Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 4/21/11

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For those of you new to the blog, I post my Paleo eats from midnight to midnight on the nights I work graveyard shift. That way, you see the meals I pack for work and the dinner I make for the family before I zoom off to the hospital in the evening.  Very thoughtful of me, huh?

My first meal of the night was a bowl of garbage soup filled with diced sous vide chicken breast.

Since this lunch was lacking in fat, I also ate a container of coconut flakes.

An hour before my shift ended, I heated up some leftover slow cooker roast chicken, winter squash puree, nuked sugar snap peas, and sautéed mushrooms.

After work,  I took the boys to school and returned home for some shuteye.

At 5:00 p.m., I woke up and reheated the no-browning before braising Rogan Josh I made the other day.

The kids and my mom weren’t too keen on the idea of lamb stew, so I fried up some mini pork and grass fed beef burgers…

…and stir-fried a batch of emergency protein with ground pork, ground beef, Turkish seasoning, minced garlic, and broccoli slaw. 

They’re so damn picky!

For my veggie sides, I roasted some curried cauliflower

…and sautéed some spinach with minced garlic in butter.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I performed a quick WOD (workout 17 from Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo) in our home gym and ate a post workout snack (a handful of chestnuts and a hard-boiled egg).

Then, it was off to work again!

Rogan Josh (Lamb Stew) - The Easy Version

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Folks, I’ve discovered another game changer.

After reading John “Doc” Willoughby’s article “Deep Flavor, No Browning Required” in the NYT, I’ve decided to forgo pre-searing meat when I cook stews. According to the article, the way to “cold start” a stew is to skip the normal searing of meat in hot oil and replace it with a gentle warming of the protein in some fat, aromatics, and spices. No sputtering oil or grease burns AND you still get a delicious, flavorful dish? Awesome.

The other day, I decided to test out this method with my Rogan Josh recipe. How’d it turn out? The final dish was yummy and flavorful and nobody missed the browned bits (or the greasy mess).

Here’s what I gathered to feed 6 adults:

  • 2.5 pounds of boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Rogan Josh seasoning
  • ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt (or coconut milk)
  • 2/3 cup water Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I preheated the oven to 300 F, prepped the lamb…

…chopped the veggies…

…and melted the ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat.

Once the fat melted, I dumped in the lamb, onions, carrots, spices, salt, and pepper.

I stirred the mixture constantly for 5-8 minutes until the spices were fragrant.

Next, I added the water and yogurt and increased the heat to high to bring the contents to a simmer.

I put on the lid and placed the stew in the oven for around two hours or until the lamb was very tender. I removed the stew from the oven and adjusted the seasoning with salt and pepper.

I transferred the finished dish to a storage container with the intent of reheating it in a few days.

Stews always taste better when they’ve been allowed to mellow out in the fridge for a day and this was no exception. My parents kept on remarking that the lamb was super tender and delicious. I think they’re just surprised that my food is edible these days. Practice makes perfect…

Paleo Eats: 4/18/11

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Today was a busy day of cooking ‘cause my vacation is careening to an end and I have lots of food to prepare for my impending workweek. How the hell did three weeks fly by so fast?

For breakfast, I nuked some leftover mini frittata muffins along with sautéed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.

As a mid-morning snack, I ate some sad-looking baby carrots and Aubergine dip

…and a crapload of undocumented macadamia nuts and coconut flakes. No pic means no one really knows how much I stuffed in my face.

At lunchtime, I reheated some emergency protein, braised red cabbage, and a bowl of H’s wonderful carrot soup.

After lunch, I dropped six Fox Point seasoned chicken breasts into the SousVide Supreme to cook for a couple hours. When they were finished cooking…

…I dunked them in an ice bath for an hour and then stored them in the fridge and freezer.

Then, I stewed a pot of Rogan Josh in the oven. This time, I simplified the recipe even more by forgoing the initial browning of the lamb cubes. I first read about braising meat without browning in this New York Times article. If you can get the same flavorful results without the hassle of sputtering grease, why wouldn’t you do it?

