Nom Nom Paleo

Porkitos! (a.k.a. Crispy Prosciutto Chips)

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I prefer prosciutto chips to bacon bits because they cook evenly and there aren’t any unappetizing flabby parts. These “Porkitos” also add a terrific salty crunch to creamy soups, salads, and purées. Or you can just stuff your face with them.

'Cause really — who doesn’t like crispy, porky chips?

Here’s what to gather to make a tray of crunchy Porkitos (feeds 1-2 people):

  • 3 ounces of thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma (Try to get freshly-sliced prosciutto from the deli counter and make sure they cut it paper thin.)

Here’s how to make ‘em:

Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the middle.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper…

…and place the prosciutto in a single layer on top. Don’t overcrowd the swine or it won’t crisp properly.

Once the oven is ready, place the the tray in the oven.

Bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your prosciutto slices) or until crunchy. Watch your chips like a hawk to make sure they don’t burn. Burnt chips make Nom Nom wanna smash things.

Transfer the chips to a wire rack to cool.

They’ll actually get crunchier as they cool, so it’s better to err on the side of under-baking them. Look — like stained glass (only swine-ier)!

With Brussels sprouts chips, kale chips, mushroom chips (recipe available on my iPad app), and now PORKITOS, who needs boring old potato chips?

Brussels Sprouts Chips

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If you’re a closet snacker like me, you’ll want to make these chips anytime you buy Brussels sprouts. Whenever I prepare my sprouts for roasting, I cut the stems off right at the base of the baby cabbages and pull off the outer leaves. Nowadays, instead of chucking the leaves into the trash, I toss them in fat and bake them into crunchy chips. (Please discard the really wilty ones.) My thrifty Chinese mama should be very proud of her number two daughter.

Here’s what to gather to feed 2-4 people:

  • 2 cups of Brussels sprout leaves (outer leaves from 2 pounds of sprouts)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted ghee
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Lemon zest (optional)

Here’s how you make ‘em:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix the leaves, ghee, and salt together in a large bowl.

Line two large baking trays with parchment. Divide the leaves evenly in a single layer on each tray.

Bake each tray for 8-10 minutes or until crispy and brown around the edges.

Microplane some lemon zest over the chips (optional), and…

…chow immediately.

Paleo Eats: 11/1/11

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Happy day after Halloween! Look at all them ones in the date!

Today my eats were not well planned at all. If I didn’t have an emergency stash of Sophia’s Survival Food or Primal Pacs in my bag, I’d be one hangry mommy.

My chow started off promising — I made myself a French omelet that I devoured with some leftover roasted tomatoes and sauteed baby dino kale…

…before heading to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto.

When I came home, I ate a nuked yam and a pack of spicy grass fed jerky chews. I also seasoned a pastured chicken from Full of Life Farm

…sauteed some onions and garlic with tomato paste and wine…

…and plopped them in the slow cooker before heading out to run some errands.

While I was out, I fueled myself with a Primal Pac, mac nuts, and coconut flakes. Nope, I didn’t eat a real lunch today.

My future in-laws came over for dinner and although the slow cooker roast chicken and gravy was ready by 5:00 p.m.,I didn’t get dinner on the table until close to the kids’ bedtime. I was a terrible hostess and the delay was totally due to poor time management.

While the chicken stayed warm in the crockpot, I simmered and pureed a batch of carrot and parsnip puree

….roasted a tray of Brussels sprouts and bacon in the oven…

…. baked a few  Portobello mushrooms in the toaster oven…

…and made a platter of cheater crispy sous vide duck for the kids.

Once the sides and duck were done, I cut up the chicken and herded everyone to the dining room.

That’s a wrap! Good night!

Paleo Eats: 7/20/11

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Two more nights of work…

I ate my one and only meal at work at around 3:00 a.m., when I gobbled up leftover Thai yellow goat curry and Asian cauliflower fried rice.

Before going home, I stopped at a local gourmet grocery that was going out of business and stocked up on some fancy-pants pantry items like verjus

…and Paleo-friendly seaweed snacks.

After I put everything away, I seasoned and vacuum-sealed a couple pork tenderloins

…and gave my MIL instructions to dunk the packet in the SousVide Supreme in the late afternoon.

Since my stomach was grumbling, I ate a tablespoon of coconut butter and 1/3 of a bar of Guittard Nocturne 91 % cacao before hitting the sheets.

When I woke up in the evening, I sautéed some cremini mushrooms and sliced shallots in coconut oil…

…stir-fried spinach and shallots…

…roasted a batch of sweet potato fries

…and seared the cooked tenderloins with my handy-dandy kitchen torch.

