Paleo Eats: 4/30/12

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Remember how I was all Susie Sunshine about our current living situation post-mini tsunami at the Nombomb compound? This morning, I morphed into Cranky McBitterpants.

Living out of suitcases that are overflowing with clothes — yet contain no underwear — has been a little challenging. On top of that, making meals in our ill-equipped and cramped kitchenette has taken its toll on my perky demeanor. It doesn’t help that our temporary housing is 20 minutes away from our house (due to morning traffic), and now we’re always late to EVERYTHING, which makes me want to scream.

As we were speeding to Big-O’s doctor’s appointment this morning, he told me to stop stressing out because it’s making my hair turn grey. The fact that he noticed that I was frazzled made me sad. Before dropping him off at school, I gave him a big Mama Bear hug and pinky swore that I’d take a chill pill.

I returned to our temporary abode and made myself breakfast: scrambled eggs, prosciutto, and cherry tomatoes.

Then, Lil-O and I drove to Happy Hollow Park and Zoo where we spent all afternoon riding baby roller coasters and catching some rays.

Screaming and laughing at a kiddie park can do wonders for your temperament. You really must try it sometime.

We came home in the late afternoon and I refueled with some fresh coconut and a Grass-fed Paleokit.

After we picked up Big-O and his pal Z from baseball practice, we drove to Sancho’s Taqueria for dinner.

I like this place a lot — authentic Mexican food made with high-quality ingredients.

I constructed my own entree by selecting the House Salad and adding shrimp, carne asada, and guacamole.

Hubby ordered Prawns A La Diabla, but skipped the rice and beans.

Next month, Sancho’s is opening up a new spot closer to our house, and I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be dining there all the time. (That is, as soon as we’re actually able to move back into our house.)

The end of my day was better than the start.

Good night!

Paleo Eats: 4/29/12

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Today I did zero, zip, nada in terms of cooking, but I still managed to eat pretty clean. Well, except for some super-dark chocolate (which goes without saying) and a bit of cheese. For those of you with inquiring minds, I do occasionally eat cheese and full-fat dairy when I dine out. It doesn’t cause me any problems and since I really like dairy, I’ll indulge from time to time.

This morning, I met some of my girlfriends at Calafia to catch up over some nosh. I ordered a Calafia breakfast with eggs over easy, bacon, and fruit (in place of hash browns and toast).

The eggs here are pretty terrific, and they’re provided by rocker Neil Young’s son, Ben, who runs a certified organic farm in La Honda. How’s that for a random bit of trivia?

Afterwards, I headed back to our windy and dusty home to meet up with the boys and do some much needed piles of laundry. Once the dreaded task was completed, we hauled bags of clean clothes to the car and sped to Big-O’s baseball photo day and Bat-a-thon at the park.

When the baseball festivities were over, we decided to get out of the hot sun and into an air-conditioned movie theater. But first, we headed home to pack some snacks to sneak into the movie. I was hungry, so I threw together a quick, no-cook meal in a bowl: canned tuna, sliced radishes, extra virgin olive oil, and a pile of SeaSnax SeaSprinkles

I squeezed on fresh lime juice and gobbled it up before we headed to catch a late matinee of The Pirates! Band of Misfits with the kiddos.

I love all Aardman Animation movies (especially the Wallace and Gromit ones) and this one was no exception. Plus, ham plays an integral part in the movie and as I’ve said before, swine makes it fine.

When the movie was finished, we walked over to The Patty Shack for dinner.

The kids drained cup after cup of iced water as we waited for our food. The Double-Os claim they hate drinking water (“BORING!”) but once I add ice and a straw, they suck it up like Shop-Vacs.

I ordered a bun-less Forget About It (1/3 patty, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, bacon, and swiss cheese) and added avocado.  

Toodles for now!

Tuna and Avocado Wraps

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As a rule, I always have cans of tuna in the pantry and limes, ripe avocados, and jalapenos in the fridge. With these items at my fingertips, I can whip up a couple of satisfying wraps whenever I’m hangry. If you don’t have Paleo mayonnaise on hand, a quick guacamole is the best binder for salads like this one.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 (5 oz) can of wild albacore tuna in water
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced small
  • 1/2 medium avocado
  • 1/2 lime
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 butter lettuce leaves
  • Pure Wraps or toasted nori (optional)

My favorite brand of canned tuna is made by Wild Planet: no BPA, sustainably caught, low mercury, high omega 3, and carried by my local Costco.

