Thursday, December 30, 2010

Paleo Crockpot Chicken Jambalaya

I promised healthy crockpot recipes and paleo recipes to two separate friends. This one hits all the salient points and is today's contribution. I'm actually making it TOMORROW, so will add a picture then. For now, though, the recipe...which is all you really need anyway!


1 lb. chicken, chopped and browned (or leftover is fine!)
1/2 lb. shrimp (or leave out shrimp and use more chicken)
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 medium ribs celery, chipped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes with the juice or approximately the same amount of fresh tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme or 3 tsp fresh chopped thyme
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
hot sauce (tabasco) to taste
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Mix all ingredients except shrimp and parsley in crock pot. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until veggies are tender.

Stir in shrimp, cover and cook 20 minutes or until cooked through. Stir in parsley and serve.

NOW...that's the recipe. If you know me, you'll know I never actually measure, but rather chop haphazardly and throw in the pot. I usually will also stir in a couple generous handfuls of chopped kale or collard greens or spinach at the end.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Turkey Meatloaf

So I just spent half an hour looking through my pictures trying to find ones of when I made the turkey meatloaf. I mean, I ALWAYS take pictures when I'm cooking! and I've made this TWICE in the last month (it was such a hit, that I had a request from one of my paleo clients to make it for her every week). But, apparently, no pictures. But I promised I'd post the recipe...and I have people asking where it is. So here goes...cut and dried, not pretty at all...but damn, the meatloaf is GOOD!

The original recipe was one I found in 'Giada At Home'...a cookbook written by Giada de Laurentiss, that I'd checked out from the library last month. Definitely not a paleo cookbook, but that's OK. You can take most any recipe that you find that looks promising and 'paleo-ize' it!

Meatloaf is super easy. Mix everything together. Shape. Bake (350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until internal temperature of the loaf is 165 degrees). So I've listed all the ingredients for the paleo version. then, for my non-paleo friends, I've tacked on the additional ingedients that you can throw in. And if you eat paleo with dairy, then you get to add the feta cheese! mmmmm!

Turkey Meatloaf

1 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 chopped sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil (see note below)
2 cloves garlic
2 large eggs, @ room temperature and lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

NOTE: my sun dried tomatoes came packed in olive oil, so this is what I used for the olive oil in the recipe. Hate wasting!

Mix. Shape into a loaf or cute balls or whatever the heck floats your boat. Cook! MMMMM!

For my non-paleo friends, you can throw in 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I always use the non-fat one from Trader Joe's! Delicious!) and/or 1/2 cup PLAIN breadcrumbs.

So there it is. Short and not so pretty. But I promise you your tastebuds won't care!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Paleo Veggie Prep

I first wrote this blog over a year ago, but I decided it is definitely worthy of being pulled to the top for all my new paleo eaters! A blog on Paleo Protein Prep is a'coming!

******************So I know I've talked a lot about prepping being one of the cornerstones for making this whole Paleo thing work! But I realized today that it might be helpful to some if I went into a little more detail. So...

Went to Henry's today and did a quick run through to pick up some essentials. I buy tons of stuff at Costco also, so this isn't all my veggies for the week, but about half. It took about an hour to prep it all once I got home. My BIGGEST tip to you would be to try and do your grocery runs when you have an hour or so after to spend chopping. I love to cook. I love to chop. It means nothing to me to spend 20 minutes making lunch. But I've learned the hard way that when I'm tired - walking to the outside fridge to get that entire head of cauliflower...knowing I'm going to have to get the plastic off and cut the damn thing. Ugh - too much! I'll grab whatever happens to be in the fridge and fast (usually raw asparagus or cherry tomatoes)...yeah, still Paleo...still veggies...still healthy. But we're also going for variety here for numerous reasons. And honestly, woman can not live on asparagus alone. It would make eating boring...and that's sacrilegious! And I know that if I shove everything in my fridge when I get home from the store, it's chances of staying right in there, wholly intact, increases tenfold! I will even leave the stuff on the counter for an hour or two until I can get to it, before putting it away unprepped! So, if at all possible, prep immediately upon unpacking!

******************Now first thing I do is make my greens for the week. Those are the numero uno veggie of any good Paleo diet. I try to eat them with every meal - and it's really not hard, so I guess it's really not 'trying'. : -) I saute them with a bunch of other veggies with my eggs in the morning. It's the basis for my lunch salad. At dinner, it usually is sauted with onions to make a nice cushy bed for whatever animal fell to my spear that day or gets thrown willy-nilly into the chili pot. So lots and lots of greens!

