Paleo Eats: 10/17/2012

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Ack. Seven consecutive night shifts were staring at me in the face, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on preparing food for the week ahead. Too lazy, I guess. The best I could muster was to sprinkle Magic Mushroom Powder on a couple of rib eyes before plopping them into the SousVide Supreme.

At least one of our meals this week will be a no-brainer.

After depositing the spawn at school, I headed to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto, where we grunted under barbells to hit our CrossFit Total.

Although I PR’d on all three lifts, I’m embarrassed to admit that my total score was just a smidge above Alma’s and Webby’s over 300-pound one rep max deadlifts. No matter — I’m just proud that I can finally deadlift a decent amount more than my body weight.

When I came home, I made myself a frittata with the leftover saucy sausage and baby kale stuffing from last night’s dinner

…and crammed some roasted yam purée into my belly.

Before the kiddos got home from school, I managed to get piles of laundry done and conked out for my pre-work power nap.

I woke up still unsure of what to make for dinner. Scavenging through the fridge, I eventually cobbled together the ingredients for an impromptu Paleo casserole: a large eggplant, marinara sauce, homemade dairy-free “cheese,” leftover braised beef shanks, and baby kale.

First, I sliced the eggplant into discs…

…before brushing on melted coconut oil and sprinkling the slices with Magic Mushroom Powder. 

I stuck the tray of aubergine under the broiler (the only part of my busted wall oven that’s currently operational) for a couple of minutes on each side until they got nice and toasty.

I reheated the braised shanks in a cast iron skillet and added chopped mushrooms and baby kale.

Next, I messily poured Rao’s Marinara Sauce on the bottom of a baking dish…

…nestled the broiled eggplant slices in the sauce, and added dollops of my homemade “ricotta.”

I piled on the reheated meat and veggies…

…added more “cheese”, another layer of eggplant…

…and a final glop of marinara sauce.

I stuck the casserole in my super-awesome countertop toaster oven until the sauce was bubbly.

This casserole was a mash-up of two of my favorite Italian dishes: eggplant parm + lasagna with braised beef.

I know what you’re thinking: PALEO CHEESE? What’s in this dairy-free “ricotta”?

Any guesses?

Methinks you’ll be seeing this “ricotta” in a bunch of my dishes this fall…

Paleo Eats: 1/18/12 (Whole30 Day 18)

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I’m super tired tonight. It’s my flip day (the day I transform from a sun-shunning zombie back into a vitamin D-synthesizing human), so this post on my eats will be quick.

My grub on my last shift at the hospital consisted of two cups of piping hot bone broth and a pack of Just Jerky. I wasn’t very hungry because I had stuffed myself with chicken and veggies before coming to work. I ate two plates of food, remember?

When I came home in the morning, I quickly gobbled up some leftover slow cooker roast pork, cauliflower, parsnip, and carrot puree, and braised kale before taking Big-O to his doctor’s appointment and running some errands.

After a short nap, I woke up in the early afternoon to take care of the Double-Os. We took a quick trip to Whole Paycheck, picked up our monthly box of pastured meat and eggs from Marin Sun Farms

…and a veg-tastic Mystery Box from Mariquita Farm.

At dinnertime, I reheated leftover brisket and kale stew and sautéed cabbage

Here’s my dinner plate:

I also chowed on a cold leftover chicken drumstick and a spoonful of coconut butter.

Afterwards, I gulped down a shot of inner-eco.

I need to increase my intake of probiotics but I just don’t love sauerkraut, kombucha, or kimchee. I’d much rather down a tablespoon of this tangy, effervescent, dairy-free, sugar-free, coconut-water-derived probiotic kefir. 

That’s all for tonight. Goodnight!

Paleo Eats: 1/11/12 (Whole30 Day 11)

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Today’s my flip day again. Unfortunately it’s the day when I change into a vampire for the next seven nights. Because I was returning to work, my morning was crammed with errands and cooking. 

In the morning, I ate a curry wrap filled with leftover slow roasted lamb leg and kale salad…

…and helped dress the kids for school.

I headed to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto and had a fun class with the gals. As a post workout meal, I ate the rest of the leftover slow roasted lamb leg and a handful of chestnuts.

On the way home from the box, I stopped by Trader Joe’s and came home with a trunk full of groceries.

At lunchtime, I fried up a couple of Sous Vide Crispy Chicken Thighs and sauteed a small head of cauliflower.

I’m happy to report that Lil-O ate a plate of chicken and carrot sticks as well. Yay! Progress…

I only had an hour before I was taking an afternoon nap, so I hastily threw another pot of Pressure Cooker Pho Broth on the stove. I toasted the spices in a warm pan…

…and tucked them in a satchel before depositing the bag in the pressure cooker.

