Whole30 Day 10: Cabbage 10 Ways

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I’ve lost track of the times someone’s announce to me: “I could never eat Paleo ‘cause that’s just waaay too much meat.” And I cheerily chirp back, “Great! More for me!”

But in all seriousness, I don’t eat nearly as much meat as people imagine. Sure, I went through a bacon-bingeing phase early on — didn’t we all? — but my everyday meals look pretty much like what you see in the Whole9’s Meal Planning Template. Each meal starts with a palm-sized portions of healthy protein, and then I fill the rest of my plate with vegetables. I’ll even wager that I eat more vegetables than some vegetarians, because let’s face it: some of ‘em are just subsisting on hyper-processed faux food. (Quorn™ and Tofurky® don’t count as vegetables in my book.)

If you think veggies are boring, just pick up a cabbage. It may look like a humble vegetable, but there’s a myriad of ways to prepare it.

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Plus, the heads are so damn cute. The French adore cabbage so much that a common term of endearment for kiddos is mon petit chou chou or “my little cabbage.”

Then again, we Americans came up with Cabbage Patch Kids, ugly cankled babies that were birthed out of fresh cabbage heads. No wonder so many of us didn’t eat our veggies while growing up in the 1980s. I’m proud to say I never owned one of those monstrosities (unlike someone I know), and happily munch on cabbages with relish.

Wanna see how you can slice and dice a cabbage into something spectacular?

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Paleo Eats: 3/5/11

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As soon as I woke up this morning, I barreled out of bed because I knew I had a s-load to do before attending the all-day Whole9 Foundations of Nutrition Workshop. First, I drove to pick up my weekly veggie CSA box.

When I got home, I quickly baked up a batch of mini frittata muffins with the curried ground beef, shallots, mushrooms, and chard filling I made yesterday.

I was bringing these savory cupcakes to snack on at the workshop.

(Note to self: don’t keep the foil liners on the mini muffins ‘cause they cause condensation on the bottom — eww!)

Before leaving the house, I scarfed down some breakfast: mini bratwursts, leftover roasted asparagus, and homemade guacamole.

We arrived at Mad Dawg Fitness right when the workshop started.

We quickly took our seats and geeked out big time to the scores of valuable and practical nutrition information presented by the Hartwigs.

We broke for lunch at 12:45 a.m., at which time I passed around the mini frittata muffins to my CrossFit Palo Alto peep. Then we walked to the nearby In-N-Out to grab some bun-less burgers. Hubs and I both ordered protein-style, triple meat, mustard-fried burgers with whole grilled onion, hold the spread.

Probably not strictly Paleo but them burgers taste good.

We walked back to Mad Dawg after lunch. The afternoon session, just like the first half of the presentation, totally fired me up to commit to eating clean for life.

I originally intended to order takeout for dinner but after the workshop, I decided to eff that notion and make some Whole9 approved nosh at home.

As soon as I got home, I quickly threw a pan of roasted chicken and shallots into the oven.

Melissa and Dallas told us to pile our plates high with veggies, so I chopped up half a head of cabbage and made some stovetop-braised cabbage

…and prepped some carrots that I roasted in the toaster oven.

By the time the chicken was finished cooking, the veggies sides were done as well.

Yummy and on the table in just 45 minutes.

Plus, my dinner isn’t pro-inflammatory. Score!

After dinner, I vacuum-sealed and seasoned two racks of pork ribs with Chili Con Carne seasoning, salt, and pepper.

I’m going to sous vide them tomorrow after they marinate in the fridge overnight.

Nighty night!

Day 23 of Whole30 Eats

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This morning, I woke up well-rested, bright-eyed, and bushy tailed. It sure is nice to get a good 8 hours of sleep. Unfortunately, I never seem to get enough shut eye since the kids barrel out of their room at 7 a.m. sharp every morning and I’m constantly switching back from working night shift. Oh well. Welcome to my life.

For breakfast, I resorted to my standard morning fare: a frittata! Today’s version was made with 3 eggs, nuked frozen broccoli and spinach (the spinach was squeezed dry after I microwaved it), a pinch of smoked paprika, Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

It was tasty and satisfying. I miss eating frittatas when I’m on my workweek.

