Paleo Eats: 4/13/11

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This morning, I made a bunch of food because I was packing some Paleo grub to bring with us to my mother-in-law’s oncology appointments. There’s no way in hell I’m gonna eat the disgusting “food” served at the hospital cafeteria. My co-workers and I refer to it as the “slop-house” because it would be impolite to call it the “shit-for-food house.”

As soon as I woke up, I seasoned two organic chicken breasts with Fox Point seasoning and dropped them into the SousVide Supreme for a couple hours.

Next, I cut a cauliflower into eighths…

…and roasted a tray of curried cauliflower.

I also sautéed some rapini (a.k.a. broccoli raab) with sliced shallots in a big pat of melted butter.

Unlike chard or kale, you can eat the leaves and the tender stems of rapini. Check out this link to find out more about this yummy vegetable and the myriad ways to cook it.

When I was done preparing the lunches, I threw together another garbage frittata (with diced ham, mushrooms, tomatoes, frozen broccoli, Fox Point seasoning, and Fines Herbes seasoning) and finished it in the toaster oven.

For breakfast, I ate a third of the frittata along with a large serving of sauerkraut.

During a break between oncology appointments, my mother-in-law and I ate the grub I packed from home. Her lunch box contained a small portion of sous vide chicken breast (she doesn’t want to eat too much meat), baked sweet potato, sautéed rapini, and roasted curried cauliflower.

My lunch box was the same except no sweet potato and more chicken.

While we waited at the infusion center, I snacked on strawberries and coconut flakes…

…and she ate some strawberries and mangos.

When we finally got home, I ate some Applegate Farms organic roast beef, roasted peppers, and baby carrots.

I also ate some coconut flakes. My coconut strike is officially kaput.

For dinner, I reheated some frozen sous vide pork chops and a couple packets of frozen winter squash puree in the SousVide Supreme.

Then, I broiled two bunches of asparagus and drizzled on some balsamic vinegar…

…and made a variation of herb gravy with shiitake and cremini mushrooms, leeks, and green garlic.

After I torched the pork chops and seasoned the winter squash puree…

…dinner was ready.

Here’s my dinner plate:

I gotta freeze some more sous vided pork chops — it’s so damn easy to make dinner when your meat is already cooked!

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: 2/15/11

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Here are my eats on my second to last night of work this week. I’ll try to minimize the snark but I’m pretty grumpy today.

I started the night off with a snack of macadamia nuts and coconut flakes.

My “lunch” consisted of leftover roasted broccoli, grilled grass fed rib eye, and roasted bell peppers.

This meal was tasty right out of the fridge.

My second snack of the night was some berries with cream-top yogurt.

The last meal of the night was an Italian sausage with leftover roasted carrots and celery root and sautéed baby chard and bacon.

After I got home, I sliced up some veggies for the Asian cauliflower fried “rice” I was going to make later that night.

Before going to bed, I filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 135 F to reheat the Niman Ranch bacon-wrapped pork chops I sous vided and froze several days ago.

When I woke up, I plopped the previously cooked pork chops into my water bath to heat up along with a packet of winter squash puree.

Then, I fried up some Asian cauliflower fried rice with a pound of ground beef.

The bacon-wrapped chops looked kind of unappetizing right out of the SousVide Supreme

…but after a little quality time in the cast iron skillet they look pretty good, huh?

I finished the winter squash puree by mixing in butter, salt, and pepper.

Here’s my dinner plate:

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.

Day 16 of Whole30 Eats

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Now that I’m back at work this week (and turning nocturnal again), I’ll report on what I’m eating from midnight to midnight. I’m finding it a lot easier adhering to the Whole30 program while away from my kitchen because I pack all my food in advance, and there’s no opportunity to stray. Each day this week, I’ll be eating just one meal at home after I wake up in the evening. (It’s my breakfast, but it’s dinner for the rest of the family).

Since it was my first night back at work, I didn’t get hungry until around 2:00 a.m. My ”lunch” at work was a refreshing salad packed with greens, hard-boiled egg, diced avocado, sliced tomatoes, and shredded carrots.

About an hour later, I was hungry again so I ate some coconut butter, macadamia nuts, and coconut flakes. Do you guys sense a pattern here? I love me some coconut and mac nuts!

My last meal at work was around 7:00 a.m., when I ate a box of leftover seasoned ground pork, roasted Portobello mushrooms,  and nuked frozen green beans.

When I got home, I walked my kindergartner to school with the rest of the family. I passed a bunch of moms who were bleary eyed and nursing huge mugs of java. WTF! I’ve been up all effing night — buck up, people!

I returned home, downed some chilled coconut milk, and crashed from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. When I woke up, I baked a yummy and EASY platter of David Lebovitz’s roast chicken with carmelized shallots.

As veggie sides, I reheated some World’s Best Braised cabbage

…sautéed 2 bunches of swiss chard and shallots in some lard…


…and made some winter squash puree mixed with coconut oil, salt, and pepper.


Here’s my “breakfast” plate:


Now, it’s back to the grind for another 6 nights.

Day 10 of Whole30 Eats

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Today I was busy, busy, busy preparing Whole30 nosh.

For breakfast, I made myself another frittata. This time I made one with three eggs, mushrooms, leftover roasted bell peppers, nuked frozen spinach, and chopped shallots.

I took the extra minute to nuke the spinach and squeeze out the liquid, which saved me at least 5 minutes under the broiler. However, sautéing the filling added back at least 10 minutes.

That’s okay because it was worth the extra time. (But really: Can you ever go wrong with frittata? Answer: No.)

My morning snack consisted of some coconut flakes, macadamia nuts, and a heaping tablespoon of coconut butter.

For lunch, I ate a leftover box of last night’s chicken-in-the-pot and garlic and cauliflower mashed “potatoes.”

Dang, this recipe is a keeper.

After lunch, I was kid-less for a couple hours (the big rugrat was at a playdate and the little one was napping) so I set about making some Paleo snacks and prepping meat for future meals. First up: snacks. I hard-boiled some eggs and baked a big batch of crispy kale chips.

I also seasoned and marinated a boneless pork leg that came in my meat CSA box — I’m going to finish cooking it tomorrow, so stay tuned…

Then, I sous-vided four boneless and skinless chicken breasts (for emergency protein)…

…and 4 boneless pork loin chops (seasoned with Dukka).

I cooked all that meat at 140 F for around 3 hours.

Amidst all this cooking, I scarfed down an afternoon snack of red bell peppers and guacamole.

For dinner, I fried up the sous vide pork chops and served them with roasted broccoli tossed with avocado oil and winter squash puree with coconut oil.

I was still hungry so I helped myself to a little cup of coconut milk. After all that effort in the kitchen, I think I deserved it, don’t you?

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.

A Day of Paleo Eats With Minimal Cooking

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Today I was too lazy to cook, so my day of eats consisted of thrown-together leftover proteins ‘n veggies from my fridge and a semi-Paleo lunch out.

For breakfast, I nuked myself another beef donburi with leftover carne asada, cauliflower “rice,” and winter squash puree.

After a full morning at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, our family noshed at International Kabob House. The menu explicitly states “PLEASE NO SUBSTITUTIONS,” so we didn’t even bother asking to swap out the rice, pita, or tabbouleh salad. We knew we’d just have to pick around the carbs.

Fitbomb and I shared a lamb souvlaki…

…and kabob house combo.

The food was tasty but there were tons of carby land mines to eat around. If you’re in the neighborhood, and want to give International Kabob House a try, get a gift certificate for 80% off. You have until the end of the year to get the disccount - just enter promo code: CLEARANCE.

For dinner, I made some salads with leftover carnitas, salad greens, shredded carrots, shredded red cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados.

Fitbomb dressed his salad with some salsa verde and I drizzled some extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar on mine.

I gotta make sure I have more leftovers in my fridge — but that would mean more cooking. Bloody hell.