Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 10/11/12

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As you may have noticed, I haven’t documented my daily eats in a couple of days ‘cause I’ve been trying to squeeze in more sleep. It’s a tough proposition; with my crazy work schedule, parenting duties, late-night blogging sessions, and an unhealthy obsession with TMZ, it hasn’t been easy getting enough shut-eye. Still, with just a little bit of effort and discipline, I’ve made some gains. On my Flip Night, I enjoyed a deep, uninterrupted, nine-hour snooze. It was so super-restorative that even before the sun was up, I bounced out of bed Thursday morning to intercept Big-O as he sleepily wandered down the hallway towards the bathroom.

As I strolled into the kitchen, it dawned on me that I still had a pork chop floating in the SousVide Supreme that I forgot to ice and put away the night before. How serendipitous: Pork chops for breakfast!

In less time than it takes for a Pop Tart to warm up in the toaster, I seared the chop in coconut oil…

…sliced it up…

…and plated it with a dollop of applesauce for the boys’ breakfast. Pork chops and appleshosh — isn’t that swhell?

And because the water oven was already on, I threw in a harissa-rubbed lambchetta that came in my 4505 Meats CSA bag.

I’ll fish it out and finish it off in 24 hours.

While I packed Big-O’s LunchBots

I made myself a simple breakfast of sunny-side-up eggs fried in butter…

…a few slices of deli roast beef, and cold leftover roasted broccoli.

After dropping Big-O at school, Lil-O and I headed to Happy Hollow where we spent the morning riding the pint-sized roller coaster and scrambling up and down the massive play structure. The fun comes with a twinge of sadness, though; soon, my youngest will be in kindergarten, and our morning jaunts will be relegated to weekends.

We didn’t get home ‘til mid-afternoon, and we were hungry. I threw together a quick Tuna and Avocado Wrap for myself (while Lil-O feasted on his favorite meal of all time: scrambled eggs and strawberries).

My emergency meal today reminded me that I need to heed Mel’s advice and have homemade mayo ready in the fridge. That way, tuna salad is only a popped can of tuna away.

In the evening, I pulled up my copy of George Bryant and Abel James's new e-book, Caveman Feast, and mixed up a batch of Apple Dijon Burgers. You know a recipe’s going to be a winner when the ingredients in the mixing bowl look good enough to eat as-is.

I formed the mixture into little sliders…

…and fried them up in bacon drippings. I topped the burger bites with sautéed mushrooms and onions — plus a few slices of crisp bacon. To accompany the sliders, I roasted a tray of broccoli, too.

I’m a big fan of dishes that combine savory, sweet, and tang, and these burgers definitely fit the bill.

This recipe, like all of George’s tasty dishes, is simple, straightforward, and packed with flavor — perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

An even bigger endorsement came from the Double-O’s, who polished off their plates in record time. I had to remind them that dinner’s not a race.

Toodles, poodles.

Paleo Eats: 9/18/12

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Fried eggs and bacon go together like Howard and Robin in the morning.

I wish I could enjoy all four of them together, but little ears are in the kitchen. Also, my head would explode from the sensory overload.

After I chaperoned Big-O to school and heard all the sniffling in his classroom, I rushed home to start a big pot of pressure cooker bone broth on the stove. I crammed my “Bubba" with cross shanks, oxtails, bones, half an onion, carrots, and dried shiitake mushrooms.

Per my standard operating procedure, I seasoned the broth with Red Boat Fish Sauce.

If you’ve never tried fish sauce before, don’t worry — it doesn’t make your broth taste fishy at all. It just imparts the stock with extra umami.

As a mid-morning snack, I dug into a bowl of Straus organic full-fat plain Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries. 

Yes, I know dairy is a controversial topic in the Paleosphere. If you want to delve deeper, check out my husband’s post or Chris Kresser’s. The bottom line for us? We’ve found that we tolerate full-fat, pastured dairy just fine, so we have no problem enjoying it on occasion.

By noon, Lil-O and I were itching to get out of the house. I proposed picnicking at the park, and he enthusiastically agreed. Before heading out to synthesize some vitamin D, I made sure we were well-provisioned. My four-year-old carried a LunchBots Quad filled with scrambled eggs, mini chicken apple sausages, grapes, and a homemade sweet potato bar from yesterday’s batch

…while I packed a medium LunchBots Clicks with leftover flap steak, sautéed cabbage, roasted broccoli, and fresh cherry tomatoes.

