Posts Tagged ‘broccoli

10
Aug
13

Back to Paleo

Remember how several months back, I was all “I’m going Paleo! Who needs grains and dairy? The Agricultural revolution was bollocks! (see me “acclimatizing” to the UK? That’s how they say “acclimate” for those of you stateside. And “bollocks” means “balls”).” And then I abruptly followed that strong sentiment with a pendulum swing back to cheese’s open arms and surrounded myself with my favourite carby companions, polenta and focaccia.

Such a hypocrite.

Well, the pendulum has swung yet again, fair readers, for I am here to announce my return to Paleo. Image

I’ve tried for months (ahem, years) to balance my love of the finer foods with my unwavering dedication to fitness, but it seems as though no amount of continuing to eat whatever the hell I want while spending increasing amounts of time at the gym allows me to reach my fitness goals. Shocking, right?

And so, sadly, the food must be regulated. Turns out the so-called “Caveman Diet” appeals to me, since I’m anti-processing foods (unless it’s chorizo! Heavenly) and refuse to believe that ingredients I can’t pronounce aren’t toxic to ingest and totes cause cancer with prolonged ingestion.

Ok, I’ll descend from my soap box. I really enjoyed it up there – amazing views!

I made this lovely salad with a lean barbecue spice-rubbed beef I found at Waitrose:Image

It’s just chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, capers, olive oil and balsamic vinegar over mixed greens, so a recipe breakdown feels slightly unnecessary. I pan fried the beef in a cast iron skillet for 2-3 min each side on high heat. Delicious.

I cross checked with my trainer to make sure I was doing Paleo correctly, since there’s quite a lot of misinformation being propagated about what foods are acceptable and which will destroy your weight loss efforts with an unwieldy spear. I care not for said spear, and so I fired 10,000 questions at the expert.

I emerged better informed. It turns out fat and protein are preferred sources of satiety, while carbs should really only come from green vegetables that can be eaten raw (ie broccoli, spinach, cucumbers = great! beets, potatoes, root vegetables = spear) and berries. Other fruits like apples, tangerines and bananas? Spears, and I’ve been consuming those in droves. Droves, I tell you.

Moving forward, I’m prioritizing fatty meats.

Enter – the chicken thigh. HOW good is the chicken thigh? I’ve spent years blindly supporting the breast (teehee) and all along the thigh has been waiting in the wings (ha!) just patiently waiting to be noticed. I’ve more than made up for my negligence, since the bulk of my diet is chicken thighs, salmon and eggs now. I roasted some the other day with a sweet onion and some oyster mushroomsImage

I coated the chicken skin with oregano and thyme, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil, and roasted them on 180 Celsius for about 40-50 minutes.

I roasted four thighs at a time and ate half for dinner, half for the next day’s lunch. I included a photo of the whole family at the bottom, because I thought they looked just lovely tucked into their bed of onions and fungi. So cozy.

Tonight, I made another version of my roasted chicken thighs. This time I tucked them into a bed of broccoli and whole garlic cloves, and patted the skin with paprika, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.Image

I roasted them in a 180 degree Celsius oven for 40-50 minutes. So simple and tasty, although I wish I had lemon because I’d have roasted them right alongside those thighs. Would just have made them spoon in that roasting pan, all in the name of citrusy, fresh flavour. Next time, Gadget.

Week one of Paleo is down, and I’m thinking I’ll keep it up for one month or until I see my hard body goals come to fruition – whichever comes first. Then I’ll gradually add back in all the fruits I could ever want (insert evil laugh here) and probably allow some dairy into my life. Until then, enjoy this sultry view of me and the chicken thigh sauntering into the sunset…

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24
Jun
12

Charcuterie, Scotch Eggs, Caprese salad.

Now this may come as a shock to most of you, but I have some news – I’ve gone full on Brit. I didn’t plan on it, but since I landed on this drearier side of the pond I’ve grown quite fond of crumpets and adding unnecessary “u’s” to my favo”u”rite words and “s’s” where I hardly reali”s”e they’ve never been before. I can’t quite take to the Celsius, nor have I mastered the gram, but neither has yet to stand in the way of my Brit conversion.

I’ve found that the thing I fancy most is being so damn close to Paris that I can, like, smell the boulangeries (slight exaggeration for comedic purposes). I booked a trip on Eurostar, the swankiest train there ever was, on my first bank holiday weekend here. Once there, I had a charcuterie platter that damn near changed my life. If I wasn’t a lapsed vegetarian before, then I sure as hell am now. The burrata in the upper left hand corner should not be so modest as to hide under that balsamic. It was the creamiest complement to all those cured meats and veggies, and I dare say it was the star of the show. Unreal.

Since being in London, though, I’ve done my best to sample the traditional cuisine. See? There I am posing with a scotch egg! For those who are unfamiliar, the scotch egg is one that is encased in a thick layer of sausage and then deep fried into submission. I may or may not have had a quick nibble before passing it off to my boy to finish, but that’s neither here nor there.

Scotch Egg

Ingredients:

8 oz uncooked soba noodles

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp uncooked scallions

8 c fresh spinach

1 spray cooking spray

1 tsp sesame oil (I used toasted)

1 clove garlic

2 c chopped broccoli (my addition)

I’ve had to make a few healthy meals to balance out the Scotch Eggs and charcuteries, though, and the other night I found such a dish via Weight Watchers – Soba noodles with spinach.

Start by cooking the noodles as the package says, drain and place in a large bowl. Add vinegar, soy sauce, honey and scallions. Toss well to coat.Image

Wash spinach, set aside. Coat a skillet with cooking spray and add oil over medium high heat. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds and add broccoli. Cook for 3-5 minutes until they start to brown, and then add spinach. Cover to  let spinach wilt, another 3-5 minutes. Toss with the noodle mixture and serve.  This was a really simple recipe, and in the future I’ll spice it up with some ginger or red pepper flakes or something. It definitely could have used a kick.

I also made this haddock a few nights ago that came out kind of beautiful, but I’m almost embarrassed by how simply I prepared it. Almost being the operative word here.

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Ingredients:

2 fillets haddock

1 tsp smoke seasoning

1 tsp herbe de provence

½  tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp olive oil

juice of a lemon

I started by heating olive oil in my fancy new cast iron skillet over medium low heat, and then I added the fish. I coated each side with the spices, and then cooked for about 2-4 minutes until the fillets were all flaky and clinging to my skillet. Note to self: this fish could stand to be cooked in aluminum foil so’s I’m not scraping it off the pan next time around. Live and learn, I suppose. I finished it off with the lemon juice, and served alongside some sautéed spinach and onions. It was sooo easy and delicious.

On the sweaty side of things, I’ve been doing this Jillian Michaels workout I just lurve. It’s called the “30 Day Shred,” and it’s like having this inspirational badass right in my own living room. And Jillian is there as well! 🙂 It’s this 20 minute circuit training workout that I’ve been doing for about 25 days, so it’s safe to say I’m into it and consider it a fair replacement for logging hours at the gym.

On the days when this inspirational badass is not feeling her butt kicks and plank jacks, I’ve turned to yoga. I know. I never thought I’d be one of those people. The iPad workout has changed me, though, and I’ve been doing these 10-20 minute yoga sessions that are really helping with my flexibility. Highly recommended.

My computer is on its last leg for the evening, so I’ll have to cut this short. I’ll leave you all with the most beautiful caprese salad that I ever did make. No descriptor is necessary, because it’s merely tomato, basil and mozzarella with some olive oil. It is just one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever had the pleasure of stuffing in my dome. See below:

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