******************Today I bought red chard, dandelion greens, kale, collard greens, and napa cabbage. Got home, chopped them all up, and mixed them all together with a head of cilantro just for good measure. Now I know that it looks like a huge pile...but condenses nicely when packaged up; if you're eating as much of it as you should, it won't be around that long; it takes about ten minutes to do and is cheaper than buying those pre-packaged bags that were cut days ago; and - most importantly - you control what goes in them. You'd be hard pressed to find a salad mix as nutriently dense as this one is! And leave those beautiful stalks and stems on when you chop them. You won't notice them in your salad, or if you do, it'll be like celery! And another helpful hint...any veggie that's a 'heavy breather' needs to have a paper towel thrown in the bag with it to absorb the excess moisture, which will keep it fresher, longer. I'm actually a huge fan of Tupperware's FridgeSmart storage system - NOTHING seems to go bad in those things! But right now I'm prepping so much - that even with two fridges, I wouldn't have room for that many containers. The bags make it easy to stack and fits lot in a small space.

******************After the greens, I prepped the rest of the stuff I'd bought. That included celery, radishes, peppers, red cabbage, red onions, 4 heads of cauliflower, a second head of napa cabbage all by itself, Italian parsley, portabello mushrooms, and jicama. It really is amazing how much more likely I am to grab that celery or a radish if they've already been topped and tailed and put in a bag! Just this hour of prep will save me numerous hours over the coming week! But bear in mind that some veggies don't respond well to pre-prepping. Tomatoes, zuchinni, squash, cucumbers...all lose a little something when left to sit. And if everything else is prepped, it's not that bad to just chop one of two things!

Hope that's a bit more helpful that just telling you to prep! Now, go eat those greens!

Paleo Links

In the interest of keeping everything together, especially for the couple people who are not on facebook, I'm re-posting these links. Tons of good information out there...just start in on one and you'll find it'll be a chain reaction as you start following links. Have fun! And don't forget to share if you find something really good that's not on this list!

And, of course, I highly recommend that everyone get themselves a copy of 'The Paleo Solution' by Robb Wolf. Everything you need to know in one place. Funny. Portable. Recipes. Best $15 you'll spend!

BASIC INFORMATION: (subscriber only, for a fee. I don't have this, but wanted to give you all the options I was aware of.)



30 Day Paleo Challenge

Well, the Paleo Workshop last Friday night was a success and everyone is gearing up to start the challenge officially on Sunday, October 10th. I figured I'd open up my blog page as a place where we can all connect with each other for the next month or so. If you have a question, comment, idea...if you need support or just want to talk...we can use the comments section of the blog. that way it's all in one place. Now it might not be a blog sensation. most days it will be cut and dried and too the point. but it should serve it's purpose!

My goal is to post a little something every day, just so we can have a fresh comments suggestion to start in on. Hopefully will make it easier to keep track of stuff also.

To begin, here's an email I got today with a bunch of good questions. I'm sharing the original email and my responses.


Hi Jenn,

I wanted to send you an email because FB email seems to cut me off!

So, first and foremost, thank you, thank you, thank you for hosting the Paleo informational on Friday! It was super informative, and goes great with the book.

I have some questions for you. My main goal is weight loss- as you know by now.

1)I've read less than 6 eggs per week for weight loss - true? If so, I need another breakfast suggestion. I'm currently sauteeing veggies, meat, and throwing an egg on it. But, later in the day, I'll have an egg as a snack.

2)Veggies - steamed vs. stir fried? My guess is stir fryed might be a healthier Paleo option, depending on what you stirfry it with; because steaming takes out nutrients?? However, if you don't know what it's being stirfried in, steamed might be the better pick @ restaurants... si or no?

3)You mentioned not to cook with olive oil because it becomes carcinogenic when heated - however, checking out your blog, you cook with olive oil. 'splain please?! I only ask because I cook with olive oil all the time!

4)Pork Loin. Should I slather oil on a pork loin, then spice it up? Or, just add spice and cook? Does it matter?

5)You mentioned < 4oz nuts / seeds daily for weight loss. Is this separate from my healthy fat intake? For example, if I eat 4ozs of almonds, should I skip the avocado that day?

I know you're super busy, and I appreciate any feedback you can give me, when you have time to give it! I've read your blog too. I saw the Galeo's dressing! I love that stuff. It's probably not the best choice for the 30 day challenge, however, it's good to know that I can eat some of that with my salads! YUMM!

Thanks again Jenn for all that you're doing and all that you continue to do!

You rock!


