Monday, December 30, 2013

Left Over Turkey From Christmas Salad

It's been awhile since I've posted a blog.  Mostly from a lack of time.  Some of its from falling off the Paleo/clean wagon and a tad bit of it is from depression.  If  you suffer from depression then you can relate.  If  you don't then the best way to explain it.....its a dark hole I sometimes fall into.  It's usually after a period of time that large black ferocious dogs are chasing me and inevitable I fall into the hole because I just can't run anymore.   It's no fun and it's exhausting.  I always fall into the hole during the holidays.  I eventually crawl out.  Sometimes it's a very deep hole and takes weeks to get out, however I've notice in the last two years, with no adjustment in medication, the hole isn't as deep as it use to be. I find my ability to crawl out is much faster and easier then ever before.  I blame Crossfit and the choice of a healthier lifestyle.   YAY

With the holiday dinner obligation over, I found myself with a large quantity of turkey leftover.  The last holiday (Thanksgiving) I made an amazing "leftover" turkey soup. It was not Paleo so I can't post it here, but it was delicious.  Threw the stuffing in and everything!

This time I chose the lighter fair and made a turkey salad. I believe I'll eat this for the next few days with no problem.

This is the recipe I followed with a few adjustments.

Chicken salad with grapes, apples and cranberries recipe

Serves 3


  • 1 lb chicken breast;  ( I used left over turkey!!!  Chopped up into little pieces.)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries;
  • 1 cup celery, chopped;
  • ¾ cup green grapes, halved;
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped;
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced; ( I left out since I would have enough fat in the mayo I used)
  • 1 apple, peeled cored and chopped;
  • 1 cup Paleo mayonnaise; (I used regular mayo, light. Not a whole cup, just enough to moisten it)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;
I just took all the ingredients, threw them into a large mixing bowl and tossed it all together.  I squeezed some lemon juice from a fresh lemon and salt an pepper to taste at the very end of mixing.  The combination of flavors makes this really yummy. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hearty Beef Soup - Souper Sunday!!

I made this soup last weekend and it's back for another week!  It was that good. 

When I made it last weekend, I took some over to my friends to the time I drove the 5 minutes back to my house, this picture was posted on Facebook with a thank you.  It was that good.

  • 1 lb stewing beef;
  • 2 tbsp. bacon fat
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup onion, chopped;
  • 1 cup celery, chopped;
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped;
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes;
  • ½ tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped;
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped;
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;

  • In a large saucepan over a medium-high heat, combine the onions, celery, and carrots as well as the cooking fat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
    Add the beef to the saucepan, followed by the tomatoes, beef stock, rosemary and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Cover the saucepan and cook for about one hour, allowing the stew to simmer. Stir a few times during the cooking process.

    Remove the lid and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes.

    I boiled white potato's separately and add them when served for my husband.  This keeps the starchy potato stuff out of the soup and keeps it Paleo.  This photo has them in it along with some delicious garlic bread from Kiedrowskis Bakery.

    Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Tomato Soup - Paleo

    SOUPER SUNDAY - Soup number two

    This was an all day soup but worth the wait.  I first followed the recipe but was not happy with the flavor.  To me it was to sweet from the coconut milk.  I let it simmer about three hours and still didn't like the flavor.  Considering I had 7 chicken breasts invested in this soup I was determined to save it.  So I went on the search for coconut tomato chicken soup recipes and found a few that had ingredients I thought would help.  So I took a risk and added some spices and a green pepper.  

    Creamy Crockpot Chicken and Tomato Soup

    7 skinless boneless chicken breasts
    2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
    1 tablespoon dried basil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 14 oz. can of coconut milk (full fat), shake before opening can to avoid separation
    2 14 oz. can diced tomatoes and juice
    2 cups of chicken broth
    1 small can of tomato paste
    1 small can of tomato sauce ( I didn't have spaghetti sauce as suggested in the recipe)
    Sea Salt and pepper to taste

    Put all the above ingredients into the crock-pot, cook for 9 hours on low.
    I added one green pepper - diced
    1/2 teas each, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper
    After 9 hours take two forks and shred the chicken and mix back into soup.  
    Recipe adapted from Everyday Paleo

    Pumpkin Banana Bread - Paleo

    This time of year I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin anything. So having a new lifestyle of eating has caused some challenge with enjoying my favorite fall treats.  So I went on a search for yet another Paleo "bread".

    It was easy to mix up and bake.

