December 2011

36 posts

Paleo Eats: 12/30/11

In anticipation of starting my second Whole30 this Sunday, I’ve already begun eating clean to make the transition easier. There won’t be a last minute dark chocolate and mac nut binge because, well, I did that a few days ago and I don’t have those items in my pantry anymore. I, Nom Nom Paleo, do solemnly swear to savor all my meals in 2012 and not be a mindless muncher.

Wanna see what I scarfed down on the penultimate day of 2011?

During my second night at work, I ate some leftover burger bites with sauteed spinach, onions, and shiitake mushrooms…

image

…and some baby carrots dipped in MeeNut Butter

At home, I sliced some leftover slow-roasted lamb sirloin, topped it with spicy salsa, and rolled it up in a Whole30-approved Pure Wrap.

image

It was the perfect snack before hitting the sack.

When I woke up in the evening, the house was filled with the intoxicating smell of smoky swine because Fitbomb had roasted a tray of Brussels Sprouts and bacon.

image

image

image

This is one of the few veggie dishes that Lil-O will consume willingly.

image

For our main dish, I sauteed some leftover beef shanks (from the homemade pressure cooker phở broth) with peppers and onions and tucked them in Pure Wraps.

image

After dinner, I seasoned a big batch of chicken wings with magic powder (homemade porcini seasoning salt)…

image

…and stored them in the fridge for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Is everyone gearing up for their 21-Day Sugar Detox, Whole30, or personalized clean-eating challenge? I don’t have all my meals planned in advance — unlike Bill and Hayley or the folks at The Foodee — but my fridge and freezer are filled with high quality protein and veggies. My everyday meals won’t be that different next month because I’m just cutting out dark chocolate, dairy, and (excessive) nuts. I’ve already completed a Whole30 before, so I know what to expect and how to navigate dicey dining situations. Plus, this time around I’m allowed to cook with ghee. Whee!

I received a sampler pack of organic, grass fed, spiced ghee from Whole30-approved Pure Indian Foods last month and I’m gonna slather them on everything. Word.

8 notes
#nightshift #packed lunch #packed snack #dinner #breakfast #ghee
Paleo Eats: 12/29/11

My first night back at the hospital flew by. After being on vacation for three weeks, it was comforting returning to my regular routine and catching up with my buddies at work. Something tells me I won’t have the same warm fuzzies at the end of my seven-night stretch.

For my first meal at work, I slurped up a bowl of leftover homemade phở.

image

I need to buy more crosscut shanks and marrow bones pronto to make another batch. If you can’t wait for my pressure cooker recipe, here’s a great slow cooker version from Steamy Kitchen. Trust me, my uber-meaty version is worth the wait and it’s QUICK.

Right before I left work, I ate a slice of frittata (made with leftover curried ground lamb and cabbage) and sautéed spinach and shiitake mushrooms.

image

When I got home in the morning, I was bushed. I was still kinda hungry, so I ate way too many mac nuts before heading to bed. 

Guess what came in the mail while I was sleeping?

A lovely bottle of organic extra virgin olive oil from Kasandrinos imports…

image

…and a jar of addictive nuttiness from Mee!

image

Go like Mee Eat Paleo’s facebook page right now. If she gets more than 1000 likes by the end of the year, she’s gonna give away a 16-ounce Firebreather jar to a lucky fan!

I was also thrilled to find my paperback version of Melicious’s Well-Fed on my doorstep. 

image

Sometimes the best packages come after X-mas.

When I finally pried myself away from the nut butter, I fried up a bunch of Cheater Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Legs

image

roasted a tray of butternut squash

image

…and stir-fried some kale and onions in the leftover duck fat.

image

image

Here’s my dinner plate:

image

We had lots of extra duck legs left over, but that’s all part of the master plan for my upcoming Whole30. To be in charge, you gotta cook large, my friends.

One of the main reasons I’m doing another Whole30 starting January 1st is because I need to stop mindlessly grazing on snacks all day. My clothes have been feeling extra snug, so I vow to pay special attention to my hunger cues and eat clean next month. Can I really go without mac nuts and dark chocolate for a month? We’ll see…

10 notes
#nightshift #packed lunch #packed dinner #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/28/11

I started my nightshifts tonight, but I still squeezed in a full day of activities, cooking, and a two and a half hour nap in the late afternoon.

In the morning, I ate a scrambled egg…

image

…topped with a dollop of guacamole…

image

…and I headed to CrossFit Palo Alto for the women’s class. We worked on overhead squats and I was reminded how much I SUCK at them. I need to practice them at home way more often. Along with snatches, cleans, push presses, push ups, double unders, pull ups, wall balls…

After class, I gulped down a few slices of Applegate Farms organic roast beef and a nuked yam before accompanying Big-O to his appointment.

At noon, my cousin and her husband came over and I served steaming bowls of homemade phở with brisket, eye of round, kelp noodles, and all the garnishes.

image

image

The pressure cooker is a fantastic and speedy way to get a full-bodied, beefy broth in your belly. In fact, it may be the only way I cook bone broth from now on. And, no, I’m not afraid of it exploding on me.

Before hitting the sack, I slow-roasted a small lamb sirloin roast seasoned with homemade magic powder (porcini seasoning salt)…

image

image

image

…which I stored as emergency protein in the fridge. I need to arm myself with a big stash of ready-to-eat meats since I’m starting the Whole30 on January 1st.

When I woke up in the evening, I fried up a batch of grass fed beef sliders…

image

…and stir-fried a pan of shiitake, onions, and spinach for dinner.

image

I still had leftover curried ground lamb and cabbage emergency protein so I turned it into a frittata for my work meals.

image

Then, I packed my lunch and dragged my sorry ass to work. 

13 notes
#flip day #breakfast #pre-workout meal #post workout meal #lunch #dinner #meal planning
Paleo Eats: 12/27/11

I’m heaving big sighs as I type this post because I resume my graveyard shifts tomorrow night. I know I need to quit my whining since I had three weeks off, but I’m still sad that I’ll be sleeping during the day while the boys are on vacation.

Today, I crammed in lots of good eats and playtime because I didn’t want to waste my last day of PTO. For brunch, our family stopped by Café Borrone in Menlo Park and I ate a scramble with Swiss chard, green onions, and bacon.

image

Then, we wandered into Kepler’s Books where the kids pored over Tintin comic books and I browsed the cookbook section. I can never have enough cookbooks. It’s a sickness, I know.

I was dead set on making some Vietnamese beef phở broth today, so we stopped by Penzeys to stock up on my missing spices.

image

I’m a huge fan of this spice emporium, as is Big-O.

image

In the afternoon, I took my old pressure cooker out of the appliance graveyard in the garage to make a pot of Vietnamese phở beef broth. I’d put it away two years ago when I stopped making my weekly pot ‘o beans. Recently, my sister told me about her quick and easy technique of making beef broth using her pressure cooker and beef cross shanks. Intrigued, I made a few batches of broth this week and the results were fantastic. The soup is super flavorful and the meat on the shanks is moist and tender. Did I mention that it takes less than an hour? Amazing.

For today’s soup, I toasted the spices…

image

…seared the shanks…

image

…and tossed the rest of the ingredients into the pressure cooker.

image

In about an hour, I had a pot filled with rich stock and hearty, fork-tender meat. After I strained the broth and reserved the beef, I stored both containers in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.

What did I eat between brunch and dinner? Uh…mac nuts, dark chocolate, and some coconut cream. I saw you rolling your eyes…

For dinner, I baked an oldie but goodie: Super Porktastic Meatloaf.

image

image

Gotta catch some zzz’s at night for the last time this week!

6 notes
#brunch #dinner #meal planning
Dining Out Paleo: Café Borrone (Menlo Park, CA)

I’ve been a regular grazer at Café Borrone for over twenty years(!). It’s a large airy cafe, with tons of indoor and outdoor seating, located next door to Kepler’s Bookstore. Back in high school, I used to come here on weekend nights — dressed in all black and donning Dr. Martens boots— to gossip with my gal pals while we downed frosted mochas and pastries. Egads.

These days, I come here with the family to enjoy hearty, Paleo-friendly breakfasts al fresco.

image

In the morning, they always offer six or seven different scrambles filled with seasonal veggies, cheese, or meat. My favorite one is the #6 scramble which has Swiss Chard, green onions, and bacon.

image

Normally, I also add a hot Italian sausage to my order…

image

…and a steaming mug of java.

image

The kids split an order of scrambled eggs…

image

…and a cup of fruit salad.

image

The counter service is always friendly and efficient and we’re in and out of there in a flash. It’s totally an oldie, but goodie — just like moi.

1 note
#eating out #brunch #SF Bay Area
Paleo Eats: 12/26/11

More important than Boxing Day or the start of Kwanzaa, today is Lil-O’s birthday!

image

I can’t believe my mischievous little boy is already four years old. It feels like just yesterday when he was yanked out of my uterus…

For breakfast, I slurped down a bowl of hearty beef and root vegetable soup before heading to CrossFit Palo Alto for the women’s class.

image

There were only two of us in class today, so K and I got lots of personal attention from Coach Trish. Plus, it was exciting to witness K hit a deadlift PR at 205#. Very inspiring.

After restocking on protein and produce at Trader Joe’s, I came home and did some cooking. I roasted an eggplant and some garlic cloves…

image

….to make eggplant caviar…

image

…and blended up some magic powder (a.k.a. porcini seasoning salt) for my spice rack.

image

By lunchtime, I was too lazy to make anything new. I ended up eating the eggplant caviar with some leftover chili lime chicken wings.

image

In the afternoon, Fitbomb and I spent one-on-one time with the boys. While Fitbomb played Ninjago with Lil-O, I accompanied Big-O to the park where he schooled me on how to properly perform toes-to-bar and knees-to-elbows.

Big-O: “Mommy, you just throw your feet up to the bar like this. How come you can’t do it?”

Me: *shrug*

The rest of our day was spent doing the bidding of the birthday boy. As a result, we ate an early dinner at The Counter. I had a burger in a bowl with greens, unripe tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs.

image

Then, we went to the theater to watch The Adventures of Tintin with the kids. 

Happy birthday, my little man! 

image

11 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/24/11

Today, the entire Nombomb clan was dressed in our pajamas until the late afternoon, and all of us had a bad case of bedhead. When you come back from vacation, you get a free pass on looking slovenly.

Lil-O was embarrassed to be related to us, so he went incognito…

image

…trying on several different guises.

image

The kitty-cat PJs were a dead giveaway, though.

