Paleo Eats: 9/13/12

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My week of graveyard shifts didn’t end ‘til yesterday morning, but I was back in Mommy Mode just a few hours later. I’ve practiced the weekly nocturnal/diurnal flip for over a decade, so I’ve got it down to a science. Like clockwork, I passed out early last night and got enough shuteye to resurrect me from my zombie-like existence. It was imperative that I fully recharged my batteries; Henry's been slammed with early work meetings, so I knew the a.m. kid-herding was my solo responsibility.

Miraculously, I managed to dress, feed, and pack a lunch for Big-O before hustling him off to school. With Lil-O happily munching on a plate of eggs, I finally had sufficient breathing room to fix myself a proper breakfast.

I rooted around in the fridge and freezer before pulling out the ingredients for a frittata: eggs, frozen spinach, leftover sautéed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and a splash of coconut milk.

I seasoned the batter with a few dashes of Red Boat Fish Sauce — my go-to seasoning for eggs these days. (Who am I kidding? I flavor everything with that bottled umami.) I started the frittata on the stove, and finished it off under the broiler in my countertop toaster oven.

frittata is an under-appreciated gem that never fails to brighten my day. Just like Ken Jeong.

A few hours later, I pillaged the fridge again in search of lunch. My mission was to clear out as much space as possible ‘cause I knew my weekly veggie CSA delivery was arriving in the afternoon. 

Soon, my kitchen counter was piled high with a mishmash of ingredients. When in doubt, I start with alliums, so I grabbed half an onion and thinly sliced it…

…before softening it in a hot skillet with a spoonful of coconut oil.

Next, I added a large handful of baby dino kale and a requisite sprinkle of Red Boat Fish Sauce.

I rounded out my lunch plate with some chicken apple sausage and a pile of Mother-In-Law’s Kimchi.

"Random," you say? I prefer to call it "global fusion." Food always tastes better with fancy names.

I’d made breakfast and lunch with just one skillet, so I figured I’d do the same with dinner. I spied a ready-to-cook top round roast in my defrost bowl, so I prepped it for a quick stir-fry by slicing it thinly and against the grain. 

As you may remember, I haven’t been a big fan of top and bottom round roasts. No matter what technique I’ve used — sous vide, slow roasting in the oven, you name it — I ended up with tough, dry meat.

But then I met Lynne Curry, the author of Pure Beef (one of my favorite resources for cooking meat!) and undisputed master of preparing grass fed beef. I peppered her with questions about the best ways to cook different cuts of cow, and shared with her my dislike of top round. Lynne’s advice: Always prepare it using a quick, high-heat method — like stir fry.

While the beef slices bathed in a simple marinade, I browned onions and mushrooms in my trusty skillet.

Next, I added broccoli and a bit of homemade bone broth.

As the florets softened, I made a pile of carrot ribbons with my julienne peeler.

Once the veggies were ready, I removed them from the pan and threw in the marinated beef.

Once they got a quick sear, I tossed in the vegetables and seasoning.

Emergency protein is always the way to go when you’re short on time and ideas.

I ate the stir-fry with half a baked yam, and as a chaser, I served steaming bowls of bone broth to ward away evil viruses. My guys are feeling much better, but hot broth ought to speed up their recovery.

And me? I ain’t got time for a cold.

Paleo Eats: 5/9/11

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Let’s take a peek at what I packed for my meals at work today…

My first meal of the day was a big ass salad made with leftover slow cooker roast chicken, baked bacon bits, avocado, shredded carrots, sliced cucumber, and mixed greens.

It’s been a while since I’ve brought a salad to work and I’ve forgotten how convenient (i.e. no reheating necessary) and tasty they are.

As a mid-shift snack, I ate an apple cinnamon cookie

These sure are tasty!

My last meal of the day was a box of leftover meats from Mediterranean Wraps, a small container of labneh, and nuked frozen broccoli. It was definitely not worth a picture — ugly and mediocre. 

When I got home from work, Big-O chose the winners of the Red Boat fish sauce giveaway and  I marinated some chicken thighs for dinner before hitting the sack.

I used Andrea Nguyen’s recipe but I subbed in macadamia nut oil for canola oil and 1 teaspoon of coconut nectar for the sugar. Don’t ask me if coconut nectar is Paleo because I don’t know the answer.

At 5:00 p.m., I woke up and stumbled into the kitchen to make dinner.

I baked the chicken thighs in the oven at 400 F for 40 minutes…

…and I whipped up a dipping sauce by juicing a lime (nuke for 15 seconds before and adding salt, pepper, and a few drops of Red Boat fish sauce

I also whipped up a crab and asparagus frittata with green garlic…

…by following the same basic steps in my Easy Paleo Frittata recipe.

