Green Dinner and a Vitamix

I think this week I overloaded my body. I had a hard time sleeping, I ate wayyyy too much sugar and I have a panic attack pretty much daily Monday through Wednesday.

I mentioned last time that I’m taking the first step at trying something new… so in doing so, I invested in some technology, mainly a camera and a new computer. I really was due for a new computer anyway (5 years for a laptop is a good life), but let me just tell you a little bit about myself: I get major anxiety when it comes to making large purchases.  I have no idea what’s going to happen to me when it comes time for me to buy a house.  I’ll probably need therapy.

So new camera. New Computer.  That was a lot of new technology for me.  But let me tell you about something else. You know what a Vitamix is?

Of course you do.  You’re reading a food blog.  Ok well.  I won a Vitamix.  I know.  I was shocked.  My brother-in-law told me he thought I was going to explode when I found out.   How did I win?  Way back when, I entered a Driscoll’s Berries sweepstakes.  And I won!  Crazy, right?

If I wasn’t sipping a smoothie I just made in the Vitamix I probably wouldn’t believe it myself.

vitamix

Because of the new computer, Vitamix and camera, I sort of freaked out.  My reaction was to not touch it all and to eat a lot of chocolate and peanut butter.  Seriously so much chocolate and peanut butter that I thought for a minute I did some major harm to my body.

So after some sleep and a self-pep talk, I’m back into my whole be-good-to-yourself-for-your-birthday-deal.

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I ate roasted chicken with vegetables for lunch.  Then for dinner, I wanted green things.

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I had a smoothie made with Banana, Mango, Spinach and water, and because I like to chew things: my favorite 7 Superfoods Salad from Costco.  Delicious.

Ok so I’m done freaking out.  I promise.  I’ll continue to be a normal human being again.  So want to know what’s coming up soon?

Well I’ve got these guys to tell you aboutbuttermilkbars

and Sunday I have another EPIC food party planned.  Remember the Chicken and Waffles Party?  Think similar but with peanut butter… There might be some free PB in store for you guys too!

Thanks for baring with me while I had a mini freak out caused by technology.

Have a fantastic night!

How to Have a Fried Chicken and Waffles Party

Chicken and waffles are one of those food combinations that have a cult following.  In Los Angeles, Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles is an institution, and I’m pretty sure Lay’s makes a Chicken and Waffles flavored chips.

I remember having Roscoe’s once in high school, but I don’t remember if I tried the chicken and the waffles together.  I’m pretty sure I ate them separately.  That’s clearly not the “right” way to eat them.

Like most things I find intriguing, I wanted to try making my own chicken and waffles.  But let’s be honest, frying chicken is not something I’m going to take lightly.  I wasn’t going to just make 2 pieces of chicken, 2 waffles and call it a day.  No no.  This was my first time frying chicken.  It was going to be an event.  And thus the Chicken and Waffles party was born.

The first thing you need for an event is guests, so I recruited this crew to be my chicken and waffles testers.

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So if you’re like me, and you feel the need to make chicken and waffles an event, here’s a how.

What You’ll Need:

  • Chicken: I used drumsticks and thighs
  • Peanut Oil for frying
  • Buttermilk for the chicken (and the waffles)
  • Flour, paprika, salt and pepper for dredging the chicken
  • Yeast, Milk, Eggs, Flour, Sugar, Salt and Butter for the Waffles
  • Maple Syrup or just pancake syrup
  • Plate, forks, knives, napkins
  • Beer.  Lots of beer. And ice to keep it cold.

First things first.  You have to convince people that you are an awesome cook and that your chicken and waffles will be amazing.  I suggest creating invites to get people excited (don’t see how they wouldn’t be, also don’t tell them you’ve never tried frying chicken before).  I used Evite, because I’m a nerd.  But you can also e-mail, text or call your friends to invite them.  Make sure they RSVP so you know how much to make.

I estimated 3 pieces of chicken per person and at least 3 waffles per person.  My worst fear is someone leaving my house hungry.

A day or two before your event buy all the things you need (see list above).

The night before the event, start your waffles.

I used Smitten Kitchen’s Essential Raised Overnight Waffles.

