Paleo Eats: 2/4/12

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I’m pooped after a long day of cooking and eating. But it’s a good tired because being with friends that make me laugh until I have a coughing fit is what life’s all about.

Before the rest of the house was awake, I checked on the barbacoa in the slow cooker. It had simmered on high for 4 hours and kept on warm overnight. When I poked it, the brisket was still a little tough. Argh. I added 1.5 hours on high to the cooking time and went back to bed.

When I woke up for reals, the brisket was perfectly tender and I shredded it up and stored it in the fridge to reheat later.

For breakfast, I slurped up a bowl of leftover Welsh Beef Soup and gobbled up a 4505 Meats merguez sausage.

Big-O and I both have a lingering cough and congestion so I brought out the pressure cooker again to make a quick and meaty bone broth filled with carrots, onions, beef shanks, and oxtails.

I spent the rest of the day preparing food for our impromptu dinner party. I’d already decided to make the barbacoa, but it wasn’t until late this morning that I planned out what we’d be serving. After sending my husband to the store to pick up some extra supplies, I roasted bell peppers on the gas range and marinated them in balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil…

…blitzed another batch of Magic Mushroom Powder…

…trimmed and seasoned a mess of Magic Wings…

…and formed some Big-O Slider Burgers.

I sneaked in lunch amidst all the cooking and made a big ass salad with Madras curry-spiced chicken, greens, cukes, apples, and carrots.

As a mid-day snack, I reheated a bowl of beefy pressure cooker bone broth. Soup just tastes so much better filled with tender chunks of beef, don’t you think?

Before our guests arrived, I baked off the wings…

…pan-roasted some Roasted Rosemary Almonds

…reheated the barbacoa

…fried up the Big-O sliders…

…and sauteed baby kale and onions in the burger grease.

We set out butter lettuce leaves, salsa, diced onions & cilantro…

…and homemade guacamole for everyone to assemble their own tacos.

Here’s one of my many plates of dinner:

Afterwards, I enjoyed a sweet and creamy cup of K’s homemade ice cream churned with raw whole milk, cream, and honey.

So good.

Time for some zzzz’s.

Paleo Eats: 9/18/11

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Today we threw a casual lunch party in our backyard with old and new friends.

You’d think I’d take it easy after Fight Gone Bad 6, but I always try to make use of every minute I’ve got off until my nightshifts start again. Hey, I’m all about cramming in as much good grub and guffaws with people I love.

Since I was still tired from the beat-down the morning before, I decided that our main chow would be meat and veggie kabobs from House of Kabobs in Sunnyvale. That way, I’d just have to make some appetizers and salad before the guests arrived and I’d be able to enjoy the festivities when everyone got here.

I didn’t eat an “official” breakfast but I was grazing on everything I was making for the party: a crudite platter with Aubergine and chimichurri dip…

…a salumi platter, bacon and guacamole sammies

…watermelon and mint salad, heirloom tomato and basil salad

…and a fruit salad.

Fitbomb also pan-roasted a batch of his rosemary almonds

…before heading out to pick up the grilled goodies.

Here’s my lunch plate:

Lunch was a blast! I had a wonderful time hanging out up with my buddies and catching some rays before autumn blows in.

Happy Birthday, Trish! 

After the last of our guests left, we cleaned up and I started making dinner. I roasted some bell peppers on the gas range…

…fried up some Turkish sliders, and made lettuce wraps again.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Man, is the weekend over already? 

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Here’s another video…

This time, I demonstrate how to use a SousVide Supreme to prepare a couple of 4505 Meats’ Cowboy Chops for a dinner party. Yeehaw!

The process I used to sous vide the rib-eyes was straightforward and simple; I seasoned the steaks the morning before the party, stored them in the fridge, and dunked them in the water oven the next morning.

We ended up serving just one of the gigantic chops because each was a whopping 2.5 pounds. I chilled one of the cooked steaks in an ice bath before storing it in the freezer. The remaining chop was seared on our gas grill before I evened out the char with my kitchen torch.

See? It really is like cheating when it’s so easy!

Paleo Eats: 9/4/11

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Sunday was jam-packed with cooking and good eats. Wanna take a peek?

As soon as I woke up in the morning, I dunked the two seasoned 4505 Meats Cowboy chops into the Sous Vide Supreme to soak for 8 hours.

I made breakfast for the family and chowed down on a fried spicy cilantro chicken sausage, sauteed spinach, and a chopped heirloom tomato.

After breakfast, the Double-O’s and I set to work making Paleo Comfort Foods’ poached pears.

Big-O has been bugging me non-stop to make this recipe (even though he’s never eaten poached pears) ever since we received the cookbook in the mail.

He’s one persistent bugger.

