October 2010

84 posts

Breakfast For Me (Dinner for Everyone Else)

Seriously, this dinner only took about 40 minutes to prepare (with some careful pre-planning):


Sous vide tri-tip with roasted cauliflower, sauteed mushrooms and shallots, and pureed winter squash.

I was really worried that the tri-tip would be overcooked; after all, it was in my SousVide Supreme at the same time as my overcooked top sirloin from a few nights ago. I pulled the tri-tip out after 8 hours in the 140 F bath (while the sirloin was left for 24 more hours to turn into shoe leather), and put it in an ice bath before storing it in the fridge.

Before going to bed this morning, I preheated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F so it would be ready to reheat my tri tip when I woke up seven hours later. Luckily, the appliance only uses the energy of a light bulb (or so the promotional materials say). I washed and quartered 1.5 lb of cremini mushrooms and cut my cauliflower into florets. Serious Eats has a great video on how to cut up a cauliflower for those of us with shitty knife skills.

When I woke up, I tossed the trip tip and two frozen packets of Cascadian Farms winter squash puree into the Sous Vide Supreme. I preheated the oven to 450 F and threw the prepared florets onto a foil-lined baking sheet. I tossed the cauliflower with Casina Rossa Fennel & Salt with Organic Fennel Pollen, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil, and then tightly covered the whole thing with another sheet of aluminum foil.


I popped the sheet into the oven and baked for 12-15 minutes on the middle or middle lower rack. Afterwards, I removed the foil and baked for 10 more minutes, then flipped the florets and baked until brown in parts (10 more minutes)


While the florets were roasting in the oven, I chopped 4-5 large shallots in my mini food processor, and tossed them into a heated pan with 2 pats of butter. After the shallots were translucent, I threw in the chopped mushrooms and sauteed them with some salt, pepper, and deglazed with some Two Buck Chuck. Done.


Next, I heated my cast iron skillet to high for ~5 minutes and I quickly seared off my dried off trip tip (which I removed out of my Sous Vide Supreme after 40 minutes in the bath). Yay! It’s not overcooked!


I removed the puree packets from the Sous Vide Supreme and squeezed them out into a bowl with a pat of butter and salt and butter to taste. After a swirl or 5 to mix in the melted butter, dinner was ready. Voila!


Not only was dinner quick and delicious, but now I have lots of leftovers (that I can combine in various permutations) to bring to work!

#breakfast #dinner #recipes #sous vide #beef
#packed lunch
More Meaty Goodness @ SF Ferry Buildinginsidescoopsf.sfgate.com

Prather ranch will be extending into two stalls come Spring 2011. Yay!  I don’t think scrapple is Paleo, though.

#beef #San Francisco
#packed snacks
#beef #packed lunch
Magic Pill That Makes Sugar Taste Like Melting Sand!salon.com

How come I didn’t know about this when I went cold turkey on sugar and grains back in June? Gymnema sylvestere is like Subutex for sugar junkies.

#gymnema sylvestre
#packed snacks
Recipe: Roasted Bell Peppers with Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil


We always have a Tupperware container filled with marinated roasted bell peppers in the fridge because they’re so damn versatile. You can snack on them straight out of the ice box; throw them alongside some leftover meat to complete a meal; top cottage cheese with it; throw them on a charcuterie plate with salumi and cheese; etc…

Have I mentioned that they’re super easy to make?

Just throw a few peppers directly on your gas range and crank your burners up to high.


If you have an electric range, you are out of luck.  Sorry. 

Char them all over, rotating every so often with some tongs.  If the skin isn’t burned all over, you can’t remove the skin completely.



Once the peppers are properly charred, place them in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  I normally leave them in the bowl for about an hour so that they steam and the skin is easy to remove.  Well, I actually leave them for that long (or longer) because I forget about them. Plus, I’d burn off my fingertips if I tried peeling them sooner.

