Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 5/13/11

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I may be coming down with a cold (oh noes!) so this post will be short and sweet. Making Kleenex-wrapped booger wontons with Lil-O and going balls to the wall in today’s WOD at CrossFit Palo Alto may have a little something to do with it.

For breakfast, I ate leftover Damn Fine chicken along with cauliflower and carrot puree and nuked sugar snap peas.

I also had a tablespoon of coconut butter for good measure.

After my CrossFit class, I ate my usual post workout meal: baked yam and Applegate Farms organic roast beef.

At lunchtime, I brought some takeout from Anatolian Kitchen to my buddy H’s house. We shared a combo grill plate (it’s definitely enough meat for two people to share)…

…and she ladled us bowls of her delicious curried cream of carrot soup. I’m gonna steal her recipe and post it soon.

In the afternoon, I snacked on lots of coconut flakes and a packet of spicy grass fed jerky chews.

For dinner, I threw a packet of Grimaud Farms duck confit into the SousVide Supreme and roasted some carrots in the toaster oven. About 35 minutes later, both were ready to eat so I seared the duck legs in some duck fat…

…and sautéed some spinach and shallots in the “dirty” pan.

I drizzled some balsamic vinegar on the carrots and spinach and called it a day.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I love the new splatter screen I bought! Normally, my stovetop looks like an oil slick after I fry stuff but tonight there was nary a drop. Plus, it can go straight in the dishwasher. Win-win!

Paleo Eats: 3/5/11

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As soon as I woke up this morning, I barreled out of bed because I knew I had a s-load to do before attending the all-day Whole9 Foundations of Nutrition Workshop. First, I drove to pick up my weekly veggie CSA box.

When I got home, I quickly baked up a batch of mini frittata muffins with the curried ground beef, shallots, mushrooms, and chard filling I made yesterday.

I was bringing these savory cupcakes to snack on at the workshop.

(Note to self: don’t keep the foil liners on the mini muffins ‘cause they cause condensation on the bottom — eww!)

Before leaving the house, I scarfed down some breakfast: mini bratwursts, leftover roasted asparagus, and homemade guacamole.

We arrived at Mad Dawg Fitness right when the workshop started.

We quickly took our seats and geeked out big time to the scores of valuable and practical nutrition information presented by the Hartwigs.

We broke for lunch at 12:45 a.m., at which time I passed around the mini frittata muffins to my CrossFit Palo Alto peep. Then we walked to the nearby In-N-Out to grab some bun-less burgers. Hubs and I both ordered protein-style, triple meat, mustard-fried burgers with whole grilled onion, hold the spread.

Probably not strictly Paleo but them burgers taste good.

We walked back to Mad Dawg after lunch. The afternoon session, just like the first half of the presentation, totally fired me up to commit to eating clean for life.

I originally intended to order takeout for dinner but after the workshop, I decided to eff that notion and make some Whole9 approved nosh at home.

As soon as I got home, I quickly threw a pan of roasted chicken and shallots into the oven.

Melissa and Dallas told us to pile our plates high with veggies, so I chopped up half a head of cabbage and made some stovetop-braised cabbage

…and prepped some carrots that I roasted in the toaster oven.

By the time the chicken was finished cooking, the veggies sides were done as well.

Yummy and on the table in just 45 minutes.

Plus, my dinner isn’t pro-inflammatory. Score!

After dinner, I vacuum-sealed and seasoned two racks of pork ribs with Chili Con Carne seasoning, salt, and pepper.

I’m going to sous vide them tomorrow after they marinate in the fridge overnight.

Nighty night!

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.

Day 19 of Whole30 Eats

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Yay! It’s my hump day! That means I only have three more night shifts after this one. Wait a sec…that’s still a long string of nights to work. Sigh.

I wasn’t super hungry when I started work so I didn’t actually eat my “lunch” until 2:00 a.m. I nuked myself another box of leftover sous vide pork chops, garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” roasted kabocha squash, and sautéed spinach.

I ate a snack at around 4:00 a.m. when I polished off macadamia nuts, coconut flakes, veggies, and Aubergine dip.

My last meal at work was a box of leftover beef stew, baked sweet potato, and nuked green beans at 7:00 a.m.