To work up an appetite, we spent an hour scrambling around the play structure pretending to be pirates. Sadly, we had to retreat to the car to eat lunch ‘cause we were beset by a persistent pair of dive-bombing yellowjacket wasps. Damn you, dirty bugs.

The remainder of the afternoon flew by: I helped Big-O with his homework, judged a living room version of America’s Got Talent featuring lip-syncing and dancing by the Double-Os, and shuttled the boys to the wushu studio.

By the time we got home, it was getting late — and I hadn’t given any thought to dinner. But once a quick inventory of the fridge revealed a couple of eggplants and a package of bulk Italian sausage, I knew just what to do.

I cut up the eggplants, brushed the sides with coconut oil, and seasoned them with Magic Mushroom Powder. (Sorry, gang — for now, the recipe for my spice blend is exclusive to my iPad® cookbook app!)

I stuck the tray under the broiler for a few minutes to brown both sides…

…and I drizzled the soft, spongy rounds with balsamic vinegar and a basil chiffonade. (Check out my roasted eggplant recipe here.)

For the main dish, I fried up some semi-homemade Italian sausage meatballs — emphasis on the “semi.” I just rolled the bulk sausage into little balls…

…and tossed the browned meat orbs in a pot of simmering Rao’s Marinara Sauce.

Eat your heart out, Sandra Lee.

Dagnabbit. Is my week off already over? Is it time to start another seven consecutive nights of graveyard shifts? Fine. Cue the spooky music and let the zombie apocalypse commence.

Paleo Eats: 9/17/12

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The best way to beat the Monday blahs is with bacon.

Am I right or am I right?

To kick off the week for my whole family, I baked bacon on my griddle in the toaster oven, scrambled eggs, and fried tomatoes in bacon drippings.

I love raw tomatoes, but you amplify the umami if you sear ‘em in bacon grease — and I’m all about simple ways to boost flavor.

While Henry took the boys to school, I had a few minutes to spare, so I puréed a few baked yams that I’d stored in the fridge.

Then, I zoomed off to CrossFit Palo Alto for the women’s class. Although I had committed to attending two times a week — even if it meant working out after a night shift — it’d actually been ten days since I last got my WOD on. Argh. I promise to do better next week.

When I returned from class, I whipped up some batter to make Ashley Tudor’s sweet potato bars (her recipe is available in Sweet Potato Power)…

…and popped the baking dish into the oven.

While the bars were baking, I used my spice grinder to blitz a batch of Magic Mushroom Powder (recipe available in the Spice It Up premium pack for my iPad app).

Mushroom cloud!

And, yes, I’m not just the developer of the Nom Nom Paleo iPad app, I’m also a client.

(It saddens me that the majority of my readers are waaaay too young to catch my Sy Sperling reference. I’m such an old lady.)

Lunch was an afterthought. I ended up just pulling some leftovers out of the fridge. At first, I tried to make it nice and photogenic…

…but then just ended up piling random items onto the plate. Here’s a picture of the true smorgasbord I ate. You might spot a couple of sliders, sautéed red cabbage, homemade pineapple salsa, and tomatoes in the mix.

After lunch, I took the dish of sweet potato bars out of the oven and placed it on a rack to cool.

Rather than standing there and twiddling my thumbs, I decided to make a second batch of Magic Mushroom Powder, but this time, with dried shiitake mushrooms, dried ginger, onion, and garlic. Variety is the spice of life, right?

It’d been a while since I made Magic Mushroom Powder and I’d forgotten how simple and quick it is. 

Once I was done cleaning up mushroom dust on the kitchen counter, I picked up the Double-Os at school. Both of them were excited to snack on the sweet potato bars; it’s their favorite grain-free treat.

We spent the rest of the afternoon gawking at the plastic-looking “spooky” animatronics at our neighborhood Spirit Halloween Store (again). I understand their fascination with Weird Al and Psy, but their obsession with this store baffles me.

