May 30, 2014

Fruitbowl Friday

I apologize for the absence of a fruitbowl picture. I have bare minimum when it comes to groceries, which explains that lack of variety in this week's meals. My fruitbowl literally had three apples in it, and that was it. Either way, these are easy go-to recipes when you don't have anything exciting for which you can cook and just need some nutrition.
  • Monday breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Italian Sausage, Basil & Sun-dried tomatoes, inspired by this awesome breakfast casserole recipe; Omit the bread for it to be paleo.
    • Brown the sausage first. Add the tomatoes, chopped. Scramble the eggs with 1 tsp. dried basil and add to skillet with sausage and tomatoes. Scramble normally, until cooked through.
  • Monday & Wednesday dinner: Turkey burger with Green Apple & Goat Cheese with Broccoli
    • I made 6 turkey burgers ahead of time with one package of ground turkey. I just pull out what I want to make when I get home from work, or in the morning.
  • Tuesday - Thursday breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Red Peppers & Chorizo 
  • Tuesday lunch: Burger at Bistro 19
  • Tuesday & Thursday dinner: Chipotle
  • Wednesday lunch: Salad at White Rose

May 29, 2014

Baseball game

Today's lunch was at the local baseball game, so most of the food provided was finger food - hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, popcorn, peanuts, pasta salad & coleslaw. I had a burger patty with lettuce, tomato and mustard with two scoops of coleslaw. The coleslaw was probably not completely paleo, but it was the best I could do. I didn't have time to get something else and didn't pack enough for the rest of the day. For snacks this week, I've been packing carrots, hard-boiled eggs & sliced apples. I've been very strict the past week, and I feel great. I don't feel nearly as bloated as I was and am not starving at all - unless I go wayy too long without eating.

May 28, 2014

Bistro 19

This was my first lunch spot in York. I ordered the Blackened Burger without a bun. I didn't have the option of a side; but, it comes with potato chips & a pickle. Obviously, I didn't eat the potato chips. But, I did have the pickle. Everything was great! The burger was very good. It was also easy to cut and eat politely - a good thing for business lunches.

Bistro 19 Menu

Business Lunches

Ever experience[d] that split second where you dread going to a lunch meeting or lunch with a co-worker because you have no idea what you'll order because either a) the place they picked will be a challenge or b) what you want to order is in no way going to let you eat it politely? The main problem is we paleos LOVE salads, and they seem to be one of the most difficult dishes to eat politely. It seems like a straggling piece of lettuce always seems to make its way onto my fork but not all the way in my mouth. And, of course, my lunch company ends up looking at the wrong times.

Today was my second day at my summer internship. I went to lunch with a Staff members yesterday and an attorney from the office today. I also learned that I'll be going to lunch with several important members of the firm throughout the summer. I'll post about each lunch meeting for menu tips and other ideas, as well. But, here are some things I keep in mind when ordering at lunch.

Order something that:
  • will be easy to cut.
  • doesn't have too much grease/sauce that could slop on the table or, even worse, your clothes.
  • will be easy to consolidate into concise bites that fit on the fork. This will avoid those bites that you struggle to politely get in your mouth.
    • Think burger without a bun.
Tips while eating:
  • Cut your food well, so that your pieces are not too large. It's better to underestimate the appropriate size than overestimate.
  • Ensure each bite is secure on the fork.
  • Run the fork and knife through your salad before eating so any large pieces of lettuce are reduced.

May 26, 2014

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

If you haven't noticed, another great thing about eating all fresh ingredients is that mostly everything that you have in your refrigerator will taste good when combined with something else. You can come up with great combinations by just throwing a few ingredients together. Sometimes I find myself doing this towards the end of the week when I need to make sure everything gets used. I just throw (almost) anything in the fridge in a bowl, and I end up with a great salad!

For some inspiration, here are some things I've done to use what's in the fridge. Obviously, your creations will differ depending on what's in your refrigerator. Or, use some of these tips to make your ingredients last longer!

Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry
1 chicken breast
1/8 onion sliced
leftover cauliflower rice w/ red pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
broccoli (steamed)
1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth
Cook the chicken breast in coconut oil until cooked through. Add the onion. Then add the remaining ingredients and reduce heat. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken broth has evaporated.

