Friday, August 17, 2012

On top of spaghetti

Why didn't I think of this before?! Spaghetti squash topped with sundried tomatoes and bacon. It is so delicious and so simple. I think it's so much better than a meat sauce on top of spaghetti squash. Try it, I think you'll agree!

Notes: the sundried tomatoes that I used were jarred with herbs.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tamarind Chicken Hash

Have you ever made too much of a particular dish and after a couple of meals there is just no way you want to reheat another plate of it?  That happened to me the other night when I made Tamarind Glazed Chicken legs.  I knew I shouldn't use the entire package but I did anyway.  I took them to work for a couple of days and then I didn't want to look at another chicken leg.  I almost thought about tossing the leftovers but being in the poor house tends to make a person less wasteful. 
So this morning I thought I would use up the rest of the butternut squash that I had cubed up.  My plan was to cook it with some chorizo and crack a few eggs in the skillet as well.  When I opened the fridge, all I could see was that big container of chicken legs that I couldn't bear to see go to waste.  I ended up making a hash that was really flavorful.  So, I am really pleased to have a wonderful recipe (Tamarind Glazed Chicken) that I can work into a completely different dish the next day.  More bang for my buck in way!! 
Tamarind Chicken, Chorizo and Butternut Squash Hash
2 leftover Tamarind Glazed Chicken legs, meat chopped into small chunks
1 cup cubed butternut squash
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove, diced
2-3 inch link of chorizo
1/2 a jalapeno, chopped
2 T chopped cilantro
  1. Heat some bacon grease (or fat of choice) in a skillet.  Add the squash and cover with a lid.  Toss the squash a couple times cooking for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onions are soft.  (The squash should be cooked through by this time.)
  3. Make a little space in the center of the skillet and add the chorizo, cooking until it is browned through. 
  4. Add the chicken and jalapeno.  Toss to coat all the ingredients in the chorizo grease.  Cook until the chicken is heated through.
  5. After you've plated the hash, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve with sliced avocado.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coronation Chicken

I'm always on the lookout for a recipe I can "paleofy" and have an ever growing stack of recipes to prove it.  I was browsing through the June issue of People magazine when I came across a recipe for Coronation Chicken, which was created for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  It's basically just a curry chicken salad.  It was a pretty simple paleo fix so I ripped the page out and brought it home.

Coronation Chicken

2 T. Honey
1 T. Curry powder
2 T. white wine
3 T. Mango Chutney
10 T. Mayo
5 T. Coconut Cream
4 cold, cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 T. dried mango, diced
1/3 C. raw cashews, lightly toasted
1 ripe peach, sliced
  1. In a small saucepan, cook the honey and curry powder for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Add wine and chutney, continue cooking for 2 mintues. Pour into a bowl and let cool.
  3. When the curry mixture is cool add the mayo and coconut cream.  Stir to mix well.
  4. Put the chicken in a large bowl and add the curry cream sauce.  Fold together.
  5. Top with the mango, cashews, and peach.

* Notes:
  • I plan on making my own chutney the next time.  I searched for some recipes and it seems pretty easy but for this batch I bought a small jar of locally produced organic chutney.
  • I accidentally flipped the amount of mayo and the amount of coconut cream (putting in 10 T of cream and 3 T of mayo).  I really like the coconut flavor that the excess cream allowed.  I might just leave that little mistake.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mon Cheri

I recently decided to make use of crock pot cooking.  I've always sort of avoided this in the past because it makes a large quantity and I'm the only one eating it.  It has never occurred to me to freeze some of it prior to cooking.  People always talk about freezing leftovers and I think that is gross.  Anyway, I stumbled across some blog and the person wrote about assembling all the ingredients and freezing it and then dumping and cooking later.  It was a light bulb moment for me.  Alright, alright...I admit that I'm sometimes a little slow on the uptake.  Anyway, the point is that I eventually get there.  So, there I was in the midst of my light bulb moment when I took it a step further and and dazzled myself with a random act of brilliance.  I realized that I could split the ingredients in to small individual quart sized bags instead of putting it all in a family sized gallon bag.  I would no longer have to eat 6 to 8 meals of pot roast in a row!!  Queue the awe-inspiring music!  I bought a mini crock pot that has a high/low setting and I just pop the contents of a bag in there and ~6 hours later I've got dinner.  This has completely solved my non-cooking funk that I've been in.  Now I just have a few hours of prepping my quart bags with various meat/flavor combos and I'm done.  So simple. 

So here's my new best friend, mon cheri.....Number Two.

  Number Two as in....

because Number Two built Doctor Evil's two bit empire into a multinational corporation and I'm hoping my Number Two will help transform my two bit lifestyle into a paradigm of paleo awesomeness.

Last week was my first full week with Number Two and it went great!  Because I wasn't already strange to my coworkers, what with my crazy diet and all, I gave them more to scratch their heads about because I packed Number Two to work with me last week.  I plugged him into the wall in the break room and plopped my frozen baggie contents in (I work 12 hour shifts so it seemed reasonable) and stuck a note on top warning others that it was my food (I work with vultures).  This really made people curious and while I hate the thought of every Tom, Dick, and Harry lifting the lid on #2 and looking at my dinner, I sort of had to deal with it and just be thankful that no one stole it or taste tested it (I really, really hope not).

