Sunday Kitchen Day

I had a celery root or celeriac hanging out in my fridge and decided to make a yummy pot of soup for the week. It’s been rainy and gross so what the heck.

Celery root is great for the digestive system and it is absolutely delicious. I discovered it a few years back when I went on a kick of buying a new vegetable or fruit each week. Best idea ever! Who would of thunk this alien looking mass for full of flavour, goodness, and yum! The kale, we all know is a super food, but it’s an excellent source of folic acid, clearly needed for pregnancy. Cauliflower, to be honest, was left over in my fridge, but it also is a good source of folate and calcium.

I got lazy with puréeing mine, being that it kept splattering everywhere so I said forget it! Mines a bit chunky but I love it.

Celeriac, Kale, and Cauliflower Soup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 head celery root, peeled and chopped into chunks
1/2 head cauliflower
3 cups kale
1 box chicken stock (I used low sodium, normally I make my own but I’m lazy today!)
Water

1. In a large pot (deeper the better), melt coconut oil and add diced onion. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the water.
3. Add just enough water to cover what the chicken stock couldn’t.
4. Bring to boil. Cook until tender.
5. I used an immersion blender but a real blender would be great too. Just purée until smooth. Enjoy!
Ok, so it kind of looks like green gunk but I swear it’s so simple and so tasty!

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I also took some time today to make some brownies. I got the recipe from Preparing It Paleo. The Paleo Plantain Brownies uses plantains and Enjoy Life chocolate chips so keep the brownies so moist and tasty. I used coconut oil , not butter and it was yum! I may have almost eaten a full row? Just saying.

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I’m riding solo tonight with my hubby being gone for the weekend. I picked up a sirloin peppercorn steak from Clancy’s Meat Market. All of their meat is hormone and anti-biotic free. It’s not grass fed but it’s a nice place to grab some fresh meat that’s made with care by the in-store butcher. It will be a first time buy. I enjoyed the steak with a garlic marinated grilled portobello. Keeping it simple.

My Baby Mama Drama…

It all started about 2 1/2 years ago when my hubby and I decided to try for a child. We were all, let’s plan this out, have a baby born at X time etc.. Little did we know that wasn’t in our cards.
After about 1 1/2 years we got into a phenomenal fertility clinic who truly cares for their patients. From Saturday morning phone calls to Sunday morning blood appointments. Amazing place.
It was at out first appointment that we realized something wasn’t quite right. During an ultra sound the tech looks at me and goes “Have you ever been diagnosed with endometriosis?”. Uh…say what?! Slightly in shock we continued with the appointment.
I was told a cyst on my ovary could be normal it just depended on where I was in my cycle. After another check up, it wasn’t normal and the doc suspected endometriosis. He ordered a laparoscopy and within months I was under the knife getting what I like to call “an oil change and tune up”. It’s been about 4 months since the surgery and I was diagnosed with stage ll endometriosis. I’ve never had pains really, just irregular cycles.
For now, we just keep trying in hopes that our hard work pays off.

Paleo Goes Dutch

So my husband grew up with Dutch family members and with that comes many Dutch traditions.  Oliebollen are these dense little apple fritters that are traditionally eaten (at least around here) on New Years Day.  So tasty!  My favourite Dutch delicacy is Boerenkool.  Typically, it’s potatoes cooked up with  kale all mashed together then baked with juicy sausages on top.  Most of the relatives seem to eat it with either apple sauce or mustard and it’s a pretty basic comfort food.

When I first changed my lifestyle to eating Paleo, I made two meals.  One for me and one for my husband.  Exhausting and super annoying.  So, slowly I’ve got my husband eating more and more Paleo, through creative ways.  The one dish I was so scared to attempt to turn Paleo was Boerenkool.  I remember my first attempt received mediocre reviews.  No rants and raves but it was deemed acceptable.  That wasn’t good enough for me.  After a few tweaks, the reviews are great!  Tonight, I’m making Boerenkool for dinner tomorrow (although no kids, we live a busy life and meal plan is a must, along with pre-prepping meals).  It’s the perfect make ahead meal and it is easy to adjust the recipe for however many people you want to serve.  In our case, we love leftovers.

Paleo Boerenkool

Paleo Boerenkool1 large head cauliflower
2 cups kale
1 head roasted garlic
5 cloves raw garlic
1 parsnip
4-6 turkey sausages
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large pot, bring water to boil.
2. Cut cauliflower into florets. Peel 5 cloves of garlic. Wash and slice parsnip (no need to peel). Add all of the ingredients to the pot.
3. Wash and chop the top leafy portion off the stems of the kale. Add to the pot with the cauliflower, garlic, and parsnip.
4. Boil for about 10 minutes or until all of the ingredients are cooked through. Drain.
5. Let the cauliflower mixture sit in the strainer for a few minutes to let some of the liquid really drain off. The more liquid you let drain, the thicker the mashed cauliflower.
6. Put the cauliflower mixture into a food processor with the roasted garlic cloves and puree until smooth. (You may need to do this is two batches, depending on your food processor.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
7. Take the cauliflower mixture into the bottom of a large glass or Corelle type dish. Nestle the sausages into the cauliflower.
8. Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, bake for another 20 minutes.

