16.7.13

paleo shrimp and zuchini noodles

Sometimes, with food and with life, simplicity is best. This is especially true when you are having a very busy, somewhat stressful week at work and all you want to do is come home and lay in bed. But you go work out anyway because you know it will make you feel better. And you take some time to clean up the house because you know it will make you feel better. And so you cook something healthy yet simple for yourself because you know it will make you feel better (and get you through the rest of the week.)

That is what this meal was about last week. The Hubs was gone for the night, playing lacrosse, and I needed a detox, if you will, from the marathon eating and drinking from the previous holiday weekend.

The most extensive part of this recipe is making the zucchini noodles. If you have a mandolin, it will go pretty quickly. I have a julienne peeler which takes a bit longer but is almost therapeutic in its repetition, especially when your mind is on ten other things.

PALEO SHRIMP AND ZUCHINI NOODLES
serves 2


1/4 c. olive oil

4 large zucchini, julienned into noodles
garlic powder, to taste
sea salt, to taste


1/4 c. olive oil

3 garlic cloves, chopped
crushed red pepper, to taste
1 lb. shrimp
1 Tbsp. butter
fresh parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in large pan. Add zuchini noodles, garlic powder, and salt. Sauté noodles until soft but not soggy.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a seperate pan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and sauté for about a minute. Add shrimp and cook until done. Melt butter in pan and then add noodles. Mix together. Garnish with parsley.

Enjoy!

2.7.13

indian-inspired paleo chicken with spinach

I LOVE Indian food. It is definitely one of those things that have been difficult to give up (or really, eat only occasionally) when I started Paleo. Some days I am just missing my rice and lentils.

But, the chicken recipes are very easy to modify and make at home. And, although I haven't really been impressed with cauliflower rice thus far, it is AWESOME with this recipe. Or maybe it is the fact that this recipe is so yummy, it doesn't matter how horrible of a substitute cauliflower is for rice.

Next time, I am doubling or tripling this recipe. I could have eaten this all week long and I think it was even better as leftovers. I thought about it all morning when I brought it to the office with me for lunch.

INDIAN-INSPIRED PALEO CHICKEN WITH SPINACH
serves 4

2 lb. boneless chicken thighs
3 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
 4 oz. tomato paste
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
sea salt, to taste
4 handfuls of spinach 

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

Heat coconut oil over high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.

Turn heat to low. Add garlic and spices stirring to create a paste. Add tomato paste to onion mixture. Add coconut milk and salt and whisk into paste. Turn up heat to medium.

Bring sauce to a simmer and add chicken. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Add spinach and cook until wilted.

Serve over cauliflower rice.

Enjoy!

20.6.13

out of my comfort zone: esac

This past Saturday, I competed in my first ever CrossFit competition. If you had told me that a year ago, I would have looked at you like you were crazy and then laughed in your face. I started my on-ramp (beginners) class last August so I have only been doing CrossFit for about ten months and I am surprised with myself that I even signed up. It really isn't in my nature to sign up for any competition where something physical in involved.

I competed in the fifth Eastern Shore Affiliate Challenge that was started by two of the coaches at my box (gym) about a year and a half ago. What is nice about it is that there is an Rx (or "as prescribed") division and then a scaled division for people like me who are beginners or haven't quite built up to the Rx weights or movements. 

That morning, I got up and made sure I had a little bit to eat. Then I drove to CrossFit Seaford, the box that was hosting this time. I sat with another newbie from our box, exchanging anxiety driven looks and comments. There was a lot of "what am I doing here?"

I was in the first heat for the first WOD (workout.) Of course during my first competition this would happen. The first workout involved burpees over the bar. If you were in the Rx division, you had to do a burpee and then climb over a six-foot wall. I am glad I didn't have to do that. I tried climbing the wall later and couldn't even get myself over it. 

The second WOD was a seven minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of five thrusters, ten push-ups, and 15 box jumps (or step-ups in my case because of my knee.) After that, we had a minute of rest before we started snatches for four minutes. The first five were at 45 pounds, the second five were at 65 pounds, and you went up from there if you had time. I actually am pretty proud of this part. On Thursday, I got 45 pounds over my head for the first time ever. On Friday, I got 65 pounds over my head for the first time ever. On Saturday, during the competition and after a seven minute AMRAP, I got all five 45s over my head and three 65s over my head. 

During the afternoon, there were the team WODs for those that finished highest in the men's and women's Rx division. The first WOD was swimming. The teams that finished in the top had back squats and then the top two teams (of which our box was one) had to do sit-ups, push heavy stuff on a sled, get said heavy stuff over a wall, and then do A LOT of rope climbs. Our box, CrossFit Salisbury, ended up winning and we got to keep the cup. 

I am so glad that I did it and I am excited for the competition in September. Was it intimidating at first? Yes. But so was CrossFit in general when I first started last year. It was a great bonding experience with the other people in my box and it was really a lot of fun.

Have you done anything this year that was out of your comfort zone?

18.6.13

grilled flank steak with chimichurri

I am really into sauces . . . and dips . . . and dressings - especially when they aren't bad for you. This was my first time making chimichurri and I don't know why I ever waited so long. This was wonderful drizzled on warm steak. The garlic and parsley become fragrant and the flavors melt in your mouth. It is heaven.

Once the steak was all gone from our fridge, I found myself putting the chimichurri on everything else. I usually reserve Friday nights for indulging in non-paleo things such as pizza or maki sushi rolls. However, on one particular Friday, a few nights after I had made this sauce, I found myself making some jasmine rice and topping it with grape tomatoes, cucumbers, grilled chicken, and the chimuchurri. It wasn't paleo but it certainly wasn't terrible for me. This stuff is seriously like crack.
Also, about the steak: I like my steak medium but we undercooked this a bit eating the edges that night for dinner so the rest of the steak could be reheated later on without becoming overcooked and chewy. Trust me, you are going to want leftovers so buy extra steak. And your coworkers are going to be so jealous when you are eating this for lunch.
GRILLED FLANK STEAK WITH CHIMICHURRI

flank steak
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 c. parsley leaves, loosely packed
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. light olive oil

Season flank steak liberally with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through as desired. 

While steak is grilling, add parsley, garlic, vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes to a food processor. Process until garlic is minced. Add olive oil and process until just combined. (You don't want to end up making mayonnaise!)

Drizzled chimichurri over steak.

Enjoy!