It was late in the week when I realized I should take a pic of my meal, even if it's an iPhone pic, to post here.  I'll add some more and post the super simple recipes most of which I just sort of wing together.  But here's a break room, paper plate, iPhone photo of my classic pot roast meal.  My carrots are a little dingy looking but that's due to the little splash of red wine that I used.

Classic Pot Roast

2 pounds beef roast, cut into 6 big hunks
small bag of baby carrots
2 onions, quartered
6-8 celery stalks
10-12 T. red wine
  •  I split all the ingredients into 6 quart sized freezer bags but you could dump it all into your crockpot if you are serving a crowd or if you like to eat pot roast for 4 days in a row.
  • I never seem to have as many carrots as I would like so I think I'll add another bag of carrots the next time.
  • I just served it with some mixed greens.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Doing better

After last week's bout of soreness and doubt, I'm happy to report that this week has been much better.  After a couple of days off I did a little walking and a couple of short "sprints".  I followed that the next day with an eight mile hike across country.  Being in SE Kansas means there really wasn't any elevation change but it was all trail-less walking through pasture and woodlands.  I was really tired afterwards and had some soreness but it was minimal.  The next day I did a small amount of running and some walking.  My day was spent with activity  so I was always moving which was good.  I took a day off and then today I went for a light workout with the dogs.  I  didn't get to go as long as I wanted due to the old boy.  I'm thinking of going out later this evening with the young sprout and making the circuit again.

Here's a picture of the big guy and as you can see he's not really built for covering much ground at a quick (not that I'm quick) pace.
Name: Ritz
Breed: Giant Schnauzer
Age: 9 years (?)
Job: Defending the home, keeping tabs on his humans, farting.
Hobbies: Destroying toys, playing keep away, maintaining Alpha male status at home, in the neighborhood and at the dog park.

Here's a pic of the little guy.  As you can see he was built for an active lifestyle.
Name: Winston (aka Winnie)
Breed: Giant Schnauzer-Standard Poodle mix (not related to Ritz)
Age: 1 and a half years
Job: Keeping the big guy company, entertaining his humans, distributing his toys throughout the house
Hobbies: Fetching, engaging humans in play, fetching, gathering sticks, and fetching.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Ups and Downs

I had to slow my C25K program down due to hip/lower back soreness.  This isn't any of the abductors in the the hip/upper leg but rather my sacral region and hips.  It's just really sore and I've been applying liniment and heat as well laying on the miracle balls.  I did some swimming on the days I was suppose to run and made sure to walk of the other days.  I was sort of down in the dumps about this little setback.  People also mention (very politely) that perhaps my choice of footwear (Invisible Shoes) might be the problem.  I am certain that they are not the issue but rather my complete lack of physical conditioning.  After aggressively treating myself with some home PT and taking the day off from any activity yesterday, I went out today not really sure what to expect.  At first I thought I would just walk, which I did for about 40 minutes.  When I got out bed this morning I didn't feel as much tightness in my hips and sacral region so I was happy with that.  After 40 minutes of walking I decided to try some running.  I started my C25K program (I've been repeating some of the runs from week 2) and I felt pretty good so I finished the run.  So far the day has went well and I haven't had any stiffness through out the day.  I'm going to apply a little heat tonight and rub a little liniment on just for good measure.  Tomorrow will be a walk day and I think I'll follow that up with a swim day on Monday.  I'll plan on a run day for Tuesday provided I feel good for the next couple of days.

On the diet front, I'm doing a little better but it tends to come in waves.  I do better when I can stay home and not so well when I'm out of town (which is often). This week  I made some chorizo and poblano pepper egg muffins that turned out really good.  I had my Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook out to show a friend and since it was on the counter I decided to make use of it.  I made the apple and apricot slow cooker pork chops and they are really, really good.  We had some chicken breasts in the fridge that needed to be used and I had a little craving for sweet and sour chicken.  After a quick search online I followed a recipe from Technically Paleo and then added a few little things like red pepper flakes.  The recipe was great and the results are super yummy.  I also made fried chicken thighs that I coated in mexican seasonings.  I have it all the time and it's really good.  I just sort of wing it with the seasonings but it's mainly cumin, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  So as you can see, I let some other paleo chefs show me the way this week and then rounded it out with a few classics that I don't need a recipe for.

All in all it's been a good week and hopefully I'll continue to do well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One Step at a Time

I started my C25K program this month.  Today marked the end of week two and I'm pleased to say that so far things are going well.  I'm trying to be smart about my exercise and am really paying attention to my body so that I don't overdo it.  The program, if you're unfamiliar, builds you up to running over a course of 9 weeks.  You workout every other day, each day's workout is a mix of walking and running with the walking tapering off and the running increasing over the course of the program.  I did take a extra day off between a couple of workouts when I felt a little more stiffness.  I also went to the pool once to do some swimming when I took an extra day off just to help limber my muscles up.  It may be something I try to work in on the days off.  I'm thinking of repeating some of the week two workouts just to take my time through the program.  My hips seem a little stiff and sore this week with the increase in running and I don't want to hurt myself again.  I was thinking of taking two days between runs and perhaps doing some swimming on the rest days to help loosen the muscles in my hips.

My diet is still suffering and I need to get that under control because I'm just spinning my wheels if I do one without the other.  Last year I had my diet going well but was a total couch potato.  Somehow I've got to get it all together and headed in the right direction.