Despite my ghastly physical appearance, I was super-productive in the kitchen today. For breakfast this Christmas Eve, I fried up a frittata with grizzled, wrinkly veggies I found languishing in our crisper. I stir-fried some Brussels sprouts, onions, and mushrooms, and seasoned them with homemade Tabil…

image

…before binding it all together with some eggs.

image

I also made a quick guacamole and spooned some on my slice.

Afterwards, I blitzed up a bowl of salsa roja asada (fire-roasted salsa)…

image

image

image

…fried some crispy smashed chicken breasts…

image

…and started a batch of haupia.

image

As is customary on days we’re doing recipe development, we didn’t really eat lunch; instead, we just scarfed down everything we cooked.

image

My pants are getting TIGHT.

As the sun was setting, we all changed into street clothes and combed our scraggly hair. We were celebrating Christmas early at my parents’ place tonight and had to look somewhat presentable.

My mom, who also happens to be my culinary idol, made us a delicious Paleo-friendly spread. For starters, we had smoked salmon, roasted marinated bell peppers, avocado, nuts, and cheese.

image

image

image

At dinnertime, we were served a hearty soup filled with veggies, dried scallops, tender pork shoulder, and shrimp balls….

image

…roasted lamb chops…

image

…sautéed mushrooms, steamed Japanese yams, and roasted marinated bell peppers.

Here’s my dinner plate:

image

image

When we got home, I downed half a dark chocolate bar because I’m a hopeless cacao addict. I had more discipline when I was on vacation because I was thousands of miles away from all the macadamia nuts and dark chocolate in my pantry. That stuff is dangerous, yo!

I’m planning to kick off another Whole30 on January 1st and will definitely be working my way through Melicious’s Well-Fed cookbook. Who’s with me?

13 notes
#breakfast #lunch #recipe testing #dinner #Christmas Eve
Paleo Eats: 12/23/11 (Last Day in Cabo & Flight Home)

Our stay in Cabo was relaxing and reinvigorating, but I love being back home. I’m excited to start cooking in my own kitchen again — there’s nothing like being stuck with dull knives, teeny-tiny two-burner electric range, and zero seasonings except salt and pepper to make you appreciate your own crap.

Admittedly, I learned that most of my kitchen gadgets are unnecessary to whip up a good meal (but don’t you dare tell Fitbomb). For example, this morning, I stir-fried up all the remaining vegetables we had in the fridge and the last of the leftovers from Patagonia.

image

We cooked some scrambled eggs for the kids…

image

…and I hard-boiled the rest for our plane ride home. I patted myself on the back for cleaning out all the food in the refrigerator ‘cause that never happens. Hey, mom! Aren’t you proud of me?

Our ride to the airport wasn’t due to arrive until 1 p.m., so we all hopped in a cab for one last meal in town. We headed to the marina and stopped at The Office, a restaurant located right on the beach.

image

The spot looked like a tourist trap, so I was a bit dubious about the quality of the chow. Plus, the dining area was a little gimmicky for my taste. Most of the tables at The Office are placed right on the beach, so everyone’s chairs were pitched at odd angles as the legs sunk unevenly into the sand. I could smell the diesel from the water taxis wafting from the water, which wasn’t super-appetizing. And I could hear the host at the neighboring bar anounce that anyone who could do twenty push-ups on the beach would win a free round of shots. AT TEN THIRTY IN THE MORNING. Classy.

Plus, look at all this sugar on the table. Yee-uck.

image

I’m happy to report that my skepticism was totally unfounded. Our breakfast fare (yes, we had two breakfasts today) was well-prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Fitbomb and I split a chorizo scramble with guacamole…

image

…and a lobster omelet.

image

Our whole table also shared a ripe and fresh tropical fruit salad in a pineapple boat.

image

It was a great last meal in Cabo and we were able to romp on the beach before heading to the airport.

image

The Los Cabos airport has absolutely no options for Paleo eaters. There’s a  Sbarro (fine purveyors of puffy cardboard pizza) and numerous kiosks that offer the same selection of Pringles and candy, but nothing that I cared to eat. I was relieved that I’d packed beef jerky, pistachios, and hard-boiled eggs to tide us over.

Our flight was uneventful, yet productive: the kids were immersed with their mobile devices while Fibomb and I worked on photos and recipes on our respective computers.

image

When we finally arrived back in the Bay Area, we were tired and hungry. We drove to the nearest In-N-Out for a quick, cheap dinner. I ordered my usual: protein-style triple meat burger — hold the spread — with mustard and a whole-grilled onion slice. When the lettuce-wrapped burger came, I smashed it into my face:

image

It’s nice to be back in our stomping grounds.

Time to wrap our kids’ gifts and pretend they came from some hirsute, metabolically-deranged home invader!

11 notes
#plane travel #Mexico #Cabo #breakfast #lunch #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/22/11 (5th Day in Cabo)

As I type this post, I can hear the waves crashing down on the beach below our room. It sure makes me cranky that we’re leaving Cabo tomorrow. Luckily, we spent the day replaying our greatest hits from earlier in the week.

For breakfast, I fried some omelets filled with leftover steak from Patagonia, sautéed onions, and baby spinach.

image

I swiped each forkful in a mound of guacamole before it entered my craw.

Afterwards, the boys and I did a family burpee workout out on the balcony…

image

…and walked up and down the hills around our resort. We had to stay active ‘cause we knew we’d being stuffing our faces for the rest of the day.

image

At lunchtime, we took a cab down to Big-O’s favorite restaurant in Cabo, Gordo Lele, to chow on tacos again.

image

This time, I was determined eat the WHOLE enchilada, er, taco –- homemade corn tortillas and all. If Melissa and Dallas say it’s okay to indulge in super-awesome corn tortillas in Mexico, I’m gonna savor a few at the best taco stand in town. This time I ordered a couple carne asada ones…

image

…and a chorizo taco.

image

It’d been a looooooong time since I ate a taco wrapped in a tortilla instead of a lettuce leaf, and lemme tell you: this was like NBA action — it’s FANTASTIC.

image

Fitbomb and I had no regrets — the tortillas were definitely worth the cheat. Plus, we probably won’t eat ‘em again until we come back to Mexico, which won’t be for a while because we weren’t suckered into buying a(nother) timeshare.

Our meal ended on a high note when Javier serenaded the restaurant with some Beatles tunes – complete with props and wigs.

image

Big-O is convinced that Javier is in fact the fifth Beatle (how could the Gordo Lele menu cover be wrong?), and he kept asking us how he ended up in Cabo San Lucas. 

We took a cab back to the resort and spent the rest of the afternoon splashing around in the pool with the kids.

image

Nothing makes me happier than spending time with my boys…

image

image

…except for eating a great meal with them.

For dinner, we headed to La Fonda again. I like that their menu reminds me to stay Paleo.

image

The maguey worms were an exciting treat last time, but we opted for a little less Fear Factor on this outing. Tonight, we started with roasted bone marrow (tuetanos tut tut) – which came five(!) to a plate AND with a side of guacamole instead of toast points…

image

…octopus sautéed in butter with dried chiles (pulpos careyes)…

image

…and the “Country Starter for 2 people” (entremes Campirano) which included marinated pork meat sautéed with cactus leaf, two types of chorizo, cheese, guacamole, and chicharrones.

image

image

By the time we finished eating the appetizers, we were already pretty full. I guess eating lots of fat and meat can do that.

Still, the main dishes didn’t disappoint. We had cochinita pibil (pork braised with achiote and sour orange)…

image

…and braised lamb shank.

image

Both entrees were piled high with meat, and we struggled to finish everything despite the deliciousness.

From our two visits to La Fonda, I’ve picked out a few favorites: the bone marrow, country starter for two, and braised short ribs. Definitely check out La Fonda and Gordo Lele if you’re ever in Cabo.

Okay folks, it’s time to split because we need to cram all our smelly clothes into our luggage. The next time I post, we’ll be back home in the chilly Bay Area.

Buenos noches!

11 notes
#travel #Mexico #Cabo San Lucas #breakfast #lunch #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/21/11 (4th Day in Cabo)

Our vacation’s almost over, so we made sure to maximize our pool time today. Before we hit the water this morning, we noshed on scrambled eggs, leftover sausages from last night’s meat orgy at Patagonia, and sautéed onions.

image

Once the dishes were done, we made a beeline to the pool.

image

We swam for a couple of hours before heading back to our room to make lunch. For our midday meal, I stir-fried some mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and cilantro…

image

…and reheated some more leftover meat. 

image

We also added some nutrient-lean iceberg lettuce to our plates for a bit of crunch. 

image

My in-laws came over for lunch, and all six of us ate the steak, but we still have more in the fridge. I’m hoping to finish off our doggie bag from Patagonia at some point in the coming decade. I still can’t understand how four people not named Joey Chestnut or Takeru Kobayashi could possibly finish the mixed grill combo we ordered last night in just one sitting.

After we packed our bellies with meat, we headed back to the pool to splash around some more.

image

For our boys, thrashing around in chlorinated water never gets old.

image

By the time we reluctantly climbed out of the pool — with incredibly pruny fingers and toes — it was getting close to dinnertime.

image

At sunset, we finally left the resort for the first time today, and took a cab downtown for a traditional Mexican supper at Maria Corona.

image

The food was tasty, but the constant upselling by our waiter ("A side of guacamole? Then why don’t you get an order of shrimp or fish ceviche to go with it?" "No margaritas? How about wine? Beer? We have Pacifico!" "I can tell that this lady wants chocolate cake, right? No? How about flan?") was exhausting. My reaction to his pushiness was to actually under-order — a first for me.

We started our meal with guacamole prepared tableside with a mortar and pestle (I know it’s touristy hokum, but I love mashed avocados)…

image

…and the hubby and I split the grilled whole red snapper…

image

…and Yucateco pork shank. 

image

The meal we had at La Fonda the other night was pricier, but I preferred its food, service, and ambience.

Still, it was nice to eat outdoors tonight in the warm night air. We gave a toast to my mother-in-law’s good health, and chatted about the ups and downs (mostly downs, unfortunately) of the past year. Even on vacation in a beautiful corner of the world, it’s tough to truly leave your worries and sorrows behind. And tonight, as we raised our glasses to salute my mother-in-law’s year-long fight against breast cancer, we were especially mindful of how lucky we are to be able to spend time with our loved ones.

image

Tomorrow’s our last full day in Cabo, and I need the energy to make the most of it, so I’m gonna get some shuteye. Smell ya later.

8 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #travel #cabo #mexico
Paleo Eats: 12/20/11 (3rd Day in Cabo)

Just like the past two days, I did nothing but relax, chill with the family, and indulge in good eats.

