Paleo Eats: 3/1/14

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The kids spent the night at their grandparents’ last night, but we didn’t have the luxury of sleeping in. At the crack of dawn, Henry and I rolled out of bed, made a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs with furikake (I use Urashima All Natural) and homemade sriracha

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and headed out to San Francisco to meet up with Chef Pete Evans at the Ferry Building Farmers Market.

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Pete’s visiting from Down Under, where—as my Aussie readers know—he’s an acclaimed mega-celebrity chef, having launched the hugely popular and award-winning Hugos restaurants before becoming a cookbook author and television heartthrob. For the last few years, Pete’s been a judge on the TV cooking competition show My Kitchen Rules—a ratings monster for Channel Seven. Americans may recognize Pete as the host of his PBS series, Moveable Feast.

Best of all? Pete cooks and eats Paleo.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Pete’s newest book, Healthy Every Day—which makes its debut next month in Australia—is filled with delicious and nutrient-dense real-food dishes. Yes, quinoa makes an appearance here and there, but even the most fanatical orthodox Paleo eaters will heartily agree that the pages of Pete’s cookbook offer brilliant, creative takes on the healthy, nourishing foods we all enjoy.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And let’s face it: his dishes are pure eye candy.

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Pete and I have corresponded via email for months, but we hadn’t met in person until today. In town to shoot footage for his new “Recipes for Life” series, Pete asked me to accompany him on a trip to the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market. Our plan was to pick out some fresh, local ingredients (with a small camera crew in tow), and then head back to our house to film our cook-a-thon for his show.

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

We got to the Ferry Building early to avoid the crush of the Saturday morning crowd. As I chatted with Pete, his producers and camera-wielding geniuses, Rob Tate and Gustavo Monroy, circled and swooped around us…

Paleo Eats: 3/1/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…while I did my best to avoid looking awkward.

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Paleo Eats: 2/5/14

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It feels like it’s been eons since I wrote up my daily eats. (I have no excuses; I’ve just been juggling other stuff and trying to spend more quality time with the kids.) Let’s hope I haven’t gotten too rusty!

My first meal of the day? A couple of over-easy eggs seasoned with furikake and bacon. 

Paleo Eats: 2/5/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know: it often feels like there’s not enough time in the morning to make a proper breakfast. As a full-time working parent, I feel your pain. The convenience of boxed cereal and toaster waffles is undeniably alluring. But it really doesn’t take much effort to throw together a healthier morning meal. And besides: it tastes better!

Paleo Eats: 2/5/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

This morning, as soon as I trudged out of my bedroom and into the kitchen, I popped a tray of bacon into my countertop toaster oven. While the porky slices sizzled unattended, I prepared the kids’ school lunches and fried up plates of over-easy eggs. By the time Henry got home from his morning CrossFit sweat-fest, the eggs were done and the bacon was crisp. I sliced up some fresh fruit, and presto! Breakfast was ready for the entire bed-headed clan.

For those of you demanding to know “WHAT IN THE SAM HILL IS FURIKAKE?” (and too captivated by this oh-so-riveting blog post to tear yourself away to do a Google search), let me explain. Furikake’s an umami-packed traditional Japanese seasoning blend made with dried seaweed and often featuring other ingredients like toasted sesame seeds and dried bonito.

Paleo Eats: 2/5/14 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Paleo Eats: 9/24/13

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Paleo Eats: 9/24/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After working 6 graveyard shifts in a row, cooking was the last thing on my mind when I got home from the hospital yesterday morning. Henry’s still in New York City, so I couldn’t count on him to make dinner. And because I’m not exactly a great meal planner, I had no leftovers to repurpose.

So did I give in to the evil Mini-Me perched on my shoulder, egging me on to throw in the towel and JUST ORDER SOME TAKEOUT ALREADY?

If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you already know that I managed not to cave.  