Next, I seared the meat…

…poured in the water, and Red Boat fish sauce.

While I waited for the pho broth to finish cooking, I made a batch of emergency protein with ground pork, onion, spinach, and Magic Powder.

I ended up boxing three lunches filled with the emergency protein and nuked frozen broccoli.

Once all the grub was packaged away in the fridge, I went to bed for a couple of hours.

At dinnertime, I sautéed baby bok choy, carrots, and shiitake…

…and reheated the beefy pho broth. I removed all the bones and ladled up bowls filled with tender beefy goodness. I put out a plate of herby garnishes and everyone added whatever they liked to their serving.

Here’s mine:

No kelp noodles (or any type of noodles) were added to the beef and soup. In my opinion, the best part of a big bowl of pho is the beefy broth, hands down.

After dinner, I seasoned a pork leg roast with Magic Powder…

…and threw it on top of some sliced onions in the slow cooker. I’m going to cook it low and slow for 16 hours like Kalua Pig.

I also hard boiled a few eggs, downed a black espresso, and packed my meals for work.

Think of me while you take a whizz in the middle of the night — I’ll be up.

Paleo Eats: 1/4/12 (Whole30 Day 4)

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I know I’d posted last month that I wouldn’t blog on my flip day (the day I finish a 7-night stretch of work), but just for the Whole30, I’m forgoing sleep just so I can show you every little morsel I eat. You’re welcome.

On my last night at work, I ate some leftover Cheater Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Legs; cauliflower, carrot, and parsnip puree; sautéed baby kale, and roasted portobello mushrooms.

When I got home in the morning, I rolled a curry-flavored Pure Wraps around leftover Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew and micro greens.

After polishing it off, I also downed a heaping spoonful of coconut butter.

Despite wanting to pass out, I managed to season a few short ribs from 4505 Meats with Magic Powder…

…and vacuum-seal them…

…before dunking them in the SousVide Supreme.

I’m gonna let these meaty bones hot tub it for 48 hours at 140°F.

When I woke up in the early afternoon, I chilled out with the Double-Os. Both of my boys are sick, and hacking up all sorts of gooey grossness. The only time we left the house was to pick up our ”Mystery Box” from Mariquita Farm.

I can’t wait for Mariquita’s CSA season to resume in March ‘cause these intermittent, optional deliveries are way too infrequent. I want to follow Dallas and Melissa’s guidelines for eating seasonally, but sometimes it’s too damned cold to venture to the farmers’ market on a frigid Sunday morning.

Because I hauled home a huge bag of fresh vegetables, I knew I had to cook off a ton of old produce. 

I roasted a tray of kabocha squash

…broccoli…

…and Brussels sprouts dusted with homemade Dukka.

Thank you, Melicious, for inspiring me to turn into a Veg-O-Matic instead of a pumpkin this evening. Her kickass Whole30-approved cookbook, Well Fed, has a permanent spot on my kitchen counter this month. Go git yer own RIGHT NOW by clicking here.

For dinner, I fried up a batch of Burger Bites seasoned with Magic Powder…

…and a garbage stir-fry with the other wilty veggies in the fridge.

Now, I must catch some zzzz’s. Good night, paleosphere.

Paleo Eats: 12/28/11

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I started my nightshifts tonight, but I still squeezed in a full day of activities, cooking, and a two and a half hour nap in the late afternoon.

In the morning, I ate a scrambled egg…

…topped with a dollop of guacamole…

…and I headed to CrossFit Palo Alto for the women’s class. We worked on overhead squats and I was reminded how much I SUCK at them. I need to practice them at home way more often. Along with snatches, cleans, push presses, push ups, double unders, pull ups, wall balls…

After class, I gulped down a few slices of Applegate Farms organic roast beef and a nuked yam before accompanying Big-O to his appointment.

At noon, my cousin and her husband came over and I served steaming bowls of homemade phở with brisket, eye of round, kelp noodles, and all the garnishes.

The pressure cooker is a fantastic and speedy way to get a full-bodied, beefy broth in your belly. In fact, it may be the only way I cook bone broth from now on. And, no, I’m not afraid of it exploding on me.

Before hitting the sack, I slow-roasted a small lamb sirloin roast seasoned with homemade magic powder (porcini seasoning salt)…

…which I stored as emergency protein in the fridge. I need to arm myself with a big stash of ready-to-eat meats since I’m starting the Whole30 on January 1st.

When I woke up in the evening, I fried up a batch of grass fed beef sliders…

…and stir-fried a pan of shiitake, onions, and spinach for dinner.

I still had leftover curried ground lamb and cabbage emergency protein so I turned it into a frittata for my work meals.

Then, I packed my lunch and dragged my sorry ass to work. 