Salad:
Salad: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion, sunflower seeds & goat cheese
Lettuce with any of the following toppings and more!
Toppings: hard-boiled egg, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, red onion, carrots, celery, avocado, cucumber, bell peppers, nuts, hemp seeds, goat cheese

Chicken Salad (Recipe Book): raisins, walnuts, grapes, red onions, white onions, poppyseeds, carrots, celery, avocado

Tuna Salad: hard-boiled egg, celery, carrots, pickles, red onions, white onions, avocado, cucumber, bell peppers

Smoothies (Recipe Book and others on Pinterest) with any combination of the following ingredients or more: almond or coconut milk, berries, melons, avocado, bananas, spinach, kale, chia seeds, hemp seeds

May 24, 2014

Food Prep for New "Home" & New Job

You quickly realize what you value when you analyze the items you pack for a temporary move... For me, I've realized my knife set, garlic press, food processor, Pampered Chef spatula spoon, and vegetable peeler are high on the list. Those were the only kitchen items that made the trip. Well, and my entire stock of seasonings.

I made my first trip to the grocery store in my new "home" yesterday. Some main points of interest: 18 eggs, 2 salmon filets, 4 baby back ribs, 1 package of ground turkey & chorizo. Almost Everything ended up in the freezer. I made the ground turkey into individually-wrapped turkey burgers using onion powder, garlic powder & sea salt. I also wrapped each link of chorizo individually. That makes for 8 days of breakfast meat and 6 lunches or dinners.

I plan to eat and live very simply this summer. I'll probably be working a lot and traveling when I'm not working, so saving time is always a plus. I'll also be packing lunch for work most days which will require some preparation.

Tip #28: Individually wrap single-servings of meat for easy, quick meals.

Healthy Holidays & "Starter" List

Happy Memorial Day weekend!

Well, I left the nest of my aunt & uncle's house and moved into my apartment in Pennsylvania this weekend. In an effort to keep the momentum of converting my aunt to paleo, I made a quick Word document with a list of "Starter" ideas for paleo meals and snacks. If you're interested, comment below with your e-mail address, and I'll send you the document!

Also, here are some festive, paleo ideas for family get-togethers, picnics, cookouts - or anything else you're up to this weekend.

Red White & Blue Deviled Eggs


American Flag Fruit Skewers from Party City

May 23, 2014

Fruitbowl Friday

Happy Fruitbowl Friday from Maryland!

  • Monday & Tuesday: Road Trip
  • Tuesday dinner: Clyde's 
  • Tuesday & Wednesday lunch: Wegmans Market Cafe
  • Wednesday breakfast: 2 Scrambled Eggs with yellow onion & tomato
  • Wednesday dinner: Beef Burgundy with Caramelized Onions, Thyme Mashed Cauliflower (Recipe Book) & Roasted Brussel Sprouts (Recipe Book)
    • Beef Burgundy Recipe, adapted from The Healthy Gluten-Free Life by Tammy Credicott
      • 2 lbs. flank steak
      • 1 yellow onion
      • 1/2 cup red wine
      • 1 tbsp. olive oil
      • 2 tbsp. coconut aminos
      • 2 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
      • sea salt & pepper
      • 3 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
      • Slice the flank steak into 1/2 inch slices, across the grain. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a medium skillet and sautee onions under tender and caramelized. Reduce heat to Low and cover. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak - sear 1-2 minutes on each side, until browned. Add sauce. Reduce heat, cover and simmer (flipping occasionally) for about 10 minutes.
      • Serve with sauce over the meat topped with onions.
    • I added ~1 tsp. Thyme to the Mashed Cauliflower recipe (Recipe Book) which added SO much flavor. Thanks for the idea, Aunt Jill!
  • Thursday early breakfast: Coconut Milk Yogurt (Trader Joe's brand) and a banana
  • Thursday breakfast: Breakfast downtown DC: Veggie Hash with 2 eggs over-medium
    • The veggie hash was wonderful! It had rutabaga, butternut squash, parsnip, onion & carrots. I didn't know it came with potatoes, toast or sauce - I avoided those at all costs.
  • Thursday dinner: Ground Beef Taco Lettuce Wraps with Plantain Chips & Guacamole - Recipe here! Guacamole recipe in the Recipe Book
  • Friday early breakfast: Blueberry Coconut Milk Yogurt with 1 hard-boiled egg - I am loving the Trader Joe's brand coconut milk yogurt.
  • Friday breakfast: Beef Kielbasa with 2 scrambled eggs - both made in coconut oil

May 22, 2014

Coffee "Creamer"

My latest project is converting my aunt to paleo. She has colonitis, among several other digestive issues which cause her lots of pain and discomfort. Though, her diet is full of gluten, processed-foods, cheese & chemicals. She's known about paleo through my mom, sister, and me for a while now; but, she's finally getting serious. It's helping that I'm only 1.5 hours away from her and my uncle now, instead of 14.