For breakfast, I sautéed some peppers, onions, and mushrooms in butter and topped it all off with a big spoonful of guacamole.

image

With full bellies, we wandered around our resort and practiced owling in different spots.

image

At 11:00 a.m., we took a cab downtown and grabbed brunch at Mama’s Royal Café.

image

Although this place definitely caters to tourists — including one-eyed, one-armed pirates named “Captain Fork”…

image

…their omelets are pretty yummy. Fitbomb and I shared two omelets: a shrimp Florentine stuffed with butter-sauteed shrimp, spinach, and mushrooms…

image

…and one packed with bacon, avocado, and mushroom.

image

image

The breakfast items all come with potatoes and toast, so if you happen to be eating here, ask the server to sub extra fruit in their place. We also ordered a plate of watermelon, but it wasn’t super ripe and/or sweet.

image

And now for the Mexican Viagra ad of the day. Is it just me or is the picture on the left particularly disturbing?

image

After lunch, we took a cab down to the Walmart Super Center and stocked up on groceries. I’m usually not down with Walmart, but this one literally blew our minds. Lil-O demonstrates:

image

Without a doubt, this is the place to go to buy fruits, veggies, AND underwear when you’re down in Cabo.

image

For the past two days, we’ve been scouring the streets of downtown Cabo San Lucas for a place to buy a variety of fresh produce and came up empty-handed — until today. Our Walmart haul included a large container of eggs, peppers, baby carrots, baby spinach, onions, ‘shrooms, a Lindt 85% cacao bar, Paleo-compliant beef jerky…

image

…dried fruit…

image

…and nuts.

We headed back to the resort, put away our groceries, and spent time at the beach until dinnertime.

image

image

Bear crawls!

image

image

image

image

For dinner, we headed back to downtown and dined at Patagonia, where we devoured mass quantities of grilled grass fed beef and veggies. You can read all about it here.

image

Our short trip in Baja California is already half over. We’ve all been enjoying each other’s company and it’s been fun bonding with our kids and my in-laws. I can’t believe it was a year ago that my mother-in-law was first was diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s wonderful hanging out with her this week in Cabo; she’s got a cute, Audrey Hepburn-esque new hairdo, and we’re so delighted that she’s happy and healthy. Life is good.

16 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #Cabo San Lucas #Mexico
Dining Out Paleo: Patagonia (Cabo San Lucas)

Patagonia is a Paleo diner’s dream come true. What’s more appealing to a modern day cave guy or gal than a pile of grilled grass fed beef and veggies? 

image

Patagonia is an Argentinian steak house located a few blocks up from the heart of downtown Cabo San Lucas. The ambience is that of a cheery jail dotted with Christmas lights: it’s a non-descript, bare bones place with brick-colored paint, a corrugated tin roof, and bars in the pane-less windows.

image

However, the stellar grilled meats make up for what the restaurant lacks in décor. The menu features a bunch of appetizers and salads, but the main attraction is the grilled grass fed beef sourced from Sonora and Chihuahua.

We started with a bowl of rich beef broth, which was — SURPRISE! — chock full of beef.

image

We garnished the soup with diced onion, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, and lime juice. But enough about the broth — let’s get to the main event, shall we?

Since we weren’t sure which cuts of beef to pick, we ordered the large grilled combo platter for four people (short ribs, filet, New York steak, vacio, Argentinian sausage, and chistorra) and a large platter of grilled vegetables.

image

There’s an open wood-burning grill at the front of the restaurant, so we were able to watch the chef prepare our meal over red-hot coals.

image

image

image

After the food was properly charred, the chef seasoned everything with a fine shower of salt and brushed chimichurri sauce on the grilled vegetables.

image

image

Everything was placed on portable grills filled with hot coals, and our chow was brought to the table. All the beef was grilled to a perfect medium rare, and the simple seasonings ensured that the beefy flavor was front-and-center.

image

image

We were given a gravy boat filled with fresh chimichurri sauce to pour on our meat and veggies, but I actually ate most of my meal unadorned because it was so flavorful.

I’m not sure how this mountain of meat is supposed to feed four people – we definitely had enough protein to feed eight hungry carnivores.

image

image

image

Our party waddled out of Patagonia with full bellies and a take-out container stuffed with leftover meaty goodness. We’re gonna be eating well for the next few meals…

3 notes
#dining out #eating out #Cabo San Lucas #Mexico
Paleo Eats: 12/19/11 (2nd Day in Cabo)

Another beautiful morning in Cabo San Lucas…

image

We’ve got no real agenda while we’re in Cabo other than to hang out with each other and eat well. After our disappointing meal at the resort last night and the sad state of our “kitchen,” I scoured Chowhound, TripAdvisor, and TrappersCaboList for chow-worthy restaurants in town. I’m happy to report that I found a bunch of places that I’ll be forcing my family to visit this week — even if they’re content to just hang out on our balcony and swim in the pool.

image

When we got up this morning, I practiced a few double-unders (emphasis on “few”) while Fitbomb and Big-O attacked a homebrewed travel WOD

image

For breakfast, I stir-fried some bell peppers and onions, scrambled a few eggs, and…

image

…served it all up with a big dollop of guacamole.

image

Then, we met up with my in-laws and took a cab downtown to look around and shop. You know — for a huge case of Viagra.

image

The kids were intent on getting lucha libre masks, and I was dead set on hitting up Gordo Lele for tacos. All of us ended up getting exactly what we wanted. (Check out the complete rundown of our Gordo Lele meal here.)

image

image

image

image

After lunch, we headed back to the resort, where we trekked up the hill to the pool…

image

…and spent a lazy afternoon lolling around in the water.

image

image

A couple of hours (and a long dip in the hot tub) later, we rode a golf cart back to our room…

image

…and headed out to dinner at La Fonda, where we enjoyed enormous platters of traditional Mexican fare…

image

…plus some big, fat worms. (Read all about it here.)

image

Yummy.

image

Buenos noches…

11 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #cabo #travel #mexico
Dining Out Paleo: La Fonda (Cabo San Lucas)

After dragging my in-laws to a tiny hole-in-the-wall for lunch, I thought I’d make it up to them by making a reservation at La Fonda, a comfortable, upscale restaurant in town.

image

I’d read fantastic reviews about the food at La Fonda — all of them gushing about the hearty, authentic Mexican cuisine. But what really intrigued me about this place was the “pre-Hispanic” section of the menu. What the hell does that mean? I wondered.

It means bugs. People: You can chow on bugs here.

image

Yes, you read that correctly. Among other delicacies, the menu at La Fonda features maguey worms (gusano de maguey), ant eggs (escamoles), and grasshoppers (chapulines).

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

La Fonda is a bit off the beaten path away from downtown Cabo San Lucas. It’s housed in what looks like an old-school hacienda, and is separated into three spacious dining rooms and a bright, bustling kitchen. The six of us were seated in the main dining room and served by attentive waiters who brought colored pencils and kids menus for our boys, and patiently answered my questions about which bugs to eat.

image

Seriously: I had a hard time deciding which creepy-crawly dish to order. The ant eggs came highly recommended, but La Fonda had sold out(!) of these caviar-like treats, so we asked the waiter whether we should go for the worms or the grasshoppers. He gave the maguey worms a big thumbs-up, so we ordered up a plate as one of our appetizers.

Before it came, we were treated to a bite-sized amuse-bouche of chicken tostada on a deep-fried corn chip and served with crisp lettuce, sour cream, and spicy salsa.

image

Our family also enjoyed a couple of bright and flavorful salads. We shared a prosciutto-wrapped “mestiza” salad with grapefruit and pine nuts, and…

image

…a stacked tricolor salad with fresh tomatoes, eggplant, cheese, and avocado.

image

And then: The dish our seven-year-old had been dying to eat. Like many first-grade boys, Big-O has a fascination with all sorts of things that make people want to throw up. He’s also into cookbooks. So for his birthday, he asked for (and received) a James Beard Award-winning cookbook entitled "Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects," — and as soon as he heard about the menu at La Fonda, he was altogether giddy about the prospect of dining on insects. 

The waiter brought over our plate of deep-fried worms with a dollop of creamy guacamole. These worms are actually fat, fleshy caterpillars that infest maguey plants, and are packed with nutrition: Not only are they chock-full of protein, but a small 100-gram serving contains over 650 calories — enough sustenance to keep a worm-eater going until his or her next meal.

image

I know — they don’t look very yummy. In fact, they resemble something out of one of my childhood nightmares. I still get totally skeeved out by the wriggling caterpillars that I sometimes encounter in my vegetable CSA box. And those bugs are super-tiny compared with the fleshy monstrosities on the plate that we were served.

image

But guess what? I’m as squeamish as anyone else, but these worms were delicious. Just close your eyes, dredge a few in guacamole, and pop them in your mouth. They’re satisfyingly crunchy and juicy, with a rich, mouth-filling taste that’s not dissimilar to bacon. Yes, BACON.

See? They’re kid-approved.

image

If NBC ever launched a kids’ edition of Fear Factor, I’m guessing my son would do just fine in the eating competition.

Between Big-O, Fitbomb, and myself, we polished off the plate of fried worms in no time. 

But that’s not all La Fonda had to offer. Our entrees soon arrived — and they were ginormous. The waiter placed before each of us a humongous platter of meat. My mother-in-law tucked into succulent slices of beef tongue with a mildly spicy sauce…

image

…and my father-in-law had nothing but good things to say about the savory braised short ribs that he ordered. The meat had been slowly braised with dried chiles, and was fall-off-the-bone tender.

image

Fitbomb and I split an order of the short ribs, too, along with a platter of ajillo pork shank — a bone-in cut cooked in butter, guajillo chiles, and garlic. The sauce was a tad sweet for my taste, but the meat was flavorful and satisfying.

image

The service at La Fonda was quick and responsive, and the food was remarkable — and not just because the restaurant serves a few things that normally make people shriek and run away. Even if you’re not in the mood for a plate of bugs, you should visit La Fonda for its impeccable authentic Mexican fare. You won’t leave disappointed.

2 notes
Dining Out Paleo: Gordo Lele (Cabo San Lucas)

In a former life, I was a HUGE taco fan. I’m not talking about the American-style, crunchy-shell, Taco Bell crap — I craved the authentic stuff, with perfectly-seasoned meat scooped onto fresh, piping-hot corn tortillas. (Okay. In a former FORMER life, I was a big fan of Taco Bell as well). I still love Mexican food, but since going Paleo, I rarely order tacos. Those damned tortillas can be tough to resist. But is there a better time to have an illicit taco rendezvous than when on vacation in Mexico?