The skins should come off easily when you rub them.  Remove the top and all the seeds and cut out the inner ribs since they get kind of slimy.  Slice up the bell pepper and toss with some salt and pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar to taste.  The peppers should keep in your fridge for almost a week.

7 notes
#recipes #bell peppers
#sous vide #cookbooks
Eating Out: Going Paleo at Nopalito

While the rest of the family was eating overcooked sirloin last night, my husband had dinner at Nopalito:


Man, those carnitas look mighty tasty. Bitch. I’m not bitter or anything. I just know that I have to eat that dry, leftover sirloin tonight at work. Again. Sigh.

Here’s my hubby’s take on Nopalito:

I dropped by tonight to grab some dinner before heading home. Despite it being a weeknight, the place was packed — I couldn’t even manage to talk my way into a seat at the bar. Luckily, the takeout counter beckoned.

Fifteen bucks gets you a fist-sized portion of crisp-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside carnitas. The slow-braised pork is fatty and mouth-filling, and served with a cabbage salad (which could have used a touch more acid), perfectly pickled jalapeños and emerald-green tomatillo salsa. 

My one complaint about the takeout counter: Its tiny waiting area is also where diners queue up to go use the facilities. (You know: Where you pee-pee and/or poo-poo.)  As I stood by the counter to await my food, I was accosted by three different people asking whether I was waiting to use the men’s room. 

"It’s VACANT, you know," a sweaty, red-faced guy said, pointing to the door to the loo. 

"I know," I replied. "I’m not waiting for the restroom. Go ahead."

"GREAT, ‘cause I NEED to get something out of my SYSTEM!" 

Which reminds me: Nopalito offers a wide selection of alcoholic beverages.

#restaurants #eating out #San Francisco
Breakfast Tonight

When I woke up tonight, I made this dinner for the family:


Seared sous vide chicken breast (cooked at 140 F for 8 hours) seasoned with Tom Douglas’s Rub With Love Pork Rub, baby spinach sauteed with butter and garlic, and roasted portobello mushrooms with aged balsamic vinegar. All in all, it just took about 20 minutes to get everything to the table.

Yes, I know the first ingredient listed in the Rub With Love Pork Rub is brown sugar. Sue me. I’m married to an attorney.

#sous vide #chicken #dinner #breakfast
I saw your meat csa post yesterday and I checked out their website - very cool idea and I'm interested myself. Just curious, which package do you get?

I get Marin Sun Farms’ Package #4.  I haven’t supplemented my box yet but I’m thinking of getting some short ribs and some flank steak with my next delivery.  The box definitely doesn’t last the month.

The Paleo Solution Quick Start Guiderobbwolf.com

Robb Wolf is THE cave man!

#Paleo guide #Robb Wolf #tips
Confession: I Am A Costco Addict

I feel very confessional today. 

I love Costco.  Maybe even a little more than I love my family.  Did I type that out loud?  Seriously, I go to Costco at least once a week and always come home with all sorts of awesome things — and not just stuff that come in 400-pack boxes. 

Here are some things I picked up yesterday:



Gluten-free, free-range, super easy-peasy, and pretty tasty.  I threw one pack in the freezer and will use the other pack throughout the week.  I packed a few meatballs with some leftover braised cabbage and brought it to work.



 Ito-en makes my favorite bottled Japanese tea and I love having these bags around to make green tea on the fly.


I eat tons of guacamole so I’m happy this comes in a three pack. 



Our Costco stocks some top-shelf cookbooks along with the crap.  I spied signed copies of Michael Chiarello’s new Bottega cookbook but it was next to Sandra Lee’s latest cookbook.  I guess you have to take the good with the shitty.  Come holiday season, they bring out the really fancy cookbooks like Alinea, The French Laundry Cookbook, etc.  I hope they stock Modernist Cuisine when it comes out…

Other products I regularly pick up at Costco:

  • Grimaud Farms duck confit
  • Large bag of Haas avocados (on the Clean Fifteen so I’m okay with them being conventionally grown)
  • Large bag of bell peppers (yes, I know it’s on the Dirty Dozen list but sometimes I can’t help myself – especially when I want to roast off a bunch of them)
  • Amylu Sweet Carmelized Onion Chicken Burgers
  • Rosie Fully Cooked Organic Free Range Chicken Strips

*UPDATE 7/11: I don’t buy the chicken meatballs, chicken burgers, or free range chicken strips anymore because there’s sugar and/or bad oils in ‘em.