While I've been staying with them the past few days, I've done what I can to introduce paleo changes to her kitchen and habits. She's okay giving up vegetable and canola oil, as long as she can have olive and avocado oil. Her morning Fiber One bars were an easy switch to LaraBars, of which I bought several flavors for her to determine her favorites. The two major obstacles seem to be beer and sweetening her morning coffee.

Source
The beer thing is a work-in-progress - red wine seems to be the crutch; and, I capitulated that gluten-free should be what she drinks if she absolutely needs to drink a beer. The coffee thing, though... That's an easy fix. Her norm has been Sweet-N-Low & Coffee-Mate French Vanilla. Like I said, a bunch of chemicals. Or, as I told her: chemicals in a plastic cup.

Luckily, I had some Coconut Palm Sugar in my stash of paleo ingredients which were easily accessible in my packed-to-the-brim car and picked up some Unsweetened Vanilla almond milk at the grocery store. After her first sip - as I waited in anticipation of a smile or a gag - she said "I can do this!" Success! Here is a list of paleo options for lightening up a cup of coffee:
  • 100% Maple Syrup
  • Honey
  • Agave
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Turbinado - Although, I try to stay away from this. It seems to be too sugar-like for me.
  • Almond Milk
  • Coconut Milk - Don't be scared of full-fat coconut milk. [Natural] Fats are your friend.
Or, try whipping up a batch of this Paleo Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer - It's awesome!
If you're out for coffee, don't forget the Almond Milk Trick, explained here, for those pesty coffee shops that don't carry almond milk. *cough cough Starbucks*

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Clyde's

Conveniently enough, the day I planned to arrive to my aunt and uncle's was their 19th wedding anniversary. They kept it simple, and we went to Clyde's for dinner. There are several of these restaurants, but they're all within the DC area. The food was amazing!


My paleo meal was some of the Local Asparagus Salad (appetizer), of which I didn't eat the cheese. And, I ordered the Brick Chicken which is the current seasonal dish. It was awesome! The chicken was wonderfully crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, and I loved the combination of vegetables. The salsa verde was almost like a pesto which added so much flavor to everything on the plate. The Ricotta Dumplings were easy to pick out, too.


Other good options would be the Atlantic Salmon without the polenta cake, the pescado sandwich without bread or any of their grass-fed burgers without a bun.

Clyde's Menu

May 21, 2014

Wegmans Market Cafe

First stop once I made it into town: Wegmans Cafe for lunch... Wegmans is like your normal grocery store and WholeFoods wrapped into one which makes for basically a city of a grocery store. They have a hot bar and salad bar just like WholeFoods Cafe. Although, they don't have a Juice Bar or smoothies like WholeFoods. :( But, they do have a lot of other stations - FoodBar with meals by order, Asian Wokery, etc. I went with the hot bar.
  • Zucchini, Tomatoes & Basil
  • 2 Buffalo Chicken Wings - These were surprisingly good!
  • 1 Roasted Asparagus spear
  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Dijon Mushrooms
  • Salad with Tuna Salad, Cajun Chicken Salad & Shredded Chicken
I wonder what other grocery stores are around with hot bars to explore. Here's to a summer of new grocery stores!

Road Trip (Maryland)

Yesterday concluded my first solo-road trip which ended in Maryland at my aunt & uncle's - about 950 miles altogether. This was my first paleo road trip, and I was determined to abstain from all junk foods/impulse pit stops. And, I did! Other accomplishments during the trip include finishing a book on tape and becoming besties with Siri who sent about 100 text messages for me during the drive.

