Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 3/25/11

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I knew I was going to have a great night at work because my Work Husband (not to be confused with my actual husband) brought me a present…

Yep, it’s a pound of grass fed beef suet! Nothing makes this cavegirl smile like a block of frozen fat.

For my first meal at work, I ate some “emergency protein” (seasoned grass fed ground beef with collards and bacon) over a bed of nuked frozen green beans.

A couple hours later I snacked on coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. The mac nuts and coconut kept me full until I left work so I didn’t eat the dinner I packed.

I was hungry when I got home so Little-O helped me make a frittata with “emergency protein” (seasoned ground beef and chard) for hubs and I to share.

Since I still had the munchies, I also ate a crap load of coconut flakes.

Before going to bed, I filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F so it would be ready to reheat a precooked flank steak when I woke up.

At 5:30 p.m., I stumbled out of bed and started making dinner. I dunked my flank steak into the water oven to bring back up to 130 F and then I started cooking my vegetable side dishes. I made some gravy, carrot and parsnip puree

…and stir-fried collard greens and bacon.

Then, I took out the flank steak and zapped it with my kitchen torch.

…Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I did the WOD I missed this morning. Post workout, I ate half a baked sweet potato and some leftover pork pot roast.

Then, it was off to work. Again. Just five more nights to go until vacay!

Paleo Eats: 3/22/11

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When I woke up this morning, I didn’t know what the hell I was going to eat for breakfast. I had no leftover protein in the fridge and I didn’t have time to fry an egg.

Then, I remembered that we have scads of sardine tins in our pantry so I cracked one open and ate it with a handful of macadamia nuts and roasted red bell peppers.

After taking Big-O to school, I packed my post workout meal and went to my class at CrossFit Palo Alto.

Man, it was a tough WOD but I guess I’m turning into one tough mutha because I was able to finish it.

When I returned home, I prepared a batch of seasoned ground beef with minced baby leeks, garlic, leftover stir-fried kale and bacon, and Arizona Dreaming seasoning.

Yes, there’s some asparagus in there. I had one leftover broiled stalk that I cut up and threw in as well. I feel like my mother when I save scraps like that. This batch of beef is “emergency protein” that I’ll just nuke when I’m hungry or add to frittatas, scrambles, or omelets.

Since I finished the last baked yam in the fridge, I roasted a new batch in the toaster oven for future post workout meals.

I won’t be eating the skin, so I didn’t grease them up before baking them.

At lunchtime, I picked up Big-O at school and we all enjoyed a lunch out at the Counter. As usual, I ordered a burger in a bowl but this time I ordered it with their monthly special, a Greek lamb burger.

It was really tasty. How is it possible that lamb is the least popular meat in America? That’s loco, dude.

In the afternoon, I accompanied my mother-in-law to a doctor’s appointment and by the time we came home, I had to get Big-O ready for his T-ball practice at 5:30 p.m. After practice, it was close to 7:00 p.m. so I had no time to make anything fancy for dinner.

I broke into the container of “emergency protein” and served it with some broiled asparagus (from the toaster oven) and leftover veggies (winter squash puree, roasted red bell peppers, and roasted turnips).

After dinner, I finally did some meal prep for the coming week. I seasoned a grass fed flank steak…

…and two racks of lamb with salt and pepper…

…and vacuum-sealed them.

I preheated the SousVide Supreme to 130 F and dropped in the flank steak (it will cook for ~20 hours) and stuck the lamb racks in the fridge. I’ll place the lamb racks in the water oven (along with the flank steak) late tomorrow morning and take all the protein out at dinnertime. I’m not sure which I’ll serve tomorrow but either one can be dunked in an ice bath and stored for later consumption.

I start another week of nightshifts tomorrow night. Ugh.  The good news is I’ll have three weeks off when I finish my workweek! Yippee!

Paleo Eats: 3/19/11

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Ahhh…the weekend! With my work schedule, I only get every other weekend off to spend with my family so I try to savor these days as much as I can.

Okay, that sounds so dramatic. Especially given the fact that I get a week off every other week. Truth be told, I’m just stoked that hubs is off on the weekends so I’m not tackling the kiddos by myself.

This morning, my first meal of the day was essentially my last meal yesterday. I made myself some red cabbage slaw with tangy carrot ginger dressing and sliced up a leftover lamb burger.

After breakfast, I went to pick up my Full Belly Farms CSA box.

Yep, that’s a bag of corn meal in the box. Anybody want it?

I picked up my Mariquita Farm CSA box on Thursday so I’m well stocked with veggies this week. It won’t stop me from going to the market, though. My name is Nom Nom Paleo and I’m a healthy food shopaholic.

After Big-O’s kung fu class we ventured to brunch in lieu of his T-ball game which was rained out. We headed to our old standby, Rick’s Cafe, where I ordered a plate of steak and eggs with some mixed greens (hold the bagel and potatoes).

They proudly proclaim that their steaks are only fed grain and grass. Oh well.

After brunch, Little-O took a nap and Big-O went to his buddy’s down the street for a playdate.

What did hubs and I do? (Get your fricking mind out of the gutter!) We blogged because, you, dear readers, are very important to us. And I ate a ton of coconut products and mac nuts while I did it.

At dinnertime, I just had to prepare some veggie sides since I already had a grass fed flank steak percolating in my SousVide Supreme.

I roasted a tray of turnips in the oven…

…roasted a delicata squash in the toaster oven (brushed with melted ghee and seasoned with Shallot-Pepper seasoning)…

…sautéed some mushrooms in butter and a bunch of spinach with shallots in butter (finished off with a squeeze of lemon).

With all my side dishes finished, I blasted my flank steak with my kitchen torch…

…and plated my dinner.

Another day of solid eats.

Sous Vide Grass Fed Flank Steak

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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.