almost a caveman, but not quite

Now that processing is done for the week, we can talk about far more important things. Like food. Last Friday I visited my bmff (best male friend forever) Kevin. He lives in Sacramento, and gosh. I love that guy. We went to Magpie Cafe, and it was a beautiful day (as you can tell by the very sunny pictures).

He ordered the beef stew, and I wish I could accurately describe how delicious it was. I only tried a taste, but the broth (sauce? soupy part?) was perfect. I mean, perfect.

Rich and comforting and like a million little fairies having a dance party on my taste-buds.

I got the lemon-chicken salad, which was also amazing. It was refreshing on a warm day, and exactly what my sensitive stomach wanted. My mom will be proud of me; I never, ever order salads. I don't have anything against them...I just like bread and pasta and hearty entrees so much more. BUT, on Friday I was craving greens and this was the perfect fix.

 After Magpie we walked over to The Naked Lounge, which is a little coffee shop with good coffee but no-so-great service. Trendy baristas aren't supposed to actually fulfill all the stereotypes associated with them, right? That's why they're stereotypes? But she did. She truly did.

Cool seating area though. I sipped my cappuccino while Kevin played some ridiculous game on his iPhone (something about breading cats? the SPCA would be furious) and I decided to forgive said barista.

We walked back to the car, and I loved the little lot where we parked. Mint-green bricks beside red bricks and mossy cement is just...cool. After this, Kevin took me to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op, which is this charming grocery store that focuses on local, organic goods. I loved it. And I got to sample barley soup! Not a Dixie-cup sample either. A bowl-and-spoon sample.

Kevin knows a lot about...well, kind of everything (he's a walking Encyclopedia), but he especially knows a lot about food. He retains information really well and is always teaching me new things to try. He's been learning about eating Paleo, and I decided to (loosely) adopt its main principles into my diet this week. I say loosely because I have had a small treat every day, but I haven't had any bread in 6. That's a personal record by a longshot.

Anyway, Kevin taught me about soaking nuts and seeds, made us pork-loin chops and steamed broccoli for dinner (after we went on a run through McKinley Park), and then we sipped fennel tea. Fennel tea is incredible, by the way.

I tried to make homemade granola, but didn't have all the ingredients, (honey, mostly) so nothing actually stuck together. It still tastes wonderful though. I used almonds, walnuts, raisins, unsweetened shredded coconut, and pumpkin seeds. The mix was tossed in some coconut oil, cinnamon, and almond butter, and then baked at 425 for 30ish minutes. I ended up treating it like cereal by putting it in a bowl and covering it with almond milk!

My main goal this week (with the mindset of "Paleo") was to simply plan meals that were healthy, balanced, and provided leftovers. I made stuffed bell peppers with grass-fed beef (they turned out sooo good), turkey burgers wrapped in butter lettuce (protein-style) and homemade sweet potato fries, and then today I made a spinach-brussel sprout frittata. Cutting out (99% at least) processed foods has been huge. My stomach hasn't felt this good in a very, very long time. And everything has tasted amazing! I almost forgot how much I enjoy cooking. Almost. 

Aaand congratulations on making it through the longest post to-date!