Friday, December 3, 2010

Read Your Labels!

One thing you get real good at while eating Paleo is label reading.  However, there may be somethings we forget or overlook,  like spices.  The following are a few examples of  some seasonings in my pantry from pre-Paleo days.  They seem quite unassuming read the labels.

Taco Seasoning:  Yellow corn meal, sea salt, chili pepper, onion, garlic, spices ( including cumin, oregano and cilantro), Demarara sugar (unrefined sugar), smoked paprika, red and green bell peppers, cocoa powder, chipotle chili powder, salt and Jalapeno Pepper.

Montreal Steak Seasoning: salt spices ( including black pepper and red pepper), garlic, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor, and extracts of paprika

Sweet Mesquite Seasoning:  Sea salt, spices (black pepper, chili pepper, red pepper, oregano), dehydrated vegetables (onion, garlic, red bell pepper), demarara sugar, natural mesquite smoke flavor, citric acid, silicon dioxide.

Lemon and Pepper: salt, black pepper, citric acid, onion, sugar, garlic, calcium stearate, silicon dioxide, and calcium silicate, celery seed, lemon oil, and FD&C yellow 5 lake.

One surprise that I threw away already at Thanksgiving was a thing of pumpkin pie spice.  When I opened it, it looked like sugar was in it, so I read the ingredients and low and behold there it was, sugar. 

Don't stop reading your labels!  You may be ingesting things not knowingly.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lunch or Dinner suggestion

Vegetable Chicken Soup

I never follow a recipe for chicken soup, so every time it is different, but every time I hear, Mmmmm, this is good.  It is one of those wonderful recipes that you just can't go wrong with, if you start with a good Stock.  I suggest you make your own, it's really easy especially if you do it ahead on the weekend.  My suggestion would be to make up a large pot of stock, refrigerate it over night so the fat will harden.  Remove the next day, skim off the fat and freeze in serving size portions.  
I used the Stock Recipe from Jen's Gone Paleo , but substituted my meaty turkey carcass from Thanksgiving.  Then today I pulled out the stock, skimmed off the fat and boiled some organic chicken thighs and breasts in it, removed them and cut them up for the soup.  Threw in my veggies, added a few more spices (basil, some more dill, and bay leaves) and 20 minutes later we had yummy soup!  I put  a little of everything in there today, yellow and red onion, 2 garlic cloves, diced parsnips, chopped carrots, snow peas, celery, spinach (chopped up small), jalapeno, broccoli, zucchini, white sweet potato, some leftover cherry tomatos and if I had some green beans those would've gone in too.  Get creative and just use whatever you have in your fridge, it's a great meal on a cold wet night,  

 Make a big pot, bigger than you need so you have leftovers for lunches or another dinner. 

I just noticed that CrossFit Santa Cruz Central has a recipe for Chicken Not-So-Noodle Soup posted today, here is another option if you need an actual recipe: CrossFit Santa Cruz Central
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paleo Made Easy: Defeating disease with CrossFit and a grain-free diet

Paleo Made Easy: Defeating disease with CrossFit and a grain-free diet

This is a very inspiring and well made video, please take the time to watch it.
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Chocolate Dessert


1 very large, overripe, banana 
(mine are huge, so if yours are small use 1 1/2 or 2)

2-3 TBSP Creamy Almond Butter 

1 1/2-2 TBSP cocoa powder (to taste)

1/8 tsp vanilla (optional) 

Peel Banana and mash up real good in a cereal size bowl, add the almond butter and cocoa, mashing and stirring well.  Then put in the microwave for 30 seconds on high, maybe longer depending on your microwave.  Remove and stir in the vanilla.
I just eat it like that but for a smoother texture throw it in the blender and puree.

This is so yummy and hit my chocolate craving on the dot!

By the way, like anything, eat this within reason, don't eat this every night or 3 times a day.  It's a once in a while treat!  
With that said ENJOY! 

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Dinner last night consisted of Apple/Squash soup, Nutty Chicken, Oven Roasted Asparagus, and Pan Fried Broccoli.  The soup and chicken were both first time experiments, the vote was that the soup was good but very rich, so small portions are the key with it and it made a great dipping sauce for the chicken.  Everyone loved the chicken, broccoli and Asparagus.

Here is what I did for the Chicken.

Nutty Chicken 

Serves 6

6 Organic chicken breast
2 cups of mixed nuts ground up in your food processor ( I used an assortment of what I had on hand, pecans, lots of raw cashews, and macadamia nuts)
4 egg whites beaten
Sea Salt 
Ground Pepper
Olive oil

Start by dipping the chicken in the eggs, then roll it in the ground nuts and place in a greased pan, do this until all of the chicken is coated and ready to go.  Then drizzle the chicken breast with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with foil and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes, Then uncover and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, or until done (depending on the size of chicken you have and your oven).  Brown under high heat if desired and serve.

Oven Roasted Asparagus

This is the easiest thing ever and taste great.  Clean your Asparagus removing the tough ends, dry on a towel and place in a jelly roll pan.  Then drizzle some olive oil over them, add a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper if desired stir them up a bit to coat and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Pan Fried Broccoli

Place desired amount of broccoli in a skillet, drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and sesame oil.  Then over high heat saute or "fry" them stirring continuously so it doesn't burn, you can sprinkle with some sesame seeds if desired.  You could also throw some slivered almonds in while cooking too, or some chopped garlic.  The sesame oil gives it a great flavor. If it's browning your broccoli to quickly you can turn the heat down a bit.  It's done when it 's nicely browned  and tender/crisp.

Apple Squash Soup

Serves 4-6

1  1/2 (2 if they are small) Organic Fuji Apples 
2 pounds of winter squash, such as Butternut, Kabocha or Acorn (I used Kabocha)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-32 ounce Carton of Organic chicken Stock ( I used Kirkland brand, if you read the ingredients on a lot of them they add sugar or other funny things,  but not the Kirkland)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground pepper
salt (optional, I skipped it)
1 cup of full fat coconut milk
Peel core and dice the apples.  Peel and cut squash into 1 -1 1/2 inch cubes.  Combine apples, squash, onions, and chicken broth in a large saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.   Then pour ingredients into food processor or blender and puree.  Return the puree to the pan, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste.  Bring to boil, then simmer uncovered 10 minutes to let the flavors blend well.  Stir in the coconut milk (or I just returned it to the blender for a few seconds), then heat soup thoroughly and serve with a dash of cinnamon.

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