Nom Nom Paleo

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!

Pork and Spinach Stuffed Kabocha Squash

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I was inspired to come up with this recipe after reading Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good. Actually, it’s stuffed with lots of Paleo-unfriendly badness (though I would’ve scarfed it down a few months ago). I decided to stuff a Kabocha squash that was taking up real estate on my counter with pork and spinach. Dorie’s recipe takes around 2 hours to complete which is totally unacceptable to me so I nuked the squash first to halve the cooking time. Also, Kabocha is a drier and starchier squash so make sure to add the chicken broth to the filling.

What to assemble:

  • One 2 pound Kabocha squash
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 cups of frozen spinach
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Tabil seasoning
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

Take the top off the squash and scoop out the seeds.

Season the inside of the squash with salt and pepper. Put the squash upside down in a microwaveable container, add a splash of water, cover with a lid, and nuke for 8-10 minutes to soften.

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Then, add minced shallots and sauté until they’re translucent. Throw in the minced garlic and stir it around until it’s fragrant (~30 seconds). Add the ground pork and cook it until it’s no longer pink.

Season the pork to taste with salt and pepper  and add 1 tablespoon of Tabil.  Add 2 cups of frozen spinach (bagged spinach, not the frozen block spinach) straight from the freezer and stir everything until the spinach defrosts.

Remove the squash out of the microwave and place it on a foil lined baking tray. Fill the squash up to the top (I had about 1/3 of the filling left over that I will chow on later this week).

Add the chicken broth to the filling and cover with the top of the squash. Place the stuffed squash in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife.

Fitbomb and I split the squash in half…

…and ate it with some sliced tomatoes and nuked green beans with butter, salt, and pepper.

Tasty and easy – just how I like my dishes!

Day Two of Good Eats At My Sister’s Place

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It’s so nice visiting my sister. I know I’m sounding like a broken record but I feel so damned spoiled here. I just sit on my ass while my brother-in-law entertains my restless kids and my sister cooks me fabulous food.

For lunch, I chose to eat another helping of meatballs and slow-cooked broccoli.

I know this is the third time I’ve eaten them in 24 hours but they’re damn good.

Shortly after lunch, my sister hosted a small get-together at her home and she made a plethora of carb-y goodness (e.g. homemade char siu baos, sausage rolls, and cinnamon rolls). She also made sure to make a Paleo-friendly slow-cooked broccoli, ham, and cheddar frittata and a beautiful salad. Guess what I had two helpings of?

Dinner was something my sister happened to have ready in her freezer: braised short ribs with cavolo nero and carrots. She served it with roasted kabocha squash (my favorite winter squash in the whole wide world) and more yummy salad.

Life is good.