Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 3/20/11

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When I woke up this morning it was raining hard and the wind was howling – love it! I know most people prefer sunny weather but gloomy, stormy weather makes me smile. On the weeks when I’m working the graveyard shift, it lulls me to sleep in the middle of the day. On my days off, I love being “trapped” inside and just chilling out with the family. Thing get complicated when we have places to go. Like today. Then the rain can be a bitch.

For breakfast, I made myself a red cabbage slaw topped with leftover sous vide flank steak.

This was a big-ass mofo salad and it kept me full until lunchtime.

After breakfast, the family took a trip to Whole Paycheck where we stocked up on essentials for the week. My kids LOVE pushing the mini shopping carts around the store. I HATE herding them around the store and apologizing to all the patrons getting clipped in the Achilles tendon.

For lunch, we stopped by Anantolian Kitchen again. I really dig this spot for kebabs. It can get busy during weekday lunches, but on a rainy Sunday, it was easy to get a table at noon. I guess most people wanna gobble French toast and waffles for brunch instead of tasty meat sticks. Lucky for us.

Hubs and I split the combo grill plate (chicken, lamb, doner kebab, and salad)…

…and the Adana kebab (marinated ground lamb & beef with a salad). Both dishes were ordered sans rice.

This spot may be my new favorite Paleo-friendly spot in Palo Alto…

While Little-O took a nap, I took Big-O to a birthday party at a bounce house. It was a pandemonium, but at least he burned off a lot of energy!

When we got home at 5:30 p.m., I started prepping dinner. I was tired and didn’t want to make anything too complicated so I heated up some pre-cooked duck confit legs (I bought ‘em at the farmers’ market) in the toaster oven (15 minutes at 375 F).

To finish the duck, I charred them with my kitchen torch to get the skin all crispity-crunchity.

I tossed some asparagus spears in the rendered duck fat with some salt and pepper…

…and broiled them in the toaster oven until tender.

I finished off the dish with a spritz of lemon juice. Trust me: Always keep some lemons in the fridge.

I also nuked a packet of winter squash puree that I mixed with butter, salt, and pepper…

…and sautéed a pan full of spinach in butter with sliced shallots, dried chilis, and lemon juice.

I’m happy to report that dinner was on the table in about 35 minutes.

And as a special treat, I ate half a bar of dark chocolate:

Paleo Eats: 3/9/11

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I’m starting another week of nightshifts tonight, so I was a busy bee this morning and early afternoon.

While the kids ate their breakfast, I threw the ingredients for Paleo Korean short ribs into my slow cooker.

Even Lil-O jumped in to help me make the simmer sauce.

When we came home from dropping Big-O at school, I ate some mini frittata muffins, roasted bell peppers, and baby carrots for breakfast.

Then, we set off for Whole Paycheck to get some last minute groceries.

For lunch, I made myself the same type of frittata I had for breakfast yesterday.

After lunch, I whipped up some garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes with my older sous chef…

…and then I took a nap for a couple of hours.

When I woke up, the short ribs were finished…

…so I reheated the garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

…sautéed a bunch of Bordeaux spinach with shallots in butter…

…and roasted Brussels sprouts in ghee with Penzeys Shallot-Pepper seasoning (splashed with some balsamic vinegar).

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I did the CrossFit “Christine” workout in my garage, which left me sore, winded, and sweaty. My post workout meal was half a baked sweet potato and a few slices of roasted turkey deli meat.

Then, I took a shower, gathered up my stuff, and went to work.

Paleo Eats: 2/25/11

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Without further ado, here are my eats on my second night at work…

My first meal in the middle of the night was a box of leftover grass fed T-bone steak, winter squash puree, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon.

A few hours later, I snacked on a couple leftover mini frittata muffins

…and a handful of macadamia nuts and coconut flakes.

For my “dinner” I ate a box of Chili Con Carne seasoned grass fed ground beef, cauliflower fried rice, and roasted asparagus.

After work, I marinated some tandoori chicken thighs and then drove to my class at CrossFit Palo Alto. It’s tough doing a WOD on my day off but it’s damn near impossible after a night shift. I was wiped out after my class so I went to bed right away.

At 5:00 p.m., I was kinda groggy but I started preparing dinner. I baked the tandoori chicken thighs…

sautéed spinach with shallots and bacon

…blitzed some garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes

…and pureed a large vat of curried cream of broccoli soup. I started blending this soup with my old immersion stick blender but it literally sparked in my hand and blew a fuse. Yikes. Out came my trusty Vitamix and I pureed my veggie soup in a few seconds.

My Vitamix is super powerful but it’s a pain in the ass blending up hot soup without making a big mess. I already ordered my replacement immersion blender on Amazon for only $26.95…

Here’s me digging in:

You’d think I’d be full after all this food, but I still managed to cram down half a package of coconut flakes while I surfed the web. Them flakes are dangerous.

After stuffing myself silly with coco goodness, I packed my stuff for work and set off once again to bring home the bacon.

Paleo Eats: 2/11/11

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On my second night at work, I started chowing down at the stroke of midnight ‘cause I was hungry, damn it.

My first snack of the night was baby carrots with aubergine dip and a hard-boiled egg.

A few hours later, I ate my “lunch” which was a box of sous vide chicken breast, green beans, and roasted bell peppers.

I followed it up with a small container of coconut milk and strawberries.

The last thing I ate at work was a box of leftover lamb chops, green beans, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted carrots and butternut squash.

When I came home, I quickly marinated some tandoori chicken thighs and stashed them in the fridge before dashing off to my class at CrossFit Palo Alto.

This was the first time I’d gone to an exercise class after working a 10-hour night shift and I was a little nervous I’d drop a barbell on my head. To put your minds at ease, I came home unscathed. I was tired and sore but no contusions.

As soon as I returned home, I went straight to bed because it was WAY past my bedtime. I woke up at 5:00 p.m. and quickly dashed to Zombie Runner to pick up a zombie plushie for Big-O’s friend’s birthday and a couple pairs of Vibram FiveFingers Bikila LS shoes for myself. I love my Vibrams!

I returned home 40 minutes later and popped my tray of tandoori chicken legs in the oven and started making my side dishes.

First, I heated up two frozen packets of Cascadian Farm winter squash puree in my SousVide Supreme (set at 135 F) for about 30 minutes and mixed it with some butter, salt, and pepper. Then, I sautéed some spinach with bacon grease, shallots, and a dash of Banyuls vinegar.

I took the chicken legs out of the oven…

…and cranked up the heat to broil and popped in a tray of asparagus tossed with macadamia nut oil, salt, and pepper. About eight minutes later, the asparagus was finished and I drizzled on some balsamic vinegar.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Good eats in under an hour.

Sautéed Spinach with Bacon, Bacon Grease, Shallots, & Mushrooms

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Hello bacon, my old friend, I’ve come to eat you once again…

(Go ahead: Sing along with me to the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence. You know you want to.)

Now that I’m done with the Whole30 program, I’m free to add some bacon-y goodness to our dinner. And it just so happens that I found a recipe on Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food website for sautéed spinach and bacon that looked easy and tasty (my two prerequisites for any weekday dish). After surveying the contents of my crisper, I decided to modify the recipe a little by adding some sliced shallots and cremini mushrooms. I also opted to bake my bacon instead of frying it in the pan because I’m less likely to burn the bacon when I bake it. Bonus: I can also collect the delectable bacon grease in the tray!

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 1 pound organic baby spinach
  • 12 ounces of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 slices of uncured bacon, baked and crumbled
  • Bacon grease (reserved from baking the bacon slices)
  • 2 teaspoons Banyuls vinegar (I just found out that wine vinegar is not technically Whole30 — oops! Don’t tell anyone.)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I gathered up my ingredients…

…and heated the bacon grease in my trusty cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the pan was hot, I sautéed the sliced shallots with some salt and pepper…

…until they were translucent and softened.

Next, I added the mushrooms and cooked ‘em until they developed some brown bits and the liquid evaporated.

I tossed in the spinach in batches…

…adding more as it wilted. I seasoned the dish with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Then, I plated the dish and sprinkled the bacon bits on top.

This dish totally hit the spot with a 1-2 punch of bacon grease and crispy bacon bits! Oh bacon, how I’ve missed you!