After spending the morning jumping on a trampoline with my younger rugrat at his kiddie gym and shopping at Trader Joe’s, I came home and made lunch. As soon as I stepped in the kitchen, I threw two green bell peppers right on a gas burner set on high. After the skins were charred all over, I put them in a bowl, covered them with plastic wrap, and let them steam while I prepared some seasoned ground beef.

I fried up a pound of beef in some melted lard along with a minced onion, a diced jalapeno, a couple tablespoons of Spice Hound fajita and taco seasoning, and some salt & pepper. Then, I peeled and sliced the roasted bell peppers and topped a handful of them with the seasoned beef, Primavera salsa, and store-bought spicy guacamole.

Lunch was tasty and I have leftovers that I can just nuke tomorrow!

For dessert, I made myself a small coconut milk and blueberry sundae.

It’s really amazing how sensitive my taste buds are to sugar these days. The minimal sweetness of these out of season blueberries was totally satisfying.  

Since I was putzing around the house all afternoon, I mindlessly ate lots of coconut flakes and nuts. Argh. I gotta stop that.  

I’ve been itching to remake Dorie Greenspan’s Chicken In a Pot ever since I made it a couple weeks ago. I bought a whole chicken at the farmers’ market (for half price!) a few days ago and I couldn’t wait to plop it in a pot on my first day off. My version tonight was slightly different from my last one but Dorie says she never makes the same chicken in a pot twice.

In tonight’s pot, I used:

  • 4 pound whole chicken
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • a whole bag of pre-peeled garlic from Trader Joe’s
  • 16 peeled and trimmed shallots
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 8 carrots, quartered
  • 4 celery stalks, quartered
  • avocado oil
  • 12 prunes
  • 2 tablespoons of Banyuls vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

I wasn’t sure whether to position the bird breast-side up or down but after studying her cookbook’s cover photo, I decided to position it boob side up. Ick. I can’t believe I just typed that.

With a whole chicken in the pot, I could barely fit in all the cabbage.

In fact, I had to smash down the lid with quite a bit of force to make sure it was well-sealed.

It was kind of a pain to cut up the chicken after I took it out of the oven because it was super HOT and my fingers aren’t made out of kevlar. I was just impatient because it smelled so damn good.

I served the chicken with garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes and mushrooms sauteed with diced shallots and Tabil seasoning.

Despite my misgivings about cutting up the chicken straight out of the oven, cooking the whole chicken in the pot tastes great — moist and juicy (even the breasts) and the “gravy” is really full-flavored and concentrated.  Dorie’s chicken is definitely my new favorite way to make chicken if I have 2 hours to spare. Even though we polished off the chicken at dinner, I’m saving the veggies and sauce to eat with whatever protein I make tomorrow. Yes, it’s that good.

Slow Cooker Grass Fed Beef Shanks & Cabbage Stew

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Makes 6 servings / Hands-On Time: 15 minutes / Total Time: 11 hours

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I’m always looking for shortcuts to deliciousness, so even though my last slow cooker experiment was an abject failure, I was determined to undertake a new experiment this morning. I’d defrosted a couple of 2-inch center cut grass fed beef shanks, and was looking forward to chucking everything into the slow cooker so I’d have a tasty cabbage and beef shank stew ready to devour when I woke up in the evening. (Well, I was hoping it’d be tasty…)

Here’s what I assembled:

  • ½ pound organic baby carrots
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 pounds), cored, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 2 center-cut grass fed beef shanks (about 2” thick)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 15 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos

And here’s what I did with the stuff:

I dumped the baby carrots and chopped onions into the bottom of my slow cooker

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…and layered the cabbage wedges on top.

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I threw in the smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves, and seasoned the beef shanks with salt and pepper to taste (by the way, feel free to be pretty heavy-handed with the S&P).

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Then, I plopped ‘em on top of the cabbage.

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The last step was to pour in the diced tomatoes and broth…

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…before putting on the lid. I set the slow cooker on low and let it do its thing for 9 hours while I hit the sack. (Ah, the nocturnal life of a night shift worker…)

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When I woke up, the house was suffused with a rich, beefy aroma. I couldn’t wait to peek at the stew. Lifting the lid off the slow cooker, I saw that the meat had pulled away from the bone and the marrow was perfectly cooked. Score!