Let's see! first: you're welcome! :)


1) I agree with the egg bit. I would go with 1 whole egg and 2-3 egg whites instead. I buy the following because it just saves me a hell of a lot of time, and because I'm not wasting the yolk:

...and regarding other breakfast selections. The biggest thing you're going to have to learn to do is stop thinking of breakfast, lunch, and dinner as totally separate beasts. We don't eat the majority of things people consider breakfast food, so we have to re-classify breakfast foods. Me...I love eggs, so I don't have a problem eating them every morning. You can have sausage and bacon instead...traditionally thought of as breakfast far, yes...but probably something you want to limit if you're goal is weight loss. I'm just as likely to have steak or chicken or whatever meat I have in the fridge instead. Most mornings I eat 1 egg and three egg whites cooked with hot peppers, an apple (cause berries are out of season and getting more expensive), and either some almond butter and cinnamon on my apple, or about 6-8 almonds, if I'm eating in the car. then on the weekend I tend to maybe do steak and eggs with mushrooms and asparagus or something a bit fancier, like making a frittata or an omelet (no cheese). the first thirty days may be easier to get through if you find one of two things that work for you, and just stick with them. trying to do too many fancy recipes or different things might be too much to take on at the beginning. and while there are paleo versions of baked things, I think it's better to not use them at the beginning and give your taste buds a chance to get used to the bulk of the food you'll be, the meat and veggies.

if you do a google search on paleo breakfast ideas, you'll find a lot of stuff. this link is specifically to a thread of paleo breakfast ideas not using eggs. :)

2) if you steam them in the microwave with a tiny bit of water, you don't loose the nutrients. that's what I do with my brocolli, cauliflower, etc. Stir frying is fine...I just use a little bit of Pam when I do it. so either or. :) In a restaurant, go for steamed, if possible. and make sure you say PLAIN. no oil, no butter, no nothing. you can ask for a little olive oil on the side if you want. I usually just use lemon juice.

3) I just learned the bit about olive oil being bad to cook with recently. :) I use pam for almost everything, and then dress with olive oil at the end for flavor now. if I need to cook with more than pam, I use coconut oil or grapeseed oil. flaxseed is another I use cold, for dressings, not cooking with.

4)Pork!!!! you'll find that a tbs or so of olive oil will cover a huge 10 pound loin. you just want a thin coating on the top because it makes it brown up nicely, plus it holds the spices on.

5) Limiting your nut/seed intake to 4 oz a day for weight loss: this is including the 4 oz as part of your daily fat intake. Another thing to limit for weight loss is your nut butter intakes. they count into that nut/seed total too. :) So for example...for breakfast, you might have 1/4 of an avocado, lunch might be 2 tbs of seeds on your salad and 1 tbs olive oil in your dressing, dinner might be another tbs of olive oil on your veggies. that's probably a good 50-60 grams of fat right there. it really doesn't take much!

and yes...the miso dressings are good, but not recommended for the challenge because they are soy based. but afterwards, it's nice to know there's a salad dressing you can use as a treat now and again without being totally bad! right now I'm living on that dressing I posted last week: equal parts lemon juice and dijon mustard, minced garlic, a bit of olive oil, and some coconut milk. whisk together. nommmmmmy!!!! of course, I add crushed red pepper too! :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

'The Very Short Life and Times of Turkey Joe' or 'SOUP! It's what's for dinner!'

Yesterday morning, Adeline Grace woke me up barking at 6 am. I wasn't able to fall back to sleep, so I did what most people would do if they found themselves in this situation. I roasted a turkey breast!

I mixed olive oil, minced garlic, dijon mustard, crushed red pepper, sea salt, and parsley to a thick paste-like consistency and then liberally smeared it UNDER and on the skin of the turkey (chickens for the clients, a turkey breast for me...they only had one left!). My intention was to get the flavor from the skin and use it to really seal in the rub, but not actually eat it. I made the mistake of trying a piece when I went to put it away. At lunchtime. Before I'd actually eaten lunch. at noon. when I ate breakfast at 6 am. Uhm....I think that's all the excuses I can come up with for ripping into this bird while it's still in the pan. but hey! less dishes! And it was delicious!

And I knew the kids would LOVE it. But they were at Chez Papa this weekend. And it only took three people (one of which is a body builder and one was me,a paleo eating Crossfitter. The other was just a normal red-blooded man.) twenty-four hours to reduce that beautiful bird to this:

I know! Pretty damn impressive amount of carnage is such a short time!

So that left me with a carcass that needed to be disposed of. And I hate wasting anything! And since it's over one hundred degrees today, the first thing that pops into my mind is making soup. And the first thing we need to do to make soup is to make stock.

So I throw the turkey carcass in a pot, add a roughly chopped onion (leave the skin on and it'll help give your stock that nice golden color), and some chunks of celery. Cover with water and simmer. Some people say to bring to a boil and then simmer for a short period of time. I tend to be more of the 'bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a couple hours' kind of girl. I like thinking that I'm wrestling every last iota of flavor out of that bird. Especially since I don't add salt...the flavor needs to actually come from your ingredients! Once it's cooked, you let cool for a bit and then strain the solids out. You're left with a nice flavorful base to start building your soup with!

