Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cheers & Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!!!

I wish you all a fantastic 2010! May it be successful, healthful, and wonderful! May it be full of Paleo goodness and knock-out CrossFit PR's! .... Cheers!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paleo Pork Chops

This was a hearty meal & I thoroughly enjoyed it!!! Pork chops are always a family favorite!
Hope you enjoy!

4 pork chops
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 C white wine
1/2 C chicken broth (low sodium)
1 T olive oil
1/4 C golden raisins
2 small sweet potatoes, sliced
I head red chard
3 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put sliced sweet potatoes in a baking pan (I sprayed pan with some olive oil cooking spray) and cook for 15 minutes. Trim all visible fat from pork chops. Sprinkle pork with ground pepper and sea salt (optional). Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a skillet and brown pork chops on both sides... remove from pan and put in the baking dish (with the sweet potatoes). Add additional tsp. olive oil to the skillet and saute shallots. Add white wine and golden raisins. When liquid starts to thicken, add chicken broth, and cook for a few more minutes. Pour sauce over pork chops, cover with foil and bake for about 20 minutes (until pork chops are done... that's an internal temp. of 175 degrees).
Meanwhile on stove top... saute red chard in 1 tsp olive oil and garlic. When pork chops are ready serve them on a bed of the red chard with the side of sweet potatoes. It was a tasty combination! The golden raisins and shallots made a tasty sweet pairing! Hope you enjoy!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Caramelized Onion Chicken Breasts & Broccoli

This week (for me) is about getting BACK on track with my food choices! Tonight's meal was just that... as well as simple and quick! I'm still cooking out of the cupboards and using up leftovers! This was a simple yet tasty recipe to keep this week looking "Paleo strong"!!!

4 chicken breasts, cut in half, and pounded fairly thin
1 small yellow onion
1/4 C green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C white wine
sea salt (optional)
olive oil

After pounding chicken breasts, sprinkle with some black pepper, paprika, and sea salt. Brown chicken breasts in about 2 tsp. olive oil. (about 3 minutes on each side). Remove from pan. Add another tsp. olive oil to pan and saute onions, scallions and garlic. Add the white wine, and caramelize the onions. Add the chicken back to the pan. Cover and cook, stove top, on low for about another 15 minutes (until chicken is done). If liquid starts to evaporate too much, add a little more white wine. The Chicken should be cooking in a small onion-wine sauce! It was really good! (unless you have a cold, like my husband and son... who said they really didn't taste anything). Serve with some steamed broccoli and a side salad! Hope you enjoy! :-)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Turkey Soup

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!!

Tonight's dinner was about utilizing leftovers, and getting back on track! After a few days of dietary liberties, I sure needed it! And... there is nothing like a "wake-up-call" WOD like today's to get re-motivated. Heavy deadlifts and 400m sprints are nothing but "telling" of one's nutritional well-being! Anyway, it's back to Paleo! This was a great use of leftovers and so comforting on a chilly rainy day. Not to mention totally delicious, nutritious and Paleo! :-)

We enjoyed a turkey for Christmas dinner, and boiled the carcass for a tasty stock. We put the stock in the crock pot and added the following ingredients:

leftover turkey pieces, about 4 cups
1 C celery, chopped
1 C carrots, chopped
1 golden beet, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 turnip, chopped
1/2 C sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 whole bay leaf
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sea salt (optional)
splash apple cider vinegar

Cook all ingredients on high for about 2 hours, and then simmer for about 2-3 hours more.
Serve with a side salad, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Athlete Profile: Madeline Hurst

Madeline was one of our Paleo-Zone challenge co-winners for "most performance improvement". She successfully followed the paleo-zone method for the three month challenge, responding really well to the Paleo lifestyle. She lost a total of 6 lbs. and had significant body composition changes! One of the most dramatic changes she noticed eating Paleo was an increase in her energy level. She said she had more energy throughout the entire day! She also had noticeable improvements with her endurance during WODs. I had the pleasure (if you will) of sitting next to her during a 2k row... and she was quite impressive (and certainly smoked me) with her performance! WOW!!

After two weeks into the challenge, Madeline went from ZERO kipping pull ups to 12 kipping pull ups! I know every crossfitter can relate to what that meant to her!

She said her success in the gym gave her increased confidence which enabled her to finally tap into the potential she knew she always had within!!! SO very proud of you, Madeline! Congratulations on your success! I know we'll see more PR's as you continue your Paleo/CrossFit journey!

Some of Madeline's stats:
Deadlift: went from 217#s before challenge to 235#
Back Squat: 184 to 192#
Bench Press: 117 to 132#
Diane: 9:02 (used bands for HSPUs & 133# DL weight) to 6:32 (still used bands for HSPUs but did RX weight for DLs)

Great Job, Madeline! You are truly an inspiration. Keep up the great work! :-)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Paleo Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

I know I have said it before.... but there is NOTHING like a good burger!!! I made extra for lunches, too. We are in busy prep mode for the holidays, so quick dinners and lunches are a key for staying on track and maintaining good Paleo options in the house!
I have this nifty little slicer that gives my sweet potatoes a scalloped edge; so they look like fancy fries! I sliced one medium sweet potato, and tossed it with about a tsp of olive oil, sprinkled with a little sea salt, black pepper, and paprika... then baked at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Okay, now for the burgers...
I used ground pork (about 2 lbs)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp flax seed oil
2 tsp toasted flax seeds

Form burgers, I use the palm of my hand as a guide for size, (slightly bigger) and grill to desired doneness! Use romaine lettuce leaves to wrap the burgers and stone ground mustard as a condiment, as well as some sliced tomatoes. Serve with a side salad, too. I doubled the recipe so that we would have extra for lunches. It really hit the spot! Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

