Paleo Eats: 8/26/11 

Pin It

Although I started my nightshift with a large mug of Philz coffee with heavy cream, I still got hungry around 1:00 a.m. and promptly gobbled up some leftover emergency protein and mixed veggies.

Halfway through my shift, I slurped up a small cup of defrosted Hawaiian Sun coconut milk. Man, if you live close to a store that stocks it – go buy it NOW. It truly is the best tasting coconut milk around!

Right before I left work, I ate my last meal while on the clock: leftover slow roasted pork butt, stir-fried spigarello and bacon, and roasted spiced mini Portobello mushrooms.

As soon as I got home, we walked Big-O to school. Okay, we raced to school because: 1.) we were late and 2.) Big-O wanted to show his friends and teachers his new Vibrams.

After our morning sprint, I preheated and filled the SousVide Supreme and gave my mom directions to dunk the goat loin chop packets into the water oven in the afternoon. Then, I curled up with my iPad and put a small dent in my reading assignment (pages 1-100 in Nora Gedgaudas’s Primal Body, Primal Mind for Melicious’s book club) before passing out.

When I woke up in the evening, I broiled a tray of summer squash

…and topped them with cherry tomatoes…

…and balsamic vinegar…

…and stir-fried baby spinach, onions, and bacon.

Once the veggie sides were done, I removed the goat loin chops from the water bath…

…and torched them.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I did a little exercise in our garage gym before heading to work. Only five more nights to go!

Paleo Eats: 7/27/11

Pin It

I started my week of graveyard shifts tonight so my morning was busy with meal planning. Mind you, “meal planning” in my case is a very loose term. I just grab a bunch of frozen protein from the outside freezer on the weekend, stick them in a bowl in the fridge, and deal with the defrosted meat on Wednesday morning. I’m forced to do something or the meat will rot. I can’t let that happen ‘cause pastured meat is expensive, yo!

If you want to see how sensible cavepeeps methodically prepare their meals in advance, check out this great post from the busy folks at Paleo Comfort Foods. Pre-order their cookbook if you haven’t already!

Let’s see what I ate and cooked today…

For breakfast, I ate a couple leftover chicken drumsticks with a pile of sauerkraut and sliced red bell peppers.

I need to remember to incorporate probiotics back in my diet…

When I returned home after taking Big-O to camp, I took out my bowl of defrosted meat and surveyed the contents: a packet each of ground pork and beef, two flank steaks, and a skirt steak. Sous vide to the rescue!

I mixed up a batch of sous vide Turkish slider burgers with the ground pork and beef and placed them in the freezer…

…and seasoned and vacuum-sealed the grass fed flank steaks with Tabil, salt, and pepper.

For lunch, I marinated the skirt steak with salt, pepper, Chili 9000 seasoning, and splash of virgin red palm oil for 45 minutes.

While the meat was marinating, I sauteed some onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms with a sprinkle of Arizona Dreaming seasoning.

Then, I seared the steak (which I cut into 4 pieces) in a hot cast iron skillet and served it with sliced limes, tomatoes, and avocados.

Here’s my lunch plate:

After lunch, I filled and preheated the SousVide Supreme to 131 F and took a nap for a couple hours.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., I took the slider burgers out of the freezer, vacuum sealed them, and dropped them in the water oven.

To accompany the burgers, I roasted a tray of curried cauliflower

…and stir-fried zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and basil that I seasoned with balsamic vinegar and Sunny Paris seasoning. I added a few cherry tomatoes to the dish after I plated it.

Before calling the family to the dinner table, I browned the burgers with my kitchen torch

…and dropped the two flank steaks into the SousVide Supreme to cook for 24 hours.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After putting my little guys to bed, I ran to Philz Coffee to fill my thermos with Jacob’s Wonderbar (I added my own raw Jersey cream at home). Then, I practiced double-unders and did a homebrewed WOD in the garage gym before heading to work.

I’m sad I gotta work this weekend instead of heading to the Games with Fitbomb

Paleo Eats: 7/16/11

Pin It

Let’s just cut to the chase and see what I ate today!

My first meal at work was some leftover slow cooker roast chicken and stir-fried veggies.  

At 4:00 a.m., I ate a snack of coconut flakes and a Primal Pac.

The last bite I ate at work was leftover Asian cauliflower fried rice topped with sautéed spinach and emergency protein

It was kinda like a Paleo donburi.

