Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 4/25/11

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Wanna see what I ate today?

For my meals at work, I packed a bunch of leftovers from our bunny supper the night before. The 4505 Easter Basket CSA is the gift that keeps on giving.

My first meal at work was some leftover crispy sous vide chicken thighs and broiled asparagus.

As a snack, I ate some more leftovers from our bunny dinner: deviled eggs, spicy beets, carrots, and shoulder confit.

My last meal at work was some more bunny goodness: leftover rabbit and pork sausage, saddle loin roast, cavolo nero and carrots, and roasted curried cauliflower.

When I got home, I threw a pork shoulder roast into the slow cooker and hit the sheets.

At 5:00 p.m., I woke up and prepped some veggies sides to accompany the slow cooker pork pot roast.

I sautéed some broccoli and shallots…

…broiled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears

…and pureed a batch of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I added a few drops of my new fish sauce to the pot roast and sautéed broccoli and it brought up the indescribable umami in both dishes. Oh, fish sauce, how I’ve missed you!

After dinner, I did a short workout in our garage gym and then I ate ½ a baked yam and organic deli roast beef. Only two more nights of work!

Paleo Eats: 4/22/11

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Aren’t you curious to see what I ate today?

For my first meal at work, I ate a big serving of garbage soup filled with leftover slow cooker roast chicken.

Midway through my shift, I ate some strawberries and coconut milk.

I love this combination.

The last meal I ate at work was some leftover pork and grass fed beef mini burgers on top of sautéed spinach and roasted curried cauliflower.

After work, I made a pitstop at the grocery store to pick up ingredients to make simple crab salad for the Paleo potluck at CrossFit Palo Alto tomorrow. Fitbomb will be herding the kids alone this weekend while I sleep so the least I can do is whip up a dish for him to bring to the party. So sad that I’ll have to miss it! 

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., I dunked some previously cooked sous vide pork chops into the SousVide Supreme to warm up. Then, I made some garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

…nuked some sugar snap peas…

broiled zucchini...

and heated up some leftover gravy (from the slow cooker roast chicken). The final step in dinner prep was torching the pork chops.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I did a quick 1K row and ate some chestnuts immediately afterwards. Then, I hopped in my car and hauled my ass to work.

Paleo Eats: 4/5/11

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It was a busy day but I’m happy to report I ate pretty clean. Well, except for my daily overeating of coconut products and macadamia nuts – but I digress.

For breakfast, I reheated the leftovers of yesterday’s emergency protein. I ate it so quickly that I forgot to take a snapshot. Besides, it didn’t look as appetizing after chilling in the fridge overnight so here’s a picture of when it was fresh yesterday:

After breakfast I took the kids to school and then I drove to my class at CrossFit Palo Alto. My post workout meal consisted of a baked yam and some sliced turkey deli meat. Again, I snarfed it down before I was able to immortalize it with my camera. Geez, what kind of food blogger am I? A lazy one…

Before heading to the mall to buy the kids some shoes, I seasoned a couple of chicken breasts with Fox Point seasoning, vacuum sealed them with a pat of butter…

…and dunked the packet into the SousVide Supreme (140 F).

When we returned home a couple hours later, I gobbled up a sous vided chicken breast along with a salad made with leftover roasted vegetables, greens, and avocados.

While Little-O took a nap, I made some garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes. Inspired by The Food Lovers’ Primal-Palate, I decided to sauté some shallots in butter…

…and add them to the mash.

I didn’t put in any herbs because any hint of green will make this side dish a no-fly zone for Big-O. My Technicolor purees have not gone over well with him.

After I dropped Big-O at his T-ball practice, I came home and reheated the slow cooker beef shank and cabbage stew I made yesterday.

I really had to punch up the seasoning with some Fines Herbes seasoning, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper. I know I said that I’d post a recipe but I still need to tweak it a bit.