After some due diligence, I found Gordo Lele — a hole-in-the-wall known as one of the best taco joints in Cabo San Lucas. Like it or not, my family was getting dragged here for lunch.

Gordo Lele isn’t easy to find. It’s just a couple of blocks from the tourist magnet known as Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo, but it’s got a non-descript storefront, and the interior’s as tiny as a shoebox. 

image

Once you step inside, it’ll be a little difficult not to notice that this taqueria is also a shrine to the Beatles. The walls are plastered with Fab Four-related memorabilia and magazine clippings (and an occasional Elvis poster, too). 

Javier, the jovial owner, chef, and waiter, is a bit of a renaissance man — he’s a huge Beatles fanatic (obviously), and the cover of the menus declare him to be the fifth Beatle. (Sorry, Pete Best.) In addition to making ridiculously good tacos and yummy tortas (Mexican sandwiches), Javier often breaks into song with microphone in hand, serenading his patrons with Beatles tunes.

image

But the main event is the food. Gordo Lele’s lunch menu is short and sweet: Just a handful of savory fillings for tacos or tortas. Given that it was our first time here and the prices are cheap, we ordered a ton of food for the six of us.

Fitbomb and I shared four (yes, FOUR) platters of tacos: Carne asada…

image

…pollo…

image

…pescado…

image

…and camerones.

image

Javier brought each table a couple of bowls of tangy guacamole and smoky salsa, so we made sure we put them to good use.

image

The tacos came on flour tortillas, so Fitbomb and I just ate the fillings. (I later asked and found out that you can get ‘em on corn tortillas — perfect for those of you who can’t stand the thought of eating tacos without a tortilla but want to avoid a gluten bomb.) 

image

The carne asada tacos were my favorite. If you’re avoiding dairy, steer clear of the shrimp tacos ‘cause they’re served with a good amount of oozy, gooey cheese. Also, if you’re unwilling to cheat a bit and eat some corn, you should know that the chicken and fish tacos both have it mixed into the filling. 

We tasted some of the corn, but left most of it uneaten. You can take the girl out of her Paleo kitchen, but you can’t (entirely) take the Paleo out of the girl.

image

Meanwhile, my in-laws — who are decidedly anti-Paleo — ordered a ham-and-egg torta…

image

…and a carne asada torta.

image

The sandwiches looked tasty: Soft, crusty rolls filled with meat, avocado, and tomatoes. But we didn’t partake — except to grab the leftover meat from their sandwiches and use them to make salsa-and-guacamole rolls.

image

We loved Gorgo Lele’s — even our resident three-year-old carbivore. 

image

Or maybe he was just excited to listen to Beatles songs and pose for pictures with Javier and his brother while wearing a newly-purchased lucha libre mask. (Admittedly, Javier’s mask is just a hair net, but it’s pretty awesome nonetheless.)

image

We left Gordo Lele stuffed and satisfied — and we spent less than $40. If you’re in Cabo San Lucas, you’ve got to visit this place.

4 notes
#eating out #tacos #cabo #travel
Paleo Eats: 12/18/11 (1st Day in Cabo)

Plane travel bites. But all the stress is worth it if this is the view that awaits after a long day…

image

We woke up bright and early this morning to pack our stuff for our trip to Cabo San Lucas with my in-laws. In between cramming clothes and snacks into two carry ons, we stuffed our faces with a bunch of leftovers: baked yams, Big-O burgers, burger bites topped with caramelized onions, roasted Brussels sprouts topped with bacon, hard boiled eggs, and lamb stew. I’m pretty proud of the fact that we chowed down all the leftovers in our fridge, got all our crap together, and arrived at the airport by 8:45 a.m. Hopefully, the mold growth in our fridge will be minimal when we return, but I’m sure there’s something in the back corner that I’ve forgotten about…

On the flight to Cabo, I snacked on half a Larabar and some beef sticks from U.S. Wellness Meats. I grabbed the meat sticks straight from the freezer and they were defrosted by the time we were up in the air.

When we finally checked in at our resort, we just relaxed and checked out our digs.

image

image

I don’t think I’ll be doing much cooking in the kitchen…

image

At dinnertime, we wandered into one of the resort’s restaurants where the food was (surprise!) mediocre and overpriced. 

image

Fitbomb ordered the carnitas, which turned out to be disappointingly mushy…

image

…and I got an unremarkable plate of beef fajitas with veggies in place of the rice and beans. (But at least there was bacon mixed in with the beef…)

image

Not the best meal ever, but I wasn’t expecting too much from a 24-hour resort dining room.

image

I have much higher hopes for good eats when we wander into town tomorrow. Goodnight!

10 notes
#plane travel #breakfast #dinner #Cabo
Paleo Eats: 12/17/11

First things first…HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dr. HA!

Today’s post will be abbreviated because I really need to get some shuteye. We’re leaving for Cabo in less than 12 hours and Fitbomb and I are totally unprepared. Ack! 

For breakfast, I ate leftover Moroccan lamb and chestnut stew over a bed of nuked frozen broccoli.

image

I’m throwing in this picture of Lil-O because I can’t figure out what’s going on here. To me, he seems like he’s channeling Hannibal Lecter. Discuss.

image

At lunchtime, I fried up a batch of Big-O burgers. 

image

These meaty patties are named after my eldest son because they contain his favorite ingredients: bacon, beef, and sauteed mushrooms.

image

I need to double the batch next time because I want more leftovers.

image

In the afternoon, I baked some yams that I topped with melted ghee…

image

…and mixed up a batch of homemade La Kama seasoning.

image

image

Tonight, a bunch of us met at Martins West gastropub to celebrate Dr. HA’s birthday. There are no pics of dinner because I didn’t take any — and even if I did, I wouldn’t post ‘em because I need to go to bed. Just know that the food and company were fab as usual.

Hasta mañana!

19 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/16/11

Wow. My blog stats blew up today thanks to a flattering and humbling post by Chris Kresser over at The Healthy Skeptic.

If it’s your first time visiting, welcome! Please make yourself comfortable and feel free to peruse my archive and recipe index. Think I swear too much? Read this post.

Wanna see what I chowed on today?

For breakfast, I ate leftover roasted cauliflower and a hard boiled egg dusted with homemade Dukka seasoning…

image

…before heading over to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto

Post workout, I polished off the rest of Melicious's "Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat" and half a nuked yam.

image

In the afternoon, I toasted…

image

…and pulverized a homemade Tabil seasoning…

image

…while I snacked on macadamia nuts (too, too many), a pack of Grass Fed Jerky Chews, and a scrambled egg.

image

After we picked up Big-O from school, the kids and I hopped on a train bound for San Francisco. Fitbomb met us at the station and we drove to our besties’ house for dinner. 

Our spread included grilled citrus-marinated skirt steak…

image

…roasted Brussels sprouts…

image

…and all the fixin’s to make our own lettuce tacos. 

image

Dinner was phenomenal, as usual. I can’t wait for S, J, & M to move to the ‘burbs so we can mooch dinner more often.

14 notes
#breakfast #post workout meal #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/15/11

Today, I was not inspired to cook and just wanted to make like a slug. Uh, huh: I wanted to leave slime trails all over the ground and not tackle any of the items on my to-do list.

My intentions this morning were good — I was all set to hole myself up at the new Philz Coffee in downtown Palo Alto and take advantage of their free WiFi. I even packed myself a portable breakfast (hard-boiled eggs sprinkled with truffle salt and leftover roasted Dukka-seasoned cauliflower), so I would be set for the long haul. 

image

Unfortunately, a bunch of unforeseen crap sidetracked my plans and I was directionless and listless for the rest of the day. Phooey.

After wasting a couple of hours being unproductive, I came home and reheated some leftover lamb and chestnut stew over a bowl of frozen broccoli for lunch.

image

Before the kids came home, I was able to finish one appetizer recipe for my side project: Bacon-topped Brussels sprouts

image

image

In the evening, I was too lazy to make dinner so I popped some frozen pre-cooked pork chops into the SousVide Supreme and seared them with my kitchen torch.

image

I served the chops on a bed of arugula and tossed on a few kumquats and leftover roasted bell peppers.

image

This slug needs her sleep. Good night.

16 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner
Another Winner!

…Mary S. was the lucky winner of the $100 gift certificate to Treatful.com!

Lucky duck…

image

1 note
#giveaway #winner #treatful
Paleo Eats: 12/14/11 (A Well Fed Day)

I stayed up late last night perusing my copy of Melissa Joulwan’s Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat.

image

There’s so much good stuff in it — lots of useful kitchen tips and so many iterations of EVERY recipe. Before my head hit the pillow, I vowed to grill up her “The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat” for tomorrow’s dinner.

First thing in the morning, I ate some breakfast and headed to the womens’ class at CrossFit Palo Alto. For my pre-workout fuel, I ate leftover slow roasted lamb sirloin, roasted bell pepper salad, and sauteed spinach. 

image

I also gulped down an espresso and a small serving of coconut cream.

After my medicine ball beat-down, I drove to Penzeys with Lil-O (who amazingly bounced back from his tummy illness overnight) and spent a small fortune on spices. Having a PDF copy of Mel’s book on my iPhone was super convenient as I was raiding the store. I knew exactly what I needed to buy for all the recipes I wanted to try. Or maybe it was a bad idea I had her e-book in my pocket because I ended up blowing our kids’ future college savings. I guess one will have to go to Hamburger University and the other to Clown College.

When I came home, I blitzed a batch of homemade Dukka with hazelnuts, pistachios. and spices…

image

…before scarfing down a bowl of leftover Moroccan-spiced lamb and chestnut stew and sauteed spinach.

image

Right after lunch, Lil-O and I started working on Melicious’s “The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat.” The breasts soak in a brine for a couple of hours, so we had to get a move on. My little chef smashed the garlic cloves…

image

image

…and peeled them…

image

…before dunking them in the brine.

image

We also threw together the spice blend…

image

…that was measured and mixed by my assistant.

image

By the time Big-O was home from school, the chicken was ready for the grill. He helped me massage the spice-infused coconut oil into the chicken…

image

image

…and I threw it on the Weber in the backyard.

image

Have you ever seen grilled chicken breast that looks this moist?

image

Not me!

image

The chicken seasoning was smoky and complex PLUS it was tender and juicy. I’ve never eaten skinless and boneless chicken breasts that taste this good — especially cooked on a hot grill.

