Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 8/24/11

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I’ve been pretty lazy in the kitchen the past few days but I made up for it today. You might think I woke up and exclaimed, “Woohoo! I’m so inspired that I can’t wait to cook today!” But, in fact, my internal dialogue was more like, “Merde! I’m going back to work tonight so I HAVE to get some grub prepared pronto!”

Yes, panic mode can kick my ass into high gear.

With Big-O back in school, my breakfasts are simple and quick ‘cause we’re trying to beat the clock every morning. Today, I fried up a bratwurst and ate it with some nuked frozen broccoli and cherry tomatoes.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, you MUST stock frozen veggies in your freezer! When I’m pressed for time, I can always dump some in a bowl, nuke it, and *POOF!* veggie side!

After we returned from dropping Big-O off at school, I focused my attention on preparing main dishes for the next few dinners. Since my SousVide Supreme is a lifesaver in these situations, I seasoned and vacuum sealed some pork chops (Dukka seasoning, salt, and pepper)…

…and repeated the steps (using Tabil seasoning, salt, and pepper) with a mess of mini goat loin chops.

I stored all the seasoned chops in the fridge since they’ll be sous vided on Thursday and Friday.

Then, Lil-O and I took a field trip to Trader Joe’s to stock up on meat and veggies. One of the new items I picked up was a packet of frozen wild Pacific salmon fillets with chimichurri sauce. These fillets caught my eye because they were pre-seasoned in a Paleo-friendly marinade and vacuum sealed. By golly, I could throw them directly into the water oven! 

And that’s just what I did as soon as I got home! I preheated the SousVide Supreme to 123 F and dunked in the salmon packet. The frozen fillets weren’t individually wrapped (boo!) so I decided to leave the fish in the water oven for about an hour.

While I waited for the salmon to come up to temperature, I threw together a porktastic bacon-topped meatloaf that we’d be eating tonight for dinner.

I stored the uncooked meatloaf in the fridge and wrote down instructions for my mom to pop it in the oven at 4:00 p.m.

Then, I fished the salmon out of the water oven (pun alert!) and I plated it with a side salad for lunch.

I found the salmon kinda fishy (I’m pretty sure it’s Sockeye) but for the minimum amount of work I put in, I’ll gladly gobble it up without too many complaints.

In the afternoon, I picked Big-O up from school and then took a catnap for a couple hours in preparation for the all-nighter I’d be pulling tonight.

When I woke up shortly after 5:00 p.m., the meatloaf was finished cooking so I let it rest at room temperature…

…while I prepared some baked sweet potato fries seasoned with golden vadouvan (the taters DO come out crispier when baked on parchment!)…

…and nuked some frozen green beans tossed with butter and Fox Point seasoning.

Since I had some time to kill while the sweet potato fries were baking, I fried up a batch of emergency protein with grass fed ground beef, diced onion, and Chili 9000 seasoning for my work meals.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I went to Lil-O’s nursery school orientation meeting before heading to work. Unfortunately, I have another orientation meeting at the nursery school in the morning. When I left the school this evening, I apologized in advance to the teachers that I’d be wearing the same outfit in the morning but smelling worse for wear. Sigh.

Paleo Eats: 8/17/11

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It was my last night at work (GOOD!)… and also my flip day, which means having to shift from being nocturnal to diurnal (BAD!). Every other Wednesday, The Facts of Life theme song gets lodged in my head.

For my first meal at the hospital, I downed a coconut PaleoKit and a couple spoonfuls of coconut butter. The fat and protein kept me full until 6:00 a.m., at which time I ate some leftover sous vide oxtail and roasted curried cauliflower.

Upon arriving home from work, my boys and I danced around our entryway in celebration of the end of my workweek. (These dance parties aren’t uncommon in our house.)

Given that it was my flip day and I was taking only a short nap in the morning, I got to work on some meal preparation. The main item on my checklist was to season and vacuum seal the grass fed beef tongue and cheeks from U.S. Wellness Meats

…and dunk them in the SousVide Supreme.

Over the next two-to-three days, these meats will magically transform in my trusty water oven from tough and chewy to meltingly tender.

After I drowned my meat, I went to bed with my iPad2 in hand and started reading Nora Gedgaudas’s Primal Body, Primal Mind — it’s required reading for Melicious’s book club! But after a few pages, I had to conk out for a few hours.

I woke up in the early afternoon and dropped Lil-O at his gym class while I picked up my monthly meat CSA box

…and an extra five dozen eggs.

After picking up a ½ hog this weekend and receiving a lovely meat-filled package from U.S. Wellness Meats yesterday, we’re definitely in protein-surplus territory. Too much of a good thing? NEVER.

In the evening, I prepared a batch of sous vide Turkish slider burgers

…and stuck it in the freezer.

I’ll vacuum seal and cook the patties on Friday to serve alongside the braised tongue and cheeks. We’re hosting a dinner party that night, but thanks to the SousVide Supreme, the only thing I’ll have left to do is prepare the veggie sides!

For tonight’s dinner, I sautéed some Swiss chard with sliced onions and Aleppo pepper and served it with leftover roasted Portobello mushrooms and slow cooker roast chicken.

I gotta catch some zzzz’s. Good night, peeps! Don’t forget to sign up for the $100 U.S. Wellness Meats gift certificate giveaway!

Paleo Eats: 8/11/11

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My first night back at work was especially nice because my work husband brought in some homemade chicharrones. Crispy pork skins are nature’s Prozac. Word.

