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Forky Friday: 7/19/13

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Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of

How can summer be half over already? My kids return to school in less than a month, and I haven’t even cracked the spine of a single novel while laying out at the beach. Who am I kidding? I don’t read novels—I just scour the Internet for cool links to share on Forky Friday. Oh, and cookbooks. I’m all about those.

In this week’s edition: vegetables, meat, and Ryan Gosling—all the key ingredients for a perfect weekend.

A Whole30 August

Are you embarking on a Whole30 on August 1st? Hooray! Although it might seem like a daunting task, eating delicious, nutrient-dense food for a month is 100% doable. And besides, you owe it to yourself to eat nourishing food, right?

If you’re looking for help, you’ll get lots of free support on the Whole30 forums, and you can always refer to my Whole30 Rundown for tips and tricks for staying on track. Good luck, and get cooking!

Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of

Back Away Slowly From The Bagged Lettuce

Okay, I’ve definitely bought more than my fair share of bagged, pre-washed salad greens. It can be super convenient, especially when I’m pressed for time or just too lazy to do any vegetable prep. But after reading The Truth About Bagged Lettuce in Mother Jones, I think I’ll just spend a few extra minutes bonding with my salad spinner and a fresh head of lettuce.

Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of

What The %$*@ Is In My CSA Box?

Thankfully, I don’t often have to resort to bagged lettuce. I’ve been a member of my vegetable CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for almost ten years, so I’m treated to wonderfully farm-fresh lettuce and other greens every week.

Forky Friday 7/19/13 by Michelle Tam of

I love my CSA and the fantastic assortment of veggies that come in my weekly box, but I still occasionally get a few items that leave me wondering how I’m going to prepare them. Lucky for me, Buzzfeed has a great post on 31 Things To Do With Confusing Vegetables.

Read more

Review of Paleo Pals: Jimmy And The Carrot Rocket Ship

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Without a doubt, Sarah Fragoso’s blog and book have helped us tremendously to get our whole family on the Paleo bandwagon. If you missed my last mash note to her, you can read it here

It’s no secret that changing our kids’ diets hasn’t been easy. Big-O has an adventurous palate and will happily munch on meat, veggies, and even worms, but Lil-O proudly proclaims that he, “LOVES junk food.” Despite bumps in the road (which my hubby wrote about here), Fitbomb and I have persevered and we’re happy to report that Lil-O now eats about 80% Paleo. (The other 20% consists of snacks served at preschool, Faileo foods illicitly snuck into his hands by grandparents, and birthday treats at his friends’ parties.)

Yesterday, we received an advance copy of Sarah Fragoso’s new children’s book, Paleo Pals: Jimmy and the Carrot Rocket Ship in the mail. As soon as they saw it, the Double-O’s demanded that we read it as their bedtime story. 

Her new book is a fun read for your cavekids — it’s filled with adorable drawings, relatable characters, and a handful of kid-friendly recipes. It tells the story of Jimmy, a young boy who doesn’t want to eat Paleo despite his parents’ pleas. Hmmm…sound familiar?

The Paleo Pals, a trio of sibling superheroes, come to Jimmy’s aid and show him that his parents aren’t really evil, despite appearances to the contrary.

Joking aside, Sarah does a great job of explaining to kids the importance of eating Paleo without being preachy. The Double-O’s were captivated by the story and kept chiming in with comments like, “I’ve been to a farmers’ market!” and “I’ve had a tummy ache after eating junk food, too!”

Both Big-O and Lil-O gave this book a big thumbs up. What I loved most about this book is that it got my kids excited to get in the kitchen.They’ve already insisted on cooking breakfast in the morning and Big-O wants to bring the book to school to share with his friends and teachers.

Although there are a few recipes at the end of the story, we’re really looking forward to the upcoming cookbooks, Paleo Pals The Cookbook: Super Meals, Fun Snacks, and Cool School Lunches and Matt and Stacy’s Eat Like a Dinosaur. I have so many fond memories of hanging out with my mom in the kitchen and I hope to create some new ones with my brood.

Thank You, Sarah Fragoso!

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I love collecting cookbooks and I’ve racked up a pretty extensive assortment over the years.