I went to the microwave to reheat the cauliflower puree…

…but it slipped out of my hands and crashed to the floor. With the lid OFF. It was a bad scene in the kitchen. There was some screaming involved. I was one mad mother. Luckily, half of the puree was still in the container (and the other half covered me, the floor, and the cabinets) so I was able to nuke it for dinner. I also broiled a bunch of asparagus tossed in melted ghee and sautéed some mushrooms in butter and Fox Point seasoning.

Here’s my dinner plate:

The beef shank stew was alright but I was more successful the first time I made it. They’re not always winners, people. 

After dinner, I collected the leftover vegetables and tucked them into my “emergency vegetable” container that I have in the fridge. I see a frittata on the horizon…

Good night everybody!

Paleo Eats: 3/9/11

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I’m starting another week of nightshifts tonight, so I was a busy bee this morning and early afternoon.

While the kids ate their breakfast, I threw the ingredients for Paleo Korean short ribs into my slow cooker.

Even Lil-O jumped in to help me make the simmer sauce.

When we came home from dropping Big-O at school, I ate some mini frittata muffins, roasted bell peppers, and baby carrots for breakfast.

Then, we set off for Whole Paycheck to get some last minute groceries.

For lunch, I made myself the same type of frittata I had for breakfast yesterday.

After lunch, I whipped up some garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes with my older sous chef…

…and then I took a nap for a couple of hours.

When I woke up, the short ribs were finished…

…so I reheated the garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

…sautéed a bunch of Bordeaux spinach with shallots in butter…

…and roasted Brussels sprouts in ghee with Penzeys Shallot-Pepper seasoning (splashed with some balsamic vinegar).

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I did the CrossFit “Christine” workout in my garage, which left me sore, winded, and sweaty. My post workout meal was half a baked sweet potato and a few slices of roasted turkey deli meat.

Then, I took a shower, gathered up my stuff, and went to work.

Dinner In An Hour: Sous Vide Organic Rib Eye Steak, Mash,Green Beans, & Gravy

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Think serving steak with all the fixings is hard to do on a weeknight? Think again! With a little sous vide magic and pre-planning, I managed to get dinner on the table in under an hour. That sound you hear? It’s me patting myself on the back.

Here’s how I tackled dinner:

When I got home from work this morning, I took out a couple of Costco purchased organic beef rib eye steaks from the fridge. I dried the meat with paper towels, seasoned with Sagemary finishing salt and freshly ground black pepper…

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…and vacuum sealed them.

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Okay — these babies aren’t grass fed, but I wanted to try them out because they were reasonably priced and I miss the unctuous, fatty taste of grain fed beef.

I heated the SousVide Supreme to 129 F and plopped in my two steaks. I was going to let them bathe until I woke up at 5:00 p.m (~ 8hours).

I also vacuum sealed some Dukka-seasoned pork chops…

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…and Tabil-seasoned chicken breasts.

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I was going to put these packets in the SousVide Supreme after I took out the steaks in the evening.

Then, I took a Lunesta and conked out. (Lunesta is badass but it leaves a terrible taste in your mouth when you first swallow it…)*

When I woke up in the evening, I assembled the ingredients to make herb gravy

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…with sautéed mushrooms and leeks.

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I dumped the broth, onions, dried thyme, and garlic into a small saucepan and simmered everything for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, I steamed some cauliflower florets and garlic to make garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” When they were softened, I pureed them in the Cuisinart with some extra virgin olive oil, grated nutmeg, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. 

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I also dumped a pound of trimmed green beans into my Corningware and nuked them until tender. When they were done, I tossed on some extra virgin olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

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With my veggies out of the way, I focused my attention on the main event: THE MEAT. I took the steaks out of the SousVide Supreme and dried them. After heating a couple tablespoons of lard in my 12-inch cast iron skillet, I seared the steaks…

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…for 2 minutes on each side. Look at that nice char!

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After I plated the steaks…

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…I threw the sliced leeks and mushrooms into the cast iron skillet and sautéed them with some salt and pepper.  By this time, the herb gravy was ready to be pureed, so I dumped the contents of the saucepan into the Vitamix and blitzed the sauce for 30 seconds. When the mushrooms were nice and browned, I poured in the herb gravy and let it simmer for a few minutes.