For dinner, we scarfed down a ton of Mel’s chicken along with roasted Dukka-spiced cauliflower.

image

I can’t wait to try more recipes from Well Fed. Scotch eggs may be next on the docket…

15 notes
#Well Fed #breakfast #lunch #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/13/11

Lil-O celebrated his birthday at preschool today, so we baked a batch of grain-free vanilla muffins to share with his friends.

image

image

Unfortunately, his party was short-lived because he barfed midmorning…and I had to carry him home because my car was in the shop. I actually enjoyed the walk from his school because it was like we were hugging the whole way home.

For lunch, I reheated leftover stir-fried mushrooms…

image

…and served them with leftover roasted bell pepper salad and a crab salad wrap.

image

Afterwards, I stuck a covered Le Creuset dutch oven containing Moroccan-spiced lamb and chestnut stew into the oven to braise.

image

For dinner, I stir-fried some spinach and onions…

image

…and dished it up with the stew.

image

I so wish there were more hours in the day to accomplish everything I want to do. First and foremost, I’m itching to read Melissa Joulwan’s new cookbook, Well-Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat

image

I’ve flipped through all the pages in my copy, and it’s just redonkulous: fantastic tips, gorgeous photos, wonderful prose, adorable illustrations by her uber talented hubby, and mouth-watering recipes. I’ll post a review soon, but in the meantime, download her free 30-page teaser PDF to take a peek at its awesomeness — and then order a copy of the book. Well done, Mel!

7 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #Well-Fed
Paleo Eats: 12/12/11

The Final Jeopardy answer is…COOKING, COOKING, COOKING. 

Alex, the question is: “How is M spending the first half of her vacation?” 

Yes, I realize it’s getting a little tedious, but until we leave for Cabo on Sunday, I’ll probably be running around our kitchen, making an awfully big mess, and cursing that there ain’t enough sunlight this time of year for me to photograph my food. Yep — I’m still plugging away on my little project. By the way, I appreciate all the enthusiasm for a Nom Nom Paleo cookbook…but who said I was writing one? I’m actually developing a Nom Nom Paleo video game where you shoot pork roasts at vegans. Wocka wocka wocka.

Enough joking around, here’s a look at what I ate and cooked today:

For breakfast, I crisped up some leftover Kalua pig in my mini cast iron skillet and cracked in a couple of eggs to bind the swine together.

image

I topped the eggs and pork with some leftover guacamole and mango salsa. I love pan-frying leftover Kalua pig because it gets crispity-crunchity like carnitas.

After I came home from the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto, I chowed on a nuked yam as my post-workout snack. Boring, I know.

For lunch, I ate some spicy tuna cakes…

image

…topped with a tangy, bacony dressing made with avocado and basil.

image

After lunch, I cooked another boatload of food. I threw together a BLTC (bacon, lettuce, tomato, and crab) salad…

image

…seared a sous vide rib eye steak seasoned with Tabil

image

…and slow-roasted a rack of lamb seasoned with Dukka.

image

At dinnertime, we had our standing Monday dinner/playdate with Dr. HA and her two kids. I’d been sampling food all afternoon so I wasn’t terribly famished at dinner. That didn’t stop me from eating, though.

For dinner, I sauteed three bunches of organic beech mushrooms….

image

…in bacon grease with sliced garlic, coconut aminos, and fish sauce.

image

For the main dish, I tossed some fresh Dungeness crab meat (Thank you, Siren SeaSA!) with the green dressing I made earlier and tucked the salad inside a Pure Wrap.

image

That’s a wrap. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

9 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #meal planning
Giveaway Time! Win A Holiday Treat!

Happy Festivus, Chrismukkah, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa…whatever holiday you like to celebrate with your peeps. Since it’s the season of giving, I’m hosting another giveaway — and this time you can use it on yourself or bestow it on someone you cherish.

What is it?

It’s a $100 gift certificate to Treatful.com!

image

This awesome new service allows you to gift a pal with delicious meals at great restaurants.  Simply select from Treatful’s list of over 400 restaurants, specify the amount of the gift certificate you’d like to purchase, and personalize it with a message. Your “treat” will be delivered instantly by email. This is the easiest way for busy foodies to send their buds a meaningful gift. Heck, I want one of these for myself…

Currently, Treatful’s participating restaurants are only in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago metropolitan areas, but those are the only cities that matter, right? (I kid.) Seriously, even if you don’t live nearby, you or someone you know should visit if only to sample the exciting grub.

What’s really amazing about Treatful — besides how simple it is to feed someone in style — is the stellar selection of restaurants. In San Francisco alone, Treatful’s list includes a number of my personal favorites like Marlowe, Manresa, and Cotogna.

image

Remember when I was down in Los Angeles at AHS ‘11 a few months back? We had a Paleo food blogger summit at Jar, another participating restaurant.

image

So how do you sign up to win a $100 treat from Treatful?

Just follow these four simple instructions:

  1. Sign up for Treatful’s mailing list here.
  2. Like Treatful’s fan page on Facebook here.
  3. Sign up for my mailing list here
  4. Comment ONCE on this post to confirm that you completed all the steps by Thursday, 12/15/11, at 9:00 p.m. PST. If you comment more than once, you’re getting a lump of coal.
#giveaway #Treatful
Paleo Eats: 12/10/11-12/11/11

This post will be short and sweet because we were BUSY this weekend and I want to get some sleep.

Yesterday, we had our hands full with Big-O’s birthday party. We herded a group of his buddies to see The Muppets followed by a late lunch at The Patty Shack.

image

My bunless Midnight Burger hit the spot, but trying to herd a dozen small children around was a bit of a challenge. Let me just say that I don’t wish to trade places with Michelle Duggar. Ever.

Last night, we dined out at Michael Mina to bid farewell to our good friends H & D who are moving to Los Angeles (the horror!). The meal was fantastic but I definitely strayed off the Paleo reservation and made sure that there was no photographic evidence.

In between the parties yesterday and all day today, we made a big mess of our kitchen tweaking and developing recipes. Some of the grub we dreamed up included spicy tuna cakes…

image

…reverse-engineered LÄRABARs…

image

…shrimp and bacon stuffed mushrooms…

image

…crispy mushroom chips…

image

…Dukkah-crusted roasted lamb sirloin topped with mango salsa…

image

…and strawberry ice cream.

image

Dear readers, as I mentioned before, new recipes will be few and far between for now. That means no bread recipe just yet because I’m still hard at work on that side project, remember? 

image

Check out my big ass recipe index if you’re looking for something to whip up. With two whiny boys of my own, I’m pretty immune to any and all begging and pleading. 

image

Instead of the bread recipe, how about a cool giveaway instead? Stay tuned tomorrow morning for the details…

3 notes
#recipe testing
Paleo Eats: 12/9/11

Today was chock-full of cooking, cooking, cooking.

Remember how I mentioned that Fitbomb and I are working on a nifty side project? Well, our recipe development went into overdrive because my chef sister is staying with us this weekend. Seriously, she has mad cooking skillz and I bow down to her awesomeness. All yesterday and today, I was bouncing ideas off of my sis and she was volleying back with some kickass dishes and tips. 

Before we went balls to the walls in the kitchen, I fueled myself with a small bowl of Paleo trail mix in coconut milk.

image

image

I also rolled up some leftover Kalua Pig and baby lettuces in a Pure Wrap and crammed it in my pie hole. 

image

I seasoned a couple of grass fed rib eye steaks with porcini finishing salt and freshly ground pepper. I tossed one in the SousVide Supreme and set the other one aside to slow roast in the oven.

While I was out running errands in the morning, Fitbomb baked a Paleo quick bread that had a crunchy crust and a delicate and moist interior.

image

image

image

image

At lunchtime, I couldn’t resist chowing on a warm and crusty slice of bread along with baby carrots and my brother-in-law’s smoked turkey.

image

In the afternoon, we distracted the boys with Legos and books…

image

…so we could get some serious cooking done.

Wanna see what we made?

We fried some lardons, collected the liquid gold, blended up a batch of bacon aioli…

image

…hard-boiled a dozen eggs…

image

…assembled bacony deviled eggs…

image

image

…baked a batch of bacony kale chips

image

roasted a few bell peppers

image

…and threw together a tangy, balsamic-marinated roasted pepper salad.

image

I also slow roasted the porcini-rubbed grass fed rib eye from U.S. Wellness Meats… 

image

…and broiled and torched it to give it a charred exterior.

image

image

Since we sampled food all afternoon — er, in mass quantities — we weren’t hungry in the slightest at dinner time. 

19 notes
#breakfast #lunch #meal planning
Paleo Eats: 12/8/11

Happy Birthday, Big-O!

image

I can’t believe the older of my two sprouts is SEVEN. Shoot. I’m an old mofo. 

In honor of his birthday, the Double-O’s and I baked some cinnamon bun muffins in the morning.

image

I bought some baking mixes from White Lion Baking Company after reading the glowing review on Everyday Paleo. The cinnamon bun muffins were a breeze to bake, had a delicate and moist crumb, and just the right amount of sweetness. Big-O loved them — even though he doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all. (That fact makes me question whether he is truly my son, as opposed to an alien implanted in my belly all those years ago.)

For my breakfast, I scarfed down a muffin, a few slices of Applegate Farms organic roast beef, and a handful of Paleo trail mix before I dashed off to  Lil-O’s preschool for my bi-monthly co-teaching assignment.

 At lunchtime, I came home and ate some more slices of roast beef and reheated a bowl of cauliflower fried rice.

image

I was still hungry so I ate a packet Steve’s Original Grass Fed Just Jerky and some dark chocolate. Uh, huh. I eat dark chocolate daily now. Bite me.

I had a little time to myself before I picked up the boys, so I seasoned some pork chops with Tabil, salt, and pepper…

image

…and threw them in the SousVide Supreme. I guess it’s a little telling that in my free time I’d rather dunk some swine in a warm bath than take one myself…

image

In the afternoon, my sister arrived from L.A. to help Big-O celebrate his special day.  When the two of us picked him up at school, her physical presence elicited his most ecstatic response of the day. I feel the same way and wish she still lived up in NorCal — but my squeals aren’t as cute.

For dinner, we all went to Sumika at the birthday boy’s request. We don’t come here often because Japanese food isn’t exactly Paleo (due to the soy, sugar, mirin, and vegetable oils), and I can’t resist the stuff with the badness in it.  Sumika is Big-O’s favorite restaurant — at his request, we dined here last year for his birthday, too — and the exceptional food is worth the detour off the Paleo highway.

Tonight, we ate a TON.

We shared some shrimp-stuffed shiitake mushrooms (yes, those are crispy noodles on top)…

image

…simmered daikon…

image

…chicken karaage…

image

…Okinawan-style stewed pork…

image

…beef tataki…

image

…and a bazillion skewers.

