1. Breakfast Lunch Dinner PaleoBreakfast: steamed frozen broccoli, leftover grilled chicken breast, blue cheese, organic strawberries.
  2. Snack: locally grown pistachios
  3. Lunch: Big-ass salad with turkey, chicken, hard salami, blue cheese, onion, tomato, and (not pictured) homemade ranch dressing.
  4. Dinner: Two locally “grown” eggs over easy, uncured bacon, and sauteed onion and wannabe home fries made from a turnip. Does anybody have any good recipes for making home fries, potato or turnip?  Mine still tasted good with lots of garlic, pepper, rosemary and oregano, but they didn’t have the crispy fried edges I really wanted.

(PS: Yes I know cheese isn’t exactly paleo, but I love it a little too much to totally give it up, so just pretend it isn’t there).

 

 

Farmers Market

Posted: May 26, 2012 in Growing Food

Farmer's MarketThe farmer’s market is picking up here, and I couldn’t be happier.  Today, I scored: four medium zucchinis, some white chard, eight big tomatoes, a pound of pistachios, four sweet onions, two small artichokes, and a bag of French breakfast radishes.  All grown right here in my little town, and all for under $20.

I’m crunching on one of the radishes as I type this, and it tastes just like a regular radish, except much juicier.  I’m not convinced that radishes make good breakfast food though.

Ostrich Egg at Farmers Market

This lady who sells chicken eggs brought a variety of other eggs just for display.  She was very excited to hold this ostrich egg so that I could take a picture.  How cool is that?

Bison Steak Grilled Fajita Paleo

Here are my three main meals from today.  Breakfast was a whole bag of frozen turnips and turnip greens tossed with some ground turkey and seasoned with Mrs Dash garlic and herbs.  Probably should’ve added an egg too, because I started getting hungry faster than normal.  Oh well.  Lunch made up for it though: spaghetti squash mixed with mushrooms, marinara sauce, more leftover ground turkey, garlic chives, and goat cheese.  But it was dinner that was really exciting!

Bison Fajita Paleo Dinner

After my pilates class, I stopped by the grocery store still all sweaty and freshly worn out to grab a couple bunches of organic green and red leaf lettuce, and happened to also notice that some of the bison steaks were on an about-to-go-bad-soon sale!  I don’t remember ever having bison before, so of course I decided to try it!  We just grilled it like a steak after marinating it in red wine vinegar, black pepper, cumin, and chili powder.  I served it up finger-food style with grilled fajita veggies and salsa/guacamole dipping sauce.  It was totally delicious!  Tasted basically like steak if you ask me, though maybe a little milder in flavor.  And five minutes of research online (not the most reliable method, but hey) told me that bison is generally considered healthier than beef because it has less fat and more iron.  Cool.  I’ll pick up some more if I ever see it on Manager’s Special again.

Paleo Chicken Leg Dinner Plate

I’m still working on the best way to organize this blog… it’s a tougher thing to figure out than you’d think.  I might create a page of links to photos of my full dinner plates because one of the challenges I’ve run into with eating paleo is deciding on side dishes.  One meat and one vegetable on a plate is a totally decent simple paleo dinner, and that’s what we end up with pretty often here when I’m low on time, but what I’m really talking about is finding ways to provide a wider variety of textures, flavors, and colors to accompany that piece of delicious meat.  Like this Grilled Paleo Cumin Salsa Chicken Leg Dinner Plate.  🙂  Not bad, right?

Paleo Chicken Leg Dinner Plate

The grilled chicken is seasoned with generous amounts of cumin, chili powder, and oregano – no salt.  I’m trying to take it easy on the salt here lately.  The broccoli is frozen and microwave steamed with a little fresh grated Parmesan cheese (not exactly Paleo, but not the end of the world either).  The salad dressing is one part homemade ranch dressing mixed with two parts hot fire roasted salsa.  Add 1/4 avocado and a couple carrots from the farmers’ market, and it’s a full plate!

Paleo Chicken Leg Dinner PlateSpeaking of the farmers’ market, last Saturday was our little town’s seasonal grand opening of the summer farmers’ market!  I’m going to bed soon so I can get up nice and early… I don’t want the vendors to run out of the good stuff before I show up!  Last week, I brought home lots of lettuce, beet leaves (beets are gross but the leaves are good in a mixed salad), strawberries, tomatoes, pistachios, a dozen eggs, and a fistful of chives.  I’m excited to see what will be there tomorrow!

Spaghetti Squash Meaty Dinner Plate

Compare pasta with spaghetti squash calories carbsSpaghetti squash is the bomb.  I haven’t convinced the other omnivore in the house yet – he likes it, but still likes old fashioned pasta noodles better.  I’m sold though.  There’s about a 400 calorie and 100 grams of carbs difference between our two plates, just because I chose spaghetti squash instead of Penne.  And of course my plate was still crazy delicious and filling – but without the bloaty pasta need-to-nap feeling afterwards.  I hate that feeling.  I mean, food is supposed to be fuel, not a sedative, right?