Crack open a can of tuna, dump it in a medium-sized bowl, and gently break up the meat with a fork.

After you’ve chopped the scallions and jalapeno…

…toss them on the tuna. Mix in salt, pepper, and a spritz of lime.

In a separate bowl, mash half an avocado with salt, pepper, and the rest of the lime juice.

Scoop up the guacamole, add to the seasoned tuna…

…and stir to combine.

Grab two Pure Wraps or sheets of nori and place a piece of lettuce on each.

Divide the tuna salad onto the lettuce, wrap it up, and chow down.

Paleo Eats: 1/19/12 (Whole30 Day 19)

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Ack! Or should I say, “Hack!”? I was coughing my head off last night and as a result, getting up this  morning was a Herculean task. I finally dragged my disheveled self out of bed because I was scheduled to work in Lil-O’s classroom. Don’t fret! I’m not contagious anymore even though I sound like it.

Before heading to the preschool, I inhaled a bowl of leftover seasoned ground beef, spicy braised kale, and sauteed mushrooms.

When I came home at lunchtime, I ate a plate of leftover chorizo scramble, roasted Pan di Zucchero

…a few spoonfuls of coconut butter, and a Clementine tangerine.

For snack, I nuked a Japanese yam and gulped it down with some coconut flakes.

At dinnertime, I fried up some Burger Bites…

…sauteed mushrooms, onions, and baby spinach in the remaining burger grease…

…and roasted a tray of curried cauliflower.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Fitbomb and I have a deadline we’ve gotta meet for our “side project” so I gotta vámonos.

Good night, gentle readers!

Paleo Eats: 1/10/12 (Whole30 Day 10)

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I’m already in the double digits of my Whole30 and it’s still been smooth sailing. Because I’ve got a set of rules in place, I’m not tempted to go buy a bar of dark chocolate bar or a pint of heavy cream for my coffee because, well, I can’t. I’m such a conformist and I definitely listen to The Man and The Woman (a.k.a. Dallas and Melissa).

In the morning, I was greeted with the drool-inducing aroma of simmering beef and veggie stew.

After adjusting the seasoning with a few extra cracks of black pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar…

…I ate a small ramekin (a la the glamorous Giada DeLaurentiis) and was pleased as punch that it was well-balanced and hearty, despite only taking 5-10 minutes of hands-on time to throw it together.

Rao’s marinara sauce is amazing. I stored the rest of the stew in the fridge for a dinner later this week.

Since I need to eat more than lithe Ms. DeLaurentiis, I also made myself a curry wrap with leftover broiled sardines and kale salad for breakfast…

…and downed a black espresso because Dr. Pino says it’s a-OK.

With the kids at school until 3:00 p.m., I should’ve been plugging away on my side project, but there were too many damn distractions in the house. Why is it that our filthy floors only bother me when I’ve got a deadline? I bet Fitbomb wishes I’d be beset by strict daily deadlines so our house would be spotless. I’m a self-confessed slob to the nth degree.

For lunch, I reheated a frozen pre-cooked pork chop in the SousVide Supreme. When it was serving temperature, I charred it with my torch and served it along with leftover sautéed baby chard and sliced tomatoes. (I’m well aware that tomatoes don’t normally grow in California during the dead of winter. I just happen to have some out of season produce in the kitchen… )

In the afternoon, I mindlessly snacked on a couple tablespoons of coconut butter and a pack of Whole30-approved SeaSnax. Oops.

I also deboned and seasoned some chicken thighs with Magic Powder before dunking them in the water oven for a couple hours.

For dinner, I fried up the Sous Vide Crispy Chicken Thighs

…baked two trays of Brussels sprouts chips

…and roasted some Portobello mushrooms in the toaster oven.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Ack! My week off is coming to an end tomorrow night and I’m so behind on many projects. Big sigh.

