March 31, 2014

A Weekend of Pampering Mom

Even though I love cooking and get excited about planning great weeks of meals, I tend to avoid difficult/complex recipes, especially during the week. But, this weekend, I had a wonderful excuse to break out some skill and challenge myself. As you know, my mom and sister are also paleo. And, as my sister likes to point out, meals at home are better than restaurants anyways... at least most of the time. So, I spent the past two weeks planning and preparing for Mom to visit, came up with a comprehensive grocery list and went all out.

First, she was welcomed with a gift basket that my sister and I collaboratively put together. I sent her home with a loaf of Paleo Bread, a jar of Paleo Strawberry Jam, a jar of Paleo Blackberry Chia Seed Jam, a jar of Homemade Ketchup (Recipe Book), & a jar of Trail Mix (Mom's Creation).

  • Friday breakfast: Omelet with Red Onion, Spinach & Honey Goat Cheese & Turkey Bacon
  • Friday lunch: Chicken Breast with Sauteed Zucchini & Squash and Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Friday dinner: Andrew's Bar & Grille
  • All weekend: Mom's Paleo Coffee Creamer (Recipe Book)
    • This stuff made me want to drink coffee all weekend. It's awesome! Coconut oil may be omitted.
  • Saturday breakfast: Baked Eggs with Spinach (Recipe Book)
  • Saturday lunch: Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille
  • Saturday appetizer/study snack: Trader Joe's Plantain Chips with Guacamole (Recipe Book)

  • Sunday morning post-run treat: Atomic Coffee
  • Sunday Breakfast
  • Sunday lunch: Buffalo Wild Wings
    • Sunday study snack: Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple
      • My computer was being used for a study session, so I did my own thing with this. I just wrapped pineapple chunks in bacon using 1 strip for every 3 chunks. Then I baked it at 375 for about 20 minutes and then broiled it for like 10 minutes on High until the bacon crisped. The flavors together were great, but I think I stretched the bacon too thin and should've used more bacon per chunk. I'll work on it.
    • Sunday dinner: Chicken Pot Pie with Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette; Dessert: Honey Roasted Peaches (Recipe Book) 
      • I was nervous about the pot pie when it came out of the oven because it did not look like it was going to be so great. I was wrong... It was actually wonderful! The crust did not work for me, so I ended up just crumbling it over the top and covering it that way. Really, it didn't make a difference. I think the almond flour I made may have been too dry or something... haven't figured it out. I used radishes and a sweet potato in place of the plantain. I highly recommend this recipe. And, it makes a ton so that means LEFTOVERS!
      • The Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette is really easy and really good. I used frozen strawberries that I thawed the day before I made the dressing.
    • Monday breakfast: Fried Eggs, Turkey Bacon, leftover Honey Roasted Peaches & Paleo Bread with Sweet Potato Butter (Nuts.com)

    March 30, 2014

    Ice Cream

    My mom found the old ice cream maker that we thought was lost. Lucky for me, she replaced it not too long ago; so, I get the recovered one! This is how I feel about now having an ice cream maker...
    Source
    I have so many recipes I plan to try. I shall continuously update this post as I try them... Until then, PLEASE report back if you try any wonderful ice cream creations before me. Here is my Paleo Desserts Pinterest board which has several ice cream recipes.

    Paleo Ice Cream - My mom has made the French Vanilla, Strawberry Banana and Double Chocolate Chip ice cream. She made all three with coconut milk, and they are all perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth. My ranking of the three (They're all great!) is 1) Strawberry Banana 2) Double Chocolate 3) French Vanilla. The French Vanilla was almost too sweet; although, I did eat it with a ton of fruit. The Strawberry Banana is awesome!

    Coconut Coffee Ice Cream with Magic Shell
    Cinnamon Sweet Potato Ice Cream with Toasted Walnuts - When we were doing the grocery shopping for this, Trader Joe's had light coconut milk and extra thick coconut milk but no regular. We went with the extra thick coconut milk thinking it'd make the ice cream super creamy. It sounded good in theory. Instead, we think it contributed to the weird texture that resulted. The good news is it had great flavor, and the toasted walnuts are really great. I hadn't though to toast walnuts, even though I've toasted almost every other nut. This is a great recipe for fall! It's not super sweet; I poured about a tablespoon of pure maple syrup on top which really added flavor.



    Sunday Brunch

    We had an awesome Sunday morning! 