    Plus, you can return almost anything (save some electronics) at anytime with no box or receipt — even years later.  I’m sold.

    3 notes
    #Costco #cookbooks #grocery #shopping #tips
    Confession: I Habitually Eat in the Middle of the Night

    Every seven days, I become nocturnal for a week, and then I switch back to the land of the living.  I’ve been doing this “crazy” work schedule (7 night shifts in a row, and then 7 days off, rinse and repeat) for almost a decade and it really works out for my lifestyle.  Who doesn’t want to have a week off every other week? 

    When I’m working the night shift, I follow a strict eating schedule so: 1) I don’t blow up into the Stay Puft Marshmallow Woman and 2) see reason number 1.

    My basic eating schedule when I’m working is as follows:

    6:00 pm: Make dinner and eat with the family.

    10:00 pm: Eat a snack shortly after I arrive at work (normally some Paleo-compliant trail mix, veggies and cottage cheese, beef jerky, a hard boiled egg, or some combination of the stuff I just listed.

    1:00 am: Eat my lunch.  It’s always something I pack from home and usually some sort of leftovers or a salad with meat.  Here’s what I ate last night: 


     Rocky Sweet Basil & Parmesan Chicken Meatballs + leftover braised cabbage

    3:30 am: Eat a snack.  Normally, it’s berries + full fat plain Greek yogurt or coconut milk.  I also sneak a square or two of some 85% or higher dark chocolate.

    5:30 am:  Eat my last meal of the day.  Again, it’s normally leftovers (e.g. some sort of meat and veg).  Last night, I just ate what I had for breakfast prior to coming to work:



    I try to have at least a 12-hour fast on the days I work.  Also, I pack all my meals for work or else I’m stuck eating the crap in the vending machines.  Ever since I started eating Paleo about 5 months ago, I’ve noticed a real difference in my energy level and my gut doesn’t get all wonky anymore when I am switching from day to night shift.  Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    #night shift #packed lunch #packed snacks
    #breakfast #dinner #sous vide #beef
    #Costco #bell peppers #chicken #lunch #recipe
    Paleo on a budgetbalancedbites.com

    Oooooh! I like this post. I have to confess I don’t follow it to a T but what a handy-dandy guide.

    #Paleo guide #tips
    #Meat CSA
    Breakfast of Champions: Fried Eggs and Broccoli

    Here’s what I had for breakfast:


    Two eggs scrambled in some butter, topped with diced San Marzano tomatoes and a dollop of guacamole.  I also nuked some frozen broccoli and topped that with my favorite salsa.  I chased all that down with my favorite snack:


    A handful or three of flaked dried coconut and salted roasted macadamia nuts.  Um, and a square of Michel Cluizel Grand Noir 85% dark chocolate.  See, breakfast for champions.

    #breakfast #broccoli #eggs #snacks
    World's Best Braised Green Cabbage

    One of my favorite cookbooks on the shelf is Molly Stevens’s All About Braising. Her recipe for “World’s Best Braised Green Cabbage” is AWESOME. My adapted version of this recipe is a mainstay in my veggie side dish arsenal because it transforms a lowly humble vegetable into a dish worth oohing and aahing over. Yes, it takes 2.5 hours from start to finish, but the total prep time is only ~10-15 minutes. Plus, it makes your house smell so dang yummy.  





