Nailed it! Ryan Wilder’s Wicked Easy Paleo Ketchup

Oh.

Hell.

Yes.

At long last I have cracked the code for making paleo ketchup that doesn’t disappoint. Yup, this one has got it all. The flavor is fantastic and it has a smooth glassy texture just like its high-fructose corn syrup laden cousin. But the best part? It is crazy easy to make. BOODOW!

Ryan Wilder’s Wicked Easy Paleo Ketchup 

  • About 12oz Tomato Paste (try to find it in BPA-free packaging if possible)
  • 1.5 Cup Water
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp All Spice
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Simmer for a few minutes and stir often. Transfer ketchup to a glass container and refrigerate. That’s it. 

Give me a shout if you try it out!

 
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Hike: Silver Falls State Park

Damn Gina! Oregon is beautiful. More importantly, Oregon is a hiking wonderland in the summer. Screw the eleven and a half months of solid rain we get the rest of the year. The two weeks of pleasant weather almost make it worth it. Thank #$@% for coffee and beer.

I hiked the “Trail of Ten Falls” at Silver Falls State park today with my buddy Brad. It is a moderate seven mile hike through a temperate rain forest. Think Fern Gully without the tropical weather, dynamite soundtrack, sexy fairies, or plot. But much like Fern Gully, Tim Curry was there. He kept popping out of the shrubs dressed as a nutria, insisting that he was our animal spiritual guide. Oh, Tim!

More photo adventure after the jump!

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Ryan Wilder’s Citrus Ginger Jerky

Ahoy! I'm Gus.

Meet Gus, my new food dehydrator.

Gus was a birthday gift from my lady. She hooked me up. Big time.

I’ve been messing around with the dehydrator a bunch and have been working on making a great jerky. The latest creation didn’t disappoint. My Citrus Ginger Jerky recipe is not overly salty or sweet. It has a deep meaty presence with just a hint of ginger, citrus, and teriyaki flavors.

I switched it up a bit from using a bottom round roast to a rib roast. It’s still an inexpensive lean cut, but has a little more fat and flavor. Cutting meat for jerky is a bit of a pain, so be sure to pop it in the freezer until it firms up for easier slicing. I have been asking the butcher to slice it for me because I am a lazy ass. If you do this I recommend asking for a thick bacon size slice. Don’t forget to wink at the butcher and call them “sweetie rump” when requesting this. Especially if they look like they might be a part of a gang.

Ryan Wilder’s Citrus Ginger Jerky

2 lbs Angus Beef Rib Roast – Sliced Thin
4 Limes – Juiced
1 Orange-  Juiced
½ cup Tamari or Coconut Aminos
1 tbls  Worcestershire (Optional)
1  Chunk of Ginger (about 1.5”) – Skinned and Sliced Extremely Thin **I use a vegetable peeler
3 Hot Peppers of Your Choosing – Diced
2 Cloves of Garlic Coarsely Chopped
 
 
  • Combine all ingredients in a ziploc bag and marinate at least 12 hours
  • Lay meat pieces on dehydrator trays without overlap
  • Turn heat to 160(ish) and dry for roughly 4 hours
  • Take off trays once jerky has reached desired texture

That’s it! Let me know how it turns out on your end.

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Portland Paleo: Gravy

Courtesy dandelmain of Panoramio

Porlanders love their brunch. Long lines of hungover hipsters, soccer families, and cotton-heads (who undoubtedly commited vehicular homicide driving over) surely await you at any of Portland’s brunch hot spots. They can’t get enough it. Waiting in the rain? Who cares. Just grab a cup of Stumptown coffee to fend of the hypothermia. I’m no exception. I too love brunch. Fortunately, ordering paleo style at brunch is usually cake in this town. But not all brunch menus are created equal, and most require you to make many substitutions and specifications to your order. This is not the case at Gravy. Gravy is arguably the best brunch spot in Portland, and most certainly one of the easiest places to order food without looking like paleo-freak-boy.

As you will see, my wife doesn’t do the whole paleo thing. Check out the mammoth short stack and egg sandwich she ordered!

Don’t judge. She is eating for two now.

And what did I order?

Steak and eggs with fruit salad.

KA-KAAAAAAW!!!!! 

So easy. So perfect.

Get thee to Gravy! You paleo-freak-boy.

Gravy – 3957 North Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR 97227(503) 287-8800 

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Tighten Down Tighten Up: Stay Happy With Happy Hour

Courtesy of cheersboston.com

Well, crap on a stick. I’ve hit a weight loss plateau. 

I’ve nearly hit my fat loss goal but can’t seem to shake the last bit of stubborn “spare tire”. I’m stuck, and I have some pretty good ideas as to why.

It’s summer. I love firing up the grill and sipping a frosty pint. While the grill most certainly compliments my paleo lifestyle, guzzling sugar certainly does not. I’ve been on a cider and wine kick these days because choosing something fruit based over beer allows me to fool myself into believing that I am still on the up and up. Come on, son! It’s not JUST about gluten.

