Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 7/18/11

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For the first time in a long time, I didn’t eat a meal at work. It wasn’t ‘cause I was too busy to eat or forgot to pack grub — I just never felt hungry. I’m sure my fat-laden dinner (sous vide salmon topped with guacamole) prior to work PLUS my large mug of Philz coffee with heavy cream had something to do with my satiety.

When I got home, I finally ate some deli roast beef with roasted bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and Aubergine dip. Then, I dumped the ingredients for slow cooker pork pot roast that I prepped the night before into the Crock-Pot…

…and went with my mother-in-law to another oncology appointment. Yep, sleep today was gonna be shorter than usual.

I woke up a little after 5:00 p.m. and started preparing dinner. Truth be told, I would’ve totally ordered take-out if it wasn’t for this here blog. Thanks. Do you detect the sarcasm? Aren’t you precocious! I kid, because I love…

Since the pot roast was finished cooking…

…all I had to do was whip up a couple of side dishes:garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

…and stir-fried heirloom Italian broccoli with some minced garlic.

To give the pork added flavor and color, I brushed it with melted coconut oil…

…and broiled it in the oven for five minutes.

I tore at the roast with a couple of forks and dinner was served.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I ran to Philz Coffee for the second night in a row to fill a thermos with Silken Splendor. I don’t normally drink coffee more than once a workweek but I wasn’t too perky in the evening.

Before leaving for work, I did a short burst of exercise in our home gym (double-unders + a quick homemade body weight WOD) and packed some food to-go. Just two more nights to go!

Paleo Eats: 5/14/11

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Nope, I didn’t get sick! Thankfully, a good night’s sleep plus lots of Cold Eeze kept the bugs away.

When I woke up this morning, I set to work right away prepping a pork picnic roast (from our Full of Life Farm ½ hog)…

…for slow cooker pork pot roast.

After I threw all the ingredients into the Crockpot…

…I made a frittata for breakfast with ham, frozen broccoli, Fage Greek full-fat yogurt, and Sunny Paris seasoning.

After Big-O’s T-ball game, we trekked on over to The Counter where I ate a burger in a bowl.

When we got home in the afternoon, Big-O and I went to pick up a flat of strawberries and some pastured eggs that Mariquita Farm was dropping off at our usual CSA pick-up spot. Big-O rode his bike while I chased after him dragging along an empty Radio Flyer wagon. Once we got there, I decided we needed more carrots and onions, so the wagon was pretty packed by the time we returned home.

To ensure that Big-O rode home slowly (and I wouldn’t be leaving a trail of broken eggs and smashed berries), I made him a deal that I’d give him a strawberry at each stop sign. Yep, that left cup holder is filled to the brim with strawberry hulls.

For snack, I ate some Applegate Farms organic roast beef and leftover nuked sugar snap peas.

I also opened up a sample of Primal Pacs to compare with Sophia’s Survival Foods grass fed jerky chews.

Both are almost at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of texture and taste — grass fed jerky chews are dry and completely sugar-free whereas the Whole9-approved Primal Pacs are moist and slightly sweet — but I like both.

I’m gonna order some Primal Pacs while they still have a free shipping (coupon code: whole9 until 5/15/11).

Once we were home, I started preparing veggie sides to accompany the slow cooker pork pot roast. I whipped up a batch of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes and stir-fried collard greens with pancetta and calcot onions.

When the pork pot roast was finished, I broiled the roast for a few minutes to get some nice color…

…shredded up the meat…

and dinner was ready. (I updated my recipe to include the Red Boat fish sauce that I splashed on for extra flavor and the broiling step.)

Here’s my dinner plate:

Our friends, H & B, came over for dinner and brought over some yummy dark chocolates from Monique’s Chocolates for dessert.

I love that this local mom and pop shop creates truffles that are made with only single origin chocolates and heavy cream. Plus, they make treats that are 85% and 91% cacao! They aren’t quite as indulgent as Michael Recchiuti’s but they’re local and the treats have less sugar. I’ll definitely be treating myself to a couple of these truffles every few months!

Paleo Eats: 4/26/11

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More Paleo-friendly eats coming right up…

My first meal at work was yummy leftovers from Easter dinner: pork and rabbit sausage, saddle loin roast, slow-cooked cavolo nero, and roasted curried cauliflower

I also ate a small container of coconut flakes.

The last thing I ate at work was some emergency protein (ground pork, ground beef, broccoli slaw, and Turkish seasoning) and garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

When I got home, I accompanied Big-O to school and volunteered at library day. I went home, ate some coconut butter, and crashed.

I woke up at 5:00 p.m.and nuked some leftover slow cooker pork pot roast

roasted broccoli and bacon

…sauteed shiitake and trumpet mushrooms with bacon…

…and baked a frittata with emergency protein and diced cherry tomatoes in my toaster oven.

Another Paleo Vegas buffet dinner:

After dinner, I practiced some deadlifts and did the WOD I missed today at CrossFit Palo Alto. Then, I ate ½ a baked yam, roast beef deli slices, and went to work.

Yay! It’s finally my last night of work!

Paleo Eats: 4/25/11

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Wanna see what I ate today?

