Nom Nom Paleo

Broccoli Slaw Roast Beef Salad

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On a whim, I bought a bag of broccoli slaw the other day from Trader Joe’s.  For lunch, I finally broke it open and added some extra shredded carrots (also purchased from TJ’s), sliced red bell peppers, and diced avocado. 

I drizzled on some extra virgin olive oil and orange muscat champagne vinegar.  Then, I added freshly ground black pepper and Kosher salt.  I sliced up some leftover sous vide bottom round roast beef and tossed it all together.


The broccoli slaw is so damn convenient. Okay — it’s a little dry and looks anemic, but I would purchase it again. It’s a quick way to add veggies to your plate, and I’m all about that!

Sous Vide Grass Fed Bottom Round Roast

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Every time I make grass fed beef in my SousVide Supreme I expect the worst but secretly hope for something edible.  Okay, I’m exaggerating a little but I normally either pick too high of a cooking temperature or the soaking time is too long so the meat comes out too well-done and/or has a powdery texture.  Blech. Conversely, when  I cook grain-fed beef in my water bath, the results are pretty awesome.  Despite my shitty results with grass fed beef, I’m commited to experimenting,through trial and error, to figure out the best time/temp for each cut. 

Here’s my latest experiment:

A few days ago, I seasoned a bottom round roast I got from my CSA with Sagemary finishing salt, kosher salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. 

I vacuumed sealed and dunked it in my SousVide Supreme (set at 130 F) for 12 hours.  I chose the temp from Serious Eats Sous Vide 101: Prime Steak Primer and the time from Cooking Sous Vide’s post on Sous Vide Sirloin Roast recipe.

After the roast had cooked for 12 hours, I transferred the packet to an ice bath and let it sit for an hour.  Then, I stored roast in the fridge until I was ready to serve it.  When I woke up today, I plopped the roast into my pre-heated SousVide Supreme which was set at 130F.  Per the machine’s instructions, you can reheat previously sous vided food by placing it in the bath for 30 minutes set at the final temperature you want to serve it at (e.g. 130 F in this case).  Once the reheating time was finished, I took out the roast and dried it off.

Then, I seared off all sides of the roast in some lard in my piping hot cast iron skillet.  I used a timer and seared each side undisturbed for a minute.

Here’s a picture of it all sliced up:

What’s the verdict?  I definitely like the doneness at 130F but the texture was still a little powdery.  I’m sure the undesirable texture was because it’s such a lean cut of beef and I need to decrease the cooking time the next time I cook this cut.  I appreciate the beefier taste of grass fed beef and understand that even when I perfect my sous vide technique, it won’t ever taste like grain-fed beef.

My father-in-law HATED this roast. How do I know? He literally SPAT out a piece of beef in front of me (while grimacing) and secretly tossed out half his serving.  This is a man who has lived through famine and war time and NEVER wastes food. I know he’s one picky mo-fo but that crap is bananas, yo!

Any sous vide tips for cooking grass fed beef?  Put ‘em in my comments, please!

Dinner at 5:00 a.m.: leftover sous vide top sirloin steak, cauliflower “rice,” roasted broccoli and bacon, and herb gravy.  Since I wasn’t happy with the original texture of the meat (and it only got worse after getting nuked), I made sure to cover it all with gravy to try to salvage it.  Glad I have more gravy in the fridge in case I have more meals to rescue later in the week.

Dinner at 5:00 a.m.: leftover sous vide top sirloin steak, cauliflower “rice,” roasted broccoli and bacon, and herb gravy.  Since I wasn’t happy with the original texture of the meat (and it only got worse after getting nuked), I made sure to cover it all with gravy to try to salvage it.  Glad I have more gravy in the fridge in case I have more meals to rescue later in the week.

Sous Vide Grass Fed Top Sirloin (And Lots O’ Veggies)

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Tonight I’m lagging because I’m returning to work after having 3 weeks off. Argh!  As a result, for dinner I made lots of veggies and a big sous vide grass fed top sirloin steak so I’d have lots of leftovers to pack for work.

In preparation for my workweek, I started sous viding like a mad woman on Tuesday morning.  I layed out all my proteins on my kitchen counter and seasoned and vacuum sealed them with my Foodsaver.  I try to combine as many meats as possible that cook at the same temp, so I set my SousVide Supreme to 140 F and plopped in 4 seasoned pork chops and 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts.  After they had cooked for 2.5 hours, I took them out and placed them in an ice bath so I could store them in the fridge for later in the week.  I added cold water and turned down the temp to 120 F to cook my frozen wild sockeye salmon for lunch.  After taking out the salmon, I increased the water temp to 130 F and dunked in my grass fed top sirloin steak which I seasoned with Sagemary finishing salt and pepper.

The steak was going to cook in the SousVide Supreme for about 30 hours and I was going to take it out at dinner time on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, I cooked the world’s best braised cabbage and prepared some cauliflower, garlic, and bacon that I was going to roast off when I woke up. I stored the vege and swine bits in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.

When I awoke, I took out the steak and dropped in two bags of Cascadian farm winter squash puree in the Sous Vide Supreme.  These puree packs float in the water bath so I always weigh them down with a rack.  I tossed some olive oil in my Ziploc filled with cauliflower, bacon, and garlic and seasoned it all with salt and pepper.  After giving the sealed bag a nice shake, I poured it all out on a foil lined baking sheet and baked at 375 F for ~30-35 minutes.  Jaden’s recipe says that it only takes 20 minutes in the oven, but mine definitely took longer.  While the cauliflower was in the oven, I prepped some portobello mushroom packs and popped them in the oven with the cauliflower and let those cook for ~25 minutes.