When I got home, I fried some eggs and homemade bacon for my boys…

…while I snacked on some coconut flakes and kale chips from The Health Foodie.

After a round of hugs and kisses, I went to bed.

When I woke up, I dunked a packet of Grimaud Farms duck confit legs into the Sous Vide Supreme to make cheater crispy duck confit legs, washed some greens…

…chopped some cherry tomatoes…

and roasted some Portobello mushrooms.

Then, I fried up the duck legs…

…and placed them on top of a salad with greens, cherry tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, and roasted portobello mushrooms.

Before leaving for work, I did more double-unders practice (every day until August!), some kettlebell swings, and a few burpees. I’m slowly inching towards my hump day…

Paleo Eats: 6/5/11

Pin It

I’m more than halfway through my workweek…

My first meal at work was some leftover umami slider burgers, baked sweet potato fries, and nuked frozen broccoli.

Halfway through my shift, I ate a package of Just Jerky for snack.

The last meal I ate at work was a sous vide wild king salmon salad with greens, shredded carrots, avocado, and cucumber.

When I got home, I seasoned and vacuum sealed two big ass grass fed cowboy steaks (two pounds each!)…

…with Tabil seasoning, salt, and pepper…

…and a bunch of Full of Life Farm pork chops with Dukka seasoning, salt, and pepper. 

I’ll be serving both the steaks and chops later in the week so I stored the uncooked pork chops in the fridge and I dunked the vacuum-sealed steaks…

…into the SousVide Supreme (set at 130 F)…

…for ~8 hours. If you’ve got some gigantic rib eyes that you want to grill (without sous viding), follow these awesome instructions from Serious Eats right here.

Then, I treated myself to half a bar of Guittard Nocturne 91% cacao and read my new Paleo magazine before passing out.

At 5:00 p.m., I woke up and started preparing dinner. I defrosted the wild prawns I bought at the farmers’ market yesterday…

…shelled and deveined them (nobody wants to eat shrimp poop)…

…and made some Tabil-seasoned sautéed shrimp.

As the veggie side, I sauteed some pancetta, baby spinach, julienned summer squash, minced garlic, and Sunny Paris seasoning.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I iced the sous vided cowboy steaks and stuck them in the fridge for tomorrow night’s dinner.

As I got ready for work, hubby picked me up a big ass mug of Phil’z Coffee (Anesthesia to the Upside with heavy cream). He definitely knows how to keep me in great spirits. Remember these words of wisdom uttered by erudite Theresa Giudice: ”Happy wife, happy life.” Stop denying it — you know you love them bitches from Jersey!

Paleo Eats: 4/17/11

Pin It

Ack! I only have 3 more days of vacation! I know you’re all in a tizzy as well but maybe taking a peek at my chow will distract you.

For breakfast, I reheated a bowl of braised red cabbage topped with emergency protein, Primavera salsa, and homemade guacamole.

Then, I rushed off to the Mountain View Farmers’ Market to pick up my free asparagus, some strawberries…

…and a few veggies before going to a kickboxing class at Big-O’s kung fu studio.

My post workout meal was a baked yam and a few slices of Applegate Farms organic chicken breast.

On a whim, I decided to invite our good buddies, H & B, over for brunch so I fried up some filling (diced Full of Life Farm ham, cremini mushrooms, radish greens, roasted asparagus, and Sunny Paris seasoning)…

…for a batch of mini frittata muffins.

I also made a salad with mixed greens, sliced radishes, carrots, avocado, and slivered almonds that I tossed with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil…

…and hulled a big bowl of strawberries for dessert.

I ate my plate of grub…

…and slurped up a delicious bowl of curried carrot soup that H brought over.

I’m gonna pester her for the recipe so I can recreate it myself.

At dinnertime, I didn’t want to make anything complicated. I dunked some purchased duck confit legs in the SousVide Supreme and sauteed some broccoli and shiitake mushrooms while the legs heated up. Then, I took the duck legs out of the water oven and seared them in a cast iron skillet.

I plated the duck and veggies with some leftover garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

Time for some shuteye!

Cheater Crispy Sous Vide Duck Confit Legs

Pin It

Hey R, here’s a different way to heat up those Costco-purchased Grimaud Farms duck confit seasoned legs that’s super easy and the results are astounding.