******************I always pick through the debris from the stock making and give the poached meat and veggies to Adeline Grace, along with some of the liquid. It makes for a very happy dog!

******************Next step: heading outside to raid the garden. I got a tomato, a baby yellow squash and a bit of basil.

These I chopped up, along with some sweet peppers, onions,a jalapeno, and the last chicken breast I had in the fridge and sauteed in a bit of olive oil.

****************Don't sautee to long, you don't want a sodden mess of veggies. Just nicely tender-crisp, thank you very much!

From here, it's simply a matter of adding your stock and letting the whole thing simmer for a while to marry the flavors. And then all that's left to do is eat it! Simple, easy, fresh, and paleo!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I am in a happy, happy tummy place right now! Why? Because of this amazing stuff:

So I went to Henry's today because I needed Sunbutter (which is worthy of a blog of it's own! We're talking tons of fiber, good fats, and 25% of your daily magnesium needs, but I digress...) So...sunbutter shopping today led me to discover this little gem: Galeos World's Best Miso Toasted Sesame Seed Dressing. My first thought...Hey! I can eat seeds! I mean, I love lemon juice...and right now I get to enjoy freshly picked lemons from the E.S.G.'s yard... but a salad dressing I could have once in a while, that I don't have to feel guilty about, would be nice!

Now, the ingredients aren't 100% Paleo - it's made with fermented soybean paste, pure honey, toasted sesame seeds, rice vinegar, and sesame seed oil. But at least I can pronounce it all! And the nutritional information is what landed it in my cart: a 1 Tablespoon serving has 22 calories, 2 grams of fat, only 35 mg sodium, and the card, fiber, sugars, and proteins are all 0.5 grams. So very little damage done, sugar-wise...and there was a potential for some great taste!

So I took it home and had it for lunch. Shredded napa cabbage and sunflower seeds with flaked ahi on top...mixed up really nicely with my new Miso. Took a bite...and that was that. It tasted so amazingly good that I ate it...right then and there...without even thinking about taking a picture! So you'll have to just imagine it in your heads!

So, minimal badness...maximal flavour goodness. I'll take it!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


So I was answering comments on my blog, and realized I still had an old draft sitting out there...alone and unread. Looked at the date and realized it was written 4 days before Brett told me that he was moving out...that, without a word or a shot at working things out, he was simply walking away from our 20 year marriage. And I was struck by my last couple sentences... "I'm learning, I guess. Life doesn't usually work exactly how we'd like it to, or think it should...but I guess you let yourself be maudlin...for a second! and then move on and make the best of it." ha! how's that for a nice bit of foreshadowing?! Thank goodness I already was thinking like that, huh?! It's been six months now...and I'm truly happier than I've been in years. And though I hate what the kids are going through right now, I do have to respect him for having the courage to do what I'd been wanting to for years. I have a couple friends going through some really tough times right now...and I just want to remind them that things happen for a reason and that you are never given more than you can handle. And that no matter how crappy things seem, you still have us...all your friends...who love you tremendously! And though sometimes it seems that fate is awfully heavy-handed in dealing with us, maybe it's because we're just too damn stubborn to do what needs to be done on our own!

End of Summer Blues

So today was the last day of summer for my kidlings. My daughter starts her first day of high school tomorrow. My boys are still at school right down the street from the house. They went to bed excited and a bit nervous. Reilly asked me when you stop feeling like that before new things and I'm not sure how much he appreciated me telling him that I still get those wriggly worms in my stomache before I do something new. Now they're finally asleep and I'm supposed to be loading the music for my back-to-back Xbiking classes tomorrow morning. Instead I have those same wriggly worms in my stomache, but it's because I feel guilty.In years past we always celebrate with something special. One last trip to the beach for them and our favorite fish tacos at Harbor Fish and Chips. Or going to see a movie, which we very seldom do. Or having friends over for a last fling. Today I taught smack dab at noon...and we had to pick up Katy's clarinet from school...last minute school supplies...a two hour meeting. We did go to the mall so Katy could buy the coveted checkerboard Vans for the first day of school and we gnoshed hardcore at Soup Plantation for an early dinner. So we did have a little treat, but nothing spectacular. What sucks - is that I KNEW today was going to be like this - so we went and saw Harry Potter 6 last Friday when Brett was actually home with us. But today was sort of anti-climatic. And I honestly don't know whether they are feeling gyped or not.So today was the last day of summer for my kidlings. Which means that tomorrow is the first day of school. Funny how one follows the other, huh?! Katy is set. Carpool is picking her up and she would absolutely die if I even entertained the idea of walking her into high school for the first day. But my boys are still my babies. And regardless of whether they might normally walk or ride their bikes to and from school, everyone knows it's a mandatory mom duty to take them the first day and embarrass them with pictures and generally make a nuisance of yourself. But tomorrow I can't. Our one instructor had knee surgery today and the other one has kids of her own. Not a lot of options. I'm praying that the entire population of Riverside County stays healthy tonight, so that Brett can get off half an hour early and do the honors. If not, the boys will be off to school alone on the first day. And that makes me sad.But I will wake up early in the morning and make them a kick-butt breakfast and give them big hugs and kisses and make sure Ian walks Reilly to his class if Daddy isn't there. Then Thursday morning, I'll be up bright and early to walk the boys to school - camera in hand - ready to get a picture or two with the teacher. I'm learning, I guess. Life doesn't usually work exactly how we'd like it to, or think it should...but I guess you let yourself be maudlin...for a second! and then move on and make the best of it. Tomorrow - bright and cheery me will be back. Tonight - thanks for listening to me ramble!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Tales of a 40 Year Old Salad Whore