Then I pulled the winter squash puree out of the SousVide Supreme and stirred in some butter, salt, and pepper.  I took the steak out of its bag, dried it off, and seared it in some lard in my cast iron skillet.  I seared the steak for ~2 minutes per side per the tips on Kamikaze cookery.  Last of all, I microwaved the cabbage and cut up the mushrooms and drizzled the ‘shrooms with my aged balsamic vinegar.

Voila!  All of this was on the table within 1 hour and I have 3 boxes of lunch in the fridge (plus, leftover steak). 

Star Noodle, Take Three (Lahaina, HI)

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I’m happy to report that we ate at Star Noodle three times during our stay in West Maui and we didn’t eat noodles once!  We definitely have a crush on this restaurant so we chose it as our last dinner on the island.

I spied Sheldon Simeon in the kitchen (I don’t think he was there our other two times) and wondered if dinner would be even better tonight given his presence. I was happy to say that it was, and the platings were especially nice and polished.

Tonight, the new dishes we ordered were:

Spicy Namasu (cucumber, daikon, and carrot with a spicy, Vietnamese-y vinaigrette):


Charbroiled Miso Salmon (alas, a tad over-cooked for my taste):


The oldies but goodies we ordered again were the Ahi Avo, the Rib Eye, Yakitori, Steamed Pork Buns, and Brussels Sprouts.

Fitbomb liked the food so much that he purchased Star Noodle shirts and a baseball cap.  Now he can look like an official Star Noodle waiter!  

It’s Déjà vu All Over Again, Part 2: Star Noodle (Lahaina, HI)

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No, we didn’t go to Mala again (we’re going for brunch this weekend) but we made a second appearance at Star Noodle.  Hey, pickings are slim here in Maui! So if you like a place, you should stick with it.  Life’s too short to waste a meal on something shitty. 

Today for lunch we ordered the following items:

Pan roasted local mushrooms:


Mmmmmm.  Umami goodness.   I liked this mushroom dish better than the similar one we ate at Mala the other day.

Special of the day: balsamic marinated grilled beef over local greens:


The beef was well-seasoned and served rare – just the way I like it.  The dressing also had a nice kick to it.

Garlic steak served sizzling with onions and scallions:


This steak was tasty but a tad over-cooked for my taste.  Fitbomb also found it a bit too sweet.

All in all, the food was nom nom-approved and it’s not just good for Maui —  I wish this place was located back where we live!   However, like all Asian places, it’s hard to eat truly Paleo at Star Noodle because there’s sugar, cornstarch, soy, etc. in almost everything even when you are avoiding the obvious carb-y things like noodles, rice, and dessert.   But I’m on vacation so eff all that stuff!

Weeknight Dinner for Company

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I love having people over for dinner but I used to also hate it because I’d be dead-tired by the end of the night.  Nowadays, I’ve learned to pare down my hands-on time so I’m not falling asleep while doing the dishes when the night is through.  Tonight, I had almost everything prepared earlier in the day (at a much more leisurely pace) and all I had to do before dinner was sear my sous vide flank steak, plate my roasted veggies, and nuke my garlic cauliflower “mashed potatoes.”  

Earlier in the afternoon, I prepared the garlic cauliflower “mashed potatoes" and put the finished side in a covered CorningWare.  The puree totally reheats well, so I just put it in something I could nuke and serve it in.

Also, I roasted the portobello mushrooms ahead of time but kept them in the foil packs.  After I was done roasting the other veggies in the oven, I put the packets in the oven (with thermostat turned off) to bring them up to temp before slicing and serving.

I roasted some carrots and sliced up delicata squash in a 425 F oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Those trays came out of the oven by 5:15 pm and they were served room temp.  To be fancy, I chopped up some Italian parsley and sprinkled them on top (along with my fancy balsamic vinegar).  I go all out for guests ;).

The sous vide flank steak didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. Yesterday afternoon,  I seasoned it (almost directly out of the freezer)  with homemade taco seasoning and some salt and pepper, then vacuum sealed it.  I plopped it in the SousVide Supreme set at 135 F and left it in there for 24 hours.  When it was time for dinner, I took the steak out of the bath and its bag, dried it, and fried it in my cast iron skillet with some lard.  Next time, I’m gonna go with a lower temp and a thicker steak because the final product was too dry.  Live and learn.  

I’m stoked I was able to polish off a lot of veggies in our fridge because we’re leaving town in a few days.  Yay!

Dinner at Home When I Don’t Wanna Cook

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Remember a few posts back when I said that I like to make quick dinners when I’m on my work week?  Well, when I’m working as a full time mom I want dinners on the table even quicker.  I was really tired tonight and I didn’t want to cook AT ALL.  But I’d already gotten take out for lunch so I didn’t feel right getting more take out for dinner.

I already knew I had a pound of defrosted grass fed ground beef in the fridge, an onion, garlic, a handful of cherry tomatoes, and some pre-made homemade taco seasoning so I just made the same seasoned ground beef that I made a week ago. What am I going to serve with it?  

I sliced up some delicata squash I had on the counter and roasted it off in the toaster oven with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper at 400 F for around 20 minutes. Then I nuked some frozen broccoli.  I love frozen broccoli.  Yes, it’s always mushier than fresh but I don’t need to wash or cut anything.