Hiking is a lot like life: It’s as much about the journey as it is about the destination. I was thinking about that on Monday as I was hiking up Big Cottonwood Canyon with my man and my Bronco Bear. I have asthma, which makes hiking (particularly the steeper parts of the trail) fairly challenging. Sometimes I get so focused on my breathing, keeping my shoulders back instead of hunching forward and where I’m placing my feet that I forget to stop and look around. There’s not much to look at when you’re only looking at your feet.
Life is the same way. Sure, it’s great to accomplish goals, just like it’s great to hit that peak and look at how far you’ve come. Without a goal (or a peak) to conquer, what in the world are we doing all this for? But it’s as much about how you get there. When you’re on a trail, if you just hold your head up, you’ll see all sorts of beautiful things you won’t see from the trail head or from the peak. If we get too focused on the end result of our goals, whether it’s a number on a scale, the size of our jeans, how far we can run or how much we can lift, we’re going to miss out on the journey.
I had a bug or something yesterday and didn’t feel much like eating, let alone cooking. Interestingly, the only things that sounded remotely appetizing were bone broth, crackers and Sprite. The latter two, I’m sure, were the little girl in me talking. When I was a kid I got Sprite and crackers when I was sick. I didn’t really have the option of leaving work early, and the gas station was fresh out of bone broth, so I settled for Sprite and crackers and (somehow) made it through the day.
When I got home, I was craving bone broth something fierce. My fermenting batch of sauerkraut has been holding my crock pot hostage for almost two weeks now, and I’d used all the bone broth in the refrigerator. I didn’t want more Sprite and crackers, so I whipped up some egg drop soup and managed to keep it down. Yey!
Biscuits and gravy are obviously a comfort food. After a day and a half of not eating (I settled for chicken noodle soup for lunch today – yes, I know, the Paleo Police will be breaking down my door any minute now) I wanted something comforting. But I was craving veggies, too, since I hadn’t had many over the past 36 hours. So, I settled for Paleo Biscuits and Gravy with some roasted brussel sprouts. It totally hit the spot.
Bronco Bear was cracking me up tonight. He called the biscuits Dinner Cookies. They kind of looked like cookies, but didn’t really taste like them. I’m a little lost when it comes to the science behind cooking (I just know what tastes good) so unfortunately I don’t have a Paleo biscuit recipe to offer you. I used this one, though, and it turned out pretty darned tasty! A couple of things I didn’t care for. One, it called for six eggs and a half cup of coconut oil. I don’t have a problem with the ingredients themselves, I have a problem with the cost. I buy grain fed, cage free eggs, so that was on the expensive side. Coconut oil isn’t cheap, either. A half cup is about a third of a jar (or at least it felt that way). Two, they were a little challenging to assemble, only because the dough was so wet. It wasn’t anything too complicated or anything that completely put me off making them (obviously, we had Dinner Cookies). But, for these reasons, it’s not something I’ll be making regularly.
It passed my litmus test for a good recipe: My teenage son ate his portion and then asked, “Did you need me to save you any for work tomorrow?”
1 T. olive oil
1 small or 1⁄2 large onion, diced
1 lb grassfed ground beef (sub sausage)
1⁄2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1⁄2 tsp coriander
1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
1 T. fat of choice (optional, I used duck fat)
2 T. arrowroot powder
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 T. nutritional yeast
12 paleo biscuits
Combine olive oil and onion in a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion starts to brown. Add ground beef, fennel seeds, sea salt, coriander and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until beef is cooked through.
Use a slotted spoon to remove meat mixture from the pot, leaving as much fat as possible. If you’re using a lean meat and not much fat is left behind, add an additional tablespoon of fat and melt. Whisk arrowroot powder into the fat. Let simmer for just a minute or two until just starting to thicken but not yet brown. Whisk in coconut milk, a little at a time. It will be very thick at first, but will thin out as the remainder of the coconut milk is added. Stir ground beef mixture into the coconut mixture. Stir in nutritional yeast. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and keep warm, stirring occasionally.
Serve gravy mixture over biscuits.