Sunday, July 24, 2011

Roast Beef Asparagus Salad

Tonight we had a pretty simple dinner: A salad.

Easy. On top of some greens of your choice toss some steamed asparagus, roast beef sliced, sliced Swiss cheese (if you do dairy) and some tomatoes. Top with your favorite vinaigrette - homemade or whatever. You can also toss in some avocado, red onion, finely chopped jalapenos - get creative.


Mini Frittatas

Trying to mix up breakfast, just a little and Sunday offers a bit more time so I made some mini sausage and spinach frittatas with avocado-tomato-onion salad. They're really easy to make and if you make enough (& don't eat them all ;-) you can refrigerate them and heat'em and eat'em later as a high protein snack!

OK, here's how to do it. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a bowl whisk a few eggs, egg whites, or egg substitute. You can add a little cheese if you like (I added a spoonful of cottage cheese) or milk (I didn't add any milk. Heat up some vegetables (I used frozen spinach) and a meat (I used organic spicy sausage) chopped into small pieces. Allow the vege and meat to cool. Now mix it all - eggs and meat and vege - together. Season as you like and this is where you could get really creative. I added a ton of mexican style seasoning - salt, pepper, cilantro, cayenne, etc, but you could leave it plain, add Italian seasoning, Cajun flavor, etc. Pour into a greased muffin pan; you can use cupcake papers (I used tinfoil ones and they worked brilliantly with the egg just coming right out and leaving nice little ridged sides, a nice visual effect). Use a slotted spoon to make sure that they all have some of the vege and meat. Now bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes or until a knife stuck into the center comes out clean (i.e. the eggs have set). If you like sprinkle a little parmesan, cheddar, or other type of shredable cheese on top during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking so that it melts in. I served these along side a piece of Coconut Flour Bread-French Toast and avocado-tomato-red onion salad (because we had no salsa). Once they are cooked simply pop out of the papers, or muffin tin and eat. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. To re-heat either pop them back in the oven for a few minutes, microwave for 60-90 seconds, or place in a toaster oven. If you made a few extra of these on Sunday then they might make a good on-the-go breakfast for during the work week.

Enjoy and share your variations!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Coconut-Almond Butter

Nut butter are easy to make if you have the time. You can also get creative by combining different types of nuts to make cool combos. Here I combined some organic unsweetened dried coconut flakes with almonds to make a Coconut-Almond butter.

1 serving (~168 calories, 4 grams of carb, 16 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein)

Combine in a food processor: 15(+/-) almonds, a pinch full of dried coconut, a 1/3 teaspoon of coconut oil, a dash of cinnamon and a drop (literally 1 drop) of almond extract. Blend. You will have to push it down with a rubber spatula several times and the whole process takes about 15 minutes, but in my mind it's worth it. Very good spread on a fruit (e.g., apple, pear), tossed into a paleo pancake, spread on some coconut flour bread, etc.


Cherry Smoothie

No picture it went down too fast. Ha!
Super easy: buy some cherries, they're in season and taste great. Not to mention they are low-glycemic and generally pretty darn good for you.
I used about 10 Ranier Cherries, 1/2 cup unsweeted almond milk, a dash of cinnamon, and (it's my cheat day so don't judge me) a scoop (about 1 tbsp) of cottage cheese. Add some ice, about 2-4 cubes. Blend. Enjoy. Tasty.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Paleo Po'Boy and Yam-a-tato Salad

I've been watching a lot of cooking shows on television, or really just the food network and one show I really like is Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. Well, just about every time I turn that show on they are making some form or shape or version of a Po'Boy. I've never been that deep south, but it looks really good! Over the past few days I've been thinking about a way to make one and stick on the diet. This is the result and I must admit it was quite tasty....

The Roll: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Separate 6 eggs and whisk the whites into a fluff. Add garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, ground pepper, and a teaspoon of honey to the yolks and mix well. Combine the whites and the yolks, mix, don't destroy by over mixing. Then add 4 tbsp coconut flour. Mix well. I ended up using 4 tbsp, but started with 2. You want the batter to be thick enough to be able to 'roll' into a ball. Once you have that consistency roll them up and place on a cookie sheet that's been dusted with a little coconut flour. Wrap each of the rolls with some aluminum foil that's been folded up; this is to prevent the rolls from spreading and becoming a pancake. It worked brilliantly. Now drizzle just a touch of honey on top and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you so desire. Bake for about 150-25 minutes (a knife should come out clean when pierced through the center). Remove and set aside.