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I removed and plated the bones (and delicious marrow), shredded the meat, and tasted the stew for seasoning. The pot liquor was exploding with flavor, but it was a bit on the sweet side for my taste from all the onions and carrots, so I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut aminos and some more salt and pepper.

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In the meantime, I oven-roasted some cremini mushrooms tossed with Tabil seasoning and macadamia nut oil (400 F on convection roast for 25 minutes) and quickly whipped up some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (this time, substituting extra virgin olive oil for the grass-fed butter).

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Here’s my dinner plate:

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All in all, not too shabby for a simple dump-and-cover slow cooker meal. Because the meat was grass fed, it wasn’t quite as meltingly tender as your typical crappy (but admittedly yummy) grain ‘n corn-fed stuff. Nonetheless, it was TONS better than the grass fed “beef stew” that crawled out of my slow cooker a few days ago. Plus, bone marrow is just so damn tasty –- mouth-filling, fatty, and full of umami goodness. I’m really happy I joined our meat CSA; left to my own devices, I never would’ve thought to buy beef shanks. Now, I’m gonna order them as extra items when I get next month’s box o’ animal parts!

Start of the Whole30 Program…

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Today is the day I start the Whole30 Program. Yes, it can seem restrictive to many people but I already basically eat this way except that I’ve been nipping at dark chocolate, nuts, and coconut flakes ALL THE TIME. Plus, I want to see what happens if I don’t eat dairy (except for occasional ghee) and processed meats (e.g. sausage, prosciutto, bacon, etc.) for 30 days. I’m sure I won’t be 100% compliant (see below) but I’m gonna do my best.

For breakfast, I fried up three scrambled eggs in macadamia nut oil and nuked up some leftover stovetop cabbage.

Yes, the cabbage was sautéed in ghee but since it was from grass fed cows, it should cause little intolerance. And ghee tastes good.

For lunch, we hit up our go-to brunch place, Rick’s Café. It’s a bit harder maneuvering the menu when you’re on the Whole30. Since dairy and processed meats are verboten on Whole30  I opted to order an Alfredo omelet (omelet filled with grilled chicken breast, onions, and mushrooms topped with Alfredo sauce) without the sauce and I subbed in a salad and fruit cup in place of potatoes and bagel.

I was a troublesome customer. This tasted okay – kind of dry and plain. Surprise, surprise. Plus, the salad came tossed with a sugar-filled dressing so I didn’t eat it. Fitbomb felt sorry for me and shared some of his Cobb Salad with me.

I ate some bacon and it tasted good.

Stovetop-Braised Cabbage and Leftover Brisket for Dinner

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I love having leftover cooked protein in my fridge. Specifically, my sister’s brisket is super delicious and I’m even more stoked that I also have a 3-pound portion of it frozen in my freezer.

I decided to serve the leftover brisket with some stove-top braised cabbage. I sautéed half a sliced onion in some ghee.

Then I added a whole, sliced cabbage and ¼ cup of chicken broth. I covered the pan and let it simmer on low for 8 minutes.

When the cabbage finished cooking…

…I took out my new bottle of coconut vinegar…

…and I added ~ 2 tablespoons of the vinegar along with some salt and pepper.

I nuked the leftover brisket and then I plated some on top of the cabbage and some shredded carrots.

Good eats.

Cabbage and Leftovers: It’s What’s For Lunch AND Dinner

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My first meal of the day was lunch. I’m working on my intermittent fasting but, honestly, it’s really hard to push it past 12 hours.  I find that if I’m out of the house it’s a lot easier to keep my fast going.  If I’m at home, I keep opening up the pantry and I’m counting down the seconds until my 12-hour fast is over.  Plus, I stuff my face all the time when I’m home. Sigh.  Good thing all the stuff I cram in my mouth is Paleo or Lacto-Paleo. Back to lunch…

Ain’t this a cute cabbage?

Would it seem cuter if I told you it fit in the palm of my hand? It was so damn cute, I bought three of them last weekend so I knew I had to cook them off soon.  Hell, why not cook them all off today?

For lunch, I combined this tiny ½ lb cabbage with a small Cipollini onion and sautéed them up in some butter.

Then, I nuked leftover seasoned beef with Tabil and topped my sautéed cabbage with it. 


I was still ravenous so I ate some coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and labneh topped with Fitbomb’s addictive Paleo trail mix.