    It started at the trail with Ella, followed by an all-natural paleo brunch of Waffles topped with Sauteed Bananas, Whipped Coconut Cream and Roasted Pecans, served with Turkey Bacon & Fresh-Squeezed Mimosas
    Sometimes I wonder why anyone would eat any other way. Meals like this make me feel like I really hacked this paleo life, and there's nothing that you can't make paleo. And knowing that it's all fresh and natural makes it so much better.

    Waffles Recipe: This made 3 waffles in a full-size waffle maker, but they were not complete waffles (meaning they didn't fit all four full squares)


    Sauteed Bananas:
    3 bananas, sliced
    3 tbsp. coconut oil
    1 tbsp. honey
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    dash nutmeg
    1 tbsp. maple syrup (Grade B)

    Heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Once heated, add the honey and swirl in the pan. Add bananas and stir constantly, so they don't burn. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Reduce heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Pour maple syrup over the bananas and simmer for another minute or so. Serve hot.

    Coconut Whipped Cream: I used 1 14 oz. can of Trader Joe's Extra Thick Coconut Cream because it's all cream, so there's enough. I mixed it before the trail run and refrigerated it in a mason jar while we were running. This stuff is super easy and really yummy.

    Roasted Pecans: Simply put the raw pecans in a small baking dish and roast at 350 for 10-20 minutes. It really doesn't matter... just depends on your preference of roasted-ness.

    Mimosas: We squeezed about 16 oranges with a citrus juicer which made A TON of orange juice. I'm not convinced champagne is "paleo," per se, but it was a nice treat. Either way, fresh-squeezed orange juice is GREAT! You can really taste the difference.

    For those of you with non-paleos at home, I made my roommate French Toast with some bread he had that had gone stale so he could eat with us.

    March 29, 2014

    Dry Mouth

    Has anyone else's mouth been feeling like this lately? I had never noticed my mouth being dry until about a month ago during Mock Trial Tryouts. I felt like my tongue was pasted to the top of my mouth by the time I was done giving my Closing Statement. And, I've noticed it consistently since.

    I mentioned it to my mom and she said she had noticed it too but thought it was from something else. So, I decided to do a little research and found some plausible explanations. Several posts suggested that a low-carb diet can cause dry mouth. On one post, it was mentioned what foods help and exacerbate these problems. Interestingly, paleo foods help dry mouth (walnuts, broccoli, kale), and non-paleo foods (grains, pizza, etc.) did not help. Here are simple, reasonable explanations that I found:
    Source
    • Ketosis has a diuretic (increasing urine excretion) effect which, in turn, causes dry mouth.
    • Water washes away saliva.
    • Constantly drinking water makes your mouth rely on the constant inflow. When the inflow is interrupted, i.e. a meeting, presentation, empty water bottle, then it becomes dry.
    All in all, I think it's just from the constant inflow, and therefore outflow, of fluids. Make sure you always have water with you and eat your fruits and veggies.

    March 28, 2014

    Andrew's Capital Grill & Bar

    Behold my guilty pleasure: Sweet Potato Fries

    Source

    I seriously talk about them so much that my mom requested to try them while she's in town. We all ordered the same thing, and I brought along the mason jar of Homemade Ketchup (Recipe Book) to enjoy with dinner. Tip #20: Bring paleo condiments with you to a restaurant. The waiter actually tried the ketchup and thought it was great. Our order: Tallahassee Sassy Burger without cheese, no bun, sauce on the side with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries; Yummyyyyy!


    The Sassy sauce actually isn't too bad, so feel free to dip your fork in it for some added flavor to your bite. To make you feel better, Mom could see why I'm so obsessed with these sweet potato fries... so it's not just me. Other paleo options: Classic Burger, Salads without cheese, Lettuce Wraps, Wings

    4/7/2014 Update: I went to Andrew's for lunch with a friend today and had the "Jeb" burger without the bun and no cheese. It is a blackened burger topped with mushrooms and caramelized onions. I had a side salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side. Then, my friend and I split a side of sweet potato fries. We originally ordered without them but then couldn't go without them.

    Andrew's Menu

    Campout at Panera

    I'm pretty sure I took resourceful to the next level last night. I was supposed to have dinner with a friend from school and then planned to meet another friend at Panera afterwards to study. The first friend had to cancel our dinner plans, so that meant more study time at Panera and vegetables in the fridge that needed to be eaten. So, I threw together three salads (Spring Mix and spinach, cucumber, grape tomatoes & red onions) and brought them with me - one for each friend. My friends at Panera were thankful for the fresh and healthy brainpower, and I was happy to share! I bought just "a bag of salad chicken" and asked for Classic salad dressing. Voila - a great salad!

