Nom Nom Paleo

Day 26 of Whole30 Eats

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Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in a long time. I wish I could spend every day just hanging with family and friends, but laundry doesn’t do itself and I had to make a bunch of food for the coming week. So today, it was back to the grind.

Before I set about doing any chores, though, I made myself a quick breakfast of leftover shredded roast chicken thigh and green beans.

Then, I got my ass handed to me at my kickboxing class.

Post-workout, I replenished my depleted glycogen stores by eating half a banana, some coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and a coconut milk and blueberry sundae.

For lunch, we headed to Calafia Cafe, where I ordered a rotisserie chicken salad with radicchio, pears, and walnuts. I asked for no blue cheese and vinaigrette on the side.

Fitbomb ordered 2 poached eggs…

…and house-made lamb sausage, and bacon.

As soon as we got home, I tucked the little rugrat in bed for a nap. As soon as his head hit his pillow, I set to work immediately, prepping meats and veggies for the week ahead.

Our three-year-old loves roasted, unsalted cashews, but we just found out that the nuts we get at Trader Joe’s are roasted with canola oil (or rice bran oil, depending on the package). So this afternoon, we dry-roasted a tray of raw cashews for him by spreading them on a baking tray in a single layer and sticking everything in the oven (350 F for 10-15 minutes).

As soon as they were finished…

…I turned down the oven to 250 F and finished preparing my pork shoulder roast (which I started prepping yesterday) by slicing up two yellow onions and spreading them on the bottom of my dutch oven. Next, I topped the onions with the seasoned pork shoulder and 1/4 cup of chicken broth.

I placed the lid on top and popped it in the oven for four hours.

In the meantime, I seasoned and vacuum-sealed four chicken breasts and four bone-in pork loin chops (purchased this weekend from Full of Life Farm)…

…and submerged them in my preheated SousVide Supreme (set at 140 F).

Next, I roasted four bell peppers directly on my gas range…

…hard boiled a dozen eggs…

…and roasted and peeled some beets in my toaster oven.

At 5:30 p.m.,  the pork roast was fork-tender. I removed the lid from my dutch oven and I broiled the pork for 10 minutes (5 minutes on each side).

After hand-shredding the meat, I tossed in the softened onions from the bottom of the pot.

I can’t wait to eat this dish later this week. (Yes, I’m getting pretty good at avoiding the temptation to indulge in instant gratification.)

For dinner, I seared off the sous vide pork chops

…and served them with garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes straight out of the Cuisinart…

…along with sauteed lancinato kale, baby spinach, beet greens, and shallots.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After today’s marathon cooking session, I have a s-load of ready-to-eat proteins and vegetables, so I have no excuse not to eat well AND Whole30 approved (for four more days!).

Sous Vide Pork Chops and Veggies for Dinner

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Because of my crazy work schedule, I’m pretty zonked when I wake up in the evenings to make dinner for everyone. Especially when I’ve already worked five night shifts in a row and have two more to go. I can turn into a hulk, just like that. Try me.  

On Saturday night before going to work, I sous vided some pork chops and then stored them in the fridge until I cooked them off today. 

I’m totally in love with my SousVide Supreme.

While the chops came back up to serving temperature in the water bath, I baked some sweet potatoes in my toaster oven, roasted orange hued cauliflower and bacon

..and stir-fried shiitake and broccoli slaw.

Here’s my plate:

I’m tired of cooking.  Thankfully, Fitbomb will be bringing home take-out kebabs tomorrow night and we’re going out the following night.

Sous Vide Pork Chops Recipe

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Let me show you how easy perfect pork chops can be. 

A few days ago, I sous vided some pork chops (seasoned with Sagemary finishing salt and pepper, cooked at 134-140 F for 2 hours) so I’d have them ready for dinner tonight. Tonight, I took them out of the fridge…

…and dunked them into my SousVide Supreme that I’d filled and pre-heated to 134-140F.

I let them steep in the bath for 30 minutes while I prepped my other sides (garlic cauliflower “mashed potatoes,” roasted carrots, green beans with balsamic vinegar and slivered almonds, and herb gravy).  When time was up, I took the chops out of the bath and dried ‘em with a paper towel. Ugly and unappetizing, right?

But then I seared them off in my cast iron skillet with some melted lard. I left the chops undisturbed for a minute on each side…

…and then, using tongs, I seared the fatty edges of each chop.  Watch for grease fires!

 

(Nowadays, I just char the chops with my kitchen torch.)

Then, I plated everything up.  Looks pretty good for a weeknight dinner, no?

An hour after I got to work, it was snack time. I scarfed down some roasted chestnuts and beef jerky.  At around 1:30 in the morning, I had lunch: leftover pork chop, roasted broccoli and bacon, and cauliflower “rice.”  I added some herb gravy to make sure the pork stayed moist despite being nuked in the microwave oven at work.
Even though I should have been full, I wasn’t, so I ate some mac nuts, almonds, and coconut flakes for dessert. I can pack it down, yo!

An hour after I got to work, it was snack time. I scarfed down some roasted chestnuts and beef jerky.  At around 1:30 in the morning, I had lunch: leftover pork chop, roasted broccoli and bacon, and cauliflower “rice.”  I added some herb gravy to make sure the pork stayed moist despite being nuked in the microwave oven at work.