Packed Snacks:
  • Energy Squares from Whole Foods - These were a new find for me. They're in the bulk section and AWESOME! They were my main source of energy and snacking satisfaction throughout the trip. Yum!
    • Vanilla Almond
    • Honey Pistachio
  • Kit's Organic Clif Bar - Apricot Sesame
  • Granny Smith Apple, sliced
  • Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
  • Trail mix - walnuts, pepitas, dried cranberries & sunflower seeds
Pit Stops:
  • Starbucks - Venti Green Tea with 1 Honey
    • This was my saving grace. I judged the exits I took by the existence of a Starbucks.
  • Outback Steakhouse
I stopped at a hotel in NC to split the trip into two days of driving.

Hotel Breakfast:
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Pork Sausage
  • Coconut Milk Yogurt - I packed this myself in a small lunch bag with ice.
  • Pineapple 
Here's the post from my last paleo road trip which was not nearly as far and with friends.

May 20, 2014

Summer Grilling

One of the best parts of being home is having my mom's full kitchen to play in... including the grill. Although, I can't grill; so, I get to prep everything and then hire my step-dad's talents on the grill. I had a doctor's appointment near a REALLY nice WholeFoods this week; so, we went to WholeFoods and found dinner. First, this WholeFoods was heaven on earth. Seriously... I thought the one in Tallahassee was my favorite place ever. This one is that one x3. We bought a bunch of asparagus, 2 yellow squash, 3 beef kabobs, a bag of frozen shrimp & a bag of frozen scallops. 
I trimmed the asparagus and sliced the squash and a yellow onion and brushed it all with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. They were grilled over tin foil.
Then, I seasoned the beef kabobs - pre-made in the meat case of WholeFoods - with steak seasoning and skewered the shrimp and scallops. I brushed the shrimp and scallops with olive oil. Everything was grilled and WONDERFUL. This was the PERFECT summer, light dinner. Yum!
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May 19, 2014

YardHouse

A friend of mine got an awesome job with Darden after graduation last year. Whenever I'm home, we usually meet up for lunch/dinner at some point. This time we met at YardHouse, one of Darden's newest concepts.

It was a really cool atmosphere - and apparently great for craft beer, from what I was told. Although, that's obviously not paleo. Though, they did have gluten-free ciders. Anyway, the menu was like sophisticated bar food for the most part. The gluten-free menu was pretty narrow. My order: NY Steak Salad with a plain hard-boiled egg instead of pickled and fried, no chips & Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side. It was good, but I was not very impressed. It was a smaller portion and pretty expensive. I liked the red peppers, though.

YardHouse Menu

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May 18, 2014

Mom's Ribs & Peach Cobbler

Sorry about my recent blogging sabbatical... It was not intentional. I've been away from my computer with family and friends, collecting recipes and things to blog about. So much to blog about! Tonight, my mom made ribs that she's been saving in the freezer to make when I'm home. Let me tell you, my mother is the goddess of ribs.

I wish I had a recipe to post for you, but I don't. Either way, she bakes them all day at around 325 and then grills them. This time - her first time making them paleo for me - she used a combination of 3 different gluten-free BBQ sauces. We also made sweet potato fries, paleo garlic bread rolls (Recipe Book) which I, somehow, messed up & Momma P (neighbor) brought an AWESOME salad.

Sweet Potato Fries
sweet potatoes
olive oil
arrowroot powder
sea salt
cinnamon

Cut sweet potatoes into fries - as thin as possible. Soak in cold water for 1-5 hours.  Drain and pat dry. Toss and coat with arrowroot powder. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spread fries in a single layer. Drizzles with olive oil. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, turning periodically. As they seem to crisp up, take them off and put on a paper towel.

For dessert, I made paleo peach cobbler with fresh peaches we bought from a side-of-the-road stand yesterday on our way home from a family bike ride. Mom made paleo vanilla ice cream to go on top.

Paleo Peach Cobbler with Paleo Ice Cream
Remember how I said paleo is great and you don't ever feel bloated after eating... I take that back. You do get bloated if you eat three times as much as you should of ribs and sweet potato fries and then force yourself to eat paleo peach cobbler because there's no way you're passing that up. I have a food baby which is something I haven't experienced in a LONG time.