    It's more like a cake then a bread.  The flavor is really good.  I might try using egg in the next batch to see if I can get it to stick together better.  I also might use more pumpkin.  It's dry.

    But....the flavor is good and when heated it's really good.

    Paleo Pumpkin Bread

    2/3 cup coconut flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ginger, nutmeg, etc. will also do)
    1/2 cup pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
    2-3 small very ripened bananas
    1/4 cup honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ½ cup almond milk
    1/2 cup nuts or raisins (optional, I sprinkled some pecans on top)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Combine dry ingredient (coconut flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice).
    Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl (pumpkin, bananas, honey, vanilla, almond milk) and mix until smooth.
    Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix well.
    Spray pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.
    Spoon batter into bread pan and sprinkle pecans (if desired) on top.
    Cook bread 35-45 minutes  

    Cauliflower Soup - Souper Sundays!!

    What a wonderful fall day.  The sun was warm, the air cold, it was just perfect.  I felt super rested with an extra hour of sleep from day light savings change.  After making breakfast, we took the dog for a walk at the local Metro Park.  He loves going for walks and so do we!  We stopped at the stand for what will probably be the last of local produce.  Acorn squash, some leaf lettuce, spaghetti squash, peppers, radishes and a few jalapenos.  I couldn't wait to get home and use some of it.

    We decided during the fall/winter months I'd plan to make soup every Sunday.  We'll call it SOUPER SUNDAYS!  Today I planned out three different soups.  This is the first of the three I made.
    I had a head of cauliflower from last week I needed to use so it didn't go to waste. As always I went to and typed in Paleo cauliflower soup.  Several choices came up but I decided to make this one.

    (These are my photos...I'm getting pretty good don't  you think?)

    First I had to roast the cauliflower.   I didn't have whole gloves of garlic so I just sprinkled some minced garlic in with the EEOV before I roasted them.  I'm sure the whole gloves would have given it better flavor but it's what I had.  While it roasted I chopped up  the onion and celery and got the fresh herbs ready.

    • 1 head of Cauliflower
    • 1 medium onion
    • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped finely
    • 2 tsps. fresh thyme, chopped finely
    • Celery, 2 ribs
    • 3 Cloves of garlic
    • 3 tbsps. EVOO
    • 3½ cups chicken broth
    • Salt & Pepper, to taste
    Pre-heat the oven to 400°.   Break up pieces of cauliflower and toss into a large bowl.  Add in  garlic cloves and about 1tbsp of the EVOO, until well coated.  Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Place on a large baking sheet, in a single layer and place into oven.  Roast for about 20-30 mins, until lightly golden brown.  Set aside.
    In a saucepan, heat the additional EVOO, over medium heat, add in onion and celery.  Sauté until tender, about 5-7 mins.  Add the roasted cauliflower, vegetable broth, thyme, and rosemary to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 20-25 minutes.
    With an immersion blender, blend until the soup is smooth. 

     Pour soup into bowls and season with a dash of paprika.  Enjoy!
    This soup has a hearty consistency and fills you up fast.  We enjoyed it with a wonderful salad made with the fresh leafy lettuce we bought earlier in the day. Perfect ending to a perfect fall day.

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013

    Buffalo Chicken with Chive Yogurt Sauce!

    Today I needed to use up ingredients that were in the fridge.  I had a handful of chicken tenderloins left and had no idea what to make.  For some reason on the way home I was trying to think of how to make them like buffalo style.  And I was wishing I could dip them in ranch dressing.....yum

    Well lets be honest, no ranch dressing for this girl.  I was lucky enough to come across a paleo buffalo chicken recipe that had a delicious sauce that kind of reminded me of ranch dressing. So I gave it a try.

    What I will tell you about the sauce....its good but I don't think I balanced the spices with the right amount of  yogurt.  Or just measured all wrong to begin with.  It was a little heavy in the spices and I would not use as much Cayenne as they suggest in the recipe.  The buffalo chicken and broccoli were hot enough.

    I made broccoli for the vegetable part because that's all I had on hand.

    Oh the hamburger looking patty, that's just some lean ground beef I had to use up, mixed with some diced green peppers left over from the egg muffins and some diced red onion.  A little salt and pepper and fried it in some bacon fat!



