Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Paleo Crock-pot Pot Roast

Nothing says "Fall" like a crock-pot meal! This morning I pulled mine out
and decided to "Paleo-ize" one of our favorite crock-pot recipes...
the pot roast!
About a 4-5 lb. Rib Roast, Boneless
Season roast with ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and
Italian seasoning
4-5 cloves garlic. Cut slits in roast and stuff with garlic cloves.
About 10-12 mushrooms, remove stems, but leave whole
2 C baby carrots
3 stalks celery, cut in about 2 inch pieces
1 large onion, cut in wedges
Add all ingredients to crock-pot. Add 3/4 C white wine. Cook on low
for 6-8 hours. Wow, the house smelled so good... 3 oz. pot roast with
1 1/2 C veggies is about a 3 block meal. I enjoyed this with a glass of
pinot noir. Ahhhh. Nice finish to a busy day. I may not have got that
muscle-up today, but the crock-pot makes everything better! :)
Hope you enjoy! :)

P.S. Thanks Skip for selling me some mighty fine eggs!
Aren't they pretty!?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BBQ Chicken Thighs & Grilled Eggplant

Our BBQ pretty much runs all year! Even with this fall weather, we still fired up the Q ! The thighs were really easy to just grill. We used an easy rub of some ground pepper, garlic and onion powder. The eggplant we brushed with a mixture of olive oil and garlic. That's it ! Two thighs on the plate, and few eggplant slices, and a side salad made a beautiful 4 block Paleo dinner ! ... Enjoy. :)

Ok... so after dinner, and after correcting and editing homework... I developed quite a sweet-tooth! This HIT the spot beautifully... It's my usual, and you've seen it before! But... this is a slight variation and I loved it.

This time: 1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 3 T Vanilla Pro Zone protein powder, & 1 C frozen blueberries. Blend until creamy and frothy. Serves two ! About 1.5 blocks each... YUM ! :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Blackened Salmon with Spinach

This is one of those meals I love to make! You know... the kind of meal that looks & tastes really impressive, but is in fact super easy with minimal time commitment. :)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
You'll need:
2 (6-ounce) portions of salmon, skinless and boneless
In a small bowl combine blackened rub ingredients:
1 T Italian seasoning
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 T paprika
1 T sea salt (a moderately allowed paleo ingredient)
1 T cayenne pepper
Season each piece of fish with rub.
Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet (I love my cast-iron pan for this) over medium heat. Add seasoned salmon and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
Transfer the whole pan to the oven and cook for another 4-6 minutes.
I served this with sauteed spinach, sliced tomatoes and avocado, and a wedge of lemon! This has a bit of a kick... so, I hope you like hot! Enjoy....
It was a filling dinner, too. I only ate 1/2 the salmon and saved the other half for salad the next day! This was a 3 block Paleo dinner, and full of omega 3's.

*Zone/Paleo challenge optional check-in/information meeting, Sunday, October 4th, at 12:30!
How are you doing?? This is when things can get tough. Old habits want to creep back in. Just keep at it! Keep in mind the long term health benefits, the better performance, a leaner body, more PR's, not to mention, the prize money!!! :) Come to the meeting and get a good dose of motivation!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Calamari Appetizer

This felt like such a cheat! We came across some calamari steaks while shopping, and thought we'd try it out. Just dip calamari in egg and then dredge it in almond meal (I mixed some fresh ground pepper, italian herbal seasoning, garlic and onion powder with the almond meal). Then, in your non-stick pan, heat 1 T olive oil on medium high. Place calamari steaks in pan when hot, and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Squeeze some fresh lemon over the top, and enjoy! If you do not have almond meal in your pantry, I highly recommend getting some. I buy it at Trader Joe's (typical) and it was pretty cheap (also typical)! In most cases this can substitute breadcrumbs, and adds great flavor!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Veggie and Sausage Scramble