Is this not the cutest ice cream maker you've ever seen?
Paleo Peach Cobbler:
3 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. arrowroot
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 cups almond flour
3 tbsp. coconut flour
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Toss the sliced peaches with lemon juice, vanilla extract & arrowroot to coat the peaches. Put in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add extra almond flour if it seems to be too runny. Drop the batter over the peaches to basically cover. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 

Serve with paleo ice cream - we added cinnamon to a recipe for vanilla ice cream for some added flavor to go with the cobbler. (Recipe Book)

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May 16, 2014

Fruitbowl Friday

I came home to my parents' house to see this beauty on the counter. Now, that's a fruitbowl! There's actually another bowl of veggies behind it - you can see the yellow onion.

Whether I intend to assume the role or not, I always end up Executive Chef when I'm home and plan/cook meals for everyone. This time, they're all paleo-friendly with some non-paleo options for those not embracing the lifestyle. My step-dad just started - Welcome to the good life, Dayton! For those of you feeding non-paleos, this post may help with some ideas on how to make paleo-friendly meals for paleos and non-paleos. Everything with an asterisk was a non-paleo option. Everything else was paleo. I've also made it my goal to minimize grocery shopping and use the ingredients already in the house. It's actually fun to me to come up with meals with the ingredients on-hand.
Sunday (Mother's Day) dinner
  • Sunday (Mother's Day) dinner - Recipes and details here
  • Monday breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Chicken Sausage or Bacon and fresh Mango pieces
  • Monday lunch: Stuffed Acorn Squash
    • This meal kind of came to be as I was cleaning out and organizing the refrigerator this morning. I found mushrooms and an onion on the verge of spoiling; there was an acorn squash in the bowl and ground beef in the freezer.
    • There were 4 of us eating, so I couldn't do what I originally planned because I cut the squash into quarters instead of halves; but, this recipe is written for stuffed squashes. 
    • Ingredients:
      • 1 acorn squash
      • olive oil
      • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
      • 1 onion, sliced
      • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced 
      • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, divided
      • 1 tomato, diced
      • ~1 lb. ground beef
      • sea salt
      • pepper
      • garlic herb goat cheese
    • Directions: Halve the acorn squash and remove the middle/seeds. Brush with olive oil and roast at 375 for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and sautee for about 2 minutes, until softened. Add onion and mushrooms and sautee until softened. Add about 1/2 of the balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook down. Brown the ground beef in another pan; season with sea salt and pepper. Drain. Once they're pretty caramelized, add the tomato. Continue to stir occasionally. Add the ground beef to the vegetables once it's browned and the vegetables have completely softened. Add the rest of the ground beef. Stir together. 
    • Once the filling is combined, pull out the squash and fill with the ground beef mixture. Top with goat cheese crumbles. Bake for another 10 minutes. Serve!
  • Monday dinner: Espresso-Rubbed Porkchops with Sweet Potato Hash (Recipe Book), Roasted Asparagus, and Garlic-Herb Goat Cheese Tomatoes with Cheesy White Rice*
    • This dinner was a combination of so many flavors, but everything ended up really good. The tomatoes were a new invention and AWESOME! And, they're so simple. I made them because my newly-paleo step-dad doesn't like sweet potatoes and needed something else on his plate.
    • Recipe:
      • 2 tbsp. olive oil
      • 2 tomatoes, diced
      • 2 oz. garlic-herb goat cheese
      • Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes and sautee until softened. Add goat cheese. Melt goat cheese into sauteed tomatoes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
    • Cheesy White Rice (Non-paleo) - This was an invention to re-use white rice from last night. Recipe:
    • 1 green onion, sliced
    • 4 tbsp. butter
    • 4 slices cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
    • 2 slices swiss cheese
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 cup leftover (or fresh) white rice
    • Heat butter over medium heat. Add green onion and sautee for 2-3 minutes. Add cheeses and melt. Add milk and continue stirring until a sauce has formed. Add the rice and mix until combined. Continue to sautee until the rest of dinner is prepared.
  • Tuesday breakfast: Waffles with Blueberry Sauce (Recipe Book) and Bacon
  • Tuesday lunch: Chipotle & Starbucks
  • Tuesday dinner: Dinner in the Tropics: Coconut Chicken Nuggets with Mango Dipping Sauce; Dessert: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries & Whipped Coconut Cream
  • Wednesday breakfast: Waffles with Sweet Potato Butter, Toasted Walnuts (Recipe here) & a little bit of Maple Syrup (Grade B) and Bacon 
    • I seriously LOVE this waffle recipe. It seems so sinful but is so healthy; and takes about 15 minutes! 
  • Wednesday lunch: Chicken Salad with Celery
  • Wednesday dinner: Rosemary Boneless Porkchops with Spring Mix Salad & Brussel Sprouts (Total time: 25 minutes)
    • Rosemary Boneless Porkchops: Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Season the meat with sea salt, pepper & rosemary. Cook the chops about 4 minutes on each side, then reduce heat and simmer for another 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally. 
    • Spring Mix Salad: I sliced strawberries and put it on top of spring mix lettuce/spinach with balsamic vinegar.
  • Thursday breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with 1/2 Orange & Maple Roasted Pecans
  • Thursday lunch: Sweet Potato Bacon Cakes with Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing (Recipe Book)
    • The Sweet Potato Bacon Cakes are awesome! I really enjoyed the flavor combination of sweet potatoes, bacon & green onions... something I would not have come up with on my own. And, they were surprisingly easy! I fried mine in the bacon grease.
All of the pictures are the paleo versions.