This really took very little work. I laterally threw this in the crock pot and ran out the door this morning... not quite sure what to expect when I got back home this evening! But it worked! I really liked it! And the kids ate it! Scott... well, he's just not a curry fan.
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 14-oz can light coconut milk
32 oz chicken broth- low sodium
1 T curry
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. black pepper

I threw all the ingredients (even the whole chicken breasts) in the crock pot and cooked on low ALL day (about 9 hours)! When I got home, I shredded the chicken breasts (using two forks... they pulled apart so easily). I sprinkled a little chopped fresh parsley over the top right before serving.
That's it! Super EASY... So if you know you're having "one-of-those days" where time is "not on your side".... I highly recommend this!! Hope you enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teriyaki Skirt Steak

Tonight's dinner was a little splurge, but as close as Paleo as I could get! However, I rowed a 5K today, so I felt justified! And so should all of you who came and rowed today!!! That was tough!

I really miss marinating my skirt steak in teriyaki sauce! So, I tried a homemade pseudo version of a teriyaki sauce, and it was pretty good!

Pseudo Paleo Teriyaki Marinade:
1/3 C soy sauce (low sodium) ... this is the splurge part!
2 T lime juice
2 T lemon juice
3 T beef broth (low sodium)
2 T olive oil or flax seed oil
1 T toasted sesame or flax seeds

Marinate the skirt steak for about 8 hours (or overnight). Grill steaks for about 3-5 minutes on each side! That's it.... We served this with a side of chard and some slice sweet potatoes. Hope you enjoy! :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Athlete Profile: Tamara Meyer

Tonight I would like to highlight one of our Paleo-Zone challenge winners, Tamara Meyer, who showed the most physical change. She successfully followed the zone diet during this 3 month challenge and lost a total of 15 pounds!

Tamara said the toughest part of the zone was giving up her diet coke and red wine! She does continue to enjoy a glass of red wine with her "cheat" meals. She was surprised how much the diet affected her mood! She was noticeably happier and less irritated on a regular basis. She just felt lighter all over! I know every time I saw her in the gym she was smiling!

Her performance in the gym certainly improved! During the challenge she increased her days at the gym from 2-3 days per week to 4+. Her weights went up in all exercises. She said she noticed an especially big difference with body weight workouts! In fact she got her 1st rope climb during the challenge (and has a nice scar to remember it by). She is also on the verge of having kipping pull ups!

Goals for 2010....
She plans to continue the zone lifestyle and maintain her 4 days per week schedule. She compliments her CrossFit with swimming and mountain biking as well. She says she has no intention to drink another diet coke again. Her ultimate goal for 2010 is to do workouts as prescribed by the end of the year!

Congratulation, Tamara! I am so thrilled for you. You took on this challenge whole-heartedly and were rewarded with amazing success! You look absolutely fantastic and are a true testament of how this works! You are an inspiration and I completely believe you'll achieve your 2010 goals!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I "Heart" Tuna!

When CrossFit Santa Cruz Central dishes out "FGB"... I thought I better dish out some omega 3's for recovery! This was a quick and easy dinner, which was perfect... because I want to go to bed! I loved how it looked like a perfect heart when it was done (somehow that helped).

Tuna steaks (about 4 oz each)
1 T olive oil
garlic powder
black pepper
sea salt (optional)
golden roasted flax seeds

I used a cast iron pan, and heated the oil on medium high heat. Sprinkle tuna steaks with garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and the flax seeds. Press the seasoning into the fish. When the oil is hot, sear the tuna steaks for about 1 minute on each side. I placed them in a warm oven until the broccoli was done steaming. I also accompanied this dinner with a side salad (sprinkled with a few more roasted flax seeds)! Hope you enjoy, and recover well!!
Good night! :-)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mustard-Agave Chicken Breasts

This recipe was adapted from one of those free magazines you get at the grocery store! I changed it up a little for Paleo purposes, but WOW it was good!

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (pounded and cut in half)
1 T olive oil
Garlic powder, black pepper, and sea salt (optional)
1/4 C chicken broth, low sodium
3 T agave nectar
1/4 C dijon mustard
2 heads broccoli crowns, cut up
1 small yellow onion, cut in half moons

Sprinkle garlic powder, pepper and sea salt over chicken breasts and brown in olive oil, about 3 minutes on each side, then place in baking dish. Deglaze pan with chicken broth. Whisk together mustard and agave, and add pan juices! Mix well and pour over chicken breasts. Top chicken with broccoli and onions, cover with foil and bake for about 35 minutes at 350 degrees. I loved the idea of cooking the broccoli with the baking chicken! It worked great!
Hope you enjoy! :-) Zone blocks: 1F, 4P, 2C
~Add a side salad with some avocado or slivered almonds!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Apricot Pork Chops

Tonight was a crock pot dinner with pork chops! Getting home late to dinner already made is the BEST! These pork chops were really yummy! It was a pretty sweet dish, and I actually think the cauliflower rice from last night's post would have gone fantastic with this dish... next time!

4 pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat (mine were pretty thick, about 1 inch)
1 apple, pealed and diced
1 C dried apricots, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 C dried cherries
1/4 C agave nectar
1/2 C apple juice
1/2 C white wine
2 stalks celery, chopped

I coated the pork chops first and browned them in about 2 tsp olive oil.
Coating: 1/4 C almond meal, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp black pepper, 1 T dried parsley flakes!

