Paleo Eats: 5/12/12 

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I felt like I was shot out of a cannon this morning. We woke up late, but Big-O had to be at his Little League game by a quarter to 9, so I barely had enough time to cram some food into my kids before flinging them out the door. Before running after them, I grabbed some roast beef from our hotel fridge to eat while on the go. Breakfast is served!

I threw the boys in the car and peeled off. While I raced to the park, the husband was conscripted into maintenance duty at Lil-O’s preschool, and spent the morning happily playing with power tools and drilling holes into things fixing stuff.

Thankfully, I wasn’t entirely on my own. My big sister’s in town from El-Lay, so she met us at the park to cheer on Big-O and his teammates. 

After working up a big appetite, our slugger got to pick our lunch spot. And he chose…

Steak Out

Yes, it’s our fourth visit in the past week. And no, I’m not sick of it. Today, I had the garlicky lamb burger, no bun, extra patty — and it was lip-smackingly good.

Once we filled up our bellies, we bid my sister adieu, and I whipped up a quick salad of fresh strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and mango, and headed off to the CrossFit Palo Alto potluck at the home of our friends M & D.

Fitbomb still regularly wakes up in the middle of the night so he can join his 5 a.m. classmates at CFPA, but lately, my attendance in the Women’s Class has been spotty. Recent obligations (like finalizing and launching the Nom Nom Paleo iPad app, launching new projects, accompanying Big-O to his hospital appointments, etc.) have taken precedence, but I’m determined to haul myself back into the gym. Seeing everyone this afternoon was a good kick in the pants; after all, peer pressure peer support is an excellent motivator.

Where was I? Oh, yes: Food. There were plenty of delicious Paleo-friendly dishes at the potluck…

… but one of my favorites was Graeme's Meatloaf Minis (a.k.a. “WODs”). After stuffing myself with a double-burger at Steak Out, I wasn't even hungry, but I ended up devouring WOD after WOD after WOD.

Here’s Graeme’s recipe (which serves 6-8) in his words (reprinted with permission):

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 fist-sized sweet potato, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (add more if desired)
  • High heat cooking oil (e.g., coconut oil)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Coat a standard sized baking tray or muffin tin with a high heat cooking oil. With an scoop or a good-sized spoon, evenly distribute the meat mixture into 6 to 8 WODs. If you like, you can take some of the leftover tomato paste and garnish the top of each WOD for an extra bit of tomato flavor. Then put the baking tray or muffin tin with the WODs into your preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Make sure you check to see that the WODS are cooked all the way through before serving. The bigger sized WODs may need additional baking time.

Believe me: They were super-yum.

The food wasn’t the only attraction — it was fun catching up with my pals while the kids ran around the sunny backyard. With all the craziness of the past few weeks, I truly appreciate being able to kick back and relax in the company of friends.

The festivities were capped off with an Olympic weightlifting shoe dedication ceremony, which began with a poetry reading by Trish

…and concluded with the traditional baptism-by-chalk.

What?!? You’ve never attended an Oly shoe dedication ceremony? You’re totally missing out, I tell you.

After the CFPA party wound down, we piled back into the car and trekked over to the East Bay for another potluck — this time, to celebrate Mother’s Day with the hubby’s extended family. We were one of the first to arrive, which gave us enough time to whip up some homemade guacamole…

…and sample some of the meat and seafood, fresh off the grill.

Joking and gossiping with family members is never dull — especially when the conversation comes with a big helping of steak and shrimp.

Happy Mother’s (and Grandmother’s and Great-Grandmother’s) Day, y’all!

Paleo Eats: 9/30/11

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Happy Birthday, Fitbomb!

He’s assured me he’s safely arrived at his midlife crisis. 

This morning, Big-O, our in-house mini barista, pulled us shots of espresso

…and helped make his dad’s birthday frittata.

Hubby and I split the frittata, which was made with leftover emergency protein, four eggs, a splash of cream, and chopped cilantro.