May 14, 2014

Toasted Walnuts

Another waffle morning... 
Today's version had Sweet Potato Butter, a drizzle of Grade B Maple Syrup & Toasted Walnuts.

My mom likes her bacon extra crispy.

Toasted Walnuts

3 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add walnuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir and let heat for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to Low and continue to "toast" fro another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the nuts don't burn.

May 13, 2014

Dinner in the Tropics

Tonight's edition of cooking for 6: stretching 3 chicken breasts to feed everyone. The trick? A lot of sides. There were two mangoes in the fruit bowl that were on the verge of spoiling. I knew there had to be something creative to do with them. Obviously, I would not let them go bad and be thrown away.

Coconut Chicken Nuggets with Mango Dipping Sauce, Green Beans, Plantains, Leftover Cauliflower Rice, Leftover Sweet Potato Hash and Pasta for non-paleos

This seems like a ton of food; but, it really made for a taste of a little bit of everything. And, I loved the combination of flavors! 

I made the chicken this way, except cut into nuggets instead of tenderloins. The green beans were simply trimmed, boiled & sprinkled with garlic powder. I sauteed the plantains in olive oil and garlic.

For the leftovers, I heated the cauliflower rice with a little coconut milk to make it creamy. I sauteed the leftover sweet potato hash (Recipe Book) in the oil from the plantains, which I removed to a paper towel when they were done cooking. The added time in the oil over low heat really made the sweet potatoes soft.

 The mango sauce is really what made the difference. I LOVED it with the coconut chicken. 6 full plates from 3 breasts and 2 leftovers... mission accomplished!
Mango Dipping Sauce:
2 mangos, chopped
3 heaping tbs. mayonnaise
2 tbsp. cilantro (fresh or dried)
1-2 tbsp. honey, to taste
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or less, to taste)

Mix all ingredients using the food processor until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.

For dessert, my sister made Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberries; and, I made Whipped Coconut Cream (Recipe Book)... I made mine even better and crumbled a Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie (Recipe Book) over it. Yum!
My sister is a pro at covering strawberries with chocolate. The trick to making the chocolate smooth and hard is coconut oil. Melt dark chocolate chips with about a tablespoon of coconut oil, dip & refrigerate.

May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Dinner

Happy Belated Mother's Day to all of the Paleo Mom's out there!

My Mom & Nana didn't feel like fighting the holiday crowds; so, I made dinner at home instead. We had tilapia in the freezer which made for a fairly small grocery list to come up with this wonderful meal: Baked Tilapia (Recipe Book) with Cauliflower Rice and Roasted Asparagus and Garlic.

For directions on making a head of cauliflower into rice, click here. I made this batch of cauliflower rice by sauteeing green onion slices in olive oil for a few minutes before adding the "rice." Once it was heated through, I added a small amount of coconut milk to make it creamy.

For the asparagus and garlic: Trim the ends of the asparagus and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay the asparagus in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Shuffle the asparagus spears to ensure they're all coated. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Peel as many garlic cloves as you like and toss around and on top of the asparagus. Roast at 325 for 30-40 minutes.

For dessert, we had Roasted Peaches with Coconut Whipped Cream (Recipe Book).

