Nom Nom Paleo

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!).

Sous Vide Tabil-Seasoned Chicken Breasts and Salad for Lunch

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My cousin and her husband came over for lunch and I was able to serve them a tasty, fancy-looking meal all thanks to my SousVide Supreme. Did I mention that I was out all morning running errands with the kids? I love my SousVide Supreme.

I prepped the chicken breasts by seasoning them with salt and pepper, vacuum sealing them, and plunking them in my SousVide Supreme (140 F) before we left the house at 9:00 a.m. When I returned at 11:30 a.m., I took the breasts out, dried them with paper towels, and sprinkled on some Tabil.

I prepared a simple salad with organic greens, sliced carrots, diced avocados, bacon (nuked in the microwave), and sliced apples. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and drizzled on some extra virgin olive oil with truffles and Banyuls wine vinegar. When I was done throwing together my salad, I heated up some ghee in my cast iron skillet on medium-high and browned my chicken (2 minutes on the skin side and an additional minute on the bone side).

Here’s my lunch plate:

Total hands-on time: 20 minutes tops. Quick and yummy.

Fun With Bacon Grease

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After baking two pounds of bacon in the oven yesterday, I now have a tidy container of congealed bacon grease chillin’ in the fridge. And I’ve been on the lookout for alternatives to roasting veggies and meats with extra virgin olive oil, so the bacon grease certainly came in handy today.

I had some Brussels sprouts languishing in my vegetable crisper, so I roasted them off this morning. I kept it simple, and just tossed ‘em with a few tablespoons of bacon grease, salt, and pepper. My bacon grease turned milky white in the fridge –- I’ve grabbed it a few times today thinking it was my coconut milk. Not a terrible mistake, but I’m not sure I wanna eat my Paleo trail mix with bacon fat.

To liquefy the fat, I zapped it in the microwave for 30 seconds and stirred it. I store my fat in a microwave-safe glass Snapware container, so there’s no need to use (and later, wash) an extra bowl. Then, I spooned some of this liquid gold over my trimmed sprouts…

…seasoned with salt and pepper…

…and popped the tray in a 400 F oven for around 25-30 minutes.

The bacon fat lends the Brussels sprouts a rich, smoky, mouth-filling flavor.

For lunch, I ate some of the sprouts along with a salad I threw together using leftover sous vide flank steak, salad greens, sliced cucumbers, and grape tomatoes.

The bacon grease left in my glass container went right back into the fridge — for another few hours, anyway.

This evening, I once again nuked the container of bacon grease and then tossed a few tablespoons of the fat with some broccoli before roasting it in the oven (400 F for 25-35 minutes). 


But wait — I found more uses for my bacon fat!

While the broccoli cooked, I reheated two sous vide chicken breasts in my SousVide Supreme (140F for 30 minutes).  After removing the chicken from the water bath, I patted them dry, and brushed on some melted bacon grease…

…before searing them in my grill pan.

I’m sorry, but boneless and skinless breasts aren’t the tastiest parts of the chicken, so basting ‘em with bacon grease is a good thing.

I sliced the chicken breast and topped it with Primavera salsa and diced avocados. I served it along with my bacon-grease roasted broccoli.

Dammit, I’m running out of bacon grease. Time to make more bacon!

Cobb Salad with Sous Vide Chicken

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Dinner prep was a breeze tonight.  Thank the stars! Fitbomb and I were dog tired after planning, prepping, and cleaning for our kid’s 6th birthday party.

We had lots of leftovers from the party so we just made ourselves another Cobb salad. It could’ve been even easier if I just threw on the leftover sous vide flank steak but I can’t stand eating the same thing two meals in a row if I have a choice.  Luckily, I had a bunch of sous vide chicken breasts waiting in the fridge that I’d originally made for the party.  I reheated them in my SousVide Supreme at 140 F for 30 minutes and then I seared them off in my grill pan with some coconut oil.

Here’s my dinner salad made from leftovers:

It’s nice having party leftovers that you want to keep eating!

Party Food: How to Sneak in Paleo Options at a Kinder Party

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Today we had a gaggle of hyper kids and their parents over to celebrate our older son’s birthday.  I knew that the kids were gonna eat pizza and fruit but I wanted to offer the adults something more sophisticated and stealthily Paleo-friendly.  Earlier in the week, I sous vided some flank steak seasoned with Spice Hound’s fajita and taco seasoning (130 F for 36 hours) and chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper (140 F for 2 hours) and I planned on serving them along with some Cobb salad fixings.  

When I woke up, I preheated the oven to 400 F to bake two pounds of bacon and roast 1.5 pounds of mushrooms tossed in a few tablespoons of the resulting bacon grease.

Here’s the tray of ‘shrooms pre-roasting: 

After roasting in a 400 F oven for 25-30 minutes:

Then, I sliced some hard-boiled eggs, and washed and chopped some ripe avocados, Persian cucumbers, and grape tomatoes.  I also crumbled up some Point Reyes original blue cheese and Laura Chenel Chef’s Chevre so our guest could pick one to sprinkle on their salads.  Most people love one and hate the other (or hate both). I’m a goat cheese fan myself ‘cause blue cheese smells raunchy. 

When the bacon cooled, I used my kitchen shears to cut the strips up.  I also put some pre-washed organic greens in two large bowls. Did I mention that I bought all this food from Costco?

For nibbles before the main event, I put out some Smokehouse almonds, two cheese platters, and an Italian salumi platter (all from Costco as well).

After surveying our spread, I realized that we already had a ton of meat/protein so I only reheated the flank steak (130 F for 30 minutes) in the SousVide Supreme.  Fitbomb seared the two steaks on our gas grill outside and I sliced them up.

Here’s our make-your-own Cobb salad bar:

And here’s my lunch:

Truth be told, I found the flank steak a little mushy for my taste but everyone else loved that it was so tender. Hey, if my guests are happy, I’m happy!