Thursday, July 29, 2010

Turkey Cutlets with Mushrooms, Basil & Tomatoes

I had bought some turkey cutlets I needed to cook up. I bought them because I thought they sounded good at the time, but when I got home, I had no idea what to do with them! I made a split decision based on ingredients I had on hand (and the Italian influence in the house). Wow... this turned out great! Highly recommend. This would be good with chicken, veal, or even fish! Enjoy!

4-6 Turkey cutlets, 1/2 in thick (or meat of your choice)
1 C almond meal
2 T dried parsley flakes
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
1 T olive oil
9oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C organic, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 C coconut milk
1 C fresh basil, chopped
2 C grape tomatoes, sliced in half

Combine almond flour, parsley, pepper, and garlic powder. Coat turkey cutlets in breading-like mixture and set aside. Heat oil in a pan on med-high heat. Brown turkey cutlets on both sides and place in a baking dish. In same saute pan, add 1 tsp more oil. Saute garlic, but do not burn. Add mushrooms and cook until browned. Add chicken broth. Let it cook down a bit (about 5 minutes). Add tomatoes, basil and coconut milk, and mix well. Pour over turkey cutlets and bake in a 350 degree oven for only about 15 minutes!

While that's cooking.... chop up a couple zucchini (halved and sliced), 1/2 red bell pepper, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1 tsp. olive oil. Heat oil an saute garlic. Add peppers and cook until they're soft (3-5 minutes). Add zucchini. Saute a bit and then add 1/4 C chicken broth. Toss, cover, and simmer until zucchini is tender crisp. This was a GREAT variation on the usual!

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Seafood Sausage & Kale Stir Fry

This was another great Trader Joe's find and another quick fix dinner! I got home late tonight and needed a quick and easy dinner. I had never really heard of seafood sausage and was a tad skeptical, but I though it was really good!!!

2 bunches of kale
1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
2 tsp. olive oil
1 package (1 lb.) TJ's Seafood sausage (frozen section)

Brown sausages in a pan with a little oil. Slice and set aside. In another pan, saute onions with olive oil. As they start to caramelize, add kale. Continue cooking for about 8-10 minutes, until kale is soft. Add sausage to pan. Mix well and serve! I squeezed a little fresh lemon juice over the top! Super tasty... hope you enjoy this quick paleo fix! :-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Marinated Ahi Tuna Steaks with Grilled Artichokes

Our first day back from camping, and although we stuck to our Paleo ways while vacationing.... I still found myself craving a lot of fresh veggies when I got home (it's just not the same roughing it in the wilderness). We kept a lot of non and not-so perishables handy while camping (fruit, dried fruit, nuts, jerky, canned tuna & chicken, eggs, sausage. For dinners we grilled chicken and steaks, with simple side salads. It worked out well!

I've also returned from vacation with a serious craving for fish! I came home from our re-stocking trip to the grocery store with 4 fish dinners for the week! Which I'm really looking forward to eating this week! Yum.

Tonight, Trader Joe's came through again with their marinated Ahi Tuna steaks (I got them in the freezer section). They are simply marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, red chili flakes, salt & pepper.... not too bad at all! Simple, quick, and tasty!

Scott grilled some artichokes to accompany the tuna steaks (sliced in half with a little olive oil, pepper, and garlic powder).... and of course a large side salad! Oh, and lemon slices... which I squeezed over everything!

Enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Athlete Profile: Rory Graetch

Rory Graetch is our 2nd Paleo Challenge winner! He came into the challenge fairly new to crossfit. He dedicated himself to the Paleo plan for 3 months and did extremely well! His goals going into the challenge were to lose weight and get push ups and pull ups! Rory is a big guy and body weight movements were a struggle.

Rory's commitment to the Paleo challenge and crossfit paid off! His transformation was obvious to those around him! You could see Rory slimming down before your very eyes! Rory has lost over 15 pounds and his performance strides certainly gained him recognition! Yes, he can do push ups and pull ups!!!

Here are his benchmark stats:

Start: 14:10 (jumping pull ups)
End: 9:10 (still jumping, some kipping)

1 RM Deadlift
Start: 365#
end: 415#

400m Run
Start: 2:04
End: 1:23 .... WOW!

