Why frozen broccoli two meals in a row? It’s not because I’m trying to add more cruciferous veggies to my diet — I just need to clear room in my freezer. My gal, Fit Daffy, and I are splitting another case of Hawaiian Sun frozen coconut milk so I gotta chisel some space in my cramped icebox to fit this precious cargo. I need my chest freezer fixed PRONTO!
On a side note, y’all gave me lots of great suggestions for future recipes BUT I’m a little perturbed perplexed by all the requests for Paleo versions of carb-y, sugar-y, gluten-y entrees and desserts. Yes, it’s partly my fault for being so vague in my request but some recipes just can’t be Paleo-ized.
First of all, mac ‘n cheese without the mac or the cheese is just salt and pepper. Secondly, if you want to indulge in a “FAILEO” food once in a blue moon as an F-off treat — do it! Unless you’re suffering from an autoimmune disorder, a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free iteration of an item like cheesecake isn’t worth it. You’ll be disappointed and STILL eat more than you want to. Free yourselves of the candy cigarettes, people!
[UPDATED: Okay, okay. I looked back at my post and I totally asked for Paleo-ized food (i.e., stuff that doesn’t start off Paleo). Time to wipe the egg off my face and remove the foot from my mouth! I guess the sheer volume of the requests for dessert options just got me a little worried about y’all. (And frankly, I wouldn’t trust myself to make a “Paleo” dessert and not gorge on it.) Next time, I’ll be sure to make clear that I just wanted some new ideas for everyday recipes. You know I love you, right?]
Just like the last six nights, the hospital was filled to capacity, which meant I was working non-stop ‘til the clock struck 8:00 a.m. Luckily, I managed to find enough time to eat everything I packed, including a grass fed PaleoKit, coconut flakes, and a container crammed full of leftover Kalua Pig and braised cabbage.
When I came home in the morning, I took a nap for a few hours before transitioning into full-time mommy mode for the week. Unlike one of my typical flip days, I slept a little longer than usual and gulped down an espresso with cream when I got up.
I was a little apprehensive about getting too much sleep and filling myself with stimulants, but I knew I had a long day ahead. For the next eight weeks, I’m taking a course taught by Tori Ritchie about food writing for mainstream media and blogs. Sitting in a classroom on Wednesday evenings immediately after getting off a 7-night stretch of overnight hospital work is gonna be a challenge. I’m sure I’ll be a total zombie, but the sleep deprivation will be worth it.
After dinner, I sped over to my class and spent three hours learning how to properly structure a recipe. Lemme tell you: There’s a ton I’ve been doing wrong all these months! HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO STAND THE SHEER CRAPPINESS OF THIS BLOG?
Even though I was super sleepy, the hours sped by and I left my class super-duper inspired. I can’t believe I’m enjoying school — let alone a writing class. It’s so damn ironic because my recurring panic nightmare since childhood is being in English class and being told to write an impromptu essay.
I spent the next couple hours crazily cooking and packing since we had massive amounts of defrosted meat. We piled as much as we could fit into our main freezer, Fitbomb brought some bags o’meat to stash in his work freezers…
After dinner, I went to the garage to grab some meat from the chest freezer…only to find most of the meat already defrosted. WTF?!?! Aaaaaaaaaaaah!
I pitched a mini meltdown — complete with tears, hyperventilation, and panic Twitter DMs to my carnivore buddy — before I realized that I’d just overstuffed my freezer and the meat at the tippy-top of the freezer didn’t freeze. I flung a bunch of meat into our main freezer and crossed my arms, legs, fingers, and toes that nothing spoiled. Fitbomb reminded me repeatedly that we’ve eaten at many ethnic restaurants with worse food handling than Chez Nom Nom Paleo and we’ve survived.
It was difficult mustering up my enthusiasm to head to work but duty calls. Only two more nights of work!
Giveaway Time! Win a Paleo Magazine Subscription & Nom Nom Paleo Shirt!
I love glossy magazines stuffed with food porn and fitness tips, and for years, I made sure my mailbox was filled with a steady stream of periodicals like Saveur, Everyday Food, Gourmet and Women’s Health. Even today — more than a year after going Paleo — my multi-year subscriptions for Eating Well and Cooking Light have yet to expire. When they arrive, I still flip through them, but it pains me every time I see an article or an ad that I know is flat-out dumb or wrong.
