Paleo Stir Fry and an outside workout

Finals have finally started with my first one this morning. I walked out feeling pretty ansy, so I texted my boyfriend that I was gonna go do hill sprints and he decided to join. We each did 15 hill sprints, mixed in with a total of 10 minutes of planking, 100 mountain climbers and 30 Rocky sit ups (well I did the ab work, he chose to do push ups instead). It was a much better stress reliever than grabbing a beer.

Image

This evening I was still a bit of a stressball, so I went for an easy 4 miler too to enjoy the warm night air. I’m beginning to fall back in love with running and it makes me so happy. I love when running feels easy (even if you’re going slow) and just care free. No better feeling.

Tonight for dinner I was asked to make a stir fry. I’m not a huge fan of stir fry, but it was still pretty good. If you like stir fry, I recommend it!

Image

Pale Stir Fry

Stir Fry:

1.5lbs chicken breasts, cut up

1.5 crowns broccoli

1 yellow onion

2 cups snap peas

1 bell pepper, cup up

3 carrots, sliced

Sauce:

1 cup coconut aminos (if you don’t have a soy allergy like me, go with the soy based aminos if you can’t find coconut, although that’s technically not pale)

2 tbsp grated ginger

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tbsp crushed chilli paste (asian food aisle)

2tbsp coconut oil

1. Cook broccoli and carrots in pan for about 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften, then remove from heat.

2 Heat coconut oil over medium heat in another pan.

2. add chicken, cooke for about 5 minutes

3.  Add cut up onion, broccoli and carrots and sauce. Cook about 2 minutes

4. Add snap peas and peppers. Cook about 4-5 minutes or until done

Cold Run, Warm Paleo Chili

Sorry it’s been forever, guys, but I have exciting news! I’ve moved to Siberia for the indefinite future!

20130423-102001.jpg

Okay, not really, but considering that in the past week we have had about 20 inches of snow it certainly feels that way. I keep reminding myself that this means we won’t have as many forest fires this summer, but when your eyelashes literally collect snow and then freeze during your run, it’s hard to look on the bright side.

20130423-102208.jpg

I know, I know. I could have just run inside. But it’s been 6 long months of snow and treadmills and I’m pretty over it. At least I had a nice warm bowl of chili waiting to warm my belly at home.
This chili is DELICIOUS and if you are living someplace where winter may be overstaying its welcome I highly recommend making it.

20130423-102330.jpg

PALEO POBLANO CHILI
1 yellow onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 fist of garlic, choppe
1 Poblano Pepper, roasted and chopped
3-4 lbs of rump roast, cubed
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp paprika
2tsp cumin
2tsp chipotle
2 tbsp chili powder (I like it spicy…)
6 oz can of tomato paste
30 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, diced

1) in a large pot heat coconut oil over medium heat and add onions and peppers. Cook for about 3 minutes or until onions become translucent
2) Mix spices and rub on meat
3) Add meat and Garlic and poblano pepper to pan with onions and peppers.
4) brown meat, about 2-3 minutes
5) add remaining ingredients. It will be a bit watery at first, but let simmer on medium-low heat for about 2 hours and it will thicken up

Stay warm out there, or for those who are actually experiencing spring – go enjoy it!

Paleo Grilled Pineapple Steak Fajitas with Pineapple Salsa

Just popping in to give you a quick recipe to get you through the week! I may have gotten a little bit carried away with the Ferrari Engine that is the BlendTec Blender, so my “Salsa” is really more the consistency of Apple Sauce. Either way, it was still delicious and I’ve been eating it for lunch this week. 

Image

 

Ingredients for Marinade:

1lb Skirt Steak

5 Gloves of Garlic, Chopped

2 limes, juiced

2 Tbs Tomato Paste

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp red flakes

Ingredients for Pineapple Salsa:

3/4 of Whole Pineapple 

1/4 Red Onion

2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar

Ingredients for Stir-Fry:

2 Bell Peppers

3/4 Red Onion

1/4 Pineapple

3 Tbs Coconut Oil

 

Instructions:

1.  Combine marinade ingredients in a plastic bag (Including steak) and marinate for at least 30 minutes. 

2. Add sliced peppers and onion to a pan with coconut oil, cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

3. Add steak and marinade and pineapple chunks.

4. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until steak is done to your liking.