After browning the chops, put them in the crock pot. Cover them with all the other ingredients. Cook on low for 6 hours. Yum! We served these with a large salad. But as I said earlier, cauliflower rice would be an excellent choice to sop up all that delicious leftover juice! Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice

Well, I 'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but until tonight, I have not yet tried the cauliflower rice! I don't know why! I think I was afraid of the mess, or maybe even a little skeptical! Well, not anymore... I'm a fan! I used my food processor and it was quick, easy, and very little mess! I think it is a wonderful rice substitute with a great flavor and texture!

My meatballs tonight were interesting. I used up ingredients I had on hand. So these were a mixture of ground pork and ground turkey. It was an interesting, yet tasty combo! I don't think you can really go wrong with meatballs!

Cauliflower rice:
I head cauliflower
In a food processor with the shedding blade add pieces of the cauliflower. I microwaved the cauliflower on the vegetable setting. Do NOT add water. Just cover with some saran wrap, heat, fluff and serve! Easy!

about 1-1/2 lb. ground pork
about 1-1/2 lb. ground turkey
2 celery stalks, copped fine
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
3 eggs
1/2 C almond meal
2 tsp garlic powder
1 T dried oregano
2 tsp ground black pepper
Mix together (with your hands) to form 2 inch balls. Put in baking dish.

Sauce: Start the sauce first!
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes (no added salt)
1-6 oz can tomato paste (no added salt)
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 C water
1 T Italian seasoning
1 tsp olive oil
ground black pepper and sea salt (optional) to taste
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer, until ready to pour over the meatballs.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pour sauce over meat balls and bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve with cauliflower rice and a side of salad or vegetable.
1 Cup of Cauliflower rice is only 5g carbs! So, enjoy! :-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

CHEERS to the Paleo~Zone Challenge Winners! ... with some "Nut Nog"

'Tis the season to enjoy some Paleo egg nog! We all agreed, that although this was VERY tasty, it was more like a "nut nog" than an "egg nog". We also thought it should definitely be served chilled! Mmmmm, delicious.
1-1/4 C unsweetened original almond milk
3/4 C lite coconut milk
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T blackstrap molasses
1 T agave nectar
cinnamon stick
Combine all ingredients in a shaker or blender. Serve chilled. Top with fresh ground nutmeg and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!!!

Now... I'd like to make a toast to all the Paleo~Zone challenge finishers, and our winners!!! Congratulations! This was a huge accomplishment, and I am so impressed with you ALL and your amazing success! I've completely trusted and implemented the Paleo lifestyle for myself (and my family), but witnessing the benefits on all of you has solidified my confidence in why it works! Thank you for taking on this challenge, and CONGRATULATIONS! Cheers!!!!


Overall: (tie)
Ellyn O'Halloran
Lisa Holden

Most Physical Change:
Tamara Meyer

Most Performance Improvement: (tie)
Kim Saxton
Madeline Hurst

Okay, winners.... this Sunday at 12:30, come and claim your loot! I would love some pictures and a little interview, too! Hope you can make it. :-)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Rolled Flank Steak

This is a husband pleaser!! (Not so much a kid pleaser... at least not in my house)...
It was really simple, not too time consuming, and it looks so pretty! It also opens up a lot of possibilities! Stuffing stuff could get kind of fun! :-)
Flank steak, (1-1/2~2 lbs.), pounded evenly
Red chard (or spinach) 1 bunch
5 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp. red chili pepper
1 T almond meal
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
ground pepper and sea salt (optional) to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute 2 cloves garlic and onion in 1 tsp. olive. Add chard and saute until it cooks down. In a little food processor or blender make a paste with 1 tsp olive oil, parsley, 3 cloves garlic, chili pepper, and 1 T almond meal. After pounding out the flank steak, season with salt and pepper. Spread the paste evenly over the steak and top with the chard mixture. Now... the fun part! Start at one end and roll up the steak (like it was sushi). Rub the rolled steak with a little olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. I tied the steak in two places with cooking string. Bake for about 40 minutes. (I had to use a thermometer to check doneness... 145 degrees). I let it sit for 5 minutes after removing it from the oven. Cut in 1/4 inch slices and serve!!

I had this with some sliced baked sweet potatoes (because I'm on a huge sweet potato kick) and asparagus (which is IN season right now and affordable). This Paleo meal was about a 5 blocks.
It ranks as a "highly recommend you try" meal! ;-)

Check the white board tomorrow morning! ....Wow, what amazing accomplishments we saw!
CONGRATULATIONS on your success! I will post more information tomorrow and hopefully I will have permission to tell many wonderful stories!
**** This Sunday at 12:30, we will award the winners!!! PLEASE come to claim your prize AND take some more photos!!! (this time you can keep your clothes on- hahaha).
This challenge has been pretty amazing for me, too! I feel very honored to have been a part of something life changing and to witness it every day, first hand! MUCH Congratulations!!! :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Roasted Pepper & Sausage Omelet

This morning I treated myself to an omelet! I didn't have to rush out the door for any obligations. My agenda for the day was to decorate for the holidays, and I needed a good breakfast for such a task! This was a 2 block Paleo breakfast!

