Paleo Eats: 11/25/12

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Still kicking yourself for veering off course over the Turkey Day weekend? Don’t fret. Just brush those pie crumbs off your shirt and get right back on the Paleo straight-and-narrow. After all, tomorrow is another day, right?

We had a lovely holiday weekend. (Thanks for asking.) On Thanksgiving, my sis drove up for the day and presented us with my brother-in-law’s incredible home-smoked turkey thighs, and we all gorged ourselves silly at my in-laws’. This year, almost all of the dishes were Paleo-friendly(!). My mother-in-law even made a point of declaring that the turkey au jus was “soy-and flour-free” — a pretty big deal in a Chinese household. And on Saturday, we celebrated my in-laws’ birthdays. Both are turning 70 this month. Mazel tov!

When I got up this morning, I heated up a smoked turkey thigh and some leftover vegetables for breakfast.

Man oh man, my brother-in-law’s turkey is goo-oood.

After breakfast, I finally had a chance to open up some packages that have been piling up next to our front door. I’m incredibly grateful for the terrific gifts I’ve received, like a sample of Choffy from Heather, one of my readers. I can’t wait to break out my French press and brew myself some chocolate. Yep, you read that right. Chocolate.

I also received a personalized WODbook from the fine folks at Sport Journals, who offered to design a custom cover using my Deadlift Girl image. I can’t wait to take it to the gym and start documenting my workouts.

As if these items weren’t cool enough, I also finally unpacked my kombucha continuous brewing system that I recently ordered from the Kombucha Kamp booth at the Weston A. Price Conference. Big-O and I were impatient to start brewing our first batch of kombucha, so we spent a good chunk of the morning glued to a series of online videos about how to assemble the kit. 

Big-O watched EVERY video, even the ones that describe steps we won’t get to for another week, like flavoring your finished ‘booch.

But unlike his big brother, Lil-O hates kombucha. As soon as he learned that the brewing system isn’t made of Legos, he wandered off in search of a ninja costume, Iron Man mask, and a pirate hat. (Because Pirate Superhero Ninjas > Pirates > Superheroes > Ninjas > Kombucha.) 

I’m no craft queen like Martha Stewart, so I appreciated (and relied heavily on) the videos’ simple step-by-step instructions. I followed ‘em all to a “T,” except the part about sending positive vibes and expressing my hopes and dreams to my kombucha. So if this batch doesn’t turn out, I’ll know why.

Okay — truth be told, I may have also scalded my scobys with too-hot tea. Whoops.

Guess I’ll find out in a week if everything’s okay. 

After setting up my ‘booch brewing system, I was famished for lunch. Luckily, I had leftover braised pork shoulder in the fridge. I tucked some in a Pure Wrap and doused it with homemade sriracha sauce.

Can you tell how happy I am to have sriracha back in my life?

Post-lunch, I went for a hike with my pals, though we probably gabbed more than we exercised as we ambled up and down the Stanford foothills.

By the time I came home, I had a little time before dinner to tinker with a new recipe: Paleo Walnut Prawns.

This has been one of my favorite dishes since I was a wee lass. My family would always order walnut prawns when celebrating a birthday or anniversary at a Chinese restaurant, and I could never resist the crunchy shrimp and candied nuts — all slathered in a sweet, creamy sauce. Unfortunately, it was also totally anti-Paleo. The walnut prawns you get in restaurants are loaded with corn starch, sugar, high-omega-6 mayonnaise, and condensed milk — and then fried in super-bad-for-you oils. 

The version I’m working on isn’t sugar-free (the sauce has a touch of honey)…

…but the batter’s grain-free…

…and the prawns are fried in coconut oil.

Plus, the whole dish takes only 15 minutes to make…

…and the “candied” walnuts add a touch of sweetness and crunch without too much guilt.

After comparing this recipe to the walnut prawns we sampled Saturday night at my in-laws’ birthday feast in Chinatown, I’m declaring this one a winner. I’m not usually one to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty sure I’ve managed to create a healthier, tastier alternative.

(Before you start asking: I’m still tinkering with the recipe, so it’ll remain under wraps for now!)

By the time dinner rolled around, I was a little tired of cooking, and didn’t want to make anything too complicated. I tossed some baby bok choy in the pressure cooker with some garlic, bone broth, and Red Boat Fish Sauce

…fried burgers formed with 4505 Meats' famous grind…

…and baked portobello mushroom “buns.”

My burger looked somewhat naked…

…until I squirted on some sriracha and piled on my buddy’s homemade kraut.

I already need to make a new batch of sriracha. I know: First world Paleo problems.