Friday, May 20, 2011

Is it Friday yet? YES!!!

Seems I've let the bulk of the week go by with no posts. Corporate updated our Firewall at work and now none of us can access any of the fun sites and that includes no

I was horrified.

My favorite co-worker and I are seeking a way to circumvent this Berlin Wall of web communication: freedom will come soon my friends.

It's been a good week. Not that life has been amazing but more that I've been reaping the fruits of my efforts. The scale has moved down by 2lbs which has refreshed my fervor to attain my ultimate goal. I've also been making it a priority to get more sleep. #killyourtv has been a contributing factor plus I've been avoiding the interwebs directly before bed time. Having averaged 7 hours a night it has been so much easier to get up for my 5am WODS and face the work day.

The office staff is going out for lunch today on the company dime so I picked a steakhouse. It may not be grass-fed but alteast I managed to divert them away from talk of Hooters. Now how tacky would it be to order the filet mignon?

All the best: Go conquer the day!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

It didn’t rain on Saturday. The weather was actually quite lovely. My knee-jerk reaction was that I should go out and work in the yard or go ahead and clean my car but (with a little help from Jeffrey) I stayed true to the plan.

By early afternoon we set to the task of re-creating Mark Sisson’s primal take on Boeuf Bourguignon. The only diversion from Julia Child’s original recipe is to substitute almond flour. We were also sure to use unsalted Kerrygold butter and grass-fed stew meat. Since J is not a fan of traditional bacon I bought beef bacon. It seemed to be a good substitute, though the product is far leaner than it's porky counterpart. Mid-cooking we made the unlucky discovery that the mushrooms I’d bought the day before had gone quite bad. Everyone at home forbade me to run out to the store (probably because I was supposed to be taking it easy?) so I was only able to include one third of the recipe’s actual mushroom requirement. In the end we had a delicious meal (I'm enjoying the leftovers right now *yum*). I do think it would have benefitted from more shrooms and I’d definitely use a low sodium beef broth next time. Another idea from the taste testers was to use a bit more butter in the cooking process and perhaps serve the dish alongside smashed cauliflower. As is, our meal was full-bodied and very satisfying. It was a lengthy process but not difficult. During the in-oven cooking time we all sat outside and played card games. It was such a wonderful day, as indulgent as the dinner. After such a luxurious weekend I have decided to make this a priority in the future. I’m so much more rested and Monday doesn’t feel like a slap in the face. Plus, the opportunity to play with more complicated recipes is very attractive. How did you spend your weekend?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Is Jason Voorhees a fan of Paleo?

It’s Friday the 13th I wonder if Freddy Keugel will haunt my dreams?

“I see SAD people.”

All bad Paleo joking aside, Happy Friday! We’ve made it to the weekend; two whole days to do with as we like. Personally, my weekends tend to be a whirlwind of chores, church and social events. I rarely score a full 8 hours of rest each night and tend to bluster in to Monday quite fulfilled from the good times but partly drained by my whirling dervish ways.

It’s vitally important to embrace rest. Our society loves to compare accomplishments by way of self-flagellation. Have you ever noticed that if you casually mention you were up late the night before working on a project then someone is all too quick to retort “I only slept 3 hours last night, was cleaning my whole house and writing the next great American novel!”

Accomplishment is a wonderful thing. What are we here for if not to produce a product; be it a family or mastery of one’s chosen career? Every day I try to move forward, to improve my body, my mind and my relationships. I wasted too many years losing the days in a whirlwind of mindless television and binge eating. Today, I’m not perfect, but I am ever improving and having the most wonderful time. Each day is vital, a chance to evolve, and I keep that as encouragement not to lose momentum. Conversely, we can take that zeal too far.

Rest is essential. Our bodies require sleep to function at optimum levels. But beyond that, our brains need down time too. 8 hours in bed and 16 hours of cooking, cleaning, working, exercising, hand shaking, party hopping, baby wrangling…’s taxing! And day after day of this, even with RX’d sleep, will render you exhausted in many facets. Eventually we must be honest with ourselves. Productivity feels great but machines we are not. Be willing to say no. Admit that you need to skip a party to pull on your pj’s and read a book instead. Realize that a missed workout is not a terrible thing if it’s occasional. Allow yourself to be fragile at times.

