Tag Archives: Dinner

‘duck liver mousse?’ ‘omg so much vitamin A!’

It is almost Wednesday and that means I get to go home to Texas for a week! I’ve been looking forward to seeing family, high school friends, and eating Tex-Mex and BBQ for months now.

Today, though, was wonderful as well. I started the day off with the usual coffee and greek yogurt bowl and then headed to Crunch to workout.

This workout killed my glutes. If you want to build a booty, do this workout 2x a week and get at least a gram of protein per pound of goal weight per day.

  • Barbell squats, 5 sets 0f 15, 95#
  • Barbell lunges, 5 sets of 15 per leg, 65#
  • 100 incline situps
  • Barbell thrusts (where you do a bridge with a barbell laying over your hips), 4 sets of 15, 115#

For lunch, I made a quick, easy and paleo…

bacon butternut squash soup

IMG_1731

Recipe: serves 1

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash
  • 1/2 tbsp grass fed butter
  • 1 slice bacon, crispy
  • 1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth (or more if desired)
  • 1 tbsp yellow onion
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • shake of salt
  • shake of freshly ground pepper
  • optional: for protein, once the soup is prepared, feel free to throw in grass fed beef, chicken, turkey, or even eggs!
  • optional: 1-2 tbsp almond or peanut butter to top (I loved the soup with almond butter)

Directions – Combine the squash, butter, bacon, broth, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Heat and add your protein and/or nut butter topping and enjoy!

After lunch, two my my closest friends from UC Davis came to visit and we went for a walk along the coast.

IMG_1736

nutrition biochemistry nerdz 4 lyfe.

IMG_1739

golden gate bridge

Afterwards, we went to State Bird Provisions for dinner. It is New American fusion served dim sum style, so you order lots of smaller plates. Very cool! I didn’t take any photos of dinner, but it was insanely delicious. We got

  • almond biscuits with duck liver mousse
  • hamachi spring rolls with persimmon
  • garlic bread with burrata
  • seafood salsa with avocado cream
  • glazed pork ribs with chard and togarashi (my fave!)
  • red trout with hazel and mandarin brown butter

Gah, I am salivating just rehashing the details. I should go pack. Have a wonderful  Wednesday!

mongolian beef

Happy Monday dear readers! I hope your weekend was both relaxing and fun and that all of you on the East coast are safe! 

My weekend was packed. Between going out dancing in costume, helping a friend move, going for a lap swim (with my Olympic qualifying room mate…), and watching the Giants win the World Series, I did not sit down! Unfortunately, the state of my room and laundry piles are extremely compelling evidence to the craziness of the weekend. Usually Sundays are devoted to things like cleaning, laundry, and food prep, but I decided to go watch the Giants game at a sports bar in the Marina. I am so glad that I went. I have never seen so many strangers bond, dance, jump, and scream like that. 

The bar after the Giants won. Champagne showers… 

making new friends!

the streets post-game

I have to admit though, I am happy it is the workweek where I can sink into my schedule, work out, and eat healthy, homemade food all week. Today’s workout is going to look something like this:

Booty Building Workout

The squat pyramid

  • 5 squats, 95#
  • 5 squats, 105#
  • 5 squats, 115#
  • 5 squats, 125#
  • 5 squats, 135#
  • to (almost) failure, 155#
  • to (almost) failure, 145# then 135#, then 125#, then 115#, then 105#, then 95#

3 sets of 8-12 at a challenging weight

  • lat pull downs
  • walking lunges holding DB in each hand
  • rows
  • incline sit ups

The recipe for today is not completely paleo but is far healthier than your typical takeout version of Mongolian beef, which is usually loaded with sugar!

Healthier Mongolian Beef

Recipe: Serves  2 – HIGH PROTEIN, DAIRY FREE, LOW SUGAR

adapted from very culinary
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup NuNaturals Baking Blend Stevia
  • 1/2 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2-2/3 lb flank steak
  • 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour (or tapioca or potato starch)
  • 1 green onion

Directions – For the sauce, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a sauce pan over medium low heat. Add the fresh ginger and garlic to the pan, quickly followed by the soy sauce and water. Add the baking stevia (or sugar) to the sauce and raise the heat to medium and boil for 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is thicker. Remove the pan from heat.

Slice the steak into bite size pieces. Lightly dust the pieces of steak with the flour or starch. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so the starch sticks. During that time, heat up 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat, until hot but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and saute for just about two minutes or until the beef is darkened on the edges. Remove the beef and place on a clean towel. Put the pan with the sauce back on the medium heat and put the meat back into the pan to simmer for 1 minute. Add the green onions.

Serve the beef with steamed broccoli and your choice of carbohydrate (like soba noodles, quinoa, rice, potatoes, or more broccoli!). Use the extra sauce for the veggies, etc.

A day in the life: San Fran edition!

I am finally settling into a semi-regular routine here in the city, at least during the work week. I wake up and marvel at the amount of space I have. Compared to my old room, which was literally an oversized closet, my room is a yoga studio!

yes, my old Texas license plate was BJ5 6969. classy.

