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Whole 30: Day 6

Another day down, and all is well!  Breakfast consisted of a handful of nuts as I ran out the door.  Went out to lunch with my wife and kids and I ordered a diet coke as usual.  My wife looked kind of funny at me and asked if I realized I had ordered one!  I had to send it back and get my water…total habit!  For lunch I had some chicken and a side of fruit.  For dinner tonight I was excited to try out the first of our grassfed beef shipment we got in yesterday!  I decided to go simple and cooked up some hamburger steaks.  To complete the Umami fest I fried up some freerange eggs I also picked up from Butterfield Farms along with some enoki mushrooms from the store.  Man…talk about good!

Big day tomorrow…I teach my first Sunday School Lesson at church…wish me luck!

-E

 
 

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Whole 30: Day 3

So, Whole 30 day three has come and gone! For breakfast I had a hard boiled egg and two dried figs. I ate an early lunch at the office of left over sous vide carnitas and roasted acorn squash.

This evening when I got home I eagarly fished out my beef brisket that I put into my Sous Vide 48 hours ago. It looked amazing straight out of the bag, but it went out of the park after a quick sear in my cast iron skillet. It was abasolutely the best brisket I have ever had, and I lived in Texas for four years in college! It was moist as can be unlike most traditional briskets. This meal will quickly be at the top of our weekly standards! It was a good as it looks.

Every day so far has been easier than the day before.  I’m finally getting used to drinking water, and I got through half a mug of black coffee today before I gave up…definite progress!  We normally get tons of “goodies” at the office from companies and pharm reps, but today was exceptional.  Three boxes of hot donuts on arrival, lunch from a chinese place, and hot, made to order Otis Spunkmeyer cookies!  Darn those people!  I actually don’t miss any of it at all, especially when I see the others suffering their GI distress in the face of four cookies or MSG laden Chinese food.  I ate my carnitas (which were better than anyone else’s lunch) and went on my merry way.  Since going Paleo a little under a year ago, I have not eaten ONE sweet brought to our office, and that is saying something.  It’s sooooo nice to feel good!  Catch ya’ll tomorrow.

-E

 

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Update 2/26/12

Hey everyone! Hope you all had as good a weekend as I did. Just a totally relaxing weekend with the family, and I really needed it! So, what did I do? Well, I started off Saturday morning with a trip to the Green Market downtown to buy some Inglewood Farms organic produce and eggs for the weekend. I got it home, washed it, bagged it, and settled it all into my Veggie Refrigerator Drawer.

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Next I did a few housekeeping chores for the kitchen. I was running low on my balsamic vinegar glaze, so I bought two 3 dollar bottles of balsamic vinegar at the grocery, and I simmered it until it was reduced by around 1/2 or more. This makes a thick and rich glaze that is amazing with almost anything. Sure, you can spend tons more on very old balsamic, and I do have some of it, but that is only for special occasions. This stuff is cheap, yummy, and perfect for every day. Next, I put a heap of almonds into the food processor and let them go for 10 minutes. At the end I add a little roasted almond oil, and there ya have it…almond butter!

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Saturday night I cooked up my kid’s favorite…Flat Iron Steak! They sell them individually pre-vacuum sealed at Kroger, and I find the flavor just about the best of any steak you can get anywhere. Like I said, the kids love it. Funny enough, they will ONLY eat it medium rare! I always cook it that way, and they won’t accept it any other way. Fine by me! I added another batch of the the Health-Bent.com Roasted Acorn Squash drizzled with a little of my newly made balsamic glaze, and a side of Inglewood Farms Chinese Spinach sautéed in bacon grease…YUM!

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I woke up this morning craving something a little different…a cheat maybe? So, I whipped up some Paleo Coconut Pancakes. I’m not ready to say I perfected the recipe yet, so I’ll keep working on it and post it when ready. Pancakes themselves are perfect, just need to work on the spice combination! For a topping all I had was a relatively bruised honey crisp apple. I chopped it up and sautéed it in ghee till crisp, and then added a little cinnamon and agave to finish it off. Added a couple of pieces of bacon, drizzled a little melted raw honey on the pancakes, and that’s all she wrote. Lets just say…we’ll eat these again!

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We decided to take the kids on a hike today out at Valentine Lake, so before we left, I collected the cornish hens I put to defrost a few days ago and seasoned them. I my spice grinder I put three dried shitake mushrooms, a tablespoon of sage, and a tablespoon of salt. I whizzed it up and liberally applied it to the birds. At the bottom of my slow cooker I put a chopped up onion, a few carrots, some left over acorn squash from the other night, and three garlic cloves. I put the birds on top, put a third of a cup of chicken broth in the cooker, and set it for 8 hours on low.

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When we got back this afternoon, I took the hens out and put them on a rack to cool. With my immersion blender I made an amazing gravy out of the juices and veggies in the bottom of the slow cooker. Just had to add a touch of salt to finish it off.