Tomorrow in my region thunderstorms are predicted. Initially I furrowed my brow and pondered how it would affect my day’s flurry of planned activities. Now, I have resolved to rest. I’m ignoring my planner and instead it will be a day of slow movement and slow cooking. Yes, there are chores that need to be done and my car requires some serious cleaning out but so does my brain. It’s going to be a day of good music and quality time with the people in my life.

Whatever is on the books for you this weekend I hope you’ll grant yourself a few moments of stillness, then go conquer the world. Enjoy~*

Thursday, May 12, 2011

And the winner is


Congratulations, you're the winner of FIVE packs of Grass-fed Paleo Stix from Steve's Original.

Thank you to everyone who entered and for your very kind comments, I hope you'll all feel welcome to keep chiming in feedback whenever you pop by.

Erin, please disclose your mailing address to me and your goodies will be on their way!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Last Chance

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I hope the weather is as gorgeously sunny where you are as it is for us. I ache to be outside 24/7 with these warm, breezy days. Never has the unnatural circumstance of a chair and fluorescent lights been more evident to me.

This is just a reminder that there is ONE DAY left to enter the FREE GIVEAWAY for Steve's Original Grassfed Paleo Stix. Just comment here and tomorrow I'll announce the lucky winner. No gimmicks, no mandatory blog following, just a thank you for popping by and a reminder that Girl Meats Paleo is now hanging about on Twitter.

Make this day a great one. Express gratitude to the people in your life, hug somebody, move your limbs and eat whole foods. Enjoy it~*

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chicken Tostadas

Still can't get the awesomeness of Jeffrey's Cinco de Mayo dinner off my mind. It was so delicious and satisfying. If you're craving a meal that is muy delicioso try this one out. There are a few steps but it's really worth the effort when the craving for a Mexi night comes along.

Tortillas (per tortilla, J prepared three):
2 heaping tablespoons/3 tablespoons of almond meal
2 egg whites
Olive oil

Combine almond flour and egg whites, slowly adding water and whisk until mixture is less than lumpy and not quite runny.
Pour a capful (J's favorite measuring implement) of oil into your skillet to lightly coat the surface
Once pan is warm add mixture and use a spatula to spread it thinly
After 1 minute on high heat, flip tortilla to other side
When golden brown on each side place on paper towel to cool
*these are heartier and will only become so thin, expect it to be more like a pancake's thickness which makes them perfect for those hearty toppings

The Yummy:
Whole chicken
1/2 white onion, julienned
1/2 each of a red, yellow and green bell pepper
8 0z (half carton) of sliced mushrooms, try button or baby bella
Red pepper flakes
Chili powder
Fresh cilantro

Bake chicken, or grab a quick a rotisserie bird at the local store, then strip the meat excluding the breasts (save these for another meal)
In skillet, saute bell pepper medley, onions, and mushrooms until softened.
Add red pepper flakes, chili powder, paprika, and cilantro . These amounts are unspecified, cater them to your tastes. Now finish cooking the veggies before incorporating chicken meat for a final stir.

1/3 lb sliced Habanero cheddar cheese
fresh chives

Place tortillas on a baking sheet and top with half of the cheese
Pile on the chicken&veggie mixture then top with remaining cheese slices
Add a few long strands of chives and place in oven at 350 for 15 minutes or until cheese is well melted on top.

This recipe serves 3. We plated it along with a refreshing guacamole salad. The third tostada made for an excellent lunch the next day at work, it warmed-up fabulously. Enjoy~*

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

To the women who cook Paleo and Primal for your families, thank you. You refuse to pass off poisonous fast food to your children. By shopping Farmer's Markets and researching where your meat is produced you are stimulating the local economy and encouraging sustainable farming. Your children are learning to be informed consumers, to appreciate food. All of this effort promotes a person who is not only whole in body but in spirit because when you feed someone good things it says "you have value, you have worth." Thank you for not passing the buck, exclaiming you're too busy or that it's too hard. You defy the status quo. Your families are so blessed to have informed, vigilant moms like you~*

Friday, May 6, 2011

So you ate cheese?

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a fun Cinco de Mayo. Obvious Paleo-friendly meals to fit the theme would be fajitas (sans tortilla) or carnitas (no arroz, gracias). Maybe this is what you ate and maybe you pounced on the chips and salsa, washing it down with a margarita. It's all bueno, today is a new day.

