So first the excuses. I've been slack with the blogging lately (not much of an excuse really...), but only with the blogging. Life has been quite busy between karate training, doing a jujitsu beginners course, work has been crazy (not to mention preparing for an interview for a promotion), going away for my birthday, booking a holiday to Canada and the US later this year and deciding to do the GAPS intro diet. So, where to begin?
Things have been less than fantastic digestion-wise since January, and i was getting rather sick of it. My Dr had played around with my meds to no avail, and I was feeling a bit down. I restarted the SCD intro diet... almost 6 months ago now... which was great for a fair while, then the improvements tapered off and then...
Anyway, I'd read a bit about GAPS and decided it was time to give it a go. So I've been making sauerkraut, and bone broth, and soups and stews, and more soup, and I feel fantastic. I've had a few days of die-off (I'm fairly impatient, and have been adding more sauerkraut and yoghurt faster than recommended, and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my kefir grains). Coincidentally, Naomi of Straight into Bed, Cakefree and Dried, has been posting fermented vegetable recipes, and I've already had a go at the Lacto fermented beetroots and am going to try the Carrot and Ginger pickle on the weekend.
But what I really wanted to post about is the joy of breakfast soup, a post well-suited to the theme of Hallie of Daily Bites challenge: build a better breakfast. I'm with Hallie in that breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I love eggs, and mushrooms, and tomatoes, fried, or combined in a omelette, with cheese, and salt and pepper... mmm... it's making my hungry just thinking about it, even though I'm still full from dinner.
The GAPS diet advocates eating a late breakfast, because the body detoxes until about 10am and apparently you don't get hungry until then. I'm a bit dubious about the latter point, but I did notice that, when I thought about it, I didn't really feel like eating my omelette, mince and veg at 7am.
In the spirit of doing the diet, heart and soul, I decided to put off eating breakfast until a bit later than usual. This meant having to come up with a work-compatible breakfast, where all that is available is running water and a microwave (I know, GAPS does not approve of microwaves, but you can only take these things so far, and I don't have one at home).
So on the evening of day one, I piled zucchini, carrots, onion, mushrooms, cassarole beef, a good splosh of tomato juice and another of beef stock into my slow cooker and set it to low overnight. We awoke Saturday morning to the smell of rich tomatoey goodness, which I waited until almost 9am to eat. I figure if not being hungry is a sign your body is detoxing, that being hungry must be a sign it's ready to eat.
Turns out it was a bit too rich, and a bit to close to karate training at 10:30, and I spent the morning trying to keep my breakfast in my stomach and not of the floor of the dojo (successfully, I might add).
So I tweaked it a bit for the next time, and now, together with pumpkin soup, is a staple breakfast dish. The quantities are a bit rough, but that's handy in that you can just throw it together out of whatever you've got lying around in the way of vegetables.
Beef and vegetable breakfast stew
3-4 good size cassarole steaks
1 red capsicum
1 brown onion
250mls tomato juice
500mls beef stock
2 bay leaves
Roughly dice all the ingredients.
Layer the carrot and onion of the bottom of a 4-5 litre slow cooker. Place bay leave and a sprinkle of dried oregano over the top, then the the diced cassarole steak, then the zucchini and capsicum.
Pour over the juice and stock, and top up with water (or more stock) to cover the steak (the zucchini and capsicum don't need to be submerged). Turn onto low and leave for about 8 hours.
This quantity of liquid in a slow cooker will probably give you something more akin to a soup than a stew (mine come out different each time). If you want it thicker, simply ladle off some of the liquid and boil it on the stove top, before returning to the stew.
The meat, no matter the cut, is by this stage disintegratingly tender, and the warm and hearty tomato base it perfect for cold mornings. It also goes well with the early additions to the GAPS diet: ghee, sauerkraut, yoghurt, avocado and olive oil, and you can pile them all on to it, once you get far enough into the intro diet!
Another, even simpler, breakfast discovery for me is microwave scrambled eggs. You'll need to play with the timing, depending on your microwave. With the one at work, 2 eggs take about 1:30, stopping to beat them every 30 seconds. I add a good size teaspoonful of ghee to the bottom of the bowl, and a drizzle of olive oil once they are done. I recently tried adding the sauerkraut to the eggs, instead of my soup, and was pleasantly surprised. The crunch and the tang of the cabbage perfectly compliment the smooth fluffiness of the eggs (don't forget to let the eggs cool enough before you add the sauerkraut, otherwise the heat will kill the beneficial bacteria).
Some of each of these gives you all the protein, fat and vitamins (not to mention the warmth and comfort of a full belly) that you need to get the day off to a perfect start, and to keep you full until lunch (or brunch anyway, the planned topic of my next post for Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free, hosted this month by Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake with the theme of Springtime Brunches).