Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 4/19/11

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Only one more day of vacation…Argh!

This morning I fried up a scramble with leftover emergency protein and served it with leftover sautéed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.

After my class at CrossFit Palo Alto, I came home and chowed on some Fox Point seasoned sous vide chicken breast and a baked yam.

Post-workout meals have made me a much nicer mommy.

Before we picked up Big-O from school, I seasoned (Tabil seasoning, salt, and pepper) and vacuum-sealed six pork chops from my ½ hog. I plopped them in the SousVide Supreme set at 134 F for two hours.

I iced the cooked swine since I’ll be serving it during my work week.

For lunch, I formed some mini grass fed beef burgers (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and coconut aminos)…

…and fried them up for my boys and me.

I ate mine with some lettuce and shredded carrot, leftover winter squash puree, and sautéed broccoli and shiitake mushrooms.

Yes, my lunch looks like another wacky Vegas buffet plate.

My afternoon snack consisted of mini burgers and a sliced bell pepper:

Oncology appointment + T-ball practice = late start making dinner. Not a problem with my trusty SousVide Supreme!

When I got home at 6:15, I immediately dunked 4 FROZEN pre-cooked sous vide chicken thighs into the water oven (set at 140 F) and set to work making the sides. I roasted a delicata squash seasoned with Sunny Paris seasoning in the toaster oven and I nuked a dish of sugar snap peas with butter, salt, pepper, and Sunny Paris seasoning.

I took the thighs out of the water after about 30 minutes and I fried them up in some coconut oil.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Instead of making a fried egg for picky Little-O, I decided to follow Sarah Fragoso’s advice in her new book and serve him what the rest of the family was having (albeit on a Star Wars plastic plate). Although he did protest initially, I stayed cool as a cucumber (per Sarah’s advice) and he ended up eating some chicken and snap peas!

Hallelujah!

Paleo Eats: 4/16/11

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I totally agree with the peppy boys of Erasure — I love Saturdays. When I’m off work, it’s fun spending a leisurely day with my boys and noshing on good eats.

I was disappointed with my thwarted attempts at making a breakfast burrito for dinner last night so I made myself one this morning.

It was really yummy topped with homemade guacamole and Primavera roasted tomato salsa with chipotle. If you live in the San Francisco bay area, you should really seek out this salsa – it makes EVERYTHING taste better!

After breakfast, I picked up my vegetable CSA box from Full Belly Farm

…and then we went to an Easter egg hunt at Big-O’s kung fu studio.

For lunch, we stopped by Mayfield Bakery and Café. Fitbomb and I shared a plate of soft scrambled eggs with roasted spring vegetables and asparagus nage…

…Mayfield chicken salad with Bloomsdale spinach and bacon lardons…

…and a side of bacon.

Although the chow was tasty today, Mayfield is not on our regular brunch rotation because the food and service can be totally hit or miss. We can’t wait over 30 minutes for our food when we’ve got ticking time bombs in tow.

After lunch, I started preparing dinner since we were hosting old friends for supper. To make sure I wouldn’t be too frazzled when the guests arrived, I made a lot of dishes that could be reheated later or served at room temperature.

Wanna see?

I whipped up a batch of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

…and roasted a slew of veggies: a tray of zucchini slices, baby artichokes

baby carrots

…and portobello mushrooms.

Big-O eagerly assisted me in my kitchen adventures by drizzling on avocado oil and seasoning the veggies with salt and pepper.

When my roasted veggie platter was finished…

…I fried the sous vide chicken thighs that I had prepared yesterday…

…nuked the garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

… and broiled a tray of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus spears.

Here’s our dinner spread… 

…and my dinner plate:

As a reward for slaving in the kitchen, I treated myself to 1/3 of a bar of Guittard Nocturne 91% cacao. Oh, how I’ve missed you, dark chocolate!

Day 9 of Whole30 Eats

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What did I eat today? I know all of you are waiting with bated breath…

For breakfast, I made myself a quick spinach frittata with 3 eggs and a handful of spinach (right out of the freezer). Three eggs is the perfect amount for my 8-inch cast iron skillet when I wanna stick it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes to cook it through.

I topped it with some salsa and a glob of guacamole and chowed down.

For lunch, I nuked a box of leftover (no longer) crispy sous vide chicken thighs, winter squash puree, and frozen broccoli.

Sous vide meats reheat beautifully in the microwave. Although the skin gets a little soggy, the chicken was still juicy – even breast meat!

In the afternoon, I snacked on some macadamia nuts and coconut flakes (surprise, surprise).

For dinner, I made Dorie Greenspan’s chicken-in-the-pot, garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (with a purple head), and a quarter of a baked Japanese yam.

Yummy. I’m very excited to eat these leftovers tomorrow…

Late Night Eats: 1/4/11

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My final night of late night eats for the week:

At 10:30 p.m., I snacked on a small container of coconut butter. This stuff is goooooooooood.

“Lunch” at 2:00 a.m. consisted of leftover (no longer crispy) sous vide chicken thigh, winter squash puree, and nuked frozen veggies.

At 4:30 a.m., I ate some macadamia nuts and coconut flakes as my second snack of the night.

My last meal at work was at 7:00 a.m. when I ate leftover stir fried kelp noodles with ground pork and Dukka-seasoned roasted cauliflower.

I’ll be flipping back to dayshift today so I take a nap from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; eat a small snack in the afternoon; enjoy dinner with the family; and try my best to sleep through the night. I’m gonna be a cranky mofo today (and probably tomorrow).

Sous Vide Crispy Chicken Thighs: The Whole30 Version

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Butter is out this month. Sigh.

Tonight’s dinner was a bunch of my go-to dishes reformulated to fit the Whole30 program / CrossFit Love Paleo Challenge. Specifically, I removed butter from the dish and switched it out with “approved” fat.

Here’s what was on the menu: Crispy sous vide chicken thighs, roasted broccoli (sans bacon), and winter squash puree:

Here are some of the modifications I made to make this meal Whole30 compliant:

When I vacuum sealed the thighs, I wasn’t sure whether to include a dollop of alternative fat so I decided to go without any additional fat just to see how they’d turn out. Did I do this in the name of science or laziness?

Don’t answer that.

I cooked the thighs in my SousVide Supreme yesterday night (150 F for 2 hours) so all I had to do this evening was crisp up the skin.

I fried them in 2 tablespoons of macadamia nut oil and discovered that I shoulda included some sort of fat in the bag because the skin stuck to my WELL-seasoned cast iron skillet and I had to forcibly scrape them off with a metal spatula.

Some pieces were okay…

…but other pieces were plain ugly. Tasty, but ugly.

Next time, I’ll include some lard or butter (post Whole30).

For my winter squash puree, I subbed out the butter with some coconut oil and it was delicious!

I don’t always like using coconut oil because the coconut flavor can be too overpowering but it works really well in the puree.

Lastly, I roasted some broccoli with some macadamia nut oil, salt, and pepper.

To finish it off, I drizzled on some aged balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

I was initially annoyed that I had to modify my recipes with Whole30 approved ingredients but it dragged me out of my cooking rut and I created some tasty variations.