J prepared a delicious treat for me. Originally the goal was chicken enchiladas though we decided that in the end he had created more of a tostada-esque meal. It was SO GOOD. He's been practicing his almond meal tortilla recipe and I think it lent itself fabulously to this dish. We both had wide grins on our faces as we tucked into a dinner that kicked the pants off of anything we could have ordered in a restaurant.

We did go over into Primal territory by including cheese in our meal. There weren't gobs of it, but some. I personally don't feel like I blew the diet by eating some dairy. But I will say that my tummy was aware of the foreign invader when I went in for my early morning WOD. Which brings me around the bush to today's recipe: Chia & Prune Pudding.

Yes, as in Ch-ch-ch-CHIA. It's a fun little seed I picked up at Wegman's after seeing it appear on several RAW food blogs. Now, there are conflicting theories on Chia's usefulness but I'm not looking to it as a source of Omega-3's. I just think it's cool.

Ya see, chia seeds can absorb up to 9x their weight in liquid! They also have this magical knack of making the liquid you put them in turn thicker and gelatinous. Thus they lend themselves perfectly for making fun treats like puddings.

If you're wondering why I prattled on about last night's queso here's the chia/cheese link: these little seeds will, erm, move you. For that reason I limit my intake to one Tablespoon a day. More is perfectly safe, I just don't feel a need to push it. (no pun intended!)

If I haven't scared you off with my bathroom humor then please grab some seeds and try your hand at this happy little treat. Personally, I find my daily dose to be creamy and refreshing.

Chia & Prune Pudding

1 Tbl. chia seeds
3 prunes
1/2 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Mix chia, coconut milk and vanilla together in a bowl. Add sliced prunes. Stir again, sprinkle with cinnamon and walk away. You can eat your pudding in 10 minutes when the seeds have absorbed some of the liquid. However, I like to leave mine overnight. The next morning it is fully absorbed and the prunes have also plumped up from the milk and vanilla all while imparting their natural sweetness into the mix. It's yummy, satisfying and maybe a little bit beneficial. Just be sure to give it a good stir one more time before digging in. ENJOY~*

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Giveitaway, Giveitaway, Giveitaway, Giveitaway Now!

Anybody want some free food?

I've got some Grass-Fed Paleo Stix from the good people at Steve's Original. These protein packed pipes are comprised of the same lean grass-fed beef used in their legendary Paleo Kits. It's mixed with some spices and presented to you in the fashion of a Slim Jim only not made of CAFO beef and assorted unpleasantness. It's a great source of portable protein~*

What's the catch?

There isn't one, I just like to feed my friends. It's my way of celebrating the fact that GirlMeatsPaleo has finally joined the modern world on Twitter! But no, you don't have to friend me, tweet this, follow the blog or jump through any other hoops to get the goodies. Yes, I'd LOVE for you to link up with me so we can continue to share knowledge, support and recipes but if you just want to eat and run that's okay too. Comment on this post and I'll announce the winner in ONE WEEK: Thursday May 12, 2011.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, thanks for connecting!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Product Review: Paleo Brands "Almond Crusted Cod"

Happy Hump Day Y'all! The weekend is within site -> reminder: Mother's Day is Sunday
I'm planning on taking my family on a picnic but still mulling over what to pack that will be yummy for the group and Paleo for me and J. If you have any suggestions, by all means, send them my way!

On to today's tidbit: round II of Paleo Brands' frozen meals. This time I tasted the "Almond Crusted Cod with Spicy Vegetables and Cauliflower Leek Puree." When I placed my order (you have to choose 12 frozen meals for shipping purposes) I decided to select 3 of these since they seemed like one of the more appealing recipes. Of course, I thought similarly of the Beef with Curry Pistachio Stuffing and Broccoli.

This meal is higher in fat and calories than the others. I wondered how this could be since it is comprised mainly of pureed cauliflower and white fish. Yes, there is an almond crust but it is a mere dusting. Further inspection of the ingredients list reveals that there was a mayo in the cauliflower/leak puree (WHY?) and this mayo contained soybean oil. Not cool, especially since it in no way improved the flavor.

Yes, flavor. It's what makes eating so dang enjoyable and ever since going Paleo my meals have been succinctly delicious. I am baffled once again by this company's line of frozen meals. The cod looked appealing in the package. It was a reasonable serving of protein along with some colorful veggies and a hearty portion of smashed cauli (and I loooove me some schmalipower). I even plated it so that my eyes would be visually appeased. Before me was what looked like a good meal. But as I tasted, re-tasted, pondered, reheated and doctored my meal there were two absolutes: it had an unappealing texture and was tasteless.