Here’s my dinner plate:

For the third night in a row, I ran down to Philz Coffee to fill up a thermos with java. The blend I chose tonight was Philtered Soul – smooth and nutty! I’m sure the daily caffeine boluses are contributing to my wonky sleep but I just had to get through one more night of work.

Before leaving for the hospital, I practiced double-unders (new PR = 16 in a row!) and did a few cleans in the garage. Only one 10-hour shift separates me from a week of vacation!

Roasted Rosemary Almonds

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Roasted Rosemary Almonds by Michelle Tam

Tired of shelling out big bucks for the roasted rosemary almonds from Oren’s Kitchen, my hubby decided to roast some himself. He’s very resourceful, that one.

How’d they turn out?

Let’s just say we were mindlessly noshing on these nuts like rabid squirrels…

Follow the jump for the recipe!

Gather these ingredients to make 2 cups:

  • 2 cups skin-on whole raw almonds
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee

Here’s what you do:

Assemble your ingredients…

Roasted Rosemary Almonds by Michelle Tam

Roasted Rosemary Almonds by Michelle Tam

…and melt the butter in large skillet over medium-low heat.

Once the butter starts bubbling, throw in the almonds (making sure they’re in a single layer) and stir until coated.

Add rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Roasted Rosemary Almonds by Michelle Tam

Toast the almonds in the skillet, stirring often, until slightly darkened and aromatic (about 8 to 12 minutes).

Roasted Rosemary Almonds by Michelle Tam

Remove almonds and place on paper towel until cooled to room temperature. 

Store these yummy seasoned nuts in a sealed Tupperware container. On the highest shelf in your pantry. Locked in a safe. Otherwise, they’ll be gone in a heartbeat. 

Remember? Nuts should only be a sometimes treat.

Paleo Eats: 6/16/11 (Fifth Day In Kauai)

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When we woke up this morning, we retuned to Ono Family Restaurant but this time we brought the whole gang. I mean the place IS called Ono FAMILY Restaurant so it just felt right to come with our motley crew.

For breakfast, hubby and I split two omelets: one filled with bacon and avocado…


…and the other stuffed with spinach and mushroom.


Again, we subbed out the starches with fruit or steamed vegetables.

After moseying around Koloa Town and Poipu in the morning, we retuned home and repurposed a bunch of leftovers into a tasty lunch.

My sister transformed the sweet potato hash into a delicious frittata and I plated a slice along with tomato and green bean salad, roasted broccoli and garlic, and half a chicken apple sausage.


At snacktime, I cut off a hunk of frozen coconut milk…


…and ate it like a popsicle along with some macadamia nuts and dark chocolate.

Wow! This treat was a really yummy indulgence. I’m gonna scope out the Asian grocery stores in the Bay Area to see if they carry this item in the freezer section. The only ingredients are coconut and water and you don’t have to worry about BPA!

For dinner, my chef sister whipped up some macadamia nut oil mayonnaise by just eyeballing the measurements…


…and crafted her own version of a simple crab salad.


She served the salad with a zesty cole slaw…


and sliced avocado sprinkled with sea salt.

My minor contribution to dinner was roasted Alii mushrooms tossed with Aloha Spice Company’s Pele Fire Hawaiian seasoning salt.


Here’s my dinner plate:


After watching my sister finesse her way in the kitchen all week, I realized that I have a shitload to bone up on. She’s an amazing chef with an impeccable palate and mad skillz. I’ve been prodding her to use her super powers for good (Paleo personal chef!) instead of evil (vegetarian/vegan recipe developer) and I think I’m making some headway. Trust me – if any one in the Los Angeles area needs a badass caterer or personal chef, my sis is absolutely amazing. I miss living in the same city as her and mooching her onolicious food…

Paleo Eats: 6/14/11 (Third Day In Kauai)

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Another fun and relaxing day in Kauai…

We woke up this morning at the crack of dawn since the kiddies don’t know you’re supposed to sleep in past 5:00 a.m. when you’re on vacation. Since everyone was awake, my sis and I cooked breakfast together. She threw together a purple sweet potato and onion hash…


…and I made a frittata with leftover Kalua pig, sautéed local Alii mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, and onions.



Another tasty Paleo breakfast brought to you by Costco…


We spent the morning swimming in the pool and I grazed on nibbles at every turn. I snacked on a Paleo Kit, homemade smoked wild salmon (courtesy of my absent brother-in-law), leftover roasted broccoli…


…and spicy poke from Fish Express.


I gotta admit that the spicy poke was not my favorite even though I tried to salvage it with some extra seasoning, avocado, and chopped mac nuts.

For lunch, I chowed on leftovers: Kalua pig, braised cabbage, green beans, and sliced tomatoes.