    I also wanted some hazlenut coffee, so I packed a thermos of almond milk and bought the right to fill my own cup. (Almond Milk Trick) Bonus: Bringing your own cup saves money. It was only $1.89. This hazlenut coffee is a new discovery to me, and I'm pretty sure it's bad news. I usually stay away from caffeine, and coffee makes me jittery and crazy. You can imagine how I felt after sitting at Panera for 3 hours and downing the equivalent of three cups of hazlenut coffee. But, every sip was wonderful.
     
    I also packed almonds and Lindt 90% dark chocolate that I didn't end up eating, but those are easy study snacks to pack on-the-go

    4/12/2014 Update: It's another Campout at Panera day. I brought a thermos of almond milk, a salad and an avocado (cubed). For breakfast, I ordered an egg (only $1.00) and ate it with 1/2 of the avocado. I also ordered a "travel-cup" refill of coffee and put it with the almond milk.

    Fruitbowl Friday

    First, I would like to say that I am almost out of sugar and flour! I made these chocolate chip cookies for a friend who gave me a 30 oz. bag of dark chocolate chips. I may or may not have had a lapse of judgment and self-control and eaten one or two of them. But, that's beside the point. I got up and ran 3.02 miles the next day. So, I'm excused, right? Remember the "Get Right Back on the Wagon" post?

    • Alternative Spring Break Reunion Potluck Party (Sunday dinner): Baked Sweet Plantains*
      • This was my first time every doing anything with plantains except eating them. I Google'd a ton about it and came up with "Basically, do whatever you want." So, I peeled and sliced them and arranged them in a single layer in a 13x9 pan. Then, I drizzled (what I thought was) a lot of olive oil over them and sporadically topped them with 4 sliced garlic cloves. Then I baked them at like 300 for about 20 minutes, I think. I was making the bread and jam at the same time, so they weren't my main priority.
      • They didn't meet my expectations, but everyone at dinner thought they were great. I think they needed more oil because some of the pieces were dry. Maybe I'll give it another try at some point. 
    • Breakfasts: Paleo Bread*+ & Homemade Strawberry Jam*+
      • See Bread post.
        Paleo Bread with Homemade Strawberry Jam
      •  I used frozen strawberries for the jam which I don't think was good to do. A friend and I made this together, and she used fresh strawberries and ended up with about 1/4 the amount of jam but with a lot thicker jam. Mine was pretty soupy, so I added about 2 tsp. chia seeds, thinking they'd soak up some of the extra juice. 
      • It tasted great but was just a little runny, compared to the normal consistency of jam. Use fresh strawberries for this recipe.
    • Monday lunch: Salad with Grilled Chicken & Balsamic Vinaigrette*+ (Recipe Book)
    • Monday dinner: Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower Soup+ with Paleo Garlic Rolls
      • See the Bread post on the Garlic Rolls.
      • This soup was great! The hand mixer was too fast and made it splatter everywhere, so I used the blender instead which worked perfectly. It is surprisingly filling, too! I don't think my peppers were roasted enough because the skins were barely discolored and therefore didn't peel very easily.
    • Tuesday lunch: Grilled Chicken with Sauteed Zucchini & Yellow Squash*+
      • Simply slice the amount of zucchini and yellow squash that you'd like and sautee it in coconut oil until tender. Use garlic powder, onion powder, salt and/or pepper (to taste) for seasoning. You can also sautee onion slices with these as well.
    • Tuesday dinner:  Crock Pot Chicken with Applesauce & Sweet Potatoes with Paleo Garlic Breadsticks
      • Prep: Chop the sweet potato and red onion the night before. 
      • Use your garlic press (Paleo Products page) for the garlic cloves.
      • I didn't have curry powder - although I thought I did - so I used cumin. This is a great meal that's so easy!
      • Garlic Bread: I told you this bread was good! Two nights in a row. I used better oil tonight and pressed the garlic rather than chopping it. And, I made it into a loaf instead of rolls and then cut it into "breadsticks"... AMAZING!
    • Wednesday dinner: Dijon Almond-Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Asparagus; Dessert: Homemade Strawberry Applesauce
      • My sister was in charge of tonight's dinner and it was incredible. This recipe was 10x better than when I made almond-crusted tilapia last time. I think it's because mine was baked and this was fried in coconut oil. Also, she used the food processor to grind the almonds. I used a simple chopper... definitely use the food processor!
      • See Applesauce post for information on dessert!
    •  Thursday lunch: Poppyseed Chicken Salad Salad*+
      • See Chicken Salad in Recipe Book; For this recipe, I used:
        • 1 chicken breast, poppy seeds, red onion, raisins, walnuts, mayo & lemon juice
      • Other salad toppings: grape tomatoes & cucumber 
    • Thursday dinner: Campout at Panera (post coming soon)*+
    *Recipes that can be packed and taken to work/school
    +Recipes that can be made ahead