I used to heat them up in the oven per the instructions of the package (stick in 400 F oven with skin side up for 15 minutes) but I was always disappointed with the flabby skin and the dried out texture of the meat. Since these babies come vacuum-sealed and are probably prepared sous vide originally, I’ve always wanted to reheat them in the water oven and then sear the legs off on the stove to crisp up the skin.

I opted to cook them this way tonight and they turned out PERFECTLY! My one minor gripe is the skin’s never intact on the legs so it’s a crapshoot how much crispy skin you get. That being said, I will NEVER make my own duck confit — I’ll just pretend I did.

Here’s what I did to feed 2.5 people:

I filled and heated the SousVide Supreme to 140 F and grabbed a package of Grimaud Farms duck confit seasoned legs from the fridge. 

Although the legs come vacuum-sealed already, I opted to reseal them in a Foodsaver bag since I don’t know if the original plastic container can be heated. 

I dunked the legs in the water oven for about 45 minutes and took the legs out…

…and patted them dry. 

I melted 2 tablespoons of duck fat in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and seared the legs skin side-down for about 2 minutes…

…flipped them over, and browned the other side for about a minute. There’s lots of splatter so cover up with an apron.

Voila! 

French bistro quality, super-crisp skinned and tender duck legs at home!

Sous Vide Grass Fed Flank Steak

Pin It

I’m always hesitant to cook new cuts of grass fed beef in my SousVide Supreme because my results have been hit-or-miss. When I mess up, I end up with a ton of powdery, overly-tender leftovers that I have to force myself to choke down. (It’s too damn expensive to toss, people.)

After perusing the interwebs and consulting my Douglas Baldwin sous vide bible, I decided to cook my grass fed flank steak at 130 F — medium rare — for 24 hours (his book recommends 24-48 hours cooking time). Most references indicate that you can actually cut the cooking time for grass fed beef by half, but I’m leery of taking the meat out too soon. I’m self-aware enough to know that I’m too lazy to vacuum seal it again if it’s underdone. 

*Update on 8/1/11: I’ve gotten great results when I’ve left the steaks in for about 36 hours. Sometimes, they’re still too chewy at 24 hours.

I seasoned the flank steak with just salt and pepper; I’ve found that with prolonged cooking (more than 6 hours), spice blends tend to overpower the meat or impart some off flavors. That being said, you should season the steak liberally with salt and pepper before sealing it. 

I seasoned and vacuum sealed my steak but I let it marinate in the fridge for several hours before I dunked it in my 130 F water oven.

I removed the flank steak which had been submerged for 23 hours…

…dried it off with paper towels…

…and blasted it with my kitchen torch.

The blowtorch is pretty awesome. I’m still getting the hang of it, but I love that I can char the whole piece of meat evenly. Whenever I’d sear a piece of sous vided meat in a pan, there would always be parts that wouldn’t brown properly because the cooked meat wasn’t flat.

After 24 hours and a quick char, the flank steak turned out tender and juicy.

Yay!

Sous Vide Lamb Burgers

Pin It

I’ve been trying to branch out and soak new proteins in my SousVide Supreme. Today, I experimented with making lamb burgers in my water oven. Why? Well, my go-to guy for all things sous vide, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt over at Serious Eats’ Food Lab, has some compelling reasons why you should sous vide your burgers. What really sold me was his drool-worthy description of sous vide burgers:

We’re talking burgers that oozed juices for nearly a minute after biting into them. Burgers that were thick, juicy, and perfectly medium rare from edge to edge with crisp brown crusts. We’re talking nearly perfect burgers here.

Sheeeit! I want to eat one!

Here’s what I gathered to make four ¼-pound lamb burgers:

  • 1 pound of ground lamb
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of Tabil seasoning

Here’s how I made them:

I preheated my SousVide Supreme to 137 F (J. Kenji suggests 130 F for medium rare, 140 F for medium) and generously seasoned the ground lamb with salt and pepper. Then, I added the Tabil seasoning and gently mixed the meat to distribute the seasoning.

I divided the meat into 4 patties…

…and then froze them for two hours so my sucky-ass FoodSaver wouldn’t squash the patties too much when it was time to vacuum seal them.

After the patties solidified, I vacuum sealed them, two per bag.