I used egg beaters (I'm out of eggs! Help, Skip!) ... 1/2 C
2 Jones sausages (lites)... microwaved for 1 minute and chopped up
some sliced fire roasted red peppers (they were the BEST)... yummy
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
Olive oil cooking spray
Ground black pepper

Spray pan with olive oil. On medium heat add egg beaters. when the egg starts to set add all the ingredients. Fold half the egg over, and cook just a tad longer. Sprinkle with black pepper and enjoy! I also enjoyed this with 1C blueberries, and a very large cup of coffee! I was ready to tackle the decorations! ... Still not too sure what I'm going to do about the strand of lights that went out in the middle of the tree! :-0

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Salmon With Coconut Cream Sauce

Salmon is so tasty and healthy! I was really ready for a fish dinner after this last week of poultry and miscellaneous meals! Things have been off schedule lately! I served this with a side of steamed zucchini and, as ALWAYS, a garden salad! I NEVER get tired of salads!
I've also been cleaning out the cupboards... so, I've been trying to create meals with supplies on hand! This worked out very well.

about a 16 oz. salmon filet (wild caught)
3/4 shallots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive oil
2 T fresh basil, chopped
zest from one lemon
fresh lemon juice, from one lemon
1/2 C low fat coconut milk

Season salmon with some pepper and sea salt (if desired) and quickly grill on both sides. Place salmon on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, saute garlic and shallots in olive oil. Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Slowly add coconut milk and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and add basil. Pour sauce over salmon and bake for 10-15 minutes. Simple, tasty and Paleo! Hope you enjoy! :-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pumpkin Fest!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed your time with family and friends! Last week was all about getting ready for Turkey Day, and as a consequence we had a lot of pumpkin around the house!!!

Pumpkin recipe #1. Pumpkin Soup! This was really pretty tasty and totally easy to make! we all agreed that some sliced chicken sausage would be excellent in it!!
6 C chicken stock (no added salt)
2 (16 oz) cans pumpkin puree
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C low fat coconut milk
Some sea salt to taste (optional)
Heat chicken stock, ground pepper and pumpkin puree in a large pot. Sauté onion an garlic in 1 tsp olive oil until onions are tender and translucent. Add to pot and bring to a boil for about 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and fresh parsley (fresh chives would be good, too). Serve with sausage on the side (or sliced in the soup) and a side salad!

Recipe #2. Paleo Pumpkin Pie! Mmmmmmm good! I really enjoyed this! We got this recipe from our friend, Steve. So check out his link to the right for this recipe!

Recipe #3. Pumpkin Pork Chops! I had a bit of pumpkin puree leftover and was feeling a bit creative! This is what happened, and I have to tell you (even though is may sound funny), it was delicious! REALLY! ;-) We enjoyed this with some sliced, baked sweet potatoes and a side salad.
4 (3-4 oz) portions pork chops, trimmed of all visible fat, and slightly pounded
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C green onions
2 T Italian parsley, chopped
1 C chicken broth (no added salt)
3/4 C pumpkin puree
1/2 C low fat coconut milk
black pepper and sea salt to taste (optional)
1 T olive oil
about 1/4 C almond meal
1 tsp. black pepper
1 T dried parsley
1 T dried onion, minced
1 tsp. garlic powder

After pounding pork chops, lightly sprinkle with breading. Heat olive oil in non-stick pan and brown chops on both sides until golden brown. Remove to a baking pan. Deglaze the skillet with a little chicken broth. Saute onions and garlic until tender. Add all other ingredients to pan to make a sauce. When all in blended well, pour over pork chops, sprinkle with some fresh Italian parsley and bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees. I'm telling you... they turned out tender and delicious! Neither the pumpkin or the coconut milk dominated with their flavors! Give it a try! Let me know what you think! Hope you enjoy...

*Paleo-Zone challengers be proud! You guys are SO awesome! Michele and I are compiling info... It's all so very impressive. Stay tuned! :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cinnamon Chicken

Tonight's recipe comes from one of our very successful Paleo-Zone challenger's, Larisa!!!
She has done amazing on the challenge and just looks absolutely fantastic! When I see her in the gym her smile says it ALL! She's performing great, she looks great, and she's eating great! Congratulations Larisa and thanks for the wonderful recipe... it was delicious!!!

4-skinless, boneless chicken breasts (slightly pounded and cut in half) to yield 8 pieces
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1 C water
1 C chicken stock (no added salt)
1 6-oz can tomato paste (no added salt)
1 T fresh oregano, chopped (... I didn't have oregano, so I substituted flat leaf Italian parsley)

Bring water and sea salt to a boil and set aside. Mix cinnamon, sea salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mix over the chicken breasts.
Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium hight heat. Brown chicken for about 4-5 minutes on each side until it is well browned. I removed the chicken breast to a plate for the next step. Lower heat on skillet to medium and add the onions and minced garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, until onions have softened. Add wine. When the wine has evaporated, add the water, chicken stock, tomato paste and oregano (or parsley). Return chicken to the pan. The liquid should cover about 3/4 of the chicken pieces. Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour. Serves 8 (Yay leftovers!). Zone blocks: 2.5-3 F, 3 P, 1 C
I served this with 1 C steamed broccoli and a side salad!

