30 Day Paleo Challenge: Prepping

So I’ve realized I eat more dairy than I thought I did or maybe that’s just what’s left in my fridge to consume.  So I’m finishing out my non-paleo foods before the 30 Day Paleo Challenge

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I know you’re just as psyched as me.

I’m used to eating yogurt for breakfast.  So today was pretty typical…

breakfast

Green smoothie (1/2 banana, 6 chunks of frozen mango, lots of spinach, and water) + the other half of the banana and a Chobani.

Lunch consisted of more leftovers…

lunch

An apple for a snack.  Then random boxed Potato Leek soup + cottage cheese with tomatoes and hot sauce on a tortilla.  That combo was wayyyy more delicious than I thought.  Since I still have a ton of cottage cheese left, that will be lunch tomorrow too.

After work, I headed to Costco to stock up on some stuff.

groceries

Bananas, Almond Butter, Marinara, Spinach, Eggs, Clementines, Mini Peppers, Rotisserie Chicken, Ground Turkey, Avocados.   I wish that box was filled with Stella Rosa, but no, that’s how I brought home my chicken…

Honestly, the list wasn’t that different from what I normally buy.  The only difference is ordinarily I would buy Greek Yogurt and Cottage Cheese and probably some other type of cheese instead of any type of meat.

One of the criticisms I hear about  Paleo is that it’s expensive.  I spent $56.  That might be a little more than I would normally spend at Costco, but I’m thinking that ground turkey will last a while, and it was the most expensive item (4 packs for $17).

I’ll hit up the grocery store for some spaghetti squash later this week, but other than that, not a whole lot more.

I’ll keep track of the costs just out of curiosity.

How much do you normally spend on groceries?

 

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30 Day Paleo Challenge

I’m a firm believer in trying new things.  I’m also of the belief that if you’re not happy with something, change it.  So right now, these two beliefs are coming together to form this 30 Day Paleo Challenge.

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If you are at all into health/fitness, you’ve probably heard about the Paleo diet and the cult of Crossfit.  I hate to say it but I’ve drank the Kool Aid.  I think Crossfit is totally fun.  I feel like a total bad ass every time I do a power snatch.  But that’s not why I want to give Paleo a try.

Let’s be honest.  We all know I have a sugar problem.

Hi, my name is Karla and I’m a sugarddict. 

While I like to joke about it, it’s something I don’t like about myself.  I wish I could pass up a piece of cake, or look at a cookie and not really want it.  So instead of complaining about it, I’m going to try to do something to change it.

30 days. 

That’s not forever, but it might be long enough to help me break a less-than-desirable habit.

What does the 30 Day Paleo Challenge mean?

That means for 30 Days I will:

Avoid:
-Dairy
-Grains
-Legumes
-Alcohol
-Sugar (and sugar substitutes)
-Processed foods

Enjoy:
-Lean Meats
-Vegetables
-Fruits
-Nuts
-Healthy Fats

You’re probably thinking what about all the baked goods?

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I have a few that I’m committed to baking for events, but other than that I’ll try to feature Paleo-friendly recipes.

Like this Baingan Bharta I made wayyy back when

I don’t want to call this a diet, because I hate diets and I’m not necessarily desperate to lose weight.  What I am tired of is constantly wanting something sweet after lunch and dinner.  So this isn’t a diet.  Instead, I’m calling this a challenge and an experiment.

I’ve read tons of things about how Paleo has helped people crave less sugar and feel more energized.  Seems worth a shot to me.

I fully expect this to be challenging, and maybe even suck at first.  I’ve drank coffee with milk and splenda/sugar substitute every morning for as long as I can remember (literally since I was probably like 8 years old).  That will probably be the biggest challenge, but I’m willing to give it a try.

I’d love to have clearer skin, fewer headaches, fewer cravings and more energy!  Who wouldn’t?  I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be happy to lose a few pounds too.

I’ve got nothing to lose (except maybe a few pounds), so why not give it a try?

This week, I’m easing into it.  Finishing up any beans or cheese left in my fridge (because while I want to be healthy, I also don’t want to be wasteful) and transitioning to a Paleo lifestyle.

The full fledged challenge begins on Monday, March 4th!

What do you think? Do you have any experiences with Paleo?

Want to join in on the 30 Day Paleo Challenge? Interested in me documenting the journey on here?

Little Banana Cake with Caramel Filling

Sometimes you just don’t want a big commitment.  Saturday, I went on a 16 mile hike up the highest peak in Orange County.  That was a big commitment; there was snow at the top of the mountain.. in Orange County…

I was totally ok with that commitment.

But sometimes, dessert can be a big commitment, especially cakes.

Because of this, I think my 6 inch cake pans were a great investment, and I think this banana cake has been my greatest creation from them so far.

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I actually made this twice, so I can tell you with confidence that it’s doubly tasty.

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Little Banana Cake with Caramel Filling

adapted from Epicurious

For Cake:
1 cup + 1 tbsp flour

1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
1/2 cup sugar, heaping
1 egg
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Caramel filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Icing:
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

Sift together flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes).  Add in egg, continue to beat for another minute or two.  Beat in mashed banana, milk, vinegar and vanilla.  Add in flour mixture until well combine.

Pour batter into 2 (6 inch round) cake pans (greased, floured and bottom lined with parchment paper).  Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through (mine took 25 mins, but yours might differ based on your oven so start checking after 20 mins).  Allow to cool completely.