I dunked them in the SousVide Supreme for about 2 hours (you can keep them submerged for 45 minutes up to 12 hours). Then, I took the patties out and dried them with paper towels.

After arranging the patties on a baking rack on top of a foil-lined tray, I busted out my kitchen torch.

According to Douglas Baldwin, you should aim your torch 4-6 inches away from your target and make small circular motions with your flame until you get a nice even char. I think I just like setting things on fire.

Voila!

The burgers were pretty tasty, but not quite “perfect” because I like them closer to medium rare. Looks like I now have an excuse to try this again!

Next time, I’m gonna use a temp closer to 130 F and char the bleep out of them.

Sous Vide Pork Loin Roast

Pin It

I’ve made sous vide pork chops with great sucess numerous times but tonight was my first attempt at sous viding a whole pork loin roast in the water oven. The roast turned out fantastic and it only took me about 10 minutes of actual hands-on work. Wanna see how I did it?

Here’s what I gathered to feed 6 adults:

Here’s how I made it:

I dried off my roast with paper towels and liberally seasoned it with salt and pepper from up high.

Then, I generously sprinkled on the dry rub and massaged it in.

I vacuum sealed the roast with the help of my enthusiastic assistant who exclaimed…

“Mommy, we’re going to vacuum clean it!”

I filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 137 F. I used to set my machine to 140 F to cook pork but I like my pork a little bit pinker.  Next, I dumped in the packet for a minimum of 4-5 hours.

When I took out the cooked roast, I dried it with paper towels…

…and blasted it with my kitchen torch.

I sliced up the roast and every piece was moist and cooked perfectly all the way through.

I can’t imagine cooking pork any other way.

Paleo Eats: 3/8/11

Pin It

Since I’m starting my nightshifts tomorrow night, today was chockfull of cooking and meal planning.

My first meal of the day was a frittata made with three eggs, precooked curried ground beef, nuked frozen broccoli, and a splash of coconut milk.

This breakfast was pretty substantial so I ended up splitting it with my hubby but I ate the big half.

Then, I took off for my class at CrossFit Palo Alto. OMFG. Helen is a real bitch. ‘Nuff said.

Post-workout, I took Dallas and Melissa’s advice to eat immediately following exercise (within 15-30 minutes). I ate some roasted turkey deli meat (a meal-sized easily digestible protein)…

…and a jar of processed sweet potatoes (a fist-sized portion of a carb dense vegetable).

Not a huge fan of the baby food because it’s, well, baby food.

Little-O didn’t want to be left out of the fun, so he ate some coconut butter as I noshed on my post-workout snack.

Before we went to pick up Big-O from school, Little-O helped me bake some sweet potatoes and yams (since I only want to eat the baby food in cases of emergency)…

…and cheesy egg muffins.

For lunch, I ate a leftover box of sous vide pork ribs, cauliflower puree, and stir-fried kale and bacon.

Once Little-O went down for his nap, I pulled out the big guns — the SousVide Supreme and the Crock-Pot — for some serious cooking.

First, I filled and heated up my SousVide Supreme and dunked in two chicken breasts seasoned with Fines Herbes, salt, and pepper.

I cooked them for 2 hours at 140 F.

I also made some chicken cacciatore in the slow cooker which I simmered for 4.5 hours on low.

As soon as the chicken breasts were finished in the water oven, I dunked them in an ice bath…

…decreased the water temperature to 137 F and dropped in four bone-in pork chops from Full of Life Farm. I seasoned the chops with salt, pepper, and Tabil seasoning and I let them soak for 2 hours as well.

For dinner, I just nuked some leftover curried ground beef and frozen mixed vegetables. I tossed the vegetables with melted butter and sprinkled on Shallot Pepper seasoning.

Dinner was yummy and in my mouth in less than 5 minutes.

After dinner, I took the cooked pork chops out of the SousVide Supreme and dunked them in a ice bath.

Yes, they look anemic and unappetizing but that’ll all change when I torch them later this week.

Also, I transferred the finished chicken cacciatore to a Corningware container (recipe pending)…

…and put everything in the fridge.

Tomorrow, I’m cooking a batch of Korean short ribs in the slow cooker and then our meals until the end of the week should be covered. Yes, cooking ahead can be a pain in the ass but I’ll appreciate it the next few days when I wake up groggy in the evening and don’t want to lift a finger.