    March 27, 2014

    BagelHeads

    Going along with the Fro Yo post, you would never think there would be a suitable paleo option at a place like "Bagel Heads." Really, there is. And, there are plenty. I actually chose this for lunch with a friend yesterday. They have a great salad menu! My order: Anti Pasto without cheese, add cucumbers with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Actually, the fact that I ordered this freaked me out because I used to hate black olives with a passion and have deliberately avoided them at all costs for (basically) my whole life.

    I think I need to accept that this lifestyle has changed me in several ways - some more significant than others... The significance of this change being debatable. Anyway, this salad was great. After lunch, I stopped into New Leaf Market to check it out. It seems to be great! And, they have a juice bar which proved to be up to par with my carrot, kale & pineapple juice. Their hot bar and prepared foods looked wonderful - I'd say comparable to WholeFoods. Go local!


    Bonus: BagelHeads has almond milk for those of you who go for breakfast or would like a coffee/latte with lunch.

    I just heard that BagelHeads is closing. I'm not sure of the accuracy or timing of this. If you're around, head to BagelHeads before it's gone!

    BagelHeads Menu

    When life gives you apples...

    Make Applesauce. Or, Strawberry Applesauce.

    I was at school for a networking meeting this afternoon, and they served "healthy" snacks - the paleo options being bananas and apples. Attendance was lower than they expected, so there was a bowl of fruit waiting to be claimed. Now, I have some dignity... Otherwise, I would have taken the whole bowl home. Don't think I didn't consider it. Instead, I grabbed 2 bananas and an apple. As the meeting went on and no one else came in, I contemplated how I could grab at least another apple on the way out.

    And, as my mind wandered to food like it always does, it clicked. The dessert slot was wide open for tonight, and I knew just the thing. I could use these homeless apples I was just given and the leftover Homemade Strawberry Jam (See this week's Fruitbowl Friday post!) in the refrigerator to make Homemade Paleo Strawberry Applesauce. Genius!

    So, I came home and did just that. First off, where has homemade applesauce been my whole life?! It is so easy! I used two small red apples that I chopped into pieces (as you can see above). Then, I boiled them in about 1/4 cup water for 20 minutes, stirring periodically. Then, I mashed them with a spoon and took off the peels - I would suggest peeling the apple before you boil it. I just didn't think about it and realized when it was too late. Then, for this batch, I stirred in the Homemade Strawberry Jam that was going to go bad in a few days... put it in a mason jar and refrigerated it until dinner.

    During dinner, I roasted pecans that were tossed in honey, cinnamon & a dash of nutmeg at 350 for 20 minutes. Those were the perfect topping!

    Recipe:
    1/4 cup water per every two apples
    Spices (optional): cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
    Honey (~1 tsp per 2 apples)
    Additional fruit (optional): strawberries, kiwi, blueberries, blackberries

    Peel, core and chop the apples. Bring to a boil in a sauce pan with the water. Add any other fruit and spices. I just added about 3-4 tbsp. of Homemade Strawberry Jam in place of additional fruit and spices. Reduce heat. Cover and boil for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash with any utensil until desired consistency. Refrigerate. 

    March 26, 2014

    Fro Yo

    There's this place in town called Yogurt Mountain, or "Yo Mo," that has become the universal spot for meeting friends, celebrating, late night snacks... really anything. Accordingly, a few friends and I went last night to celebrate a friend's initiation into our sorority. On a side note, if you're not up with the lingo of making everything into rhyming syllables, fro yo is frozen yogurt. And, you should try the lingo out... it's kind of fun.

    My creation: Pecans, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Bananas & Shredded Coconut
    When I heard we were getting "fro yo," I figured "OK, that's fine. I'll just watch them eat." I thought about grabbing Starbucks on the way so I wouldn't get FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) on a late-night treat. But, then my friend picked me up, so I didn't have the autonomy to stop by the 'Bucks on my way.