    Here’s what to gather to feed 4-6 people:

    • 2 tablespoons melted lard, ghee, or bacon grease for coating the baking dish
    • 1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
    • 1 large red or yellow onion, peeled and thickly sliced
    • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch coins
    • 1/4 cup bone broth or water
    • 1/4 cup melted lard, ghee, or bacon grease
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • Aleppo pepper (optional)
    • Aged balsamic vinegar

    Here’s what to do:

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F with the rack in the middle. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with the melted fat.

    2. Lop off the tough stem end of the cabbage and divide it into 6-8 wedges. Keep the core attached so the wedges stay intact after the long cooking time. Don’t worry: The tough core will get super tender, too.

    3. Place the cabbage pieces in a single layer in the greased dish — a little overlap is okay. Toss on the onions and carrots and drizzle with broth and the melted fat. Season well with salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper (if using). Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven.

    4. Cook the cabbage undisturbed for 1 hour. Crack open the foil cover and carefully flip the wedges over. Reseal the dish tightly and braise for another hour or until fork-tender. 

    5. At this point, you can remove the cabbage to cool and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it (up to 4 days). When you’re ready to serve, crank the oven up to 425 F and bake until browned (about 15 minutes).

    6. Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.

    25 notes
    #cabbage #cookbooks #recipes
    Me Likey: Aroy-D Coconut Milk


    **UPDATE 11/20/11: I’m not quite so fond of this brand anymore ‘cause it’s too watered down. Harumph.**

    This stuff is the bomb diggity. It’s good straight out of the carton (shelf stable and no BPA!) but I prefer it refrigerated so it thickens up. No preservatives. No emulsifiers. High in fat. Yummy. Don’t buy the overpriced stuff (ahem, Thai Kitchen) at Whole Foods.  Get yourself down to a 99 Ranch and grab a six pack for a couple bucks.  This stuff is fantastic in savory curries or over some fresh berries (my fave).  Buy some now!


    #coconut #snack
    #dinner #sausage
    Garlic Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"



    I’m not a NPR listener.  Whenever my friends talk about what they heard on Morning Edition, I smile and nod while secretly thinking about all the crazy stuff I heard on Howard Stern that morning. Still, Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift have an award-winning food show on Public Radio (or so I hear) and their cookbook, The Splendid Table’s How To Eat Supper, has some great recipes.  A recipe I make over and over again is their Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes,” which I’ve modified slightly (to make it super-Paleo AND super-simple). You can make this dish ahead of time and it’s the dish that keeps on giving.  


    Serves 6-8.

    • 1 large head cauliflower
    • 5 large cloves garlic
    • Salt
    • 2 tablespoons grassfed butter
    • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    I started by filling up a large (6-quart) stock pot with an inch or two of water. I put the pot on a burner set on high, dumped in a steamer insert, and put on the lid. 


    While waiting for the water to boil, I washed and trimmed a large head of cauliflower and cut up the florets and stem. I then grabbed a packet of Trader Joe’s peeled garlic from the fridge and sliced up all the cloves.  Don’t worry about how everything looks because it’ll get pulverized later in the Cuisinart.

    Once the water in the pot was boiling, I threw in the stems, half of the florets, and all of the garlic. I salted everything liberally.


    Then, I put in the rest of the cauliflower, seasoned with more salt, replaced the lid, and steamed everything until it was soft (~10 minutes). You won’t overcook it — trust me.

    Once the florets were done, I dumped everything into a colander and let it drain.


    I dumped everything into my Cuisinart food processor (fitted with the steel knife), and added some fresh cracked pepper, microplaned nutmeg, and the butter. 



    Final step: I processed everything until smooth. After one last taste for seasoning, I put my faux “mashed potatoes” in a big bowl, covered it and popped it in my fridge. These faux “mashed potatoes” reheat beautifully in the microwave!