Today is Monday. And it’s the first of the month. Most auspicious day to change one's diet all to hell and back! But first, a very important matter of business…

*get’s down on her knees*…

*shoots exasperated look at all her guy friends who instantly went there*…


Dear Heavenly Father….please, please, PLEASE! Pretty please, with coconut on top! Let Robb Wolf be right. Amen.

And for those who think I mock - I don’t. True, heartfelt prayer offered up!

OK. So. I work my ass off. I’ve been eating paleo for 8 months now. But with all that, I haven’t seen any more weight loss and I haven’t seen any strength gains. If anything, I’ve seen strength losses. I got my pull ups, I lost my pull ups. How frickin’ frustrating is that!? Now, I know there are multiple contributing factors. First, I tripled the number of classes I was teaching at globo’s starting in January, while still trying to maintain CF and Kettlebells (and I tried to throw some P90X in there too, because there’s some good stuff in there! ). Can you say overtraining? I’ve been called on it before, and though I try my hardest, it keeps rearing its ugly head. But I solved it! I started my catering business back up and something had to go while I got everything situated. Couldn’t be anything income producing, so there went my CF. and Kettlebells. *Sigh* But I did use my first profits to get all those pretty toys in my garage.
******************And though I used them on my own,as well as the kettlebells that were added also, I totally missed my CF family. So that’s just not going to work for me. So I can fit two mornings a week Crossfit in at the box itself, and can throw some WoDs in at home to fill in the gaps. But the point is, my activity level got a bit more sane this last month. So we’re working on the overtraining issue. Stress was a huge issue last month too, but I’m getting that under control. Which leaves my diet…

How can you improve on paleo? I’ve been eating paleo for 8 months now and, overall, am pretty darn strict. My cheats are dark chocolate (daily. sometimes twice daily.), coffee (one cup a day, but in the interest of honesty, it’s a damn big cup!), alcohol (hard liquor…usually rum or jack. About once a week. Is there a better alcohol to cheat with?). That’s all. Oh wait…and that sinfully orgasmic Pomegranate Raspberry dressing that Ken makes. Damn Ken! Just saying. But back to the question at hand…how to improve Paleo, besides the obvious cutting back on cheats. Personally, I’m going to try to dial in my macronutrients, not just indiscriminately eating. I’m honestly going to keep my coffee and my alcohol and my dark chocolate (I’ll drop that one to an ounce a day) because I’m human. If these changes don’t really kick in, then I’ll look at my small handful of cheats. But only then. At least the dressing won’t be a problem any longer, because I’m apparently now a converted salad slut…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

So I head over to Robb Wolfs’ site to do some research. And it was definitely my lucky day, because there was an entire post where he gives the macro breakdown for a 150 pound woman, with my activity level, looking to lean down. Hey! I’m that women too! Frickin’ exactly! Talk about having my information spoon fed to me! (is information paleo?) So, knowing that the numbers may have to be tweaked and personalized, I guiltlessly bogarted everything on that post. It’s as good a place as any to start!

So starting today, I’m going for 1950 calories *gulp* broken down as follows: 150 grams protein (600 calories), 50 grams carbs (200 calories), and 127 grams fat (1150 calories). Uhm….*GULP!* This is where that prayer comes in!