It’s getting hot here though, and let’s be honest – 97 degrees at only 3% humidity is still hot.  Too hot to turn the oven on anyways.  So I looked up how to microwave my spaghetti squash, and I’m so thrilled that the instructions I used made perfect SS noodles!  Here are the instructions, copied from an article on about.com:

  1. spaghetti squash rawCut the spaghetti squash lengthwise (you can remove the stem first, but don’t cut through the ends.)
  2. Scrape out the seeds and fibers using a large spoon. Again, be careful not to break through the ends.  [I stupidly used a fork.  A spoon would have worked much better]
  3. Take one of the halves and put it cut-side-up in a close-fitting microwave dish (such as an oval casserole.) You want it to be as stable and as level as possible. If it isn’t, cut a very thin strip of skin from the bottom.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup water into the hollow of the squash itself (not into the dish), then place the other half on top cut-side-down.
  5. Carefully place it in the microwave and cook on full power. A small squash (under 1 1/2 lbs) will take about 10 minutes to cook.  Let it rest for 5 minutes before opening it up.  [My squash was a bit over 2lbs, so I cooked it for 12 minutes and let it sit for 10]
  6. To test for doneness, just squeeze the top half gently (wear an oven mitt for this!) If it’s flexible, it’s likely to be done. Carefully remove the top half to see if the flesh has turned a rich, semi-translucent yellow (as opposed to opaque yellow-white)
  7. Drain any remaining water (there may not be any) and pull out the strands with a fork.

spaghetti squash meat parmesan dinner plate

 

The best part is that I have some leftover sauce and the other half of the spaghetti squash to make another big plate of low carb/low calorie/big flavor spaghetti for myself tomorrow!!!

Loaded Turnip Not Potato Soup

Compare a turnip root and a potato that are the same size.  The turnip will have less than half of the calories, less than half the carbs, and a whole bunch more calcium than the potato.  But cooked in soups or fried/grilled, their flavors and especially textures are practically identical!  That’s why I decided to make a Paleo Loaded Baked Potato Soup today – but with some modifications and substitutions that really crank up the healthiness.

Paleo Loaded Potato Soup (made with Turnips instead!)

  1. One big or several small turnips
  2. An onion
  3. Chicken stock
  4. Herbs/Seasonings (I used “Poultry Magic” seasoning mix, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper)
  5. Other veggies from your fridge (I used garlic, carrots, celery, kale)
  6. Toppings (Cooked bacon, green onions, Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, other finely chopped onions, and if you really want to – some yellow cheese)

Chop everything up into bite size pieces, then toss numbers 1 through 5 into a big soup pot to simmer for at least 20 minutes.  You want the turnips to be nice and soft!  To make the soup creamier, blend some of it in a blender then pour it back in with the rest of the soup.  Pour it in a bowl, top it with your toppings, and chow down!

zucchini hash browns gluten free

Tonight, I made Brinner – breakfast for dinner.  Some spicy Italian sausage, a sunny side up egg, some skillet vegetables, and (drumroll please) … zucchini hash browns!  Actually, I don’t know what the technical definition of a hash brown is.  Maybe these are more like zucchini pancakes or breakfast patties.  Potatoes are a funny vegetable – you can cut them up and cook them in a hundred different ways, and each result has a totally new name.

Zucchini should be the same way.  Maybe I’ll just start adding the letter Z to foods that I make with zucchini.  Zash Brownz.  Nah, that’s lame.  Nevermind.  😛

paleo zucchini hash browns

Anyways, making paleo zucchini hash browns is easy.  The bare basics of what you’ll need are…

  1. At least one zucchini.  My three patties are made from two very small zucchinis.
  2. A cheese grater.
  3. One egg (or you could use one or two eggs whites, I suppose)
  4. Cheesecloth, paper towels, or a thin clean rag (or a tshirt if you plan to throw it in the wash right away)
  5. A frying pan and some oil/fat
  6. Optional: Salt, pepper, herbs, spices, shredded cheese, minced onion, minced garlic, etc.

Grate your zucchini like it’s a block of cheese and then wrap it up in your piece of cloth and squeeeeeeeeeze as much of the water out of it as possible.  Then mix the shredded zucchini with the egg and any optional ingredients.  Heat your frying pan up to medium, melt your preferred fat on it (just enough to coat the pan is fine but you can use more if you want to), and then start plopping spoonfuls of zucchini mix onto the pan.  Squash them down into thin patties and tuck the edges in with a spatula to get a rounder look.  Start with four minutes on each side, and then add some more time if you need to.  You want both sides to be nicely browned and all the egg throughout the patty to be cooked and firm.

I ate mine with a generous helping of organic marinara sauce on top!