    23 notes
    #cauliflower #cookbooks #recipes
    Recipe: 10-Minute Mexican Meat & Veg Lunch

    If I’m eating lunch at home, I want something delicious but I want it RIGHT NOW. Leftovers are wonderful, but you can also cobble together something new with basics in your fridge. I assembled this lunch lickety-split today:


    I used what I had on hand in my fridge/freezer or on my counter:

    • Leftover sous-vide chicken breast (but any protein will do)
    • Primavera Organic Roasted Tomato Chipotle Salsa — the best goddamn salsa around.  Search it out if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area
    • Organic assorted cherry tomatoes
    • Casa Sanchez Real Guacamole
    • Clover organic sour cream
    • Frozen organic broccoli florets

    1.  Throw a couple cups of broccoli florets into a microwave-safe glass bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and nuke on high for 1.5 minutes.  Shake and nuke for 30 seconds more if needed to finish cooking the broccoli.

    2.  While the florets are cooking in the microwave, cut up your leftover meat, and wash and cut the cherry tomatoes in half.

    3.  When the broccoli is cooked, top it with the cut-up meat and cherry tomatoes. Spoon on some salsa and dollop with generous globs of guacamole and sour cream.

    4.  Nom nom nom…  

    Did I mention that this recipe is called “10-Minute Mexican Meat & Veg Lunch” because that’s how long it takes to prepare AND eat it?

    Does it count as a recipe, if you’re just throwing things in a bowl?

    1 note
    #lunch #packed lunch #recipes

    My iPhone!

    #breakfast #snack
    SousVide Supreme: How Lazy People Can Cook Like Master Chefs

    I recently splurged and got myself a SousVide Supreme. Wanna read more about sous viding? Here’s my hubby’s in depth post on cooking food at sub-boiling temps in a plastic bag. Yes, I buy a shitload of kitchen gadgets that are now languishing in our appliance graveyard in the garage but I think I will get a lot of use of out this machine. Really. I promise.

    In my first two weeks of ownership, I’ve made pork chops, grassfed sirloin roast, chicken breasts (once with skin and bones, once sans both), tri-tip steak, 48-hour Momofuku shortribs, and assorted veggies. I’ve had success with some things (e.g. shortribs) and had some misses (e.g. over-cooked broccoli and pork chops). I’m still tinkering with my recipes and will post about my successes as I get more experience with my water oven.


    I’m not an aspiring Master Chef — just a working mom who wants perfectly cooked meat ready and waiting for me at dinner time. So far, I’m pretty happy with the results.

    1 note
    #paleo food #sous vide #kitchen gadgets
    Eating out: Going Paleo at Old Port Lobster Shack

    I love reading about where Gutenberg and Chubby nosh in the Bay Area. My god, these guys get invited to the French Laundry’s holiday party, so you know they roll like nobody’s business.  I know they don’t eat Paleo, but once in a while I get some great tips on how to eat like a cave girl at notable places in my hood.

    For example, I thought my days of eating at Redwood City’s Old Port Lobster Shack were over once since I switched to eating Paleo.  Not true — just order a Shack Louie and you are good to go! I was a little skeptical about ordering a salad at a place known for its lobster rolls and fried seafood but if Gutenberg says that it’s tasty, I believe him. Sure enough, the salad was fresh and delicious. Yes, it’s kinda pricey but just use this coupon if you spend $50. Very kid-friendly so bring the rugrats. 


    #eating out
    Recipe: Lamb Kofta Kebabs

    Aarti Sequira, the latest winner of The Next Food Network Star, makes me smile and her lamb kebabs are really tasty.  My meat CSA includes 5 lbs of ground meat each month so I’m always making these kebabs for my family.  Sometimes, I use grassfed beef, lamb, or a combo of the two.  

    • 2 medium shallots
    • 2 cloves garlic
    • 3 quarter-sized slices ginger
    • Handful of cilantro
    • 4 sprigs mint
    • Zest of one lemon, and separately, its juice
    • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
    • Lots of freshly ground pepper
    • 1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1lb ground lamb, grass fed beef, or combo of the two
    • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses + 2 tbsp extra for glaze

    1) Bring lamb to room temperature. If you’re going to cook your kebabs on the grill, soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes, so they don’t burn.