After we finished storing the poached pears in the fridge, I reached in the pantry for a new jar of coconut butter only to find I was out. WTF? Luckily, I remembered Melicious has an awesome recipe for homemade coconut butter on her blog, so I blitzed a batch in my Vitamix.

I will never buy a jar again.

For lunch, I fried up a slew of mini Turkish slider burgers and roasted a tray of broccoli and bacon for the family.

After lunch, I started preparing food for the small dinner party we were hosting in the evening.

I roasted a bunch of beets

Portobello mushrooms, and bell peppers. Roasted veggies are the perfect side dish for a party because you can make them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature.

I also chopped some fruit for a salad…

…and sliced carrots and jicama for a crudite platter that I served with Aubergine and Chimichurri dips.

When our guests arrived (Fitbomb’s cousin, his lovely wife, and adorable girls), I put out the crudites & dip, roasted cashews, 4505 Meats chicharrones, fruit salad, and Yogavive apple chips for everyone to munch on before dinner.

To accompany the cold apps, I fried up some 4505 Meats pork and apple breakfast sausages.

After our guests were noshing on the starters, I sent Fitbomb to the gas grill with a package of 4505 Meats’ bacon-studded hotdogs

…”regular” Applegate Farms organic hotdogs (for the kiddies), the sous vided Cowboy chop (I stored the other one in the freezer), and some sliced eggplant.

When he was done grilling the dogs….

…eggplant, and steak, he brought them inside and I plated the grilled veggies…

…and evened out the char on the steak with my kitchen torch.

I sliced up the steak and brought all the eats to the dining table.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Afterwards, the kids split the chilled poached pears for dessert. They LOVED the pears! Yay! Another winner of a recipe from Paleo Comfort Foods!

Psst! If you’re wondering what to bring over to a Paleo pal as a hostess gift, the one we received tonight is hard to top!

D & T generously gifted us with a basket overflowing with organic veggies, eggs, and honey — all of it sourced locally from J.E. Perry Farms.  Seriously?! SO AWESOME! 

Paleo Eats: 8/21/11 (& MovNat Fundamentals)

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I spent my entire Sunday rolling around on the grass, crawling on all fours…

…climbing up poles (despite my daddy’s efforts to keep me off the pole)…

…swinging on the top bar of a swing set (albeit with assistance),

…jumping on picnic tables, and hurling heavy rocks.

Grrrrr!

I wish this was a typical Sunday in the ‘burbs, but it was actually an awesome one-day session of MovNat in Palo Alto led by  Clifton Harski. Although I usually deny that I smile while exercising, I KNOW I was beaming and laughing the whole day today with Fitbomb and our gaggle of barefoot/Vibram-clad MovNat-ers. 

I’m not gonna write a lengthy post because it won’t do Clif and the MovNat session any justice. Instead, please read the awesome ones already written by Dr. B G and Dr. Emily Deans (because I totally concur with their eloquent reviews) and also check out Worker Bee’s and Fitbomb’s detailed summaries of our MovNat experience here in Palo Alto. I HIGHLY recommend you seek out a MovNat session in your area because you’ll re-learn how to move the way you were born to move AND you’ll appreciate the importance of play again.

PLUS, if you’re lucky, Clifton will teach the 8-hour class shirtless.

I know it’s nice to see glistening pecs and abs instead of meat and veggies for a change, but since this blog is all about the Paleo nosh, let’s get back on track, shall we?

Before heading out to Mitchell Park for the MovNat session, I put the seasoned pork roast in the oven to cook while we were out (SCANDALOUS!)…

…washed and prepped two heads of cauliflower for curried cauliflower, packed a cooler for lunch, and threw together breakfast salads for hubby and me with leftover Turkish slider burgers.

At our lunch break, I took out our cooler and we split some hard-boiled eggs, nuked yams, a package of Applegate Farms organic roast beef, crudities and Aubergine dip, and a PaleoKrunch bar.

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the sun and when it was over, I went home with tons of great ideas on how to incorporate MovNat into our family’s everyday lives. The kids and I will be crawling all over the place, picking up heavy stuff, and jumping on EVERYTHING.

After the session, we invited Clifton, Nick, and Badier over to our place for dinner.

The pork roast was tender and juicy when we got home…

…so I increased the oven temperature and swapped it out with  a tray of curried cauliflower

…and made a tomato salad with basil chiffonade, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, fleur de sel, and freshly ground pepper.

Hubby also helped out by making a yummy watermelon salad with fresh mint and lime juice…

…and his delicious guacamole.

By this time, the cauliflower was finished roasting so I plated the florets with a splash of lemon juice and a pile of minced cilantro.

I shredded the pork…

..washed some butter lettuce…

…and dinner was ready.

I laid everything out so people could make their own roast pork-filled lettuce wrapped tacos. 

