Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fruit Salad With Mint

I made a large fruit salad on Monday, and we've been enjoying it all week! It's been such a nice snack and mealtime companion! I have mint growing in my yard (like crazy right now), and so I always try to find ways to use it! I absolutely love it in fruit salads. It's a perfect & refreshing combination.

If you have any other ideas and uses for mint, I love to hear about it! I have a lot of mint that I'd love to utilize.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! The weather is suppose to be beautiful!
and.... GO SHARKS! :-)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Red Wine Marinated London Broil

Did you know that "London Broil" is actually a cooking method, and does not refer to a cut of beef? But, a lot of grocery stores sell and label it as "London Broil", when it is really a "Top Round Roast". The London broil cooking method refers to marinating the roast, then broiling it in the oven or grilling it on the the BBQ. The roast is sliced thin, across the grain, at a 45 degree angle, and served! I just learned this! Cooking Paleo has made me become better friends with the butcher! :-)
Marinades are a great and easy way to prepare meat! I mixed up all the ingredients this morning and let it marinade all day... Overnight would be ideal! That's it! All that leaves is a salad and side dish. I almost feel like I got the night off?! Hope you enjoy!

1 - Top Round Roast, trimmed of visible fat

1/2 C red wine
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 T coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 T dried parsley
1 T dried oregano
1 tsp. black pepper
pinch sea salt (optional)
1 bay leaf

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place steaks about 6-7 inches from broiler. Broil until meat starts to brown. Flip meat and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Slice and serve! We enjoyed this with some steamed broccoli and a green salad. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Provencal Paleo Chicken

This was such a colorful dish and full of flavor! A dish fit for a dinner party... or a family of four with some leftovers! Either way... it's a recipe keeper! Hope you enjoy!

4 chicken breasts, pounded slightly and cut in half
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1/2 eggplant, sliced and cut in wedges
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, organic, no added salt
about 15 jumbo black olives, halved
black pepper
Italian seasoning
garlic powder
olive oil

After pounding chicken breasts, season then with some black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. Heat a large skillet with 2 tsp. olive oil. Brown chicken breasts for about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter. Add a little more olive oil to skillet (if needed) and saute onions and garlic. Add red peppers, and few minutes later, add the zucchini! Cook for about 5 minutes and then transfer vegetables to platter with chicken. Now add the eggplant to the skillet, cook about 5-7 minutes, until eggplant is golden brown. Add the can of diced tomatoes, Italian seasonings, olives and return chicken and vegetables back to the skillet. Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for about 15 more minutes. Transfer entire dish back to a platter... garnish with a little fresh Italian parsley, and serve! ...Yum

I said this dish was fit for a dinner party! You just never know when you might have company! However, this guest was caught trying to get some bird seed!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Paleo Pancakes

Sunday was one of those amazing days! No plans or commitments, beautiful weather... and pancakes! They were SUPER easy to make, too. It was a tasty and wonderful way to start out a day of lounging and gardening. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend, too!
Now today, however, was back to reality and crossfit at its best! Muscle ups, handstand push ups, burpee box jumps and maneaters... OH MY! Good thing I was still fueling from my Sunday morning pancakes! Ahhhh, even the memory is nice! :-)

Recipe (serves two):
2 eggs
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
1/2 C almond butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Coconut oil (as needed to grease the skillet)

Heat skillet or griddle to a low/medium heat. Mix all ingredients together until batter is smooth and uniform. Grease skillet with coconut oil. I used an electric non-stick griddle and did not need coconut oil. Pour batter onto griddle. This recipe made 4, 4-inch pancakes. Flip after 1-2 minutes. Serve with your choice of topping!
They were perfectly tasty with NO topping, but here are some other ideas:
Cut up apple pieces with cinnamon, heated blueberries, fresh diced strawberries, real maple syrup, agave nectar, unsweetened applesauce, or an all fruit preserve.
Enjoy! :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pan-Braised Carrots

This is one of my FAVORITE ways to cook carrots! They turn out wonderful every time and are just SO pretty! I have been known to bring this dish to many Easter dinners. It's also a favorite to prepare when having company. It goes nicely with many different meat entrees, and the fresh spices can be changed up to your liking! Hope you enjoy this simple, yet elegant side!