Lastly, I stir-fried some broccoli slaw, cremini mushrooms, asparagus, and green garlic (seasoned with coconut aminos, Red Boat fish sauce, and chicken broth).

Here’s my dinner plate:

Andrea’s marinade is pretty tasty but I’m waiting for my big sis to give me her go-to grilling marinade recipe. It’s green, fish sauce-based, and super tasty. When she does, I promise I’ll share.

After dinner, I only had a few minutes to spare for exercise so I did the same number of burpees as my age. Yep, I did 25 burpees before going to work.

Only two more nights to sludge through before I’m off!

Paleo Eats: 4/26/11

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More Paleo-friendly eats coming right up…

My first meal at work was yummy leftovers from Easter dinner: pork and rabbit sausage, saddle loin roast, slow-cooked cavolo nero, and roasted curried cauliflower

I also ate a small container of coconut flakes.

The last thing I ate at work was some emergency protein (ground pork, ground beef, broccoli slaw, and Turkish seasoning) and garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

When I got home, I accompanied Big-O to school and volunteered at library day. I went home, ate some coconut butter, and crashed.

I woke up at 5:00 p.m.and nuked some leftover slow cooker pork pot roast

roasted broccoli and bacon

…sauteed shiitake and trumpet mushrooms with bacon…

…and baked a frittata with emergency protein and diced cherry tomatoes in my toaster oven.

Another Paleo Vegas buffet dinner:

After dinner, I practiced some deadlifts and did the WOD I missed today at CrossFit Palo Alto. Then, I ate ½ a baked yam, roast beef deli slices, and went to work.

Yay! It’s finally my last night of work!

Paleo Eats: 4/4/11

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Today, I cooked all my meals. Did you doubt that I’d follow through with my promise? Shame on you!

As soon as I woke up, I dumped some veggies and grass fed beef shanks in the slow cooker so we’d have something to eat tomorrow night after Big-O’s late T-ball practice.

This time, I did a mash-up of the slow-cooker pork pot roast and slow-cooker grass fed beef shank and cabbage stew recipes. I’ll post a recipe tomorrow.

For breakfast, I made myself a mushroom frittata with Sunny Paris seasoning, Fines Herbes seasoning, and a dollop of coconut cream.

I ate it with some leftover sautéed heirloom Italian broccoli.

For lunch, I cooked up a plate of  garbage stir-fry with sliced chicken breast, green garlic, mushrooms, shredded carrots, spinach, and Turkish seasoning. I chopped up some cold baked yams from the fridge and lunch was set.

While the kids reenacted Plants vs. Zombies in our family room, I prepped and trimmed some Brussels Sprouts (that I’d roast off at dinnertime)…

…and charred three large  bell peppers on our gas range.

I also, filled and set the SousVide Supreme to 135 F so it’d be ready to reheat some pork chops for dinner.

At 5:00 p.m., I started preparing dinner. I dunked the pre-cooked chops into the water oven (they reheat in about 30 minutes), roasted Brussels sprouts tossed with melted ghee, Fines Herbes seasoning, salt, and pepper…

…and broiled asparagus spears.

I squeezed some fresh lemon juice on both vegetable dishes.

Then, I took out my kitchen torch and browned the pork chops.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I removed the beef shank and cabbage stew out of the slow cooker and transferred it into two storage containers. 

Hopefully, with all the cooking I did today, my meals tomorrow will be covered.

Paleo Eats: 3/21/11

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There’s no better way to start the day than with a frittata. The one I cooked this morning contained 3 pastured eggs, sautéed mushrooms, nuked frozen spinach, leftover broiled asparagus, Sunny Paris seasoning, and a splash of organic heavy cream.

After breakfast, I seasoned and vacuum-sealed two rib steaks from Full of Life Farm that I was going to sous vide for 6-8 hours in the afternoon.

After running errands with Little-O, we came home and I heated up the SousVide Supreme to 125 F and dunked in a frozen Wild King Salmon fillet that I’d seasoned and vacuum-sealed a couple weeks ago.

We picked up Big-O from school and returned home for lunch. I took my fish out of the water oven (45 minutes of cooking time)…

…and I served it with some leftover winter squash puree, roasted turnips, and roasted red bell peppers.

Did you notice how I covered up the dent in the salmon left by the frozen olive oil with a lemon slice? I’m one seasoned food stylist.

After lunch, I increased the temperature of the SousVide Supreme to 130 F and dropped in the rib steaks. Then, I took Big-O to his yearly check-up only to find out that he had a raging double ear infection AND sinusitis. Bad, unobservant mommy.

When we got home, I snacked on leftover sous vide flank steakroasted red bell peppers

…and a ton of coconut flakes.