I can’t believe I used to (literally) swallow this crap.
Thankfully, there’s an antidote: Paleo Magazine — the first print periodical focused on ancestral approaches to nutrition and health. The brainchild of Cain Credicott, Paleo Magazine launched just a few months ago and is already kicking butt. Each issue is packed with features written by some of our favorite people in the Paleosphere (Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo! Clif Harski of MovNat! Bill Staley & Hayley Mason of The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate! Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites! Liz Wolfe of Cavegirl Eats!) and gorgeous photos by the talented Tammy Credicott and others. Whether you’re immersed in the Paleo lifestyle or just considering it, you need to get your grubby little hands on Paleo Magazine. Seriously: Subscribe already!
To help get you hooked on this bi-monthly crack, my giveaway package this week consists of:
Speaking of which, did I mention that we (and by “we,” I mean the husband) cranked out a couple of brand-new t-shirt designs over the weekend? They’re already available at my Spreadshirt shop (where you can find our other designs, too), so check ‘em out and let me know what you think!
And while you’re at it, buy yourselves a shirt or three! Remember: Until the end of the year, U.S. and Canadian residents can get free shipping on orders of $50 or more by entering the code SHIPFREEUS (for the U.S.) and CADSHIPFREE (for Canada).
In the alternative, try your luck at winning the prize package!
To enter, just post a comment below with: (1) a suggestion for a dish you’d like to see me Paleo-ize (but don’t pick one I’ve already done, s’il vous plait); and (2) the t-shirt design you’d like to win (you can view all the designs over here). One winner will be randomly chosen later this week.
The deadline to enter the sweepstakes is this Wednesday night (September 28, 2011) at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time, so YOU’D BETTER GET CRACKIN’, people!
My nightshifts have been super busy this week and tonight was no exception. I fasted during my 10-hour shift because I wasn’t super hungry and I didn’t really have time to eat.
When I came home, I ate a slice of leftover frittata along with a tomato and avocado salad.
As a special treat, I savored some dark chocolate and coconut flakes before heading to bed. I wish I slept right away, but instead, I stayed up waaaaaaay past my bedtime watching True Blood on the iPad. I’m totally on Team Eric.
When I woke up in the evening, I groggily threw together a quick dinner. Damn you, HBO GO!
…gobs of coconut flakes, and a frozen PaleoKrunch bar. Yes, I ate all of it. I had a testy exchange with an arrogant vascular surgery resident before I came home (I won by the way) so I stuffed my face ‘cause I was HANGRY.
I had another busy night at the hospital so here’s my public service announcement for the day:
Git yer flu shots, people!
Once the kiddies return to school and infect each other, you can bet there’s contagious snot all over the place.
Let’s return to our regular programming, shall we?
For my meals at work, I ate some deli turkey meat, a salad topped with leftover kabobs, and a coconut PaleoKit.
On my way home from work, I stopped by Whole Paycheck to restock on groceries and take advantage of the Friday One Day Sale on packaged deli meat (Buy 2, get 1 free!). Who’s got two thumbs and loves to save money? This gal!
O.K., who am I kidding? I’m a spendthrift but I like to pretend that I learned something from my frugal Chinese parents.
When I got home, I settled my grumbling stomach with the last of the leftover sous vide Cowboy chop before heading to bed.
At 5:00 p.m., I woke up, drove Big-O to his best bud’s house for a sleepover, and came home to make dinner. Meal prep was super simple tonight because I was serving leftover curried goat shanks that I’d defrosted in the fridge.
After I plated the greens and bacon, I removed the roasted cauliflower from the toaster oven and drizzled on lime juice and a shower of minced cilantro.
Here’s my dinner plate:
After dinner, we tucked Lil-O in bed and reassured him that his big brother would be returning in the morning. Then, I did some exercise in our home gym, gathered my crap for work, and headed out into the night.
Work tonight was busy, busy, busy! Luckily, the torrential shitstorm meant my nightshift went by lickety-split.
For my meal at work, I ate half a leftover sous vide chicken breast, sauteed peppers, and roasted cauliflower. To chase it all down, I consumed a small container of slushy Hawaiian Sun frozen coconut milk.
When I finally got home, I was famished so I fried a couple scrambled eggs in butter and ate them with some leftover sous vide Cowboy chop.
Look at how purty these gluten-free lava fudge cuppycakes are!