    Buffalo Chicken Tenders and Veggies

    • 1.5 lbs chicken tenders
    • veggies of  your choice
    • 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp each sea salt & freshly ground pepper
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together Frank’s sauce, olive oil, the garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Divide into two bowls. In one bowl, place washed and thickly chopped veggies, toss with a spoon to coat. In the other bowl, place chicken tenders into the sauce and again, toss to coat.
    Line (or grease) two baking sheet with parchment paper and spread chicken tenders across one of the pans, the veggies on the other, spacing so they aren’t overlapping. Bake both chicken and veggies for 20-30 minutes, flipping once half way through.
    Once veggies are slightly crisp and chicken is cooked through (may not be at the same time), remove from oven and serve with Chive-Yogurt Sauce.

    Chive-Yogurt Sauce

    • 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    Combine all in a bowl, mixing thoroughly.

    Chicken Pumpkin Curry Sliders

    This one is a big thank you to Mary Ann Kuehn for bringing in recipes she printed off to share at the kick off meeting of our 30 day Challenge last Saturday.

    They were super easy to throw together and fry them up!    I made a side of squash, onion and tomato's sautéed.

    Paleo Chicken Pumpkin Curry Sliders
    • 1.5 lbs ground chicken
    • ¼ cup canned pureed pumpkin
    • 1 cup almond flour   I used almond meal and think it would be better with flour. they turned out a little grittier then I like.  Just a side note.
    • 2-3 tablespoons curry powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 1-2 tablespoons your choice of fat - I used non other then Bacon fat.
    1. Add all ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
    2. Heat up a decent sized skillet under medium-high heat and add a bit of fat to the pan to coat.
    3. Use a large spoon to scoop up a ball of the pumpkiny meat and slightly shape with your hands. No need to be anal, you’ll be smashing them later anyways.
    4. Add your dolloped spoonfuls of pumpkiny meat to the skillet to cook.
    5. Once the bottom end of the dollop has seared on the bottom and a bit brown, use a spatula to flip it and smoosh it down a bit to make a flatter patty.
    6. Cover and let cook for about 3 minutes.

    1st attempt at Egg Muffins - Ham, Peppers and Onions

    Well everyone keeps talking about them so I decided it was time to give them a try.

    I used a whole dozen eggs, some diced up ham (not cured and no bad additives) diced up green peppers and diced onions.  Salt and pepper and some garlic powder. I threw in half a slice of American cheese because its all I had on hand.  However you don't even taste the cheese so next time I'm leaving it out.  I don't really like cheese anyway. LOL

    I thought the jumbo pan would be awesome and I'd make Jumbo egg muffins that would fill me up for sure.  Next time I'll use regular size muffin tin.  Just saying.

    It was my first attempt, I'll try them again with other ingredients.  To me these were a little boring in flavor.

    But I'm eating them!!

    Monday, October 21, 2013

    Chicken Fajitas

    I modified this recipe slightly and I show it with italic font on items I changed.
    1. 1 Tablespoon Chipotle Chile Pepper
    2. 1/2 Tablespoon Regular Chile Pepper
    3. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    4. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    5. 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    6. 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    7. 1 tablespoon arrow root powder
    8. 1/4 cup water
    9. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    10. 6 chicken tenderloins, cut into strips and pieces.
    11. 1 green bell pepper—cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
    12. 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    13. sprinkle of true lime, crystallized lime
    14. Shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, and salsa for serving  I didn't have any on hand but would have used it if I did.  If I had avocado and fresh tomatoes I would have used these also.

    1. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chile powder with the salt, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, arrow root powder, water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken, bell pepper and onion, seal and knead gently to coat. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
    2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with true lime. 
    I cooked it in two batches. 

    Kale and Sweet Potato Hash

    Kale is something we know is good for us.  But the biggest challenge is always how do I make kale and make it taste good.  We'll so far sautéed kale is my favorite.  This one is coming in a close second.  I was disappointed in how the sweet potato came out because I overcooked it. They ended up mushy.

    Just watch the time you cook the onion and sweet potato before adding the kale.  It takes a good 7-14 more minutes to cook down the kale because each batch you add takes about 7 minutes to cook down. Make sure the sweet potato's are still someone andante when you add the kale.

    Kale and Sweet Potato Hash


    2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 bunch kale, rinsed, thick stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
    1 cup chicken broth
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder*
    2 pinches ground clove
    Freshly ground black pepper
    White wine vinegar (optional)


    In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the sweet potatoes and onion. Cook for approximately 5 minutes until the onions are tender, stirring occasionally.
    Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth, salt, chili powder, cloves, and 4 turns of freshly ground black pepper. Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, approximately 7 minutes.
    Uncover, add another 1/2 cup chicken broth and then the kale (in batches if necessary) and cook until kale is tender, approximately 5-7 minutes.
    Season with additional salt and ground black pepper to taste and splash with a bit of white wine vinegar for brightness if desired.