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Voila! Here’s my steak dinner with three side dishes — all done in about an hour.

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Costco’s organic steaks tasted pretty good. I always get better results from my SousVide Supreme when I use grain-fed cow parts. Don’t worry; I chased it down with a shot of fish oil.

*UPDATE 3/22/13: I don’t use Lunesta anymore or any other prescription sleep aid. This post was from more than 2 years ago and my daytime sleep routine has improved a lot. 

Day 26 of Whole30 Eats

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Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I wish I could spend every day just hanging with family and friends, but laundry doesn’t do itself and I had to make a bunch of food for the coming week. So today, it was back to the grind.

Before I set about doing any chores, though, I made myself a quick breakfast of leftover shredded roast chicken thigh and green beans.

Then, I got my ass handed to me at my kickboxing class.

Post-workout, I replenished my depleted glycogen stores by eating half a banana, some coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and a coconut milk and blueberry sundae.

For lunch, we headed to Calafia Cafe, where I ordered a rotisserie chicken salad with radicchio, pears, and walnuts. I asked for no blue cheese and vinaigrette on the side.

Fitbomb ordered 2 poached eggs…

…and house-made lamb sausage, and bacon.

As soon as we got home, I tucked the little rugrat in bed for a nap. As soon as his head hit his pillow, I set to work immediately, prepping meats and veggies for the week ahead.

Our three-year-old loves roasted, unsalted cashews, but we just found out that the nuts we get at Trader Joe’s are roasted with canola oil (or rice bran oil, depending on the package). So this afternoon, we dry-roasted a tray of raw cashews for him by spreading them on a baking tray in a single layer and sticking everything in the oven (350 F for 10-15 minutes).

As soon as they were finished…

…I turned down the oven to 250 F and finished preparing my pork shoulder roast (which I started prepping yesterday) by slicing up two yellow onions and spreading them on the bottom of my dutch oven. Next, I topped the onions with the seasoned pork shoulder and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

I placed the lid on top and popped it in the oven for four hours.

In the meantime, I seasoned and vacuum-sealed four chicken breasts and four bone-in pork loin chops (purchased this weekend from Full of Life Farm)…

…and submerged them in my preheated SousVide Supreme (set at 140 F).

Next, I roasted four bell peppers directly on my gas range…

…hard boiled a dozen eggs…

…and roasted and peeled some beets in my toaster oven.

At 5:30 p.m.,  the pork roast was fork-tender. I removed the lid from my dutch oven and I broiled the pork for 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side).

After hand-shredding the meat, I tossed in the softened onions from the bottom of the pot.

I can’t wait to eat this dish later this week. (Yes, I’m getting pretty good at avoiding the temptation to indulge in instant gratification.)

For dinner, I seared off the sous vide pork chops

…and served them with garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes straight out of the Cuisinart…

…along with sauteed lancinato kale, baby spinach, beet greens, and shallots.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After today’s marathon cooking session, I have a s-load of ready-to-eat proteins and vegetables, so I have no excuse not to eat well AND Whole30 approved (for four more days!).

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.

Day 17 of Whole30 Eats

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Work was super busy tonight so although I normally eat a snack at 10:30 p.m., I didn’t get to eat anything until I snarfed down my “lunch” at 3:00 a.m.

I hate when I have to actually work at work.

My first meal of the night consisted of some leftover beef stew, nuked green beans, and baked sweet potato.

Snack time came at around 4:00 a.m.: crudités with Aubergine dip and sun-dried tomato pesto.

At 7:00 a.m., I had my last meal at work: leftover roast chicken thighs with caramelized shallots, braised cabbage, sautéed chard, and winter squash puree.

After I returned home, we took the older rugrat to school. When we came home I treated myself to some macadamia nuts and coconut butter. Then, I filled up my SousVide Supreme and set it for 135 F and got some shut eye.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., I dunked the pork chops I sous vided the other day into my preheated SousVide Supreme to reheat while I prepared some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes”

…and roasted kabocha squash tossed with avocado oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper (400 F for ~30 minutes). I drizzled some aged balsamic vinegar over the squash when I took it out of the oven.

