Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Elvis Muffins

I've been misbehaving lately.  While I didn't set out to do so, it's been my lack of planning that caused me to do it.  All right, I'll fess up...I've been lurking around in the dark, sneaking those little bite size candy bars.  It's shameful and I get mad at myself for it but I really can not stop doing it for some reason.  Then I had a few days off from work and I decided to stay home instead of going to my parent's place which I normally do every weekend.  I was going to spend this time cooking and getting stuff in order for the garage/moving sale that my sister and I are having.  I came to the conclusion that I should prepare some "sweets" so that I have a good alternative to the mini candy bars.  After all, the top paleo tips I live by and suggest to people is to be prepared and plan ahead.  I decided to make some muffins.  Back when I was using Paleo Plan to guide my life (it really helped me succeed in becoming paleo) I made a Carrot Walnut Muffin from their site that is really delicious.  I made a batch of those and then decided to make up a new recipe so that I could incorporate the Enjoy Life chocolate chips (non-dairy, no soy) that I bought.  I've always been against baking and eating sweets on Paleo.  I didn't want to replace all my prior bad habits with Paleo friendly versions.  But, look to the depths that I had plunged.  I was sneaking around in the dark, swiping mini candy bars and hunkering over my desk while I covertly as possible stuffed them in my mouth.  I needed to have something to turn to if I wanted.  So, I used the Carrot Walnut Muffin recipe as a guide to my new creation and I'm am so jazzed about it because it's really tasty!  Ladies and Gentlemen, I present....the KING!
NO, NO, NO!!

Not that Elvis.....this one

This will get you rockin'!  My sister told me to put some peanut butter with my bananas (bless her heart, she doesn't know peanuts are legumes) but I told her I could do better.  I had some almond butter in the fridge so I decided to make a muffin that the Paleo Elvis living in that other dimension would love.  I kicked it up notched just like Emeril would with the chocolate chips...BAM!!  Now I can aim to misbehave and not feel guilty about it!

The Elvis

2 C. almond meal
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 C. pitted dates
3/4 C. almond butter
3 eggs
3 bananas*
1 T. vanilla
1/2 to 1C Enjoy Life chocolate chips (depending on your love of chocolate)
  1. Combine the almond meal, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a food processor combine the dates, almond butter, eggs, bananas and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients along with the chocolate chips.  Fold to incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Fill each cup of a greased muffin tin with the batter and bake at 350 degrees for 23-25 minutes.
* My base recipe calls for 3 bananas but I only had 2 left so I went with it.  The next time I am gong to use 3 bananas and see what I think. (I've tried it with 3 bananas and it's perfect!  Recipe updated to reflect that.) Also the base recipe calls for a 1/4 C. of coconut oil which I completely forgot to add.  I'm not really sure that I want to add that the next time.  Perhaps I'll increase the bananas then the next batch I'll decide on the coconut oil.  (They continue to turn out just fine without adding coconut oil so I'm not going to worry about adding that in future batches.) I'll post any updates here and tweak the recipe where necessary.

Orange Chipotle Tequila Shrimp

Orange Chipotle Tequila Shrimp

1 lb. large shrimp (peeled & deveined)
2T. olive oil
1 jalapeno, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
juice from 1 lime
1C. orange juice
1/3 C. tequila
1 shallot, diced
  1. In a ziploc baggie combine the shrimp, oil, jalapeno, 2 of the garlic and half the lime juice.  Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. In a saucepan combine the chipotles, the other clove of garlic, the rest of the lime juice, tequila, orange juice and shallot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens a little.
  3. Prepare the shrimp by any means (I put mine on the barbie.) then serve with the sauce drizzled over the top.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower

Riced cauliflower is one of my favorite side dishes.  I love to prepare it in the same way that I used to make Mexican rice.  It really showcases the flavors in Mexican rice and satisfies my craving for that dish.  The other day I went to Chipotle with my Mom and we got the salad bowl with the big dollop of guacamole....mmm, yummy.  I'll admit that I was thinking that I'd really love to have my meal wrapped in a tortilla with rice in it.  These were briefs thoughts and then I went on with being happy about being able to still eat out on occasion.  Afterwards I was thinking about my meal and it hit me...why don't I make a cilantro-lime cauliflower dish to mimic in a small way the rice that Chipotle serves.  I had to wait about a week and a half before I got try out my idea but I'm pleased to report that it was really tasty. 

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, riced
juice of 1 lime
1t salt
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, diced
4-5 T of chopped cilantro
2T olive oil
  1. Rice the cauliflower in the food processor and then steam it in the microwave.  (I use the micro-steamer that Pampered Chef sells, they work great for this).  No water is needed for the steaming.  Leave the cauliflower to stand covered until you need it.  Meanwhile...
  2. Juice the lime into a small cup and add the salt.  Mix well and set aside.
  3. Chop the cilantro and set aside.
  4. Add the oil to a large skillet and then saute the onion and garlic until soft.
  5. Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet and toss well to incorporate the onion and garlic.
  6. Then add the cilantro and salted lime juice and continue to toss until they are mixed well in the cauliflower.  Take off heat and serve!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Phase Two has begun

I've been eating Paleo since January 3rd of this year.  Since that time I have lost 45 pounds and gotten off my HBP medication.  Of course, I feel really good and have seen lots of changes (for the better) from sleep pattern, inflammation, GI tract, skin and more.  During this time I've pretty much lived my life the way I had been.  Which means I slept, went to work, ate and watched movies but not necessarily in that order.  My weight loss has been stalled out for about a month and a half.  I'll drop a couple one week and add them back the next.  I haven't gained anything but I'm just not losing.  I've been saying for two months that I must start exercising but haven't done anything about it.  Well, that's changed and I have my iPhone to thank. 

I was driving to my parent's place and was pondering my situation when I thought of looking for an exercise app.  Yeah, I'm not one of those people with pages of apps on their phone.  After looking around I decided to add a push-up app to my phone which led to me getting a sit-up app, a squat app and a chin-up app.  I'm so pitifully out of shape that the only apps I can actually do correctly (albeit minimally) is the sit-up and squat app but believe me when I say that my butt is sore!!!  Also, my abs hurt and I'm pretty sure my arms are about to fall off.  This is after completing one day of each app on the puny setting.  Ay Caramba! 

I'm sure exercising will be difficult for me to incorporate into my life.  I've never played sports and with the exception of one summer when I was addicted to bicycling I've never really spent any serious time exercising.  I'm hoping my apps will help me out even if it drives my sister crazy when I post it to my facebook page.