    Dessert!! Twice Baked Butternut Squash

    Fall is my favorite time of year.  The weathers getting cooler, the leaves are changing and squash is in season!  

    I love butternut squash!  It's my latest obsession.  Why?  Because it good.  It's sweet.  And you can make it taste like pumpkin pie, without all the bad stuff.

    Okay maybe not pumpkin pie, but a sweet treat that can curve the urge for pumpkin pie.

    1st you need to bake your squash.  I would type out how to do this...but why?  Watch this video to learn how.

    Leave out the olive oil and spray the pan with something to keep it from sticking.

    When they are done, let them cool and scrape out the delicious insides.  Be sure to get all of it by scraping the skins good.   I scrape it into a bowl with a little bit of butter.  The amount of butter you use will depend on how big your squash was.  I used about 3 TBLS to about 2 cups of squash. (give or take)

    Mash it with a mixer.  Add about 1/4 teas or 1/2 teas depending on your taste buds of Pumpkin Pie spice.  This is the premixed combination.  If you don't have it, use cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. equal parts.

    Mix until mashed to a smooth consistency.

    Spread into a shallow baking dish and sprinkle with some more spices.  Then bake at 500 degrees.  I placed the dish on the second to the top rack position.  Bake about 20-30 minutes depending on how much squash you have.  You want the top and sides to be crusty.

    I could have baked mine a little longer, but for the first try it come out delicious.

    Let it cool and enjoy!

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    Chicken Breast Prep Time

    I found to be successful in eating right there is one thing you must never do.  RUN OUT OF FOOD.

    If you don't have good food readily available to consume you are guaranteed to eat the wrong stuff.  Most things that are bad for you take 90 seconds to heat in the microwave right?  

    To help combat this I try to always plan meals and prep food for the week of eating.  This is usually done on Sunday but there have been week nights I've cooked a few items with no intention of eating them that night. 

    This is one of my favorite and simplest tricks.  Buy your bulk fresh chicken breasts from the market. Clean them, trim visible fat from them and put them in individual zip lock baggies.  Yep, one in each bag.    Choose a variety of seasoning from the pantry.  I like to mix it up and make several different flavored packets.

    You can add a very small amount of olive oil or coconut oil to each bag with a breast in it.  Then add you favorite herbs and seasoning, mush it around to make sure the seasoning is evenly spread on the chicken.  Then store in  the fridge for a quick meal.  Or  freeze for later use.

    When it's time for a quick meal, grab a chicken breast bag, grill it up or bake it.  I use this great little griller stone from Pampered Chef.  In about 5 minutes you a delicious cooked chicken breast!  Pair it with some steamed broccoli and fresh fruit and you have a meal.

    What do we do with Kale? - Saute' it!

    I never know what to do with Kale. It's such a strange vegetable, but yet so good for you.  I've tried baking it and of course adding it to smoothies is delicious. But today I decided to try and sauté' it.  Wow what a good choice.
    Really simple and really tasty.
    I changed it up a bit.  I didn't have cherry vinegar so I used red wine vinegar.  I added chopped red peppers and chopped onion with the garlic.  About 1/4c each.  I also toasted  1/4c of walnuts and added those at the end. (chopped)
    I highly recommend making this dish!!!

    Blind Dog 30 Day Challenge Food List

    For those of you joining us in the 30 day Paleo/Clean eating challenge, here are the food lists.  This is to give you an idea of what you can eat and can not eat. 

    The list is not all inclusive so if there is something not on the list and you want to eat it, think......Does it have sugar in it?  Does it have flour or grains in it?  Was it processed or man made?  Don't eat it.   Did it grow fresh from the ground or was walking a few days ago on all four?  Probably eat it.

    Remember the Kick off meeting is Saturday October 19th, 2013 at Blind Dog Gym!  Be there!

    The “Sane” Challenge Food List

    We call is “Sane” because we don’t want you to feel so restricted you say, “OMG I can’t drink milk“? The point of all this is to teach us don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, listen to your body, and do what works for YOU. We took the best of Paleo and the best of Clean and put together a simple “YES I can eat” list, a “NO I can’t eat” list and a “IF I choose to eat, eat in moderation” list.

    The food lists are guidelines and not all inclusive. If in doubt check with your team mate(s) or coaches.