They were amazing. I absolutely recommend them!

But because I’m a fiend for feeding people, I figured one waffle recipe for 8 people wasn’t enough (I was right).  So instead of doubling the recipe, I used a recipe a friend shared with me (made day of).  It was oh so buttery and tasty.

Day of…

Set up your table.  Dress it up, dress it down.  Always include fresh flowers.

settable


Start making the chicken.  Let me preface this by saying this was my first time making fried chicken.  I did A LOT of research.  After reading the million ways to make the “perfect” fried chicken, I decided to keep it simple. I pretty much used this recipe from AllRecipes but didn’t use their method.  My method was to make sure the oil wasn’t too hot and I kept turning it for even golden-goodness all around.

Frying the chicken is the most time consuming part, so start early (depending on the size of your skillet and how much chicken you make it’ll determine how long it will take).

First drown your chicken in buttermilk and let it sit there for a few minutes.  Then put about 3 cups of flour in a bag with 1 tbsp each of paprika, salt and pepper (more salt if you’d like, mine wasn’t salty).

Transfer a piece of buttermilk soaked chicken into the flour bag, toss around.  Place chicken on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Repeat until all the pieces of chicken are covered in the flour/buttermilk mixture.  Note: the amount of chicken you make will determine how much flour you need.  If you need to make more, just remember the ratios above (1 cup flour = 1 tsp spice, feel free to increase the spice).

Let the chicken sit and the coating get paste-like as you heat the oil.  Fill a large (I used 12″) cast iron skillet about half way full of oil.  Turn on heat to medium and let the oil get hot.

fryingchicken


I didn’t use a thermometer.  I used the flour trick.  What’s the flour trick? Sprinkle some flour into the oil.  If it starts to bubble your ready to fry.  Keep the flame at about medium.  Once the oil is hot, add a few pieces of chicken to the skillet.  You don’t want to crowd the pan but you should be able to fit about 4-5 pieces in there.  Fry chicken, turning every 3 minutes about 14 minutes for drumsticks and 18 minutes for large thighs.

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Cut through one to make sure it’s cooked through so you know your estimated cooking time from now on.  Place chicken on a paper towel lined baking sheet and put in a 200 degree oven to keep warm and crisp.

Repeat until you’re done making your chicken.

Next make your waffles. If you’re using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe, now is the time to mix in the 2 eggs and baking soda.  Or mix together your waffle recipe of choice!  Cook your waffles in your waffle iron.

makingwaffles

I borrowed my sister’s waffle iron so that I had two going at the same time.  It made the process faster.  If you’re making waffles for a crowd, keep them warm and crisp in the 200 Degree oven by putting them on a baking sheet IN A SINGLE LAYER (I didn’t do that and totally got soggy waffles.  Sad face.).

Now that your chicken and waffles are made.  You’re ready to eat.  Pile a platter high of chicken

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and another of waffles, and don’t forget the syrup!

chickenandwaffles2And your table will be ready for a crowd to dig in!

bwchickenandwaffles(Obviously they all had to wait while you took pictures of the table setting)


Now sit around, pass the waffles

chickenandwaffles6and the chicken

chickenandwaffles7And eat them how you like best, don’t be scared to use your fingers or smother everything in maple syrup.

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If you have left overs, don’t worry.  Reheat it all in the oven in a single layer and it’ll taste delicious the next day too!

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Thanks to David, Talia, Rachel, Marco, Allison, Joe and Jesse (especially Jesse for being my co-chef) for having chicken and waffles with me!  You guys are the best!  Thanks for testing out my food and being all around pleasant company!

Ok so have I convinced you?  When are you throwing a chicken and waffles party?

I would totally do it again!

Chipotle Fish Tacos

Cinco de Mayo just happened.  You’re probably tired of Mexican food, but let’s be honest Corona and Guacamole don’t really qualify as Mexican food.  That doesn’t really qualify as food.  That’s a snack.

And it’s Tuesday.  Taco Tuesday.  How about some tacos?

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Trust me.  You need these tacos in your life.

I remember the first time I ate these tacos.  Jesse made them for me, pretty early on in our relationship, and I was skeptical.  But I swear it was love at first bite.  I’m talking about the tacos here.