*Zone-Paleo challenge is ending! We have just a few finishing up with their benchmark workouts! You have this week to complete those! There are some phenomenal results in the gym! I can not TELL you how amazing this has been to witness! Can you say, "PR"? ... all over the place! Congratulations to you ALL who took this on! YOU are all winners! I can not wait to post all the success stories! ... stay tuned. :-)

OH and keep sending in your favorite paleo recipes... I love it!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scott's Stir Fry

Scott cooked dinner tonight! As much as I love to cook... It is SO nice not to have to cook! I went to a 6pm CrossFit and came home to a great stir fry!
He sauteed garlic and shallots in some olive oil. He added the broccoli first, and then added chopped kale, sliced yellow and red peppers. Lastly he added the shrimp! It was very good... I loved the peppers!! I don't really know his exact measurements... He said he kind of just threw this together! But it IS paleo! :-)

*Paleo/Zone challenge is ending!!! This is so exciting... Please be at the gym this Sunday at 12:30 with your final stats AND ready to take your "after" picture. If you can remember... wear exactly what you wore for your initial picture!!! If you have a benchmark workout that you REALLY need to do... come in and ask one of the trainers to run that special wod for you!!! Your information sheets are in the gym (the food log box)... check your stats. This is an important piece of the challenge. Good luck & we'll see you on Sunday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Open" Meal Pasta

Tonight's dinner was a request from my kids... no, a "plea" from my kids! PASTA PLEASE. I've been wanting to try this pasta that Narine gave me... Quinoa pasta. It's naturally gluten free (made from corn & quinoa flour). Thank you, Narine!!! So... tonight was an "open" meal... which is when you stretch your liberties a little with the paleo guidelines on one particular meal. The pasta was GREAT (and still gluten free). Of course the biggest justification for this wonderful meal tonight was the fact that we did a 2K row in CrossFit today! Congratulations to everyone who rowed today, especially to everyone who PR'd this row! Don't we all deserve a little pasta?
Michele has also recommended Soba noodles... a Japanese buckwheat pasta that is also naturally gluten free and shucked instead of milled (making it a more paleo-wise pasta choice)... read the label carefully to make sure it states: 100% buckwheat. It is really OKAY, when you are eating paleo strictly, to enjoy an "open" meal from time-to-time! :-)
Zone wise, this was not extremely balanced. 1 C of pasta, 1/4 C sauce, and 1 chicken sausage = 3F, 2P, and 5 C... If you want a higher block meal, you could actually have two sausages to up the fat and protein and make it more balanced (that's what Scott did... making it 5-4-5).

Pasta Sauce Recipe:
3-4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp olive oil
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (no added salt)
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste (no added salt)
1 C red wine
1 T Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
a little water (as needed)
Fresh basil, chopped (about 1/4-1/2 C)

Saute garlic and onion in olive oil. Add tomato sauce, paste, and red wine. Bring to a low boil. Add seasonings and simmer, uncovered for about an hour (add water as needed for desired consistency). Add basil a little before serving. I browned sausages and added them to the sauce while it simmered.

Today was another great benchmark WOD for the Paleo/Zone challenge... and a true testament to just how well this works! There were MORE pr's on the whiteboard today... It's been wonderful to witness all your successes! Congratulations!! :-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pot Roast with Wine & Tomatoes

Once again I am grateful to my crock pot! It is truly my Paleo lifesaver on busy days! I was feeling pretty accomplished... a PR on my clean & jerk AND dinner done... all by 11:00 am! This allowed me to spend the rest of my day running errands and running my kids around to their multiple Tuesday functions... without worrying about dinner!

I used about a 4 lb beef chuck shoulder roast
1 T olive oil
black pepper
course sea salt (optional)
1 onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes (no added salt)
1/2 C red wine

Sprinkle roast with ground black pepper and a little sea salt (if desired). Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat and sear meat on all sides. When browned, add to crock pot. Add onions to skillet and saute until tender. Add red wine to skillet and quickly deglaze pan, and add to crock pot. Pour stewed tomatoes over roast and scatter with garlic cloves. Cover and slow cook on low for 5-6 hours.
I served this meal with sliced sweet potatoes (which I baked in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees) and steamed artichokes. A 3oz portion of roast (with some sauce), about 1/2 sweet potato, and 1 artichoke is only about a 4 block meal! Hope you enjoy! :-)

I happened to notice a lot of PR's on the board today from those in the Zone/Paleo challenge!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken

I went away last weekend and took a few liberties with eating... okay, maybe a LOT of liberties... anyway you look at it, today was a particularly hard Monday at CrossFit. This WOD may have kicked my butt (thanks, Michele), but it felt SO great to get back on track today! Tonight I made a very comforting, as well as nutritious, Paleo meal! Hope you enjoy...

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (trimmed, cut in half and pounded)
almond meal
dried parsley flakes
14 oz can quartered artichokes
14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2.25 can sliced black olives
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp olive oil
2-3 T fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix about 1/2 C almond meal with 2 T dried parsley. After pounding chicken breasts, sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with almond meal mixture. Heat olive oil in a skillet, and in batches, brown chicken breasts on both sides, about 3 minutes each side. Add to baking dish when finished. After all 8 chicken breasts are browned... add chicken broth to skillet and deglaze pan. Add all other ingredients to pan, and bring to a quick low boil, then pour over chicken. Sprinkle top with fresh Italian parsley and bake for about 30 minutes.

I served this with a side salad and some steamed broccoli! There are plenty of leftovers to enjoy for lunches!
I would definitely make this recipe again. It was tasty! However, I would add diced mushrooms, and sliced onions next time! :-)

*Our Paleo/Zone challenge is coming to an end!!!!! FINAL check-in and "after"-photo is scheduled for this Sunday... November 22nd at 12:30! If you can't make it Sunday, we do need a final photo and your performance stats by Tuesday, November 24th, so please make arrangements! IF you can't remember which benchmark stats you selected, we will have your information sheets in the gym (in the food log box) for you to refresh your memory! Michele will be happy to run some special wods for the challengers at her 10 am class if you need some additional performance data. Congratulations to you ALL for taking on this challenge! ...What an amazing accomplishment!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NOT Minestrone Soup

I was hoping for a minestrone-type soup... without the pasta or beans, of course! This was pretty tasty. A perfect meal for rooting on the San Francisco 49ers on a chilly Thursday night!

