Nom Nom Paleo

Super Quick Lunch At Home: Sous Vide Chicken and Green Beans

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Since I spent the morning prepping vegetable side dishes for our X-mas Eve dinner, I had no time to make an elaborate lunch.

Eff-that. I didn’t WANT to make an elaborate lunch today.

Luckily, I had a leftover sous vide chicken breast in my fridge. For my meal, I nuked some frozen green beans in a bowl, topped it with cold shredded chicken breast and Primavera salsa.

To make sure I wouldn’t get hungry too soon, I also scarfed down a handful of coconut flakes.

Frittata With Leftover Tabil-Spiced Pork, Spinach, and Tomatoes

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This morning I threw together a frittata with some leftovers and a couple wrinkly tomatoes on the counter.

After I whipped up three eggs with some salt and pepper, I heated some coconut oil in my little cast iron skillet over medium heat. I added about a cup of leftover Tabil-spiced pork and spinach and sautéed for about a minute until it was warmed through.

Then, I added some diced tomatoes and stirred that around for an additional minute.

I added the three eggs and let the bottom of the frittata set for a few minutes.

I popped the skillet in my toaster oven and broiled the frittata for ~10 minutes.

The middle was set and the edges were puffed and browned.

I split the frittata with Fitbomb and served it up with some nuked frozen broccoli.

I originally thought Fitbomb broke his fast because my breakfast was just too tempting to pass up but then I found out he had an ass-kicking WOD this morning.

Dinner Back at Home: Smoked Pork Chop, Green Beans, and Braised Cabbage

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For my first meal back home, I heated up a frozen Fatted Calf smoked pork chop in my SousVide Supreme (set at 130 F) for 30 minutes. While the chop heated in the bath, I nuked some leftover braised cabbage and some frozen green beans and butter which I later seasoned with salt and Dukka.

I took the chop out of the vacuum pack, dried it off, and seared it in my cast iron skillet in some melted lard.

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Here’s my final plate (Fitbomb and I split the chop):

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Maybe I’m nuts, but I thought smoked pork chops were already cooked. That’s why I only set my SousVide Supreme to 130 F. Our chop, post-searing, was really rare, especially right near the bone. When I heat up our last chop in the freezer, I’m gonna set the water bath to 140  F before I sear it.

How’d it taste? Nice and smoky with hints of hard cider.

Easy Sous Vide Wild Alaskan Cod

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Here’s an experiment I performed tonight for dinner, all done in the interests of science laziness:

The question: Would dinner be palatable if all I did was grab two frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets straight out of the freezer and plop them in my SousVide Supreme (preheated to 130 F) for 30 minutes…

…dry them off…

…season them with freshly ground pepper and Aleppo chile finishing salt…

…and sear them — a minute per side — in some coconut oil in my super hot cast iron skillet?

The answer: Yep!

To accompany my fish, I sautéed some pre-washed, packaged organic baby spinach with some minced pre-peeled garlic cloves in my unwashed cast iron skillet.  Then, I topped the fillets with Primavera salsa and a dollop of Wholly Guacamole. It was super-easy: Perfect for a slacker cook, and tasty to boot.

I’m sure if I defrosted and seasoned the fillets before vacuum-sealing them, they would’ve tasted even better, but this experiment was to determine the bare minimum I could get away with to make edible fish with the least amount of work. I have to admit that cod isn’t my favorite fish, but until Costco starts stocking IQF vacuum-sealed Alaskan king salmon, I’ll happily sous vide cod and sockeye salmon straight from the bag.

Nuke ‘n Bake Roasted Acorn Squash

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When I woke up tonight, I knew that I wanted to make sous vide salmon (straight from the freezer) and sautéed spinach but I wasn’t sure what my second veggie side would be. I spied the lonely acorn squash that’s been languishing on my counter for over a month, and decided to try to roast it off. However, roasting it the conventional way (400F in the oven) would take about 45 minutes (not including prep time). Eff that. How about nuking the prepared squash and then finishing it off in the oven?

First I preheated my oven to 400 F. Then, I prepped my acorn squash by cutting off both ends, de-seeding it, and peeling the skin with my trusty vegetable peeler (it’s much easier to slice a squash once the skin is off). Then, I diced it up into uniform cubes put it in my CorningWare (which can go directly from microwave to oven to dishwasher)…

 

…and tossed it with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I covered it with a lid and nuked it for 2 minutes x3.  Every couple of minutes, when my microwave dinged, I stirred and checked the squash for softness.

 

Once the squash was tender, I popped it right into the regular oven and let it roast for 15-20 minutes, checking and stirring every 8 minutes or so.

It wasn’t as carmelized as I normally like it, but this method was a lot easier and quicker than doing it the conventional way. I drizzled the finished squash with some aged balsamic when I plated it.

Chicken and Green Beans for Breakfast

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Before going to bed this morning, I sous vided 4 chicken breasts (seasoned with Aleppo chile finishing salt and pepper, cooked at 140 F for at least 1 hr 35 minutes)so I’d have dinner (and leftovers) waiting when I woke up.  When I finally got up this evening, I roasted off some mushrooms in my toaster oven (seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted garlic extra virgin olive oil at 425 F for 20-25 minutes), nuked some green beans, made some gravy, and seared off the breasts in some lard:

Quick Nuked Green Beans Recipe

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I love me some Trader Joe’s.  I don’t always love the quality of their produce but it’s hard to pass up a 2 lb pack of pre-trimmed haricot verts.  Tonight, I wanted to eat some buttered green beans but I didn’t want to boil water.  Could I be any lazier?  Don’t answer that.

Plus, Mark Bittman and Harold McGee advocate microwaving veggies over steaming because nuking veggies delivers better color, texture, and vitamin retention — provided you watch it carefully.  So in the name of science (and not laziness), I nuked my green beans to test their hypothesis.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 1 lb of green beans, trimmed (I divided the TJ’s bag in half and vacuum sealed the other half for later consumption)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Kerrygold unsalted butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • lemon juice and/or vinegar (optional)
  • handful of toasted slivered almonds (optional)

I put the greens beans and water in my Corningware and stuck it in the microwave.  I nuked it for 2 minutes on high, stirred things around, and then another 2 minutes and stirred things around.  After that, I zapped the beans in 1 minute intervals to get the beans to the proper doneness (total of ~8 minutes) and drained the excess liquid. 

I threw in 2 tablespoons of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. As a variation, you can add a squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar and/or some toasted slivered almonds.

Not bad considering the green beans weren’t pristine and I didn’t have to boil water or wash a pot.  Okay, I’ll admit it.  I’m exceptionally lazy.