Then there are the other diet pitfalls that come along with imbibing. Snacking. I become a voracious insatiable snacker after my first pint. You know those nuts that were meant to be consumed over the course of the week? Gone. That bag of jerky? Empty. The berries my wife wanted in her smoothie? Destroyed. Just destroyed.

Stalled weight loss might seem like the greatest downside of drinking, but there is another even greater. One of my guiding goals is to become the best version of myself that I possibly can be, and drinking simply does not fit with that goal. I’m less productive. I’m less motivated. It zaps my energy, mood, and attention span the following day. Is this the version of myself that I want to be? Hell no. Is it realistic that I am going to give up drinking forever? Hell no.

Life without meeting buddies for happy hour sounds awful and boring, and part of leading an optimal life is to- well, live a little. But how can something like drinking coexist with my desire to be at my best? This is why I created the “Tighten Down Tighten Up” rules to help guide me towards becoming the best version of myself in a way that is achievable and sustainable. I’m happy to present to you the first of my new rules.

Stay Happy With Happy Hour

The rule boils down to this- alcohol is completely off limits. No unwinding after work with a glass of red or sipping on a crisp cold cider while I grill. None. But there is one exception… happy hours and social gatherings. I get a free pass. The idea is to limit the times I am consuming all that excess sugar to about one day a week for only a few hours without having to give it up completely. The best part of this rule is that it suits my “all or nothing” approach to life. This blog is called Not In Moderation for a reason, people.

I’ll keep you posted on how my “Stay Happy With Happy Hour” rule works out as I head into BBQ season.  In the meantime, I’m off to look for my long lost abdominal muscles.

Cheers!

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Check Out My New Standing Desk!

Ok. It’s ugly. But you know what is even uglier?  Being dead. Angsty teenage vampires excluded of course.

Sitting has been getting a lot of negative press. One of the latest news reports circling has Dr. David Coven, cardiologist with St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, equating the health risks and effects from sitting all day to smoking.

NOOOOOOOOOO! How will I ever break my two lazy-boy a day habit!

My reasons for building a standing desk were partially a reaction to these reports, but even more so a response to my frustration with how I felt. I’ve always been high-energy (a nice way of saying hyperactive thankyouverymuch) and living a stationary cube-life has been a challenge. Sitting in one place all day simply just doesn’t feel right. It zaps my energy and focus. My posture progressively worsens throughout the day leaving me contorted around my monitor. Something had to give. It was high time to free my ass.

And free my ass I did.

You might see a tower of scrounged boxes and books stacked on a fiberboard desk, but I see fireworks and hear powerful Celine Dion ballads. You know true love when you see it. When coming up with my setup it was important for me to have my monitor as close to eye level as possible, a comfortable typing and mousing position, an easily accessible phone, and cost me $0.00. My solution? Stack ’em if you got ’em.

I switched over to a standing desk about a month ago and I have not missed my old setup one bit. One of the most common questions I get asked is “do your feet get tired standing all day?”. Nope! They do not. Here is the dirty little secret about standing desks- you do not actually stand all day long. Sure, I stand for a good portion of the day, but definitely not in one place. I find myself pacing about, leaning against the desk, walking to the window, stretching, squatting, and even sitting in the chair I keep by in case the mood strikes. I think the key for me has been having a wide variety of movement and options. I feel great. My energy and mood remain high throughout the day, and now I have the proper space to flail about when I overdose on the break room coffee.

Standing desk pro tip: take a few of your calls lying under your desk. Now your coworkers will have yet another reason to call you an annoying freak around the water cooler.

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Recipe Review: Ketchup


I firmly believe that food is merely the vessel to get ketchup into my mouth. I’ve been known to guzzle a whole bottle with just one lonely tater tot. Unfortunately store bought ketchup, even if it’s organic and free of high fructose corn syrup, is loaded up with sugar and chemical preservatives. One of the first things I made sure I had locked down when I started eating paleo was having a solid ketchup plan. Enter Christie from CrossFit XLR8 and her recipe for paleo ketchup.

I love this recipe and I’ve made it at least a dozen times over the past few months.  It’s fantastic. Better than store bought- hands down.

I’ve tweaked the recipe ever so slightly by doubling it to feed my ketchup addiction and cutting the cooking time to feed my impatience addiction. The biggest change I made to it was kicking up the amount of vinegar to give it more zip and to act as a preservative (not that I need it last long).

Here is the Not in Moderation version of this fantastic recipe:

Get a sauce pan out and toss in the following ingredients:

  • 26oz strained tomatoes (I like the BPA-free Pomi brand that comes in a box)
  • 1/2 of a 4.5 oz tube double concentrated tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons regular old vinegar 
  • 1.5 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • large pinch ground cloves 
Stir Occasionally and let it simmer just a few minutes
Transfer to repurposed jars
Cap
Cool
Fridge
Dump liberally on your expensive grass-fed steak
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Product Review: Tanka Bites

One of the general rules of primal eating is to avoid anything that comes in a wrapper or plastic package to avoid chemicals and junk ingredients. Tanka Bites are an exception to this rule. Just check out the ingredients!

Not bad, right? Ok, so the dried cranberries are sugared. I’m not sweating it.