I waited to eat until my stomach started grumbling (~3:00 a.m.), at which time I polished off a small container of deli roast beef, diced avocado, and marinated roasted bell peppers. I also ate a couple pieces of crispy pork skins and a small container of coconut butter.

At the end of my shift, I ate a grass fed PaleoKit and a couple slices of crab, mushroom, and spinach frittata.

When I got back into my kitchen, I seasoned and vacuum-sealed some pork chops with Pele’s Fire Hawaiian seasoning

…and three pounds of grass fed beef oxtails with salt and pepper.

I stuck the packets in the fridge and instructed my mom to dunk the chops in the SousVide Supreme (set at 135 F) later in the afternoon while I slept.

When I woke up in the evening, my chops were already cooked and waiting for me in the water oven…

…so I seared them in a sizzling cast-iron skillet with melted bacon grease and charred the edges with my kitchen torch.

I roasted a tray of spiced cremini mushrooms seasoned with Dukka in the toaster oven…

…and tossed them in a huge mother of a salad with greens, roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, and carrots.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After supper, I ran to Philz Coffee and filled up a thermos with Ambrosia Coffee of God — my new favorite blend! Before leaving for work, I dunked the oxtails in the SousVide Supreme (they’ll soak for about 3 days) and headed to the garage to practiced double-unders and assisted pistols.

Good bye…for now. (I love Eric the Actor!)

Cheater Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Legs

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Hey R, here’s a different way to heat up those Costco-purchased Grimaud Farms duck confit seasoned legs that’s super easy and the results are astounding.

I used to heat them up in the oven per the instructions of the package (stick in 400 F oven with skin side up for 15 minutes) but I was always disappointed with the flabby skin and the dried out texture of the meat. Since these babies come vacuum-sealed and are probably prepared sous vide originally, I’ve always wanted to reheat them in the water oven and then sear the legs off on the stove to crisp up the skin.

I opted to cook them this way tonight and they turned out PERFECTLY! My one minor gripe is the skin’s never intact on the legs so it’s a crapshoot how much crispy skin you get. That being said, I will NEVER make my own duck confit — I’ll just pretend I did.

Here’s what I did to feed 2.5 people:

I filled and heated the SousVide Supreme to 140 F and grabbed a package of Grimaud Farms duck confit seasoned legs from the fridge. 

Although the legs come vacuum-sealed already, I opted to reseal them in a Foodsaver bag since I don’t know if the original plastic container can be heated. 

I dunked the legs in the water oven for about 45 minutes and took the legs out…

…and patted them dry. 

I melted 2 tablespoons of duck fat in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and seared the legs skin side-down for about 2 minutes…

…flipped them over, and browned the other side for about a minute. There’s lots of splatter so cover up with an apron.


French bistro quality, super-crisp skinned and tender duck legs at home!

Paleo Eats: 3/8/11

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Since I’m starting my nightshifts tomorrow night, today was chockfull of cooking and meal planning.

My first meal of the day was a frittata made with three eggs, precooked curried ground beef, nuked frozen broccoli, and a splash of coconut milk.

This breakfast was pretty substantial so I ended up splitting it with my hubby but I ate the big half.

Then, I took off for my class at CrossFit Palo Alto. OMFG. Helen is a real bitch. ‘Nuff said.

Post-workout, I took Dallas and Melissa’s advice to eat immediately following exercise (within 15-30 minutes). I ate some roasted turkey deli meat (a meal-sized easily digestible protein)…

…and a jar of processed sweet potatoes (a fist-sized portion of a carb dense vegetable).

Not a huge fan of the baby food because it’s, well, baby food.

Little-O didn’t want to be left out of the fun, so he ate some coconut butter as I noshed on my post-workout snack.

Before we went to pick up Big-O from school, Little-O helped me bake some sweet potatoes and yams (since I only want to eat the baby food in cases of emergency)…

…and cheesy egg muffins.

For lunch, I ate a leftover box of sous vide pork ribs, cauliflower puree, and stir-fried kale and bacon.

Once Little-O went down for his nap, I pulled out the big guns — the SousVide Supreme and the Crock-Pot — for some serious cooking.

First, I filled and heated up my SousVide Supreme and dunked in two chicken breasts seasoned with Fines Herbes, salt, and pepper.

I cooked them for 2 hours at 140 F.

I also made some chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker which I simmered for 4.5 hours on low.

As soon as the chicken breasts were finished in the water oven, I dunked them in an ice bath…

…decreased the water temperature to 137 F and dropped in four bone-in pork chops from Full of Life Farm. I seasoned the chops with salt, pepper, and Tabil seasoning and I let them soak for 2 hours as well.

For dinner, I just nuked some leftover curried ground beef and frozen mixed vegetables. I tossed the vegetables with melted butter and sprinkled on Shallot Pepper seasoning.

Dinner was yummy and in my mouth in less than 5 minutes.

After dinner, I took the cooked pork chops out of the SousVide Supreme and dunked them in a ice bath.

Yes, they look anemic and unappetizing but that’ll all change when I torch them later this week.

Also, I transferred the finished chicken cacciatore to a Corningware container (recipe pending)…

…and put everything in the fridge.

Tomorrow, I’m cooking a batch of Korean short ribs in the slow cooker and then our meals until the end of the week should be covered. Yes, cooking ahead can be a pain in the ass but I’ll appreciate it the next few days when I wake up groggy in the evening and don’t want to lift a finger.