Then, I seared off my chops in my some melted lard in my cast iron skillet (medium-high heat, 2 minutes on each side). For boneless pork chops, I like to sous vide at the lower temperature of 135 F (I still do 140 F for bone-in chops) so they stay moist.

When I finished browning my chops, I sautéed some spinach in my “dirty” skillet.

Dinner was on the table in about 45 minutes.

After a quick metcon session (I finished the whole thing in twelve and a half minutes!), I scarfed down a few macadamia nuts and rolled into work. Only 5 more nights to go!

Day 13 of Whole30 Eats

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Another day of Whole30 nosh while keeping my full-time mommy hat on.

This morning, I awoke to the sound of my six-year-old stomping/sprinting down the hall to tinkle in the toilet. So much for squeezing in some exercise before the kids got up.

After getting our older rugrat all presentable and decent-smelling for kindergarten, all four of us trudged the 0.2 miles in the crisp chill to drop him off. It was frigid today (for California, anyway); the grass at the school was frosted white. And shivering makes me hungry.

When I got home, I made myself a frittata again — this time, with three eggs, a ton of shredded chard, and half of a thinly-sliced onion.

While whisking the eggs, I threw in a large pinch of smoked paprika along with some salt and pepper. Smoked paprika adds a rich bacon-y taste to the dish. Man, I effing miss bacon! Today’s frittata consisted of more veggies than egg, but it was filling and tasty, especially after I topped it with salsa and homemade chunky guacamole. 

Lest you think I’m turning vegetarian, I also filled a little ramekin with a mini-portion of the beef stew I’m serving later this week.

After I returned from my younger rugrat’s yearly check-up (to my surprise, he’s growing quite nicely despite his refusal to eat anything but Neolithic agricultural products), I made myself another Chipotle-inspired lunch salad with shredded pork, greens, sliced jicama, shredded carrots, sweet peppers, sliced tomatoes, salsa, and a humongous dollop of guacamole.

Post lunch, my three-year-old settled down for a nap, so I recruited my older kid as my sous chef. We baked more kale chips

…and made some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes.” It’s amazing how much pride kids take in the  foods they help cook. Sarah Fragoso at Everyday Paleo, who cooks with her adorable sons all the time, has definitely inspired me to get my kids more involved in my Paleo cooking adventures.

I felt like I was snacking all afternoon: I downed a hard-boiled egg, tons of coconut flakes and macadamia nuts, and whole handfuls of kale chips. I gotta stop with the mindless snacking. Luckily, I’m returning to work in a couple days, so I’ll be sleeping most of the time I’m actually home.

Tonight for dinner, I made a roasted rack of lamb seasoned with Dukka and I served it with garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes, roasted Portobello mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, and sautéed spinach and orach with sliced shallots.

And because Melicious says I should eat some coconut butter when I feel like a cookie, I ate a heaping tablespoon for dessert.

Day 9 of Whole30 Eats

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What did I eat today? I know all of you are waiting with bated breath…

For breakfast, I made myself a quick spinach frittata with 3 eggs and a handful of spinach (right out of the freezer). Three eggs is the perfect amount for my 8-inch cast iron skillet when I wanna stick it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes to cook it through.

I topped it with some salsa and a glob of guacamole and chowed down.

For lunch, I nuked a box of leftover (no longer) crispy sous vide chicken thighs, winter squash puree, and frozen broccoli.

Sous vide meats reheat beautifully in the microwave. Although the skin gets a little soggy, the chicken was still juicy – even breast meat!

In the afternoon, I snacked on some macadamia nuts and coconut flakes (surprise, surprise).

For dinner, I made Dorie Greenspan’s chicken-in-the-pot, garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (with a purple head), and a quarter of a baked Japanese yam.

Yummy. I’m very excited to eat these leftovers tomorrow…