Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yum again!

I tried another recipe from the PaleOMG blog.  It was a rather spontaneous decision to cook last night.  Kind of decided at 3:30PM as I was getting off work.  And was cooking at 7PM.  Grocery store run on the way home.  Usually I plan this stuff the day before.  Yay for being spontaneous!

I went with the Avocado Chorizo Sweet Potato Skins.  I'm addicted to chorizo, so I tend to gravitate to those recipes.

I swapped the onion with half of a red bell pepper and two cloves of garlic (minced).  I accidentally only bought 1 avocado instead of 2, so I kind of messed up there.  But I kept the same amount of everything else.  But I added the juice from the other half of the lime.  ....So I guess I didn't keep everything else the same....  Oops.  O:-)

 The recipe said to scoop out the inside of the sweet potatoes, but didn't say what to do with them.  I didn't want to throw it away -- it's too yummy!  So I whipped them together with probably about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of honey (I eyeballed it then tasted to test) and lot of ground cinnamon.  So we had mashed sweet potatoes as a side.  I also threw together a couple of salads.

Two potato skins and the salad were actually enough for each of us to feel full (satisfied).  So we had a few skins left over plus the mashed sweet potatoes.  I had some of both for my lunch today and it was just as good.  Wish I had brought seconds!

The skins appeared that they wouldn't be as satisfying as they really are.  I thought they'd be more snacky hence why I did the mashed sweet potatoes and salads.  Didn't need both.  I was still full a couple hours later.

So this morning I looked up the nutritional value of sweet potatoes.  I know that they are good for you for lots of reasons and they're a vegetable and kind of a grain.  Didn't realize how much Vitamin A was in a sweet potato; I should have figured since it is orange in color.  I'll take sweet potato-anything (fries, baked, etc) over its counterpart any day.

Damn it...  Now I'm craving sweet potato fries....

Now you are too!  He he he he....

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Holy cow -- I'm on to something here...


I FINALLY made that Mexican Hash Egg Bake from the OMG!  That's Paleo? cookbook (and blog).  I ended up modifying that sucker quite a bit, so I've kind of made it my own.  Check out the blog page for the original recipe (which I'm positive is super yummy!).  But I'm going to go over how I made it.  :)

I am not allowed to eat onions (nor its varieties).  Unfortunately, onions are insanely hard to "replace."  I've tried a few things, but nothing ever tastes the same.  Juli (the author of the blog and cookbook) suggested bell pepper with garlic.

  • 1 lb(ish) Chorizo
  • 1 14oz can of Diced Tomatoes w/Green Chillies
  • 1 small Sweet Potato (diced small)
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper (diced small)
  • 2 Serrano Peppers (diced super small)
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 heaping tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano (mine was VERY generous -- heaping is an understatement)
  • 5 eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Heat up a skillet (I used an enormous frying pan) under medium heat.
  2. Heat the oil and garlic until fragrant.
  3. Throw in the sweet potato, red bell pepper, and serrano peppers.  Stir/toss around so the oil coats everything (helps keeping stuff from sticking to the pan) and the garlic is thoroughly mixed in.  Cover.  About 2-4 min.
  4. Put the chorizo in the pan/skillet and break it up real good.  It'll take some effort.  :)  My arms were burning by the time I was done.  Lol.  Mix it well with the veggies and garlic.  Cover and leave to cook for 5-8 min, stirring occasionally.
  5. Sprinkle the seasonings & tomatoes and mix well.  Cover and let cook for 2-4 minutes.
  6. Sweet potatoes should be tender by now.  NOTE: I cut mine super small so it didn't take long to get tender.  The bigger the pieces, the longer it'll take.
  7. If you're not using a cast iron skillet (like me!), then transfer the hash over to a baking dish.  I used a glass 9"x13" dish (I think that's the right dimensions...).
  8. Use a spoon to press little craters where you want the eggs to go.  Crack the eggs in your little craters.
  9. The blog/cookbook says to bake for 5-8 min depending how runny you want your eggs.  I had mine in there 9 min and the whites were still clear.  :/  So I raised the temp to 400F and baked for another 7 min and they were perfect.
  10. DONE!

Holy shit!  This was so amazing!  My bf was thrilled!  I was amazed!  He loves spicy foods, and this had a good amount of kick to it.  Almost too spicy for me, but he said he wouldn't mind it being spicier.  Lol.  It's easy to add more heat: use jalapenos, habaneros, or ghost peppers instead of serrano.  Or use more serrano peppers!

So many flavors!  It was so good.  And addictive!  I had some for lunch today and it was just as good the second time!  WOOHOO!

I generally have no idea what I'm doing in the kitchen, but I'm flabbergasted at how good this turned out.  Thanks to Juli at for providing the idea/concept!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Strength Training

Last December, I decided I needed a more structured weight training program.  Just kind of doing everything rather spontaneous and with whatever effort I felt like is better than nothing!  But it isn't going to get me the results I desire.  There are two books I consulted with:

I used Joe Friel's book to sketch an annual training plan and learn how to structure my training better.  There's a short section on weight training and I liked it okay, but I really felt like I needed something deeper especially since I was coming off of illness (and losing >10lbs of muscle due to illness).  So I turned to Patrick Hagerman's book.