Paleo Eats: 9/24/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

It helped that my in-laws were here to watch the kids while I was at work. By the time my car screeched into the driveway, they’d already gotten the Double-Os fed, dressed, and packed for school. After accompanying the spawn to their classroom doors, I checked the defrost bowl in my fridge for thawed meat, and found two packs of chicken thighs.  Now, all I needed was a simple way to cook ‘em.

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Paleo Eats: 9/16/13

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When I’m not on zombie drug dealer duty, I stay home to herd the kiddos while Henry’s off being a caveman lawyer in the city. But ironically, my days “off” are much more hectic and harried than when I’m on a week of nightshifts. Perhaps it’s ’cause I’m less vigilant about planning when I’m not scheduled to be at work, but during the weeks I’m not rushing to get to the hospital, I inevitably find myself scrambling to get meals on the table.

For example, after waking up late yesterday morning, I had just 30 minutes to get the kids fed, cleaned, and packed for school. (Confession: the “cleaned” part sometimes gets skipped.) So breakfast had to be a simple affair: I prepared plain egg omelets seasoned with Red Boat Fish Sauce

Paleo Eats: 9/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…in my favorite well-seasoned mini cast iron skillet

Paleo Eats: 9/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and then rolled each one around a slice of Black Forest ham.

Paleo Eats: 9/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

These grab-and-go breakfast bites come in handy when we’re all rushing out the door.

Paleo Eats: 9/16/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I barely had time to run errands in the morning before I headed back to school to pick up Lil-O from kindergarten. “School is tooooo shooooort,” my five-year-old whines. “I want to stay in school forever.”

He’ll change his tune soon enough.

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Paleo Eats: 9/10/13

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Spoiler alert: Here’s a picture of the dinner I made last night. 

Paleo Eats: 9/10/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The only reason I put this image here is because I didn’t want to start this post with a photo of my face. I didn’t want to ruin your morning.

My night shifts this week at the hospital have gone swimmingly. I’ve been practicing what I preach about prioritizing sleep and eating clean in order to survive shift work, so I feel pretty good as my work week comes to a close. See?

Paleo Eats: 9/10/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(Actually, I’m laughing because Lil-O cracked a funny about something totally age-inappropriate and possibly genital-related.)

Also, diligently donning my amber goggles after work, banning electronic devices from my bedroom, and hitting the sack before 11 a.m. meant I managed an average of 7 hours of sleep every day. To be honest, getting enough sleep might be the only reason I’ve had enough energy to cook dinner every night. Want to see what I ate yesterday?

After getting home from the hospital in the morning and getting the boys off to school, I made myself a hot dog.

First, I whipped up some crispy flatbread using Tara Grant's wonderful Magical Multipurpose Paleo Dough

Paleo Eats: 9/10/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and then I topped it with a sausage link, some halved cherry tomatoes, and a mess o’ sauerkraut. 

Paleo Eats: 9/10/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Curl up the sides of the flatbread, and presto

Paleo Eats: 9/10/13 by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

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Paleo Eats: 5/13/13

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I’m a bit obsessive about testing and re-testing my recipes, so before heading out the door this morning, I tried out my recipe for Uova in Purgatorio one more time to see if my latest tweaks pass muster.

Uova in Purgatorio by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Uova in Purgatorio by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Success!

Uova in Purgatorio by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I have a feeling we’re going to be eating these little egg pots for days

Uova in Purgatorio by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

After fueling up, I hopped in my car with Cheryl Sternman Rule to meet up with Irvin Lin in San Francisco so we could chat over coffee about blogging and social media.

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Paleo Eats: 4/27/13

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Hey, look! A new Paleo Eats! Remember when I used to post every single day about what I ate? Things have been more than a little crazy over here (and you’ll find out why soon enough!), so photographing and editing daily posts about my meals has taken a backseat to family time. But yesterday, I whipped out the trusty camera again to capture a few food-related Kodak moments.

We were already behind schedule by the time we woke up. Henry was dashing off with power tools to Lil-O’s co-op preschool for a mandatory maintenance day, while I stayed home to help Big-O with his science project. So for a quick, hearty breakfast, I made everyone fried eggs over leftover Pressure-Cooked Kale & Carrots.