about 3 lbs lean ground pork
32 oz beef broth, no added salt
15 oz diced tomatoes, canned, no added salt
8 oz tomato sauce, no added salt
1 C red wine
1 1/2 C carrots, sliced
3 stalks, celery
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 C mushrooms
2-3 small zucchini, sliced
about 2 C spinach
1 bay leaf
ground pepper
Italian seasoning

Brown ground pork in a skillet and add to crock pot. Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in skillet with 1 tsp olive oil, add to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients (EXCEPT zucchini and spinach) to crock pot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Add additional liquid to the soup, if needed. About a half hour before serving, add zucchini and spinach to soup. Don't forget to remove the bay leaf... (it ended up in my bowl tonight). :-) Hope you enjoy! .... Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pork Loin With Roasted Brussels Sprouts

VERY rarely does my family have to put up with my craving for brussels sprouts! I love them... they hate them! I have desperately tried to find new ways to cook them... determined to find a recipe that will cure their distaste for the poor brussels sprout. Well, I certainly thought these were exceptionally yummy tonight, but my family would still prefer that brussels sprouts stay out of my shopping cart!!! Bah...
Tonight's protein was a pork loin... with a very simple rub.
pork loin (ours was a pretty small one... about 2 lbs)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
black pepper
onion powder
turmeric powder
olive oil
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim any visible fat from pork loin and rub with a little olive oil. Season with garlic, pepper, turmeric, and onion powder. Bake for about 30-45 minutes (or until internal temperature reaches 175 degrees).

The brussels sprouts will also bake at 400 degrees! Trim brussels sprouts (about a pound) and cut in half. Slice one large shallot and mince about 2 cloves garlic. Toss them all in a little olive oil and put in a baking dish. Sprinkle with black pepper... and a little sea salt (if desired). Bake for about 25 minutes.
I know brussels sprouts don't hold the popularity prize for vegetables... but they are LOADED with nutritional benefits! They are rich in vitamins A and C... minerals like potassium and calcium! They are a "cruciferous" vegetable (cabbage family) which are full of fiber AND may protect against certain cancers!... give 'em a shot!
If you think you have a recipe that will make my family "brussels lovers" .... let me know!! :-)
Oh...I also served this meal with large green salad! Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wine-Braised Boneless Short Ribs

Today was a little nippy! The only time I got my body temperature up at all today was doing front squats and rope climbs! This was a nice cozy meal... and warmed me right up! I used my crock pot again for this one! It's still on the kitchen counter... where it will probably stay until March! :-)

1 1/2 lbs boneless short ribs
ground pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
1 T olive oil
1/2 C red wine
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes (no added salt)
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/2 C black olives, medium
1 C mushrooms
2 T fresh rosemary

Heat olive oil in a pan. Sprinkle beef with black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Brown beef on all sides. Then add to crock pot. Add red wine to pan to deglaze and scrape up all remaining bits! Add that to crock pot! (I actually think baby carrots would be great in this dish, but I was out of them). Put all remaining ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

Tonight was my first time cooking with an acorn squash! They are much easier to cut than spaghetti squash. Whew! Cut it in half, remove the seeds, and then cut into 1/8... skin and all!

3 T agave nectar
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Coat squash with glaze and bake at 400 degrees, 15 minutes covered... and 25 more minutes, uncovered! I liked it! This skin is pretty thin on the acorn squash, but my husband thought it would have been better pealed! I'd definitely play around with it some more! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Hmmmm. I was trying to think of a clever name for this dish, but couldn't come up with anything!! This turned out really good, and I'm disappointed to simply give it the generic title of: "stuffed chicken breasts". It just doesn't do it justice!... So, if you can think of anything better, please let me know! I'll be making this again, and I feel it deserves some sort of recognition... at least a memorable name! Hope you enjoy...

2 large boneless chicken breasts, skinned and cut in half (to yield 4 - 3oz portions)
... pound chicken breasts pretty thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 C pecan pieces
1/4 C celery, thinly sliced
1/2 large apple, diced (I used a granny smith)
1/4 C dates, minced
1 C beef broth, low sodium (divided... 1/2 C for the stuffing, and 1/2 C for the sauce)
2 tsp olive oil
black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Mix in celery, apples, pecans, dates and beef broth. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed. Stuff chicken with mixture (I guess I managed to fill each breast with about 2+ T of the mixture). Roll the chicken breast as best you can and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle the tops of the chicken breasts with some paprika and black pepper. Bake, covered, for about 50 minutes.

While that is cooking.... make a sauce with the remainder stuffing mixture! I added another 1/2 cup beef broth to the mixture and simmered until thick and saucy! I topped the chicken breasts with a little of this sauce just before serving.

Have this with a vegetable side of your choice! I went with steamed zucchini again (just what I had in the frig tonight). A side salad would also be a nice addition! :-)

*Paleo/Zone Challenge is coming to an end! Remember to keep your stats updated for performance based improvements. On Sunday, November 22, we'll have our final meeting where we'll take the "after" photo, and gather all the additional data! Good luck....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Shrimp and Zucchini

I was cooking for myself tonight, and really wanted simple, quick and little mess! I love shrimp... (it really is my favorite). It's a pretty perfect Paleo food choice, too. I buy the raw, tail-on frozen shrimp from Costco. It's already peeled and deveined. So it's super easy to just pull out exactly how many shrimp I want, thaw it really quick in some water, and cook a simple personal-sized meal (of course it's easy to cook larger portions, too).
For a 3 block meal, I grabbed 9 shrimp.
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 T lemon grass herb blend (Gourmet Garden 4 oz tube, found in most produce departments)
curry powder
black pepper
3 small zucchini

Saute garlic in olive oil (at about med. high temp.) Add shrimp, cook until pink (cooks pretty quickly). Sprinkle with a little curry... not too much. Curry can be overpowering, for this dish I just wanted a hint. I sprinkled with black pepper, too. While I was cooking shrimp, I steamed the zucchini... not too long because I wanted it al dente. I added the zucchini with the shrimp, tossed together quickly, and served! That's it... 15 minutes and I was fed Paleo cuisine, full and happy! :-)
Enjoy and I hope you're having a great weekend!