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For my sides, I sauteed up some cubed King Trumpet Mushrooms in olive oil, and roasted some asparagus in the oven at 400 F for around 20 minutes. Just toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper and pop them in. I usually add some kind of vinegarette to top my asparagus because Kourt just loves them that way, and tonights did NOT disappoint! Whole grain mustard, White Balsamic Vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. All I can say is…Kourt and I were fighting to lick the left overs out of the bowl! Finally, I plated everything up. We have the adult plate, and the kid’s plate! All were happy…

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Really, just a great weekend! Good weather, good food, and great times with my family. Time to go start planning tomorrow night’s dinner!

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Main Entree, Pictures, Recipes

 

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Update 2/18/12

How is everyone doing? I hope all of you are well. I’m all alone this weekend, so have a chance to try out some new things to cook! I’m reading an awesome book right now called “Why We Get Fat,” I’ll make sure and post a review once I’m done.

Got back from rounding at the hospital this morning and was quite hungry. Ran by the grocery and picked up some Chicken apple sausages and served them with a spinach salad I whipped up.

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Tonight I decided to try something fun. There are so many Puerto Rican dishes that I grew up eating, and I’m convinced that many of them can be converted to Paleo. This evening I made traditional Vaca Frita (Literally, fried cow) and Puerto Rican style “Cauliflower Rice.” Honestly, I have to say, this may have been the best Paleo meal I’ve come up with yet!!
I started with taking a whole flank steak and slicing it in two. I threw it in the old pressure cooker with a bay leaf and 4-5 peppercorns. I filled it half full of water, cranked her up, and let it go at pressure for 45 minutes. I let the pressure die down and once they cooled, I removed the steaks and shredded them and set the meat aside.

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Next I started on the Cauliflower. Normally I would make steamed rice and Puerto Rican flavored kidney beans. What I decided to do was to make Cauliflower Rice, but use the flavoring I would normally make the beans with! Start by making a traditional sofrito. In a food processor add half a yellow onion, 1/3 a sweet bell pepper, two large garlic cloves, 1/2 t of oregano, and 1 t salt. Process until pretty smooth. Add the sofrito to a pan with a good dose of olive oil and fry gently until the flavors come together. Next process the cauliflower until the consistency you want…basically rice like. Add the cauliflower to the pot along with a cup of chicken stock and a packet of Goya Sazon Seasoning. It’s not completely paleo I’m sure as it has a little MSG, but there is no flavor substitute! Cook this down, add a little salt to taste, and turn your attention to the meat.

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Slice an onion up thinly, and add it to a pan with olive oil with the heat up high. Add the shredded beef and season with salt, pepper, and just a sprinkling of cumin. Fry the meat, moving often until it gets nice and crispy. You are looking for around half crispy and half moist. Be aggressive with the heat to get the right flavor! Serve, and enjoy!

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Posted by on February 18, 2012 in Main Entree, Pictures, Recipes

 

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Beef Shanks with Carrots And Cabbage

Hello everyone, hope everyone was able to make it out to the Green market today at the museum! I took the kids cause the wife wasn’t feeling well. We were a bit late, and the line was long. The kids were freezing, and I made it about two minutes of the kids swearing they were turning into Popsicles before I caved and went home…empty handed. On to next week…

I did manage to cook today, and I use a Nom Nom Paleo recipe as a guide. I pretty much followed the recipe except I added two turnips to the mix. Kids actually ate some, and all were happy with things! Hope you guys can try it out some time.

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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in Main Entree, Pictures, Recipes

 

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Several Goodies I’ve Cooked Up

Greetings all, I haven’t posted, but I’ve been busy! Thought I would post a few things I’ve cooked recently, so here we go.

I went over to a friend’s that I’ve convinced to eat paleo, and she asked me to help her cook a paleo chicken meal. We ate Chicken Marsala, Spaghetti Squash, and a Warm Spinach Salad. But, for dessert I wanted to pre-make some cookies. I honestly can’t remember the recipe cause I kind of made it up, but they were mainly made with apples, coconut, almonds, and raisins. They weren’t bad at all…almost had a macaroon taste to them.

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I also have started at looking at re-creating some of the Puerto Rican foods I grew up eating, but adapting them to the paleo lifestyle. A classic Latin American dish is called Picadillo, which is a savory ground meat mixture typically served over rice, along side plantains or yucca, or stuffed into peppers. It’s absolutely yum. You may look at it and think…green olives and raisins in the same dish?? Trust me, its a hit! Get a big dutch oven and brown 3 pounds of ground beef till its cooked through. Drain the excess grease from the pot. Add in a chopped yellow onion and 2-3 garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes. Next add a can of chopped green olives stuffed with pimentos, 2 cups of raisins, two chopped bell peppers, two cans of tomato paste, a good bunch of cilantro, a heaping T of cumin, and a T of salt. Cook for around 30 minutes until it’s to your liking. Taste and readjust the seasoning. Like I said, serve this over cauliflower “rice”, stuff peppers with it, pan-fry up some very ripe plantiains…or whatever. I’ve also going to experiment and try to come up with a Picadillo Meatloaf! Just try it!