Congratulations, Rory! It's been amazing watching your transformation! Keep up the great work. You've been a true inspiration and I know you have a LOT more in you! ... You've already earned a reputation as one incredible rower!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Paleo Shrimp Alfredo & Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash with a Paleo-friendly alfredo sauce has been on my recipe "to do" list for a long time! I've been super eager to try it with either a chicken or shrimp... and I am so glad I did! We enjoyed it very much. This was only the second time I've ever cooked a spaghetti squash, and I have to say, the method I used tonight was MUCH better than the last. The first time was an utter chore and I was tempted to use a chainsaw! This time I chose a much kinder, gentler and safer method ... the oven. From here on out, there will be no other way for me. I might even put spaghetti squash on the menu more often. The recipe possibilities are endless!!! Hope you enjoy!

1 spaghetti squash
1 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T dried parsley (or 1/2 C chopped fresh Italian parsley or basil)
1 T Italian seasoning
1 C coconut milk (I used "light" coconut milk form Trader Joe's)
1/4 C chicken broth (organic, low sodium)
1/2 tsp. arrowroot powder (as a thickener)
1 lb. shrimp
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. black pepper
pinch sea salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Puncture several holes throughout the spaghetti squash to allow the steam to escape. Place the spaghetti squash on a baking dish and put in the oven for 1 hour. This is the only thing you really have to allow time for when cooking this meal. Everything else cooks quickly! When the squash is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting it open. The inside will be very steamy and hot, but will cut very easily!
While the spaghetti squash is finishing its cooking time and cooling a bit, make your sauce. Heat the oil in a skillet. Saute garlic and when garlic starts to brown, add the shrimp. Saute until shrimp is nicely pink and cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside. Whisk arrowroot and chicken broth together, and add to skillet. Cook on medium heat until it starts to thicken. Slowly add coconut milk along with remaining herbs and spices. Add the shrimp back to the skillet. Finish with a pinch of sea salt if desired.

Cut the spaghetti squash open by slicing it in half and remove the seeds. With a spoon scrap the spaghetti squash out of its shell into a bowl. It will look like spaghetti!!! Place desired amount on a plate and spoon shrimp & alfredo sauce over the top. Garnish with some chopped fresh basil and enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Easy Chicken Stir Fry

I loved today's CrossFit wod, but WOW am I ready for bed! Heavy cleans and muscle ups are just full body fatigue! I thought a quick & easy stir fry dinner would be a great way to spend less time in the kitchen and more time in bed! Not to mention I am really enjoying the 5 Chinese spice blend and a stir fry would would be another opportunity to use it! This was super easy and could be made with any vegetables you choose (a good opportunity to go through that vegetable bin)! Enjoy...

Chicken, 4 breasts cut in thin strips
1/4 C coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch square ginger root, minced
2 zucchini, sliced
3 bunches baby bok choy, chopped
1 C grated carrots
about 2 C shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp. 5 Chinese spice powder
1/4 C chicken broth

Marinate chicken strips in 1/4 C coconut aminos while you're cutting the vegetables. Heat olive oil is a saute pan over med-hi heat. Saute chicken strips until cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside. Turn heat down to medium and saute garlic and ginger for about 1 minute. Add zucchini, mushrooms, Chinese spice and chicken broth. Cook until zucchini is crisp tender. Add chicken back to pan, and bok choy. Cook until bok choy wilts and chicken is heated through. Serve by itself or on a bed of cauliflower rice!
Hope you enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chinese-Style Beef, Sweet Potato & Bok Choy Stew