After breakfast, I went to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto and spent an hour making sure I’d be incredibly sore in the evening. Tomorrow will be worse, but it’s the good kind of sore that I welcome.

I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon stomping around the house, super-pissed off because the Kenmore chest freezer in our garage STILL hasn’t been fixed or replaced. Apparently, the Sears warranty buys you nothing more than the following:

  • A three-day wait for a service technician to come look at the freezer;
  • A four-hour service window, during which the technician does not arrive;
  • A very late visit from the technician, who spends an hour scratching his head, only to tell you what you’ve already known for days: The damned compressor is busted.

On top of that, the repairman told me that he doesn’t have a replacement compressor and needs to order one. And he doesn’t have time in his busy schedule to come back and actually fix the freezer until a week from now.

AND? Labor and part for the repair costs $500, which is THREE TIMES what I paid for THE ENTIRE BRAND-NEW FREEZER. “But don’t worry,” the tech told me. “It’s all under warranty, so Sears will pay for the repair.”

BUT WHY WON’T SEARS JUST REPLACE THE FREEZER SO IT CAN SAVE SOME MOOLAH AND I CAN ICE MY MEAT TODAY?

He shrugged. “We can’t do that.”

I’m done with you, Sears.

[UPDATED 10/1/11: Wow. I got a super-quick response from the Sears executive office! A nice woman named Deidra (whose job is to deal with gripers like me) got in touch with me and is working to replace my freezer! It pains me to be a complainer — I usually just stew in private — but sometimes I guess the squeaky wheel gets the new freezer.]

After the repairman left, I made myself a quick lunch of leftover Kalua pig lettuce tacos with mashed guacamole.

I had half an avocado remaining, so I broke out my new super-duper Avo Saver!

(Thanks for the tip, Marcia!)

Fit Daffy and her adorable son came over in the afternoon and she patiently listened to me bitch about the dismal state of my chest freezer. She also generously gave me a huge stash of Hawaiian Sun frozen coconut milk!

Are you all worried about where I’m gonna store the precious packets of medium chain trigycerides? Or the three bags of meat Fitbomb brought back home from the freezers at his office in anticipation of our chest freezer actually being fixed? DUN-DUN-DUN!

Never fear, Dr. HA's mother offered to store it all in her empty freezer until our $180 freezer gets a completely nonsensical $500 makeover! Yay! I've got my own Paleo fairy godmother!

Now back to our regular programming…

For dinner, we celebrated hubby’s birthday at Martins West

It was a relaxing way to finish the day — good grub and laughs with our little posse.

Paleo(ish) Eats: 9/20/11

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It’s my birthday today and I had an AWESOME one! In fact, I’m not so cranky ‘cause I indulged in some ICE CREAM and DARK CHOCOLATE. Wheeeeeeeee! It’s fun to go off the rails once in while!

The morning started out like most Tuesdays because we packed lunches for the kiddies…

…I ate some fat and protein before my women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto

…and I gathered my kicks before hitting my WOD. (Thanks for the new socks, Fitbomb!)

As usual, the women’s class was fun and challenging but I did get a nasty bruise on my shin when I landed on my tush while practicing snatch balances and dropped a barbell on myself. Ouch! Now I have to wear knee highs all the time.

After class, I met my good friend H and her darling daughter for a birthday lunch at Birch Street Restaurant in Palo Alto. Birch Street is the new, tinier incarnation of perennial Palo Alto favorite Bistro Elan. Prices are high but the quality of ingredients is pretty exceptional — especially for Palo Alto. For example, they serve lots of local and organic produce and feature sustainable and grass fed meats from BN Ranch. If you are dairy-averse, stop reading the rest of this post. You’ve been warned!

Being a super indulgent friend, H allowed me to order for the two of us. We shared two salads: one with La Quercia prosciutto, Kashiwase peach, feta, and watercress..

…and another with heirloom tomatoes and burrata.

Yes, those are some big ass crunchy croutons but I ate around them.