When we returned home from visiting the werewolves, zombies, and skeletons, it was time to make dinner. The pound of Siren SirenSA sand dabs in my fridge looked like they could use some of my newly-concocted shiitake spice powder.

And just like that, they were ready for the skillet (and some hot coconut oil).

The Double-Os don’t like bony fish (and I didn’t have enough for them anyway), so for the boys, I seasoned flap steaks with regular Magic Mushroom Powder…

…and gave them a quick turn in a coconut oil coated skillet, too.

The kids split a small steak, and I stuck the rest in the fridge. Emergency protein, at the ready.

To accompany the fish and steak, I roasted a tray of broccoli seasoned with Magic Mushroom Powder and finished it with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

Dinner!

In the immortal words of Eric the Actor: Goodbye…for now.

Paleo Eats: 9/14/12

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We all woke up late and I was whirling around the kitchen, Tasmanian-devil-style, fixing breakfast and lunches for the Double-Os. For the boys’ first meal of the day, I made omelets filled with leftover sautéed mushrooms using my new cast iron griddle. (I first encountered one of these when I almost set Diana’s Colonial-era farmhouse on fire, and have wanted one ever since.)

As expected, Big-O wolfed down his omelet while my younger son turned up his nose and picked around the filling. If I hadn’t witnessed Lil-O being yanked out of me, I wouldn’t believe he’s my son.

Once the dust had settled and the boys were safely deposited at school, I was finally able to make myself a simple plate of scrambled eggs and fresh heirloom tomatoes. 

Later in the morning, I drove up to San Francisco to meet Henry and a friend at Il Cane Rosso in the Ferry Building — the city’s ultimate high-end food court — for lunch. I love that Il Cane Rosso offers simple preparations of pastured meats and organic vegetables — and I love being able to sit and eat while people-watching. It’s fun spying out-of-towners geeking out (and/or scratching their heads) at the orgy of gourmet food surrounding them.

Most dishes at Il Cane Rosso are less than Paleo, but you can ask ‘em to hold the bread on the sandwiches and the server will happily oblige.

I ordered the Dirty Girl Farm Romaine BLT salad and added roast chicken and avocado to up the protein and fat quotient. (A little bacon can go a long way, but it’s not enough to satisfy this hungry girl.)

Henry got the special of the day: Marin Sun Farms beef stew with herb salad.

The special was supposed to come with a hunk of garlic bread, but he asked to sub it out for Il Cane Rosso’s sweet ‘n sour housemade pickles.

Once lunch was over, we zoomed through the Ferry Building on a mission to buy a big pork shoulder roast for Slow Cooker Kalua Pig. I struck out at Prather Ranch (d’oh!) and ended purchasing it from the friendly butchers at Golden Gate Meats.

If I’d had my way, I would’ve spent all afternoon meandering through the different specialty shops, but I had to pick up the Double-Os from school. It’s true — children ruin everything. (If I have to tell you I’m kidding, you must be new here. Welcome, and please be sure to try my recipe for Virgin Boy Eggs.)

By the time the sun started drooping from its perch in the sky, I, too, was slumping over with exhaustion. I would’ve marched everyone out to a restaurant if my aversion of Friday night crowds didn’t override my laziness.

What’s a tired mommy to do?

EMERGENCY PROTEIN, baby — in the form of sliders and veggies sautéed in the burger drippings.

I grabbed two pounds of ground beef from the defrost bowl in my fridge…

…seasoned the meat with Penzeys Greek Seasoning and kosher salt…

…formed them into patties…

…and fried them in melted coconut oil.

Two pounds of meat yield more sliders than we can eat in a meal, but this way, I’ll have lots of extra emergency protein available in the fridge. Besides, if I’m gonna get my skillet dirty, I’m gonna make it worth my while.

While the burgers were cooking on the stove, I sliced up half an onion…

…and chopped up a small purple cabbage.

I always sharpen my knife with my cheap-o (but effective) Accu-Sharp so I can slice and dice like a nimble kitchen ninja. Remember: your veggies will cook faster if they’re smaller. I’m all about the shortcuts.

Once the burgers were crunchy on the outside and pink on the inside…

…I transferred them to a platter…

…and dumped in the onions…

… and cabbage (with a dash of apple cider vinegar).