The Yam-a-tato Salad: Boil 2 yams until soft, but not mushy. When you pierce them with your fork it should be easy, but they should not fall apart. About 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool or give them an ice bath. In the meantime mix together 2 sliced radishes, 1 stalk of celery chopped finely, 1/2 apple chopped finely and 1/2-1 de-seeded jalapeno. Add sea salt, paprika, ground pepper and toss the ingredients together. Now add a tbsp of your favorite salad dressing (e.g. mayo, paleo mayo, slaw dressing, etc). Mix well. The yams are probably cooled off now if you iced them so go ahead and mix them in as well. Mix until everything has a little dressing on it. Refrigerate. Best to make this a few hours ahead of time so that all the flavors can meld together.

The Shrimp: Heat 1-2 tbsp coconut oil in an oven-safe frying pan.  Remove the shell and vein of about 20-30 shrimp. Bath in an egg milk mixture and allow to sit in there a bit to absorb the mixture. Now toss in your coating. Our coating consisted of coconut flour, a tbsp of flax seed meal, creole seasoning, paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, and ground pepper. Make sure that all the shrimp are about 90% covered. Move to second bowl if necessary; I found that they all got covered if I just stirred them around carefully with a spoon. Now carefully place your shrimp into frying pan. Cook for about 60-90 seconds per side tossing them frequently to make sure all sides get a little of that frying pan cooking. Then place into the oven for about 10 minutes or until shrimp are cooked to your desired level of taste.

Serve these bad boys up on the bun slathered (ok, not slathered, but...) with some remoulade sauce, top with a slice of tomato and some onion slices and a pickle on the side. We also served a small green salad.

This was my first attempt at this meal and I really think it turned out good; the fact that Austen's already packed her lunch pail with the leftovers also suggests it wasn't too bad ;-)

So, Guy Fieri when you start visiting homes or CrossFit gyms, the latter of which you could use (just sayin') you're going to have to swing by CrossFit Gwinnett for a Paleo Po'Boy!

And for the rest of you:

Jalapeno Clementine Sea Bass Steak

So, it's "fish week" at home. We're trying to eat fish at least 4-5 times this week. Trying to keep it interesting and not eat the same fish day in and day out so today I went to the Asian Market (Super H mart, love!) and bought some wild caught Sea bass steaks. I marinated them in a combo of honey, olive oil, sea salt, ground pepper, 1 packet of Stevia, garlic powder, sesame oil, and the juice from one clementime (+ clementine zest and a few pieces of clementines). I also added oven-roasted jalapeno. To roast simply de-seed, slice into strips, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes at 400ºF, or until browned. Cut up into pieces and add to the marinade. When it's time to cook, I simply grilled the fish. On a medium heat grill it took about 4-6 minutes per side.

We served us with roasted green beans and snap peas and 1/2 Korean yam that was oven roasted.

Not my prettiest meal, but it tasted pretty good if I say so myself. I think Austen liked it too. :-)


Monday, July 18, 2011

Lunch Leftovers: Broiled Tilapia

Leftover fish usually sounds pretty disgusting to me. I try to eat it, but sometimes heating it up is a challenge - if it's something I can throw on a salad cold then that usually works, but last night we had tilapia. I made a ton of extra fillets so that we could have them throughout the week as snacks, lunch, etc. Heating it up was simple as could be: simply place the leftover fillets on aluminum foil and broil for about 3-4 minutes. Just until the outer surface begins to brown. The insides will be warm, not piping hot, but the refrigerator chill will be gone and it will be edible. I left mine pretty plain and served it with a romaine salad. Easy lunch!


Homemade Sweet Potato Crisps

Alrighty, I've been craving some chips/crisps lately and I know there are some for sale that I could probably choke back ;-) such as plantain chips, vege chips, etc. I also know that the ones you can buy in the store are cooked in bad oils. For my birthday my mother-in-law got me a mandolin, which I've never used before, but am really liking. I decided to make some sweet potato crisps, really just to see if I could.

Using the thinnest setting on the mandolin, which is pretty dog gone thin if you ask me, I sliced 1 sweet potato. I then tossed the slices in a mixture of coconut oil (1tbsp), sea salt, ground pepper, and paprika. I tried to get them all coated, but it was pretty useless. I then placed the slices 1 deep into my food dehydrator for about 4-5 hours. The crisps came out crispy and ready for dipping. It was so easy that I decided to make cinnamon apple chips today. Turns out apples have a lot more moisture in them so they are taking longer, but sample taste test an hour ago suggests they are going to be a big hit!