May 9, 2014

Fruitbowl Friday

FINALS ARE OVER! I survived the first year of law school. Since I'm moving (basically) across the country for the summer, I've been using what's in the kitchen/freezer as much as I can. Most of the meals this week came from staple ingredients I had, i.e., frozen meat, cashew flour, frozen veggies, frozen fruit. I spent a total of $10 on groceries this week!
  • Friday breakfast: Egg Whites with Coconut Milk and Frozen Fruit Smoothie
  • This meal kept me full for a surprisingly long period of time! 
    • Smoothie:
      • 1 cup coconut milk
      • 1/2 frozen banana
      • frozen mango
      • 3 frozen strawberries
  • Friday lunch: Leftover Turkey Chili with 1/4 Avocado
  • Friday dinner: Avocado-Stuffed Grass-Fed Applewood Smoked Bacon Burger w/ Spinach & Onions; Dessert: Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
    • The burger was AMAZING!
    • The pudding was great; although, it was more runny than usual. This may be because I used pourable coconut milk instead of canned. I topped mine with chopped walnuts.
  • Saturday breakfast: Homemade Chorizo & Egg-Whites with Mashed Avocado
    • The Chorizo is another recipe from my Cookbook Swap with a friend. Ever since Immokalee, I love chorizo and eggs. Well, really, since I studied abroad in Spain. I used Grass-Fed Ground Beef and the leftover mashed avocado from Friday night's dinner.
    • Homemade Chorizo, from "The Healthy Gluten-Free Life" by Tammy Credicott:
      • 1 lb grass-fed beef or pork
      • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
      • 2 tbsp. chili powder
      • 1 clove garlic, pressed
      • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
      • 1 tsp. cumin
      • black pepper & red pepper flakes, to taste
      • Combine all ingredients the night before. Refrigerate overnight. Make in the morning, either ground or in patties with any breakfast sides you like. I did egg whites and fried eggs (two separate days).
  • Saturday lunch: Coconut Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard and Leftover Sauteed Spinach & Onions (Recipe Book)
    • Click the link for the recipe!
  • Saturday dinner: Baked Tilapia with Broccoli & Cauliflower
  • Sunday breakfast: Homemade Chorizo Patties (Recipe above) with 2 Fried Eggs & 1/2 Orange
  • Sunday lunch: WholeFoods Cafe
  • Sunday dinner: Ginger Lime Chicken with Carrots over Sauteed Spinach & Onions
  • Monday breakfast: Homemade Chorizo Patty with Scrambled Eggs & Coconut Yogurt with 1/2 banana
    • WholeFoods has a coupon for the SoDelicious yogurt, so I got more! It's actually really good.
  • Monday lunch: Coconut Chicken Tenders with Brussel Sprouts
  • EXAM: Clif Kit's Organic Cherry & Pumpkin Seed Bar
    • WholeFoods coupon makes these $1 this month, and they're just as clean as Larabars!
  • Tuesday breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Chicken Sausage & Coconut Milk Yogurt
  • Tuesday dinner: Blackened Chicken Wings from Harry's
  • Wednesday - Friday breakfast: Cashew Waffles with Sweet Potato Butter & Grade B Maple Syrup and Chicken Sausage
  • Wednesday lunch: Roast Chicken & Sauteed Cabbage
    • I was studying with a friend, and her wonderful brother brought us lunch from a little place in town that serves all local produce. Yum!
  • Wednesday dinner: Sirloin with Frozen Veggies
  •  Thursday lunch: Sirloin with Sauteed Plantains & Spinach
    • I bought a green plantain (starchy before it turns to sugar) and sauteed it in olive oil with minced garlic. I really liked them!
  • EXAM: Uber Larabar & Dried Turkish Apricots
  • Friday lunch: Chicken Tenders with Baked Sweet Potato 
With that, my freezer is empty! Woo hoo! BRING ON SUMMER!

May 7, 2014

Weekday Waffles

I LOVE this waffle recipe! The ingredients are so simple - you probably have them all in your kitchen; and, it takes about 15 minutes, tops! I'm down to 5 eggs, and I usually eat 2 each morning. I'm moving for the summer on Sunday, so it's not worth buying more eggs. I figured this was a good way to stretch 3 eggs into 3 days; so, I made a batch of the batter, made 1 waffle for breakfast and will make waffles for breakfast the next 2 days. I put the leftover batter in a mason jar and refrigerated.