Here’s my dinner plate:

Later, skater.

Paleo Eats: 9/8/12

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Whenever I’m in zombie mode, my survival kit always contains three critical items: coffee, dark chocolate, and a box of leftovers. I’m too risk-averse to gamble on hospital vending machine grub.

For my mid-shift meal, I reheated some braised beef shanks and Asian cauliflower fried rice.

After zooming home post my 10-hour shift, Big-O was the first person to greet me with a cheery smile. 

We’re both morning people (despite my crazy work schedule), and our wide-eyed perkiness baffles and annoys my husband and Lil-O — both of whom have to be dragged out of bed, squinting and blinking and cringing at the sunlight. Unfortunately, Big-O also shares my genetic predisposition towards messiness; his toy bins are exploding in a haphazard jumble — just like my kitchen drawers.

My idea of organization (if you can call it that) is “toss it in there and I’ll look for it later.” Shameful, I know. 

Sure, I could’ve spent a few hours putting my things away neatly, but my pillow beckoned.

Zzzzz.

I managed to pass out for a solid seven hours during the day before popping up to make dinner. I’d been craving spicy tuna cakes ever since I received sample packets of cooked tuna in coconut oil from my friends at Itsumo Ahi Jerky.

It’s been ages since I made a batch, so I wrestled an iPad away from one of the kids (“HEY! MOM! I’M USING THAT!”) to review the recipe in my cookbook app.

Straight out of the packet, the tuna was incredible. I had to stop myself from eating the whole pouch. 

With coconut oil already mixed in with the cooked fish, I decided to omit the ghee from the original recipe. Instead, I added a smidge of coconut flour to absorb the extra moisture.

After swiping through all the steps of the cooking process to jog my memory, I grabbed a few green onion stalks and minced them up…

…coated a muffin tin with ghee..

…and tossed the ingredients in a bowl.

I squished everything together with my hands…

…scooped the mixture into the muffin pan…

…flattened the cakes a bit…

…and popped them in the oven.

While the tuna cakes baked in the oven, I stir-fried baby kale with homemade bone broth, minced garlic, and Red Boat Fish Sauce.

This simple dinner was ready in about 30 minutes.

I even had time to make a fancy dessert. I call it “Slices of Watermelon.” You’ll never guess how I made it.

Out of curiosity, what’s your go-to quickie work night meal?

Paleo Eats: 9/6/12

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Armed with a steaming mug of java and an insulated cooler stuffed with leftovers, I was ready to sling drugs all night long. Hunkered in the hospital pharmacy, I snacked on two hard-boiled eggs and a big square of dark chocolate, and at three in the morning, I popped open my box of leftover sous vide wild king salmon and sauerkraut. Lunchtime!

In the blink of an eye, the sun shot up over the horizon — the signal it was time to vamoose. Upon arriving home, my hubs reported that when Lil-O had been searching for me all over the house. After having me around for five weeks, I guess my little guy had forgotten that I actually work. And frankly, it’d kind of slipped my mind, too.

Still, I knew that my return to work meant I’d have limited time to prep dinner in the evening. So even though I wanted nothing more than to fall face-first into my pillow, I quickly threw together the marinade for Damn Fine Chicken — albeit a shortcut version using Penzeys Spices’ Sunny Paris Seasoning instead of fresh onions and herbs.

Next, I trimmed away the extra flaps of skin from some fresh chicken thighs with a pair of kitchen shears

…smooshed the chicken into the marinade…

…and stored the poultry parts in the fridge.

The rest of the morning was a haze. I’m pretty sure I shuttled Big-O to school and accompanied the little guy to gymnastics class before I collapsed into bed.

In the late afternoon, I crawled out of my blanket cave and was rewarded for my efforts with a couple of cool gifts on my doorstep. The fine folks at USA Pears (hi Cristie and Brittany!) sent me a box of Star Crimson pears…

…and Daren of Itsumo Ahi Tuna Jerky sent me a couple of samples of their new cooked tuna pouches packed in coconut oil.

Despite the overwhelming temptation to tear into both packages, I knew I had to get our supper on the table.

Sigh.

First, I arranged the marinated chicken on a wire-rack-topped tray and shoved it in the oven.

