What are your dreams for the new year? I have a few dreams this year and my big one is to loose 25 pounds and keep it off. My knees, compromised by a fantastic skiing accident at 17, are beginning to get really pissy about this extra weight thing. It is time for me to listen. The time has come.
Now the trick, is doing it. So the month of January is going to be about eating completely primal. I’ve been more or less doing this adventure since June and I’m ready to give it a different approach. I was doing it to lower my grain intake, which I did. (That’s amazing now that I think about it! I was so hooked on bread!) But now I’m ready to go the next step and apply it towards loosing weight.
I was visiting uber cool caveman Mark Sisson’s web site the other day and found the PERFECT article for me. The one BIG thing he encourages people to do, if they want to loose weight, is to keep their carb intake in the sweet spot, which is between 50 to 100 carbs each day. To show you how far I have to go on this one, I don’t even know what a 100 carbs looks like! I sure know what 100 calories looks like! So time the time has come to figure that one out.
The best place to do that is over at this very groovy web site called Fit Day. As you enter your foods you’ve eaten that day, it gives you not only the calories but the carbs. It also has a wonderful little pie graph to show you what your daily food intake looks like in a pie.
One of the reasons that I love the primal/ paleo diet is that one doesn’t have to track all your foods. If you are truly eating primal your body will be SO full and satisfied that you will not overeat. But I feel that tracking my carbs for a month is going to be very informative.
For instance, I just looked up an apple. Now apples are one of my all time favorite foods. I eat at least one a day. They have 19 grams of carbs per apple. Whoa. Now almonds, which are another favorite food, have 5.6 carbs per oz (that is roughly 22 nuts.) This is going to be interesting. Stay tuned!
The recipe I’m going to share with you today is our family’s favorite New Year’s tradition, Cioppino. Cioppino, Italian fisherman’s stew, is the most perfect thing to eat on New Year’s Day. Paul and I start making the broth in the morning. The fragrance fills the house as we clean up Christmas and last year’s successes and failures. We hover around the broth from time to time, tasting it, adding a little something and nodding to each other in approval.
Remember this recipe is not exact, there is a lot of slurping and adding of this of that, to finish the masterpiece. Taste it often and make adjustments as your palette sees fit. Don’t let the long ingredient list daunt you, cioppino is actually fairly easy to make and it is low in carbs! May your new year be filled with primal food, health and love.
Serves 8 or more
2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil
4-6 large garlic cloves
2 onions chopped
1 or 2 bell peppers diced
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 large fennel bulb, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 cups of red wine
1 quart of chicken broth
(or 1 cup of clam juice then 2 quarts of water)
1 quart of water
Pinch of saffron
¼ cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley
¼ cup of chopped fresh basil or
1 tablespoon of dried basil
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 28 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste
Salt to taste
2 pounds of clams, washed clean
1 pound of large shrimp peeled and deveined
2 pounds of a firm white fish, like halibut, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 pound of salmon cut into 2 inch pieces
2 Dungeness crabs, cleaned and broken into
quarters and legs cracked
It is important for the masterpiece to begin with good music and a wonderful large stock pot. First sauté the garlic and onions in olive oil over medium high heat till tender and fragrant. Add the bell peppers through the carrots and sauté a bit longer, like 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and revel at the wonderful poof of aroma. Add the chicken broth and water, (or the clam juice and water,) all the spices and the tomatoes and paste. Season with the salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for an hour or more., adjusting the spices and adding more water as you need.
Prepare the seafood and keep in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, add the clams to the simmering flavorful broth. Cover and cook till the clams open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Discard any unopened clams after 10 minutes. Add the fish, crab and shrimp to the stew and simmer covered again, for about 5 -10 minutes till the fish is barely cooked. Don’t overdo it here, the fish only needs a wee bit of time to cook and will continue to cook after the burner is turned off. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the soup and stir gently. Ladle into your best bowls, sprinkle with a bit of fresh parsley, and serve immediately with warm bread, crisp salad, and lemon slices. Make sure and set out crab crackers, bowls to discard the shells into and lots of napkins! Boun appetito!