    2) Grab your mini food processor and throw in shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, cilantro, mint and salt. Grind until very finely chopped.

    3) Throw lamb into big bowl. Add the shallot mixture, pomegranate molasses, baking soda, garam masala and pepper to the meat. Using your hands, knead 2 to 5 minutes until meat lightens in colour, taking on the appearance of knitted fabric. It will also be very sticky. 

    4) Divide the meat in half, then half again, and then half again, until you have 8 mounds.

    5) Have a platter ready for your completed kebabs. Drizzle a little oil on the platter so the kebabs don’t stick.

    6) Have your bamboo skewers standing by. Take one ball of meat, and roll it into a short stump. Thread the skewer through it, then begin shaping the kebab with quick strokes, pulling the meat down. It should be a little over 1/4″ thick. Roll the kebab between your hands to seal the meat. Repeat.

    7) Heat griddle over medium heat, drizzling oil over it, so that when it starts to smoke, you’ll know it’s ready. Meanwhile, mix the juice of half the lemon with extra 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses in a small bowl.

    8) When it’s hot, place the skewers on the grill. Cook about 2 minutes, then turn a quarter of the way. Brush with lemon-molasses glaze, and cook another 2 minutes. Continue in this way until you’ve cooked the meat 8-10 minutes.

    9) Alternatively, you can broil these suckers in the oven — just place the kebabs on a foil lined baking tray about 6 inches from the heating element and turn every 3-5 minutes until done.

    Makes 4 servings.

    4 notes
    #beef #dinner #lamb #recipes
    Review: Marlowe (San Francisco)

    Man, I love this place.  Yes, the food is delicious, market-driven, and unfussy but the real reason Marlowe holds a special place in my heart is my two year old willingly ate his first bite of Brussels sprouts here. My tiny, carb-loving, self-imposed vegetarian (who hates vegetables) wolfed down a plate of Brussels sprout chips faster than Joey Chestnut gulps down a barrel of hotdogs.  I have to wipe away a tear as I type this…

    Since it’s located right behind the Caltrain station, I’ve always wanted to come here with my rugrats for our bi-monthly family dinner in the city.  I was hesitant to do so since it didn’t seem particularly kid-friendly when I dined here a couple months ago.   However, I was determined to make a go of it with the kids last Tuesday.  Don’t worry, all you kid-haters, I made sure our reservation was early and I was armed with snacks, an iPad, and bribes.  Who knew that it would be the hottest fricking day in history and Marlowe doesn’t have A/C?  Despite the heat, no melt-downs from anybody (me included).

    Even though the menu is small, everything I’ve ordered has been really yummy.  This time, the four of us split the Brussels sprout chips, burrata and peaches, little gem salad, roasted bone marrow, Marlowe burger, spiced prawns, and seared halibut.  My favorite was the little gem salad - perfect, crisp greens with paper-thin shaved roots, al-dente baby veggies, dollops of creamy smashed avocado, all of which was lightly dressed with a balanced vinaigrette.  The Marlowe burger is delicious and my 5 year old proclaimed it the best burger and fries he’s ever eaten.  On a previous visit, I also really liked the steak and poulet vert.  Damn it, I guess every thing I’ve had is tasty!

    If you are bringing kids, please note that there are no high chairs (there are boosters) and the tables are really close together.  Plus, you will most likely be seated next to a young hipster couple who will be shooting dirty looks at you for bringing your kids.  Just make sure that your kids are well-behaved and you will be fine.

    #eating out #San Francisco
    #New York City #eating out #sous vide

    Your protein needs to have the following criteria:

    1. It needs a face.

    2. It needs a soul.

    3. You need to kill it, and bring its essence into your being.

    4. Really.

    —Robb Wolf, The Paleo Solution
    #Robb Wolf