I resisted temptation and willed myself to sleep (with a little assist from my trusty friend, Ambien).
When I woke up in the evening, I started making dinner. We were celebrating my pop’s birthday with a simple dinner of fried sausages and salad. These weren’t any old sausages — they were delicious Paleo-friendly meat sticks from 4505 Meats!
I fried up a package of apple breakfast sausage….
…and lamb merguez (my favorite!).
Then, I thinly sliced an onion and sauteed them in the pan drippings…
…until they were soft and caramelized.
To accompany the sausages and onions, I tossed a salad with greens, tomatoes, avocados, and carrots. I seasoned the salad with coarse salt and pepper and dressed it with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
Here’s my dinner plate:
Afterwards, we sang happy birthday to Gong Gong and chowed on the cupcakes!
The lava cakes were soooooo yummy! My pancreas is relieved that we are thousands of miles away from that bakeshop! Big hugs and thanks to Matt, Stacy, Cole, Finian, and Wesley!
After everyone went to sleep, I made myself a tiny espresso with a splash of cream and drove to work.
I started my nightshift work week tonight so my morning was a flurry of laundry and errands.
Before I walked Big-O to school, I cooked up a frittata with the last of the leftover slow cooker Kalua pig, sauteed bell peppers, and frozen spinach.
Fitbomb and I each ate a slice topped with avocado and I saved the rest to pack as an upcoming work lunch.
For lunch, I picked up a variety of kabobs from Rose International Market and I tossed a meaty salad with greens and heirloom tomatoes.
I made sure I ordered extra kabobs (‘cause they’re tasty and cheap) so I’d have surplus protein for packed lunches. Are you sensing a trend here?
After I inhaled my lunch, I picked up Big-O from school and we retrieved our monthly meat share from Marin Sun Farms. When we returned home, I filled and heated my SousVide Supreme to 132 F and gave my mom instructions to dump in a frozen pre-cooked Cowboy chop at 4:00 p.m. Remember? It’s the one I iced in my Cowboy chop sous vide video!
I took a nap for a couple hours in the afternoon and woke up in the evening to make dinner for the family.
For our supper, I made a quick stir-fry with savoy cabbage and onions and tossed in a small tray of roasted spiced mushrooms…
…and I gathered my kicks before hitting my WOD. (Thanks for the new socks, Fitbomb!)
As usual, the women’s class was fun and challenging but I did get a nasty bruise on my shin when I landed on my tush while practicing snatch balances and dropped a barbell on myself. Ouch! Now I have to wear knee highs all the time.
After class, I met my good friend H and her darling daughter for a birthday lunch at Birch Street Restaurant in Palo Alto. Birch Street is the new, tinier incarnation of perennial Palo Alto favorite Bistro Elan. Prices are high but the quality of ingredients is pretty exceptional — especially for Palo Alto. For example, they serve lots of local and organic produce and feature sustainable and grass fed meats from BN Ranch. If you are dairy-averse, stop reading the rest of this post. You’ve been warned!
Being a super indulgent friend, H allowed me to order for the two of us. We shared two salads: one with La Quercia prosciutto, Kashiwase peach, feta, and watercress..
…and another with heirloom tomatoes and burrata.
Yes, those are some big ass crunchy croutons but I ate around them.
For our mains, we shared a Greek salad with lamb meatballs, romaine, black olives, feta, “eggplant chips,” yogurt, and cucumber…
…and a cast-iron seared BN Ranch grass fed flat iron steak with fries.
I didn’t eat any fries but only because I was so damn full.
Lunch was tasty (for Palo Alto) but the best part was catching up with my buddy and making goo goo faces at her adorable daughter.
After my leisurely lunch, I pampered myself with a Swedish massage at LaBelle Day Spa. Truth be told, I kinda hate massages but I had a bunch of knots in my shoulders that had to be rubbed out. My masseuse was fantastic and she made me giggle when she politely inquired if I had a cat, in reference to my faded double-under whip marks on my arms. I casually told her that I’d been a bad, bad girl.
As soon as my spa hour was over, I rushed home to pick up the Double-O’s from school. Then, we went to Big-O’s dentist appointment before hopping on a northbound train for San Francisco to eat dinner at Marlowe Restaurant.
We ordered and ate the same items we did last time but I got a special birthday appetizer created by Big-O: a virtual cupcake filled with kabobs!