I read and reread Hagerman's book and kept cross referencing with Friel's.  Finally I decided to create three groups of exercises, or "3 Days," and follow a 12 week series.  The three groups are mostly made up of suggestions from the book, but I also included some that Doc recommends for physical therapy reasons.

Yeah.  A lot of shoulder work is there.  However, that is where a lot of my injury is and Doc needs me to strengthen what he's repaired.  Plus upper body fatigue is a race killer in all three sports.

I found a pre-made 12 week program in the Strength Training for Triathletes and kind of based what I'm doing off that.  My goal was so improve my sprint times to 1:10:00-1:20:00 range.  Preferable around 1:15:00.  Then I wanted to go head first into the olympic distance with doing the best time I can do.  Granted...  I never did an actual olympic race last year.  First one had bad storms, so they cancelled the swim.  The second one is a long story, but let's just say I never made it there to start.  So I figured if I did something more for the olympic, then it would obviously help my sprint game tremendously.

So I took the 12 week periodization plan found on page 84, and modified it.  I kind of threw in some of Friel's perspective.  If I totally bombed this, I'll find out after 12 weeks; I'm on week 8, and I'm seeing quite a lot of results already.

So when I mentioned I was on Week 8, that means I'm on "Mesocycle 2: Week 2."  Today was Day 1 of 3.  I started adding more core work today just to see if I can.  I started second guessing myself on whether I was doing enough core.  God knows it helps with my back injuries, so I figured it couldn't be all that bad to add some more.

I will say, it sure is nice not to have to grab the 5 & 8 lb dumbbells anymore.  I'm using 12-40 lb dumbbells.  Makes me feel rather... Confident. :)  Yeah....  We like this idea of confidence.

Lettuce & Egg "Taco"

So I had a hard workout this morning.  I was so f---ing hungry afterwards and since I did some very hard weight training, I knew I had to have protein.  And I needed more than my protein shake would give.  I looked at my gluten-free bread and wasn't feeling it.  Lettuce time!  But I'm out of deli meat.  *sad face*  But I have eggs!  Hmmmm...

So I took some iceberg lettuce (the last 2 or 3 usable leaves of it), smeared some red pepper hummus, scrambled 3 eggs in coconut oil, sprinkled goat cheese, and tossed some kale sprouts on top.  I ended up eating some of the eggs with a fork to make it a small enough amount to kinda-sorta roll it up.  I ended up eating kind of like a taco.  Lol.  It was messy, but SO good.  Then I sucked down the protein shake and scarfed down a frozen coconut cup.

A year ago, Doc had me get the Vega One protein powders and I hated them.  I've been trying them off and on to drink them, but only recently (within the last month) have I finally been ok with them.  Today's was good.
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 scoop Vega One "Berry" protein
  • 8-10 dark cherries
  • 5 slices of mango
  • 5-8 slices of frozen peaches

It looked like barf, but it was super tasty.  Or maybe it was super tasty because I was freakishly hungry?  Who knows.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mint + Klondike + Coconut

I used to LOVE Klondike Bars growing up.  They were a very special treat at my parents' house since a pack of the bars were a chunk of change in comparison to let's say...  Fudge bars, popsicles, sherbet, gallon of ice cream, etc.  In my adult life, I tended to buy them rarely as well.  But I did find the Reese's variety especially tasty!  The pack would not last through the week -- ever.

Well no more ice cream for me.  Kind of a bummer, but I've always been more of a sherbet and frozen yogurt fan myself.  I like to eat light, remember?  :)

Traditionally, I've not been much of a coconut fan, but since Thanksgiving, that has changed.  At least if it's fresh coconut, but artificially flavoured shit.

OMG, I've always been a sucker for York Patties.  It was the only candy at the register that I could not resist.  I've been a good girl and haven't had one in..... 5 months?  I love peppermint in general, but to mix it with chocolate?  Heaven!  If there is one ice cream I could eat above all others, it would be mint chocolate chip.

So when I was skimming through Juli Bauer's dessert section in her cookbook, OMG.  That's Paleo?, a picture caught my attention for her Chocolate Coconut Cups.  They looked amazing.  Atlanta finally thawed out yesterday, and it was so gorgeous out, so the boyfriend and I walked down to Fresh Market and I bought some shredded coconut (among other things....).  This morning I made banana bread (again) and while it was baking, I set out to make the cups.  :)

I think I over-processed the coconut mixture, but it still turned out workable.  The biggest problem I had was when I put the melted chocolate on top, it sank into the coconut mixture.  Needless to say mine didn't turn out NEARLY as pretty as Juli's.  Lol.

Oh!  And I added 1/2 tsp peppermint extract.  Looking at her pictures, I imagined biting into one and tasting mint, so I figured I would add some.  Since the stuff called for shredded coconut, coconut butter, AND coconut oil, I figured the coconut taste would be super strong; I think I could have added a splash more now that I've tasted it, but only because I love peppermint.  :)

They are QUITE delicious though.  I got a couple of ideas on how to tweak it so it comes out looking as tasty as it really is.