Really?! That’s a 31:10:59 breakdown. That scares the shit out of me! I’ve been doing about 75 grams fat a day…and it was hard for me to get it up there. My breakdown has been roughly 30:40:30. This is a huge tweak! After losing 200 pounds and being restricted to 12 -15 grams of fat for the years it took me to do that, it’s a huge mental leap to start upping your fats so drastically. But I understood the science and reasoning behind it and did it. Now I have to apparently do it again. But it’s still scary!

******************And apparently one can be a carb whore even if she’s eating mostly vegetables – which up to today has been the mainstay of my diet. So changes are a’coming!

First thing I did was load the Chron-o-meter software to my laptop. I’ve used it before and love it! You input your weight and the macro breakdown you’re aiming for and it keeps track of it all for you. Right down to your daily allowances of vitamins and minerals too! Way cool! And free! Awesome! It has a huge, existing database of foods, and you just add the specific stuff as you go. After about a week or two, you’ve compiled your own specific database and it gets less arduous to enter your meals.

And when I entered in my breakfast and pre- and post- WoD snacks, I instantly saw that my percentages were seriously off already. So to get everything back on track, lunch today was 4 oz chicken breast and 4 oz of avocado. No veggies for me! Will definitely forgo the fruit in the morning from now on, so I can get some veggies back! And I’ll have to get some different fat sources. Almonds are getting old. Started cooking with the coconut oil again this weekend, so that’ll help. And just discovered the existence of coconut butter as an alternative to almond butter, so am going to get some of that too. I really need to plant an avocado tree!

So…goals for March. Make a schedule that allows for CF, along with teaching, without killing myself. Stick to these new macro breakdown for at least a month to see what happens (except if I start gaining weight, all bets are off! I can take staying at the same weight while my body adjusts, but gaining will totally fuck with my head!). Try to minimize the stress as much as possible…get 8 hours a sleep a night. So totally do-able, right?! It’s my own personal 30 day challenge!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flank Steak, Rice, and Artichokes...oh my! guys want to know what we're eating at Chez Clements tonight for dinner.'s leftovers! That's one of my sanity saving devices...never cook a meal that can only feed you multiple times off of it. Either as the exact same meal or with bits and pieces reincarnated as something else. Trust me...this time honored habit has stopped my head from spinning around like something out of the Exorcist many, many times!

So Sunday's dinner is the starter for this! It was the Tomato-Marinaded flank steaks with herbed basmati rice and artichokes...we also had a cauliflower gratin...but I have to leave in 17 minutes for high school you guys get the down and dirty version...rice is starch enough! The gratin will wait!

Oh...and if I decide to reincarnate this, it will be as steak fried rice! yum!

Tomato-Marinade Flank Steak

To make it ridicously simply, I got the recipe for the flank steak from Gavan Murphy, hunky 'Healthy Irishman'. mmmmm! Here's the link to his blog with the recipe. (Oh, and can use this for any bit of steak you have on hand!)

Yeah...I know. It's not blue. Copy and paste into your address bar and I promise, at some point, I will figure out the whole hyperlink thing! thing I did do that isn't in his recipe was save the marinade after I took the meat out. While the meat was grilling, I put the marinade in a pot on the stove and cooked it at medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally (which means whenever I walked past the stove with nothing in my hands). At the end, I added a generous dollop of extra virgin olive oil (about 1/8 cup) and about a tsp of sugar. Mix, cook a couple minutes more, and use it as a sauce to dip the artichoke leaves in. Yum!!!! If you're not doing the artichokes, simply serve the sauce with the meat and rice.

Herbed Basmati Rice

1 cup uncooked long-grain white basmati rice
1 3/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs minced fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbs minced fresh dill leaves
1 Tbs minced fresh scallions, white and green parts (green onions)
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Combine the rice, water, salt and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, stir once, and simmer, covered tightly, for 15 minutes. (Sometimes you need to pull the pot half off the burner to keep it from boiling over. Depends on your stove. Gas is easier to control than electric!) Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit covered for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, dill, scallions, and pepper. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.

Note...substitute any herbs you have or want. Fresh is obviously best...dried will work, in a pinch!

How to cook Artichokes

Cut the stem off the artichokes level with the bottom. You want them to be able to stand up. Slice about the top 1 inch off also. If the leaves are super-pokey and will cause bodily damage while eating, use kitchen shears to trim the needle off the top of each leave. If they're not bad, just leave 'em alone! Put about an inch of water in a large pot. Stand artichokes up in the water (stem end down). Slice a lemon and add that to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until a leave easily comes off.

Now...I have to run and get kidlings for school. I have no time to edit yet. So please ignore and forgive any typos...they will get fixed later. Y'all know I'm too anal to leave 'em!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Breakfast Frittata

Zuchinni, mushrooms, spinach,eggs, avocado. Zuchinni, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, avocado. Zuchinni, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, avocado.