2 bunches slender whole carrots, with green tops
2 T olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T honey (optional)
Fresh chives, minced, about 2 T (sometime, I use rosemary)
salt & pepper to taste, optional
about 1/2 C water (or chicken broth for additional flavor)

Peel carrots, and trim tops, leaving about 1-2 inches of the green. Heat oil in skillet and saute the garlic. Add honey (if desired), chives or rosemary, carrots. Toss all ingredients gently, until carrots are nicely coated. Add broth or water, reduce heat, cover, and cook until just tender (about 10 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste (optional) ...and serve! Easy and beautiful!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Halibut with Hazelnut Crust

Well, Mother Nature can't make up her mind, and neither can I. We had a beautiful warm Spring weekend which put me in the mood for grilled fish with citrus. I bought all the ingredients, and then the weather changed...again! Cold and rainy?! Oh well! We must adapt, so tonight's dinner changed from grilled to baked; outdoors to indoors. It was still very tasty and satisfying, and carried with it a promise of beautiful spring days to come! Halibut is one on my most favorite fish. You really can't go wrong when you cook it! I usually pan fry it, was anxious to grill it, but it was great baked! So nutty, delicious, and paleo... Enjoy! :-)

1-1/2 lb. Halibut filet (about 4-4oz portions, about 1 inch thick)
1 C toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts (I used my mini-food processor)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped (dried parsley leaves are okay, too)
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. grey sea salt (optional)
Grated orange zest (from about 1/2 orange)
1 tsp. olive oil
2 T almond milk, unsweetened
2 egg whites
orange slices, garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease baking dish with olive oil. In a medium shallow bowl, beat egg whites with almond mild. Blend toasted hazelnuts in a food processor and add parsley, salt, pepper, and orange zest. Mix well. Place halibut filets in egg mixture, one at a time, and then press into hazelnut mixture. Really press the nuts all over the halibut filets, and then place in baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Halibut will be slightly opaque in center. Garnish with orange slices. We served this with a side of steamed asparagus and a green salad. Give it a try...It's a recipe keeper! :-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Moroccan Paleo Chicken and Fennel

I hope everyone enjoy this beautiful weekend! It was absolutely beautiful. I took a couple days off CrossFit, but enjoyed working in the yard! I definitely have spring fever! :-)
I tried a little something new tonight... a Moroccan dish, with fennel! The flavors were amazing together and the whole house smelled like something special. Everyone kept hovering around the kitchen, anxiously awaiting their meal! I hope you enjoy!

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, slightly pounded and cut in half
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 black pepper
pinch sea salt (optional)
1 T olive oil
2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced
1/4 fennel leaves, chopped
1 medium red onion, thick slices
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 C orange juice (fresh squeezed is best, but not necessary)
1/2 C chicken broth, organic, low sodium
2 tsp. arrowroot powder
1 T water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine spices and season chicken breasts on both sides. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Cook chicken breasts about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and put in a baking dish. Add sliced fennel, onions and bell pepper to pan. Saute for about 8-10 minutes, until the fennel is tender. Add juice and broth to pan and bring to a boil. Mix arrowroot powder with 1 T water and add to pan. Stir until it begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Add chopped fennel leaves. Pour fennel mixture over chicken breasts and bake for about 10 minutes (until bubbly and chicken is thoroughly cooked). Serve with your choice of side. We served it with a bed of sauteed spinach. The fennel was SO delicious in this meal! We really enjoyed it... and there were plenty of leftovers! Yahoooo. :-)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spinach Saute with Grape Tomatoes & Mushrooms

Here's another side dish to try! You know, I buy a lot of spinach! I'm talking the big Costco bags. So... coming up with some new ways to cook spinach is helpful! It was also the only thing that was even slightly creative in my meal tonight. Kids had homework galore... so my attentions were elsewhere! Hope you enjoy! We liked it... and so would Popeye!