Then, I chopped up some assorted alliums….

…and trimmed a head of cauliflower for a new pressure cooker variation on my mashed faux-tatoes recipe.

I sautéed the onions and garlic in butter before adding the florets, a splash of homemade bone broth, salt, and pepper.

Once the pot got up to high pressure, the cauliflower softened in just 7 minutes. Speedy!

Meanwhile, I flipped the chicken…

…and stir-fried a pan of chard leaves and beet greens with some minced garlic.

As soon as the chicken was finished roasting…

…I pulled out my stick blender

…and puréed the cauliflower mash with a big pat of grass fed butter.

This was one of the rare dinners that got a rave review from Lil-O. "I LOVE CHICKEN! I LOVE CHICKEN!" he chanted with his mouth full.

By the way, did you hear that Melissa Joulwan, Holly Woodcock, and I are combining forces for a special Paleo seminar in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado at the end of the month? Tickets are $50 each ($80 for two). And for an additional ten bucks, the chef at the YMCA of the Rockies will offer you a buffet of recipes from Mel’s insanely terrific cookbook, Well Fed, including Chocolate Chili, Cinnamon Beef Stew, Rogan Josh, Shepherd’s Pie, The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat, raw veggies with Moroccan Dippin Sauce, and fresh berries for dessert. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy Mel’s cooking, and believe me: Her recipes are mind-bogglingly good.

I’ll be doing a presentation (and some cooking!) at the event, and l may even bring with me some super-rare, sold-out Nom Nom Paleo socks from my secret stash. Details and registration information are over here.

Who’s coming to hang out with us?

Paleo Eats: 9/4/12

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After hustling Big-O off to school, I sat down to a simple breakfast of hard-boiled eggs dusted with Volcano Grind and leftover collards and carrots. Emergency protein and leftovers — there’s no better start to the day.

Throughout the morning, a parade of repairmen filed through our house to fix various busted appliances. The timing was perfect: with just one day left before the start of my workweek, everything that needed tweaking got tweaked. Ain’t nobody gonna disturb my beauty sleep this week.

I wasn’t in the mood to make anything fancy for lunch, so I just ate a pile of roast beef and chased it down with some sauerkraut. 

After we picked up Big-O from school, the kids and I drove down to the local Spirit Halloween store. Yes, October 31 is still two months away, but thanks to my kids’ year-round obsession with the gory animatronics on display in these pop-up stores, they’ve already been pestering us for weeks to take them shopping for ghoulish gear. I refused to bring home any zombie baby props, but agreed to purchase a couple of costumes before the seasonal inventory gets depleted.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that their outfits don’t get completely thrashed before the end of next month. If that happens, we’ll just have to pencil some facial hair on Lil-O so he can go trick-or-treating as Tony Stark on Skid Row.

When we returned home in the evening, I divided the fresh wild King salmon filet that I picked up from Siren SeaSA into three portions…

…seasoned them simply with salt and pepper…

…pouched ‘em…

…and dunked them in the SousVide Supreme.

Because I’m a wannabe overachiever (hey, I have a High Expectations Asian Father, you guys), I even started preparing tomorrow night’s dinner while I waited for the salmon to finish cooking. I seasoned three meaty beef shanks with salt and pepper…

…and seared them in coconut oil.

Next, I sautéed sliced onions, tomato paste, and garlic cloves in my pressure cooker…

…before returning the shanks to the pot…

…and adding Rao’s marinara sauce, homemade bone broth, and fresh tomatoes.

I brought everything to high pressure in the pressure cooker and cooked the stew for 45 minutes. Once tomorrow’s supper was ready and in the fridge, I turned my attention back to the salmon.

After fishing the salmon pouches out of the water bath, I dunked one of them in ice water and refrigerated it for a future meal this week…

…and flaked apart the other two filets with my fingers.

Our dinner: Fend-For-Yourself Salmon Hand-Rolls.

I sliced a red bell pepper…

…julienned carrots with my favorite peeler

…and mashed up an avocado.

We took turns rolling our preferred fillings in half-sheets of nori…

…before stuffing the rolls in our faces.

Aren’t the best dinners the ones other people make for themselves?