    Then, I realized they have fruit on the Topping Bar, so I could just get a bowl of fruit... Little did I know how many paleo options they would actually have and the magical creation that would ensue. I started with nuts. The only nut option was pecans, so they went in first. Then the fruit... strawberries, blueberries, blackberries & a few banana slices. THEN I saw shredded coconut, so I put a blanket of that on top. That's it.

    I thought this would end up being like $10.00 since you pay by the ounce, and fruit is so heavy. But, it ended up being under $4.00. Score!! Tip #19: Think outside the box when it seems like you're precluded from any and all fun... at a place like Yo Mo that prides itself on non-paleo fro yo.

    This also reminded me of the dessert fruitbowl in the Sweet Tooth post.

    March 25, 2014

    Have a beautiful day!

    This was my view walking into school yesterday morning. I hope you all have a great day!

    March 24, 2014

    Who ever said bread isn't paleo?

    In today's world, bread has become a staple to every meal. Some people rely on bread for their morning breakfast of toast and jelly. Others rely on it to make their ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. And almost anywhere you go for dinner, it is automatically brought to your table as a pre-dinner fill-me-up.
    Paleo [Almond Butter] Bread
    I really thought I would miss this everyday staple when I started paleo. But, looking back on the past 3 months, I think it probably misses me more than I miss it. To that end, it is fun to find paleo hacks that substitute bread's traditional position.

    Yes, we know that the cavemen didn't have almond or coconut flour, but who says we shouldn't be able to have a little fun with a mixer and loaf pan, too?
    Paleo Sandwich Bread with Blackberry Chia Seed Jam

    Paleo [Almond Butter] Bread (pictured above)
    When making this bread, don't freak out if you get half-way through and cannot imagine the end product being anywhere near "pourable." Once you get all of the egg-whites in, it will be. I was worried, but I was proven wrong. It gave me a pretty squatty loaf. However, it was great toasted with Homemade Strawberry Jam!


    Paleo Sandwich Bread
    This bread is more of a sandwich loaf than the Paleo [Almond Butter] Bread above. I used almond butter instead of cashew butter because I didn't have cashew butter which is why it didn't come out white.

     
    Garlic Rolls with Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower Soup

    Paleo Garlic Bread/Rolls
    My mom says this is great with red wine. I made it into rolls tonight with Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower Soup. My sister LOVED them and asked me to make them with every meal. They really are good. I think it'd be better if the garlic was pressed, rather than chopped. Be creative with the spices!

    3/25/2014 Update: Tonight I made the garlic bread again... told you she loved it. I used EVOO and pressed the garlic and shaped it into a loaf which I then cut into "breadsticks." Not kidding, my kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant. It was glorious! This batch came out so moist. 

    Muffins (discussed in Recipe Book):
    Fresh Peach Paleo Muffins
    Strawberry Paleo Muffins 
    Paleo Blackberry Muffins  
    Almond Butter Muffins

    4/15/2014 Update: Paleo Biscuits
     
    These biscuits did not turn out as I hoped; although they taste great. I think a part of the issue is my almond flour. I used Nuts.com almond flour which seems to be different than the good quality Bob's Red Mill almond flour... same thing with Trader Joe's almond flour, specifically when it comes to baking. Either way, I had to add extra almond (~1/4 cup) and coconut flour (~1 tbsp.) to get the dough to even be semi-stationary when poured onto the pan. Rolling it into balls was not an option. They will be made into breakfast sandwiches.

    Other recipes I haven't tried yet:
    Coconut Flour BreadThe reviews for this recipe don't look so great. Let me know if you try it!
    Paleo Cornbread Minus the Corn - This would be great with chili!
    Sweet Potato Bread
    Paleo Pecan Banana Bread

    March 22, 2014

    Cooking with Chancey

    One of the greatest relationships I have made this year is with my friend Chancey. We sat behind each other for about 3 months before we had a real conversation with each other. But, once we did - we instantly hit it off. And, we suffered through long days and nights of studying hours on end together during finals last semester. Now, she is one of my best friends. She's been on-and-off paleo since January but always eats super healthily. Tonight we made dinner together. She made turkey meatballs, and I made mashed cauliflower with grilled zucchini.

    Apricot Turkey Meatballs, "Cheesy" Mashed Cauliflower & Grilled Zucchini

    "Cheesy" Mashed Cauliflower:
    1 head cauliflower, chopped
    1.5 tsp nutritional yeast
    ~1/4 cup almond milk
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    Boil the cauliflower florets until soft to a fork. Drain. Blend in a bowl using a hand mixer with other ingredients.
    Tip #18: Use mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes for a side dish.