The sausage juices will run into the cauliflower and oh yum! I hope you try my version of Paleo Boerenkool (I apologize if any Dutch people are offended in the making of this recipe) and I would love some feedback!

Potluck Pressure

Ok, so I just came back from an awesome evening with my amazing soccer girls which included a potluck. Oh the dreaded potluck. Typically filled with breads, chips, and delectable desserts. Bah! So hard to stay focused.

I made a delicious sweet potato, egg, bacon salad with my homemade garlic aioli and lime juice for the dressing with loads of chives from my garden (side note: it’s my first use of garden delights of the season! So exciting!). It was a huge hit. I, of course, made the salad to guarantee I would have a food source at the BBQ. Now, we had just played a couple hours of soccer prior to this and I was starving!

As I walk into the kitchen, my friend looks at me with her fork extended and says “OMG! Have a perogie!”. I did it. I said no. I would say I did pretty well. Knowing the consequences I ate a couple of potato chips but refrained from the perogies and anything gluten filled. As it was a BBQ, I did eat a pre-frozen burger patty. I’m sure it was filled with fillers and icky crap but I held off on the bun and had a slice of tomato, pickle, and mustard with a side of my Paleo sweet potato salad.

Now, I struggled through the homemade brownies and mini egg cookies with success. My most proudest moment, resisting the Monkey Bread. I only make at Christmas and it’s delectable. So not Paleo and so deliciously sinful!

Even after all my resistance and trying my damnedest, I still had to excuse myself from the party early with massive bloat and stomach pain. Stupid stomach. It just proves that even a handful of potato chips can mess up your insides. I declare a Paleo potluck next time.🙂

Afterthought: I thought I should maybe add my recipe on here for the sweet potato salad, but I rarely use recipes just inspirations. So here goes my attempt at my recipe from last night. Remember, it’s my guesstimate to its all roughly “x” amount.

Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon, Egg, and Chives
Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon, Egg, and Chives
5 large sweet potatoes
8 hard boiled free range Pullet* eggs
4 slices bacon
1/3 cup chives
1 lime
2/3 cup homemade garlic mayo

1. Peel and dice the potatoes into bite size pieces. Boil until soft (approx. 6 minutes).
2. Boil and peel eggs.
3.Fry up your bacon until really crispy in a pan.
4. While all that is cooking, make your homemade garlic aioli (recipe to follow). Chop your chives into a dice and add to the aioli. Add the juice of 1 lime. Mix together.
4. Drain the sweet potatoes, and while still hot, mix into the dressing. This is the key. If you add the sweet potatoes while cool, they don’t absorb the flavour as well.
5. Add in the bacon and eggs, stir gently. Chill for 6 hours or longer. The longer the better!
6. Serve with some fresh chopped chives diced on top. Enjoy!
* I buy Pullet eggs from my local farm. They’re simply just some of the first eggs from new hens so they’re a little bit smaller but the same tasty deliciousness. If you wanted to add less large eggs (maybe 6?) that would work too.

Garlic Aioli
1 egg (once again I use my free range organic Pullet eggs)
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/2 cup light extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lime (it’s about 1-2tbsp)
1-2 cloves garlic ( I used 2 but use less if you’re not a garlic fan)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. You will need container like a Pyrex or any container that you can fit an immersion blender into.
2. Crack the raw egg into the bottom of the container. Add the lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use a hand grater to grate the garlic into the container.
3. Add both oils on top of the egg.
4. With your immersion blender, place the blender part on top of the egg at the very bottom of the dish. Turn it on super high mode and leave it there for about 30 seconds.
5. Slowly lift the immersion blender up the container. Your mixture should be turning into a white, creamy mayo.
6. Continue to slowly lift the blender until you get to the very top. Once you’re at the top, tip the dish side to side to make sure you get all the oil incorporated. Taste for seasoning and let it sit for a couple of hours.

I would love some feedback on this recipe to see if it works.

So it begins….

I’m excited, nervous, and feeling slightly naked. Revealing myself to the world is perhaps a daunting thought.  Often those with infertility hide and are embarrassed by their situation.  I’m an not. I did nothing to cause it, nor should I be ashamed that I have it.  It’s not an STD or a bad haircut, it’s my reality and my life. Throughout this blog journey, I hope to motivate, inspire other women to share their stories.   

Food has been a major part of my strategies to tackle infertility and it has been long since before the issue arose.  Eating Paleo is my obsession. Perhaps food over consumes me.  I am far from perfect and absolutely enjoy splurging, until I realize what I’ve done and the pain I will suffer later. You’d think I would figure it out right? Duh!

I love real food.  I love buying real food and more importantly I love growing real food. Every spring, I get so excited thinking about my vegetable garden. If I could, I would, remove all the grass in my backyard and create one large garden filled with all of Mother Natures delights. From cauliflower to heirloom tomatoes, beans to zucchini, peppers to garlic; I grow everything I can!

I hope through this blog, I share my stories of food and fertility and perhaps my struggles with both.