’ day: we all go to our CrossFit gym, there’s a kids-training for the boys then too. When we come home we normally eat eggs for lunch. But last Saturday I didn’t feel like eating our usual omelette, so I made this mediterranean inspired egg casserole instead. It was so good I licked my plate!
Ingrediënts for 3 servings:
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 500 ml tomato sauce (I use homemade ‘passata’)
- 9 eggs
- celtic sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and chili flakes to taste
- piment d’espelette
- fat of choice (olive oil, coconut oil, butter, ghee or bacon fat)
Put a casserole with the cooking fat on medium high and fry the onion and garlic until they become translucent. Add the peppers and fry for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are almost done.
Make a ‘hole’ in the vegetables with the back of a spoon and break an egg in it. Repeat this for all the eggs. Season the eggs with salt and piment d’espelette and let the casserole simmer for another 5 – 10 minutes on medium-low until the egg whites are cooked but the yolks are still soft and runny.
I was inspired to make this recipe thinking back to our holidays in Sicily in April. I was thinking about a fish recipe with a crunchy crust, but didn’t want to use almond or coconut meal again. Then I remembered how in Sicily I saw different meat dishes with a pistachio crust at the butcher in Sicily. The recipe turned out nicely, and the combination of the crunchy pistachios and the lemon zest really reminded me of our lovely holiday. And it’s so easy to make you can even make it on a busy weekday after work!
- firm white fish fillets (I used haddock)
- a handful of pistachios, ground
- zest of 1 lemon, grated
- celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Mix the ground pistachios with the lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Grease a casserole with a little olive or coconut oil. Put the fish fillets in the casserole and cover each fillet with the pistachio-mixture.
Put the casserole in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the fish is done.
Serve with oven-roasted root vegetables (red beets, carrots, parsnips,…).
Today I was planning on making chorizo spiced pork in the slowcooker, but as I was making breakfast for myself I changed my mind. I had taken 2 slices of uncured bacon, baked it in butter and then added 1 apple (in slices) and some cinnamon. It was so good that I decided to make the slowcooked pork with apples instead. It turned out nicely!
- 2 thick slices (uncured) bacon, diced
- 1,5 kg pork (I used shoulder chops and ribs)
- 2 big apples, diced
- 1 big onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
- unrefined celtic sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- fat of choice (I used butter, you can use ghee, coconut oil, lard, tallow or even bacon fat)
- approximately 1 cup apple cider (you could use water or bone broth to keep it W30 compliant)
Turn on the slowcooker on low. Melt some fat in a skillet and bake the diced bacon, apples, onion and garlic on medium high. Put it in the slowcooker. Melt a little more fat and quickly sear the pork (seasoned with salt and pepper) on all sides. Add it to the slowcooker together with the thyme and rosemary. Deglaze the skillet with the apple cider (or water or bone broth), add this to the slowcooker. Let the slowcooker do the rest of the work and let it simmer for about 8 hours. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Recently I saw this website showing one week’s worth of food by various cultures. Today I prepared menu’s and did grocery shopping for one week, so I thought it would be funny to put everything we’ll be eating this week on the table and make a picture of it. This is our food for this week (5 people household, 3 teenagers and 2 adults). I will stop at the grocery store beginning next week for more fresh fruit and vegetables for the last days of the week, as I don’t have enough storage to keep it fresh for so long. So what’s on our menu next week (Thursday through Wednesday)?
- Thursday: Zucchetti alla carbonara (zucchini squash, mushrooms, bacon, eggs – glutenfree pasta for the children instead of zucchetti)
- Friday: Carnitas with roman lettuce, raw vegetables and homemade guacamole (and pappadums for the children)
- Saturday: Rib eye steak, “big ass salad” and sweet potatoes; for the kids homemade fries (fried in coconut oil)
- Sunday: Oven-roasted red beets with haddock in lemon-pistachio-crust
- Monday: Lemon Surf ‘n Turf (recipe by Jamie Oliver) with sweet potato fries
- Tuesday: Oven-roasted salmon with oven-roasted fennel (creamy mashed potatoes for the kids)
- Wednesday: Saltimbocca (veal escalope with prosciutto and sage) and roasted eggplants
What else is on the table? Chorizo and prosciutto; smoked fish (salmon, mackerell), pickled herring and ground meat for breakfast and lunches (if we don’t have leftovers). Some nuts for snacks. No drinks? Well, we just drink water from the tap (we have a soda stream to make it sparkling, but I prefer without bubbles) and homemade water kefir; coffee and tea; a glass of wine once in a while.
The more I feel comfortable eating a paleo-style diet (vegetables, meat, foil, fish, eggs, fruit and little nuts and seeds) the more I feel the need to also adopt other changes to my life. These are the changes I’ve already adopted:
- no-poo: simply meaning I no longer use shampoo or conditioner. I’ve tried it before, then went back to (organic) shampoo, but since having my hair cut short during our holiday in Sicily I re-started this. I “wash” my hair with water only every few days, rinsing it with colder water (not ice cold though). Once every 2 weeks I use sodium bicarbonate on my wet hair, just put some powder in my hands and massaging it onto my wet hair; rinse well with water. Then I pour a cup of water with 1 – 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, leave that in for a few minutes and rinse again with water (enough so I don’t smell like vinaigrette ). Once every month I put a mask made of green or white clay and let it sit for a few minutes, rinse, water+ACV, rinse.
- toothpaste: I’m currently using an organic toothpaste without SLS or fluoride.
- soap: I only use my own homemade soap (made with fat and lye)
- deodorant: I only use it when I go to the gym; the rest of the time I use coconut oil
- Body lotion/creams: never used it anyway, but now coconut oil is the only thing I put on my skin
- “Monthly issues”: I started using a mooncup years ago – long before it became fashionable, but still use some sanitary napkins (organic)
- Walking barefoot around the house, with minimalist shoes (vibrams or merrell’s) outside.
- Go for walks in nature as much as possible (for the moment about 1 – 2 times/week)
- Get enough sleep (not too bad; I do get minimum 8 hours sleep most nights)
Not so bad, if I say so myself. But I’m ready for the next level . What will happen in the near future?
- Make my own toothpaste and deodorant (from coconut oil, sodium bicarbonate and essential oils)
- Find and buy re-usable sanitary napkins
- Walking barefoot as much as possible, whenever possible and acceptable
- Walks in nature 3 – 4 times a week: this should not be a problem when the weather improves; I hope to turn this into a habit and to keep the habit also in bad weather.