Marlowe serves up tasty eats but my two faves are definitely the deviled eggs…
…and the roasted marrow.
Since we were in the city and it was HOT and it was my birthday, I requested that we head to Humphry Slocombe for some dessert.
Man, the Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee ice cream is GOOO-OOOOD! Yes, it’s a tad sweet for my like-a-sugar-virgin taste buds but it was worthwhile treat.
When we got home, I ended the night by savoring a couple squares of dark chocolate from Monique’s Chocolates. Thanks H!
Now, I’m going to happily slip into a diabetic coma…
Just kidding! I love you guys! (Not really. I don’t even know most of you. I’m just saying that to make you feel better.)
For breakfast, I made a quick scramble with leftover Kalua pig, heirloom tomatoes, and Aleppo peppers.
At lunchtime, I threw together a quick salad with leftover kabobs, greens, roasted bell peppers, and tomatoes.
In the afternoon, Dr. HA (a.k.a. Lawyerhands) and her daughter (a.k.a. my future daughter-in-law) came over to hang out and have dinner. I always look forward to spending time with Dr. HA ‘cause she’s hilarious and sharp as a tack. Plus, she’s a fantastic listener. I wonder if she’s ever considered psychology as a career?
While the kids ran around the house building forts and pretending to be pirates, Dr. HA kept me company in the kitchen as I sous vided some chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper (in case you were wondering: 140 F for a minimum of 90 minutes)…
…roasted some broccoli and cauliflower that I finished with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar…
…and sauteed sweet peppers and onions that I topped with basil chiffonade.
Here’s my dinner plate:
Oh, and throughout the day, I ate a ton of coconut products (mostly flakes and defrosted milk). I’m still a total coconut addict.
Today we threw a casual lunch party in our backyard with old and new friends.
You’d think I’d take it easy after Fight Gone Bad 6, but I always try to make use of every minute I’ve got off until my nightshifts start again. Hey, I’m all about cramming in as much good grub and guffaws with people I love.
Since I was still tired from the beat-down the morning before, I decided that our main chow would be meat and veggie kabobs from House of Kabobs in Sunnyvale. That way, I’d just have to make some appetizers and salad before the guests arrived and I’d be able to enjoy the festivities when everyone got here.
I didn’t eat an “official” breakfast but I was grazing on everything I was making for the party: a crudite platter with Aubergine and chimichurri dip…
…before I stopped at the store to grab some guacamole and lettuce to accompany my shredded swine.
I hustled back tout de suite because I was in the second heat of the day. I got a good luck hug from Big-O…
…before I went balls to the walls.
It was a family affair because Fitbomb gave it his all in the second to last RX’d men’s heat and the Double-O’s participated in the kids’ WOD at the very end.
Afterwards, the Paleo potluck commenced and there were yummy meats fresh from the grill…
…and a slew of other goodies.
Here’s my first plate of many…
…and Fitbomb’s lunch.
When we got home, I was exhausted and sore. The last thing I wanted to do was make dinner but I had a three-pound package of 4505 Meats’ grass fed beef grind in the fridge so I quickly made Turkish sliders (sans sauteed onions)…
Guess what? I completed my FIRST weighted RX’d WOD today! Thanks to all the awesome ladies in my class who cheered me on even though I was at least two rounds behind everyone! Can you feel pathetic and proud at the same time? YES!
Congratulations — you’ve won a copy of Julie & Charles Mayfield’s fabulous cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods! As for Part 2 of the prize, Big-O’s at school so he won’t be able to draw you a picture; instead, I’ll throw in a spice blend or two. Email me your mailing address!
And thanks to everyone who entered the drawing! My next giveaway’s just around the corner, so stay tuned…
Here’s what I gathered to feed 4-6 people as a side dish:
2 large bunches of broccoli, cut into florets (there should be enough to fill a large baking sheet in one layer)
4-5 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of your favorite fat
2 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar
Here’s how I made it:
I preheated both the oven and toaster oven to 400F and arranged the florets on a large, foil-lined baking tray. I drizzled on the fat, seasoned with salt and pepper, and tossed the broccoli to combine.
I placed the tray in the oven and roasted the broccoli for 30-35 minutes (tossing the broccoli and turning the baking sheet halfway through the cooking time).