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Ever since that first time, I’ve probably had them a dozen times with a million variations: shrimp, chicken, etc.

But these are the best.

Chipotle Fish Tacos

3 pieces of tilapia, cut into small pieces
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 an onion, diced
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
1-2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
1 diced tomato
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbsp sriracha*
a few lime wedges
1 avocado sliced
6 tortillas

Heat oil in the pan.  Add 1/4 of onion (so you’ll have 1/4 of onion left for putting on the tacos) and cook for a few mins.   Add fish and chipotle (depending on how hot you want it use 1-2 or more, for less spice just use the adobo sauce, not the chile itself), cook for a few minutes until fish is no longer translucent.  Stir in juice of 1/2 lime, about a tablespoon of cilantro and season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

taco ingredients2

Stir together sriracha and mayo.  Thin out with some lime juice or water.  Depending on how spicy you like it, the ratio of sriracha to mayo  might be different for you.  Add a bit, try it and add more if you’d like.

Now you can start assembling your tacos (this recipe will make about 6 tacos).  Heat up your tortillas.  Start by laying some fish in the center.

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Then you add your ingredients of choice.  We like to have it all on a plate at the table and assemble as we go.

taco ingredients

Lay on the cabbage, tomato, onion, cilantro and avocado.

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Then drizzle with sriracha mayo.  Squirt with a wedge of lime and devour.

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That’s exactly what I do.  I devour these, because they’re amazing.

Happy Taco Tuesday!  What’s your favorite kind of taco?

I love fish tacos, but I think shrimp tacos are my favorite.

Brie Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich and My Top 5 Tips for the Perfect Grilled Cheese

So remember when I finished the Paleo Challenge, I learned I needed to eat actual meals instead of snacks for dinner?

Well I’m trying to get better at that.  I’ve been trying to incorporate more salads into my dinners, like the Roasted Beet Asparagus and Arugula salad in my last post.   But today and yesterday were long days.  I’ve been stressed and I’ve had a headache since I woke up today.

To remedy all that, I did two things:

1. Went to the Good Will

Thrift shops in Orange County aren’t as cheap in the song, nor are they as cheap as they were in Central NY.  But I still managed a few good finds.

thriftfinds

A tart pan for $2.50, a lovely oval shaped plate for $4.99 (over-priced in my opinion) and a cake plate for $2.50.  I also managed to find a rotating cake stand that will be great for frosting cakes.

2.  Grilled Cheese

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Let’s be more specific.  Brie Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese.

Now don’t get me wrong, traditional caprese with mozzarella is lovely, but seriously.  This sandwich is out of this world.

Last week someone asked me for tips on a good grilled cheese.  Obviously it’s all a questions of taste but here are…

My Top 5 Tips for Making the Perfect Grilled Cheese

1. Good Bread.  If your bread sucks, your grilled cheese will too.  Don’t you dare you sliced white bread.  Invest in some good bread.  I used Trader Joe’s Italian Bread.  Tasty enough.  Orange County is seriously lacking in good bread bakeries.

2. Make sure there’s cheese on both sides of the bread.  If you’re putting something other than just cheese, you need to make sure the cheese is on both sides.  The cheese is the binding agent.  If you don’t have it on both sides, it’ll all fall apart.

3.  Use Real Butter.  If you’re going to make a grilled cheese, now’s not the time to be healthy by avoiding butter.  No.  You’re choosing to make grilled cheese.  If you wanted a healthy meal, you’d make a salad.  Use butter.  It makes your bread golden, toasty and delicious.  Don’t skimp.

4. Mustard.  Unless you’re making a grilled cheese sandwich with some sort of jam, mustard almost always makes a grilled cheese taste better.  Cheese and mustard just go together.  I’m not talking about yellow mustard.  I’m talking tasty dijon-style mustard or the kind with the wonderful mustard seeds in it.  If you hate mustard, you can ignore this comment.  But if you like mustard, trust me.  Give it a try.

5. Low and slow.  Don’t turn the flame on high! Heat your pan to medium/low.  It might take a few minutes for it to get golden and for the cheese to melt, but that’s way better than a burnt piece of bread with hard cheese in the middle.  Be patient.  It’ll be tastier.