This recipe was recommended to me by our own sweet Annie! It's actually a recipe she tried from Sunset magazine (January 2010). It took very little tweaking to make Paleo.... VERY little! It calls for beef rib-eye steaks (which can be a little pricey). You could probably substitute a less expensive meat, but OH MAN, I have to say.... that rib-eye was outstanding! I also loved the Chinese five-spice powder in this dish! (Which should absolutely be a pantry "must-have"). It adds such a warm, savory, comforting flavor with Asian pizazz! This was a scrumptious meal, and I highly recommend... Hope you enjoy! :-)
4 cloves garlic
1 piece fresh ginger (1 inch square)
1 1/4 lbs. Beef rib-eye steaks (about 2 steaks)
1 T olive oil
2 tsp. Chinese Five-spice powder (Yum... a pantry "must-have")
3 C beef broth (organic, low sodium)
2 T coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
1 good-sized Japanese yam (or sweet potato)
12 oz. baby bok choy (about 4-5)
2 green onions

Whirl garlic and ginger in a food processor (or just mince together well). Trim fat from steaks and cut across grain into 1/4-inch slices. Coat meat with half the garlic mixture (add a pinch of sea salt, if desired). Heat oil in a 5 quart sauce pan over high-ish heat. Brown the meat, stirring occasionally for about 4-6 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining garlic/ginger mixture. Cook until softened. Add five-spice powder, broth, and aminos.
Peal Japanese yams, halve lengthwise, and cut in thick slices. Add to both, cover and bring to a boil for about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat and continue to simmer. Cut bok choy in wide slices. Add to pot and cook until wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Add beef back to the pot, and cook until hot. Ladle into bowls and garnish with finely chopped green onions!
OH SO Delicious! :-)

Thanks, Annie! :-)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Athlete Profile: Stacy Craig

Stacy is one of our newest Paleo Challenge Winners! She is a hardworking, 48 year old mother of three and committed 6 am CrossFitter for the past 2 1/2 years. She dedicated herself to this Paleo challenge for 3 months with some very definitive goals in mind. She wanted to lose her belly fat, feel better about the way she looks, improve her performance, get at least ONE kipping pull up, and improve her overall nutritional habits.

Stacy certainly excelled in every way during the challenge. She lost 11.5 pounds, and her waist-line became slim and muscular! She said she feels great, gained energy and has adopted the paleo diet as a lifestyle! She says it has been a liberating experience eating this way. She loved not weighing, measuring, or counting calories! She never felt deprived and she no longer has cravings!

Her performance gains have been huge! For anyone wondering just what the Paleo diet can do for you in the gym, check out Stacy's accomplishments!!!

Benchmark workouts:
Start: Thick band pull ups, 22 lb. bar thrusters (time: 10:34)
End: 12 kipping pulls (the remainder with Thin band), 33 lb. bar thrusters (time: 11:08)

1RM Deadlift:
Start: 155#
End: 180#

500m Row:
Start: 2:15
End: 1:58

How's that for impressive? I love that when I asked Stacy if I could take a picture of her doing a kipping pull-up, (seconds after she just finished a grueling WOD), she just went right over to the bar, jumped up and did as least 3 (easily). "At least ONE kipping pull-up"..... no problem!!!

Congratulations on your accomplishments, Stacy! You are truly an inspiration! It has been so enjoyable watching & witnessing your success! You are such an amazing lady and I'm SO pleased that you have discovered and embraced the Paleo lifestyle. :-)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mediterranean Barbecued Salmon

I got this recipe with quick verbal communication between classes from Rachel Frankl (who is also on CF Santa Cruz Central's web site tonight)! Perhaps there are other reasons why she is always one of the first one's to finish a wod with impeccable form! She has an impeccable diet, too! We just can NOT deny that outstanding performance in the gym typically coincides with good nutrition!!! (Especially Paleolithic nutrition standards). Thank you, Rachel for sharing your wonderful, healthy and Paleo-terrific recipes! You're an inspiration... both in the gym, and in the kitchen!!! Thank you and keep up the awesome work! :-)

Salmon filet (cut into about 4oz individual portions)
Place each 4oz portion in its own tin foil wrap, and top with Mediterranean salsa.
2 tomatoes, diced
1 small yellow/sweet onion
2 cloves garlic,l minced
1 Avocado, chopped

Olive oil
some salt & pepper
lemon juice (or lemon slices)

