Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paleo-Friendly Curry Chicken and Cauliflower

We had just gotten a bunch of boneless/skinless chicken breasts from Costco, and had a head of cauliflower in the fridge. Put it together with coconut milk and curry and you've got dinner and lunch the next day!

To start I diced up raw chicken breasts into bite-sized-ish pieces and put in a sautee pan with heated olive oil until brown

While that was going I diced up the cauliflower

We bought both regular and "light" coconut milk. The "light" I think is exactly the same only probably twice the water and half the coconut fat.

Once the chicken was browned I poured in the cauliflower and coconut milk and mixed with curry. Justin added some cayenne pepper and paprika. We mixed it all up and let it simmer covered for a bit so the flavors could mix.

Just before it's done we added in the diced carrots so they didn't cook into too much sugar.

Finished product:

Paleo-Friendly Homemade Almond Milk and "Festive Raw Nog"

A few nights ago I measured out (way too, way way too many) raw almonds and water and stuck the almonds in cheesecloth to soak overnight in the fridge.

We got this out to make the milk before doing dinner cause we thought it'd be quick. Well, I had too many almonds, and it's messy, and not that quick. But, anyway, we picked up some pitted dates at Sprouts yesterday to sweeten the milk a little.

Justin measured out a cup of almonds at a time and put them in the blender with about 3 cups of water and mixed to a good blend.

From there we took more cheesecloth to strain out the almond meal/pulp and be left with the almond milk only.

The meal:

Straining it out

Once you have strained the almond milk out you save the pulp, and then put the mix that is left back in the blender along with the dates (or sweetener) and blend again until mixed. Then you're done!

Since we had so much we also made "festive raw nog", which I had seen on one site! I've been missing egg nog big-time. It isn't the same, but it's pretty good.

When you put in the dates to blend, you also add banana and nutmeg. We wound up making it a bit too banana-y, but it wasn't very yellow either way!

Now we have a lot of almond milk leftover. This would be fairly easy to make a batch to last for 5 or so days, but need to make ONE serving instead of 6 :)

Paleo-Friendly Cashew Butter Recipe

We bought a bag of raw cashew's at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago, and since we've been mixing up the nuts we eat and have been having a ton of almond butter, I thought I'd try my hand at cashew butter!

I found a few recipes online and put them together. Basically I used about a cup or so of raw cashews, maybe 1-2 tbsp (tablespoons) of Canola Oil, and a pinch or two of sea salt.

I mixed all the above in the food processor and then just ran it until the blades stopped turning.

From there I took a rubber spatula and scraped the sides and mixed it up a little more, then put the lid back on, added a bit more oil, and processed it some more.

Eventually it was done enough in a nut butter-like consistency!

I'm looking forward to dipping my sliced apples in it later today.

Going strong!

After day 30 of eating out (bread, beer, and wine) we got back to paleo eating by and large. It feels good!

I've got a few recipes to lay down in a bit, but for now just wanted to post up some pics of what we've been eating and cooking for anyone interested.

Here's a platter of sliced veggies ready to be put on the grill. No oil or anything added:

At Henry's last week they had Mako shark! It was as good as it looked

Dinner one night: grilled Mako shark with cajun seasoning and Kirkland Organic No Salt, butternut squash, and grilled veggies

Leftovers: grilled veggies, Mako shark, and chicken breast

Here I was making quite a mess! Trimming the visible fat from pork tenderloin

For breakfast we still like to eat "breakfast-ey". Justin made us some blueberry omelette's last week. I have no idea how to make an omelette, so maybe a guest spot will be coming up soon! I made pumpkin smoothies to add some carbs and healthy fat.

Dinner another night (with leftovers waiting to be refrigerated!)

Salmon marinated in a little bit of Avocado oil, champagne (just a tad), lemon juice, and organic no salt along with sauteed veggies (olive oil and spices)

We grilled up the salmon and chickie at the same time - dinner and lots of leftovers!

Flank steak baked with dry diced onion, a bit of Montreal Steak seasoning, and diced onions and bell peppers.

You can ask my family, I never was into eating fish ("nothing from the sea"). Last Friday we picked up some "surf and turf" however!

Along with small lobster tails and filet we had some sweet potatoes (shhh!), roasted broccoli, and steamed cauliflower

I will get to the almond milk, but Justin's latest creation is paleo cereal! As Steph pointed out, it's like trailmix without the oats. Since we had a TON of almond milk leftover Justin made us Paleo cereal:

sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans, blackberries, blueberries, unsweetened banana chips, ground cinnamon, and almond milk.

Up next:

Almond Milk and Paleo-friendly "festive raw nog" Recipe
Curry Chicken and Cauliflower Recipe
Cashew Butter Recipe

I didn't come up with any of these. I found the recipes through a Google search or just looking around at paleo recipes! Definitely not taking credit what-so-ever. I'll just lay out how we made them!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Never too busy for food!