That’s pretty much there is to it.  Oh and if you use sliced Kraft American Cheese or Velveeta… You’re dead to me

Brie Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese

2 slices of amazingly tasty bread of your choice
a big pat of butter
1-2 oz brie, sliced (keep the rind! it’s tasty!)
3-4 tomato slices
1-2 basil leaves, chopped

Spread each slice of bread with butter on one side.  On the other side, layer cheese tomatoes and basil.  I try not to use too much cheese because brie is pretty strong, so I put half the cheese on one side and the bread and the other half on the opposite half of the other piece (does that make any sense?  See the pic below)

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Heat pan to medium/low heat.  Place sandwich, butter side down on pan.  Cook about 3 minutes per side or until golden all around and cheese in the center has melted.

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Serve with a bowl of soup and enjoy!  I had it with a bowl of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup.  Tastiest soup from a box ever.  I promise!

Added bonus: This month is National Grilled Cheese Month.  I have no idea who decided that but I support, and so should you.  Eat Grilled Cheese Today!

P.S. Dunking is encouraged.

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Cóctel de Camarón: Shrimp! Yes, Please!

So today, was a crazy day.  Ok it totally wasn’t crazy.  I was just exhausted.  I somehow had the bright idea of going to crossfit twice in a 12 hour time span…  I hurt real bad right now. I don’t recommend it.  Give yourself at least 24 hours between workouts.  It’s a good idea.

But work outs aside, today was a bizarre day for me in terms of personal realizations.  Way back when, I used to use SparkPeople to track calories, but I hadn’t logged in for almost a year.  So this morning, I randomly did…

I saw my last log in was after I got back from Italy where I ate my weight (and then some) in Nutella, Pasta and Gelato for nearly 6 months.  Since then, I’ve lost 18 pounds.  That’s kind of a lot on someone who is only 5’3″

I guess getting back home, eating normal meals and exercising a few times a week served me well (even if Paleo didn’t…).

So in honor of the fact that my butt (among other things) shrank, let me tell you about an actual meal (as much as I love cake, it’s not a meal) that is more or less balanced, light and delicious too.

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I would consider this to be moderately healthy.  Depending on what you serve with it that is…

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It involves shrimp, tomatoes, onions and a few splashes of (unhealthy) secret ingredients:

ingredients

Cóctel de Camarón

3 cloves of garlic
1/2 onion, diced
1 lb Shrimp, peel on
2 cups clamato
1-2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp orange soda
2-3 limes
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt
1 Avocado, sliced
Tostadas, for serving

In a blender (I used my magic bullet), blend together 1/4 of an onion  (reserve remaining diced onion) and 3 garlic cloves with some water.  Once it’s smooth, add to a sauce pan.  Fill with water until about 2-3 inches from the top.  Add some salt (or a pinch of bouillon) and bring to a boil.  In the meantime, rinse your shrimp and place in a metal mesh strainer.

Cook shrimp in the broth by dipping the strainer into the broth, like this…

shrimpbroth

Once the shrimp is cooked (pink all over, be careful to not overcook), place in a bowl over some ice.  You might have to do this in batches.

Next take about 2 cups of the cooking broth and place in a large bowl.

ingredients2

Add about 2 cups of clamato, ketchup, lime juice and orange soda.   Be careful, it’s a science.  Taste it along the way to see how it is.

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Stir it all together and set aside.  Next peel your shrimp (alternatively you could peel your shrimp before cooking then put the skins in the broth to help give it more flavor).  Now you’re ready to assemble.

shrimp

Start by putting a good amount of diced tomato (1/2 cup?), onions, cilantro and Serrano chili in your bowl.  Then add the shrimp and avocado.  Last pour the broth/clamato mixture over your shrimp.  You want a good amount in there because it gives it great flavor.

cocteldecamaron

From there, you’re pretty much ready to go.  But don’t forget one important thing…

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A beer.  Because life is all about balance and a cold beer tastes great with this dish.

Serve with tostadas, extra lime, salt and hot sauce (optional).  This will serve 2-3 people.