We chowed on chicken livers…

image

…crispy chicken skin…

image

…pork cheeks, chicken breasts with coconut sauce, chicken thighs…

image

…boneless(!) chicken necks (my FAVORITE)…

image

…pork-wrapped enoki mushrooms…

image

…chicken meatballs…

image

…chicken wings, and more chicken skin.

image

Halfway through dinner, our table was graced with a special appearance by the Unabomber Santa.

image

Happy Birthday (again!), my darling son!

image

18 notes
#birthday #Sumika #breakfast #White Lion Baking Company #lunch #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/6/11

Here’s what I ate on my second to last night of work: spicy Grass Fed Jerky Chews, a cup of coconut cream, a square of dark chocolate, a bowl of carrot salad, and leftover stir-fried kelp noodles.

image

It wasn’t super exciting nosh but sometimes I just want filling, reliable food to get me through my shift. Stop judging me.

When I got home in the morning, Fitbomb was busy in the kitchen. Besides making the kiddos breakfast and packing their lunches, he also threw together a batch of Paleo trail mix. I thank my lucky stars every day that I snagged him back when we were cubs at U.C. Berkeley.

image

I need to limit my portion size to a small ramekin ‘cause I can go bonkers chowing on this omega-6 filled snack.

image

For dinner, we all went out to celebrate 3 out of the 4 grandparents’ birthdays at Los Altos Grill. It’s not the most exciting grub in town but that’s exactly why the older folks like it. You get uncomplicated, familiar food (e.g. prime rib, roast chicken, etc.) in HUGE portions while dining in a cozy yet upscale setting.

Fitbomb and I shared a plate of deviled eggs, chilled shrimp, grilled loup de mer, and steamed spinach.

image

When we returned home, I took a nap before heading to work for the last time. I’m so excited that I’ll be on vacation until December 28th. Now if only I’d stop yawning, people would actually believe my enthusiasm…

FYI — I won’t be posting a Paleo Eats tomorrow. As a gift to myself, I’m not gonna photograph or post my eats on any future flip day (the day I transition from being a vampire back to a regular mommy). We’re working hard on that side project I mentioned a few posts back, so I’ll be taking little blogging breaks here and there.

Good bye for now!

3 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #Los Altos Grill #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/5/11

I’m over the hump…but I still need to get through three 10-hour night shifts. Ugh.

While at work, I ate another pack of spicy Grass Fed Jerky Chews, a square of dark chocolate, a cup of leftover cream of avocado soup, and some stir-fried kelp noodles.

image

When I got home in the a.m., I checked on the Kalua pig that was simmering in the slow cooker and went to bed.

image

My dinner prep in the evening was pretty simple. For the veggie sides, I reheated the braised cabbage in the microwave, grabbed a couple heads of romanesco…

image

…and roasted the florets in the toaster oven with Sunny Paris seasoning and coconut oil.

image

I plated the Kalua Pig

image

…shredded it with a couple of forks….

image

image

..and adjusted the seasoning with the braising liquid.

image

Seriously, this dish is so easy and you end up with TONS of tender, smoky pork.

image

image

Don’t think about it — just put one in your slow cooker already.

7 notes
#dinner #night shift #packed lunch #packed snacks
Roasted Chestnuts

I love chowing on warm, smoky, brain-shaped nuggets in the wintertime. There’s something so comforting about the smell of roasted chestnuts — don’t you agree? 

We used to roast chestnuts in the oven but they’re a pain to peel. However, if you toss them on a hot grill outside, the nuts roast in about 5 minutes and the crispy charred skins fall right off. I’ll gladly freeze my ass off outside for a few minutes if the reward is a bowl of piping hot roasted chestnuts.

To feed 4-6 snackers, buy two pounds of chestnuts. Use a sharp paring knife to cut an “X” on the flat side of each one…

image

…and toss them right on the grates of a gas grill set on high.

image

Constantly flip the chestnuts for about 5 minutes or until they’re charred.

image

Peel them while they’re still warm and try to save some for the other noshers.

image

No fuss, no muss!

image

19 notes
#chestnuts #grilling
Paleo Eats: 12/4/11

At long last, it was finally my hump night at work. Just a few more shifts and then I’m on PTO again!

While I was dealing drugs at the hospital, I ate a packet of spicy Grass Fed Jerky Chews, an ounce of dark chocolate, and a some leftover stir-fried kelp noodles.

When I got home, Fitbomb roasted a bunch of chestnuts on our his outdoor gas grill. Throwing them directly on the hot grates is the best way to cook chestnuts — it’s quick and they’re so easy to peel.

image

After I stuffed my craw with toasted noggin-shaped nuggets, I went to bed.

While I was sleeping, Fitbomb was super productive in the kitchen. He made an heirloom carrot salad with citrus vinaigrette, Italian parsley, and crushed macadamia nuts…

image

…pan-roasted Chinese Five-Spice cashews in ghee…

image

…concocted a simple skillet-fried flatbread (made of eggs, almond flour, salt)…

image

image

…and used it as the “bread” for a ham sandwich.

image

image

Did I mention that he made all this yummy nosh in a 2-hour time-frame WHILE watching the kids? Dude. He makes me look like a lazy son of a gun.

When I woke up in the evening, I sampled all of his culinary creations while I prepared dinner. What did I make? I stir-fried a simplified version of Asian cauliflower fried rice with ‘shrooms and eggs…

image

…and topped it with leftover cheater Thai yellow curry chicken.

image

After dinner, I braised a head of cabbage in the oven and tossed a pork butt in the slow cooker to make Kalua pig. Since tomorrow night’s dinner is in the bag, maybe that means I can sleep in tomorrow evening. Oh, to dream the impossible dream…

11 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #packed snacks #dinner #meal preparation
Chilled Cream of Avocado Soup with Dungeness Crab

image

Want a refreshing and creamy soup that’s totally satiating? Well, go grab your blender and this meal will be in your belly in about 15 minutes. I like the consistency of this soup to be thick — almost puree consistency — so I use Aroy-D coconut cream. For a thinner soup, use coconut milk or dilute with extra water. 

If you want to get all Martha Stewart on your friends, serve this soup as an amuse bouche in Chinese porcelain soup spoons at your next party. You’ll look like a culinary rock star and no one will be the wiser.

Here’s what to assemble to feed 4 people:

  • 1 medium Dungeness crab, cooked in boiling salted water (or 1 cup of canned crab meat)
  • 2 large Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and roughly diced
  • 1¾ cups coconut cream or coconut milk
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Ancho chili powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Freshly-ground black pepper

Here’s what to do:

Break out your cooked dungeness crab, and…

image

…get all the meat out.

image

Alternatively, you can crack open a can of crab, but what’s the fun in that?

Refrigerate the crab meat until chilled.

image

Throw the avocado chunks in a blender, along with 1 cup of the coconut cream, a generous pinch of salt, and a dash of Ancho chili powder.

image

Purée until you get a thick avocado slurpee.

image

Transfer to a bowl, add the water and the remaining coconut cream, and stir until smooth.

image

Press some plastic wrap on the surface of the liquid, seal tightly, and chill in the fridge for an hour. If you don’t want to use plastic, be prepared for some serious discoloration.

When ready to serve, add 1-2 tablespoons of the lime juice, some freshly-ground black pepper, and another pinch of salt. Adjust the seasonings to taste.

image

Take the crab meat out of the fridge, and season it with some of the remaining lime juice, salt, and pepper. Ladle the creamy, cool soup into chilled bowls and top with a generous dollop of crab.

image

Yum!

image

13 notes
#soup #crab #avocado #coconut
Paleo Eats: 12/3/11

Wanna see what I ate all night and day?

While I was at the hospital, I slurped down a bowl of butternut squash soup topped with leftover spatchcocked chicken (kept warm in a LunchBots thermal)…

image

…and ate an ounce of dark chocolate

When I came home in the morning, I made myself a sandwich with leftover slow-roasted cowboy chop, dino kale, and citrus vinaigrette rolled up in a curry-flavored Pure Wrap.

image

Before going to bed, I picked up my weekly Siren SeaSA seafood delivery which was a pre-cooked Dungeness crab(!)…

image

…and I stopped by 99 Ranch market.

I know 99 Ranch is filled with all sorts of weird, highly-processed, additive-filled, BPA-contaminated canned products (like this one), but there are some great finds if you look carefully. Today, I bought bags of Hokto Kinoko organic Brown Beech and King Trumpet mushrooms, Aroy-D coconut cream (their coconut milk is too watered down for me), butane canisters (5 for $5!), and Mae Ploy Thai yellow curry paste (only $2 plus change for a jar!).

At dinnertime, I woke up and made dinner with Fitbomb. I peeled some carrots…

image

…that I tossed with slivered almonds and leftover citrus vinaigrette.

image

Hubby grabbed the bowl of crab meat from the fridge that he’d meticulously picked out of the crustacean earlier in the afternoon…

image

..and topped bowls of chilled cream of avocado soup.

image

image

If you’re worried that we didn’t eat enough, don’t be concerned. We also polished off the leftover slow-roasted cowboy steak from yesterday. My belly was stuffed before I left for work.

That’s it for my Saturday eats!

7 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #packed snacks #breakfast #dinner
Paleo Eats: 12/2/11

My night shift was busy again so I was glad I packed healthy eats: leftover Asian cauliflower fried rice, dark chocolate (yes, this is healthy), and some sliced Braunschweiger and bell peppers.

image

When I got home in the morning, I found Fitbomb experimenting in the kitchen. He baked everyone ham and egg cups…

image

image

image

…and I topped mine with a tangy lime-Tabasco sauce (which he also concocted). What’s not to love about this guy?

Afterwards, I tested a new technique for slow-roasting cowboy chops that I learned from Ryan Farr's Whole Beast Butchery. I took out the steak I salted last night…

image

…seasoned it with Tabil, and slow-roasted it in the oven at 250 F until the internal temperature reached 132 F. I finished off the steak under the broiler…

image

…let it rest for 10 minutes…

image

…and sliced it up.

image

Perfection. Ryan Farr is totally the master of all things meat. I normally like to sous vide my chops but this technique yields awesome results — and you only have to invest in a cheap thermometer.

(If you’re wondering, I stored the steak in the fridge as emergency protein ‘cause I can’t polish off a 3-pound steak by myself.)

When I finally woke up in the evening, I sauteed a bag ‘o spinach with chopped garlic and ghee..

image

…and reheated some Thai chicken curry.

image

Here’s my dinner bowl:

image

After dinner, I chugged an espresso and headed to work. 