After the stew was finished…

…I stuck it in the fridge for consumption later this week.

At dinnertime, I whipped up a batch of semi-homemade Paleo spaghetti and meatballs

…with broiled zucchini as the pasta double.

The cheater Paleo-friendly spaghetti sauce I used this time was Mario Batali’s marinara sauce.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I just received Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo in the mail and I want to finish this goddamn post so I can read it. I’ll post an in-depth review in a few days but so far, it looks super awesome – great recipes, pretty pictures, awesome exercise section, and tons of REAL advice from a phenomenal supermom. Sarah Fragoso is one badass mother who totally inspires me to be a better mom, cook, and CrossFitter.

Paleo Eats: 3/17/11

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Back to waking up with the sun! Too bad I slept crappy last night and the sun rose way too early…

This morning, I fueled myself for the long day ahead by chowing down on a fried egg, chicken apple sausage, and nuked frozen broccoli.

Since I ate that green stuff, no one was allowed to pinch me today.

I spent the morning running errands with Little-O and we met my parents for lunch at Paradise Kabab House in Redwood City. I really like their Soltani combination plate, which comes with koobideh and your choice of beef or lamb kababs. Today I ordered the lamb and the koobideh and asked them to hold the rice.

Everything was well-seasoned and properly cooked. I scarfed it all down really fast.

After lunch, we made a pit stop at Sigona’s market and stocked up on some meat and produce. Then, we picked up Big-O and his playdate buddy from school and we hung at home for the rest of the day.

While Little-O napped and Big-O played with his pal, I placed a pot of curried beef stew (that I made with rogan josh seasoning, carrots, parsnips, and mushrooms) into the oven.

I also made some roasted red bell peppers so we’d have something to snack on during the week.

As I was cooking, I snacked on some coconut butter, coconut flakes, and coconut milk and strawberries.

I’m trying to limit my nut intake but that’s only turned me into a crazed coconut addict.

At dinnertime, I roasted a tray of curried cauliflower and I served it with my beefy rogan josh.

Good eats. Now I need to…pass…out.

Rogan Josh (Lamb Stew)

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I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Indian food. I used to trek all over the Bay Area just to taste a great masala dosa or special thali. Although I still love the complex and intense flavors of Indian food, it’s hard for me to resist the grains and legumes when I see them on the menu. Now that I’m comfortably settled on the Paleo bandwagon, my Indian eats have been few and far between. That’s why I was so excited to find Melissa Joulwan’s recipe for Paleo Rogan Josh. Rogan Josh is a spicy and aromatic lamb stew that would be uber hard to make if it weren’t for the magic of Penzeys Rogan Josh seasoning. I whipped some up this morning, with some minor tweaks, and it was super easy and delicious.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 1 pound of lamb stew meat, cut into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces of mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Penzeys Rogan Josh seasoning
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • ½ cup of water
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I assembled and chopped my ingredients and preheated my oven to 300 F.

I don’t know about you, but despite what the label says, this doesn’t look like ground lamb to me…

I heated the coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and tossed the lamb with salt and pepper. Once the pot was hot, I seared my lamb chunks in a single layer for about 4 minutes undisturbed on each side.

I removed the browned lamb to a separate plate and added the carrots and onions to the empty pot. When the onions were translucent…

…I threw in the mushrooms along with a dash of salt and pepper.

After the liquid had cooked off, I tossed in the garlic and stirred everything around until fragrant (around 30 seconds). Next, I added lamb back in along with the Rogan Josh seasoning, making sure it was well distributed.

Then, I poured in the coconut milk and water.

The liquid level was about ¾ the way up the meat and veggies. I covered my pot and stuck it in my oven for until the meat was nice and tender (about 1.5 to 2 hours). (I like to braise my stews in the oven ‘cause the temperature is constant, the flavors get concentrated, and you don’t have to babysit it).

Wow! This dish is awesome! Next time, I’m gonna double the amount of meat because the pot only yielded about three servings. Also, the spice blend packs some heat, so back off on the seasoning if you can’t take it.

Thanks for the great recipe, Melicious!