 

Instructions for Pineapple Salsa:

1. Slice pineapple and grill either on normal grill or George Foreman for 8-10 minutes.

2. Combine grilled pineapple, onion and red wine vinegar in blender and blend lightly until desired consistency.

3. Put on top of fajitas and enjoy!

How Psychologists are making you addicted to junk food.

I have a confession. I love Cheetos. Back in college, they were my go to junk food. Especially the spicy kind. I couldn’t get enough. I could eat multiple bags and still not be full.

Image

Thanks to an article last week in the New York Times, I now know why. Cheetos, along with every other type of junk food/processed food, is the result of thousands of hours of scientific research with the ultimate goal of making that food as addictive as possible. Not just the marketing. It’s a well known fact that primary colors attract kids, especially orange, that red stimulates the appetite etc. What I didn’t know is that everything down to the sound that the chip makes when it crunches, or how fast the cheetos dissolves in my mouth (a term dubbed “Vanishing Caloric Density”), has been tested over and over to find what is most appealing to consumers.

The article follows one of the prominent Food Psychologist, with a PhD from Harvard, as he talks about several products on the shelf today, from Dr. Pepper (high carbonation added to it’s popularity) to Prego Sauces (as much sugar in a 1/4 cup as two oreos and chunks of mystery meat skyrocketed it to #1), Lunchables (built with a three month non refrigerated shelf life, “cheese” and all, as well as almost much saturated fat as a kids supposed to have in a day) and Potato Chips( the perfect mix of starch to give you a quick glucose sugar rush, fat to send happy signals to the brain, and salt to satisfy our most basic animal cravings).

Image

If the idea that your food is being psychologically designed to make you an addict doesn’t disturb you enough to make you think twice about processed foods, then I’ll bring out the gross factor. Lots of ingredients that make up anything from your Starbucks to your ice cream to your gummy bears are “enhanced” by ingredients that aren’t publicly advertised.

Let’s take the natural flavoring “castoreum”. It’s used to enhance vanilla flavoring, like in ice cream or candy. It is indeed natural, that’s no lie, but that’s because it is made from Beaver Anal Secretions. And it’s even FDA Approved. 

Image

Don’t eat vanilla? Well how about that mushroom pizza you ordered? Or should I say, that Maggot Mushroom pizza? The FDA approves up to 19 maggots and 74 mites in every 3.5 ounce can of mushrooms. Next time, buy them fresh.

Image

Lastly, I’ll leave you with the one that hurts me the most, because I love them. Gummy Bears/Worms/Fish you name it. First, if you’ve eaten any gummy item that has red dye in it you can proudly say you’ve eaten a beetle, because that’s how it get’s that lovely red color (Same with those Strawberry Frappuccinos you love so much..).  But Gummy Bears don’t stop there, the gelatin used to create that fun texture comes from boiled connective tissue, most likely pig.

Image

Now don’t get me wrong. I still love my gummy bears, pig skin and beetles and all. I try to follow a 80/20 rule, as in 80% of the time I eat clean, 20% I allow myself cheats. But keep in my mind how much junk food you may be eating and whether the hours of time put into making it addictive are working on you.  Remember they don’t have your best interest at heart.  As the head of General Mills said, “Don’t talk to me about nutrition, talk to me about taste. Talk to me about sales.”

Spicy Mango Mahi Mahi

I feel like I have been up for days. This morning I had to get up at the crack of dawn to go to my first CrossFit Basecamp Class. Luckily, I have today off from work so I can nap if I need to.

Edited out the profanity my pre-5am mind needs to get me out of bed.

Edited out the profanity my pre-5am mind needs to get me out of bed.

I’ll be writing a whole post about my first week on Friday, but for now I’ll say that I am actually excited to wake up before 5am to go to the one on Wednesday. The box is fantastic, the coaches are informed and very sincere and I am super excited.

When I got back from my box I made a quick breakfast of some sunny side up eggs over some baked sweet potato. Delicious.

