Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 5/30/11

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Today was a great finish to a wonderful holiday weekend. Hubby and I were able to sleep in until 8:00 a.m. since the kids were crashing at my parents’ house. Yes, childless people, 8:00 a.m. is really LATE.

Since I had been peer-pressured and shamed into doing Murph at CrossFit Palo Alto at 9:00 a.m. (you all know who you are!), I fueled up on some melted coconut butter (fat!) and Applegate Farms organic roast beef (protein!) as a pre-workout meal.

Murph was tough but Coach Tim did a fantastic job of reminding us pussies that we needed to suck it up because thousands of past and present members of our armed forces put their lives on the line everyday to ensure our freedoms.

How’d I do? You can read about my Murph experience over at the Five Tribe — or just check out this photo of me, taken about ten seconds before I finished:

Post-Murph, I scarfed down a sweet potato, buffalo jerky, and some chestnuts. My glycogen stores were spent and I needed to replenish them ASAP.

Afterwards, hubby and I caught a matinee showing of Bridesmaids – our first movie sans kids in over a year. I like my movies without cartoon characters and heaps of steaming scatological humor, so I really enjoyed this one.

For lunch, we hit the Chipotle next to the theater and ordered our regular: carnitas salad bowl with pico de gallo, spicy salsa, and guacamole.

Then, we went to pick up our kiddies and took a family trip to my favorite grocery store, Sigona’s in Redwood City, to stock up on meat and veggies.

At dinnertime, I steamed the two gigantic artichoke globes that I received in my weekly Mariquita Farm CSA box.

I also made cheater crispy sous vide crispy duck confit and nuked some leftover broiled asparagus and Portobello mushrooms.

Here’s my dinner plate:

So sad that the weekend is over!

Paleo Eats: 4/3/11

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Today we were zipping around the outer reaches of the Bay Area but I was still able to eat pretty clean despite not cooking anything myself.

In the morning, I met up with Fit Daffy at the Mountain View Farmers to pick up two bunches of free asparagus, eggs, veggies, and fruit. I was really excited to see that my favorite strawberry stand, Kika’s, has set up shop again. Another stand I’ve been frequenting a lot lately is Borba Farms. They sell really tasty and beautiful organic produce. I know that sounds superficial but some organic produce is so damn ugly it’s unappetizing: muddy, wilted, bug-eaten. You know what I mean.

After I came home, the family and I piled into the car to meet some friends for brunch at Café Borrone (same owners as Station 1 Restaurant). My hubby and I each ordered a scramble with chard, green onions, and bacon…

…a fancy green salad to share…

…and chicken apple sausage.

Then, we took a short walk to the spice mecca, Penzeys, to restock my spice drawer.

My kids and I sniffed our way through the store…

…and I purchased a ton: Balti seasoning, Rogan Josh seasoning, Fox Point seasoning, Tukish seasoning, Sunny Paris seasoning, Tandoori seasoning, and Parisien Bonnes Herbes.

We also took a stroll over to the Menlo Park Farmers’ market

…and purchased some grass fed beef jerky from the Holding Ranch stand

…a dozen duck eggs…

…and more sweet potatoes.

The kids had a blast boogying to the musicians at the market.

We took our purchases home and then we were off to a kid’s birthday party in Walnut Creek. While we were there, I snacked on the beef jerky we just bought and some strawberries.

For dinner, we made a pitstop at Chipotle on our way home. Hubby and I both ordered salads with double portions of carnitas, hot and mild salsa, and a big dollop of guacamole.

For fast food, it wasn’t bad but as I’ve posted before, I do find the carnitas a bit salty.

Tomorrow, I promise I’ll cook something…

Day 11 of Whole30 Eats

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Today was a bit trickier in the Whole30 compliance department because I had to navigate through a Paleo-unfriendly family get-together and scramble to grab lunch on the run.

The day started out fine with a breakfast of leftover sous vide chicken breast over leftover stewed vegetables (all the beef shanks are long gone).

I nuked my bowl for about a minute and spooned on a dollop of guacamole.

In anticipation of a non-Paleo-friendly family lunch party, my mid-morning snack consisted of a can of sardines and kale chips. After pretending to eat some dim sum at Fitbomb’s cousin’s party, the two of us made a pitstop at Chipotle Mexican Grill and we each ordered salads with half carnitas and half barbacoa, extra guacamole, no beans, fresh tomato salsa, and tomatillo-red chili salsa.