While Lil-O busied himself with his Lego collection, Big-O and I turned our focus to his second-grade science project: Making a poster to show how he made yogurt. (Yeah, I know it’s not Paleo, but for you dairy-abstainers, you should definitely check out this recipe for this Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt.) 

Want to see how we transformed a liquid into a solid with the magic of bacteria?

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Paleo Eats: 3/18/13

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Yay! Henry’s back from Asia, which means he’s back in his usual spot next to me on the couch, editing photos for this blog post as I type it out. With my resident photographer/editor at home recovering from jet lag and making up for lost time with the kiddos…

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… I was finally able to free up some time to tinker in the kitchen again.

My first recipe of the day was actually an old one: I rejiggered a blast from the past, Cinnamon and Coconut Pancakes.

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Paleo Eats: 12/3/12

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Well, hello there!

I’m halfway through my week of graveyard shifts at the hospital, and I’m one tired mother. Doling out pills in the dark of night kept me busy, so I didn’t have a chance to eat much — just a can of Ventresca albacore tuna belly in olive oil, a package of SeaSnax, a steaming-hot Thermos of bone broth, and a few squares of dark chocolate

On my way home from work, I stopped at the post office to send off a mess o’ Nom Nom Paleo socks. I hate to say it, but I’m glad I’ll soon be out of stock. The post office makes me angry.

At home, the lingering smell of the boys’ breakfast made my stomach rumble, so I grabbed a couple of eggs and fried myself a Thai omelet.

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This is a recipe I’ve been tinkering with for months. For today’s version, I whisked in a tablespoon of tapioca flour to see if I could achieve puffier, crispier edges.

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Success!

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For the pièce de résistance, I squeezed on a squiggle of homemade sriracha before eating it up.

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After my belly was full, I checked on the batch of kombucha that’s been a-brewin’ in our continuous brewer. I really shouldn’t have pulled back the lid. Let’s be honest: It looks pretty gnarly in there.

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But hey — what do you expect when you’re cultivating a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast? A week had passed since I plopped the scobys in the sweet tea pool, and it was time for me to check if it had magically transformed into tangy kombucha.

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I took a sip and…it tasted just like kombucha! [Insert celebratory fist pump here.]

My first batch o’ booch was slightly fizzy, pleasingly tart, and had just the right nose. But to be sure, I dipped in a pH testing strip, and confirmed it was indeed beween 2 and 3 — perfect! Hooray!

To toast my success, I poured myself a glass on the rocks and flavored it with dried hibiscus flowers.

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I’m a fan of the no-frills essence of this kombucha, but Big-O and I are planning to experiment with the flavors of a second ferment later this week.

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As I skipped off to bed with a smug grin on my face, I raised my arms in triumph. “I MADE KOMBUCHA! I AM AWESOME!” I shouted.

Lil-O rolled his eyes. “Actually, mommy, you’re not THAT awesome.” 

My four-year-old is an ego-deflation ninja.

In the evening, I dragged myself out of bed to make dinner. I scrounged around in the fridge and found a few Brussels sprouts…

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 …which I broke down into chips…

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…and baked in the toaster oven. (Check out the recipe here.)

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I reheated a smoky ham steak from 4505 Meats in the SousVide Supreme

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…while I worked on a kelp noodle stir fry with bok choy…

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…caramelized onions…

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…shiitake mushrooms…

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…bone broth, and seasoning.

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When the noodles were soft (kelp noodles are gross when they’re crunchy)…

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…I seared off the ham with my trusty blowtorch

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…and sliced it up.

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And, that my friends, was my meal before heading to work for the night.

Now, let’s circle back to the kombucha. I’m dying to hear everyone’s favorite flavorings and combinations. I’ve gotten personal tips from my cousin Daphne and read the posts on Balanced Bites, Kombucha Kamp, Cultures for Health, and Food Renegade. But I’m a greedy booch brewer and want more ideas.

Help a sistah out. If you’ve got booch flavoring tips, leave ‘em in the comments!