Paleo Eats: 10/26/11

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I’m super duper pooped since it’s my flip day — the day I transition from zombie back to human — and my synapses are firing super sloooooowly.

During my last night at work, I popped open another LunchBots Pico container filled with softcore albacore, spicy cauliflower, and oven-roasted tomatoes

…and chowed on leftover cheater crispy sous vide duck confit legs and sauteed bell peppers.

I took a short nap in the morning and chugged a decaf espresso when I awoke. Why decaf? I was hoping to trick my brain into thinking I ingested caffeine but I guess I’m too smart for my own good. Or it didn’t work because it’s effing decaf.

After shuttling the Double-O’s around town, I came home and heated up leftovers for dinner: sous vide grass fed sirloin steak tips (I gotta remember to cook these for at least 24 hours — they’re too chewy after eight), winter squash puree, and roasted escarole.

Fitbomb came home early from work so I was able to zoom over to my food writing class at Stanford. I’ve learned so much from my instructor, Tori Ritchie, and the other students in my class. I bet I’d get more out of it if I wasn’t so zonked every other Wednesday. C’est la vie.

Time to crash! Good night, folks!

Paleo Eats: 9/28/11

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It’s my last work shift of the week! Woohoo!

Just like the last six nights, the hospital was filled to capacity, which meant I was working non-stop ‘til the clock struck 8:00 a.m. Luckily, I managed to find enough time to eat everything I packed, including a grass fed PaleoKit, coconut flakes, and a container crammed full of leftover Kalua Pig and braised cabbage

When I came home in the morning, I took a nap for a few hours before transitioning into full-time mommy mode for the week. Unlike one of my typical flip days, I slept a little longer than usual and gulped down an espresso with cream when I got up. 

I was a little apprehensive about getting too much sleep and filling myself with stimulants, but I knew I had a long day ahead. For the next eight weeks, I’m taking a course taught by Tori Ritchie about food writing for mainstream media and blogs. Sitting in a classroom on Wednesday evenings immediately after getting off a 7-night stretch of overnight hospital work is gonna be a challenge. I’m sure I’ll be a total zombie, but the sleep deprivation will be worth it.

Before tonight’s class, I spent the afternoon shuttling the kids to activities before coming home to make dinner. I pan-fried a batch of Turkish slider burgers that had defrosted in yesterday’s meatastrophe

…and served them on a bed of nuked green beans.

After dinner, I sped over to my class and spent three hours learning how to properly structure a recipe. Lemme tell you: There’s a ton I’ve been doing wrong all these months! HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO STAND THE SHEER CRAPPINESS OF THIS BLOG?

Even though I was super sleepy, the hours sped by and I left my class super-duper inspired. I can’t believe I’m enjoying school — let alone a writing class. It’s so damn ironic because my recurring panic nightmare since childhood is being in English class and being told to write an impromptu essay. 

Good night!

Paleo Eats: 9/14/11

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Yay! It was my last night of work and my flip day! 

(This post is gonna be short and sweet because I’m blogging while watching the CrossFit Games on ESPN2. It’s fun playing “Where’s Fitbomb?” so I wanna get off my laptop ASAP.)

On my last night at the hospital, I chowed on Applegate Farms organic roast beef, avocado, and marinated roasted bell peppers

When I came home in the morning, I gulped down a sauteed Applegate Farms chicken apple sausage and leftover garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

I went to bed for a couple hours and when I awoke,  I went into full-time mommy mode. After shuttling the kiddies around town, we came home at dinnertime.

I was tired and cranky so I was relieved that I had leftovers available in the fridge. For dinner, I fried some 4505 Meats’ bacon-filled hotdogs, sliced a couple heirloom tomatoes, and nuked leftover Asian cauliflower fried rice.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Good night! 

Paleo Eats: 8/31/11

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Hooray! It’s finally my last night of work and flip day! 

That means I’m dead tired and this post will be short and sweet. 

I only ate one meal at work: my leftovers from The Patty Shack…  

…followed by some coconut butter and a dark chocolate square.

When I got home, we walked Big-O to school and then I took a short nap for a couple hours in the morning. After I got up in the early afternoon, I accompanied my MIL to an oncology appointment and came home after 5 p.m. to hang with the Double-O’s.

By dinnertime, I just wanted a meal on the table FAST.  I seared spicy cilantro chicken sausages, stir-fried spigarello and bacon, and plated up leftover marinated roasted bell peppers.

Here’s my dinner plate:

For dessert, I polished off the rest of the dark chocolate in the house because I NEED to go cold turkey tomorrow and, er, that’s how I make sure I start with a clean slate. Let’s see how long my abstinence lasts. I certainly would not bet the farm on me.

Good night!

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!