Paleo Eats: 9/3/12

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My extended vacation’s ending on Wednesday night, so I need to get back into the swing of everything — including photographing and documenting what I’ve been cooking and eating. 

I knew I was in for a long chipper at CrossFit Palo Alto's 9 a.m. women's class. Now that I'm attending regularly (rather than dropping in sporadically), I make a point to pester my husband after his 5 a.m. class ‘til he divulges the day’s workout out of exasperation. The kids are now programmed to harass him, too: “Daddy! What’s the WOD today? Tell mommy so she’ll make us some breakfast! We’re staaaaarving!”

Sometimes you just have to play dirty.

Before I left the house, I ate a couple of fried eggs and leftover oven roasted tomatoes.

My vegetable CSA box has been overflowing with tomatoes lately, and the best way to keep up with the onslaught is to roast a big tray of juicy tomatoes whenever we’re just hanging out at home. These beauties can be thrown into just about any dish to level up the umami.

My post-workout meal consisted of a few bites of leftover steak and a few roasted beets. Then, as a special Labor Day treat, I grabbed my dogeared copy of Eat Like A Dinosaur and proceeded to bake a batch of Paleo Parents' Anytime Cookies for the family. (For their recipe, you'll have to get Matt and Stacy’s book!)

I love that these cookies are sweetened with just puréed apples and bananas.

Combined with a few other ingredients like almond butter…

…vanilla extract…

…and almond flour, a dough was ready in no time.

I tossed in some dried Bing cherries ‘cause almonds and cherries go together like Al and Peg Bundy.

The smell of cookies baking in the oven isn’t something we experience often at our house. The Double-Os were eager for a taste, and had their noses pressed up against the oven window the whole time.

Let’s just say we ate way too many of these cookies.

At lunchtime, I seasoned a pound of ground beef with Penzeys Greek Seasoning

…and fried up some burgers in my cast iron skillet.

While the burgers cooked, I made a pot of pressure cooker kale and carrots, and sliced up some cherry tomatoes.

Lunch was ready in just 15 minutes.

Before heading out for the afternoon, I decided to get more mileage out of my food processor before putting it away. I roasted a tray of yams and puréed them in my Cuisinart

Crazy eyes scare the food processor into working that much faster.

It’s good to have a container of roasted yam purée in the fridge; that way, we always have some quick and tasty glycogen-replenishing starch on hand when we stagger home from the gym.

Plus, you never know when you might want to bake a tray of sweet potato bars from Sweet Potato Power. My kids love those bars, and I’ve been thinking of making some as an after-school treat.

At dinnertime, I seasoned and seared a small brisket in my pressure cooker…

…and added onions, tomato paste…

…bone broth and tomatoes.

I nestled the beef in the liquid and cooked it on high pressure for 45 minutes.

With the brisket on the stove, I roasted a tray of broccoli in the oven.

When the brisket was finished, I quickly released the pressure by running the lid under cold water…

…and tossed in collards and carrots.

After an additional five minutes of cooking under high pressure, the brisket and veggies were tender, and the broccoli was ready for a splash of aged balsamic vinegar.

I ladled up the collards and carrots…

…sliced the brisket, and drizzled on the reserved cooking liquid.

The pressure cooker is quickly becoming one of my favorite kitchen toys.

Ciao for now!

Paleo Eats: 8/22/12 

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The beauty of sleeping in pitch-black bedrooms is that we all sleep very soundly at night. The only problem? We overslept again this morning, leaving ourselves just fifteen minutes to hustle Big-O off to school. (I guess a simple remedy would be to go to bed earlier, but when else am I going to have time to blog except after the kiddos hit the sack?)

Once the boys were watered and fertilized, I made myself a simple French omelet and changed into my workout clothes.

The strength skill this morning at CrossFit Palo Alto was my least favorite Olympic lift: the overhead squat. Whenever the bar’s overhead and I attempt to drop down into a squat, my core gets all loosey-goosey and I find myself unable to achieve full depth. It’s pretty pathetic. Coach Trish told me to swing a heavy kettlebell at home to strengthen my core, so now I’ve got some new homework to do in our garage gym. I’ll add it to the growing pile of skills I need to work on, including push ups, sit ups, pull ups, double unders…the list goes on and on.