I keep most of my cookbooks in a custom-built bookcase in the kitchen so I have easy access to them when I’m puttering around the stove. And if you took a peek at my nightstand, you’d see that I have at least six or seven more cookbooks piled on top. There’s nothing I like more than curling up in bed with a new cookbook. 

But before having kids and going Paleo, all I did was flip through the pages of these books and salivate over the pretty pictures. I rarely cooked — we preferred exploring the latest and greatest eateries in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nowadays, I’m cooking like a mad cavewoman (obviously) and scouring through my extensive collection looking for Paleo-friendly recipes. Let me tell you: They ain’t easy to find.

So you can imagine how excited I am to add Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo to my library!

I was thrilled to receive my copy in the mail the other day because I’ve been a superfan of Sarah’s blog for months. Not only is her book chock-full of great recipes and pretty pics (I’m all about the food porn), but I CAN COOK EVERY SINGLE RECIPE IN IT! No substitutions necessary!

Given that I just started CrossFit a few months ago, I found the fitness section in the book to be an awesome resource, too. All of the exercises are accompanied by step-by-step instructions and photos, and Sarah shows you how to easily incorporate exercising at home for the whole family. I can’t (yet!) do an unassisted pull-up to save my life, so I’ll be studying her chapter on “Working Toward That Pull-Up” with keen interest. Also, the book offers a ton of short, intense WODs that I can do at home when I can’t make it to my CrossFit box. 

Yes, the great recipes, shopping lists, menus, and exercise tips are all wonderful —but the number one reason I love this book? Her practical advice on how to get your picky kids to eat Paleo. And guess what? IT WORKS!

It’s no secret that Fitbomb and I have struggled valiantly to get Little-O to eat meat and vegetables to no avail. Today, I followed Sarah’s advice and served the kids whatever I was making and eating. When they protested, I just cheerfully said, “This is all we have!” I held my emotions in check and didn’t turn into a monster when Little-O scrunched up his face and refused to try the meal I’d cooked. Okay — I’ll admit there were a few tense words exchanged between mommy and the kids, but Little-O ended up eating the chicken and veggies on his plate!

AMAZING! I am forever indebted to you, Sarah Fragoso. You have some unbelievable magical powers…

In all seriousness, this book is fantastic. It’ll occupy a PERMANENT spot on my nightstand because I’ll be referring to it over and over again. I can relate to so many topics in Sarah’s book, and I’m so inspired by her physical and emotional transformation into a strong, fit, happy mom.

Thank you, Sarah, for motivating me to change my life. I will gladly chair your Superfan Roundtable anytime!

Paleo Eats: 4/19/11

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Only one more day of vacation…Argh!

This morning I fried up a scramble with leftover emergency protein and served it with leftover sautéed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.

After my class at CrossFit Palo Alto, I came home and chowed on some Fox Point seasoned sous vide chicken breast and a baked yam.

Post-workout meals have made me a much nicer mommy.

Before we picked up Big-O from school, I seasoned (Tabil seasoning, salt, and pepper) and vacuum-sealed six pork chops from my ½ hog. I plopped them in the SousVide Supreme set at 134 F for two hours.

I iced the cooked swine since I’ll be serving it during my work week.

For lunch, I formed some mini grass fed beef burgers (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and coconut aminos)…

…and fried them up for my boys and me.

I ate mine with some lettuce and shredded carrot, leftover winter squash puree, and sautéed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.

Yes, my lunch looks like another wacky Vegas buffet plate.

My afternoon snack consisted of mini burgers and a sliced bell pepper:

Oncology appointment + T-ball practice = late start making dinner. Not a problem with my trusty SousVide Supreme!

When I got home at 6:15, I immediately dunked 4 FROZEN pre-cooked sous vide chicken thighs into the water oven (set at 140 F) and set to work making the sides. I roasted a delicata squash seasoned with Sunny Paris seasoning in the toaster oven and I nuked a dish of sugar snap peas with butter, salt, pepper, and Sunny Paris seasoning.

I took the thighs out of the water after about 30 minutes and I fried them up in some coconut oil.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Instead of making a fried egg for picky Little-O, I decided to follow Sarah Fragoso’s advice in her new book and serve him what the rest of the family was having (albeit on a Star Wars plastic plate). Although he did protest initially, I stayed cool as a cucumber (per Sarah’s advice) and he ended up eating some chicken and snap peas!