16 oz (or so) spinach
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 C grape tomatoes, cut in half
2 tsp. olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. celtic grey sea salt (optional)

Heat olive oil in a skillet. Saute mushrooms until tender. Add spinach, a little at a time. Cook until wilted enough to add remaining spinach. Stir in lemon juice, and black pepper. When it look just about done, add tomatoes for just the final couple minutes of cooking time. Serve and sprinkle with a pinch of grey salt if desired. Yummmmmmm!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sauteed Savoy Cabbage & Shiitake Mushrooms

I've been really having fun with side dishes lately. Sometimes when you get in a routine with your main meat courses, it becomes the easiest component to change-up and make interesting! This is another great recipe recommended by CFSCC's very own, Rachel Frankl. Thank you, Rachel for another great side dish... and keep 'em comin'. :-))

Rachel suggests Savoy cabbage, and I tried to get some, but they were out at Nob Hill, so I substituted regular green cabbage instead.
This was so easy and SO delicious... hope you enjoy!

1 head cabbage (preferably savoy), sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, whole
olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
sea salt, optional

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion, and saute until onions start to caramelize. Add cabbage and mix well with onions. Cover and cook until cabbage cooks down (about 8-10 minutes). Add mushrooms and cook a little longer (about 5 more minutes). Add some salt and pepper to taste, and serve! Yum!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garlic & Rosemary Pork Chops in Wine Sauce

Even though I was still moving slow, it was good to be back in the gym today. And what a perfect day to come back to! Rowing, shoulder presses and sit-ups... Yay!
I really enjoyed tonight's recipe a lot. It felt really satisfying and a bit decadent. Be sure the oil is hot when adding the pork chops to the pan, so that the herb mixture really sears the flavors to the meat. Hope you enjoy!

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T rosemary, fresh, chopped
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
1 T olive oil
4 pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat, slightly pounded
3/4 C dry white wine
1 tsp. arrowroot powder

Combine the garlic, sage, rosemary, and ground pepper. Rub the mixture over both sides of the pork chops, press it in really well to the meat. In skillet, heat the olive oil. Brown the pork chops for about 5 minutes on each sides, carefully turning with tongs. Remove chops from the pan. Add all but 1/4 C of the wine to the pan. Deglaze pan and bring to a boil. Return pork chops to the pan, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove pork chops once again. Mix the arrowroot powder with the last 1/4 C of wine, and add to the pan juices. Bring to a boil and reduce to a thick sauce. Pour over chops and serve!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Paleo Chicken & Vegetable Stew

Well, it might be mid-April and it might be spring, but it still felt like stew weather to me! Maybe I'm still trying to warm up after yesterday's half marathon in the wind and rain! I know I definitely needed a little comfort food to help with my aching body! But... we did it! My friend Neile and I accomplished our goal yesterday and it felt great!!! :-))
I'll tell you what!? Thanks to CrossFit, healthy Paleo eating, and good friends... anything is possible! So, keep those goals in site, no matter how impossible they might seem!

This is a great crock pot recipe! Hope you enjoy!

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2-4 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
3 C zucchini, halved and chopped
1/2 C celery, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes (no added salt)
1 tsp of each:
dried thyme
dried oregano
1 bay leaf
black pepper
grey sea salt (optional)

Cut chicken into about 1 inch cubes. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown chicken. Transfer to the crock pot. In the same skillet, saute onion, garlic and pepper. Add the remaining vegetables and a little more olive oil, if needed. Cook until crisp-tender, and add to crock pot. Add tomatoes and seasonings. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Yum!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Are You Taking Your Omega-3's?

We all have heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good, right? We know that the average American diet is extremely deficient in omega-3's and therefore, we should be taking our supplements! We know that, as CrossFitters, it helps to decrease our muscle soreness, increase our recovery, and decreases inflammation throughout our bodies! And it does SO much more! It's involved in fighting chronic diseases, heart heath, blood pressure regularity, brain function, and the list goes on! The benefits come from consistently taking the appropriate dosage!