    YES I can eat foods
    Lean Meats: Lean beef (trimmed of visible fat)
    Beef Jerky (check label for added sugar)
    Flank steak
    Top sirloin steak
    Extra-lean hamburger
    Lean veal
    Lean pork (trimmed of visible fat)
    Pork loin
    Pork chops - Lean poultry
    Chicken breast
    Turkey breast
    Fish: pretty much all of them
    Shellfish: Clams
    Vegetables: Artichoke
    Bell peppers
    Brussels sprouts
    Green onion
    Mustard greens
    Peppers (all kinds)
    Squash (all kinds)

    Tomato (actually a fruit, but most people think of it as a vegetable)
    Turnip greens
    Nuts and Seeds: Almonds
    Brazil nuts
    Hazelnuts (filberts)
    Macadamia nuts
    Pine nuts
    Pistachios (unsalted)
    Pumpkin seeds
    Sesame seeds
    Sunflower seeds
    Nuts can be high in fat, eat in moderation whenever possible.
    Legumes: All beans
    Black-eyed peas
    Sugar snap peas
    Soybeans and all soybean products
    Dairy Foods: Milk - lowfat only
    Nonfat dairy creamer
    Greek yogurt - Plain
    Cottage Cheese
    Fats Olive Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Almond Oil
    Lard (Bacon Grease) in moderation but great for flavor
    Use in moderation: Butter
    Vegetable Oil
    Canola Oil
    The yolks are high in fat so limit the amount of yolks and use egg whites only whenever possible.
    Green Tea
    Coconut Water

    YES I can eat foods

    Fruits: Apple
    Honeydew Melon
    Passion fruit
    Star Fruit

    IF I choose to eat, eat in moderation foods
    Raw Honey
    Pure Maple Syrup
    Chicken wings
    Ribs - no sauce
    Sweet Potatoes
    Red Wine
    Hot Sauces
    Cheese (real stuff, no American or Velveeta)
    Egg Yolks
    Nuts and seeds
    Dark Chocolate - 80% or greater only.

    NO I can’t eat foods.

    Cheats!! Don’t eat them and if you do - 5 points for each one. 

    Other Dairy spreads
    Yogurt plain or with flavors
    Ice cream
    Cheese in a Can
    Milk Chocolate
    Dried Fruit
    Greek Yogurts with flavors
    Deli Meats
    Anything made with sugar added
    Anything that has high fructose corn syrup.
    Soft Drinks and Fruit Juices: All sugary soft drinks and diet soft drinks
    Sports drinks in general
    RedBull and similar energy drinks
    Canned, or bottled fruit drinks
    Artificial Sweeteners: Sweet & Low
    Alcohol: White wine
    Beer (any)
    Pretty much all types or anything made with alcohol
    Condiments: Processed salad dressings
    BBQ sauce
    Mustard (unless just mustard seeds and vinegar; check the label)
    Miracle Whip
    Anything made with soybean oil
    Anything made with high fructose corn syrup
    Anything with added sugar


    Grains: Barley (soup, bread)
    Oats (steel-cut oats, rolled oats)
    Rice (wild, brown, white, top ramen, rice noodles, rice cakes, rice flour)
    Rye (bread, crackers)
    Wheat (breads, rolls, muffin, noodles, spaghetti, tortillas, pita bread, any processed food made with wheat or wheat flour
    White Flour (breads, cookies, cakes, pasta, any processed food made with flour)









    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    Great Snack! Guacamole with Carret Chips

    I've posted this before, back in on June 2, 2013. How to make cheater guacamole with fresh avocado and salsa.  Refer to that date of how to, but really?  Its so easy.  Smash the avocado, mix in the salsa. Walla

    I've learned that if you buy chunky salsa and drain it, it will mix better and not make your guacamole soupy.

    It was worthy of reposting as a great snack paired with carrot chips.   Take the carrots and slice them at an angle to make little chips to dip in your guacamole.  Yummy.

    Remember Avocado is a natural healthy fat.  And be sure to buy natural chunky salsa with no added sugars.

    Friday, October 4, 2013

    Beefuna Burgers!!

    Day two of forced rest days.  Yes that's right.  I'm paying for a gym membership and am not allowed to go work out.  My trainer says I have no filter so he's going to be my filter. He banished me for the week.  UGGGG

    He's right.  I have some mild irritation's going on in my wrist and neck that are causing me grief while lifting.  No reason to risk injury so I'm "resting".  No lifting stuff, no shoveling truck loads of wood chips (which I think caused the neck issue) I have basically gone to work and sleep and made a couple meals. 