I was excited to check out the Waipa farmer’s market in the afternoon but even though there was a large sweaty crowd waiting to stream in exactly at 2:00 p.m….


…the pickings were slim and the prices were astronomical. I bought myself a fresh coconut because it was so flipping hot — but it cost me $6!


I was really disappointed with the market and probably won’t be checking out any more this week.

Afterwards, we headed to Banana Joe’s


…where we ate some frosties (frozen banana, pineapple, or both pushed through a juicer)…



…and we checked out their goodies.



This small shack is chock full of Paleo goodies: pastured eggs, organic produce, assorted macadamia nut oils, spice blends, and roasted macadamia nut butter. Love this place!

Then, we stopped by Kilauea Fish Market where we picked up some fresh raw prawns.


At dinnertime, my sis and I divided cooking duties again. I was in charge of the proteins so I sautéed prawns and onions seasoned with Aloha Spice Company’s organic aloha seafood seasoning…



…and nuked the remaining lau lau.

My sis prepared a green salad tossed with a yummy, perfectly-balanced vinaigrette…


…and a zesty tomato and green bean salad.


Here’s my dinner plate:


Eek! Our vacation is half over! 

Paleo Eats: 6/12/11 (First Day In Kauai)

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Traveling with kids is never a bowl of cherries – especially if the little ones are dragged out of bed at 5:20 a.m. Luckily, my kiddos are becoming better travelers — provided we zombify them with iPads or iPhones.

So what did I eat today?

Pickings were slim at Mineta San Jose International Airport, but I picked up a chef salad before boarding the plane. While en route to Kauai, I chowed on a grass fed Paleo Kit, the chef salad…


…some strawberries, and assorted nuts.

I love, love, love flying Alaska airlines to Kauai! The flight attendants were super-nice, the price for a direct flight was reasonable, and they passed out complimentary Mauna Loa macadamia nuts as a snack! My mom was stoked that they gave out free Mai Tais, too…

After we arrived in Kauai, we stopped by Costco on our way to our rental house. I love Costco but I REALLY love Costco in Hawaii. Why? Because you can stock up on the same great Paleo goodies available at home AND plenty of unique local items, too – for a lot less money than any where else on the island! Plus, they carry tons and tons of macadamia nuts. I went a little nuts (pun!) and ended up filling TWO shopping carts with meat and veggies.

When we got home, we loaded all our cold items into the fridge…


…and I ate some garlic shrimp poke and limu poke (Pro Tip: skip the limu poke).


I also shoveled some mac nuts and coconut flakes into my mouth before we returned to the airport to pick up my sister.

We spent the rest of the day soaking in the pool, so we wanted to throw together something quick and hearty for dinner. We reheated the chicken and pork lau lau we bought at Costco…




microwaved some steamed green beans with butter, salt, pepper, and lemon juice…


…and my sis created a delicious salad (shaved asparagus, greens, local tomatoes, and a simple homemade vinaigrette).


Here’s my dinner plate:


The chicken lau lau was good, but the pork lau lau was really tasty — it was definitely the bigger crowd-pleaser.

After dinner, I baked some Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes


…because Fitbomb and I were planning on hitting Kauai CrossFit in the morning, and we needed some starchy post-workout carbs at the ready.

Can you believe all my eats in Kauai today were courtesy of Costco? Awesome.

Paleo Eats: 5/21/11

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Wanna check out what I ate today?

The only thing I ate at work was some leftover semi-homemade meatballs and sautéed spinach.

I wasn’t super hungry so I didn’t eat a snack or the second meal I brought for work.

After I left the hospital, I met up with the kids and my hubby for brunch (or dinner for moi) at Rick’s. I ordered a plate of steak and eggs with a side salad.

Again, my meal was mediocre but the friendly and efficient service trumps the food quality.

When I woke up in the evening, I snacked on some tasty Paleo-friendly nuts that hubby bought at the Ferry Building this morning.

Yes, I know I should minimize my nut intake because of the omega-6 fatty acids but these nuts are yummy and I eat them in moderation. 

For dinner, I made some Asian almond chicken salad with the roast chicken I bought on sale at Whole Foods yesterday.

The dressing was yummy but the chicken was super dry. Ick. I guess you get what you pay for!

Since we’re going out to dinner tomorrow night, I made a frittata with ham and nuked frozen broccoli…

…so I’d have something to bring to work the following night.

After we put the kids to bed and I finished packing my stuff for work, I did a half-Cindy in the garage. Wow – a 10 minute workout can really wipe me out. As a post workout snack, I ate a couple slices of Applegate Farms organic roast beef and some chestnuts before heading to work.

Hasta la vista, baby! (That sounds so damn dirty in light of Ah-nold’s shenanigans.)