**Zone-Paleo challenge meeting tomorrow... Sunday... 12:30. See you then!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Meatloaf, Again??

Ok... this is similar to the meatloaf post in September, but with a twist! It's like a "max effort" meatloaf. It was really good (however I needed more spinach in my meatloaf tonight, so the recipe reflects what I think would be a better amount).
My friend Miriam introduced me to roasted Flax Seeds... and I'm hooked. They are a great compliment... to just about anything! They are rich in omega 3's and add a nice nutty flavor! Tonight I sprinkled them over the meatloaf, as well as the baked sweet potatoes! They are also wonderful toppings for salads! :-)
"Max effort" meatloaf ingredients:
2 lbs lean ground beef (93/7)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 C fresh Italian parsley, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T flaxseed oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 hard boiled eggs
about 12 oz fresh spinach (or approx. 3 C)... error on the generous side as it shrinks down so much!
1 tsp olive oil
about 1 T roasted flaxseeds

Saute spinach in 1 tsp olive oil, and let cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (except roasted flaxseeds, and hard boiled eggs). Spread a little less than half the beef mixture in the bottom of a loaf pan. Place a layer of spinach over beef mixture, without touching sides of the loaf pan. Place the two hard boiled eggs in the center, and cover with more spinach... tucking in the eggs nicely and still not touching the sides of the pan. Now top with the remainder of beef mixture, and sprinkle with the roasted flaxseeds. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. This should yield about 6 4oz servings (3F, 4P)

While the meatloaf was cooking, I simultaneously was cooking 1 sweet potato, sliced. I sprayed a baking pan with olive oil spray, added sweet potato slices, sprinkled a little garlic powder, ground pepper, and some more roasted flaxseeds! This was ready about the same time as the meatloaf. I also added a green salad to balance out the carbs! Hope you enjoy... it was a fun twist on the usual!

*Reminder: Paleo/Zone Challenge meeting this Sunday at 12:30. Bring in a favorite recipe for the Eat This site!! :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Peppered Tri Tip

Tri tip is my husband's favorite!! So, I was pretty popular tonight! :-) I am also lucky enough to have some fresh rosemary growing in my yard.... Tri tip & rosemary, what a beautiful combination! I also recommend saving some carbs for a glass of red wine to pair this meal with! ... In my opinion... it is a must! :-) Not to mention it may help take your mind off your shoulders! ...OHS's, ring dips and presses, Oh My!!

2-3 lb tri tip - trimmed of all visible fat
2 T fresh rosemary, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
2-3 tsp ground black pepper

After trimming the fat, especially that big fatty layer on the back side, rub the tri tip with a little olive oil and the rosemary, garlic, and pepper (If you can, let it sit like that for about 15 minutes). In a cast iron pan heat olive oil on med/hi heat and brown tri tip on all sides (searing all the spices). Place in a 375 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes (until internal temp is 145-150 degrees)... do not over cook! I start checking the temperature after about 10 minutes (depends on the size of the tri tip).

While I was cooking the tri tip, I cooked one sweet potato, sliced, at the same temperature. I sprayed a little olive oil cooking spray in a pan and put in the sliced sweet potatoes. I then seasoned with garlic powder and some more fresh rosemary! Whola... This was also served with some steamed yellow squash... AND there was still room for 1 glass of cabernet sauvignon! This was a 4 block Paleo meal (3 oz portion of tri tip!) Very peppery, delicious and filling!

*Paleo/Zone Challengers! I'm always looking for good recipes to try! I was thinking it would be fun for you to bring in a favorite recipe... maybe one you would like to zone or find a Paleo version for! Bring it in this Sunday, and I'll do my best to get it on Eat This!! :-)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chicken Florentine

This was an experiment gone.... GOOD! Whew. We had a Costco supply of spinach, and I was ready to sink my teeth into some chicken... Chicken florentine!!! But.... how can that possibly be paleo? I was fully prepared to blog a failed attempt. However, this was great. We all really really liked it (and that's saying a lot with this picky household)!! Hope you like it, too. :-)

4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts (slightly pounded and cut in half)... so, it will yield 8, 3-4 oz portions! (leftovers=good!)

Flour mixture (for dredging):
1/2 C almond meal
3+ T dried parsley flakes
2 tsp paprika
1 T dried minced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp ground pepper

1 C white wine
1 C LF coconut milk
2-3 T olive oil
2 T fresh chopped italian parsley
1 Shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic
Spinach, fresh (about 16 oz)

Combine dredging ingredients in a shallow bowl. After (slightly) pounding chicken, dredge each piece in flour mixture (shake off any extra). This actually worked out to be a PERFECT amount of flour... I used every last bit! Heat about 1 T olive oil in a pan and brown chicken breasts (about 5 min. on each side). Remove from pan and put on a plate. In the same pan, add a little more oil and add shallots and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add white wine and deglaze pan, scraping every bit. Add coconut milk and the fresh parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer until sauce thickens and reduces a little. Add chicken back to pan. Cover with lid and cook on low for another 10ish minutes.