I took out the prosciutto…
…and put five slices in a single layer on a foil-lined tray.
I put the tray of prosciutto in the toaster oven for about 7-10 minutes. I flipped the slices halfway through the cooking time and removed them to a cooling rack when they were thisclose to being burned.
(If you don’t have a separate toaster oven, you can do this part ahead of time in the regular oven.)
When the prosciutto cooled, the slices became crispy and crunchy. I cut them into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears.
When the broccoli was finished roasting, I drizzled on aged balsamic vinegar and sprinkled on the crispy prosciutto.
It was a busy, busy day with no time to cook but I was able to eat pretty clean — despite eating dinner at a pre-school potluck. Wanna see?
In the morning, our family was hustling to get the heck out of our house. Before accompanying Lil-O to his preschool class in the morning, I ate a fried Applegate Farms chicken apple sausage, leftover garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes, and sliced heirloom tomatoes.
After a fun but exhausting morning at the preschool, I came home and reheated leftover Lion’s head, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and braised eggplant.
Don’t worry, I’ll pester my mom until she gives up her recipe for Lion’s head meatballs. I can be a persistent mofo when I want to be.
True confession: cooking seafood always stressed me out in the past. Maybe it’s ‘cause proteins from the sea are extremely perishable and seem to overcook in an instant. Plus, have you seen the price of high quality seafood lately?! Marone!
For many moons, my tame kitchen adventures involving fruits de mer only revolved around salmon and shrimp…but not anymore!
Armed with a SousVide Supreme and the conviction that I gotta get more healthy omega-3’s in my belly, I jumped in the deep end and joined a seafood CSA. I’m excited and a tad nervous that we’re getting a weekly delivery from Siren SeaSA — a sustainably-harvested local seafood CSA in the San Francisco Bay Area — but I’m ready for a challenge!
For my first delivery, I received two be-YOO-tiful black cod fillets.
It’s Friday night (or waaaaay early on Saturday morning) and I had nothing going on except for work, work, work. How come everyone else is drinking and driving and/or falling off horses? If everyone else stayed home and caught up on sleep, I’d have a nice, quiet shift at the hospital. Some people are so damn self-centered.
Er…I guess that includes me.
My first meal at work was close to the end of my shift: leftover emergency protein and veggies.
I had intended to sous vide the black cod fillets from Siren SeaSA for dinner but I didn’t have enough time. Don’t fret! I stored them in a bowl of ice in the fridge for tomorrow’s dinner.
Then, I packed my stuff for work and went to the garage to practice for Fight Gone Bad 6. Yes, that means I spent some time in the garage getting bonked in the head with a heavy medicine ball. Over and over and over again. Ouch.
Who wants to pony up a buck or two for a good cause? Donate by clicking on this link!
Wow. Bite for bite, I honestly don’t think I can come up with an easier recipe than this one. All you need is a big pork roast, a few slices of bacon, Hawaiian Sea Salt, and PATIENCE! Remember—quality matters when you’re using just 3 ingredients!
…and used a knife to remove the skin from the roast.
(You don’t have to do this, though. Feel free to leave the skin on if you’re in a lazy state of mind. I won’t tell.)
Next, I weighed the pork so I could estimate how much salt to use.
Normally, I liberally salt my roasts like it’s raining cats and dogs. But in this case, I wanted to be more judicious in my seasoning ’cause the long cooking time will concentrate the salt. In the end, I followed Judy Rodger’s rule of thumb: use ¾ teaspoon of medium-coarse salt for every 1 pound of meat. (Using fine salt? Use about half that amount.)
Then, I tucked in the garlic cloves…
…and salted the pork all over.
I pulled out my trusty slow cooker…
…and placed the roast on top of the bacon, skin-side up.
I plopped on the lid and cooked the roast on low for about 16 hours. Don’t add any liquid!
When the pork was finished cooking…
…I removed the meat and shredded it with two forks.
I checked the pork for seasoning and adjusted it with the cooking liquid that remained at the bottom of the pot. Don’t just shred the meat in the cooking liquid—it’ll be too salty!
When I got home, I was greeted with hugs from my boys and the intoxicating smell of slow cooked Kalua pig. Surely, one of my top 10 favorite ways to end the day.
Fitbomb transformed Big-O into his Mini-Me before I walked him to school…
…because Big-O had another Picture Day today!