I topped the waffle with sweet potato butter (from Nuts.com) and Grade B Maple Syrup and made 2 links of chicken sausage. If you want to go even further, top these waffles with Sauteed Bananas and Whipped Coconut Cream, like I did here. Weekday, paleo breakfasts don't have to be boring!

May 6, 2014

Grocery Store Products

I've become a lot more dependent on pre-prepared products the past few weeks. Thanks a lot, finals. But, I've been pleasantly surprised with some things I've found - all on sale or with a coupon!

Green Giant Steamers Brussel Sprouts - I really, really like these! The ingredients are very simple which also makes me happy.
Dairy, Soy & Gluten Free!

Honest Tea - There are several variations. Check the ingredients just to be sure, but most of them are friendly. The Zero Calorie Passion Fruit Green Tea in the picture is sweeted with organic Stevia extract!
$1.00 off 2 WholeFoods coupon, valid through May

Clif Kit's Organic Fruit & Seed Bars - I was so happy when I read the ingredients of these. I assumed I wouldn't be able to buy them because they're Clif brand but they're completely paleo, just like Larabars. 
Dairy, Soy & Gluten Free!
$0.50 off Whole Foods coupon, valid through July
SoDelicious Cultured Coconut Milk yogurt - I've really been enjoying the Plain version (avoid added sugars) in the mornings with fresh fruit. This morning I had the Plain Greek Style - really good!
Gluten, Soy & Lactose Free!
$1.00 off 3 WholeFoods coupon, valid through July 

Sambazon juices and smoothies - I was studying at WholeFood and had a tummy ache and really wanted ginger to calm it. The Kale & Ginger smoothie was great and had a ton of Omegas in it.
No added sugar; Vegan; Gluten-Free!
$1.50 off WholeFoods coupon, valid through July

Suja Elements juices - These do have a lot of sugar (although, it's natural), but they're a great carb-boost for post-workout. Some of them have great health benefits too. The red one I had had flax and chia seeds!
Dairy, Soy & Gluten Free!
$1.00 off WholeFoods coupon, valid through May
Dream Dairy-Free Dessert Mint Chocolate Chip - I know this isn't ideal, but it is a great treat that won't make you feel guilty afterwards. The ingredients are surprisingly friendly. Take a few bites any time you have a sugar craving after dinner. This, at least, keeps treats within the general bounds, so you don't feel terrible. :)
Dairy & Gluten Free!
$1.00 off WholeFoods coupon, valid through May

May 4, 2014

Ginger Lime Chicken

Tonight I made Ginger Lime Chicken from the Cookbook Swap again. (Click for the recipe.) Half-way through cooking the chicken (before adding the sauce), I opened the refrigerator and realized I had two carrots sitting in the drawer. Remember, you can always find a use for something. Don't throw anything away!

On a side note, my refrigerator and freezer have not been this empty since I moved in.

I peeled and sliced the carrots and threw them in to sautee with the chicken. After about 5 minutes, I added the sauce, reduced the heat and let them simmer for another 10 minutes (approximately).

I put it over leftover Sauteed Spinach and Onions (Recipe Book) and sprinkled it with sesame seeds. It looks so sophisticated and tastes so yummy - you'd never think it was so simple! The spinach really soaks up the sauce which makes it all go together wonderfully.

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May 3, 2014

TCBY

As I was sitting here doing everything but studying, my friend who's been on-and-off paleo all semester and my running buddy since August sent me this glorious message on Facebook... How did he know I've been wanting to try this?

Turns out they didn't have the coconut milk flavor today but they did have Chocolate Almond made with almond milk! I love seeing mainstream places becoming more paleo-friendly!!

The ingredients aren't wonderful (added sugar), but it's DAIRY AND GLUTEN FREE! So, it's acceptable for a paleo-friendly treat... or finals indulgence, in my case.
Source with Nutritional Information
The car thing is a whole other story... Long story short, I've been car-less for what seems like a year now because it randomly decided to die... on the 5th floor of a parking garage (You can imagine how easy it was to get a tow truck there.)... and not start with jumper cables... with a $700 issue... that happened in October 2012... during finals week. Welcome to my life!

I got a small cup of Chocolate Almond with Toasted Almonds. It was the perfect study break. YUM!!