Top each salmon piece with a little olive oil, mediterranean salsa, sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper and place a slice of lemon (or lemon juice) over the top. Seal the tin foil around the filets and barbecue for 12-15 minutes on medium heat. You will be able to hear the juices bubbling in the foil before you take it off the barbecue. Adjust the time and/or heat accordingly. This was delicious! Fresh, fun, simple, and Paleo! ENJOY! :-)
Thank you Rachel!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Pan Fried Chicken

Sledgehammers? Back squats? 800 meters? Are you hungry yet? I'm not sure if it was today's CrossFit wod or this funky foggy July weather we're having, but I was hungry for a hearty meal tonight. This dinner was just that! ... and managed to satisfy my appetite.
*Bonus: it yielded leftovers. Leftovers=Lunch tomorrow. Yay!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes: (I loved these)
2 good-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1-2 inch chunks
1/2 C shallots (or sweet onion), chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, mince
1/2 C fresh basil, chopped
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 C coconut milk
1 T coconut oil

Bring about 4 qts. water to low boil, and add sweet potatoes. Boil for about 10-13 minutes (until potatoes are tender). Drain and mash. (I used a potato ricer... which is nifty kitchen tool that enables the perfect fluffy smooth texture for mashed potatoes) But, mashing with a fork is just fine, too! Add Coconut milk and mix well. In a separate small pan heat coconut oil an saute shallots and garlic, when they are just about done (about 5 minutes), add basil. Saute for a few more minutes and add to sweet potatoes. Stir well, add a little ground black pepper, and serve with the fried chicken!

Fried Chicken:
4 chicken breasts, pounded thin (I cut mine in half, too)
3/4 C almond meal
3 T dried parsley
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 T oregano
1/4 C fresh basil, chopped
2 T Coconut oil

Heat oil in large skillet. Combine almond meal and spices. Dredge chicken breast in almond meal mixture (really pressing the spices into the chicken). When oil is hot, add chicken breasts to pan. Cook on each side for about 5-7 minutes (until chicken is cooked thoroughly and crispy).
That it! ...Hope you enjoy. :-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Baby Back Ribs in Paleo BBQ Sauce

Hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July, and more importantly enjoyed the extra long weekend with family and friends! In addition to the 4th festivities, we also celebrated Scott's birthday, where he was able to enjoy his much anticipated, all time favorite, birthday meal... Baby Back Ribs! He found a Paleo BBQ sauce somewhere on the wide world web, which we tried and very much enjoyed! Hope you do, too! :-)

about 3 racks baby back ribs
Season with a little sea salt and pepper
Grill over medium low heat until almost done. Remove from BBQ and cut in pieces, and put in a dutch oven. Pour Paleo BBQ sauce over the ribs and cook on low for about 2-3 more hours.

Paleo BBQ Sauce:
2, 6oz. cans organic tomato paste
2 1/2 C organic beef stock, no added salt
1 medium onion, finely minced
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 T dijon mustard
4 T apple cider vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
4 T chili powder

Dice onions and garlic as fine as possible. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. If you like your sauce a little thinner, add an extra 1/2 C of broth. Heat sauce on the stove on a medium-low setting. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes... That's it!
We thought it was delicious (albeit, a little on the tangy side). Hope you enjoy! :-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Paleo challenge is compete! I am pleased to announce our winners!

These "two" winners posted outstanding results with outstanding effort! I am super proud to announce the paleo challenge winners!!!

Stacy Craig!!!
She has been crossfitting for 2 1/2 years! After changing to the paleo diet, she has improved her performance and changed her physique dramatically! She also dramatically improved her performance in her daily crossfit regime! Can you say, pull ups? ...YES! During her paleo challenge, she got kipping pull ups!!! HUGE accomplishment. Congratulations Stacy! You are truly an inspiration!!!

Rory Graetch!!!
Rory made some amazing transformations with his athletic health and performance! He is going to continue to shine with his crossfit potential!
He lost weight, gained HUGE strength, and showed massive performance strides!!!

More detailed information to follow... SOON!!!

Each contestant won $160.00 EACH.
Whoo hoo!
*(That's like getting a free month each!!!)

Keep up the good work! You both showed amazing results!

CrossFit Santa Cruz Central