Here’s my dinner plate:

Oh, one more thing… 

…take a looky here at this incriminating photo of a certain Lazy Caveman taking a sip of (gasp!) milk! (To be fair, it’s raw, grass-fed, full-fat Jersey milk from a local farm. And it came from our fridge. And I think he felt peer-pressured after the dairy-lovin’ Clifton downed an entire glass.)

Eat your heart out, Pedro!

Paleo Eats: 8/19/11

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Friday was so damn busy, I’m a day late in blogging my eats. 

I started the day by eating a couple of butter-fried eggs and a quarter of an avocado before heading to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto.

I miss coming to the box during my workweek so I was excited to be back and pushing myself hard next to some badass ladies.

After class, I gulped down a microwaved yam and went with the Double O’s to see “I,” Lil-O’s betrothed, in a production of Bye Bye Birdie. The Double O’s were mesmerized by the show. They took particular joy whenever “I” was out on stage, singing and dancing her heart out with the biggest and most beautiful grin in the production.

During the show, I passed out Paleo snacks to our little group and I scarfed down a packet of Grass Fed Jerky Chews and some dark chocolate. There’s no way I go to a show without a bag full of nosh. Ever.

When we got home, I nuked myself some leftover sous vide oxtails and roasted vegetables for lunch. 

With my belly full, I started preparing food for the dinner party we were hosting in the evening.

While I was at my CrossFit class in the morning, Fitbomb had removed the grass fed beef tongue and cheek packets from the SousVide Supreme (since they’d already been soaking for 48 hours), iced them, and stuck them in the fridge. I reset the temperature to 137 F and dropped in two packets of Turkish slider burgers.

To accompany the meat, I roasted and marinated some bell peppers

…pattypan squash…

…and Portobello mushrooms.

By this time, the sliders were finished cooking but I kept them in the water oven to stay warm. I also dunked the chilled tongue and cheeks back in the water so that all the meat would be at serving temperature when the guests arrived.

Then, the boys and I ran to Big-O’s school to check which first grade class he was assigned to and we hung out with old friends at the ice cream social. We spent around an hour at the school before we headed home since company was coming at 6:00p.m. Eek!

As soon as Fitbomb came home from work, I recruited him to whip up a batch of his famous guacamole

…and to wash some butter lettuce for the tacos.

Before finishing the sous vide meats, I set out some snacks for the guests: prosciutto-wrapped melon drizzled with balsamic vinegar and Aleppo seasoning salt,

4505 Meats’ chicharrones

beef sticks from U.S. Wellness Meats, olives, carrots with Aubergine dip

…and fruit salad.

For those of us who weren’t fat-phobic, a popular combination was chicharrones dipped in guacamole.

While our guests were eating appetizers, I heated some bacon grease in a large cast iron skillet and seared off the tongue…

…and cheeks…

…and used my kitchen torch to brown the Turkish slider burgers.

For dinner, I laid out the myriad of meats along with all the fixings so everyone could make their own lettuce-wrapped tacos or burgers.

As usual, the company was fantastic…

…but before I knew it, my coach had turned back into a pumpkin.

 After putting the kids in bed waaaaaay past their bedtimes, Fitbomb and I conked out, our bellies full of food and laughs.

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!

Paleo Eats: 2/19/11

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This morning I had a lot to do before the CrossFit Palo Alto Whole9 Nutrition Guide Orientation. I knew Badier was super-prepared to champion the health benefits of the Paleo diet, so I wasn’t boning up on any of the material. Instead, I focused on preparing some Paleo snacks so people would (hopefully) see that you can eat tasty chow as a cave person.

Before I started cooking this morning, I picked up my weekly vegetable CSA box.

Today’s haul was kind of skimpy, so I’ll need to get some more produce at Sigona’s or Whole Foods early next week.

When I returned home, I immediately started buzzing around the kitchen like a busy bee. I made some curried beef, broccoli slaw, and mushroom frittata muffins

…and broiled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

My hubby made his Paleo trail mix (with some additional macadamia nuts)…

…that he portioned out into individual serving containers.

Also, I nuked a jar of coconut butter so we could get people hooked on this highly addictive crack. This is, of course, entirely appropriate, given that I’m a professional drug dealer.

I was sampling all the items we were making so all those stolen bites ended up being my breakfast.

The orientation was really fun and it was great meeting all the other members of the gym. Badier did a fantastic job summarizing all the key points of the Paleo diet in a concise and easily digestible way. There were also tasty eats provided by other gym members and that was definitely the highlight for a foodie like me!

When we returned home, I was still a little hungry so I heated up some leftover curried cream of broccoli soup with shredded rotisserie chicken.

Afterwards, Big-O and I made a batch of Sarah Fragoso’s chocolate custard. I decided to nuke the chocolate and coconut milk because the microwave is a great way to melt chocolate without burning it AND I didn’t want to wash another pot.