Our metcon today was Air Force WOD and my butt was handed to me yet again. As usual, though, I grinned my way through class ‘cause the women’s class is just so much fun.

When I returned home (still sweaty and wobbly), I refueled with a couple of hard boiled eggs and roasted beets. 

I spent the rest of the morning running errands and making sure the fridge is well-stocked for Henry and the kids while I’m out of town. I’m excited about my solo trip to Portlandia, but I’m going to miss my boys so much. Cramming the icebox with meat and veggies made me feel a little less guilty for leaving.

For my mid-day meal, I sautéed chard, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes in butter and ate the veggies with sliced prosciutto. Nothing fancy, but my slapdash meal hit the spot.

Later in the afternoon, I picked up the Double-Os from school and conscripted the older one into helping me make the Best Ever Chicken Wings from Sarah Fragoso’s new cookbook, Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook.

Since I had a bunch of bone-in, skin-on thighs on hand, I subbed them for the wings. Plus, they’re meatier.

The recipe was super easy and the balance of sweet and savory was perfect.

Plus, the skin crisps up beautifully.

As the bird parts roasted in the oven, I made a pot of my favorite Pressure Cooked Kale and Carrots as a fast side dish.

Ta da!

Crap. I still haven’t started packing for my trip. Goodbye for now!

Paleo Eats: 8/21/12 

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Before I recount what I ate, I want to wish my parents a happy anniversary! Those two lovebirds have been together for 43(!) years and they’re still going strong. Love you, mom and dad! Okay — enough mushiness. Back to the eats…

The morning got off to a late start. Big-O’s supposed to be in school by 8:15, but we didn’t roll out of bed until 7:40. Ugh.

After staggering into the kitchen, I quickly packed him a lunch and fried up eggs, bacon, and cherry tomatoes for everyone’s breakfast.

Raw cherry tomatoes are fine, but they taste even better when you toss ‘em in hot bacon grease ‘til the skins become delicate and the insides are juicy and molten.

After my hubby sprinted to school with Big-O, I hung out with my little guy as we waited for his preschool buddy, E, to arrive for a mid-morning playdate. 

As soon as E arrived, the boys took off for the backyard and I was free to break out my advance copy of Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook: Real Food For Real Life.

Like her previous book, Everyday Paleo, this one has lots of helpful tips on how to feed your family when you’re super busy and how to make the most of your family time together.

I swear, I can’t help but be inspired by Sarah — super mom, super fit, and so dedicated to her family.

At lunchtime, I plated baby carrots, strawberries, and mini chicken apple sausages for the little guys. For myself, I reheated leftovers from last Saturday’s dinner party: cabbage rolls stuffed with braised beef shanks and roasted vegetables.

On the day of the party, I had planned on making only chard-wrapped braised beef shank and cauliflower “rice” packets, but I ran out of chard and “rice.” Luckily, I always have a head of cabbage in the fridge, so I was able to bundle up the remaining meat.

Although having quiet time to peruse my cookbooks is a treat in and of itself, I also received a surprise package from TX Bar Organics in the afternoon: Paleo jerky sample packs and lots ‘o grass fed beef. Thanks, guys!

I barely had time to throw it all in the freezer before we had to rush off to Big-O’s wushu class. When we returned home in the evening, it was too late to try out one of Sarah’s recipes. (Besides, I need to stock up on some of the required ingredients for her Brother Mike BBQ Sauce and Best Ever Chicken Wings.)

Instead, I whipped up a batch of Big-O burgers filled with bacon and sautéed mushrooms (the recipe is in my iPad app)…

…and stir-fried zucchini and cherry tomatoes in the fat left in the skillet.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I’ve been so wrapped up in cooking and back-to-school activities that I haven’t had a chance to properly plan out my trip to Portland to attend the International Food Bloggers Conference. Sadly, I won’t have much time to explore the city, but I’m definitely carving out some time to visit the Cultured Caveman Cart and sample the gluten-free goodies at Crave Bake Shop.

My free time in Portland’ll be pretty much nonexistent, but tell me: Are there other places in Portland that I must visit (and would be worth me skipping part of the conference)? Leave me your suggestions in the comments, por favor!