Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 4/9/11

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It was a busy, jam-packed Saturday filled with good, clean grub.

For breakfast, I ate some leftover garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes topped with beef shank and cabbage stew.

I went to a cardio kickboxing class at Big-O’s kung fu studio and ate a post-workout meal (baked yam and Applegate Farms organic roast beef slices) in the car.

On my way home, I picked up my Full Belly Farm CSA box:

Yes, that’s a bag of legumes you spy in the box. That’s one of many reasons why I love my Mariquita Farms CSA box more.

After spending the rest of the morning at the neighborhood park, we came home to eat lunch. I fried up some Bratwurst (made from the trim of my ½ hog) and served it with leftover sautéed Italian heirloom broccoli, sauerkraut, my sis’s homemade mustard, and marinated roasted beets.

We were having company over for dinner, so I spent all afternoon cooking. Luckily, I had live, in-house entertainment in the form of  Big-O recreating scenes from his favorite Annoying Orange episodes. 

"Hey banana…"

While I waited for the sous vide carnitas to finish cooking, I broiled zucchini slices (seasoned with ghee, salt, pepper, and Fines Herbes seasoning)…

…a bunch of asparagus (tossed with ghee, salt, and pepper), and roasted some poblano peppers…

…and bell peppers over the gas range. After I peeled and sliced the peppers, I mixed them with sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I piled all the roasted vegetables on a large platter and squeezed some lemon juice on the broiled asparagus and zucchini.

Roasted vegetable platters are great for entertaining because you can make them ahead of time and serve them at room temperature.

For another veggie side dish, I thinly sliced some watermelon radishes…

…and marinated them with a vinaigrette made with orange juice, coconut vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

When I finished cooking all the veggies, I took the carnitas out of the water oven and pan-fried them in lard.

To accompany the carnitas lettuce tacos, we served homemade guacamole…

…diced white onions and cilantro…

…and Primavera salsa.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I had lots of subsequent helpings. I’m stuffed to the gills.

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!

Day 29 of Whole30 Eats

I’m back to working nights again, so this post will be short and sweet.

For breakfast, I slurped down a bowl of leftover cream of tomato soup topped with sous vide chicken breast. Then, I ate handfuls of coconut flakes because I was possessed by aliens and had no free will. Really.

My parents, Lil-O, and I gobbled down lunch at The Counter — I ordered a 1/3 lb burger in a bowl, complete with lettuce, a fried egg, avocado, roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and cucumbers.

At dinner time, I reheated the slow roasted pork shoulder I made on Sunday. To accompany the swine, I roasted carrots and celery root, sauteed two bags of Trader Joe’s Southern Greens Blend with caramelized onions in some melted lard, and microwaved the leftover artichoke hearts and pearl onions from the night before.

Then, I packed my meals for work and I tiptoed out the front door so as not to disturb everyone already tucked into bed.

Celery Root, Will You Forgive Me?

I have a confession to make.

Every time I received celery root in my CSA box, I’d stash it in the far recesses of my crisper and conveniently forget about it until it was covered with mold. Part of the reason was because I didn’t know what the hell to do with it. But it was also ‘cause celery root’s so damn ugly and unappealing-looking. Did I mention that I’m both lazy and superficial?

Okay. I know celery root is yummy. I’ve been served it numerous times and in various forms at lots of fancy restaurants. With that in mind, I decided it was time to overcome my bias against unattractive vegetables and cook this ugly mofo up.

To prepare the celery root for roasting, I peeled off the skin with my trusty Oxo vegetable peeler and trimmed off the ends and brown spots. After slicing the roots into matchstick-sized strips, I tossed them with avocado oil, salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and roasted them with similarly-prepared carrots at 375 F (convection roast) for ~40 minutes.

The roasted celery root tasted remarkably like potato (same texture, too) with a sweet hint of celery. I can’t believe I wasted so many celery roots in the past! From here on out, I pledge not to judge a vegetable by its ugly-ass cover.