Hey! Who’s going to the PaleoFX12 Symposium in Austin in March? It sounds awesome…

image

5 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #packed snack #breakfast #dinner #meal planning
Paleo Eats: 12/1/11

Man, it’s December already? No wonder it’s been crazy at work. My 10-hour shift at the hospital whizzed by and all I ate during it was an ounce of dark chocolate and a grass fed PaleoKit.

When I came home, I gobbled up a couple of double curry wraps: Madras chicken salad rolled up in curry flavored Pure Wraps. I gotta say I’m full of glee that sandwiches are back in my life.

image

After I woke up in the evening, I made a simplified version of my green slider burgers

image

…and roasted Brussels sprouts with a splash of Red Boat fish sauce and balsamic vinegar.

image

Here’s my dinner plate:

image

After dinner, I seasoned a dino chop from 4505 Meats liberally with kosher salt…

image

…and stuck it in the fridge before leaving for work. I’m gonna slow-roast it in the oven tomorrow per the instructions in Ryan Farr’s epic meat tome, Whole Beast Butchery.

Only six more nights to get through before I have three weeks of PTO. Yes, again. It’s a Chrismukkah gift to myself.

4 notes
#packed lunch #night shift #dinner #meal planning
Paleo Eats: 11/30/11

My week off was over in a blink of an eye. Before I knew it, I was scrambling around all morning running errands since I was starting work in the evening. 

Le sigh.

In between piles of laundry and shuttling the kids back and forth from school, I chowed on a couple of U.S. Wellness Meats beef sticks (healthy and tasty Slim Jims), two cups of leftover chawanmushi, a mess of macadamia nuts (I’ve simply got no self control), and a dollop of coconut butter.

image

I also threw together a super-fast Thai yellow curry chicken stew…

image

…that I stored in the fridge to eat later this week.

image

After a quick catnap in the afternoon, I woke up in the evening and sauteed some chanterelle mushrooms in butter and seasoned them with coconut aminos and Red Boat fish sauce….

image

…roasted broccoli and romanesco coated in coconut oil…

image

…and reheated some stir-fried kelp noodles in the microwave. I added some sliced egg omelet to up the protein-level but — as my super observant hubby pointed out to me — the dish was already swimming in meat.

image

Here’s my jumble of meat and veggies:

image

After dinner, I practiced some cleans in the garage and did the assigned WOD at CrossFit Palo Alto. Then, I packed my crap for work and jetted off in the night.

18 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #meal planning

November 2011

39 posts

Paleo Eats: 11/29/11

My morning started waaaay earlier than I would’ve liked when I was woken up by Lil-O’s cries at 3:30 a.m. When I ran to the boys’ room, I discovered that there was a barf explosion in his bed. I’m being a tad dramatic, but I did have to do a load of laundry before heading back to sleep.

When I finally straggled out of bed again, I was too wiped to head to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto. Instead, I hung out with Lil-O all morning and afternoon — but he seemed suspiciously energetic for a kid that got sick in the middle of the night.

Since we were stuck at home, I enlisted his help in the kitchen. It’s not child labor if you don’t pay them, right?

We worked on two recipes in the morning. For the first one,  I grabbed a fuyu persimmon…

image

…washed and sliced some baby dino kale…

image

…prepared a citrus vinaigrette…

image

…and assembled a winter kale and persimmon salad. 

image

Kale holds up really well as a salad green plus it’s healthy and yummy to boot. Win, win, win!

For my second dish, I reworked my recipe for stir-fried kelp noodles and Lil-O assisted by throwing the different components into the pan.

image

By lunchtime, I was all cooked out so I reheated a bowl of leftover curried cream of broccoli soup and topped it with sous vide beef cheeks.

image

Beef cheeks cooked in the water oven may be my new FAVORITE emergency protein. 

At dinnertime, I roasted a tray of kabocha squash

image

…and assembled a Madras turkey salad with apples and toasted almonds.

image

I recently bought a bunch of Pure WrapsWhole30-approved tortillas made out of coconut — after reading the ringing endorsement on the Whole9 site. I do miss wraps, rolls, and sandwiches so I was eager to try them out tonight.

I wrapped some curried turkey salad and baby spinach in a sheet…

image

…rolled it up, and tucked in.

image

I really do like these wraps a lot. Like Melissa and Dallas report, the texture is similar to a thicker rice wrapper and its got a mildly sweet taste. I do lots of impulsive, late-night, internet shopping but this is one purchase I don’t regret in the slightest.

16 notes
#Pure Wraps #breakfast #lunch #dinner #meal planning
Paleo Eats: 11/28/11

More of my chow — coming right up!

In the morning, I whipped up some omelets filled with leftover 4505 Meats lamb merguez sausage and nuked frozen broccoli, and I topped each of them with a dollop of homemade guacamole.  

image

Have I mentioned the importance of a good pair of kitchen shears? I use them for everything — quickly dicing veggies (e.g. the nuked frozen broccoli), deboning chicken, chopping herbs, menacing people — the list goes on and on. Go buy a pair!

I hung out all morning with Lil-O…

image

…and in between games of Candyland (during which he CHEATED repeatedly), I worked on a new recipe for Paleo chawanmushi (savory Japanese egg custard) filled with chicken, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms. 

image

Of course, I had to sample a cup to make sure I got the seasoning right.

image

Afterwards, I reheated a bowl of leftover butternut soup (made by Fitbomb's cousin, Lil-D) and mixed in a big hunk of tender sous vide beef cheeks and minced herbs.

image

Since I had a ton of leftovers in the fridge, I decided to make just one veggie side dish for dinner.

I grabbed my jar of homemade lard from the fridge…

image

…and roasted a tray of lard-tossed broccoli in the toaster oven. 

I plated the baby trees — Lil-O will only eat them if he’s pretending to be a giant gnashing on puny human vegetation — along with a couple of pan-seared slices of 4505 Meats Turducken Junior and half a duck sausage.

image

By the way, I know that some of you have been asking for the recipes for some of my recent creations. You may be wondering if I’m holding back hoarding them…and you’re sorta right. We’re hard at work on a cool little project involving those recipes, and the wait will be worth it…hopefully. In the meantime, you still have a ton of other to choose from on my recipe index, so keep cooking!

And remember: Patience.

3 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #leftovers
Paleo Eats: 11/27/11

We ventured out of the house today, met some friends at the farmers’ market, cooked up a storm, and invited more friends for dinner. You can tell we’re trying to keep busy, huh?

In the morning, I made an simple frittata with leftover 4505 Meats merguez sausage and frozen broccoli…

image

…which I split for breakfast with Fitbomb.

image

Afterwards, I formed the chilled dark chocolate and coconut milk ganache from yesterday…

image

…into decadent truffles. 

image

After sampling a few of the truffles, we zoomed over to the farmers’ market where the Double-O’s enjoyed some music al fresco with their adorable buddy, M.

image

While the kids were transfixed by the music, I managed to haul back five big bags of produce. 

At lunchtime, we stopped by The Counter where I ate another burger in a bowl.

image

We were having some more friends over for dinner so I started cooking as soon as we got home. 

I butterflied a pastured chicken from Full of Life Farm and stuck it in the oven…

image

…blitzed a cauliflower…

image

…to make Asian cauliflower fried rice

image

…and reheated curried cream of broccoli soup which I topped with sous vide beef cheeks.

image

By the time I was finished with the soup and “rice,” the chicken was ready to be devoured.

image

That’s all folks. Good night!

25 notes
#breakfast #lunch #dinner #meal planning
Paleo Eats: 11/26/11

Today, we pressed the play button and tried to resume our normal routine. The kids had a play date with their friends and I spent the majority of the day tinkering in the kitchen.

For brunch, I sautéed 4505 Meats merguez sausage (out of the casing) with onions… 

image

…and ate it with leftover braised cabbage

image

In the afternoon, I cooked up a storm. I think I just wanted to keep my mind and hands busy.

I made a batch of macadamia nut oil mayonnaise… 

image

image

…a dark chocolate and coconut milk ganache… 

image

image

image

…which I’ll form into truffles if the ganache sets up properly…

image

…and curried cream of broccoli soup

image

image

image

Plus, I’ve got a seasoned grass fed beef cheek soaking in the SousVide Supreme that I’ll fish out tomorrow afternoon.

At dinnertime, I sliced up the leftover 4505 Meats Turducken Junior and pan-fried them in duck fat. 

image

We gobbled it up (heh!) with the rest of the braised cabbage and a bowl of soup.

image

Goodbye for now!

7 notes
#meal planning #brunch #dinner #4505 Meats
Paleo Eats: 11/25/11

I’m back, but not quite myself. I feel like someone pressed the pause button on our life, and I’m not yet ready to press play.

Thanks for all your well wishes, kind thoughts, and prayers during this difficult time. For a couple of days, I retired the camera and simply ate my meals without documenting them. It felt so liberating not having to worry about how a dish was plated — plus it was awesome going to bed at a reasonable hour without satisfying the requisite blogging duties.

Everyone in the Nombomb household feels like they’re floating around in a weird, dream-like, parallel universe. Even though the kids don’t totally understand what’s going on, they recognize that mom and dad are out of sorts. I demand family hugs throughout the day and hover over them with a strange intensity that’s annoying them. On my request, we all shared a family bed the other night and squeezed ourselves like mismatched spoons in a cluttered utensils drawer. It was a better idea in theory than in practice because no one got a good night’s sleep – our kids are way too restless and bony.

I’m going to resume regular blogging activities tomorrow. As a teaser, here are some photos of the low-key dinner we hosted at our house tonight.

 Even though we invited people over for dinner, our buddies graciously contributed a bunch of the nosh. Dr. HA deep-fried a HUGE batch of delicious Brussels sprout chips…

image

…in bacon grease(!)…

image

image

…that she seasoned with lemon zest, juice, and salt.

image

These were even BETTER than the ones from Marlowe because they were made with love and fried in bacon grease.

She also brought over a big pot of comforting curried butternut squash soup that we served with dinner.

K and R contributed some fantastic homemade headcheese…

image

image

image

…fermented beverages, and a jar of lard. If you’re wondering, porcine fat = love.

As we waited for the 4505 Meats Paleo-style Turducken Junior to finish roasting in the oven…

image

…we chowed on the Brussels Sprouts chips…

image

chicharrones

image

…and toasted Paleo bread (from Paleo Comfort Foods)…

image

 …topped with Braunschweiger (from U.S. Wellness Meats)

 

image

…head cheese, mustard, and dried cherries.

image

When we were done snacking, I sliced up the roasted Turducken Junior…

image

…heated up the gravy…

image

…and plated the sliced roulade with roasted root vegetables.

image

I also served roasted spiced chanterelle and portobello mushrooms

image

image

image

…and a tray of braised cabbage.