In the afternoon, I popped my marinated pork leg in the oven to slowly braise over 3.5 hours. (I’m serving the pork later this week.)

While I puttered around in the kitchen, I scarfed down some more coconut flakes and macadamia nuts.

For dinner, I made some pan-grilled sumac pepper finishing salt seasoned shrimp

…that I served over a bed of arugula, shredded carrots, and diced avocados.

The greens were dressed with some freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, avocado oil, salt, and pepper.

Only 19 days left! I kinda can’t wait until the Whole30 is over. Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy to push the reset button on my diet, but I can’t live like this all year round. I need me some dark chocolate.

Dining Out Paleo: Chipotle Mexican Grill

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I’ll admit it. I’m a huge food snob. I’ll only eat out at a place once I’ve thoroughly done my research and know the food is supposed to be delicious. I’ve been a food tourist and made pilgrimages across the country and abroad for the sole purpose of visiting restaurants (e.g. Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Alinea in Chicago, Per Se in NYC, Cibreo in Florence, and back when I was flirting with vegetarianism, Kodaiji Ikkyu-an in Kyoto). Eff the landmarks and historical sites — I just want good grub.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t need trendy or fancy. The restaurants can be hole-in-the-wall places where I can only communicate with the server by pointing at other diner’s dishes. Frankly, I don’t even care if the place is unsanitary. If it tastes good going down, I don’t care if it comes out painfully a few hours later. Really. Just ask Fitbomb. I’ve hauled his butt all over the globe for good eats.

I like restaurants that are run by passionate food lovers because you know that they put their heart and soul into whatever they’re serving you. You know, like Chef Primo from the movie Big Night or Chef Remy from Ratatouille. (Yes, I haven’t watched too many movies since I hatched my kids.) I just don’t believe you get that kind of passion at a chain restaurant, so I avoid them like the plague. Sure, chains provide a consistent minimum standard of mediocrity; the food won’t totally suck, but you won’t be wowed by anything at Macaroni Grill or Applebee’s.

Well, stop the presses because this afternoon, I ate lunch at a chain. A FAST food chain, no less.

A little backstory…

Lunch today was going to be a bit more problematic. We were headed to Fitbomb’s cousin’s birthday luncheon and we knew we’d be served a dizzying array of dim sum dishes. Fitbomb’s family LOVES eating dim sum.

I HATE dim sum. Besides, the stuff certainly ain’t Whole30 compliant. To make sure I didn’t starve, I ate a can of sardines at home and I packed emergency packs of coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. At the party, everyone kept nagging me to go get food, but I just pretended to be busy feeding my kids. I finally had to flat-out lie and say that I ate when they weren’t looking. Fitbomb was even sneakier and spread a few stray pieces of food on his plate and pretended he ate a full plate. I’m just glad that we were able to escape early because we had a mandatory preschool open house to attend.

After we left the party, we were still hungry after eating our pre-packed nuts and flakes. We were in a bind ‘cause we didn’t have time to go home to eat. To top it off, the food scene in in this particular corner of the East Bar is abysmal. Then, I remembered that Paleo guru Robb Wolf recommends eating at Chipotle Mexican Grill so I told Fitbomb to aim our Paleomobile in the direction of one. I think he thought I was punking him but I was HONGRY.

As we stood in line, we took out our iPhones and studied John Durant’s post on what good and proper cavemen order at Chipotle. We both ordered salads topped with carnitas, extra guacamole, and two kinds of salsa. No beans, por favor.

Can you see the skepticism in my face? I was just reciting the mantra, “Food is fuel. Food is fuel. Food is fuel…”

The verdict? Drum roll, please…

Not bad. It’s pretty good for fast food. I’ve definitely had much better (and cheaper) Mexican at authentic taquerias near our house, but in a pinch, I’d eat here. Since I’m on the Whole30, I like the transparency of the ingredients on the Chipotle website. That being said, almost everything (except for carnitas!) is cooked in soybean oil, so if you want to go 100% Paleo, stick with the carnitas. The guacamole’s pretty awesome, though. Next time I find myself in a Chipotle, I’m doubling up on the guac.