Now in a separate pan, heat 1-2 tsp. olive oil. Saute a little more garlic and add spinach. When done, put spinach on a plate and top with chicken piece, and sauce! I also served this with a side salad. Hope you enjoy... we sure did! :-) Paleo creations are so much FUN. Especially when they turn out!! This is about a 4 block, Paleo meal.

*Paleo/Zone challengers! We will be having an optional check-in and information meeting this Sunday at 12:30. Come by and tell us how it's going?? Only 3 weeks left in the challenge! :-)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Honey Baked Cod

In honor of today's WOD, "The Bear"... I served fish tonight! Bear love fish, right? And honey? (or is that just Pooh Bear?). Anyway, I definitely needed some solid protein and omega 3's to help the recovery process!!! Ouch, my shoulders! :)
This recipe was really simple and really good, and really Paleo.

2 cod filets (about 8oz each)
1 T olive oil
4 T honey
1/4 C finely chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Add oil to baking dish and heat the dish. When hot (about 5 minutes), remove from oven and add fish filets. Scatter the pecans evenly over the filets and Drizzle the honey over the top. Place the fish back in the oven ad cook for 10 minutes. When done, cut the filets in half for 4-4oz servings... Zone blocks: 3F, 4P, 2C

I balanced out this meal with 1 1/2 C sauteed spinach (1 tsp olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 onion, diced) ... and a side salad!
The sweetness in this meal felt like a nice treat! Hope you enjoy...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jerk Pork Burgers

I'm loving the ground pork lately! I still had a package leftover from last weeks sale at Safeway. This time I decided to add some jerk type seasoning for a little different flavor. It was a good low maintenance family pleaser!
I used about 1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp fax seed oil
1 tsp each:
chili pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
black pepper
and 1/8 tsp cayenne

It was just enough for 4 patties. I grilled them and put them on a bed of lettuce with a side of avocado and tomato (a salad of sorts).
I sliced one small sweet potato (like fries) and baked it at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. I sprayed the pan with some olive oil spray and seasoned the sweet potatoes with a little garlic powder and pepper. I then sprinkled a few crushed pecans over the top!
The other side dish for this meal was steamed yellow zucchini! I sauteed some onion, garlic, and orange bell pepper in about a tsp olive oil, added the yellow squash. Cover with lid, and steam until squash is tender.
This is only about a 3 block paleo-zone dinner! ... Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beef Stew

This is one of my favorite Fall/Winter meals. It really didn't take much at all to Paleoize this recipe! I was so tired from today's 800m x3 WOD...AND we had a very busy "kids" social evening planned, so this was done in the crock pot! It was OH SO nice to come home to! :)
This recipe is fun because I get to use some different veggies (the kind the check-out clerks usually have to look up the codes for!) I think it adds a great, unique flavor to the stew. Hope you enjoy!

2 lbs. lean stew meat, left in big chunks!
about 3 T olive oil
1 C red wine
32 oz. low sodium beef stock
1 -14 oz. can stewed tomatoes, no added salt
1/4 C almond flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 large rutabaga, cut into big chunks
1 large parsnip, cut into large chunks
1 large turnip, big chunks
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 C baby carrots, whole
1 C pearl onions, pealed and left whole (added in the last 1/2 hour of cooking)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf

In a plastic bag, combine almond flour and spices. Add stew meat to plastic bag and shake until meat is well coated. Heat about 2 tsp olive oil in pan (I used my favorite cast iron pan). Brown meat in pan... this may take two batches. Add a little more olive oil if needed. When browned, put stew meat in crock pot. I deglazed pan with 1/2 C of the red wine, scraping every bit from the pan, and added to crock pot. Add additional 1/2 C red wine to pot along with everything else (except pearl onions)! I cooked this on high for about 3 hours, then turned in down low for another 2 hours. Add the pearl onion about 1/2 hour before serving. If they are added too soon, they break down too much. The pearl onions are my FAVORITE thing about this stew. They are a pain to peal and trim, but are soooooo worth it. Yum!!! Even my kids eat these onions!
This is total paleo, and 1 C is about a 4 block meal.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Baked Salmon Filet

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Nothing like finishing Friday with Fran and starting Monday with Christine! So... as far as eating to keep up with all these storms, fish seemed like a good, healthy "fresh start" on the week! This was easy and tasty!

1 lb. Salmon filet
1/2 C white wine
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
1/2 lemon, sliced thin

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place salmon in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour in wine and sprinkle spices evenly over fish. Place onions over fish and top with lemon slices. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. I served this with a spinach salad, and steamed zucchini. Hope you enjoy! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Going along with the theme from Santa Cruz Central, here are my EXCUSES for not blogging Thursday and Friday:

Thursday...Narine's Birthday! So, we celebrated at the Point Chop House!
But we did well, thanks to a wonderful menu that's caters nicely to Paleo-Zoners.

These salads were wonderful! Grilled skirt steak salad, prawn cobb salad, and ahi tuna salad!
Thanks, Josh for taking good care of the crossfitters! :)

Friday.... One word, Fran! Can anyone really be expected to do anything after Fran?
Okay, we did have some friends over for dinner. It was a well deserved cheat meal, and celebration. We all got new Fran PR's!

Hope your weekend was filled with wonderful EXCUSES!!!!

P.S. Narine, I probably would NOT have had that second glass of wine Thursday night, if I knew Fran was the next day! Way to keep that under wraps!
Happy Birthday!

CrossFit Santa Cruz Central