The texture was similarly disturbing to that of the beef with stuffing that I previously reviewed. It was mealy. The nuts seemed too finely ground and yet, simialrly, soggy. It was an alien mouthfeel. I'm not persnickety about texture but here it was off-putting.

And as for flavor.....wait, flavor? Other than notes of spiciness there was no flavor. I have tried many a dieter's frozen meal in my time, liking most, and this is the worst recipe I've ever tasted. There was nothing there. It felt like eating beige. So there I was eating mealy beige. I tried to liven it up first with a small amount of salt and then with juice from an orange I had brought along (thank God for that orange, only tasty thing in my lunch). Nether condiment was able to improve the dish. I'm still baffled as to how one can produce something that tastes like soggy cardboard. Now perhaps I'm being unfair. There was ONE flavor that came through: the cod was overwhelmingly fishy. Disturbingly fishy. I convinced a co-worker to try it and she entreated me to not eat another bite. So yeah, if I don't live to blog tomorrow then we know who to blame.

Sorry to be so critical folks but I think you deserve to know what's out there. As Paleo and Primal products become more mainstream there will be a host of manufacturers chomping at the bit to sell us items with a trendy spin that's all hype and zero quality. While I may have wasted $70+ dollars on 12 very bad meals hopefully I can spare someone else the disappointment of paying for and tasting these epic fails. If you like Paleo Brands' frozen meals then I'd love to hear it/sell you my remaining meals ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Day Muffins

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend. Gotta say that mine was fantastic and thank goodness too: Last Thursday and Friday in the office was overwhelming. Jeffrey stopped by at close of business with flowers and a card to cheer me up. His timing was spot on! We went for sushi that night and enjoyed some new flavors including Black Marlin and mango in our roles. It's always fun to use dates as explorations into uncharted menu territory.

Saturday I hit up a friend's Going Away party and successfully avoided the buffet of lovely food with the exception of some candied sweet potatoes. Everyone was raving about them and I got curious. Thanks for the great party Christianna, good luck out West!

Sunday was perfection. I've never had a truly perfect day before but this one was splendiferous (it's a word, trust me)! We had a lot of fun singing at church then met friends for a themed brunch and game of croquet. I donned a vintage hat & summer whites, J sported a lovely bow tie and we all went to town a la the Age of Elegance. We had so much fun playing in the backyard, dressed up and embracing the silly. Also lovely was that the brunch was easy to navigate. Our hostess had prepared assorted frittatas along with heaps of freshly picked strawberries and a bowl of chicken sausage and onions. I had a spot of champagne as well; it may or may not have helped my croquet skills.

For our contribution there were Paleo-fied muffins thanks to the inception of DessertStalker. I used the basic outline of this recipe then changed....well, a lot of it. The result was a very tasty muffin that was a bit too wet as the edges stuck to the cupcake liner. Also, these muffins were very small. I would double the batch next time and bake up 18 muffins as this produced 11 very small ones. To make it less moist, next time I'll try adding an extra tablespoon or two of coconut flour.

Here's the recipe from our maiden tour but I do encourage a bit extra flour and prepping a double batch, or just baking up fewer muffins.

Wild Blueberry & Banana, Cinnamon Crusted Muffins
(aka May Days)

3 organic eggs
2 Tbl. coconut milk (I used So Delicious Original)
3 Tbl. honey
2 Tbl. melted coconut oil (let it cool or you'll have scrambled eggs)
1 very ripe banana, smashed
1/2 cup wild blueberries (mine were frozen)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 Tbl. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Where the Magic Happens
Combine eggs, coconut milk, honey, coconut oil, sea salt and vanilla extract in a blender until incorporated. In another bowl sift together coocnut flour and baking powder. Re-sift this dry mix into the wet ingredients and combine until no lumps are left. Fold in blueberries and banana.

After distributing the batter into 10-11 cupcake tins: combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with this sweet addition. Add as much or as little as your Paleo conscience allows :)

Bake muffins at 400 F for 20 minutes. Allow to fully cool; these were better the next day at room temperature rather than straight out of the oven IMO.

Let me know how you tweak the May Days and please, enjoy!