So how much should you be taking? The rule of thumb is to work up to:
1/2 gram EPA/DHA omega-3's for every 10 pounds body weight.

So for example, a person weighing 160 lbs:
160/10=16 x .5 grams = 8 grams or 8000 mg. per day.

If you're taking Nordic Naturals Omega-3 supplements, that's 29 capsules per day. I know that sounds like a lot, and it is. Work yourself up to that amount gradually... Start with 3 capsule 3x per day?! Incorporate food sources that are rich in omega-3's as well! Also, take your supplements with a meal or snack rich in protein and fat.

What to look for when shopping for fish oil supplements?
Make sure they're Omega-3 DHA & EPA .
Look for fish oils that are "purified" & "pharmaceutical grade".
I have been very happy with Nordic Naturals, Carlsons, and Coscto's brand!
My personal favorite of late is the Carlsons liquid. It has more DHA/EPA per tsp. so I don't have to take so many capsules per day. When calculating how much you need, be sure to look at the EPA/DHA total per capsule or tsp.

1. Flaxseeds
2. Walnuts
3. Salmon, wild caught (chinook)
4. Sardines
5. Halibut
6. Shrimp
7. Snapper
8. Scallops
9. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage...yes!
10. Spices, like: mustard seed & oregano!

So, enjoy your Omega-3's and stay healthy! :-)
Hope some of this information helped clear any 'fish oil' confusion!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Beet, Jicama & Avocado Salad

I've been wanting to try this salad for some time. The warm weather today triggered my urge! This was a delicious salad. I know beets are not a huge vegetable "favorite", but this was wonderful... and satisfying. I highly recommend!

2 C raw beets, grated (3 medium beets) ... I used golden beets! Yum!
1 Jicama (about 2 C, grated)
4 radishes, grated
2 avocado, sliced in chunks
1/2 C cilantro, chopped
2 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 T olive oil
Pinch celtic grey sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Grate beets, jicama and radishes (I used a food processor). Add avocado and cilantro. Whisk together lemon juice, cumin, and coriander. Whisk in oil. Pour over beet mixture and toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve! :-)

I served this with some steamed zucchini, and spiced rubbed, grilled chicken! It was delicious!
Hope you give this a try. I think I'll be making this a lot over the spring & summer months! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Seasoned Scallops Over Spinach

I still had some leftover bacon from Sunday's wrapped dates, so I thought I'd add it to tonight's dinner. Who ever really gets tired of bacon? Add bacon and Scallops are such a wonderful combination. It made for a tasty and filling Paleo dinner. Hope you enjoy!

1 lb. scallops
Seasonings for scallops:
1 T dried parsley
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
8 slices bacon
16 oz fresh spinach
1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
splash chicken broth (low sodium, organic)
splash lemon juice

Cook the bacon in a skillet, and set bacon aside, reserving bacon fat! Toss the scallops in the the seasoning mixture until well coated. Brown scallops in the bacon fat until they're cooked all the way though. Remove from heat.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, when onion starts to brown add splash of chicken broth and add spinach. Toss well, and let it cook down. Add scallops to spinach mixture. Add a splash of the lemon juice, serve onto your plate, and sprinkle with a little coarsely chopped bacon pieces.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Almond Stuffed Date Appetizer

Need a Paleo appetizer? We brought these tasty little morsels to our family's Easter party. I highly recommend these little gems to impress not only your Paleo friends, but your non-paleo friends as well! They are super easy to make, but you might want to make a double batch... they go quick! Enjoy!!! :-)

1 8oz package pitted dates
whole almonds (I used raw, unsalted)
1 lb. bacon

Preheat broiler. Place 1 almond inside the date. Wrap 1/2 piece of bacon around date. Secure with toothpick. Broil for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and crisp. Serve & enjoy!
I guarantee they will not last long!

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