At dinnertime, I stir-fried a big batch of  lancinato kale with bacon, roasted a delicata squash in the toaster oven, and set the sous vided rib steaks on fire with my kitchen torch.

I also burned a pot dry that contained steamed cauliflower. You win some, you lose some.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Paleo Eats: 3/14/11

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Only three more nights of work! Here’s what I ate to fuel me through my shift:

For my first meal at work, I ate some nuked frozen broccoli and mini frittata muffins.

Yep, these are same the ones I baked in my new silicone baking cups.

At snack time, I ate some strawberries and coconut milk.

After reading hubby’s post on eating carbs, I was reminded that eating some fruit actually means eating a little fruit once in a while instead of just thinking about it.

I wasn’t able to eat my last meal that I packed for work because it got too busy at the end of the shift. When I got home, I just whipped up a frittata and scarfed it down.

After I ate my last meal of the day, I seasoned and vacuum-sealed a pasture-raised pork loin roast and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 137 F. I asked my mom (who was watching the kids while I slept) to pop the pork packet into the water oven at 12:00 p.m. and I’d take it out when I rolled out of bed 5:00 p.m.

When I woke up, I roasted some kabocha squash that I tossed with melted ghee, Fines Herbes seasoning, salt, and pepper…

…stir-fried some broccoli rabe in butter with some shallots…

…and stir-fried savoy cabbage with shallots in butter.

I added a touch of acid to all three veggie sides: balsamic vinegar to the squash, lemon juice to the broccoli rabe, and Banyuls vinegar to the cabbage.

I removed the pork roast from the SousVide Supreme, dried it off, and used my kitchen torch to char the outside.

Here’s my dinner plate:

We put the boys to sleep and then I got my crap ready for work. Two more nights to go!

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.

Curried Beef, Broccoli Slaw, & Mushroom Frittata Muffins

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It’s no secret that I love frittatas. They’re even better in mini form ‘cause you can serve them as finger food at a party or store them in the fridge for a quick snack or breakfast on the go. I threw this recipe together this morning for the inaugural CrossFit Palo Alto Whole9 Nutrition Guide Orientation. Luckily, they turned out okay or I would’ve had egg on my face. (Ha!)

Mini frittata muffins can be made with whatever you have lying around, just like regular sized frittatas. Just fill up the muffin tins with filling and you can estimate the amount of eggs you need to make the batter with this ratio: for every two muffins, you need one egg in the batter (e.g. 12 muffins = 6 eggs). If you don’t want your mini frittatas to be too moist (i.e. soggy), add a few tablespoons of coconut flour. (For 15 muffins, I’ll put in 3 level tablespoons of coconut flour).

Here’s what I assembled to make 36 muffins:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag of broccoli slaw from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 pound of grass fed ground beef
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of curry powder 
  • coconut oil spray
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 20 large eggs
  • 5-6 tablespoons of coconut flour (optional, see note above)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated the oven to 375 F and I started chopping and slicing my veggies.

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I heated up the coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the pan was hot, I threw in the onions with some salt and pepper and sauteed them until they were soft and translucent.

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Next, I added the mushrooms (with some more S&P) and cooked them until the liquid had evaporated.

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I tossed in the ground beef and cooked it until it was no longer pink. I seasoned the meat mixture with the curry powder and added more salt and pepper to taste. Then, I added the bag of broccoli slaw…

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…and stirred that around until the slaw was softened.

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In the meantime, I had my two boys help me put cupcake liners in my cupcake tins.

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Once the liners were in the tins, I sprayed them with coconut oil spray. If you coat the liners with oil, the muffins won’t stick as much to the paper. (Or you can skip this part and use silicone baking cups.)

Next, I divided the filling into each muffin liner.

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I cracked the eggs into a large bowl and whisked in the coconut milk and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper.

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I know this might sound gross, but I tasted the raw egg mixture to make sure there was enough seasoning. Yes, CrossFit Palo Alto members, I risked salmonella poisoning for you guys.

I ladled the egg mixture into the muffin tins, making sure the liquid only reached 3/4 of the way to the top. The muffins puff up during cooking so you don’t want to fill them to the brim.

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I popped the trays into the oven for 15 minutes and then I rotated the trays and baked them for 6 additional minutes. You know the muffins are done when they rise up to the top and they are springy to the touch when you pat the surface. I let the muffins sit in the pan for a few minutes and then I cooled them on a wire rack.

These muffins can be served warm, room temperature, or cold right out of the fridge. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but frittatas really are awesome.

[UPDATED: I’ve since made these frittatas using silicone baking cups, and it’s a GAME-CHANGER — I’m not going back to paper cupcake liners!]