    It's amazing what Crossfit does do you though.  As the work day drew to a close today,  I actually got anxiety about what I was doing after work.  I really wanted to work out but I knew better since my morning was spent in a 30 minute adjustment appointment.  I decided to go to the gym and just watch.  That was fun since I don't ever get to watch my fellow Crossfitters because I'm in the middle of the WODs with them.  It was a good one today. We started Deep Water Fridays last week and today was called "500".  Yep, 400meter run followed by 100 reps of each, push ups, slam balls, sit ups, jump squats and double unders.  Yikes!  No mixing it up either you had to complete the 100 reps before moving to the next movement.  It was hard to watch because I wanted to do it!!  Everyone did awesome. 

    I'm also on day five of eating clean in preparation for a Masters competition I'm in next weekend. I've stayed strict this week with no grains and next week I'll move into super strict with meat and veggies only, five meals super charged with protein and carbs and very little fat.  The program I was introduced to by Eatalogy back in August.

    Today I found a really yummy recipes for two things you almost always have on hand.  Ground Beef and Tuna!   That's right.  Who'd a thought those two could be so good together.    They are true Paleo"ish" because it does have sweet pickle relish in it.  That's a big no no because of the sugar.  I have to find an alternative to mimic the flavor somehow.  But for worked.

      They really turned out delicious to my surprise.  I cooked them on the Foreman grill and left them on a little longer which did something to the tuna and relish that made it oh so good. Oh and I used two 5 oz cans of tuna which gave it more tuna flavor.  And of course no bun.

    I paired it with a fresh spring mix/spinach salad with red onions and strawberry and a splash of balsamic dressing.

    1 1/2 pounds ground round (I used the lean stuff)                                                  


    1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. When grill is hot, lightly oil the grate.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, tuna, onion, and relish. Season with seasoning salt and pepper to your liking. Form the meat mixture into 6 patties.
    3. Place patties on the hot grill, and cook for 6 to 9 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Serve on buns with the usual toppings.

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    Shrimp Sautéed in Bacon Grease! Say What?

    Ever have one of those days where you come home, open the fridge, look around and not have a clue what to make?  (this happens to me daily)  Well today was that day!  I had spinach and shrimp and bacon.  I thought to myself....hmmmm I wonder if you can cook shrimp in bacon grease.  Then I thought maybe not it kind of  sounded gross.  But as we all know you can find anything on the internet so I searched Google for "shrimp cooked in bacon grease" and this is what I got!

    And who better to follow their recipe other then the one and only Martha Stewart!

    Of course I didn't really follow this recipe but it still came out okay.  I took some bacon (about 4 slices) and cut it up into little pieces to cook.  While it cooked, I took some shrimp,  about a 1 1/2 cups of medium size uncooked shrimp, not so jumbo but shrimp none the less, and tossed it with salt, rosemary and thyme. I only had dry herbs so that's what I used.  When the bacon was halfway done, I threw the shrimp in the pan and sautéed till the little shrimps were cooked.  Then I squirted a dash of lemon juice on it for flavor.

    While it was hot, I poured in onto a bowl of fresh spinach with chopped red onions and dinner was served.  (I didn't pour the grease from the pan into the salad, just the shrimp and bacon, FYI)

    If I had to make again I would adjust a few things, but considering I had limited time and resources it wasn't to bad.  And it gave me my protein, fat and veggies.  Dessert was some very delicious Concord Grapes from the market! YUM


    1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled and deveined, tail section left on      

    For the Sauce

    • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/2 cup homemade or canned low-sodium chicken stock, skimmed of fat
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

    For the Seasoning

    • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 ounces bacon, cut into 1 1/2-inch dice
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
    1. Step 1

      In a medium bowl, toss shrimp, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and oil. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
    2. Step 2

      Place bacon in a large skillet, and place over medium-high heat. Cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until almost all the fat is rendered, 6 to 7 minutes. Pour off and discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the shrimp, marinade ingredients, and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; saute, turning frequently, until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
    3. Step 3

      Remove shrimp and bacon, and transfer to serving dish. Add lemon juice and stock to skillet; cook, stirring up cooked-on brown bits. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Swirl in butter; cook, swirling skillet until butter has melted. Pour the sauce over shrimp, and serve with Lentils with Scallions and Peppers.