When I returned home, I peeked in on the Kalua Pig in the slow cooker and added another 8 hours to the cooking time. The smell of porky goodness made me hungry so I ate another meal: a fried Applegate Farms chicken apple sausage and heirloom tomato salad.
Then, I went to bed until dinner.
When I woke up at 5:00 p.m, the Kalua Pig was finally finished cooking!
Tonight, I didn’t realize I was hungry until around 3:00 a.m. because the orders kept streaming in at a steady pace. I like when my shift at the hospital is busy because the night passes quickly. Not a shitstorm, mind you, but enough work so that time lapses without me noticing it.
When I got home, Fitbomb had already fed the boys breakfast and packed Big-O’s lunch.
Plus, he even had time to apply product to Big-O’s hair for Picture Day!
While my hubby hustled Big-O to school, I threw the ingredients for curried goat shanks into the slow cooker. This took 10 minutes, tops.
Next, I assembled Lil-O’s lunchbox for preschool: scrambled egg, strawberries, blueberries, and Yogavive popped apple chips. Since he loves his school and can’t get enough (he attends a play-based co-op), we decided to enroll him in the morning and afternoon sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I’m hoping he’ll eat his lunch, but I’m a realist. Given the choice of playing or eating, Lil-O will definitely opt for a hunger strike.
After I dropped our littlest guy off at school, I ate a few slices of Applegate Farms organic roast beef, a handful of baby carrots, and the rest of my homemade coconut butter before heading to bed.
This recipe is soooo simple and idiot-proof. You’ll come home after a long day at work/school and a delicious pot of comforting curry stew will be waiting for you! Plus, you’ll have tons of leftovers! Win! Win!
For this crock-pot meal, I adapted my recipe for slow cooker Thai yellow curry with grass fed beef brisket by subbing in goat foreshanks. After 10 hours of gentle simmering, the meat was meltingly tender and falling off the bone by dinnertime.
Since I was returning to work tonight, I spent the morning grocery shopping and prepping dinner. But before Lil-O and I hit up Whole Paycheck, I made myself a quick breakfast of leftover roast veggies and a 4505 Meats’ bacon-stuffed hot dog. I like these wieners a lot and now you can have them shipped to your home!
This morning both kids were headed to school — so that meant I had the morning free! Woohoo! Now if only I didn’t have so much laundry to do…
Before leaving to get my WOD on at CrossFit Palo Alto, I packed Big-O’s lunch in his PlanetBox lunchbox: baby carrots, sugar snappea crisps, almonds, Applegate Farms organic roast chicken, and a sliced pluot.
I walked him to school and when I returned home, I ate a couple scrambled eggs and leftover roasted veggies.
The women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto was packed today! I suspect that lots of other mommies were finally free to get sweaty since their kids were back in school.
Eating Out Paleo: Anatolian Kitchen (Palo Alto, CA)
I love kabobs and Turkish food, specifically, so I was excited when Anatolian Kitchen opened up in my neck of the woods last year. It’s run by the Tekdemir brothers: Dino mans the front of the house and Shahan runs the kitchen. Service is always warm and welcoming, but the reason we return over and over again is their tasty, uncomplicated food. It’s comforting Middle Eastern fare done well.
We’ve eaten here a bunch of times and almost ALWAYS order the combo grill and ask for extra veggies in place of rice. The combo comes with lamb, chicken, doner, and kofte and the meat’s always well-seasoned and moist.
We routinely share a second entree and typically choose one of the daily specials. The braised lamb shank is always tender and well-seasoned (we sub out the orzo with veggies) but my favorite dish is the pan roasted whole sea bass stuffed with fennel and onions.
When we ordered it the other day, the fish was fantastic! The skin was crisp, yet the flesh was moist and delicious! We didn’t even need to Paleo-fy the dish because it came with a side salad and no grains.
If you’re in the area — say you’re finishing a WOD at CrossFit Palo Alto — give this place a try!
Big-O is super excited about the upcoming release of Bill & Hayley's new cookbook, Make It Paleo, because I’ve assured him it contains LOTS of recipes for Paleo treats and cheats. My older son is totally into the candy cigarettes and big, glossy cookbooks filled with beautiful food porn. I guess the apple don’t fall far from the tree!
We brought the cookies to the party ‘cause there is no way in H-E-double-hockey-sticks we’re keeping four dozen cookies at our house. I finally tried a cookie, and it was, “Goooo-oood!” as Lil-O likes to sing/shout.