Speaking of sweating it, I’d like to talk about the texture of these little meat nuggets. Tanka Bites are- how can I eloquently say this… moist.

Did my use of the word “moist” make you barf just a little? Grow up.

The chewy texture of Tanka Bites was a bit of a surprise and definitely a stark contrast to the jaw workout grinding beef jerky gives you.  After effortlessly popping down a few of these little guys the texture became enjoyable, but maybe this is just because I am a lazy chewer (when I get rich from this blog I am totally paying someone to chew my food for me).

How do they taste? Pretty darn good. Tanka Bites have kind of a meaty sweet and sour thing going on. The bites come in two varieties, straight up cranberry and spicy pepper blend. I prefer the spicy pepper blend because it cuts the sugar taste back a bit.

In short, Tanka Bites are made with solid ingredients for the primal eater, they are tasty, and holding them will temporarily fill the void in your life from giving up Chicken McNuggets.

Get’em if you see’em.

*I was not contacted by Tanka to review this product.

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Linkidy Link Link! I’ve Got a New Page!

Check it out! I’m keeping a list of the best recipes I clip from the net and adding them to the “Paleo Recipe Links” page on the blog.

*all recipes approved by Miles and Bodhi

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Portland Paleo: La Buca Italian Cafe

Courtesy of labucaitaliancafe.com

“You eat regular tuna fish? I ONLY eat grass-fed tuna raised by Tibetan monks with a curfew before 10pm.”

I’ve noticed some paleo eaters take the quest for optimal nutrition a wee mite far. Just mouse around any paleo forum and you are bound to encounter the paleo extremists. But at the end of the day the extremest just care a whole lot about their health and are not hurting anyone. More power to ’em. For me? I just want to go with the flow and enjoy my new life in a way that is sustainable. I can’t limit myself to eating only the foods that I have prepared because I love everything about dining out, and I’m not going to let fear of eating a bit of canola oil stop me. I got a new rule for eating out:

Do your best. Don’t sweat it. Enjoy it.

I won’t lie, the “do your best” part can make me look like jackass. “Um yes, can I have the cheeseburger and fries? Hold the cheese, bun, mayo, mustard, ketchup, and fries. Can I add an additional patty to that?” Yup, I have become “that guy”, but this is where the “don’t sweat it” part comes in. Who cares if I’m that guy? This also applies when the food comes to the table. My plate most likely has several offending ingredients that paleo extremists would flip a pasture-raised cow over. Come on guys, I killed this box of Ho-Hos myself!

Whatever. Enjoy it.

I’ve had a lot of luck ordering out and sticking to my diet. If a restaurant has vegtables, eggs, or meat I can piece together a great dinner. The trick is being comfortable with modifications, substitutions, and asking to order off the menu. Last night I had to pull off a expert level order. That’s right. I ordered paleo at a pasta joint. First, let me stress that this should only be attempted by professionals and by guys with pregnant wives craving bruschetta and puttanesca.

La Buca is a small Italian cafe in Northeast Portland. It’s atmosphere is simple and not pretentious at all. The menu is fairly large for a restaurant its size, the food is consistently good, and the prices are totally reasonable. This place is one of our old haunts and it was nice to be back- even if I wasn’t dipping crusty bread in olive oil.

Ordering out usually takes a few extra minutes of menu studying. La Buca is definitely hurting for low-carb options, but they do have a lot of side items that can do the trick. I ordered the the Mediterranean olives and a verde salad with grilled salmon to start. I had to go off the menu with ordering an entree.  I asked the waitress if I could order off menu due to dietary restrictions. She hooked me up and I had a fantastic pan seared chicken with roasted vegetables. Not at all bad for eating low-carb and gluten free at an Italian restaurant.

Baboom!

La Buca East – 40 Northeast 28th Avenue, Portland, OR 97232-3145(503) 238-1058

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Recipe Review: Red Curry Chicken Skewers

Morning sickness is a beast. The term “morning sickness” is just laughable when my lady has been ill morning, noon, and night for the past three plus weeks. It’s like she has a massive hangover every single day, but unlike a hangover their is no “hair of the dog” to find relief. One of the most challenging aspects of her morning sickness is her aversion to cooking smells. The littlest whiff of something on the stove or grill and it’s a race to the bathroom. Poor thing. Needless to say it’s been a lot of cold food and takeout for me. Poor thing? Nah.

My lady had plans yesterday and I found myself alone with the apartment on a sunny day. It was time to get cooking. Naturally the first thing I did was “fist bump” Bodhi.

Next I called my buddy Brad and fired up the Grill.

I have a long list of paleo friendly recipes that I have been waiting to try out. Some of the best looking recipes I have found are on The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate. Their instructions are clear and accessible and their food photos are not your usual nauseating food blog snaps (see the photo I took below for an example).

I decided on making the red curry chicken skewers and cauliflower rice. Brad does not eat paleo, so I was particularly interested in his take on the cauliflower as a substitute. He is also Canadian, so I’m pretty sure he is not accustomed to eating anything with too much flavor, eh?

[Full recipe, links, and Brad’s thoughts after the jump]

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