    Saturday, September 21, 2013

    Paleo 101

    This article is geared towards people who want to try out the Paleo diet and who just want to quickly know what they should and shouldn’t do.
    No background science here or lengthy explanations, only 15 easy rules to follow to kick start your Paleo journey. It’s up to you to decide to what extent you want to follow those rules, but if you follow them 100% you can be assured that you are eating the best food for your body and greatly investing in your long term health and well-being.
    The 15 rules of the Paleo diet
    1. The Paleo diet should be high in fat, moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbohydrates. Calorie counting is not encouraged, neither is portion control.
    2. Eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking.
    3. Eat generous amounts of animal protein. This includes red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, kidney, heart…), wild caught fish and shellfish. Don’t be scared to eat the fatty cuts and all meals with proteins should contain fat as well. Learn to cook with bones in the form of stocks and broths.
    4. Eat good amounts of fresh or frozen vegetables either cooked or raw and served with fat. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are also great as a source of non-toxic carbohydrates.
    5. Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berries as well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problem or are trying to lose weight faster.
    6. Preferably choose pasture-raised and grass-fed meat coming from a local, environmentally conscious farms. If not possible, choose lean cuts of meat and supplement your fat with coconut oil, butter or clarified butter. Also preferably choose organic, local and/or seasonal fruits and vegetables.
    7. Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.
    8. Cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils including, but not limited to, margarines, soybean oil, corn oil, crisco, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Olive oil and avocado oil are fine, but don’t cook with them, use them in salad dressings and to drizzle over prepared food.
    9. Eliminate sugar, soft drinks, all packaged products and juices (including fruit juices). As a rule of thumb, if it’s in a box, don’t eat it. At the grocery store, visit only the meat, fish and produce sections.
    10. Eliminate dairy products other than butter and maybe heavy cream. You don’t need dairy, but if you can’t live without, consider raw, full-fat and/or fermented dairy.
    11. Eat when you’re hungry and don’t stress if you skip a meal or even two. You don’t have to eat three square meals a day, do what feels most natural.
    12. Eliminate to most sources of external stress in your life as possible and sleep the most you can. Try to wakeup without an alarm and to go to bed when it’s dark.
    13. Don’t over-exercise, keep your training sessions short and intense and do them only a few times per week. Take some extra time off if you feel tired. Consider short and intense sprinting sessions instead of very long cardio sessions.
    14. Consider supplementing with vitamin D and probiotics. Levels of magnesium, iodine and vitamin K2 should also be optimized. Iodine can be obtained from seaweeds. You probably don’t need a multivitamin or other supplements.
    15. Play in the sun, have fun, laugh, smile, relax, discover, travel, learn and enjoy life like a daring adventure!
    Click here for the original link:  --->

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    I tried Kimchi! Good Stuff.

    In my pursuit of healthy eating and whole foods, I've come across some recipes that call for Kimchi.   I never had much interest in making my own but the other day while shopping at the amazing Earth Fare store I happened upon a jar of it!   Yay!!!! It's vegan, gluten fee, raw and a good source of probiotics.  (according to the lid)  Made of cabbage, carrots, red peppers, leeks, crushed red pepper, green onions, garlic, ginger and sea salt.  It comes in different levels of heat.  I chose spicy and it's not lying.

    I paired it with our famous Lexus Almond Chicken and some fresh green beans that I also picked up at Earth Fare.  It ended up being a pretty amazing dinner with a definite bite to it. (spicy)  Oh and don't let the smell of the Kimchi get you. Cabbage can be a real turn off by smell alone.  It's actually really yummy.

    The almond chicken recipe can be found on an earlier blog in May 2013.  It's easy and you can use chicken of any sort to make it.  Using the cayenne pepper and chili pepper is what gives it good flavor.

    The green beans, although not Paleo, is all whole good ingredients.  The Non Paleo in the family really like green beans so I try and treat him every once in a while. (wink)
    I used the bacon grease as suggested, not butter. And I let it cook every minute of the 30 minutes.  The beans come out crisp and tender with great flavor.  This time I threw in a few little red hot peppers from the garden cut up.

    Fresh Green Beans
    1 lb green beans
    1 cup chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic
    1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    2 tablespoons bacon grease (can substitute 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil)
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt (can substitute regular table salt; use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
    Ground black pepper
    Snap the stem ends of green beans, or cut them off in a big bunch with a knife if you’d like. Just don’t tell Granny. Melt bacon grease in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for a minute. Then add green beans and cook for a minute until beans turn bright green. Add the chicken broth, chopped red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Turn heat to low and cover with a lid, leaving lid cracked to allow steam to escape. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates and beans are fairly soft, yet still a bit crisp. You can add more chicken broth during the cooking process, but don’t be afraid to let it all cook away so the onions and peppers can caramelize.