I also subbed in a teaspoon of vanilla extract in lieu of the cinnamon.

For dinner, we stopped by the Palo Alto Creamery and I ordered the New York steak dinner with double grilled vegetables (I passed on the potatoes)…

…and Fitbomb ordered steak and eggs with a side of fruit (which he didn’t eat).

The steak was kinda tough; it was cooked medium well even though I asked for it medium rare. Still, the service and setting were great, so I didn’t complain. Plus, it’s sad to say, but I have lowered food-quality expectations when I dine out in Palo Alto…

Ahhhh…chocolatey goodness for dessert. My kids each ate a chocolate custard and I savored a few squares of dark chocolate. It is an “S” day after all.

Paleo Eats: 2/6/11

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Ahhhh…there’s nothing like waking up to the smell of pork slowly braising in your oven.

However, that same smell also made me bolt out of bed because it reminded me that I had a ton of stuff to do before our guests came over to watch the Super Bowl.

Shortly after I awoke, I assembled the ingredients to roast portobello mushroom caps.

I recruited Big-O to help me season and make the packets…

…before I sealed them up and popped them in the oven.

After 35 minutes in a 400 F oven, the ‘shrooms were done and I sliced them up and put them in a Tupperware to plate later with the rest of my roasted veggies.

While the mushrooms were roasting, I chopped up a bunch of raw vegetables for a crudite platter and I threw together a quick breakfast salad with organic greens and leftover rotisserie chicken.

Once the mushrooms were out of the oven, I prepared a tray of delicata squash that I roasted for 30 minutes at 400 F.

The last thing I did before lunchtime was assemble  prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears and stick the trays in the fridge.

I didn’t want to mess up the kitchen even more by fixing lunch, so our family stopped by The Counter to scarf down some grub. I got myself another burger in a bowl of greens with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, sliced avocado, roasted bell peppers, hard boiled egg, and cucumbers.

When I came home, I finished cooking and plating all the dishes for our party. The party food wasn’t 100% Paleo because although I believe that this is the best way to eat, I don’t want to impose my views on my guests who don’t feel the same way. That’s just being an a-hole host.

For full disclosure, these are the non-Paleo items I served:

  • chips and salsa (these came free with my $30 purchase at Sigona’s)
  • salumi and cheese platter with crackers
  • my mom’s homemade spareribs (they’re delicious but there’s quite a bit of sugar in them)
  • Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream cookies and cream ice cream pie (Don’t hate! This pie was for a 5-year old celebrating her birthday at our house.)

The Paleo-friendly items: (~75% of the food)

Assorted nuts and coconut flakes…

…raw veggies with Aubergine dip and homemade ranch dressing made with full fat Greek yogurt…

…roasted vegetables drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar…

broiled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar…

…mini bratwursts…

overnight oven-braised shredded pork tacos served with salsa and homemade guacamole…

…and fresh berries for dessert.

Our Super Bowl party was a big success: lots of fun, laughter, and good eats! Wait, who won again? Oh yeah, the team with the Paleo quarterback!

Paleo Eats: 2/5/11

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Today was muy busy and I’m really tired so this post will be a quick recap of my grub and meal preparation.

For breakfast, I ate some leftover rotisserie chicken with cauliflower fried “rice” and stir fried Napa cabbage and bacon.

In the morning, I picked up my CSA box

…and dropped by Whole Paycheck to buy some last minute items for our Super Bowl party tomorrow.

When I returned home, I roasted off some red bell peppers that I’ll serve as part of a roasted vegetable platter tomorrow.

We spent a fun, laughter-filled afternoon at Big-O’s best friend’s house where we were fed a yummy homemade brunch (frittata, salad, and seared sausages).

Next, we went to a cousin’s daughter’s birthday bash at Bay Aerials Gymnastics where our kids jumped, tumbled, and swung on things for over an hour. Fitbomb’s cousin even served the kiddies a Primal-friendly meal: cubed cheese, diced ham, fruit, and veggies.

They’re better cave parents than us!

Right after the party, hubby and I went to dinner at Pampas to celebrate the same cousin’s 40th birthday. The company was fun and the grub was mighty tasty. This plate was one of several I devoured.

After dinner, we came home and I removed the brisket from the SousVide Supreme (147 F for 48 hours) and dunked it in an ice bath.

I’m searing this hunk ‘o meat tomorrow for the party. I hope it doesn’t taste like leather!

I also chopped up three onions and tossed them with three slices worth of diced bacon, salt, and pepper in the bottom of a large Dutch oven.

Then, I lay the marinated Boston pork butt on top…

…covered it, and placed it in the oven set at 250 F. I’m going to let the pork roast overnight (~8 hours) and broil the roast in the morning to give it some yummy char. I gotta get some much needed rest because I got a shitload to prep for tomorrow’s party. Good night!