I love breakfast! This was a 3 block Paleo breakfast, that was oh-so tasty and filling! If you find yourself stuck in the morning... scramble it! You can't go wrong. :)

I used two eggs, 1 tomato, 1 small yellow sweet pepper, a little onion and some chopped parsley. I scrambled all ingredients in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Fresh ground pepper to top. I had this with two Jones's "lite" sausages (my favorite) and 1 cup of cantaloupe... oh and a giant cup of coffee!
Let the day begin....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Calypso Paleo Pork Chops

This was a fun meal! I was in the mood for something different, and Scott said I should do something with pork chops. I had a papaya in the frig... so with a little help from some recipe morphing, this is what happened! I'm very happy with this experimental, totally paleo meal! Hope you enjoy!

3 center-cut pork loin chops, about 3/4 inch thick, fat trimmed!

1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground ginger

Combine rub ingredients in a small bowl and rub over both sides of pork chops. Place chops in a re-sealable food storage bag. Combine 3 T lime juice and 1 T oil and pour over chops... marinate for 1 to 2 hours.

Grill pork chops on BBQ until pork reaches an internal temp. of 175 degrees (approx. 10-12 minutes... turning half way through grilling time).

Papaya Salsa:
1 1/2 cups diced ripe papaya
1/4 cup each diced sweet red and yellow pepper
2 T lime juice
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. chile paste or diced jalapeno pepper
Refrigerate until serving.

Top pork chops with papaya salsa and serve with side of vegetable or salad.
This is about a 4 block meal.

I appreciate hearing the feedback on your experiences with the zone/paleo challenge! You all are on the right path... if that path has a few hiccups along the way... so be it... that's reality! Forgive, let it go, and get right back to it! :)

I have noticed from reading food logs, that "dining out" is a common challenge. So... here are some tips for eating out on a paleo/zone diet. Hope some of these tip help you! :)
When Dining Out:
*Make sure your main dish is a non-starch based food.
*Choose lean meat or seafood, cooked in the simplest manner!
*Always try to get some fresh fruit for non-starchy vegetable at every meal.
*Keep the meal as simple as you can... the fewer ingredients, the better!
*When traveling... take food with you in a cooler, or stop at supermarket deli's (where salads and pre-cooked chicken are readily available)... instead of the typical convenience fast-trash-road-side-food.
*Japanese restaurants are usually easiest! They always have fish, shellfish or lean beef... and plenty of steamed veggies (skip the rice and soy sauce). Even Italian and Mexican restaurants usually have seafood or meat entrees... you can ask to have these dishes prepared without the bad stuff. Oh and skip the potatoes, and ask for extra veggies instead! Good luck!

***Oh... we will have our next zone/paleo challenge meeting, Sunday, Oct. 4th @ 12:30. It's not mandatory for the challenge, but we will be there for you! ... for ideas, strategies, motivation, or simply an accountability "check-in". See you then! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

This was pretty quick and tasty! A"Quick dinner" is, unfortunately, something that we find ourselves needing more often than not! Blah, blah blah... YOU all know! Life get's in the way of that perfect, always well balanced diet! So here is a recipe to fit our busy lifestyles... when we need quick and paleo!

2 C chicken breasts, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 tsp powdered ginger
1/4 C chicken broth (no salt)
1/2 C celery, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, sliced
1 carrot, sliced thin
1 T olive oil

Heat oil and saute the garlic and onion. Add chicken and cook until done. Add remaining ingredients, lower the temperature, and simmer until vegetables are tender (I put a lid on the pan at this point). Serves 4. I sprinkled the top with some paprika and black pepper for color! Enjoy.

Well, the sweet tooth hit again! So, I assessed my pantry and refrigerator for some sort of paleo dessert and this is what I came up with. I have to say, it did the trick! This is Paleo, not zone... (it's not balanced). Hope you like it!