    Chicken Bacon Apple Burgers

    Let me just tell you...this is a favorite.  It reminds me of Chicken Sausage.  I made mine slightly larger and for the Non Paleo family members I made Panini's with cheese on chabata bread.   ( I have no idea how to spell in case you haven't picked up on that reading my blogs.)  I didn't really alter the recipe, however my apples were not organic. I did use raw honey.  Easy to make, easy to fry up.  I used the G. Foreman grill, but I'm sure the big grill would have made them better.  
    They were also very yummy cold....and reheated three days later.  The website gives freezing directions.  Check it out!



    Preheat outdoor grill or stove. In a large bowl, combine grated apple, celery, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix in honey, chicken, and cooked, crumbled bacon. Shape chicken mixture into 1/2-inch-thick sliders, using 1/8th pound of meat per slider. Grill over medium heat about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

    Sunday, September 15, 2013

    Pot Sticker Burgers and A Heros Run

    Today was a great day!  I participated in the

     Cleveland Hero Run!

    As I ran 5 miles I thought about all the things our public service men and women do every day to keep us safe. The risks they take, and for some giving their lives.  I thought about the families they leave behind and the sacrifices they make as well.  Participating was my way to show my support and appreciation.

    Not to mention I got to spend the morning with some of my favorite people!!
    I must say the 5 miles was a huge PR for me.  The most I've ever run has been a mile at a time.  I've run 5k's before but usually with a lot of walking and obstacles in between running.  This was just running for 5 miles up and down hills of the metro parks.  I was happy with running the first 3 miles, walked most of the 4th (it was up a big hill) and then ran the last mile.  I'm not sure of the official finish time but it was just over an hour.   I'll take it.
    Dinner was a challenge considering my legs were not feeling so hot. I have a huge blister on the bottom of my left foot that started about halfway through the 3rd mile.  So my right leg is really sore because of compensating for the sore left leg.  UGGGG 

    Paleo Pot Sticker Burgers with Slaw

    I've made these in the past and they are becoming a favorite! 
    They are simple to make.  Be sure to make the slaw first so it has time to marinate. 
    I also used olive oil on the grill pan. It didn't get as burnt as the cooking spray does. (I used that the last time and yuck).  Also Coconut Aminos are not found at Giant Eagle.  I've only had luck at the stores like Whole Foods or Earth Fare.


     Pot Sticker Burgers

    1 package 99% fat-free ground turkey breast (about 1.2lbs)
    1 egg
    3-4 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos** (I used Coconut Secret brand from Whole Foods)
    2 green onions, sliced
    1 clove garlic, micro planed or finely minced
    2 Tablespoons, micro planed or finely minced ginger (I recommend micro planed, but work with what you've got!)
    1 1/2 cups coleslaw mix, roughly chopped
    Spicy Asian Slaw

    4 Tablespoons Coconut Aminos
    3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
    1 Tablespoon water
    1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (DO NOT omit - adds amazing flavor)
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/8 teaspoon ginger powder
    1 green onion, sliced
    Remainder of coleslaw mix from 14 oz bag. (about 4-5 cups) 
    **In case you are wondering about this "Coconut Aminos" business, it is a soy-free soy sauce substitution that is approved for the paleo lifestyle.  Although I was a bit dubious at first, one taste changed my mind.  Justin just couldn't believe there was no soy sauce in this recipe. If you use regular soy sauce, cut back by about 1 TBS.

    Directions For the Slaw: (I started this first so it could marinate while I prepped the burgers)
    1.) Mix first 8 ingredients in box then add coleslaw mix. 
    2.) Toss until thoroughly coated. 
    3.) Place bowl in fridge to marinate while you cook burgers.
    Directions For the Burgers:

    1.) Preheat skillet to medium on your stove top, and spray with your non-stick spray. 
    2.) Add turkey burgers and cook on medium for about 5-6 minutes.  
    3.) As turkey has very little fat, I found it helpful to spray the pan again when you flip the burgers, cooking again for 5-6 minutes. 
    4.) At this point, my burgers were still a bit pink in the center, so I covered the skillet and cooked for another 4 minutes.  
    5.) Take off skillet, put on plate, and top with the slaw. 
    6.) Devour.