Sadly, this was my last box of leftover beef stew.

After I returned home we loaded everyone into the car for a trip to our local farmers’ market. I know I just got a CSA box yesterday but I needed some more fruit for the kids and we love getting free samples.

Plus, I bought some salmon and stocked up on a bunch of meat.

And we snagged some more free samples…

Then, it was back home to slumber.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., Fitbomb suprised me by making grass fed lamb burgers and roasted carrot “fries.” Dinner was so damn good.

Then, it was off to work again. Another big sigh.

Roast Your Veggies Doused in Lard!

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I’ve been reading a lot about how it’s bad to use extra virgin olive oil when you’re cooking with high heat (e.g. roasting, grilling, etc.). What a buzz kill. Thankfully, I have good, healthful lard in the fridge!

Tonight, I decided to roast some carrots and delicata squash coated in lard. Doesn’t that just sound totally decadent and unhealthy? A year ago, I would never touch lard with a ten-foot pole, but now I use it all the time. From now on, I’m going to try to use coconut oil, ghee, or lard for all my high-heat cooking.

Cooking with lard isn’t as convenient as pouring olive oil out of a bottle – you gotta melt the stuff, but then it easily seizes up again when it touches your cold veggies or meat.

So here’s what I did: I scooped up a few tablespoons of lard and nuked it in a glass bowl for 20 second intervals until it melted. Make sure you closely monitor it or your microwave will look like someone barfed lard all over it. 

Once the lard melts, use a silicone brush to paint the fat onto your veggies.  It does solidify on contact (especially if your veggies are right out of the ice box) which is kind of annoying. But don’t overcompensate by slathering more on or you’ll end up with a huge oil slick at the bottom of your pan later.

Aren’t these carrots purty?

 

I peeled and cut them before coating them with lard and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Post-roasting (400 F for 40 minutes):

Here’s the delicata squash before I popped it in my toaster oven (400 F for 20-30 minutes). They almost look waxed!

Post-roasting:

I have tons of extra virgin olive oil stock-piled in my pantry from my pre-Paleo days. Now that I’ve sworn off cooking at high temperatures with the stuff, I guess I’m gonna be drizzling it on a lot of my dishes after I’ve plated them!

Quick Sous Vide Salmon Dinner For Company

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Tonight, our good friends came over to unload us of some of the crap we’ve been piling up in our house for the last few years. To thank them for taking our garbage, I made them dinner:

seared sous vide sockeye salmon (15 minutes at 130 F),

cauliflower fried “rice,”


braised green beans with tomatoes and onions,


and spicy sautéed mushrooms with anchovy.

Here’s my plate (including roasted carrots with aged balsamic vinegar):

Quick Dinner on My Flip Night: Chicken Meatballs, Roasted Carrots, and Sautéed Spinach with Shallots

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Tonight, I’m dead tired.  I’m always beat on the Wednesday I get off my 7-night workweek. While my kids were transfixed in front of the boob tube (Scooby-Doo is a multi-generational crowd pleaser), I threw together a quick grain-free dinner for Fitbomb and myself. 

In the fridge, I had some sweet basil and parmesan chicken meatballs, carrots, and half a box of pre-washed organic baby spinach in the fridge.  Although the spinach is a great convenience item, if the box has been open for a few days, I gotta pick out a whole bunch of melt-y leaves.  Yuck.

I prepped the carrots for roasting and popped them in my good old toaster oven.  Then, I chopped up a shallot and threw them in a pan with melted lard.  Once they were softened, I dumped in the spinach and stirred the leaves around until they were wilted. 

I zoned in front of the boob tube while I waited for the carrots to finish roasting.  Then, I replaced the carrots with a tray of meatballs.

I normally nuke the meatballs when I’m at work but they taste MUCH better baked in the oven. I did nuke up some herb gravy which I served on the side.

Here’s everything plated up:

I used to always order out on my “flip night” and invariably what we ate was always super carb-y (e.g. pho, pizza, sushi, etc.).  Having easy to fix basics and pre-cooked proteins in the fridge has totally changed how I eat.  I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

I almost forgot my dessert! A shot glass of my favorite coconut milk: