Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Southwestern Grilled Chicken & Vegetables

I was not really in the mood to think about cooking tonight. I had a lot of other things on my mind today. However, this was really easy, delicious, and required little thought! I especially loved how the veggies turned out! Hope you enjoy! :-)

4 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless

Rub ingredients: (combine all spices)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
red pepper flakes (add however much to your liking)
dash paprika

Yellow and green zucchini, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic
1/4 C + chopped cilantro
splash chicken broth (organic, low sodium)
1 tsp olive oil

Generously rub spice ingredients over both sides of chicken breasts. Heat grill, or skillet, over medium-high heat, with some olive oil, and grill chicken breast for about 5-7 minutes on each side (until thoroughly cooked). Serve with side of southwestern-style veggies.

Saute garlic, onion, and peppers in olive oil. Add zucchini and a some chicken broth. Cover and cook until JUST tender (about 5 minutes). Toss with cilantro and serve with chicken breasts!

They both cook pretty quick, and they both cook at the same times! But this is an easy & tasty 30-minute meal. Chances are you already have most these paleo ingredients and the spices in your kitchen! :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Grilled Pork Chops With Apricot Glaze

Hope you had a great Tuesday! It was fun focusing on the split jerk today! I even managed to squeak out a small PR! Then, a little trip to Lululemons! (A day can NOT get much better than that!) And it off with a nice dinner! But wait... I can't taste it!!! This darn head cold is trying to get the best of me! So I "think" dinner was yummy tonight, and post worthy. Even though I have lost some of my sense of taste, but the family gave me the big "thumbs up"! So... here you go... I hope you enjoy! :-)

8 smallish port loin chops, about 1 inch thick, trimmed of all visible fat

Spice rub:
1 T paprika
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground black pepper
Apricot glaze:

about 1/2 C 100% apricot preserve (all fruit, no sugar)
2 T brandy
1 T dry mustard
Juice of 1 lemon.

Mix spice ingredients together, and generously rub on both sides of pork chops. Grill pork chops over medium high heat, until well browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Move chops to a baking dish. Heat glaze ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat, and set aside. Brush glaze ingredients, liberally, on both sides of pork chops and bake just until internal temperature reaches 175 degrees (about 8-10 more minutes).
We served this with a side salad and some sauteed spinach. Hope you enjoy this sweet treat! :-)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Kale with Caramelized Onions & Sun Dried Tomatoes

This recipe was recommended to me by Rachel Frankl of Santa Cruz CrossFit Central! I finally bought some kale and sun-dried tomatoes, and gave it a try. Oh wow... what a delicious side dish! So good, I think I'll be making it on a regular basis. I meant to toast some pine nuts to sprinkle on top, but I forgot! ... next time. Yum. :-)
Thank you Rachel!!!

1 bunch kale, thick stems removed, ripped into large pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 6oz jar sun dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
Splash (about 1/8 C) chicken broth (low sodium) or water
2 T pine nuts, toasted

In a saute pan, heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions start to caramelize, add a little water or broth. Add kale. Cover and cook until kale cooks down (about 10 minutes). Add sun dried tomatoes, mix well. Top with toasted pine nuts and serve!

We enjoyed this with a peppered tri tip roast (post from 11/3/09) and sliced sweet potatoes.
Hope you enjoy!
Thanks again, Rachel.

P.S. I love getting new recipes to try!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paleo Cocoa-Coconut Macaroons

We often talk about "CrossFit cookies" in the gym. Those short little painful wods we endure from time-to-time, usually after some heavy lifting or max effort! And well, they're good an' all... They get your heart rate up, make you sweat, and afterward you feel a little weak in the knees! But I'm going to prescribe a small dose of a different kind of cookie... a chocolate macaroon cookie! Every once-in-awhile! It does the spirit good!
Warning: they may just make you a little weak in the knees as well! ;-)

3 C organic unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 C organic agave nectar
6 egg whites
1 T vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. celtic grey sea salt
6 tsp. unsweetened organic cocoa powder
2 T raw organic cocoa nibs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whip egg whites and sea salt together until egg whites form stiff peaks. Mix cocoa powder and cocoa nibs with coconut. Fold agave nectar, vanilla, and coconut chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Drop a spoonful-sized amount onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Pinch the top of the cookie, and bake for 12-15 minutes (until lightly browned on the tips). Serve and enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Convenience Burgers

Tonight was a busy night! The kids really took up a lot of our time with reports, activities and computer use. And... I just didn't feel like cooking! Do you ever just have those days???
So... we enjoyed some conveniences of our modern times and Costco! We took out some frozen sirloin burgers, grilled them, sliced some veggies, and threw together a green salad. Quick and easy (and still Paleo)! I know it's not much of a post, but it was just one of those nights...Of course the kids thought it was just the best meal ever! Haha.
Sometimes keeping frozen conveniences on hand like the sirloin patties, salmon burgers and shrimp can be a life savor! It makes it that much easier to maintain a lifestyle of healthful moderation when we have such busy lives. Cheers! :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Citrus Broiled Sirloin Steaks

Tonight was a case of, "cooking with whatever ingredients I could find in the cupboards"! I had some steaks that I thawed... but that was it! What to do, what to do!? This part is oh so fun and challenging. These are the nights when I keep my fingers crossed that I'll actually have something to post on the blog! I am very relieved and happy to report that not only did this recipe work out well... it was VERY delicious and really simple! A recipe keeper! Hope you give it a try. Enjoy! :-)

2 T lime juice
1 tsp. onion powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. organic stone ground mustard
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 boneless beef sirloin steaks (about 4 oz each)
1 C mushrooms, thinly sliced

Trim visible fat from steaks. In a small bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Rub over both sides of steaks. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Broil steak for about 7 minutes (about 4-5 inches from heat). Turn steaks over, and top with mushrooms. Broil for another 7 minutes. That's it!
This was really delicious... wow ! We served our steaks with some sliced sweet potato, steamed asparagus and salad. Everyone enjoyed this tonight... (taste buds ranging anywhere from 11 years to 46 years). We highly recommend!!! :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paleo Pineapple Chicken Bake

Spring is here! Fruit is in the stores! And... "Christine" has been tackled once again in the gym!
I hope you all suffered some great performances today, maybe even enjoyed a new PR, and then ultimately, I hope you came home and had an opportunity to replenish & recover with some good food!

I really liked this meal. It was a little sweet, a little spicy, and a lot satisfying! It would also be good if the chicken was cut up into bite-sized pieces and cooked as a stir fry! Have fun with it!
... Hope you enjoy!

4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half (very slightly pounded)
Sprinkle these spices over chicken breasts:
black pepper
ground ginger
ground coriander
ground cayenne pepper
1 T coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C sliced sweet red pepper
1 stalk celery
1/4 C fresh cilantro, chopped
20 oz. pineapple slices, (in their own juice), reserve a few pineapple rings for garnish, chop the rest, and save the juice!
Dash crushed red pepper (about 1/8 tsp.)
1/8 C macadamia nuts, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat coconut oil in skillet, and brown seasoned chicken breasts, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to baking dish. In the same skillet, saute onion, garlic and remaining vegetables. Add pineapple juice as needed. When vegetables are tender, add pineapple chunks, cilantro, and crushed red pepper. Mix well, and poor over chicken. Sprinkle crushed macadamia nuts on top and bake for about 10 minutes.

We served this with sauteed spinach (using coconut oil, sliced onion, garlic and red peppers). But I really think this would be great as a stir fry... maybe over some sauteed broccoli slaw?!
Hope you enjoy! :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Poached Salmon

This is Scott's favorite way to cook salmon. He's been making this for years ... and it was paleo all along! It always turns out wonderful. Hope you enjoy!

Salmon filet (cut into 4oz portions)
The following ingredients are approximates!
1 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T capers
1 tsp ground black pepper
pinch celtic grey sea salt (optional)
2 T lemon juice
2 T white wine
2 tsp. olive oil

We were able to get about 4-4oz. portions out of our filet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place fish on their own individual piece of aluminum foil. drizzle a tad (maybe 1/2 tsp) olive oil over each piece of fish. Sprinkle with black pepper, sea salt (optional), shallots, and capers. Add a splash of lemon juice and white wine. (Some fresh parsley would be good, too). Seal up the fish tightly in it's own aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Serve with your choice of sides! Spinach or asparagus are usually our favorites with this dish. Tonight, it was steamed yellow squash.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Paleo Corned Beef & Cabbage

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
"May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live..."

3-4 lb. corned beef brisket (I trimmed the thick layer of fat off the bottom)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
ground black pepper

Put corned beef, pepper, garlic, bay leaves in crock pot and pour just enough water to cover beef. Cook on low for 8 hours.

I did the cabbage a little different this year. I was gone all day, so instead of adding the cabbage and veggies to the crock pot, I just cooked them up separately when I got home... about 30 minutes before serving.

1 head cabbage, quartered
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 C corned beef juice from the crock pot!

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add carrots, and a splash of the broth. Add cabbage, remaining broth and cover. Cook until cabbage is done about 20 minutes.
Slice corned beef and serve over the cabbage! Sprinkle with a little more black pepper and celtic grey sea salt (optional). Hope you enjoy!

And here's another Irish blessing for you! (I just love St. Patty's Day). YES, I'm Irish, 100% (more or less).

Here's to you and yours

And to mine and ours.

And if mine and ours

Ever come across to you and yours,

I hope you and yours will do

As much for mine and ours

As mine and ours have done

For you and yours!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Simple Spiced Rubbed Pork Chops

I get asked a lot for simple, quick recipes! This is one of my family's favorites! It has minimal ingredients, is very low maintenance, but has such great flavor! Simple and satisfying!
I pan fried these pork chops in my 'trusty' (favorite) cast iron skillet, but I bet they would be great grilled, too. By the way.... if you try out any of my recipes and tweak them, improve them, modify them, etc. I would love to hear about it!

6 smallish pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat (about 1 inch thick)
2 T olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
~mix well!

Rub spiced ingredients into trimmed pork chops. And let sit for 10 minutes. Heat olive oil in skillet at medium-high heat. Brown pork chops for about 5 minutes on each side (internal temperature of 165). That's it! Grab a napkin an enjoy!
I served this with sliced sweet potatoes, and sauteed spinach (I made A LOT of spinach, to accompany the leftover pork chops... LUNCHES!)

Paleo meals truly DO NOT have to be difficult or time consuming to taste great!
Hope you enjoy! :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sicilian Chicken

Whoa... What a Monday! I spent more time "cleaning" in the gym this morning than I did my own house! But I was so exhausted from today's WOD that house "cleaning" will have to wait 'till tomorrow (if I have the use of my arms by then). No... all kidding aside, today was a butt kicker for sure, but really rewarding, too. Just don't forget your fish oil! RECOVERY!
Tonight's dinner was really tasty, and provided abundant leftovers! It was very saucy and Italian... and Paleo! Hope you enjoy! :-)

6 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, pounded and cut in half (yields 12 small, half breasts)
2 T olive oil
Sea salt (optional)
dried oregano
Ground black pepper
1/4 C Red wine (to deglaze the pan)
1 yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 spears green onions, chopped
1 leek, chopped
1/2 C portobello mushroom, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 T capers, heaping
1/2 C green olives, chopped
6 oz. diced tomatoes (canned is fine, low sodium)
1 C chicken broth
1 T Italian seasoning
1 tsp. black pepper

Heat olive oil in a pan. After pounding chicken breasts, season with salt, pepper and oregano. Brown chicken breasts on both sides, may need to work in batches. Remove to a baking dish.
Add garlic and onions to pan (may need a tad more oil)... saute, and deglaze with red wine. Add celery, leeks, and green onions. Saute about 3 more minutes. Add remaining ingredients, stir well, and bring to a low boil. Pour sauce over chicken breasts, and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

We served this (not shown in the picture) with steamed zucchini and a green salad!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Chicken Paleo Pomodoro

Ok, I have to give Scott credit for this dish. I went to CrossFit late tonight to do some much needed deadlifting, while he salved in the kitchen! He did great and it was truly delicious!!! I was just the sous-chef on this job... I sliced, diced and cleaned up!!
Thanks, Scott! It was one of my favorite meals and it made a lot of leftovers! :-)

4 chicken breast, pounded thin, and cut in half
1 T olive oil
1/4 C vodka
1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
2 T lemon juice
1/2 C chopped tomatoes
1/2 C chopped artichoke hearts (packed in water)
2 T light coconut milk
1/4 C scallions, minced
1/4 C almond meal
2 T dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Combine almond meal, parsley, Italian seasoning, and pepper. LIGHTLY coat chicken breasts.
Heat olive oil in a pan and brown chicken breast for about 3-5 minutes on both sides. Remove chicken to a baking dish. Deglaze pan with vodka... AWAY from any flame!!! Cook until it's nearly gone! Now, I realize vodka is not really Paleo, but I figure it all practically burns off anyway! Add broth, lemon juice, tomatoes, artichokes, and coconut milk. Pour pomodoro sauce over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle scallions over the top and bake at 350 for about 10 more minutes. We served this with sauteed spinach and a side salad! Enjoy! :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Broccoli & Beef Stir Fry With Fried Cauliflower Rice

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a great weekend! I had the pleasure of attending a Robb Wolf seminar on Paleolithic Nutrition! ... Absolutely fantastic! I feel enriched and motivated to continue promoting the gluten free, dairy free Paleo diet! As Robb would say: This is what you do if you want to 'look better, feel better, and perform better'! :-)
Tonight's recipe was inspired by my friend, Neile, who passed on this fried cauliflower rice recipe! I decided a little broccoli beef stir fry would accompany this nicely! Thanks, Neile!

Broccoli Beef:
1 lb. beef round strips for stir fry (marinate meat for about 20 minutes)
Broccoli, cut into flowerets (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
2 tsp. flax seed oil (or olive oil)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. toasted flax seeds
1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Stir fry sauce:
1/4 C chicken broth
2 tsp. toasted flax seeds
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp. arrowroot powder
flax seed oil or olive oil
Marinate meat for at least 20 minutes. Heat oil in wok or saute pan, and add garlic. Add beef and cook until browned. Remove Beef to side dish. In saute pan add sauce and broccoli. Cook until broccoli is al dente (tender crisp). Add beef back to the pan and mix well.

Fried Cauliflower Rice:
1 small head cauliflower
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
ground black pepper and salt (optional) to taste
Rice the cauliflower in a food processor. Then, microwave cauliflower on high for about 3 minutes (covered in saran wrap). In a fry pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic, onion, and carrots. Whisk in egg and before egg is completely done, add cauliflower. Mix all ingredients together well.

That's it! Hope you enjoy! :-)

*Paleo/Zone challengers! How's the first week going? Don't forget to keep your food logs!!!
You may turn them into the gym or email them directly to me! Also... you should have finished all your three required performance benchmarks! Make sure to log your weights and times on your entry sheets!
Good luck challengers!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cajun Catfish & Dirty Cauliflower Rice

This has a kick to it, so I hope you like spicy!! We use to eat this a lot when we lived in Texas! It was a weekly favorite. And, it wasn't too hard to make Paleo, either! Hope you enjoy...

3 catfish filets
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (you could go 1/2 tsp. depending on how hot you like it)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt (optional... I used celtic grey sea salt)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
4 tsp. olive oil
1 head cauliflower
dirty rice spices:
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery
1 bell pepper
1/4 C green onions
Spices: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp black pepper
Greens... like collard, chard or spinach (I used a mix of all

In a cast iron pan, heat oil. Mix all the spices together and season fish on both sides. When oil is hot, add catfish to pan and pan fry for about 3-5 minutes on both sides. Set aside.

The fish really is quick to cook, so make the cauliflower rice first!
Shred the cauliflower in a food processor to make a "rice". In a saute pan heat 1 tsp olive oil and saute garlic and onion. Add bell pepper, celery, and green onion. Continue to saute, until Stir in spices and fresh parsley. Add to cauliflower and mix well. Microwave cauliflower, covered with plastic wrap for about 5 minutes.

Don't forget the greens! A great Southern dish wouldn't be the same without some sauteed greens! Sauteed some garlic in olive oil and add a collard and spinach green mix.
Now you're ready to serve! Enjoy...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wild Mushroom, Sausage & Leek Soup - Paleo!

Will this rainy weather ever end? This is "sunny California"!!! I guess I'll just keep thinking of comforting soups until it does! I hope you like mushrooms, because this is a bit of a fungi feast! I made this in the crock pot, and I can't tell you how wonderful this was to come home to after tonight's 7 pm CrossFit Wod! I was cold and tired and had just about enough energy left to ladle the soup into my bowl. (I'm a little worried how my arms are going to feel tomorrow). :-) With a little soup on the menu, we can make it through this Winter. Hope you enjoy!

1 lb. ground sausage
1 sweet yellow onion
1 C chopped white button mushrooms
1 C coarsely chopped portobello mushrooms
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms (rehydrate before adding to soup)
1 carrot, sliced
2 leeks, chopped
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
4 C beef broth (low sodium)
2 C water
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C chopped fresh Italian parsley (add about 15 minutes prior to serving)

In a saute pan, brown ground sausage. Put in crock pot. In the same pan, add 1 tsp. olive oil and saute onions and carrots. When onions are translucent, add to crock pot. Add another tsp olive oil to pan and saute leeks, and the white button and portobello mushrooms. Saute for about another 3-5 minutes, then add to crock pot. Add broth, water, fresh thyme, black pepper, and shiitake mushrooms. Cook on low for about 3-4 hours. About 15 minutes before serving, add the fresh parsley. Pure comfort! Enjoy...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spice Rubbed Flank Steak

This is one of our favorite steaks! We usually grill it, but the weather has been so bad, I decided to try it indoors. I think the trick is high heat, for a short amount of time... really lock in that flavor and moisture! I used my trusty, much loved, cast iron pan!!! The meat I bought at costco (great price)... I froze the other half, and I'll just keep waiting (anxiously) for spring, when I'll be able to grill that other half!
Here's hoping spring is just around the corner! :-)

2 lbs Flank Steak
1 T olive oil

Rub ingredients:
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt (optional)
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
dash cinnamon
dash ground cloves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat both sides of flank steak with rub ingredients (really rub the spices into the meat) and let sit at room temperature for about 2o minutes. In a cast iron skillet, heat oil to med-hi temp, when oil is hot, grill flank steak for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat. Then place entire cast iron skillet in oven for an additional 4 minutes (until flank steak is done, or to desired doneness). Scott likes his steak on the pink side... I like mine a little more well done. But don't leave it in too long!
Serve over a bed of spinach. We also served this with a few slices of baked Japanese yams, and sweet potatoes, as well as our usual side salad. Hope you enjoy! :-)

*I'm so excited that the Paleo/zone challenge is underway! We are getting another great turnout! If you're still thinking about it... you still have time! Get to the gym and sign up!
And to those who are on board... congratulations on making this 3 month commitment! You will not be sorry! Post thoughts, questions, and/or concerns to comments!!!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Pork Chops With Rosemary

Wow! What a Monday. I got to know the med ball a little more intimately than I have ever cared to! Oh yea... the med ball got some lovin' today! Med ball push ups, med ball cleans, wall balls... we couldn't even get away with a 200m run without carrying that lovely med ball with us! Well, as much as I loved the med ball workout, I loved dinner tonight even more! The bacon was quite a treat... hope you enjoy!

5 (4 oz) pork chops, trimmed on all visible fat
5 sprigs rosemary
6 slices bacon (5 for the pork chops, and 1 for the sweet potatoes)
Black pepper
Garlic powder
1 T fresh rosemary, minced fine
1 large sweet potato

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim pork chops of visible fat, and pound slightly. Season pork chops with seasonings, place sprig of rosemary on top and wrap with a piece of bacon. Place in a baking dish, and bake for 30-40 minutes. Broil pork chops for 5 more minutes about 6 inches from heat, to crisp bacon!

I served this with a sweet potato, sliced. It cooked for the exact same time as the pork chops. I sprayed the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil cooking spray, put in the sliced a sweet potato and seasoned them with ground black pepper, garlic powder, and chopped rosemary. I cooked a piece of bacon, chopped it up, and sprinkled that over the sweet potatoes before serving!

I also served this with some steamed asparagus. Very simply steamed for 4 minutes!
Such a good dinner! Hope you enjoy!
...We also served a side of fresh sliced strawberries and blueberries! :-)

You still have this week to get in the challenge! Come on! Whatcha waiting for?
Sign-up forms are in the gym! Trainers will run the required WOD for you upon request!
("Jackie", Deadlifts (3, 5, or 1 rep max), and a 400m run OR 500m row)!
Get your picture snapped, pay the 20 bucks, and your are on your way to a BETTER you!
Just in time for summer!

CrossFit Santa Cruz Central