January 13, 2014 by Lauren Grider
I felt Day 2 on the Whole Life Challenge went well overall. I failed to drink 1/2 oz of water for every pound of body weight yesterday. That is a lot of water. Anyway, I won all my other points, so I have 21/22 possible so far. Out of necessity, I had a mini cooking marathon. Our veterinary office is still in the process of moving and looks to reopen on Wednesday rather than today as expected. 😦 I foresee going to work Wednesday rather than taking my usual day off, so I had to rearrange my weekly chore schedule. So, back to the grocery store I went to stock up for the week. Before that, I had left over Middle Eastern “Spaghetti” and some sweet potato for breakfast. I also made Apple and Almond Butter Sandwiches for a snack. This time I remembered to take a picture of their cuteness.
I rearranged my pantry. I used to store my spices in the cabinet beside the oven, but I have too many spices! They now occupy an entire pantry shelf. I think this is a tasty change.
And the Sunday Cooking Marathon began! First on the list was using the butternut squash I’ve had hanging around in the kitchen for several weeks. I also needed some paleo mayonnaise in my life. Finally, I had to cook enough protein to feed us for several days, and chicken legs were on sale.
Butternut Cocoa Soup
1 large butternut squash
4 cups chicken broth (homemade preferred)
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
2-3 tsp salt (to taste)
First, cut the squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and pulp.
Brush with your favorite healthy fat, turn meat side down, and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour (until soft).
Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp and combine in a food processor with coconut milk. I do not have a fancy food processor, just the Magic Bullet, but that works fine in small batches. They key is to get enough liquid in there with the squash that the blade doesn’t get stuck. Oh, and this step is messy. Wear an apron and be prepared for squash in odd places.
Combine the squash and coconut milk mixture with the chicken stock and cook over medium heat until simmering. Cook down to desired consistency and season with cocoa, salt and cinnamon.
Here it is garnished with some pecans and parsley.
While the soup was on, I made some Paleo mayonnaise. Source: every single Paleo blog ever written. I used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice because the Whole Life Challenge has a rule against fruit juices and I wanted to be extra careful to stay within the rules.
The Paleo Mayo that Everyone has on their Blog
1 egg (I used a pasteurized egg)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups light flavor olive oil
I used a pasteurized egg because I’m a sissy. So, I placed my sissy pasteurized egg and the apple cider vinegar together in the bottom of the regular old blender I’ve had since college.
I allowed them to come to room temperature. I don’t know how long, because I was busy messing with the soup (see above). Then, I added the mustard, salt and 1/4 cup of olive oil. I turned the blender on the lowest setting and slowly added the remaining cup of oil. Apparently you can use avocado oil or macadamia oil instead of olive oil if you like. I thought for sure this recipe would not work. I had read many horror stories about Paleo mayo fails. But, it was perfect, and it is delicious!
Grilled Chicken Legs 3 Ways
Simple, right? Yes. Season both sides of all chicken legs with House Seasoning. Then, divide into 3 batches. Batch 1: Sprinkle with Essence Seasoning. Batch 2: Sprinkle with Ras el Hanout. Batch 3: Sprinkle with onion powder. The, grill ’em up. Cook over indirect heat, low and slow, to yield a moist chicken leg.
I served them with sweet potato oven fries, southern-style greens and steamed mushrooms.