For dessert, we ate some pumpkin, maple, and coconut custard cups that I made the night before in the SousVide Supreme (195 F for 90 minutes) and chilled in the fridge.

image

The dinner was just what we needed — a restorative evening of rib-sticking chow, laughs, and sound advice from good buddies.

11 notes
#4505 Meats #Turducken Junior #dinner
I'm On Hiatus

I’m putting this blog on hold for a few days. Please go hug your loved ones and cherish your time together. 

XOXO,

M

5 notes
Paleo Eats: 11/21/11

Instead of a nursing a huge mug of Philz coffee at the start of my night shift, I sipped from a thermos filled with steaming bone broth. Both beverages warm me up from the inside out, but I don’t get the jitters with the broth. I better stock up on marrow bones ‘cause no one trusts a fidgety drug dealer.

image

A hot bowl of beef bouillon always reminds me of my mom — who happens to be a culinary rock star. Every night after returning from work, she’d cook us a four-course dinner that always ended with a fresh pot of soup. Plus, my sis and I took it for granted that she’d simmer us a bowl of flu-fighting beef broth when we were sick.

Sigh.

I’m getting all nostalgic ‘cause I miss my mommy. (Hi mom and dad! I hope you’re enjoying your vacation!)

That’s enough blathering! Let’s get back to the food…

While I was at work, I ate an ounce of E. Guittard Nocturne 91% cacao bar and leftover slow cooker lemongrass and coconut chicken drumsticks with frozen mixed veggies. 

When I got home in the morning, I was feeling nibbly so I ate a handful of mac nuts, a tablespoon of coconut butter, and a few green pork and shiitake sliders.

image

In the evening, I reheated the slow cooker beef and tomato stew I made the other night…

image

…sauteed some mushrooms…

image

image

…and mixed them into the stew.

image

For the side dishes, I roasted a tray of broccoli and bacon

image

…and nuked two boxes of Cascadian Farm winter squash puree with butter, salt, and pepper.

image

Right before I ladled the stew onto our plates, I chopped a bunch of Italian parsley…

image

…and mixed it in.

image

After dinner, we tucked the Double-O’s in bed and then I hit the sack for a quick power nap before heading into work.

Only two more nights to go!

4 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #packed snack #dinner #breakfast
Paleo Turkey Day Menu Ideas

Turkey Day is only a few days away…

(Image by SliceOfChic, shared via Flickr.)

Does everyone have their Thanksgiving plans all set? Anybody stuck hosting a house full of people you despise? Sucks to be you. 

We’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving at my in-laws’ yearly potluck. I haven’t finalized what I’m bringing but I think I’ll make endive spears stuffed with crab salad and garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

image

On Black Friday, we’re hosting a small party with friends and I’ll serve a Paleo-style Turducken Junior along with Paleo-friendly sides and chicharrones.  

I thank my lucky stars that I won’t be slaving in the kitchen this year. If I was, I’d peruse these recipes:

image

Want even more Paleo-friendly Thanksgiving menu ideas?

Check out the rest of my recipe indexEveryday Paleo, The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate, Whole9Jen’s Gone Paleo, The Clothes Make The Girl, Elana’s PantryHealth-BentPaleo Parents, Balanced Bites, and Paleo Periodical. I know I’m missing a ton of fine folks —  please give them a shout-out in the comments section!

11 notes
#Thanksgiving
Paleo Eats: 11/20/11

Yay! I’m more than halfway through my workweek!

During my graveyard shift, I chowed on two boxes of leftovers: one with a slice of frittata, and the other with roast chicken, cauliflower & carrot puree, and stir-fried pork and spigarello.

While I slept the afternoon away, Fitbomb made himself some bacon-wrapped pineapples chunks.

image

I sampled a couple when I woke up and each bite was a wonderful mix of contrasts — sweet and savory plus crunchy and juicy. My hubby makes the best bacon-y snacks while I’m sleeping.

For dinner, I made cheater crispy sous vide duck confit legs

image

…and roasted butternut squash seasoned with Madras curry.

image

I made a simple salad with mâche, cucumbers, and roasted squash and dressed it with aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Here’s my dinner plate:

image

After I exercised in the garage, I poured steaming bone broth into a thermos, packed my meals, chugged an espresso, and headed to work.

Only three more nights to go!

3 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #packed snacks #dinner #Thanksgiving
Green Pork & Shiitake Sliders

image

Here’s another variation on my green sliders — this time with Asian flair, just like me! Seriously, my kids love these portable pucks and it makes me happy that they’re getting veggies and protein in each bite.

Here’s what I assembled to make 30 mini sliders:

  • 1 pound frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or favorite fat)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (from 1/2 medium onion)
  • 6 reconstituted dried shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup small-dice celery (from about 2 medium stalks)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/8-1/4 cup coconut flour (amount varies)
  • 1 tablespoon of Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • Additional 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil for frying

Here’s how I made them:

First, I dumped a package of frozen spinach into a Corningware container

image

…covered it with a lid, and nuked it on high for ~4 minutes to defrost it. Then, I dumped the spinach into a colander and pressed out all the liquid.

image

I heated 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet and tossed in the chopped onions and mushrooms along with some salt and pepper to taste. The veggies were sautéed until the liquid had evaporated and the onions were softened.

Next, the coconut milk, celery, and cilantro were blitzed with the hand blender

image

I placed the ground pork in a large bowl…

image

…added spinach…

image

…the puree…

image

…’shrooms and onions…

image

…eggs…

image

…coconut flour (Be sparing with it! Too much and your burgers will be dry.)…

image

…fish sauce…

image

…coconut aminos, salt, and pepper.

image

I used my hands to gently combine all the ingredients…

image

…and formed the meat mixture into small patties (about 2 inches in diameter).

image

I heated 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and fried the sliders in three batches.

image

I cooked the sliders for 3 minutes on each side, so each batch took about 6-7 minutes to finish.

image

Voila!

image

14 notes
#green sliders #pork #spinach #shiitake mushrooms #portable
Paleo Eats: 11/19/11

Another day of eats coming your way…

While most of you were tucked snug in your beds, I was burning the midnight oil at work. I really can’t complain because it wasn’t too busy again. My chow at work was leftover roast chicken, cauliflower & carrot puree, and stir-fried pork and spigarello.

image

I also chugged a glass of coconut milk but that didn’t keep me from being famished in the morning. The watered down coconut milk is pissing me off.

When I got home,  I fried myself a couple of eggs in butter and topped them with sliced avocado and Aleppo pepper.

image

I was still hungry so I inhaled a frozen Paleo Krunch bar, a few bites from a 100% cacao bar, a heaping spoonful of coconut butter, and a handful of mac nuts. I was beyond full by the time I hit the sheets. Go figure.

In the evening, I crawled out of bed and starting making dinner. I just fried up a batch of green pork and shiitake sliders

image

…and that’s all we ate ‘cause I was tired, yo!

image

I packed my nosh for work, did a homebrewed WOD in the gym, chugged a mug of bone broth (and an espresso), and dashed off into the night.

I’m almost halfway through my workweek. Sigh.

6 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #dinner
Paleo Eats: 11/18/11

Like the previous night, there was no room at the inn again but luckily my shift at the hospital wasn’t too crazy. While I was on the clock, I ate a package of spicy grass fed jerky chews, a merguez sausage over a bed of frozen spinach, and leftover lemongrass and coconut chicken thighs with braised cabbage and yam puree.

When I returned home, I was greeted by my smiley boys and the comforting smell of simmering bone broth

image

I strained the broth and ladled a steaming mug for Big-O to sip before school…

image

…stored the rest in the fridge, and cleaned out the slow cooker so I could throw in the ingredients for beef and tomato stew.

image

**Nom Nom Paleo Tip of the Day: Choose brisket or boneless short ribs for stews and braises. The meat will be meltingly tender as long as you cook it low and slow.**

image

After I’d tidied up in the kitchen and programmed the slow cooker, I went to bed and snuggled under the covers. Going to sleep during the day is so much easier during the colder months, BUT getting up in the evening is a Herculean task. Seriously.

When I finally dragged myself out of the warm cocoon of blankets, I went to the kitchen to make dinner. Although the slow cooker beef stew was done, I packed it away for a future dinner next week. I’m gonna be thanking myself for this later.

For tonight’s supper, I baked a simple Paleo frittata with leftover antelope emergency protein, chard, and onions….

image

…and topped each slice with a big dollop of guacamole.

image

Then, I drove my reluctant ass to work. Ugh. Do I really have five more nights to go?

7 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #packed snacks #dinner #meal planning #slow cooker
BIG WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT!

Congrats to Jeannette Keep! She’s the big winner of the SousVide Supreme Demi package courtesy of SousVide Supreme!

image

I’m bawling like the rest of you ‘cause I had to buy my own, too!

Thank you to all my generous sponsors who donated prizes to my Blogaversary giveaways!

Most importantly, thank YOU for reading my blog!

XOXO

M

1 note
#giveaway #SousVIde Supreme #winner
Paleo Eats: 11/17/11

The no vacancy sign at the hospital was flashing as I drove in to work and that’s never a good thing. To power me through my shift, I ate a grass fed Paleo Kit and some ground antelope emergency protein with frozen broccoli.

When I came home in the morning, I took the kids to school before dropping the car off at the shop. I was too tired to prep dinner and just went to bed…where I wasted an hour of precious sleep by tweeting. Are you guys following me on Twitter and Facebook? If not, you’re missing out on many loopy non sequiturs brought to you by Ambien CR.

When I woke up in the evening, I picked up my car before making dinner.

Here’s a sneak peek of what I served:

image

I spatchcocked and seasoned a chicken…

image

…stuffed some pats of butter under the skin…

image

…and stuck it in the oven.

While the chicken roasted, I made a batch of cauliflower & carrot puree

image

…and stir-fried some ground pork with spigarello and diced onions.

image

By the time I was finished with the sides, the chicken had already rested for about 10 minutes and was ready to be hacked up.

image

At dinnertime, Big-O proclaimed that we were eating a practice Turkey Day dinner but in miniature form.

Afterwards, I tucked the kids in bed, exercised in the garage gym, packed my meals, threw the ingredients for bone broth in the slow cooker, and zoomed my ass to work.

Oh. Did I mention that there’s only a few hours left to enter my giveaway for a SousVide Supreme Demi package? You should get on it before it’s gone!

9 notes
#night shift #packed lunch #dinner