Sunny Side Eggs over Sweet Potato

Sunny Side Eggs over Sweet Potato

Now for lunch I plan on making Spicy Mango Mahi Mahi. I’ve been on a real fish kick lately, so don’t be surprised if the next couple posts are all from the sea.

photo-27

SPICY MANGO MAHI MAHI

1lb Mahi Mahi

4 Tablespoons Mango Chutney (also, Mangos are currently on sale in my town so feel free to add fresh mango chunks as well)

1tsp siracha

juice from 1 orange

salt

chopped green onions/scallions

1) Heat oven to 350 degrees

2) Mix together the mango chutney, siracha, orange juice and salt

3) I always like to cook fish in tinfoil pouches because it heats thoroughly and it saves on the stinky fishy pans afterwards. So, take a sheet of tinfoil, place the fish on it.

4) Pour sauce on top of the fish, and wrap the tinfoil around the fish to seal it shut.

5) Bake in oven for 15-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fish. Enjoy!

Paleo Crockpot Balsamic Beef Shank

If you don’t have a crock pot, you need to go out and buy one. Right now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait….. Got it? Good. Crock pots are one of the best inventions ever for those in a rush who still want to make nutritious meals.

Tuesdays are perfect days for crockpots because I have a class in the morning, then I go to work. If I turn the crockpot on after class I’ll have 7 hours of cooking time before I’m back home with a delicious meal waiting for me. This beef dish is one of my favorites. Every time I make it, I always get a text from my roommate saying how good the house smells. Best part? It takes all of 5 minutes to throw together and you’re done.

Image

Paleo Crockpot Balsamic Beef Shank with Mashed Cauliflower

1lb-2lb (depending on how much meat you want) beef shank

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

15 ounce tomato sauce

4 dates (or more if if you really like dates, remove the pit first)

6 gloves garlic

1. Melt the coconut oil in a big pan on the stove over medium heat.

2. Add the beef shank to the coconut oil, browning on each side for 1-2 minutes.

Image

3. Put beef shank in slow cooker, pour all the ingredients over it (including the melted coconut oil).

4. Leave in slow cooker on low for up to 8 hours, or on medium for 4-6 hours. Test the meat to see if it’s tender. It should shred easily.

5. Enjoy with a side of Paleo Mashed Cauliflower (also the simplest thing to make ever)

Paleo Mashed Cauliflower

1 Head of Cauliflower

Salt & Pepper

1 tbsp water

1. Steam the Cauliflower (or broil if you don’t have a steamer, but they are like 5 dollars at target and worth it)

2. Mash cauliflower with a potato masher. Add salt and pepper and water. That’s it. If you aren’t Paleo, feel free to add cream/butter like you would to normal mashed potato. Or if you want it tangy, add some lemon juice.

PALEO BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

Here it is, recipe numero dos. Just in time for you to make this evening for dinner. It’s quick and easy, won’t take more than 20 minutes total.  But, I made a mistake when making this.  When I was at the store they were out of butter lettuce so I thought ‘No big deal, I have some lettuce at home I will use’.  Don’t do that. It was not the same. Use the butter lettuce, not a substitute.

Image

 BUFFALO CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

½ lb chicken thighs

2 tsp chipotle powder

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

2 tablespoon coconut oil

1 head of butter lettuce

1 avocado

½ cup cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1. Slice the chicken thighs into small strips.

2. Rub the chipotle, onion and garlic powder on the strips, spreading evenly.

3.  Heat the coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until done (about 10 minutes or less)

4. While chicken is cooking slice up the avocado/cherry tomatoes.

5. Pile on top of some pieces of butter lettuce, wrap up and enjoy!

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

As promised in my previous post, here is the first recipe.

I originally made this breakfast dish because my boyfriend was having trouble switching from sweetened cereals/granola/protein bars to Paleofied breakfast foods. He wanted something that would be sweet, filling, protein packed and could be made ahead of time as he has to be out the door by 5:30 every morning. I adapted a muffin recipe by Diane Sanfillipo and came up with this delicious breakfast “cake” that is now a weekly staple.

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

Paleo Lemon Blueberry Protein Cake

1 cup Almond Flour

12 eggs

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 lemons, both the juice and the zest

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 tsps vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries (I used frozen as they are cheaper)

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1. Mix the eggs in a large mixing bowl, add in the almond flour, maple syrup ,lemon zest and juice (make sure to take out the seeds from the juice, there’s usually quite a few!), vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.