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Last, one of our good friends is sick, and I wanted to take her some chicken soup to make her feel better. Now of course I can’t use a Noodle soup, so went with a different approach! I had to chicken carcasses left over from the Marsala the other night, so I through them into the pressure cooker with enough water to fill the cooker around 2/3 of the way full. I got it going and cooked it for an hour at pressure. I let the pressure settle and opened up the pot…what amazing chicken stock in an hour! I removed the carcasses and (fairly painstakingly) picked all the meat that was left after cutting away the main pieces of the chicken. To the stock I added a can of fire roasted tomatoes that I whizzed up with my immersion blender, a chopped up onion, two carrots I sliced paper thin with my mandolin right into the pot, 1 t Cumin, 1 t garlic powder, 1 1/2 T salt, 1/2 t oregano and 10 green olives sliced pretty thin. I let that all simmer for around 20 minutes, and done! To serve I just threw in some chopped up avocado and it was YUM! It’s like tortilla soup without the Tortillas!

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So that’s it for tonight. I’m trying to keep you guys as informed as I can about my cooking adventures, and it’s actually quite fun! If you haven’t figured it out, I love to cook. Most of my recipes are mine, or significantly tweaked to my liking! Get cooking, it’s the only way to Paleo!

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Main Entree, Pictures, Recipes, Snacks, Soups/Stews

 

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Curry Agave Beef Jerky

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I love beef jerky, and it makes so much sense from the Paleo standpoint. Problem is that almost all the jerky you can find commercially has tons of preservatives, and almost always soy sauce. So, I stole my mom’s food dehydrator and this what I got! Was tasty indeed.

Marinade:
2 T Coconut Aminos
2 T Pure Agave Syrup
2 T Warm Water
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1 t Curry Powder
1 t Salt
1 t Pepper

Slice up any cut of lean beef into thin strips and marinate them for a few hours. Then put them on the food dehydrator and dry until you like the texture. Much cheaper, much healthier, and much better tasting than what comes in a bag!

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2012 in Recipes, Snacks

 

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Steak and Slaw

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Simple dinner tonight. Mixed up a little dry rub for some strip steaks and grilled them up. On the side I got a bag of broccoli slaw, some thinly sliced mushrooms, and sautéed them up in a little ghee and olive oil. Simple and tasty…just the way we like it!

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2012 in Pictures

 

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Paleo Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Paleo Spaghetti and Meatballs

Paleo friendly version of everyone’s favorite!

INGREDIENTS

Spaghetti:
Medium Spaghetti Squash
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Meatballs:
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground veal
1 egg beaten
1 T Herbs de Provence
1 t Garlic Powder
1 T Salt
1/8 t Pepper

Tomato Sauce:
1 Medium Onion
1 Carrot
1 to 2 Garlic cloves
28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 t Dried Basil
Salt and Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pre-Heat Oven to 400 F

2. Cut Squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Rub the surface with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place directly on the oven rack and back for 45 Minutes, or until tender. Once tender remove and use a fork to scrape out the squash into a bowl. Add a drizzle of EVOO and season with salt and pepper.

3. While the Squash is in the oven, make the tomato sauce. Peel and roughly chop the onion, carrot, and garlic. With the blade spinning on your food processor drop the garlic in the top and let it chop up. Open the lid, add the onion, and turn the machine on. While running again, add the carrot until you achieve a fairly fine consistency. Scrape the sides of the bowl once and pulse the blade a few time to make sure you have an even consistency. In a medium pot add one tablespoon of EVOO and add the vegetable mixture once the oil is hot. Cook over medium heat till the mixture just starts to soften. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover. Let simmer 15-20 Minutes, adjust the seasoning and serve.

4. Once the sauce is simmering, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs into a bowl and gently mix with your hands, being careful not to over mix. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a metal rack on top to keep the meatballs off the surface of the sheet. Form the meat mixture into 8-10 fairly good size meatballs and place in the oven. Cook until done, when the internal temperature reaches around 155-160 F.

5. To assemble: Spoon some Squash onto a plate, top with a few meatballs, and finish it off with some sauce. I’m certain you won’t even miss the pasta you are used to in this dish!

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Recipes

 

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Old Clothes for Dinner?…ABSOLUTELY!

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Ok guys, absolute success tonight for dinner! I believe my kids may have actually (and unknowingly) eaten some onion and bell pepper with the meat…LOL. I’ve been cooking this old Cuban recipe for years known as Ropa Vieja (old clothes in English). Funny thing is, this recipe is as good as any I have made and much less labor intensive. Please try it, it is sure to please the whole family.

I paired it with some simple roasted sweet potato and turnips…yes TURNIPS!! They are creamier than a potato and Paleo friendly.

Get cooking everyone, and post those pictures. Here is a link to the recipe.

Health-Bent Ropa Vieja

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Pictures

 

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