Recent Posts

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tablenoshing on the Side Porch!

Well friends I have decided it is high time I do some 'tablenoshing'...we have the space...the kids are a little older and I miss gathering people from different walks of life, places, stages etc. over food!  So I am attempting to get a little morning side-porch cafe action happening.

The Concept: 'Tablenosh' in my mind basically means bringing people together through food...gathering, eating, drinking and delighting in the goodness of creation.  My side-porch and home will be opened up through word of mouth to friends, neighbors, moms, college students and whoever else finds their way here.  You are free to grab a fresh baked muffin and cup of coffee while watching your kids play in the backyard, or meet a friend and relax in a cozy setting to catch up, or bring your laptop and get some work done...hopefully the setting will be suitable for a number of different people.

The Menu: Each time the side-porch is open their will be varying things on offer to savor and sip.  Always coffee of some sort maybe a cold-brew over ice or something warm and steamy.  Ingredients will be sourced as local and organic as possible and the menu will always have something gluten free or paleo friendly.  Tablenosh has always operated on donations, so there will be a donations jar out and donations are welcome, but not necessary to come and partake.

The Time & Place:  My first 'tablenosh' side porch cafe will happen THIS Friday, August 28 from 9am - 12pm on the side porch of my home in RVA located at 7704 Brookside Road.  And future events will be updated onto this blog site, facebook and word of mouth.

The People: Friends, neighbors, moms, college students, workers...anyone who needs a unique comfortable place to eat good food, chat, work, play in the yard, etc.

I wish I could tell you the menu for this week but I am still thinking about it...and also want to get an idea of how many people might actually come by!  So please let me know if this type of thing sounds like it 
is up your alley...



Friday, July 31, 2015

Falling off the AIP wagon...

My confession picture!
Well friends what can I say the Auto Immune Paleo diet is REALLY REALLY hard and I did a great job for 7 weeks before I began to crumble.  I imagine if I could have stopped my life and had no travel plans for the summer, no outings, no dinners with friends or family and an endless budget I could have maintained things a little longer (and maybe if I was a more disciplined person).

I really thought summer would be a great time to do AIP because of all the fresh veggies and fruits in season, but one of the things required on the diet it avoiding 'nightshades' this includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplants which are all very popular in summertime (and delicious).  It also did not help that after a couple of weeks of travelling from the Bachelorette weekend to a family beach week my husband went overseas for three weeks.  I thought the diet would be easier with him gone - this was not the case as I was so exhausted from chasing my two 2 year olds around that I had zero energy to prepare and cook for myself...and my old emotional eating habits came right back into play (I even got so crazy as to dress my kids up like cows and go to Chik Fil A and buy myself a milkshake!).  The good news was I did not suffer from any migraines the whole time he was gone - despite the fact I totally derailed from the diet and was eating sugar, dairy, grains, etc. - so I am still very hopeful that some healing happened in those 7 weeks.

Another thing that I think is really important if you want to succeed in doing AIP - get a buddy!  Those first 4 weeks I had a friend who was also doing it and it was really encouraging to be sharing recipes, checking in with each other and having someone to relate to.  So if my husband and my kids were all eating like this and I had an endless budget for fresh produce, good meats, etc. then I think I may have lasted longer.  All this to say I learned a lot and actually hope to resume again when the timing is a little better...maybe the fall when apples, sweet potatoes and all those good root veggies are in season! :)

If you are trying to get yourself motivated to give AIP a try please do not let me discourage you - just know you need to be well prepared with time, energy and resources to devote to it.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Aip BBQ Chicken Flatbread & More

Homemade Kombucha with Berries, Lime & Mint
AIP is very HARD...I am just not going to sugar coat it!  I have already had a few moments of weakness but just try to offer myself grace and move forward.  And no noticeable differences with my body yet, but only early days.  I can actually hardly believe I have stayed pretty strong with no dairy, eggs or nuts.  These things were what I really struggled to give up a couple of months ago when I attempted something called the 'whole 30.'  I ended up allowing myself raw milk after 8 days of suffering through no dairy.  But this time I am feeling pretty determined, but this is definitely not easy.

It has been a good challenge to come up with exciting and enjoyable things to eat, I just wish I had a little more energy as it is definitely taking extra thought and prep time to do this.  My 'tablenosh' dinner party days almost seem like a lifetime ago, but  I definitely had more energy and was constantly learning new things and concocting new dishes.  It is good to be back in that zone to some degree, I am just at a very different stage of life not to mention different part of the world!  Maybe I will be able to crank out a 'tablenosh' dinner or two this summer for RVA...we shall see or at least get my 'side porch' underground cafe happening...

AIP BBQ Chicken Flatbread

So what have I been cooking and eating?  Lots of salads, smoothies and gelatin in everything - who knew grass fed beef gelatin was so versatile and could be put in so many things as a added source of protein.  And in the AIP world you can make a 'gelatin' egg and use it as a binder for baking.  And those of you who know me know how much I love baking, so I have been very pleased to figure this out.  One of my recent favorites is AIP flatbread! The recipe came from another bog site called the curious coconut and was my favorite recipe so far, it made enough for two and it was so nice to have the extra already made for the following day.  I made a few alterations to the bbq sauce and added some extra salt and herbs to the flat bread and was very delighted with the outcome!