    Grilled Zucchini:
    2 small zucchini, sliced length-wise
    2 tbs olive oil
    1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    Marinate zucchini in olive oil and spices. I did about an hour, but you can do this up to all day! Then place the slices in a single layer on a heated grill (I used a George Forman). Grill about 4 minutes and flip and grill for another 4 minutes. You really can grill it as much or as little as you'd like, depending on your consistency preference. This was my first time making grilled zucchini, and I love it!

    Apricot Turkey Meatballs
    1 lb. ground turkey
    ~1/4 cup apricot preserves (I know these probably had sugar and/or corn syrup in them. However, I didn't want to complain. To avoid added sugars, try pureeing apricots with honey in the blender or food processor.)
    garlic powder
    sea salt
    black pepper
    Preheat the oven to 400. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Shape into meatballs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet/pan. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper & garlic powder (This really added flavor to the finished product). Bake for 30 minutes. They're that easy! I am definitely going to make my own versions of turkey meatballs more often. How simple and yummy!

    March 21, 2014

    Harry's Seafood Bar & Grille

    Ever since I got a coupon for Harry's in the mail, I've been wanting to go. Finally, I went tonight with a great friend who I had not seen in a while. Surprisingly, there were several paleo-izable options on the menu. We were there early, so we ordered from the Early menu which means the coupon made an even larger impact on the check. :) My Order: Crab Cakes (sauce on the side) and Collard Greens My friend got Blackened Mahi Mahi with Collard Greens (also paleo). It was really good and ended up being $9.67 after the check was split!

    Source
    3/29/2014 Update: Today we (my mom, sister and I) went to Harry's for lunch with one of my friends from school. Yes, I had another coupon. As always, my mom found a buried treasure on the menu... Blackened Red Fish crusted with Blue Crab with a side of Collard Greens. We shared an order of that and the Pork Tenderloin Medallions with a side of Collard Greens. My sister ordered the Bacon Jam Burger without the bun and Seasonal Vegetables. Everything was amazing!

    Other Paleo Menu Options:
    Starters:
    Seared Ahi Tuna
    Crab Cakes
    "Hooked on Harry's" Wings
    Salads: 
    Blackened Shrimp
    Seared Ahi Tuna
    Marinated Salmon
    Seafood:
    Mahi Mahi (Blackened) with different side
    Cajun Seared Tilapia
    Pork Tenderloins (sauce on the side)
    Baked Stuffed Shrimp (without sauce)
    Southern Grilled Mahi (without sauce)
    Bayou Grilled Shrimp with different side and no rice
    Meat:
    Harry's Style Chicken w/o cheese
    Chicken Baton Rouge (ask about sauce ingredients)
    Pork Tenderloin Medallions (sauce on the side)
    Ribeye
    Beef Tenderloin Medallions w/o sauce
    Burgers w/o bun
    Sides: 
    Collard Greens 
    Seasonal Vegetables
    Side Salad
    BONUS: Join their mailing list for awesome coupons.

    4/25/2014: Tonight I went to Harry's with a friend for dinner. She has a friend who has several dietary restrictions and is looking for a friendly menu, so she asked to see their gluten-free menu. I had never thought of this, but it helps so much to cut out non-paleo options! Tip #27: Ask for the Gluten-Free Menu. Most restaurants have a separate gluten-free menu, upon request.