For our mains, we shared a Greek salad with lamb meatballs, romaine, black olives, feta, “eggplant chips,” yogurt, and cucumber…

…and a cast-iron seared BN Ranch grass fed flat iron steak with fries.

I didn’t eat any fries but only because I was so damn full.

Lunch was tasty (for Palo Alto) but the best part was catching up with my buddy and making goo goo faces at her adorable daughter.

After my leisurely lunch, I pampered myself with a Swedish massage at LaBelle Day Spa. Truth be told, I kinda hate massages but I had a bunch of knots in my shoulders that had to be rubbed out. My masseuse was fantastic and she made me giggle when she politely inquired if I had a cat, in reference to my faded double-under whip marks on my arms. I casually told her that I’d been a bad, bad girl.

As soon as my spa hour was over, I rushed home to pick up the Double-O’s from school. Then, we went to Big-O’s dentist appointment before hopping on a northbound train for San Francisco to eat dinner at Marlowe Restaurant.

We ordered and ate the same items we did last time but I got a special birthday appetizer created by Big-O: a virtual cupcake filled with kabobs!

Marlowe serves up tasty eats but my two faves are definitely the deviled eggs…

…and the roasted marrow.

Since we were in the city and it was HOT and it was my birthday, I requested that we head to Humphry Slocombe for some dessert.

Man, the Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee ice cream is GOOO-OOOOD! Yes, it’s a tad sweet for my like-a-sugar-virgin taste buds but it was worthwhile treat.

When we got home, I ended the night by savoring a couple squares of dark chocolate from Monique’s Chocolates. Thanks H! 

Now, I’m going to happily slip into a diabetic coma…

Paleo Eats: 2/19/11

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This morning I had a lot to do before the CrossFit Palo Alto Whole9 Nutrition Guide Orientation. I knew Badier was super-prepared to champion the health benefits of the Paleo diet, so I wasn’t boning up on any of the material. Instead, I focused on preparing some Paleo snacks so people would (hopefully) see that you can eat tasty chow as a cave person.

Before I started cooking this morning, I picked up my weekly vegetable CSA box.

Today’s haul was kind of skimpy, so I’ll need to get some more produce at Sigona’s or Whole Foods early next week.

When I returned home, I immediately started buzzing around the kitchen like a busy bee. I made some curried beef, broccoli slaw, and mushroom frittata muffins

…and broiled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

My hubby made his Paleo trail mix (with some additional macadamia nuts)…

…that he portioned out into individual serving containers.

Also, I nuked a jar of coconut butter so we could get people hooked on this highly addictive crack. This is, of course, entirely appropriate, given that I’m a professional drug dealer.

I was sampling all the items we were making so all those stolen bites ended up being my breakfast.

The orientation was really fun and it was great meeting all the other members of the gym. Badier did a fantastic job summarizing all the key points of the Paleo diet in a concise and easily digestible way. There were also tasty eats provided by other gym members and that was definitely the highlight for a foodie like me!

When we returned home, I was still a little hungry so I heated up some leftover curried cream of broccoli soup with shredded rotisserie chicken.

Afterwards, Big-O and I made a batch of Sarah Fragoso’s chocolate custard. I decided to nuke the chocolate and coconut milk because the microwave is a great way to melt chocolate without burning it AND I didn’t want to wash another pot.

I also subbed in a teaspoon of vanilla extract in lieu of the cinnamon.

For dinner, we stopped by the Palo Alto Creamery and I ordered the New York steak dinner with double grilled vegetables (I passed on the potatoes)…

…and Fitbomb ordered steak and eggs with a side of fruit (which he didn’t eat).

The steak was kinda tough; it was cooked medium well even though I asked for it medium rare. Still, the service and setting were great, so I didn’t complain. Plus, it’s sad to say, but I have lowered food-quality expectations when I dine out in Palo Alto…

Ahhhh…chocolatey goodness for dessert. My kids each ate a chocolate custard and I savored a few squares of dark chocolate. It is an “S” day after all.