2.Cut into the mixture the coconut oil, trying to minimize the large chunks. It is okay if there are chunks, they will melt and blend in the oven.

3. Mix in the bluerries and pour into often safe pan.

Cook in the oven on 350* for around 35 minutes. I suggest after about 20 minutes, when the top has started to brown, poke some holes/cut some slices into the top. This allows it to cook more evenly throughout.

This dish can be refrigerated and heated up with no problem for those quick mornings when you have to rush out the door! Enjoy the tangy sweetness!

paleo cake

Paleo Shopping List Week of 2.3.13

Most of the time I don’t fit the classic law school Type A personality.  I am far from a perfectionist, more of a “get-it-done-as-fast-as-possible-so-I- can-go-enjoy-myself”-ist. While stubborn, I’m not too competitive nor do I care about being at the top.

ImageMost days, I wear gym clothes anywhere I am allowed to and don’t bother doing my hair. But when it comes to keeping things organized, that’s where the Type A can be seen. I wasn’t always that way. I had a messy room and an unmade bed just like the rest of them. Then something hit me, and now I’m one of those people who finds cleaning and organizing “relaxing” from the kitchen, to the bathroom to my grocery list.

Image

yes, I said it. I organize my grocery list. I classify it into the different sections of the store so it’s easier to find thing. Don’t judge me.

It’s lucky for you, really, because I just so happen to have made one for all the Paleo meals I will be making this week, which include:

Blueberry Lemon Breakfast Cake

Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Mashed Cauliflower

Crockpot Balsamic Date Beef Shank with Sauteed Red Cabbage with Apple and Onion

Citrus Scallop Salad with Balsamic Green Bean Reduction

Miscellaneous Snacks.

I’ll post the recipes and pictures as I create them, but in case you want a mindless week of cooking and creating, you may wanna head to the store for the following:

MEAT

1 lb scallops

12 Eggs (Two Dozen if you want Hard Boiled Eggs for a Snack)

½ lb chicken thighs

1lb beef roast

1lb chicken breasts

PRODUCE

1 Orange

3 Avocados

Two Pints Cherry Tomatoes

1 Bushel Green Onions

1 Cauliflower

1 Red Cabbage

Broccoli

1 Lime

3 Lemons

1 Grapefruit

5 Apples of your choice

1 Green Apple

1 Red Onion

1 Yellow Onion

Handful of Cilantro

Dates

Butter Lettuce

Cucumber

Bell Pepper

Green Beans

Sweet Potato

FROZEN

Blueberries

NUTS

Almond Butter (I prefer Justin’s Original or Justin’s Maple Almond)

Pistachios

 

SPICES

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Paprika

Rosemary

MISC.

1 15 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce

Balsamic Vinegar

Coconut Oil

Apple Cider Vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Baking Soda

Maple Syrup

Vanilla Extract

Honey

Image

 

Keepin’ Cozy in the Snow: Paleo Shepard’s Pie

The beautiful 60+ degree weekend we had is but a memory and it has been replaced with cold, wet snow. Tomorrow morning I will most likely wake up to this view out the back of my apartment complex.ImageOctober, 2012

To try to stay warm and cozy I decided to whip up a quick Shepard’s Pie (Paleo style, of course).

Image

Paleo Shepard’s Pie*

1lb ground beef (I used 1.25 lbs because I like meat)

1 Onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 parsnips

1 carrot

1 cup mushrooms (I didn’t use them in mine because someone I share my meals with hates them, but I think they would be good to add)

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Sage

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Rosemary

1 Tablespoon freshly chopped Thyme

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 Tablespoon Potato Starch (sold in the cooking isle, right by corn starch)

1 head of cauliflower

1 egg

salt and pepper

1. Brown beef in large sauté pan

2. Add parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, onions and garlic. Let cook for about 3 minutes

3. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and cook until parsnips/carrots are soft. Add about 3/4 of the herbs and mix. Pour mixture into oven safe dish.

4. Steam Cauliflower, when soft use potato masher to lightly mash

5. Add 1 egg and potato starch and remainder of herbs to mashed cauliflower and stir

6. Spread cauliflower mixture on top of the meat/veggie mixture.

7. Put in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.

8. Put a heaping portion on your plate and cozy up under some blankets to fight the cold!

Image

* recipe adapted from Health-Bent