    Harry's Menu

    Fruitbowl Friday

    This is one of the best weeks for the fruitbowl! I came back from SB feeling really out of whack and "fat." I didn't eat terribly at all. I just ate a lot more than usual and didn't get much time to work-out. So, for the most part, I tried to stay away from sugar this week and only bought the fruit I needed to make the recipes I planned. Other than that, I snacked on low-sugar things like celery and sunflower butter and nuts. I didn't want to go back to the "Challenge" strictly but really tried to reign it back, closer to bare-bones paleo, i.e. eggs and bacon in the mornings rather than muffins, tuna with avocado for lunch and no desserts (too many paleo brownies at the beach), until Wednesday night when I had an extra avocado (See below).
    Honey Mustard Pecan Baked Salmon & Broccoli
    • Sunday lunch: Honey Mustard Pecan Baked Salmon & Broccoli 
      • I made this up as I went to put the salmon in the oven. I used ~1 tsp. honey, 1 tbs. dijon mustard & 1/4 tsp. rice wine vinegar and coated the fish with it. Then, I hand-chopped ~5 pecans and put them on top. Then, I baked it at 375 for 15 minutes. SUPER easy & yummy!
      • I accidentally dropped extra pecans on the pan as I was making the salmon, so I decided to let them go in the oven too. I took them out after about 8 minutes - AWESOME toasted pecans.
    • Sunday dinner: Paleo Spaghetti*+
    • Breakfasts: Egg-White Bites (picture below) with Turkey Bacon+
      • I used spinach (stems torn off and shredded), ~1/2 red onion, diced & 1/2 red pepper, diced for these. They're so cute!
    • Monday lunch: Leftover Paleo Spaghetti
    • Monday dinner: Apple Cinnamon Pork Loin with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Spinach with Pecans
      • I accidentally used white onion instead of yellow onion for this. And, I omitted the honey and added about 1/4 cup of beef broth to the bottom of the crock pot.
      • Roasted Sweet Potatoes: I sliced them to 1/4"-1/2" slices and put them on a cookie sheet, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with cinnamon & a small amount of nutmeg. I roasted them at 400 for about 20 minutes, flipping them half-way through.
      • Spinach with Pecans: I heated some crushed pecans and then added coconut oil and sauteed the spinach.
      • Overall, this meal was a great combination of flavors. The continuity of the cinnamon (paired with apples and pecans) really pulled everything together. The pork was not as flavorful on its own as I would like, but it was a super easy recipe that is great with the right pairing.
    • Tuesday & Thursday lunch: "Open-faced" Tuna Cucumbers with Bell Peppers*+
      • I decided to mix it up and get creative with lunch today. I peeled a cucumber and sliced it lengthwise as many times as I could. The pieces were about 1/2" thick. Then, I topped it with tuna salad (1 can tuna, 1 avocado, 1/4 cup red onion & a few bell pepper slices (chopped), salt & pepper) and a few crumbles of honey goat cheese. Although cucumbers have basically 0 calories, eating the tuna this way really made it seem like a lot more food.
        "Open-faced" Tuna Cucumbers with Bell Peppers
    • Tuesday dinner: Leftover Pork Loin and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spinach (sauteed in coconut oil with onions)
    • Wednesday dinner: Herb & Citrus Roasted Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary and White Wine Spinach; Dessert: Paleo Chocolate Avocado Pudding+ with Cacao Nibs & Roasted Pecans
      • This dinner turned into something amazing just by using what I had in the kitchen. Originally I planned to do the chicken and spinach and that's it. Then, I realized I had 1 sweet potato left and 1 extra avocado.
      • The Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary were wonderful! The olive oil and rosemary give it such a different flavor from the ordinary sweetness of cinnamon something-or-other; and, it really paired nicely with the flavors of the chicken.
      • The chicken was great; although, my sister and I are kind of over the drumsticks. I have a hard time with bone-in chicken pieces in general. But, there is great flavor with this recipe! I used all dried seasonings instead of fresh.
      • For the spinach, I tried to emulate something from last week but it wasn't successful. Basically, it was just spinach wilted in olive oil and white cooking wine.
      • The pudding was yummy! This was a different recipe than last time. I made it ahead of time and refrigerated it which I think really helps the flavor and hides the avocadoness. The pecans were roasted at 325 while we ate dinner - this makes them crunchier and more flavorful!
      • There was also an extra drumstick after dinner that I shredded and put over spinach, onions & a hard-boiled egg for my sister's lunch on Thursday.*+
    *Recipes that can be packed and taken to work/school
    +Recipes that can be made ahead 
    Onion, Orange & Lemon for Herb & Citrus Roasted Chicken
    Egg-White Bites pre-baking