1/2 C blueberries
1/4 C canned pineapple chunks (unsweetened, in their own juice)
1/4 C lowfat coconut milk
1 T unsweetened shredded coconut
2 macadamia nuts, crushed

Mix blueberries and pineapple together. Pour coconut milk over top, and top with shredded coconut and macadamia nuts! That's it. :)

* Hey! Two weeks into the challenge! How's everyone doing??? I've heard some AMAZING things so far! Anyone care to share? I would love to hear about it. Pounds lost? Performance PR's? What about difficulties or challenges? Now that you've dialed in for two weeks, it's time to pay attention to how you're feeling and performing. One of the reason's this is a 3 month challenge, and not a 2 week challenge, is that it takes awhile to get it all figured out... and tailored to your personal needs! Like Michele has said, "It's not an exact science (zone), we are all different". And I know you've heard this before: "this is a lifestyle, not a diet!" Post your thoughts! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Buffalo Burgers

This was the first time I've had buffalo burgers! I feel officially very cave-women-like! :)
I doubled the recipe to get some extra snacks and lunches... aka: "buffalo bombs"!

1 lb ground buffalo
1/2 red onion
2 T sweet pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T fresh basil, chopped
1 T oregano
Fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Shape meat into patties and grill! Serves four. I served this with steamed broccoli and a side salad.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore

This was so good that I didn't even miss the pasta!! :)
Paleo Chicken Cacciatore served with a sliced tomato, basil & pine nut salad.


6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
Fresh ground pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C sliced mushrooms
4 celery stalks, 1/4 inch slices
8 oz can organic, no salt tomato sauce
16 oz can organic, no salt diced tomatoes
1 T fresh basil, chopped
1 T Italian parsley, chopped

Coat bottom of large baking pan with tomato sauce. Place chicken breasts in baking dish, and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, and oregano. Lay onions, garlic, mushrooms, and celery on top of chicken pieces. Pour remainder tomato sauce and diced tomatoes over chicken and top with the fresh basil and parsley. Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes or until chicken is done. This was one of my FAVORITE recipes so far. I loved all the herby vegetables over the chicken! I served this with a tomato, basil, and pine nut salad. Super easy. I used two types of heirloom tomatoes for color pizzaz! I arranged on a plate alternating fresh basil leaves and tomatoes. I drizzled 1 T balsamic vinegar over tomatoes (an optional and debatable paleo food item). Then I topped with about 1 T pine nuts! This recipe yields leftovers... which is oh-so -nice! Enjoy! :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two Good Things!

This was suppose to be Friday's post! It was our anniversary, so we splurged a little, with a seared filet mignon! This kids even set a romantic table for us... with candles and fancy napkins! Unfortunately it was also the night before the Santa Cruz Affiliate Challenge, and I was a little wrapped up in nerves. We did toast our 16 years with a 4oz. glass of cabernet sauvignon. Then it was lots of water and plenty of sleep!
Our favorite way to prepare a filet is to season it first (with pepper, garlic & onion powder) and then sear it on high heat in a cast iron pan with olive oil, for 2 minutes on each side. Then put it in a 450 degree oven for an additional 3 minutes (this gives you a nice medium filet). I sauteed the chard in 1 tsp. olive oil with 3 cloves chopped garlic. Delicious! We also served this with a large tossed green salad. I felt very well nourished and ready to tackle the affiliate challenge with gusto!

Paleo Cookies Anyone????
Eva passed on this recipe today. I even got a taste, and they were delicious!
Thanks, Eva!

1 C almond butter
1 C organic unprocessed brown sugar
1/4 to 1/2 C chopped dried fruit (dates, dried cherries or apricots... or even dark chocolate chips, if it's a cheat day)
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix all ingredients together well. Pack each cookie into a tight ball and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes! I hope to make these in the next day or two, so stay tuned for pictures to come! Enjoy!

How's the Zone/Paleo Challenge going?? I've heard some pretty great things from people in these first couple weeks! I also witnessed some really great performances Saturday at the Affiliate Games! Coincidence? Keep it up! You all are doing GREAT!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Spoils to the Victor!