Yes, I do honestly LOVE my morning veggie scramble with my two yolky eggs on top! It makes my tummy happy, and my body, and always gives me the energy I need to get through my mornings! And I have found that by not eating fruit at breakfast, I avoid any of those wacky sugar highs that sometimes hit me if I eat breakfast too close to working out. And then I have the fruit right afterwards to get that quick glucose to the muscles. And for some reason, eating the veggies in the morning, as opposed to the fruit, seems to set my taste buds for the day to 'less sweet'! I mean, there's a reason my blog is entitled 'and SOME fruit'! I love fruit and would eat it all day if I could. But I guess it's the same philosophy I used when I introduced my kids to solid food...veggies first, to set their taste buds to 'less sweet'! Just never applied it to myself before! Still works when you're 40, apparently!

So anyway...back to the whole 'zuchinni, mushroom...' deal. Yes, I love then. But even I get tired of the same thing day in and day out. But I still wanted my eggs...truly the easiest breakfast protein for me! And I still wanted my veggies. I just wanted them different. Enter the breakfast frittata! Easy, nutritious, and delicious. Hits all my criteria for a successful breakfast!

Jen's 'I Just Want Something Different' Breakfast Frittata

Chop up whatever veggies sound good. This morning I was ALL about change, so I had diced orange peppers, baby asparagus, and mushrooms. I know I've told you about big pans = lots of space for the veggies = non-soggy veggies...but today's goal is a compact pile of veggies that can be covered by my two eggs. So I picked a small saute that's oven safe! Very, very important!

So heat up that pan nice and hot...we still want to cook the veggies quickly to avoid a sodden, mushy mess. EWWWWW! (and I'll just briefly say that I think most people who 'don't like vegetable' just haven't had them done and cooked properly. But I digress...) So, where are we...ah yes...heat pan. Spray with Pam. Add veggies. I added my put-in-absolutely-everything spice mix (see below for recipe) mixed once and then let it alone for a minute or two to get nicely browned. Don't stir them a lot...they don't like that! You make them cry...they get mushy. EWWWWW! again! After a minute or two, stir them ONCE! Cook another minute and then trust that they're done...and still nicely al dente!

While you are cooking the veggies, you should be turning your broiler on to high, mincing some fresh herbs (I used parsley and thyme) and beating the crap out of two eggs in a bowl. Now make sure the pile of veggies is nice and even, then pour the eggs over them. DON'T STIR! no, no, no! Just let them be for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on them. You'll be able to see the edges start to set. Once the edges start to brown and the middle is starting to set, sprinkle your fresh herbs on top and then take the whole pan and slide it under the broiler. You want to finish cooking the eggs and get a nicely browned top on it. But watch it carefully so it doesn't burn!

When done, grab that pot holder and remove from oven. I served it with half an avocado and you have the perfect paleo breakfast! mmmmmm!

The Super Secret 'Put-in-absolutely-Everything' Spice Mix

Things taste better fresh! That includes your spices! And if you find yourself reaching for the same three or four containers almost everytime you cook, why not save time and combine them? That's how this spice mix came about.

Got an extra coffee grinder? Cheaper than heck, and the easiest way to grind your own spices!


My personal holy spice trinity is peppercorns (I usually use a mix that contains black, green, white, and red peppercorns...but if I'm out, like I was today, than plain old black ones work just fine!), crushed red pepper, and dried minced garlic...and I recently added dried minced onions to the mix also! I throw them all in my grinder and GRIND! Then it gets dumped into a pretty blue bowl that sits by the side of my stove, complete with spoon! It is honestly put in everything from scrambled eggs to my name it, it's probably in there! Couldn't be easier!

Monday, February 15, 2010

French Country Chicken

Just for Reet! Short, sweet, to-the-point recipe so she can maybe have it for dinner. I give you the basic recipe and you can play with it as you want. Personally, I usually add celery, and always use way more vegetables than called for. I always use the chicken thighs too...the breasts usually end up drying out and the slight reduction in calories is not worth the hugh reduction in taste, in my opinion!


2 Tbs Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, thighs, or combination of both, cut in chunks
2 Tbs butter
2 shallots, chopped (or 1 medium onion)
3 small carrots, thinly sliced
10 mushrooms, sliced (cremini, button, portabella...whatever you want!)
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup dry red wine (I've also used white, if that's what I already have open)
1 - 32 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, warm the olive oil. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and brown in oil for about 3 minutes each side - until browned. Remove to plate.