Paleo Eats: 1/5/12 (Whole30 Day 5)

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Ack. My sleep last night was craptastic, which is normal since I was switching from being a zombie (night shift worker) to a regular Paleo Jane. I was helping out in Lil-O’s class (which is also the routine) so I downed a black espresso and reheated leftover Slow Cooker Cheater Pork Stew with zucchini spaghetti.

After a busy morning playing with wee folks, I came home and found my meaty delivery from Brandon Natural Beef sitting on the doorstep.

I ordered the Super Braising Special which comes with my favorite cuts: grass feed brisket, short ribs, cross shanks, and oxtails. It’s the first time I’ve purchased from them but I couldn’t pass up this variety pack o’ meat or the fact that they deliver for free in the San Francisco Bay Area.

For lunch, I reheated a frozen pre-cooked sous vide pork chop in the SousVide Supreme (where they joined the short ribs that are continuing to cook at 140°F until Friday morning)…

…charred it with my kitchen torch

…and ate it up with reheated roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kabocha squash.

I love meals that don’t require chopping, prepping, or washing any pans. I’m unrepentantly lazy.

In the afternoon, I ate a Clementine tangerine. That is all.

At dinnertime, I made some more Cheater Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Legs

…sauteed some bok choy and mushrooms with Red Boat fish sauce and coconut aminos in the leftover duck grease…

…and roasted a tray of curried carrots and butternut squash.

Here’s my dinner plate:

(Remember: even if your SousVide Supreme is soaking a tough cut of protein for 48 hours, it doesn’t mean it’s out of commission. Just find something else that cooks at the same temp, dunk it in, and fish it out when its done or reheated.)

Goodbye for now.

Paleo Eats: 7/26/11

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Today, I retweeted this spot-on quote from Ruth Bordain, “I can’t get behind Meatless Mondays, but I am a very strong supporter of Tempehless Tuesdays.”

Methinks he/she is a fellow caveperson. Or at the very least, a vegan ridiculer.

Before heading to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto, I filled my belly with a leftover piece of Damn Fine chicken and crudites dipped in basil and eggplant pesto.

The WOD was fun and challenging PLUS it was the first time I was able to do all 100 double-unders, albeit in fits and starts. I didn’t even realize the whipping I gave myself until Fitbomb pointed out my battle scars.

If someone asks sbout the welts, I’ll nonchalantly tell them that I was caught tagging a government building in Singapore.

After the class, I refueled with half a nuked sweet potato and a few slices of deli roast chicken.

For lunch, I made a frittata with zucchini, leftover emergency protein, frozen broccoli, and cherry tomatoes.

I ate a slice with 1/4 of an avocado topped with Aleppo chile pepper finishing salt.

As an afternoon snack, I chowed on some coconut butter and a packet of Grass Fed Jerky Chews.

Then, my boys and I hopped on a train bound for San Francisco and met my hubby at Marlowe for dinner.

I can’t believe my week off is over and I’ll be starting work tomorrow night…

Paleo Eats: 7/25/11

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Monday, Monday, so good to me…

I bet most of you are thinking, “Wha….?!?!” but Mondays are my Fridays; I’m well-rested and work is still a few nights away. See? Working 7 nights on and getting 7 days off ain’t so bad.

(Wanna know a secret? Fitbomb is a diehard fan of The Mamas & The Papas AND The Carpenters. I don’t hold it against him, so neither should you.)

Before I dropped Big-O at camp in the morning, I ate the last of the leftover pork pot roast with some microwaved frozen broccoli.

Then, Lil-O and I went to the park and we spent the morning climbing on stuff and playing hide and seek. I love having the energy and strength to keep up with my rambunctious kids and I owe it all to CrossFit and eating Paleo. 

For lunch, I reheated more leftovers (grilled chicken and koobideh from Shalizaar and sauteed spinach and mushrooms) and plated the meat with some baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, and Aubergine dip.

I was still feeling nibbly afterwards so I ate some coconut butter straight from the jar.