Even though I should have been full, I wasn’t, so I ate some mac nuts, almonds, and coconut flakes for dessert. I can pack it down, yo!

Dining Out Paleo: Los Altos Grill (Los Altos, CA)

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We don’t normally dine out during my work week but tonight was a special occasion: Fitbomb’s mom’s birthday!  Fitbomb’s parents aren’t into food and it can’t be too wild and crazy.  They do like their prime rib, though, so we opted to eat at Los Altos Grill.  Although this place is part of a chain, the atmosphere is lively and the food is mondo-portioned, crowd-pleasing comfort fare.  Los Altos Grill is hopping all the time.  We had to wait for a table, despite calling ahead for a reservation, on a Thursday night at 5:30 p.m.

For starters, I ordered the famous cornbread in the skillet (for the kids and grandparents), deviled eggs, and the seasonal vegetable platter.  Who knew the seasonal vegetable platter would have a big ass piece of cornbread and some tabouli salad?  Plus, the veggies on the platter (carrots, peas, and brussels sprouts) were definitely seasoned with a good sprinkling of sugar. Paleo fail.  Here’s what Fitbomb and I ate from the selection of apps:

For our mains, Fitbomb and I shared the rotisserie pork chop and grilled loup de mer (a type of seabass).  The pork chop came with mashed potatoes colcannon so I asked to sub out the mashed potatoes with some brussels sprouts.  As you can see we still got potatoes.  No biggie — we just left them uneaten on the plate.

Both in-laws ordered the prime rib (surprise, surprise) and they loved the tender, fatty, corn-fed slab of beef.  I had a bite of beef and, I hate to admit it, but cornfed beef really is tastier than grassfed.  Yes, I know factory farming is evil.

Everyone enjoyed their meal and it was nice having the night off from cooking.  I don’t think the food here is spectacular but it definitely appeals to picky grandparents (as evidenced by the sea of gray hair across the dining room). 

I Coulda Been a Contenda…

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…but not tonight.  Whenever I’m on my work week, I try to get dinner on the table 30-45 minutes from when I start futzing in the kitchen.  We even have a “5 o’clock house rule” where our rugrats can only start watching TV after 5 pm so I can prepare dinner uninterrupted.  My kids literally transform into zombies when they start watching TV.  It’s a cool magic trick.

Tonight, I had great intentions but it ultimately took me almost 90 minutes to get food on the table due to poor planning.  On Sunday, I had already cooked some pork chops and chicken breasts in my SousVide Supreme (for Monday and Tuesday night) so I had my protein set.  I got derailed because I made too many damn vegetables.  However, the plus side is, I have a lot of veggie leftovers! 

Here’s our final spread:  cauliflower fried rice, broiled zucchini and raw tomatoes with balsamic and extra virgin olive oil, roasted portobello mushrooms with balsamic and roasted garlic flavored extra virgin olive oil, and sous vide Rub With Love  pork chops.

I’ve wanted to make cauliflower rice since I read about it in Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Cookbook (which I don’t love) and on Food Lovers’ Primal Palate blog (which I do love).  Before going to bed, I washed and cut up the cauliflower:

When I woke up, I popped my pre-cooked, refrigerated pork chops into my Sous Vide Supreme (which I had filled and preheated earlier to 130 F) to reheat and I started preparing my vegetables.  I would’ve finished in 30-45 minutes but I mistakenly decided to use the oven for two of my veggie sides (broiled zucchini and roasted portobello mushrooms) so I had to wait for one to finish before heating the other.  Damn it, why didn’t we put in a double oven when we remodeled!  That, coupled with chopping (albeit with a processor), nuking, and then frying the cauliflower, delayed dinner.

Here’s the cauliflower (2 small heads chopped then nuked) frying in the pan with a minced onion, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and coconut oil:

I seasoned the “rice” with salt, pepper, and Trader Joes’s 21 Seasoning Salute.

For the mushrooms, I preheated the oven to 400 F and then I wiped the tops off with a damp paper towel and removed the gills with a spoon.  Then, I seasoned each mushroom with salt, pepper, and Consorzio Roasted Garlic Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil (buy at Costco!) and wrapped them individually with foil.  I placed the packets on a foil lined baking sheet (in case one exploded) and popped them in the oven for 20 minutes.

When I took the mushrooms out, I sliced them and drizzled them with the cooking juices and some balsamic vinegar.

Then, I cranked up the oven to broil and put in my tray of sliced zucchini (which I had seasoned with salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil).  While they broiled for 5-10 minutes, I chopped up some tomatoes.  Then, I tossed everything on a plate with some balsamic vinegar.

I had sous vided the pork chops with my chicken breasts on Sunday (140F for 3 hours) and was glad to see that they turned out okay because I’d crammed the SousVide Supreme to the brim with 4 big bone-in chicken breast and 4 bone-in pork chops.  After reheating inthe SousVide Supreme at 130F for 40 minutes, I seared them off in my super hot cast iron skillet with some coconut oil.

Here’s a pic of hubby’s plate:

Tonight, I’m going to make sure that dinner only takes 30 minutes to make.  Word.