We had a friendly wager on today's WOD. Kelly won, so dinner is on me tonight! I kept it simple and sauteed up some squash, onions, garlic and red peppers. I topped them with steamed asparagus (4 minutes only) and served them with a salmon patty. Painless and quick. I'm going to let Kelly fill in the details on blocks, balance and all that stuff. Take care and have fun with it. ~Scott

Hmmmm. We should definitely wager more often! I enjoyed this evening! He even posted! :)
These were those great Costco Alaska Salmon patty specials! A perfect 3 block protein & fat 4oz portion. We had a side salad along with the sauteed veggies to balance out the carbs. Thanks, Scott!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meatloaf... Paleo Style

Tonight was meatloaf. Perfect for leftovers! It's a little different than the meatloaf I use to prepare... you know the one with breadcrumbs and ketchup! ... but it was still good! Hope you enjoy this household staple!
2 lbs extra lean ground beaf
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 C fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 C fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground pepper
2 large eggs
2 T olive oil

Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly in your meatloaf pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. I served this with zucchini... which turned out great! I sauteed onions, some sweet pepper, and garlic in a little olive oil (tsp). Added the sliced zucchini and sauteed a little more. Then I added about 1/8 C (or less) of chicken broth (no salt) and steamed until zucchini was done. This meal left me feeling very satisfied... which is such a good thing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

BYOPZ (Bring Your Own Paleo/Zone)

A huge part of being successful on the zone or with paleo is being prepared and planning ahead! A big part of starting out the week is gathering lunches and snacks! Try to allow yourselves some time for this. Bake up some chicken tenders to last the week. Grill some sausages. Make extra dinner to allow for leftovers! Hard boil eggs. Cut up some extra fruit and veggies! Soon this just becomes part of the routine... like brushing your teeth or checking the kids homework! Neile, from CFSCC, has found a GREAT lunch box to help keep her in the zone! She says she LOVES it and that the containers hold two 1 block and one 2 block snacks, plus a 2 block lunch. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing Neile!

Some challenge info:
We're checking out your food logs, so don't forget to turn them in! Also, I've finally added some additional links to the site. You can now download the food log sheets, check zone blocks, view a sample day, or check paleo permitted foods! Hope that helps! Keep up the good work!!! The food logs look great so far! :)

Now... how's that sweet tooth???
I know mine is in full force, screaming "chocolate"!!
Hope this helps:

Chocolate Strawberry Protein Shake

1 C chocolate almond milk (unsweetened)
2 tsp almond butter
1 cup fresh strawberries
3 T chocolate prozone protein powder
8-10 pieces ice
Blend until creamy and frothy. Top with cinnamon and some unsweetened chocolate cocoa powder. Serves 2 (and is about 2 blocks each). Enjoy! :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Grilled Seafood & Vegetables

Hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We definitely used our BBQ this weekend. Took advantage of the beautiful weather and ate dinner out on the deck, too. I feel well rested and ready to get back to CrossFit tomorrow!

We grilled this entire meal on the BBQ. We lightly brushed asparagus, eggplant, scallops, and shrimp with olive oil and spices. In a small container mix 1/4 cup olive oil with garlic powder, onion powder, and an organic no-salt seasoning... lightly brush on seafood and veggies and cook to your liking. Very simple and tasty (and very little mess in the kitchen). And YES, I absolutely had this with a nice glass of chardonnay!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Eggs & Sausage

These are my favorite breakfast sausages! I get them at Safeway. Zap them in the microwave for a minute while the eggs are cooking! Two sausages are 2 blocks fat and 1 block protein. This was a 3 block breakfast! 1/2 C egg beaters (scrambled) with 1 tsp. salsa, 2 Jones sausages, 3 almonds, and 2 C fresh fruit. Very filling!