In terms of the sauce, I pretty much looked at a couple other existing AIP bbq sauce recipes and decided to do the best with what I had in the fridge.  I am really not sure how it compares to others and will have to keep you posted.  I was very pleased, I would not spread it on too thick but with the chicken, mushrooms, arugula, avocado and cilantro it was delicious.


 AIP Strawberry BBQ Sauce Recipe
 1-2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
1-2 tablespoons organic molasses
1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 onion sliced and caramelized
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
salt to taste

Heat strawberries, molasses, vinegar in a saucepan about 5-10 minutes.  Put everything in a food processor or bullet and blend until smooth.  My measurements might not be exactly right, so keep doing it to taste, I think you call also use maple syrup in place of molasses.  And I can see how smoked salt might also be good, but I did not have any.  Any other spices you think might help I say just go for it!  This was just a start for more so I will update this when I make it again.

 What else...well this morning I made up a 'sweet potato plantain' waffle recipe...unfortunately I did not write it down so I cannot tell you exactly what made it work, but I will try it again and post the recipe soon.  The waffles actually got nice and crispy and did not taste like glue and would have been really good topped with caramelized banana and maple syrup but I did not have any on hand.  I put a little raw honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

AIP Sweet Potato & Plantain Waffles

This week I am working on a few more recipes with more red meat.  I was actually raised a vegetarian and did not really start eating chicken until high school, but never had the stomach or desire for red meat.  When I started 'tablenosh' dinners in 2008 I started learning to cook with red meat and forced myself to taste it but still it did not appeal to my palate.  With the AIP it is really important that I get those nutrient dense meats into my system, so I have been trying!  So far I have only been able to eat a little grass fed ground beef that I cook into AIP lasagna or I make a taco less salad with a cilantro avocado dressing and put the ground beef on that.  Last night I hit whole foods and chatted with the butcher and stocked up on some new cuts of meat...hoping I can grow to LOVE beef & pork!  And it would be really great if I could learn to drink 'bone broth' while I am at it...I bought a bag of bones :)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Goodbye Grains (and a lot more) and HELLO AIP Paleo

Most of you who know me or have stumbled across other bits and pieces of my story probably know that my health like most people is not perfect.  And for the past seven years my husband and I have been dealing with mostly unexplained infertility.  In God's grace our family grew through adoption and we have two beautiful sons that are both miracles to us...however I must admit I am still on a journey to figure out my health and find healing.  I have a few other health issues that I won't delve into but am hoping the next foodie chapter for me is going to be a BIG healing one - and also full of new exciting food concepts and flavors...like learning to eat red meat!

So, I am diving in to a full blown Auto Immune Paleo diet (to the best of my ability).  Based on a number of my symptoms there is a very good chance that I have some type of Auto Immune Disease - what this really means I am still not quite sure but I am trying to get excited about the prospect of healing my body through these dietary changes.  So here goes...goodbye to grains, dairy, eggs, gluten, sugar, nightshades, nuts and seeds and HELLO to lots of grass fed, organic hormone free meat, vegetables and fruit! 

The good news is there are already so many others blogging wonderful recipes of what I can cook and I am finding new ideas every day.  This is definitely going to take some discipline and prep but I am hopeful that healing is on the way.  And as I go I thought what better time to reinvigorate my blog with some new food experiences and ideas!  After last night's dinner (which I must say was absolutely delicious, I already posted about the lasagna) my husband and I even talked about the idea of me doing a few 'Paleo Tablenosh Dinners' this summer for RVA!

For more information on AIP (Auto Immune Protocol) I recommend checking out the blog http://www.thepaleomom.com/ as a good place to start - she is very detailed with lots of explanation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Paleo (AIP) Lasagna Recipe


This AIP paleo friendly version of Lasagna was amazing, the recipe was inspired by another paleo blog called 'He won't know it's Paleo' so I definitely cannot take all the credit.  But here was my version and I must say my husband literally stated 'I think this is the best lasagna I have ever had!'

Ingredients:

 'Nomato Sauce' (I altered this recipe slightly using caramelized onions and roasted beets and did not use any capers or lemon juice - it is pretty easy to vary this to your own taste)
2 Sweet Potatos
1-2 Zucchini
1-2 Squash
Grass fed ground beef (you could use any kind of ground meat)
Avocado Oil
Salt
Nutritional Yeast Flakes (optional)

To Make:

Sautee ground beef until cooked through then add the 'nomato sauce' and season to taste with salt, garlic, etc.  Slice the sweet potato, zucchini and squash very thinly making your 'noodles'.  First layer the sweet potato on the bottom of the pan and drizzle with avocado oil and salt.  Then do a layer of the meat and sauce.  Repeat another layer with squash brushing the squash with avocado oil and yeast flakes.  Then add meat again and do final layer with zucchini, brushing the zucchini with avocado oil and yeast and salt.  Of course if you are not on a dairy free diet you could also do a layer of cheese.

Bake the Lasagna covered for 45 minutes on 350 degrees then remove foil and bake at 400 for 10-15 more minutes until the top is brown and looks done (I broiled mine on high for 2 minutes at the end).

Let cool for a few minutes before serving and ENJOY this is sooooo good and was just as delicious the next day for my lunch!  Next time I will make a double batch of the sauce and store some for later.  I also might have to make 2 pans of lasagna and freeze one.