The whole family had a fantastic time at C & H’s place, as usual. There was great conversation punctuated with guffaws…
…delicious, Paleo-friendly grub…
…and Lil-O was able to frolic with his ladylove.
We so didn’t want to leave, which is always the case when we hang with C & H, but we finally did because we were meeting my glam fashion-exec cousin and her hubby for dinner at Anatolian Kitchen.
At the restaurant, Fitbomb and I split a combo grill platter…
Big-O has been pestering me to make this recipe ever since we first received the Paleo Comfort Foods Cookbook in the mail. He’s never eaten poached pears before and he’s not particularly a fan of the fruit, so I was perplexed as to why he wanted to make this dessert so badly. When I pushed him for an answer he would just retort, “You told me we could make anything in this cookbook and I want to make this one.”
Little man, you’re just lucky I love you so much.
Here’s the original recipe (with my modifications in parentheses):
3 cups of fresh squeezed orange juice (I used Odwalla O.J.)
3 cups water
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
4 ripe but not mushy pears (I only had 3 pears)
5 whole cloves (I didn’t have any)
1 stick of cinnamon
parchment paper cut to fit the saucepan you’re using
zest of one orange (I didn’t have any)
Here’s how I made this dish:
The kids poured the juice, water, ginger, and cinnamon stick into a medium saucepan…
…while I peeled and cored the pears.
I used a melon baller to scoop out the core from the bottom of the pear…
…making sure the core and seeds were all removed.
We dunked the pears in the poaching liquid…
…topped the pot with a piece of parchment paper…
…and brought the liquid to a simmer. The pears poached in the liquid for about 30 minutes or until soft but not mushy.
I removed the pears with a slotted spoon…
…and brought the poaching liquid to a boil. Then, I turned down the heat so the liquid would simmer and reduce by half, or until it became syrupy.
I removed the cinnamon stick and ginger and poured the sauce over the pears. I stored the pears in the poaching liquid in the fridge and served them cold.
We offered the pears to our kids and their cousins for dessert and they LOVED them! Who knew kids would like poached pears?
Big-O has been bugging me non-stop to make this recipe (even though he’s never eaten poached pears) ever since we received the cookbook in the mail.
He’s one persistent bugger.
After we finished storing the poached pears in the fridge, I reached in the pantry for a new jar of coconut butter only to find I was out. WTF? Luckily, I remembered Melicious has an awesome recipe for homemade coconut butter on her blog, so I blitzed a batch in my Vitamix.
…Portobello mushrooms, and bell peppers. Roasted veggies are the perfect side dish for a party because you can make them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature.
I also chopped some fruit for a salad…
…and sliced carrots and jicama for a crudite platter that I served with Aubergine and Chimichurri dips.
When our guests arrived (Fitbomb’s cousin, his lovely wife, and adorable girls), I put out the crudites & dip, roasted cashews, 4505 Meats chicharrones, fruit salad, and Yogavive apple chips for everyone to munch on before dinner.
To accompany the cold apps, I fried up some 4505 Meats pork and apple breakfast sausages.
This place is WILDLY popular and I was looking forward to chowing on MEATMEATMEATMEATMEAT.
Upon entering the restaurant, the first thing you see is a enormous window into the brightly-lit dry-aging area of the kitchen, along with a display of the different cuts of steak available. The most impressive-looking one was the Tomahawk Chop (or, as the restaurant inexplicably spelled it last night, “TOMAWAK SHOP”), an enormous 32-ounce bone-in ribeye.
We don’t often take the boys out to high-end (read: expensive) restaurants, but they were absorbed in our iPhones, and didn’t turn into pumpkins or anything. It helped, too, that service was quick, efficient, and personable. Our friendly waiter spent a good few minutes going over the menu with us, and was warm and attentive all night.
For starters, Fitbomb and I shared seared foie gras with cherries…
…and filet mignon tartare with quail egg.
When in Rome — or in this case, Cupertino, California — you should always order the restaurant’s best. So both of us ordered the same entree: A trio of different Wagyu New York steaks.
The steaks were perfectly-cooked — medium-rare edge-to-edge (sous vide, anyone?) — and each were topped with flavorful sauces and garnishes. The cuts of Wagyu were fatty and had a great mouth-feel, but I still missed the beefiness of grass-fed meat.