This is the first weekend for the Zone/Paleo challenge... and for many of us, weekends are "challenging"! And... It's Labor Day weekend, to boot!! Plan for it! BYOP (bring your own Paleo).
I'll be wishing you much success over the weekend!
Post your challenges, and what you did to overcome!
Have a GREAT three day weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Flank Steak Salad

With this "hot" streak we've been having in the weather lately, salads have been sounding so good! Who wants to cook in this heat?! Tonight we BBQ'd some flank steak and put it on a bed of spring greens. Lay the flank steak out and generously cover with cracked pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Rub into meat and let sit. Then...BBQ to desired doneness and let sit, again. Slice thin and add to salad along with tomato, avocado, red onion, cucumber, and bell pepper. Simple and tasty... and you're not slaving over a hot stove or oven! I grilled some zucchini slices as well, for a nice side, because I have been getting a lot of zucchini from friends. It's that time of year! But, I AM NOT complaining. I love it! This particular zucchini will feed our family for several meals! It's huge!

Paleo/Zone Challenge cut-off is tomorrow! Contact Michele or myself to sign up! The turn-out has been GREAT! 32 participants so far! We will pick a top female and top male to split the pot! Keep up the good work! The first two weeks are the toughest! Post your thoughts to comments! We want you all to be successful! Let's get lean!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grilled Chicken Salad

Oh man... what a day! Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and menu plans, balancing, accessible foods, etc. etc. goes out the window! Today was one of those days for me. So... what do you do? ...I think you just have to relax, cut yourself some slack, and do the BEST you can with the options that are presented to you. Obstacle number 1. Morning emergency with broken down vehicle, missed breakfast! Grabbed an apple and Larabar and ran out the door. Obstacle number 2. Lunch with an old college friend (Hobee's) ordered breakfast at 11:30... vegetable scramble (no cheese) with a side of fruit. Obstacle number 3. HAD TO GET CROSSFIT IN!! Went to 7pm Eva T's class=late dinner! Ring Dips and Dead Lifts... now I'm hungry. Ugh... nothing to prepare at home. So, we stopped at Safeway and got grilled chicken breasts from the deli, took them home and made a quick Paleo chicken salad.
Congratulations to all of you who are taking on this challenge, and let's persevere through the obstacles!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to John (yesterday) and Kim (tomorrow)!!! :)

*There's still time to get in on the fun! Challenge "cut-off" date is this Friday, Sept. 4th.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Seared Ahi Tuna with Pesto

I bought these Ahi Tuna Steaks at Trader Joe's in the frozen meat section. Wow... great price and great quality! Good old Trader Joe's!!

Generously cover thawed steaks with fresh ground pepper, a little ground cumin, and some garlic powder (rub into fish really well). Heat a heavy skillet (I used a cast iron)... when pan is hot add a little olive oil. Sear fish quickly (about 1-2 minutes) on both sides. Remove from heat (I put fish in a warm oven while I was preparing everything else).

Pesto: Mix in a food processor about 3/4 cups fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp. lemon juice, and 1/4 C pine nuts.

I served this with steamed zucchini and sliced tomatoes (with just a tad more chopped basil for looks!) It was delicious! The fish was about 4 oz and I put about 2 tsp. pesto over the top... made for about a 3-4 block dinner! Hope you enjoy this totally Paleo meal! :)

Well... how was day 1 ?
Remember to keep things easier for yourself, stock your kitchen with zone/paleo foods! Send all those leftover temptations to your neighbors! :) I've heard this before but it is so true: shop the perimeter of the grocery store (all the fruits, veggies, meats, fish and dairy are all found on the outer aisles) ... and avoid the bakery! :) Stick to your shopping list and don't shop hungry (eat a snack before you go)! Plan ahead as much as possible... hard boil a bunch of eggs in the beginning of the week. Bake up some delicious little chicken tenders. Pre-cook some tasty sausages!

Well... onward to day 2! :)

CrossFit Santa Cruz Central