For my meals at work, I packed a bunch of leftovers from our bunny supper the night before. The 4505 Easter Basket CSA is the gift that keeps on giving.

My first meal at work was some leftover crispy sous vide chicken thighs and broiled asparagus.

As a snack, I ate some more leftovers from our bunny dinner: deviled eggs, spicy beets, carrots, and shoulder confit.

My last meal at work was some more bunny goodness: leftover rabbit and pork sausage, saddle loin roast, cavolo nero and carrots, and roasted curried cauliflower.

When I got home, I threw a pork shoulder roast into the slow cooker and hit the sheets.

At 5:00 p.m., I woke up and prepped some veggies sides to accompany the slow cooker pork pot roast.

I sautéed some broccoli and shallots…

…broiled prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears

…and pureed a batch of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I added a few drops of my new fish sauce to the pot roast and sautéed broccoli and it brought up the indescribable umami in both dishes. Oh, fish sauce, how I’ve missed you!

After dinner, I did a short workout in our garage gym and then I ate ½ a baked yam and organic deli roast beef. Only two more nights of work!

Paleo Eats: 3/24/11

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I’m back at work! Since I have PTO coming up, I’m definitely counting down every minute until vacation.

My first meal of the night wasn’t until 3:00 a.m. when I ate some leftover frittata, nuked green beans, macadamia nuts, and coconut flakes.

Right before I left work, I ate some leftover sous vide rack of lamb, cauliflower puree, sautéed mushrooms, and roasted broccoli and bacon

When I got home from work, I immediately dumped the ingredients for pork pot roast into my Crock-Pot.

After I cleaned up my mess in the kitchen, I popped my vitamins and went to sleep.

I awoke at 5:00 p.m. to the delicious smell of simmering pot roast. This is definitely my favorite way to wake up!

To accompany the slow-cooked pork

…I roasted some butternut squash with ghee and Fines Herbes seasoning

…and sautéed rainbow chard with green garlic in butter.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Then, it was off to work yet again. Just six more nights until vacation…

Slow Cooker Pork Pot Roast

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I know that it might seem like my SousVide Supreme  holds favored appliance status in the kitchen (and it does), but slowly, yet surely, my cheap-ass Crock-Pot is coming in out of the doghouse.

The Crock-Pot was banished to the garage (a.k.a. appliance doghouse) due to it’s inconsistent output but now I think it might deserve it’s own permanent spot on the kitchen counter. Gasp!

Why all the renewed adulation? Recently, my l’il slow cooker has produced quite a few tasty meals with little fuss or muss. Tonight was no exception. I adapted another recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution, the new cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen, and the results were delicious. Plus, I was able to throw it together in about 30 minutes (including clean-up).

*Update 5/14/11: Splashing in some Red Boat fish sauce to the braising liquid before cooking and at the very end really  adds a special oomph to the dish. It truly is a secret weapon in your pantry!

Here’s what I assembled to feed 8 people:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 8 leeks, whites only, thinly sliced (or 2 medium onions, chopped medium)
  • 1 small cabbage, cut into eighths (optional)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or a few good shakes of Sunny Paris seasoning)
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  • 1/4 cup organic chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1.5 pounds of carrots, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 (2-to 2.5-pound) boneless pork picnic shoulder roasts, trimmed and tied or 1 4-pound picnic roast
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Banyuls vinegar
  • Red Boat fish sauce

Here’s how I made it:

I melted the ghee in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. I know I could make my own but I don’t. Here’s the one I’m really digging at the moment:

Then, I added the leeks, garlic, tomato paste, and thyme to the melted ghee. If you don’t have fresh herbs, just shake on some dried ones! I cooked the leeks until they were softened and lightly browned (8-10 minutes).

Then, I added the broth and vermouth to deglaze the pan.

I chucked the leek mixture along with the tomatoes, carrots, and celery into the slow cooker. If you are adding cabbage, tuck it in around the roast. (*UPDATE: 5/14/11: I splashed on some Red Boat Fish sauce before proceeding to the next step.)

I dried off my roasts, took off the elastic netting…

…and seasoned them liberally with salt and pepper. (*Update 5/14/11: I also sprinkled on Sunny Paris seasoning all over the pork. It’s best to season your pork overnight to get the best flavor.)

I tied the roasts up with twine…

…and nestled them into the slow cooker.

I covered the cooker and set it to cook on low for 9-11 hours.

After the roast was finished cooking, I fished out the two roasts and put them on a cutting board to rest.

I removed the thyme twigs from the pot and I used a large spoon to degrease the braising liquid. I added the vinegar, fish sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Then, I shredded up the meat, served it on top of the veggies, and poured on the braising liquid.

This meal was a hit for the whole family (except for Little-O) and I can’t wait to gobble up the leftovers!

*Update 5/14/11: If you have a roast with a nice layer of fat on top, broil it for a few minutes to carmelize the fat! See below for pics and directions:

After I removed the roast from the slow cooker…

…I put the roast on a coconut oil greased rack on top of a foil-lined tray and stuck it in the broiler for about 2-3 minutes or until evenly browned.

Once it’s nice and toasty, I nestled the roast back in the veggies and braising liquid and shredded the meat with two forks.

Voila!

Definitely do this version if you’ve a nice fatty pork roast!