And that’s the rub with trying to stay Paleo at any steakhouse: The restaurant will always opt to serve grain-fed beef (some even proudly proclaim that they only serve grain-fed stuff) because of the taste and customer demand. Alexander’s meat, for example, is exclusively grain-fed. When asked, our waiter told us that Alexander’s has tried offering grass-fed meat in the past, but stopped because “of the metallic aftertaste” and “inconsistency” of the cuts.)
Our table also shared a bunch of sides: mushrooms, creamed spinach, fries, mac ‘n cheese and corn. (Yes, FRIES and MAC ‘N CHEESE and CORN. Not all of us at the table are Paleo eaters, sadly.)
But that doesn’t mean they won’t see the bread basket their grandparents are eating from and not demand a gluten-y hunk. Or refrain from eating the mac ‘n cheese and fries. Or turn away the complimentary fizzy fruit soda that the waiter brought over to them. Or the palate-cleanser — a strawberry-orange granita — that arrived between courses. Or the celebratory piece of cake that my MIL received gratis from the restaurant. Or the humongous cone of cotton candy that was brought to every table after dinner.
I’ll admit it: I didn’t cover the kids’ eyes and hustle them away from the table. (I did, however, move the cotton candy out of reach after the kids had grabbed a few handfuls of fluffy spun sugar.)
Blech. Bad Paleo mommy.
It’s not the waiter’s fault, of course. The service was fantastic and well-orchestrated. After learning of the reason we were dining at Alexander’s, our waiter made a point of bringing out complimentary champagne and dessert to toast to my MIL’s health. These were thoughtful touches, and it made the dinner a very special one for our parents.
How was the food?
Tasty, but waaaaaay overpriced for nice but fairly standard steakhouse fare. Don’t get me wrong — I’ll gladly shell out for great food, but: (1) Alexander’s did not blow my mind, and (2) it was more expensive than meals we’ve had at Momofuku Ko, Eleven Madison Park, Saison, and other super-insanely-awesome places.
Yes, I do go off the Paleo reservation once in a blue moon — even when we’re not at Per Se or whatever. I am under no illusion that restaurants cook with coconut oil instead of canola, and that restaurant sauces aren’t “enhanced” with sugar, corn starch and flour. It’s one thing for me to consciously decide to have an occasional eff-off meal — especially when the food’s fantastic — but I learned last night that it’s quite another thing to watch my kids blithely scarf down sugar, gluten and soy. I might have enjoyed the experience more if the Faileo foods weren’t devoured so gleefully by my children.
Lots of people love Alexander’s, and eat there guilt-free. Sadly, I’m not one of them.
Yay! I love being off of work on a holiday weekend! There are some years where my luck’s terrible and my work weekends coincide with every bleeping holiday. I think that happens again in 2013…
I left the house before eating breakfast, so I was peckish when I returned home after running errands. I threw together my nosh in about five minutes: organic roast beef slices with a tomato and avocado salad.
At lunchtime, we decided to pack a Paleo picnic and devour it al fresco at Big-O’s elementary school. We packed lunch boxes for the boys filled with scrambled eggs (Lil-O) or grass fed hot dogs (Big-O) plus veggies and fruit.
Man, how I’ve missed fried chicken — especially cold, leftover fried chicken. Totally a keeper recipe.
We spent all afternoon at the school scrambling around on the play structure, climbing (and getting stuck in) trees, scaling walls (hubby), owling, and jumping on anything and everything. MovNat has totally changed how we play with our kids for the better.
When we got home, I seasoned and vacuum sealed two large dino chops from 4505 Meats…
…and stored them in the fridge. I’m sous viding them tomorrow for Sunday’s dinner.
After I stored away these grass fed beauties, we all piled in the car to drive to dinner at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino (read my review here) with our parents and kids before heading home to conk out…
Afterwards, I threw together a batch of Turkish slider burgers and stuck the seasoned mutton and beef in the fridge before picking up Big-O from school. I haven’t decided if we’ll serve them this weekend or just freeze ‘em for later.
The rest of the day was spent driving the kids to wushu class and and rushing back home to host a playdate. By late afternoon, I was TOTALLY beat.
But then the mailman came — and he was bearing gifts! I was super stoked to find an advance copy of Julie and Charles Mayfield’s new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods!