Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 12/7/12

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I was positively giddy about the start of my three week vacation…until it occurred to me that I’ll be a full-time, stay-at-home mom for the rest of the month. I love hanging with my boys, but I’m certainly busier when I’m on mommy duty than when I’m dealing drugs in the dead of night. On the other hand, I’m thankful that for the next three weeks, I’ll be able to go to bed at night. Simple pleasures, right?

This morning, I whipped up breakfast for the boys (scrambled eggs, mini chicken apple sausages, sliced apple, and raw whole milk) and packed their school lunches before my hubby shuttled them off to school. Once the house was empty, it was breakfast time for me: I pan-fried a few leftover slices of smoky 4505 Meats ham steak and cooked up a package of mixed frozen veggies for my own breakfast.

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I downed it all in a flash — chewing is so overrated — and with some time to kill, I decided to make some mocha popsicles with freshly brewed espresso (using the awesome Bialetti Moka Express that our friend Shiraaz got for us)…

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…coconut milk, cocoa powder, and some other secret stuff.

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Yes, I’m aware that it’s December, but just ‘cause it’s cold outside doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a frozen treat, people. (Besides, we live in California. It’s not exactly arctic here.)

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Once the popsicles were in the freezer, I zoomed over to CrossFit Palo Alto and spent an hour practicing push presses, deadlifts, and double unders with the gals in the women’s class. One thing that the workout made clear: I can’t afford to stop working on my double unders. Back when I was regularly practicing in my garage, I was starting to string ‘em together, but now? Not so much.

Afterwards, I stopped by my new favorite local grocery store, Miki’s Farm Fresh Market, to pick up goodies for Big-O’s birthday party. (My boy was ripped out of my uterus eight years ago! Hooray!) If you live on the San Francisco Peninsula or South Bay, you need to check out this store. The grass fed/organic/pastured meat and produce selection is unparalleled on this side of the Bay — and the butcher sells grass fed beef liver. Chicken feet, too. I love this place.

When I came home, I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon playing around with the beta version of the new update for the Nom Nom Paleo app

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Henry and I have been working with our developer on some upgrades: We tweaked the look, added over a dozen recipes, and implemented a pretty major change that we think will make most folks very happy. (All these features and new recipes will be free for everyone who’s already downloaded the app.) Once testing’s done, we’ll submit it to Apple for approval. Fingers crossed!

For lunch, I took a tiny break from my QA duties to make a simple frittata with stir fried baby kale.

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Stacy & Matt generously gifted us with a sampler of artisanal Olio olive oils and flavored balsamic vinegars, and I’ve been drizzling ‘em on EVERYTHING. Even my eggy lunch entrée didn’t escape a fruity ribbon of olive oil.

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My favorite vinegar flavor? The chocolate balsamic. Big surprise, huh? 

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At 2 o’clock, I picked up the kiddos from school and we spent the rest of the afternoon struggling to set up a huge tent in the living room for Big-O’s slumber party. Having kids sleep in a tent in the house is very Party of Five. Or maybe The Sixth Sense, only with less barfing and screaming.

By 5 o’clock, the tent was still not set up, and I had no clue what to make for dinner. I would’ve totally spazzed out if it weren’t for two things: (1) my hubby got home from work and took over the tent duties, and (2) I remembered that I have PaleoChef marinades in the pantry. (By the way, this ain’t some sort of paid product placement for PaleoChef — I purchased a sampler pack last month to try them out on desperation dinner nights like tonight.)

We have a bunch of different marinades, and after surveying the boys, we popped open the bottle of Tomato Balsamic to flavor a bunch of salted chicken legs.

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I let the legs marinate for about an hour — just enough time to wash up the boys and give myself a hose down.

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Our wall oven is finally back in working order (thank you, Aloha Appliance Repair!), so I put it through it’s paces by roasting both the chicken…

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…and broccoli at the same time using the convection mode.

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When the broccoli finished roasting in the oven, I removed the tray from the oven and tossed the florets with some leftover roasted butternut squash and balsamic vinegar.

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The chicken was ready ten minutes later — and not a moment too soon, ‘cause we were all salivating from the tempting aromas wafting from the oven.

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Here’s my dinner plate:

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What’s the verdict on the marinade? Thumbs up from the whole family. Even picky Lil-O.

On another note, I just joined Google+. I’m kind of hesitant to add yet another social media channel to my plate. (I’m barely keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as it is.) But the thing is, I really dig what Google+ has to offer. What do you think? Am I wasting my time with Google+? And why aren’t my small children offering to be my social media interns?

Paleo Eats: 9/17/12

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The best way to beat the Monday blahs is with bacon.

Am I right or am I right?

To kick off the week for my whole family, I baked bacon on my griddle in the toaster oven, scrambled eggs, and fried tomatoes in bacon drippings.

I love raw tomatoes, but you amplify the umami if you sear ‘em in bacon grease — and I’m all about simple ways to boost flavor.

While Henry took the boys to school, I had a few minutes to spare, so I puréed a few baked yams that I’d stored in the fridge.

Then, I zoomed off to CrossFit Palo Alto for the women’s class. Although I had committed to attending two times a week — even if it meant working out after a night shift — it’d actually been ten days since I last got my WOD on. Argh. I promise to do better next week.

When I returned from class, I whipped up some batter to make Ashley Tudor’s sweet potato bars (her recipe is available in Sweet Potato Power)…

…and popped the baking dish into the oven.

While the bars were baking, I used my spice grinder to blitz a batch of Magic Mushroom Powder (recipe available in the Spice It Up premium pack for my iPad app).

Mushroom cloud!

And, yes, I’m not just the developer of the Nom Nom Paleo iPad app, I’m also a client.

(It saddens me that the majority of my readers are waaaay too young to catch my Sy Sperling reference. I’m such an old lady.)

Lunch was an afterthought. I ended up just pulling some leftovers out of the fridge. At first, I tried to make it nice and photogenic…

…but then just ended up piling random items onto the plate. Here’s a picture of the true smorgasbord I ate. You might spot a couple of sliders, sautéed red cabbage, homemade pineapple salsa, and tomatoes in the mix.

After lunch, I took the dish of sweet potato bars out of the oven and placed it on a rack to cool.

Rather than standing there and twiddling my thumbs, I decided to make a second batch of Magic Mushroom Powder, but this time, with dried shiitake mushrooms, dried ginger, onion, and garlic. Variety is the spice of life, right?

It’d been a while since I made Magic Mushroom Powder and I’d forgotten how simple and quick it is. 

Once I was done cleaning up mushroom dust on the kitchen counter, I picked up the Double-Os at school. Both of them were excited to snack on the sweet potato bars; it’s their favorite grain-free treat.

We spent the rest of the afternoon gawking at the plastic-looking “spooky” animatronics at our neighborhood Spirit Halloween Store (again). I understand their fascination with Weird Al and Psy, but their obsession with this store baffles me.

When we returned home from visiting the werewolves, zombies, and skeletons, it was time to make dinner. The pound of Siren SirenSA sand dabs in my fridge looked like they could use some of my newly-concocted shiitake spice powder.

And just like that, they were ready for the skillet (and some hot coconut oil).

The Double-Os don’t like bony fish (and I didn’t have enough for them anyway), so for the boys, I seasoned flap steaks with regular Magic Mushroom Powder…

…and gave them a quick turn in a coconut oil coated skillet, too.

The kids split a small steak, and I stuck the rest in the fridge. Emergency protein, at the ready.

To accompany the fish and steak, I roasted a tray of broccoli seasoned with Magic Mushroom Powder and finished it with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

Dinner!

In the immortal words of Eric the Actor: Goodbye…for now.

Paleo Eats: 7/13/12 (2012 CrossFit Games Day 1)

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Our day started bright and early because the Nombomb clan was excited to root for our favorite athletes on the first day of the 2012 CrossFit Games.

Although we were up by 7, we didn’t arrive at Home Depot Center (HDC) until close to noon. Why the delay? Well, food takes precedence over everything in my world, and I needed to pack some Paleo-friendly fare (roast beef, veggies, guacamole, nuts, beef jerky, dried fruit, applesauce, and water) for our day at the Games.

And then, of course, we had to chow down on a big, hearty breakfast. I wanted to makes sure no one — especially me — would be hangry and cranky in the afternoon.

I did my due diligence on Yelp and Chowhound and decided that we were going to break our fast at Eat At Rudy’s in downtown Torrance.

The Double-Os split an order of two scrambled eggs, bacon, and cubed watermelon.

My hubby and I split the chorizo scramble with added avocado….

…and an avocado-topped three-egg omelet stuffed with seasoned ground beef, spinach, and mushrooms.

When in doubt about eating out Paleo, go chow at a breakfast joint because you can always fill up on eggs and breakfast meats. 

By the time we arrived at HDC, the parking lot was crammed with cars to the outer perimeter. Fantastic.

As we inched our way to the stadium, I couldn’t help noticing all of the Paleo-friendly food stands available at the venue. Last year, Fitbomb spied a lonely Cinnabon vendor trying unsuccessfully to hawk sugary gluten bombs to the fans, along with a couple of food trucks (including one from In-N-Out). This year, there were long lines at every stand except for the one where a lady was selling ice cream, soda, and peanuts.

I’m pretty sure I won’t need to lug a ton of food with me to the HDC tomorrow.

After moseying around the vendor area…

…and saying hello to our pals at Steve’s Originals

…we made our way to the track and field area where the med-ball toss and track triplet were already underway. We got to see some of my favorite female CrossFit Games athletes like Kristan Clever, Julie Foucher, Annie Sakamoto, and Jenny Labaw…

…and on the men’s side, the crowd was treated to a photo finish between Graham Holmberg and Chris Spealler.

It was amazing to get to watch these athletes compete.

While we whooped and hollered under the hot sun, I assembled lettuce tacos filled with roast beef, guacamole, and grape tomatoes and shoved them in everyone’s mouths.

It was great watching the events with our boys because many of the athletes demonstrated relentless persistence, a trait we stress more than any other with our kids. I pointed out to the Double-Os that even though Jenny Labaw struggled to bust out her bar muscle-ups, she continued to gut it out even after the other competitors had finished.

That’s why I’m such a big fan of hers.

The Double-Os enjoyed the Games — for about an hour — and then the unrelenting heat and humidity made them melt.

We left the track and cooled down a bit in the shade of a tent…

…and then made one last detour through the vendor village. My hubby and I picked up a pair of his-‘n-hers new RX Jump Ropes (which came highly recommended by George)…

…and Big-O hurled a sandbell like an angry monkey chucking his scat.

[Photo: Bill Staley]

One last photo op with our Paleo blogger pals later…

…we headed out. After returning to our hotel, we dunked the sweaty boys in a sudsy tub before grabbing dinner at Fanoos Grill.

The little guys split a koobideh platter…

…and my hubby and I split the combo grill for two. From the photos on Yelp, I knew that the grilled meats are plated on fresh lavosh and accompanied by a mountain of saffron-flavored basamati rice. I didn’t want either, so I just ordered a pile o’meat and undressed salad.

I love Persian food and this casual joint is a winner in my book.

Once our bellies were full, I dropped Fitbomb back at HDC to watch the evening individual events.

While my hubby busied himself snapping photos, the Double-Os and I headed back to our hotel for some R&R. (You can check out more of Fitbomb’s pics here.) We can’t wait to return tomorrow!

Paleo Eats: 2/4/11

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As soon as I dropped Big-O off at school this morning, I was left with five solid hours of ME time. My hubby dropped Lil-O at my parent’s house on his way to work and I was free to do whatever the hell I wanted until I picked up Big-O from school at 2:00 p.m.

Did I luxuriate at a fancy spa? No.

Or did I stimulate our flagging economy with a little retail therapy? A little bit.

Some laundry, perhaps? Hell no — I ain’t that selfless.

The first appointment of the morning was my virgin CrossFit workout at CrossFit Palo Alto. I’ve been really nervous about starting but I finally stopped making excuses and committed to a class. Despite the butterflies, I wanted to fill my belly with a small protein and fat-packed mini-breakfast to get me through the WOD. So before the class, while I packed Big-O’s lunch box with primal goodies, I made myself a few extra turkey and butter lettuce roll-ups and gobbled a small handful of macadamia nuts.

Then, I drove to the box and had a fantastic workout with a supportive and inspiring group of kickass ladies. (You can read all about it here.)

After the workout, I was pretty famished, so I made myself a REAL breakfast plate at home with leftover rotisserie chicken, roasted butternut squash, and stir fried Napa cabbage and bacon.

And I polished off some more macadamia nuts and coconut flakes.

Once my belly was filled, I set out to do some damage to my wallet. I hate shopping for clothes or shoes, but shopping for food-related items is a whole ‘nother story. I’ve wanted to check out Penzeys Spices in Menlo Park ever since it opened two years ago. I haven’t been able to go because it’s a place where I need to shop solo, without having to herd two small children around; I gotta totally inspect and smell each and every spice blend, herb, and extract. (It’s hard work trying to ditch the kids – it’s not like you can abandon them at the supermarket like Punky Brewster anymore.)

My interest in Penzeys was piqued once again after I started reading the awesome Paleo blog, The Clothes Make The Girl. Melissa Joulwan makes all sorts of delicious “dinochow” with a spice cabinet filled almost exclusively with Penzeys products. Since I was alone today, I drove to the Menlo Park store and spent a blissful 45 minutes slowly perusing each and every shelf and came home with this bounty:

I can’t wait to start experimenting with these spices. As Robb Wolf and Amber Karnes say, you can’t ever have enough spices!

I promised my good friend, H, that I’d stop by with lunch and visit with her and her adorable baby. Luckily, I was near Café Borrone where I picked up a scramble with spinach, onions, and feta with a side of chicken apple sausage for me…

…and a tri–tip sandwich for her. (I’m such an enabler.)

Then, the clock struck 1:30 p.m. and my Accord turned into a pumpkin. I picked up Big-O at school and we drove up to my parent’s house for a Chinese New Year dinner. My parents are so awesome. Not only do they willingly and happily help with babysitting when I’m working (and when I’m not!) but they’re totally open-minded about the Paleo diet. For dinner tonight, my mom made us a fantastic Paleo-friendly dinner: grilled lamb “lollichops,” braised daikon, and steamed bok choy.

My parents don’t eat Paleo but they are slowly coming around. It’s nice that they’re receptive about learning about the diet and don’t think we’re crazy. They’ll morph into cave people soon enough. Mark my words!