Try this and add these as a nice side to a paleo sandwich, salad topping, etc.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Piccata Tilapia and roasted Asparagus

Roasted asparagus: drizzle with some oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400ºF for about 30 minutes. If you like drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on near the end.

Tilapia: pat the tilapia fillets until dry then dredge through coconut flour mix (take 3 tbsp coconut flour and mix in garlic powder, Italian seasoning, sea salt and ground pepper). Then fry up in a pan of hot oil (coconut oil is best) - about 4-5 minutes per side. Then remove from pan. Deglaze pan with white wine and add juice of 1/2 lemon, about 2-3 tbsp capers, sea salt, ground pepper, oregano, and 2 tbsp butter (grass-fed if possible). Cook until thickened and then drizzle atop fish fillet.

We also served a few thin sliced sweet potato chips with ours.


BBQ Chicken and grilled squashes and vege

This is way too easy: slather the chicken, bone in with bbq sauce - make your own or take the lazy store bought stuff (but try to get some with no HFCS). Gill along side veggies in a grilling tray.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Coconut flour 2-layered cake

Alrighty, this is my second attempt at something resembling a cake. I tried a cake last year for the July birthday season in the gym using almond flour, but this has taken to a whole new level: 2-layered (1 chocolate, 1 vanilla-almond) coconut flour cake with greek yogurt frosting and strawberries and munch topping. The reason I tried a 2-layer cake, instead of, say a 3, 4, or 5 layer cake should be obvious: I was nervous. Turns out I was right to do so because the cakes did not turn out completely flat as I'd hoped and I don't have the appropriate kitchen tools to cut cake (think those fancy cake shows on the food network!)

I was going to take pics as I went, but again I did not anticipate the challenge of that. And, I didn't want to smudge up my camera so much while working.

9 eggs, separated,
1/2-3/4 cup coconut flour
2 very ripe, or over ripe bananas
almond extract
coconut oil
about 6 strawberries

greek yogurt
coconut flour, just a teaspoon or two
3 strawberries and some home made munch

Preheat oven to 350ºF
1. Add 2 packets of stevia and a dash of cinnamon to the egg whites and whisk or mix until thick and fluffy
2. Mix the egg yolks with the 2 bananas, about 2-4 tbsp honey (adjust for sweetness preference), 2-4 packets of stevia, and 2 tbsp coconut oil.
3. Mix together the whites and the yolk mixture and add 1.5 teaspoon of baking powder, a dash of sea salt (or regular salt), and the coconut flour. Mix until a smooth batter
4. Separate the batter into two bowls.
5. In one bowl add 1-2 (or more) tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder and in the other add 1-2 teaspoons of almond extract. Mix both and then pour each into a 9 inch round cake pan.
6. Bake both cakes, which should be about equal thickness, not in my case because I spilled some of the white cake batter :-( for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife stuck in the center comes out relatively clean.
7. Allow cakes to cool.
8. While the cakes are cooking combine 24 oz of plain greek yogurt with 2-4 stevia packets, a little honey and 1-2 tbsp of coconut flour. Mix well.
9. Refrigerate the frosting so it thickens a bit.
10. Once the cakes have cool frost the top of one of the two cakes and lay sliced strawberries into the icing. Then put the other cake on top. Ice the entire cake. Top with fresh cut strawberries and crushed munch. Refrigerate.


Mexican Meatloaf and Broccoli Slaw

Ground beef (1-1.5 lbs)
2 eggs
Taco seasoning (1 packet)
Enchilada Sauce (just a few teaspoons for the topping)
Onion (1 quarter)
Garlic (2-3 cloves)
Sea salt
Cheese (cheddar or monterey jack)
Sliced Jalapenos (as desired) for topping and about 1/4 cup finely chopped

Mix beef and first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Add the 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeno's (if you like it hot, if not leave them out or add less). Put the sliced jalapenos to the side for a topping. Form mini-meatloaves and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until meat is cooked through. with about 10 minutes left sprinkle the top with some shredded cheese and a sliced jalapeno or two and put back in the oven for the remaining time. Once the meatloaf is cooked drizzle with enchilada sauce. Serve with a side of salsa and sliced avocado or guacomole. We also served a broccoli slaw with ours. Austen made this one because I was working late and it was DELICIOUS! Can't wait to eat the leftovers for lunch. This recipe makes about 4 mini(4-6oz)-meatloaves.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Pinwheel Pesto Chicken with sauteed Summer squash

Hammer a chicken breast so that it's pretty flat (probably should be flatter than ours, but I had to coach a WOD). Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Now spread 1 teaspoon of pesto sauce on the flattened chicken breast, then lay one piece of prosciutto and 1 slice of provolone cheese. Wrap the chicken breast up by carefully rolling it; make sure the insides don't just squeeze out, but pushing it back with the tips of your fingers. Now to keep it from unrolling put a few toothpicks through it. Now drizzle some coconut oil over the top and sprinkle dried oregano, sea salt, ground pepper, and dried basil (fresh oregano and basil would work brilliantly, but we didn't have any :-(   Now wrap tightly in tin foil (see image below).

 Grill at medium for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

We served ours with a saute of squash and tomatoes. For that, start by heating 1tbsp of oil in a frying pan, then add some onion until translucent, then add some fresh crushed garlic (~2 cloves). Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Add squash (~3-4 sliced summer squash) and tomatoes (~2-3 Roma tomatoes). Allow to cook on low to medium-low for about 25-30 minutes. Season to taste.


Nut Munch: Breakfast cereal sub, ice cream topping, or just good ol' snack!

Breakfast cereal used to be literally one of my favorite things on to eat. I would eat for breakfast, snacks during the day, and before bed. I was, can you say, addicted!? In order to satisfy that craving I found a few commercial products (the best being Steve's Original Paleo Crunch, that stuff is awesome), but most were out of our price range with a new baby. So, I decided to make some of my own. It might not taste as good as the commercial brands, but it's not bad and has been a big hit around here. We've even wrapped it up as gifts for some of the members of CrossFit Gwinnett. Here's how you do it:

(Adjust all "measurements" for amount you'd like to make.)
Preheat your oven to 300ºF. Toss a handful of almonds into a food processor with a healthy heaping of cinnamon. Grind into a meal, not a flour. Having some halved or quartered pieces is just fine. Dump that meal into a mixing bowl. Now do the same thing with walnuts (and you could also do it with pecans). Now you have a mixture of almond and walnut and cinnamon meal; dump about 2-3 cups of almonds and walnuts respectively (using more of the nut you prefer and possible adding some other nuts like macadamia, if you prefer) into the mixing bowl with the meal. Now mix. Squeeze or pour about 1 cup of honey (plus/minus this as you prefer: more will make it sweeter, but higher glycemic, less will make it less clumpy and clustery, both ways are fine. We've also used molasses, agave, and/or maple syrup - all work well, but we only had fresh local honey on hand yesterday). Mix the honey and nut-nut meal mix together until the meal starts gripping to the whole nuts. You should not have a lot of leftover meal in the bottom of the mixing bowl - that would mean you used to little honey. If you would like to help balance the macronutrient ratio add a scoop or a few scoops of your favorite protein powder. Egg, Whey, and Casein all work well. Chocolate flavored is a particular favorite around here, but vanilla works well too. We've never tried any other flavors. Once you feel that you have a well-mixed batch pour out onto un-greased cookie sheet(s). Try to flatten the mixture out on the cookie sheet as much as possible. Now bake at 300ºF for 1 hour (+/-; you have to taste as you go). Stir/flip about every 15 minutes.

During the last half hour of cooking you could add some dried fruits (raisin, cranberries, blueberries work well) and during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking you could add some dried/dessicated coconut. Don't add the coconut too early or it will burn making the whole batch taste burnt. You could also just stir this into the final batch.

Once your batch is baked remove from cookie sheets and refrigerate. It's not essential that you refrigerate, but I like it refrigerated and it will last longer. Enjoy this little delicacy with some nice coconut, almond, or raw cow's milk poured over it. Put a few pieces on top of a smoothie or ice cream sundae, or just pop a few bites as snacks. No, it's not low fat or particularly low on sugar, but it's big on taste and will probably satisfy your sweet tooth.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not so Paleo Fish tacos...treat/cheat meal!

OK, so the weekend is for fun and treat meals, right? Well this isn't all that bad: Fish tacos. Usually we make a tacoless fish taco, but this time we made some homemade corn tortilla shells just for fun.

It's super easy actually. Get a white flaky fish (tilapia, cod, mahi) and pan fry up in some coconut oil and taco seasoning. Then place atop some salad greens, chopped onions, salsa (Austen added some sour creme, because I make it hot), grated cheese, and guacamole (recipe below).