In the afternoon, I snacked on a Primal Pac while I waited for Big-O to finish his kung fu class. Speaking of portable snacks, I re-ordered a ton of goodies from Steve’s Original (e.g. grass fed Paleokits, Coconut Paleokits, PaleoKrunch cereal, and PaleoKrunch bars) and SeaSnax in anticipation of our upcoming road trip to the Ancestral Health Symposium. I know the trip is only for four days, but I ordered enough to last me a couple months. You can never be too prepared.

At dinnertime, I baked a dozen prosciutto-wrapped frittata muffins.

I served them with a side salad and called it a day.

Time for bed!

Paleo Eats: 7/21/11

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The first day after getting off my week of nightshifts is kind of rough. There’s ALWAYS some sleep debt that lingers which makes me a wee more snippy than usual. That being said, after going Paleo for over a year, my recovery from graveyard shifts is quicker and less painful. Plus, my kids have told me that I’m a nicer mommy and that’s all that matters.

Enough blathering. Let’s get to my chow for today…

At breakfast, I was pressed for time so I chopped up some odds and ends and put them on a small plate: sliced sous vide chicken breast, chopped tomatoes, leftover roasted portobello mushrooms, and Aubergine dip.

After dropping Big-O off at summer camp, Lil-O and I played at the park and took a trip to Penzeys to restock my spice rack. I bought a HUGE bottle of Sunny Paris

…and two blends I’ve never tried before (Chili 9000 and Sunny Spain). 

For lunch, we met my parents at Jack’s Prime for some burgers. I ordered a Big Jack (double cheese burger with bacon) with extra avocado but no bun, cheese, or sauce.

I felt peckish a few hours later so I snacked on a handful of macadamia nuts, some SeaSnax seaweed, and a few Bing cherries. (BTW — the SeaSnax are Whole30-approved AND you can get free shipping if you use the code “w9fs”.)

At dinnertime, I made a simplified version of Damn Fine Chicken where I subbed in Sunny Paris seasoning for the chopped shallots/onions.

For the veggie sides, I broiled sliced eggplant brushed with virgin red palm oil…

…and finished with balsamic vinegar and chopped basil…

…and sauteed heirloom Italian broccoli with minced garlic, Red Boat fish sauce, and balsamic vinegar.

Here’s my dinner:

Time for sleep! 

Paleo Eats: 7/12/11

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Today was my last day off before heading back to work for a week of nightshifts, so I wanted to make the most of it.

Before heading to the women’s class at CrossFit Palo Alto this morning, my better half fried me a savory coconut pancake that I topped with cherry tomatoes and avocado.

I had such a fun time in class! The workout (kettlebell swings, sumo deadlift high pulls, and plenty of running) kicked my ass as usual, but the other girls in the class are incredibly encouraging and inspiring. I’ve guzzled the CrossFit Kool-Aid…

As soon as I got home, I quickly ate my post workout meal, which consisted of a nuked sweet potato and a small portion of roast beef. If you’re still debating between refueling with post-workout shake (wha-?) or meat and tubers (yay!) look no further than this great post by The Lazy Caveman.

For lunch, I reheated the last of the slow-roasted pork shoulder, grilled summer squash, and grilled portobello mushrooms in the fridge:

I added some cherry tomatoes and a squirt of lime juice — and as soon as I put down the camera, this plate of food was gone. Yes, I’ve been putting cherry tomatoes on everything, but I love them and I’m so happy they’re in season again. My heart really breaks for those of you sensitive to night shades.

I got the munchies again at 3:00 p.m., so I ate some baby carrots with Aubergine dip, coconut flakes, and a few macadamia nuts.

Then, the kids and I took the train up to San Francisco to meet Fitbomb for dinner. Big-O and I used to make this trip every other Tuesday (the night before I’d start work), but these days we only make it up once every couple of months. Dragging two kids up to the city ain’t easy, though I have to admit that it’s less challenging now that Lil-O’s a little older.

Originally, we were going to eat at Marlowe, but it was all booked for the night. So we opted for Plan B: one of our old favorites, Foreign CinemaOur dinner outside in the covered courtyard was awesome.

After our bellies were full, Big-O turned to me and said, “Mommy, I’m going to move back to San Francisco when I’m older.”

“Yes, honey, it’s one of the coolest places on earth.”

If only finding street parking was less of a hassle…