    March 20, 2014

    Nurtitional Yeast

    My mom bought a 1 lb. package of nutritional yeast from Nuts.com and didn't like it, so she gave it to me. I really didn't know much about it, so I did a little research. Here's what I found:
    Baked Eggs with Nutritional Yeast
    • It grows on molasses (so it's naturally dairy, soy, sugar, gluten, grain-free) and then is taken, dried and deactivated. Because it is deactivated yeast, it has no leavening qualities - meaning it doesn't rise like natural yeast you would use in bread.
    • Its main nutritional value is that it is full of Vitamin B. 1/2 teaspoon of Nutritional Yeast will provide your daily dose of Vitamin B which helps convert food to energy, reduces irritability, improves hair nails and memory and minimizes depression, insomnia, stress, and fatigue.
    • For cooking purposes, it has a cheesy (almost nutty) flavor so it can be added to a lot of foods.
      • Eggs, kale chips, on top of dishes in place of parmesan cheese
      • Paleo Mac & Cheese Recipe  
      • Paleo & Vegan Mac & Cheese Recipe
      • Baked Eggs with Nutritional Yeast
        • I made this for breakfast this morning because I had all of the ingredients in the fridge. OMG, it was out of this world!
        • The nutritional yeast adds amazing flavor, and the bacon and onion combination really makes for a savory breakfast. 
        • I used fresh spinach that I tore into pieces and then used about 1 tsp. nutritional yeast. 
    • One negative aspect I did find was that it counteracts weight loss. I think the general rule of moderation is applicable. Don't start adding it to everything or using it every day (if you are trying to lose weight), but keep it in mind when you're missing that "cheesy" flavor.
    help convert food to energy, minimize depression, insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, trembling, loss of appetite, PMS, mood changes and irritability - See more at: http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/blogs/practical-well-being/nutritional-yeast-demystified#sthash.vbuSqWET.dpuf
    help convert food to energy, minimize depression, insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, trembling, loss of appetite, PMS, mood changes and irritability - See more at: http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/blogs/practical-well-being/nutritional-yeast-demystified#sthash.vbuSqWET.dpuf
    help convert food to energy, minimize depression, insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, trembling, loss of appetite, PMS, mood changes and irritability - See more at: http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/blogs/practical-well-being/nutritional-yeast-demystified#sthash.vbuSqWET
    Sources:
    Wellness Today
    Natural Health Mag
    The Paleo List

    From My Paleo Perspective

    All of the participants of the Alternative Spring Break trip were asked to write a reflection on what they learned on the trip. Me being the Type A and right-brained person that I am thought there was NO way I would be able to come up with a creative or entertaining perspective for writing this... until I was making dinner for a friend. My reflection is below. I think it is an important issue of which all grocery shoppers and paleos alike should be aware. Enjoy!

    For the past few months I have been focusing on eating healthy and exercising regularly. My weekly grocery shopping has consisted mostly of fresh produce, meat and nuts. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables has changed my life and my family’s life.
    As I washed, chopped, and rinsed a head of broccoli and a head of cauliflower in preparation for tonight’s dinner, I had a whole new appreciation for the produce I was preparing. This time, my mind wasn’t wandering off into my to-do list for the next few days or mindlessly contemplating the dinner I was preparing to make. Instead, I thought,
    “This head of cauliflower was picked by someone working long hours in the middle of a field somewhere in the bright sun. They were probably paid a fraction of 1¢ for this head of cauliflower that I just bought for $2.99. And, when they go to the store to buy groceries for their family, they have to pay the same $2.99 that I just paid. This head of cauliflower was washed and packaged for me before I even touched it, and I will wash it at least once more before I put it into my dish. They picked it out of the ground with bare hands and could very well have been exposed to pesticides while doing so.”
    After spending four days learning about and contemplating change for the working conditions of migrant farm workers, I have a new awareness and sensitivity to the cycle through which every fresh ingredient in my kitchen has been. This produce is not something that magically appears in the grocery store coolers for shoppers like me to tediously select. There is a person with a family that needs to be fed behind every tomato, every avocado, every cucumber, and so on.
    Being immersed in the efforts of the FSU Medical School and the FSU Legal/Medical Partnership in Immokalee, Florida for Alternative Spring Break brought me immense humility and appreciation. My peers and I were strangers to the Immokalee residents; yet, they welcomed us as though we were family. They are struggling to feed themselves and their families; yet, they were helping and providing for me.
    Reality is that farm work is an integral part many workers’ family culture and way of life. Many of them will not see the day that a family member “gets out” and has a career outside farm work. Nonetheless, this reality should not deter us from working towards the day that every child has the choice between pursuing an education and farm work; a day where those working on the farms are there because they have chosen to be; and a day where working conditions on the farms are adequate to justify that decision.
    Unfortunately, not everyone in this country has access to and the privilege of eating fresh produce on a daily basis. In fact, I am probably part of the exception of those who do. Yet, such a diet has become one of the most important aspects of my lifestyle. Fortunately, I now appreciate the tireless hands that make it possible.
                At the end of the day, we are all trying to do what is best for ourselves and for our families. That is why many migrant farm-workers take the risk of being caught by the immigration system to come into the US and provide a better life for their families. In reality, they are leaving all they know and risking everything they have to do the jobs that many American’s are not willing to do. They facilitate the privileges that we take for granted. Ultimately, however, there has to be a way for the privilege and fiscal gaps to be reduced and, at the very least, minimal fairness to be achieved for those workers in our fruit and vegetable fields