Make caramel filling.  Melt sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Once sugar starts to melt turn flame to low.  Work out any clumps by stirring.  Once the sugar syrup is a deep amber color, remove from heat stir in butter (mixture will foam a lot but keep stirring), stream in cream as you stir, then stir in vanilla and salt.   Set aside to cool a bit.

caramel

Level off each layer using a serrated knife.  Place your bottom layer crumb side down on a plate (put some pieces of parchment paper around the edges to get a clean frost).  Spread half the caramel in the middle of the cake.  Put second layer on top and spread with remaining caramel.  Caramel should still be warm to the touch but not pourable.  You’ll have to spread it with the wooden spoon and it will smooth out on its own (if you let it cool too much you won’t get a smooth top.  Alternatively if the caramel is too hot, it might flow over the edges, no biggie, you can cover that with icing).

unfrostedcake

Next make frosting.  Beat half a cup of heavy cream, once it starts to form soft peaks add in sugar and vanilla.  Continue to beat until it forms firm peaks.  Frost the cake as desired.  If you plan to frost the entire thing (including the top) and decorate, double the frosting.  I only frosted the sides

partiallyfrostedcake

then used a piping bag with a star tip to decorate the edges to leave the caramel exposed.  Both are great, tasty options.

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If you’re ready for a big commitment (aka a full size cake), double the recipe and bake in two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.

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Either way, store this cake in the fridge until about 45 minutes before you’re ready to serve it.  Don’t come complaining to me that your caramel is too hard if you take it out of the fridge and slice it immediately.  Like all commitments, that part needs time too.

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What’s your next commitment?

Please tell me it’s this little banana cake!

The EBA: Egg Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

I love breakfast.  It’s seriously the best meal out there.  If I could have brunch out every day, I’d be totally happy.  But sometimes you need to save money and calories.  Tomorrow, I’m having Sunday Brunch out with friends.   So making something special at home that hits the spot was the right way to go.

This says it all.

According to Facebook, you all love runny yolks as much as I do. So tomorrow morning… or really right now… save yourself a few bucks and make this delightful breakfast creation.

EBA: Egg Bacon Avocado Breakfast Sandwich

1 slice of bacon
1 egg
1/4 avocado, sliced
2 pieces of bread

Fry the bacon in a small skillet over medium flame until desired level of crispiness.  In the meantime, toast your bread and slice your avocado.  Remove bacon from pan and place on a paper towel, once cooled, break in half so you have two pieces.

Wipe off some of the bacon grease from the skillet.  Turn flame on med/low and crack egg into pan.  Once the white part has set enough for you to flip it, flip the egg and cook an additional minute (or more if you’re blasphemous and don’t like runny yolks).  Transfer egg onto 1 slice of bread.  On the other side, lay slices of avocado then bacon.

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Put together and enjoy!

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I swear the runny yolk is what makes this so amazing.  Or maybe it’s the bacon.  Or the avocado…

You’d think that based on the number of desserts I made I would be all about sweet breakfast items, but no.  I generally prefer savory breakfast foods.

What about you?  Do you prefer savory or sweet breakfast?  What’s your favorite breakfast/brunch menu item?

Kitchen Tour: Where Foodologie Happens

Not sure if you’re familiar but The Kitchn does Kitchn Tours, where they feature various people’s kitchens.  Most of them are fancy and amazing kitchens of influential people in the food world, and I simply love them.

I think it’s because I’m nosy.  I always want to know what people’s kitchens are like.  Not just famous people but everyday people, especially bloggers.  I see their delicious work, and I’m always dying to know where it happens.  I assume everyone has amazing kitchens with every gadget available.  But then I think hmm well mine isn’t amazing…

So with that, I’ve decided to share my kitchen with you.

This is my teeny tiny kitchen in my teeny tiny studio.  It’s not much, but this is where Foodologie happens.

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No really, that’s pretty much all there is too it.

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In case you don’t believe me, here’s a video to prove it.

So my kitchen is tiny and strange.  It’s not fancy.  I  own 1 pot, 2 pans, 2 baking sheets, 1 cupcake pan, some cake pans and let’s be honest four pie dishes…  My toaster was only $7.99 from Target, my microwave is on loan from my sister and my blinds consistently fall when I pull on the string.

But I still love it and everything that comes from it…

Like this Bourbon Banana Pie

My kitchen is a winner, but let’s be honest.  I hope to one day have a kitchen as awesome as the ones I see in Kitchn Tours.

Tell me about your kitchen!  Any other bloggers want to do a tour of their kitchen to make me happy?

Banana Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 great things inspired this blog post.  They both start with a B.   The first is Bacon.

That word inspires so many people to eat copious amounts of things.  I feel like Bacon is particularly fitting today, as it’s Super Bowl Sunday.  I would be a big fat liar if I told you I wasn’t excited for today, but I’ll be honest.  I’m more excited for the food than for the game, and only marginally more excited for Beyonce (that’s the second B…).

She’s my lady, and I love her.  Probably as much as most people like bacon.

So my contribution to Super Bowl Sunday (aka this…

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are these cookies

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Banana Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter
6 slices of bacon, cooked and fat reserved*
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
 2 cup banana chips, roughly chopped

Cook bacon in a pan over medium heat until crispy.  Place on to a paper towel and allow to cool.  Once cooled, chop and set aside.  Reserve 1/4 cup of bacon fat.

Cream together butter, 1/4 cup bacon fat, and sugars.  Add each egg, beating about 1 minute after each.  Add flour and baking soda, beat until almost combined.   Fold in bacon, banana chips and chocolate chips.  Chill dough in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 350F.

Form dough into walnut sized balls, and place on parchment paper-lined baking pan.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown (this varies on the size of your cookies and your oven).  Allow to cool completely and serve.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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*Note: if you don’t want to use bacon fat, omit bacon fat and use 3/4 cup of butter instead of 1/2 cup.

So make sure you get on this quick.  You’ve got a few hours until Beyonce (and the Super Bowl).  Run and get some bacon then make these cookies!

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