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Whoever said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach as probably right, but they forgot that the way to a woman’s heart is the same direction.  I wish I could take credit for this, but I can’t.  It was made entirely by an awesome boyfriend who makes ridiculously tasty things.

He makes me generally healthy meals, while I make him cookies and pies.

Clearly, a little bit of both is necessary.  Eat some shrimp and vegetables, as well as some cookies and wine.

What was the last healthy meal you had?

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Day 11

Two nights ago, I made a super tasty dinner.  I’ll tell you about it because it was also day 11 lunch.

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Seriously, it was ready in about 15 minutes from start to finish, and I thought it was pretty tasty.

Pork Loin and Sauteed Vegetables

Few slices of pork loinMixed vegetables of choice*
Garlic powder
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil

That’s all you need.  Season pork loin with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Heat some oil (about 1/4 a tbsp is good for 5 pieces) in a pan on medium/high heat.  Add pork.  Cook 2-3 minutes per side.  Set aside.

porkloin

Add vegetables to the same pan.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Sautee until tender.   Serve and enjoy!

*I used the asparagus stir fry mix from Trader Joe’s, but I won’t lie, while it’s convenient, the asparagus was really tough.  A lot of it was the tough ends that I would cut off on asparagus.  Half the time I felt like I was eating twigs and branches, so maybe steer clear of that?

Quick, easy and tasty.  And I always make too much for one person, so there were plenty of leftovers.

paleodinner

Day 11 was an interesting day.  Apparently, March is the month of Karla trying new things, because  I went to Bikram Yoga for the first time.  My co-worker talked me into going with her, since they offer new students 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $20.  I figured why not?

So the studio is located in The Camp (if you’re an OC local), and it was interesting.  I’ll start by saying, the place is stinky, which is totally expected given the heat and sweat and warm bodies.  Definitively, not cute.  I had been having anxiety all day about it.  I thought for sure I would die.  But good news, guys!  I didn’t die!

In fact it was sort of fun.  I’m not sure I love it, but I’ll definitely have to give it another try, especially since I’ve got two weeks of classes.

I will say I came home with a pretty bad headache that lasted pretty much all night and an overwhelming desire to take a shower.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that sweaty in my life.  As a self-proclaimed “yoga hater,” I’ll say I definitely enjoyed it more than I disliked it.

After a much needed shower, I surprisingly wasn’t hungry!  Can you believe it?  So I decided to make a dinner that takes a while and it included sweet potato fries!

bakedsweetpotatoefries

Apparently I’m late to the game, but if you cook your sweet potato fries on a cooling rack (over a baking sheet that is) you get crispy, evenly baked fries!  Who knew?

So along with my tasty, crispy fries, I had cauliflower puree (because I’m OBSESSED) and some rotisserie chicken left over from Sunday.  Delicious.  Simple.  I swear the cauliflower puree was the tastiest thing on the plate!

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On nights like this, when I’m not starving and I have a tasty dinner, I might even like Paleo… That’s probably because it just feels like I’m eating normal food I like, not making myself eat one thing when I really want another.

Have you ever tried Bikram Yoga?  Love it? Hate it? 

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Days 9 & 10

So after my Monday freak out, I was ready to quit this challenge.  Thanks everyone for your supportive comments.  They were very encouraging and I truly appreciate it!

I decided to tough it out a little longer.  During the week, Paleo isn’t that hard.  I’m used to making my own lunch and bringing it to work, so that’s not anything new.  I used to bring salad, soups and beans a lot.  Now I’ve just replaced the beans with meat (which I’m not a huge fan of).

I think the challenge will remain the weekends.

On the hunger front, things have also been better.  This is potentially for 2 reasons:

1. I’m busy at work so I don’t think about food as much as I would on the weekends.

2. I’ve started packing enormous lunches that are guaranteed to keep me full.

Day 9 Lunch:

paleospaghettisquash

It looks small, but there is literally half of a spaghetti squash in that container, with spinach, marinara and two pieces of chicken.  Ordinarily I would consider that to be two meals, but now I eat it at once.  I’ve had this two days in a row and it has kept me pretty satisfied.