I bought this labneh from Crossroads Market.  It was made in-house, super thick, creamy, and delicious.  I don’t eat a ton of dairy but I LOVE full-fat drained yogurt.

It’s so good that just a little bit later,  I ate some more labneh with eggplant pesto and baby carrots

For dinner, I transformed my remaining two mini cabbages into the World’s Best Braised Cabbage. Since I’ve decided to do more cooking with lard, I replaced the olive oil in the recipe with liquified lard.  See the lard? It looks like melted candle wax!

Here’s the dish covered and ready for the oven:

After 2 hours in the oven, it was tender, carmelized, and super tasty:

I also sautéed some cremini and shiitake mushrooms with half a blitzed onion, minced garlic, and Tabil seasoning.  Damn.  I love this zesty seasoning!

Fitbomb and I shared the one remaining sous vide pork chop in our fridge but I thought the picture would look lame if the chop was cut down the middle.

Sautéed Cabbage and Onions with Smoked Wild Alaskan King Salmon

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This morning, I discovered a sad little 1-pound cabbage languishing in our vegetable crisper. It was too small for my favorite braised cabbage recipe so I decided to sauté it up with some butter and sliced onions.

I love onions sautéed in butter…

Once the onions were translucent, I added my coarsely chopped cabbage.  I used my little 8-inch cast iron skillet, but it’s really too small for a pound of cabbage — I’ll use a bigger one next time. I seasoned everything with salt and pepper and mixed everything around so the fat would be well distributed.  Then, I lowered the heat to low and plopped on a lid for a few minutes so the cabbage would soften.

I topped half of the cabbage with some smoked wild Alaskan king salmon and kept the other half for one of my packed lunches during my workweek.

Yummy! (The salmon was a little on the salty side, but hey — that’s how smoked salmon tastes.)

Sous Vide Grass Fed Top Sirloin (And Lots O’ Veggies)

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Tonight I’m lagging because I’m returning to work after having 3 weeks off. Argh!  As a result, for dinner I made lots of veggies and a big sous vide grass fed top sirloin steak so I’d have lots of leftovers to pack for work.

In preparation for my workweek, I started sous viding like a mad woman on Tuesday morning.  I layed out all my proteins on my kitchen counter and seasoned and vacuum sealed them with my Foodsaver.  I try to combine as many meats as possible that cook at the same temp, so I set my SousVide Supreme to 140 F and plopped in 4 seasoned pork chops and 2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts.  After they had cooked for 2.5 hours, I took them out and placed them in an ice bath so I could store them in the fridge for later in the week.  I added cold water and turned down the temp to 120 F to cook my frozen wild sockeye salmon for lunch.  After taking out the salmon, I increased the water temp to 130 F and dunked in my grass fed top sirloin steak which I seasoned with Sagemary finishing salt and pepper.

The steak was going to cook in the SousVide Supreme for about 30 hours and I was going to take it out at dinner time on Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, I cooked the world’s best braised cabbage and prepared some cauliflower, garlic, and bacon that I was going to roast off when I woke up. I stored the vege and swine bits in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.

When I awoke, I took out the steak and dropped in two bags of Cascadian farm winter squash puree in the Sous Vide Supreme.  These puree packs float in the water bath so I always weigh them down with a rack.  I tossed some olive oil in my Ziploc filled with cauliflower, bacon, and garlic and seasoned it all with salt and pepper.  After giving the sealed bag a nice shake, I poured it all out on a foil lined baking sheet and baked at 375 F for ~30-35 minutes.  Jaden’s recipe says that it only takes 20 minutes in the oven, but mine definitely took longer.  While the cauliflower was in the oven, I prepped some portobello mushroom packs and popped them in the oven with the cauliflower and let those cook for ~25 minutes.

Then I pulled the winter squash puree out of the SousVide Supreme and stirred in some butter, salt, and pepper.  I took the steak out of its bag, dried it off, and seared it in some lard in my cast iron skillet.  I seared the steak for ~2 minutes per side per the tips on Kamikaze cookery.  Last of all, I microwaved the cabbage and cut up the mushrooms and drizzled the ‘shrooms with my aged balsamic vinegar.

Voila!  All of this was on the table within 1 hour and I have 3 boxes of lunch in the fridge (plus, leftover steak).