Paleo Eats: 2/17/11

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I slept like a log last night so I felt ready to tackle the day as a full time mommy when I woke up. For breakfast, I made myself a frittata with three eggs, nuked frozen broccoli, diced shallots, prosciutto, a dollop of cream-top yogurt, and Fines Herbes seasoning.

After spending an hour jumping on a trampoline with Lil-O at his gym class, we went to Costco and stocked up on essentials. Since the Mountain View Costco is across the street from an In-N-Out burger, the kids and I made a pitstop here for lunch. I ordered a protein-style triple meat burger — hold the spread — with mustard and a whole-grilled onion slice.

Can you believe this baby only cost me $3.80?

We returned home and I put Lil-O down for his afternoon nap. While the little guy slept, Big-O helped me make dinner. I’m always amazed at how enthusiastic he is about helping out in the kitchen. I love that about him.

With Big-O as my sous chef, we made a big pot of curried cream of broccoli soup

braised cabbage

…and sous vide rack of lamb seasoned with Sunny Paris, salt, and pepper.

While I was prepping this food, I was gobbling up macadamia nuts and coconut flakes with abandon. I gotta stop this habit.

I didn’t have to much to do to get dinner on the table — just about everything was already finished. As a result, I had the luxury of watching an episode of Scooby-Doo with the kids before making an additional side of lancinato kale sautéed with bacon and shallots

…and searing off the rack of lamb in some lard.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I also had a bowl of curried cream of broccoli soup (it’s dairy-free!) and a 1/2 cup serving of coconut milk for dessert. Not a bad way to end the day!

Paleo Eats: 2/12/11

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Are you ready to read about another day of eats? No? Tough doodies.

Shortly after the witching hour, I munched on a hard-boiled egg and a can of hard smoked chinook salmon.

Yes, the salmon had some sugar in it but I’m not sweating it ‘cause I ain’t on the Whole30 right now.

A couple hours later, I ate the contents of my lunch box which was filled with sous vide chicken breast, nuked green beans, and roasted red bell peppers.

At around 4:00 a.m., I snacked on a small handful of macadamia nuts, a couple tablespoons of coconut butter, and a little square from a Valrhona Extra Amer 85% cocoa bar. I haven’t had chocolate in two weeks and that little block of dark chocolate tasted REALLY good. I’m happy I’ve instituted my rule of only eating dark chocolate on “S” days or I’d be chomping on chocolate EVERY day.

After this fatty snack, I wasn’t hungry for a few hours so I didn’t eat anything else at work. On my way home from work, I picked up my weekly vegetable CSA box.

I was really excited to see the large celery root, pair of mini cabbages, and lancinato kale in this week’s haul.

Once I was at home, I realized my stomach was grumbling so I whipped up a frittata with three eggs, minced prosciutto, diced roasted asparagus and bell peppers, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and Sunny Paris seasoning.

After I scarfed it down, I went to bed.

When I woke up in the evening, hubby and I were able to catch a quick dinner out sans kids since they were dining with my parents. The old Nom Nom Paleo would’ve insisted we hit up Station 1 restaurant in Woodside but the new improved me wanted to go to a place that served mostly meat and no tempting desserts. (Alright, I’ll admit that the real reason we didn’t go to Station 1 was that we had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting a table without a reservation on the Saturday before V-Day. Especially after Michael Bauer’s glowing review in last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle.)

Instead, we opted to eat at Paradise Kabab in Redwood City — a casual family-run Persian restaurant that serves up tasty grilled meats. We’ve ordered take-out from here before but tonight was the first time we’ve dined in. We ordered three platters to share and told them to hold the rice. 

We chowed down on the Koobideh double which came with ground beef and ground lamb kababs…

…the Soltani combo which came with a skewer of Barg (marinated filet mignon) and chicken Koobideh…

…and the Shandiz combo which came with a skewer of Chanjeh (marinated lamb chunks) and Joojeh (marinated chicken thigh).

We also ordered small portions of Maast Mouseer (homemade yogurt with grated shallots) and Maasto Khair (homemade yogurt with dried mint and diced cucumbers) to slather on our charred meat.

Everything was yummy and served up with a smile. We also had plenty of leftovers so I packed some meaty goodness for work. Yippee!

This is a great place for lacto-Paleo eaters because you can order the kababs accompanied with a fresh crisp salad that you can drizzle with the house dressing at the table (lemon juice and olive oil). The owners are really nice and welcoming but they were very concerned that we didn’t drink the complimentary soup (which had rice and lentils) or eat any rice and lavosh. They even sent their teenage son over with an extra plate of basmati rice but we just smiled sheepishly and turned him away. I know they think we’re just a couple of walking heart attacks. Oh well.