Later that night, I had dinner at my sister’s house.

paleodinner

We had salad, sweet potatoes and tilapia.  I had a bit of non-paleo mayo (with the sweet potato).  Not the worst slip up on Earth.  I’ll survive.

Day 10:

I decided to switch it up.  Everyday I had been eating a Paleo Pancake with a green smoothie.  Today I had this:

baconavocadoscramble2

Bacon Avocado Egg Scramble

1 slice of bacon
1/4 avocado, dice
2 eggs

Cook bacon in a skillet until crispy.  Remove bacon from pan (once cooled, chop) and wipe off some of the bacon fat with a paper towel.  I think a lot of people would have kept the bacon fat but it just looked like too much to me.  In a bowl, beat 2 eggs.  Add eggs to pan with remaining bacon fat, add bacon and scramble.  Just before the eggs are done, add avocado and mix around.  Serve with coffee for a super breakfast or a great dinner.

This one is pretty easy to scale up.  You can add salt and pepper too.  I didn’t, but I won’t stop you from doing so.

baconavocadoscramble

This was pretty tasty.  It was a great manly breakfast after my manly feeling crossfit workout (clean & jerk, 15-12-9!).   I won’t lie my black coffee was a little less enjoyable without my paleo pancake.

For lunch, I packed a mighty salad of lettuce, spinach, mini bell peppers, pickles, and avocado, along with a chicken breast.

paleosaladandchicken

Again, I was full for a long time.  I’m glad the hunger levels are going down.   That makes it all a little more manageable.

Unfortunately, I am still pretty much always up for a cookie.

I’m starting to think that won’t ever change…

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Day 2

It’s only been two days, but I think during the week, this challenge won’t be that bad for a few reasons:

  1. I have a schedule, and I’m busy at work.  That means I’m not sitting at home boredom eating.  Most days I look at the clock around 12:30 and think How is it past noon already?  Time flies.
  2. I’m totally ok with eating the same thing everyday for breakfast and lunch.

I had yogurt, banana and almond butter every single day for months.  Having a paleo pancake and a green smoothie is perfectly fine by me.  You’ll probably get tired of reading about it before I get tired of eating it.

paleopancake

Day 2 lunch was pretty similar to Day 1, and Day 3 (today) will be exactly the same as Day 2.

lunch

Ground Turkey with leftover sweet potato “home fries” and cabbage with lime and salt (I love this combo! My mom made it all the time when I was little and I’ve loved it ever since).  I also packed an apple, some strawberries and some cuties.

My strategy is to overpack snacks to avoid having one of those moments where I feel like eating the world but there’s nothing healthy/paleo to eat.  So far it’s been fine, I ended up only eating one of the cuties and had the apple after dinner.

For dinner, I was at my sister’s house, because my nephew is just so stinkin’ cute it was time to pay them a visit.

After Graham had his dinner of breastmilk (or formula? I actually have no idea), we had shrimp with butternut squash.  Pretty tasty.

So that way Day 2.  Let’s hope Day 3 goes as well as the past two.  I have a potentially EPIC dinner planned tonight.  Or it might be meh.  I’ll keep you posted!

30 Day Paleo Challenge: Day 1

Today is Day 1 of the 30 Day Paleo Challenge!

30daypaleochallenge

I’m psyched.  I’m sure my family, friends, co-workers, twitter followers, etc. are tired of hearing about it already, but I’m into it.

This morning I felt a little unprepared to begin the challenge.  Not because I wanted a hamburger, but this morning after I made my green smoothie and paleo pancake for breakfast…

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I realized I was out of vegetables.  I put away an entire bag of Costco spinach by myself in less than a week.

Womp. But I made due with what I had.

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Last night I cooked some ground turkey with onions and peppers.  Today I mixed it with frozen peas and carrots then topped it with avocado (ended up eating 1/4).  For a filling, paleo-friendly lunch.  I also had a carrot and some strawberries.  I packed some cuties in case I got hungry, but I only had 1 (wasn’t even hungry just wanted something sweet).

Looking at my lunch, it reminded me of when I was in grad school and I was too busy to cook and too cheap to buy lunch so I would pack a clif bar, a carrot and an apple and call it a day.