While I've been too busy with work and training to blog about food, I haven't skimped (too much!). Yesterday marked my 30 days of fairly strict paleo (for athletes). Aside from a few glasses of red wine, a few beers, 2 small slices of pumpkin pie, and 3 chocolate chip cookies I held out all month. I have found that I only eat non-paleo when I drink. Odd coincidence, eh?

Last night we celebrated by going out to a restaurant (first time!). The only non-paleo thing I had (aside from beer and wine) was bread. I wasn't that impressed, and since it was toasted it tore up my mouth! Darn you grains. Anyway, the sandwich was pretty bland without the heaps of mayonnaise and ranch dressing, go figure! Needless to say, I'm really happy with my paleo (for athletes) diet, and have no plans of changing it any time soon.

I don't miss dairy or grains really (aside from convenience). I have no idea if my calcium intake is sufficient, but a few days a week (when I'm not outside at all) I'll take a Calcium/Vitamin D supplement. It contains soy, so I don't take one every day. Aside from that, I've been taking Glucosamine and Omega-3, and that's pretty much it.

Now on to the best part - food!

We tried a variation of the paleo banana/flaxseed pancakes a few weeks ago. They were supposed to be lemon, but really just tasted like almond butter. Justin added blueberries, and I topped with agave one morning pre-ride.

Next morning we got back to basics with leftover fish, butternut squash, and half an avocado

Dinner the night before was grilled veggies and salmon with rubs (our previous favorite recipe was marinated in low sodium - haha - soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Soy sauce is totally out, and balsamic vinegar mostly is due to the acidity in vinegar, so rubs it is). We've been doing cajun seasoning and Costco/Kirkland Organic No Salt - tasty! Leftovers for tomorrow in the background!

One night last week while I put in some trainer time Justin hooked us up with a curry chicken and cauliflower recipe I'd found online. Basically he browned up some chicken breasts, probably with a little olive oil or coconut oil, then added in some diced cauliflower along with a little coconut milk and curry. He added in the carrots when the rest was nearly done (carrots fully cooked release their sugars - raw they are still plenty paleo-friendly). It was tasty! We've been liking the curry a lot lately.

Other than that, we've been eating good! Justin cooked up some mushrooms in a red wine reduction sauce with spinach, and then the old standby's: chicken, fish, and beef!

Breakfast is served:

Went on an almost 3 hour ride on Sunday, got pretty worn out, so came home to baking sweet potatoes and left over top sirloin. Delish.

I scarfed that down.

Justin also made applesauce for us last week. It was much easier/quicker than I thought it'd be. If I have time this week I'll try to make up the rest of our apples and do a post on it just in case someone else out there isn't sure how to make it! We left the skin on, so it's kind of...clumpy! Tastes great, though.

We also want to make almond milk and cashew butter, so stay tuned!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Paleo Banana and Flaxseed Pancakes

Since I am getting a little tired of the same old, same old (roasted broccoli and other mixed veggies, leftover turkey or chicken) I thought about maybe having "breakfast" for "dinner" tonight. I looked through a few recipes that I could find and finally settled on banana flaxseed pancakes.

I've never made pancakes. No, really. My mom used to joke that I could do almost anything with electronics, but once I stepped into the kitchen my brain would short circuit. For some reason I'll play around with a computer until it breaks, but I'm scared to death of the stove!

Well, Justin's been out in the garage a lot lately with his new toys, so after I did some general house cleaning I got to making the pancakes.

The recipe called for:

1/2c(up) mashed banana
1 1/2 t(a)b(le)sp(oon) ground flaxseed
1 egg
2 tbsp almond butter
coconut oil

I don't have coconut oil, but I did just buy some flaxseed oil today, so I used that. I do hope to get some coconut oil, though, since they were a bit too "flaxseed-y".

I'll be honest, seeing as how I've never made pancakes I used WAY too much oil. I dumped half out, and it was still WAY too much. Lesson learned.

So, little bit of oil in a frying pan on low-medium heat, then in a bowl mix up the banana, egg, almond butter, and flaxseed oil. I actually wound up mashing up 2 bananas, using 2 eggs, 4tbsp almond butter, and about 3 tbsp ground flaxseed. I used an electric mixer (hadn't pulled *that* out in awhile!) and some of the banana was still a bit too chunky. Everything else mixed nicely.

I poured the mix into a measuring cup with a lip so it'd be easier to pour into the frying pan (I think I've seen my mom do this many times).

From the cup I poured 3 dollops of mix into the frying pan.

The recipe said to wait one minute and then flip them. I waited 2 minutes and it wasn't nearly enough. The mix was pretty liquidy and non-flippable for quite a few minutes, so the first few didn't come out so well.

Just the two of us...Droid and I

I was getting better, though! I was being more patient letting them really brown on the first side so that I could flip them over. 1 minute definitely wasn't enough for my thickness/batter. I was just giving it a few mins and then flipping back and forth until they seemed done.

Look ma, no (real) bubbles!

OK, now I've got it down.

I wanted to fuel up pretty well for tomorrow, so after eating some of the chunks I put some apple butter on a few pancakes and devoured them. Such a tasty treat. I am really looking forward to breakfast tomorrow!