To make the taco shell simply oven bake a corn tortilla. Not Paleo, but as far as cheat meals go, whatevs.

To make the Guac: simply combine (using a fork so it stays chunky) the meat of 3 ripe avocados, juice from 1/2 lime, sea salt and ground pepper to taste, some garlic powder, chili powder (both to taste), chopped onion, chopped tomato, and cilantro (easy on the cilantro else you will ruin it). Best to make this at least 1 hour before, preferably more, eating so it melds together.

Try it. Enjoy it!

PS: oh don't forget to use the other half of that lime in your Corona! :-)

Chocolate cupcake with yogurt frosting

Cupcake: Separate two eggs. Whisk whites into a thick fluff with two packets of Stevia. In another bowl mix the 2 yolks with one very ripe banana. Add about 1 tbsp of honey and another packet of Stevia, a few dashes of cinnamon & 1tbsp coco...nut oil (if you have it on hand then I would add either vanilal or almond extract as well, but this was a spur of the moment invention, so I only had the ingredients on hand in my pantry. Now combine the whites and the yolk mixture and add a teaspoon of backing soda, a dash of salt, and about 1.5-2 tablespoons of coconut flour. Mix in 1-2 tbs of cocoa powder (unsweetened) and dark (70%cocoa) chunks i you like. Spoon into cupcake papers, we use tinfoil ones because they are great. Bake for 35 minutes at 350F or until a knife comes out clean. Refrigerate.

Frosting: 1 6oz cup of greek yogurt. 2 packets of Stevia, 1-2 tbsp honey, 1tbsp of coconut flour to thicken. Refrigerate.

Once the Frosting gets thick, it will not get hard like traditional frosting, then ice the cupcakes and decorate with red and blue fruit for 4th of July :)

Refrigerate so that that frosting thickens up again.

We really enjoyed this little treat. Be sure to taste as you go and adjust ingredients to your liking.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Grilled Curried Chicken and Lamb Burgers with Mint Yogurt Sauce (& orange and green "fries")

Burger: 1lb ground chicken, 1lb ground lamb, one shredded carrot, 1-2 teaspoons of fresh chopped ginger, curry powder, sea salt and ground pepper to season. Add 1 egg and 1.5 tbsp coconut flour. Mix together with your hands and form burgers. Grill on each side for about 8-10 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Orange and Green "Fries": toss fresh green beans and sliced sweet potato in 1 tbsp coconut oil and sea salt, ground pepper, and paprika. Oven roast at 450 for about 20-30 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Mint Yogurt Sauce: one 6-ounce container of plain greek yogurt mixed with 3-4 tbsp chopped mint leaves, 1 teaspoon or less of sea salt, chopped scallions, and about 1/4 chopped ginger (or better yet lose the ginger and use coriander!)

We served our burgers with a side of grilled fresh summer squash from a friend's garden.


Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes with Fresh wild blackberry smash topping

We love breakfast in our house. It might actually be one of our favorite meals of the day. After a long (well not that long we DO have a 9 month old) sleep we wake up ready for some grub. Lately, I've been honing my coconut flour pancake recipe, but actually it's really really easy to make. Here goes:

Heat a griddle. No grease.
Then, in a bowl mix 2 eggs, a healthy dash of cinnamon, 1/2 smashed banana (I just fork smash mine so there are some bigger bits of banana in the final product), a pinch (but make it a good one) of dried/dessicated unsweetened coconut (use sweetened if you prefer), and 1.5 tbsp of coconut flour. Mix until it begins to thicken and then let sit for about 1-5 minutes. The longer you let it sit the thicker and more "doughy" it will get, which will make less of a pancake and more of a griddled muffin(ish) thingy. Then pour spoonfuls onto the griddle. About 2-3 minutes per side. I top mine with fresh fruit smash. We happen to have some wild fresh picked blackberries and so that's what we've been using this week. I've used banana, raspberry, strawberry, or just gone plain in the past.

Variations of the pancake. One morning I was mixing the ingredients for these and realized that we only had one banana, one green banana...Ew! So I started thinking about what else I could use: APPLESAUCE. But, alas, we had none. But we do have a nuclear holocaust supply of baby foods. So I tried that. First I tried apples and bananas. Delicious. Then I tried pears and raspberries. Delicious. Sweet potato. Delicious. Squash. Delicious. Pumpkin. I think you see where this is going. I use only organic baby foods that consist of just crushed fruit and a touch of juice. It adds a very nice variation to an otherwise pretty boring dish.

I hope you try and enjoy these!