Today was slightly different.  My lunch today was definitely more filling.

Around 6pm, I thought it’d be a good idea to get dinner started.  If there’s one thing I’m realizing it’s that this paleo challenge is going to make me have an actual dinner.  Ordinarily, I’m used to just sort of having snacks for dinner (i.e. tortillas with beans and cheese, or random bites of left overs with a handful of chocolate chips… not my finer moments).

So today I decided to keep up with the use-what-you-have trend.  Over the weekend, since I baked a million pies (or 3), I had 5 egg whites that needed to get used.  So dinner was themed around that…

dinner

Scrambled Egg Whites with Peppers and Onions and Spicy Sweet Potato “Home Fries”

Now these home fries aren’t really home fries.  They’re just super quick sweet potatoes that I think are tasty.

What You’ll Need to serve 1-3 people:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 mini sweet pepper or 1/4 red/yellow bell pepper
  • Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder, Paprika, Cayenne

Step 1: Microwave sweet potato until cooked (depending on size 5 mins ish? I think mine took 6 minutes)
Step 2: Chop some onions and peppers and add to a pan with a bit of oil.
Step 3: Chop the sweet potato into chunks and add to the pan with some salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika and cayenne (all to taste).
Step 4: Turn up the heat, once the sweet potatoes are browned and sort of crisp, serve with your scrambled egg whites!

spicysweetpotato

Ta-da! Dinner!  I ended up topping it with the 1/4 of the avocado that I didn’t eat earlier.  Pretty tasty.

I won’t lie.  I really wanted to add ketchup to this mix, but alas, not paleo friendly.  Also this was a HUGE meal.  5 egg whites is a lot of egg.  Just saying.

How about you?  Did you make dinner tonight?  What’d you make?

30 Day Paleo Challenge: The Countdown and a Paleo Pancake

It’s Friday!!!

The challenge officially starts on Monday

30daypaleochallenge

But the last few days I’ve been easing into it.

Breakfast was full paleo this morning.

paleobreakfast

Green Smoothie + Paleo Pancake+ Almond Butter + Coffee

Let’s talk about the Paleo Pancake.

paleopancake

I discovered this on Carrots N Cake a while back and have been eating it for a few months.  I’ve seen it around the web as well, but I finally found the combo (and method!) that I think is the tastiest.

Paleo Pancake

3/4 of a banana large banana (or 1 small)*
1 egg
splash of vanilla extract

Slice the banana and put it in the magic bullet cup.  Crack the egg in there as well.  Add the vanilla.  Blend until smooth.  Alternatively you can mash the banana and just mix it in a bowl, but I found that the magic bullet really made it smoother and tastier.

Heat a small skillet (sprayed with a bit of cooking spray) over medium heat.  Add the batter and turn the flame to low, cover with lid.  Cook about 3-4 minutes until you shake it and it no longer giggles (it takes a bit of time).  Flip and cook for an additional minute or two.  Turn onto a plate and slather with almond butter!  Delish!

*the other 1/4 of your banana can just be sliced on top or used in a green smoothie!  I found that if you put too much banana then your banana to egg ratio is off and the pancake breaks.  I’ve also tried with 2 eggs and that just tastes too eggy to me, but try it if you’d like!

I used to think my Magic Bullet was totally useless, but now I’m finding new uses for it!

Also I should note… Please please please don’t expect this to taste like a regular pancake.  That’s just impossible.  But it is tasty and definitely worth a try!  Not to mention that it kept me full for a really long time.

For lunch, I packed some spinach salad with peppers, pickles and avocado, left over rotisserie chicken, and cuties.

paleolunch

There were food trucks parked outside my office building

But I passed that up, not only in anticipation of the Paleo Challenge but because…

For dinner, I’m headed out.  I semi-feel like I’m going out of mainstream eating with a bang.  This week is OC Restaurant week.  So I’m going to dinner to celebrate some friends’ birthdays at Newport Landing.

Surprisingly the thing I’m looking forward to is NOT dessert!  This Potato Wrapped Atlantic Salmon sounds aaaa-mazing.

What’s on your agenda for the night?