These are totally worth making and keeping on hand in the freezer.  :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sandwich swap

I LOVE sandwiches.  I'm a total addict.  I love sandwich shops.  I don't mind paying 7-12 for a sandwich at various delis and the like.  I prefer places that have fresh veggies instead of prepackaged and stored-for-a-while-in-a-truck-during-shipment varieties.  Around Atlanta, I enjoy Lenny's Subs pepper relish -- YUM!

Unfortunately, I am not supposed to eat gluten (and wheat).  I have gone nearly 2 months with the whole gluten-free thing.  I've only cheated 2 or 3 times and it was recent; I felt a little queasy afterwards too.  I like how my body feels now, but I don't know if it's from the lack of gluten, dairy, or both.  Anyway, I've been looking for sandwich varieties that I can eat without feeling queasy afterwards.

A few weeks back, I walked into a Jimmy John's down the street; I figured I'd end up ordering a salad or something.  I don't expect lots of places to have gluten-free options, but I have noticed more them do now than a few years ago.  As I inspected their menu, I saw a "low-carb option:"  Lettuce Wrap.

I was intrigued!  So I ordered one.  :)  Loved it!  And it started giving me ideas of how to improve upon the idea.  I started taking them to work.

The idea is simple: HUGE leafs of iceberg lettuce with meat and whatever else.  Roll it up and enjoy.

Expanding on it has been a trial an error.  Still working on improving it as well.

My go-to combination has been 2 or 3 leaves of lettuce, mayo, bunch of honey ham, smoked turkey, mayo, kale sprouts, goat cheese.  This wrap gets kind thick, which I like.  :)  It is kind of making a sandwich with a tortilla.  BTW, I really enjoy mayonnaise -- can you tell?  Heh heh heh.

I haven't explored swapping the iceburg lettuce with romaine yet.  I would guess it can be done.  More nutritious for you, that's for sure.  There's something about the iceburg that tastes refreshing though.

I've found a gluten-free bread that is workable and tastes ok, but it's not the same.  Especially when you're a sourdough lover.  :)  Since I prefer to eat light & "clean," the lettuce works rather well.  Maybe in a couple of weeks, I'll try the romaine variation....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yummy Stuff!

Since being on food restriction for quite a list of items, I have found quite a few yummy recipes that have been totally worth it.

  • Paleo Coconut-Cranberry Bars
    • These are also vegan friendly -- the vegans at my bf's school LOVE these!  As do I  :)
    • I used dried cranberries
    • I couldn't find cocoa butter, so I used a bit of coconut butter, coconut oil and some cocoa baking powder (milk free).
  • Sticky Date Pudding Muffins
    • I used rice milk instead of almond milk.
    • Since I made this before I totally gave up oranges, I think I'll swap it out for lemon & lime juice next time.
    • Made these for 2 dinner parties and they were GONE!  YUM!
  • Banana Bread (Gluten Free & Almond Free)
    • Made one big loaf of this with dried cranberries and a few muffins
    • These were a BIG hit at my bf's school during a long day of training & seminars
  • Apple-Bacon-Pork Burgers
    • Jesus Christ!  These were so fucking good...  I ate mine without bread of any kind.  So damn good.  
      • Man....  Too bad the roads are so iced over otherwise I'd go to the store and get more ground pork.
  • Chorizo Butternut Squash Hash
    • So simple, but so good.  :)  The leftovers didn't even last 24 hours.
I've become quite the fan of PaleOMG's blog.  I became so much of a fan, that I downloaded her cookbook (OMG!  That's Paleo?!) on my iPad (Kindle App) and have been using quite a few of her recipes there.  A couple of her recipes in there are on her blog as well, but she also has a bunch of exclusive recipes on there.
  • Caramelized Plantain Pancakes
    • These were a pre-workout snack and then my breakfast for the next couple of days.  YUM!
  • Ropa Vieja w/Cuban Style Rice
    • This was good, even if it wasn't my preferred type of meal.
    • My bf made a double batch a few weeks ago and we still have leftovers.  I could take it to work for lunch so many times before I got tired of it.  But it hardy and quite tasty.
  • Red Curry Scallop Soup
    • YUM!  YUM!  YUM!
    • This was so freakin' good!
Still waiting to try the Mexican Hash Egg Bake.  I cannot wait to try the Chocolate Coconut Cups (gonna put mint in mine!) and Chocolate Coconut Bark.  :)  The Pumpkin Freezer Fudge sounds divine too.  But gotta wait until the ice thaws before I can go to the store.

I do have a collection of ingredients where I can still make a few things though.  Thinking of making the No-Bake Sticky Apple Bars.  But I was also thinking of making a batch of those cranberry coconut bar thingys.  :)

I tend to eat rather "light" -- I don't like foods/meals that set heavy on my stomach.  Kind of the opposite from my boyfriend, but he lets me cook experimentally.  He says he likes what I fix.  He LOVED those burgers and the chorizo hash.  Lol.