Return pan to stove and reduce heat to medium. Add butter to the pan and saute the shallots/onions and other vegetables. Saute 3-5 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. Add the oregano, garlic, and parsley and stir well. Add wine and reduce liquid for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir. Add chicken back to pan and simmer chicken in sauce for 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Nice and paleo on its own. For all others, try it over rice or some buttery noodles!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jen's Baked Vegetarian Chimichanga's

So I've been asked for my chimichanga recipe. And I'm going to give it to you guys! Along with every other recipe for the foods I'm cooking for my home catering business. No, not paleo, but tasty, overall pretty darn healthy, doesn't take hours to prepare and doesn't break the bank yummy food. I figure it's not the lack of recipes that has me in such high demand, but lack of I feel pretty safe that I'm not going to be losing customers doing this! So let me know if you have any questions, and as always, let me know how it turns out for you!

Jen's Baked Vegetarian Chimichangas

Makes 8 servings

2-3 cans of beans...I like using a variety of black, pinto, and kidney. Sometimes I soak and cook my own beans. When I don't, I use the no-sodium added beans from Fresh-n-Easy...still rinsing them really good!

1 can (7 oz) diced green chilis...I'vve been known to roast my own anaheims and poblano's and dice them up for these. Not hard to do...roast over your gas stovetop, in your oven, or on your grill...just turn frequently to avoid burning. Once roasted, but in a brown paper bag, fold the top over, and let them sit in there until they're cool enough to handle. Then peel the charred skins off, chop, and use! Good in anything Mexican! Delicious in scrambled eggs!

3 cups prepared coleslaw mix with carrots...personally, I adore the brocolli slaw mix for these!

1 cup shredded cheese...recipe calls for sharp cheddar...I'm a huge fan of multiple cheeses for a more layered flavor. Love the 5 cheese mexican mix from Costco for this one!

2 cups salsa...this is approximate. You'll want to add enough salsa to the mix to combine well, without being watery.

8-10 flour tortillas

1 can sliced black olives (optional)

In a bowl, combine beans, chilies, slaw mix, cheese, salsa, and olives (if using). Mix well.

Wrap tortillas in a cloth towel and microwave until hot and pliable. I usually do about 1 min for a dozen tortillas. Lay tortillas flat. Divide the slaw and bean mixture among the tortillas, spreading in a band near the edge of each tortilla. Fold over the sides, then roll up tightly to enclose.

Place bundles seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree oven until crisp and brown, about 15 minutes.

To eat, top each chimichanga with additional salsa, sour cream, sliced green onions...whatever sounds good!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sometimes You're Just Meant to Eat Pancakes

so...came downstairs this morning and Ian was whipping up pancakes for him and Rei. Mmmmm! I do miss pancakes! and waffles! But though they smelled absolutely heavenly, I resisted. Whipped up my normal 2 pounds of veggies with eggs and tabasco and went off to teach. Afterwards, I went to Soup Plantation and had THE.BIGGEST.SALAD.IN.THE.WORLD. Dave will attest to that, when he logs in! It was a spectaculary large salad and he got to talk for at least a whole hour while I ate it! I should not have conceivably been hungry for at least another 3 hours and 42 minutes! Left S.P. feeling very satisfied! Walk in the door and I smell good things again...and find Katy in the kitchen making herself pancakes for lunch. Seriously?! How much temptation is one girl supposed to resist? But resist I did...and went upstairs to start working. Checked my blogs real fast first and lo and behold.... a recipe for paleo pumpkin pancakes. There's no use resisting anymore...I am obviously supposed to have pancakes today. I was in my kitchen within 30 seconds! Salad or not....I was hungry for pancakes and pancakes I was going to have! Took about 5 minutes from start to finish and they were DELICIOUS...though the consistency was more bread pudding-ish than pancake-ish. Probably because the pumpkin doesn't spread out like a regular batter does, so they were thicker. I liked them bread-pudding-ish, but if you want yours less so, just spread the batter out right when you pour them onto the griddle.

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

(who doesn't love a good alliteration in the morning?!)

In a bowl, mix together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup pumpkin, 3 oz almond butter, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp vanilla, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. (and you guys know me...I just eyeballed and threw crap in and they still came out good...though I guess that could be another contributing factor to the bread pudding-ish-ness of said pancakes...but not enough of one for me to consider measuring when I make these again in an hour. I mean tomorrow! Tomorrow! ha! Freudian slip! but the point here is, like soup, the recipe is forgiving...measure if it makes your world rotate a little more smoothly on it's axis, but don't worry if you don't). While all this measuring and mixing is occuring, heat up your griddle. Apply oil or Pam, and pancake-make away. I don't really have to tell you guys how to make pancakes, right?! Right!

These were SO good! Warm, sweet, yummy paleo goodness! I need to get me some 100% pure maple sugar as a treat. Then this would border on a near-sex experience! Try 'em out and let me know how you like them!