Before work, I have been making paleo-ified oatmeal for breakfast. Being the rebel that I am, I occasionally throw some oat bran in there. Many people say that the number one thing they miss when going paleo is their morning oatmeal… here is your solution!

Coconutmeal [Paleo Oatmeal]

Recipe: Serves 1 – low carb, paleo, grain, dairy and sugar free

  • 5 tbsp coconut flour (can substitute half oat bran if desired)
  • 2/3 cup water (can substitute in some coconut beverage)
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk or greek yogurt (I use yogurt for more protein)
  • 2 egg whites
  • optional: 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 2 tbsp nut butter of choice, or other toppings
  • salt, to taste

Directions – Mix the coconut flour and oat bran, if using, with the water and microwave for ~110 seconds. It will look dry when you remove it from the microwave.  Add the yogurt or coconut milk and stir. Add the two egg whites and stir until completely combined.

 Microwave for another 30 seconds. If adding protein powder, add and stir. Do not microwave again, simply add a bit of salt and stir. Top with nut butter and enjoy!

After breakfast, I commute to work using the Muni bus system, which I LOVE. With an iphone, it is super easy to navigate. You can use the directions to determine which bus to take and download MuniApp in order to know exactly when the bus is coming. You will meet every kind of person on the bus. My favorites are the sullen teenagers blocking out the world via plastic white ear buds and the extremely vocal senior citizens that have been taking the same bus for 20 years and know all the drivers.

 

really excited to get dressed for work…

At work, I am Quant coach to some of Dr. A’s patients. A Quant coach is essentially a life coach, so I aim to help people target things in their life they want to change and discover patterns that they can manipulate to bring about those changes. Since the work is only part time, I am also applying to an awesome gym to be a personal trainer and/or nutritionist. Fingers crossed!

For lunch, I have been bringing boring salads. I need to step up my game in the mornings because when it’s lunch time I get excited to chow down and then remember that I threw together a half-assed lunch. They appear even more lame when I have to go out and bring back the office deliciously expensive foie gras burgers, ahi salads, and lobster mac n’ cheese.

Today’s salad was romaine with shredded carrots, roasted squash, a tomato, and grilled chicken with blue cheese dressing. On the side I had a juicy, organic fuji apple and my fave Kind bar.

After work, I typically go to whichever gym I am trying out and either swim or do my usual stress-fractured-lifting routine.

Also, a few of you have asked how about me feetsies (how sweet of you!) and I am coming up on three months of recovery. On Friday the 28th, I have the doctor appointment that is supposed to give me the okay to begin lifting, running, and whatevering again. Toes crossed.

Post-workout I had a nasty protein shake. I ordered some personalized protein powder from True Nutrition and made the mistake of using the “double flavor” option. All I can taste is aspartame, with a hint of cake batter. I think that is what an aluminum cake would taste like.

After all that, I usually try to explore a bit and study for my personal training exam, which I am taking this week. Alternatively, today I spent an hour guarding a parking space for my car while waiting for my roomie to return home to help me.

Dinners have been very simple, healthy and tasty.

1 small sweet potato mashed with 2 Tbsp almond and peanut butter and topped with scrambled eggs, bacon, onions, and mushrooms

sauteed onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and kale scrambled with 3 egg whites and 2 whole eggs and topped with lots of mozzarella cheese (salsa and sour cream sometimes too!)

After dinner I always have some kind of yogurt bowl. I like to tell myself its to help heal my bones, but it’s really just to satiate my dairy urges. At least suboxone isn’t prescribed for that kind of addiction!

guns n’ ice cream  [Humphrey Slocombe peanut butter bacon brittle banana, to be specific]

And that was..

and life begins

Grr. WordPress and I aren’t getting along. I just noticed that my last post got converted to an earlier draft that basically didn’t have any content. So if you were one of the people that saw that version and thought I was exceptionally lame, feel free to go back and check it out.

Anyway, recipe time!

In my week of strict paleo, I came up with a few simple recipes that I have been itching to share. As I looked down at my plate meal after meal, I realized how differently I eat now compared to just 3 years ago. Once I got it through my head that saturated fats are not the devil, I began eating more protein, but the big changes didn’t really happen until a year ago. Reading more studies and opinions widened the range of meat that I would try. Now, I love roasted chicken with the skin, fattier cuts of beef, bacon, duck, pate, egg yolks, and sausage. But it wasn’t until I started flirting with paleo that things like liver and bone marrow began to cross my lips ;). Don’t worry, this recipe isn’t for liver. Baby steps.

Also. I am toying with the idea of getting my personal training license. I think it would be something I would enjoy doing on the side as I try to figure things out.  Does anyone have any thoughts, opinions, or experiences they would like to share?

roasted lemon rosemary chicken with chard & paleo pesto

RECIPE: MAKES 3 SERVINGS

Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken
1 pasture raised chicken breast, with skin & bone
1 tsp butter or olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, de-stemmed
4+ cloves of garlic
salt, to taste
Directions – Preheat the oven to 425. Place the chicken on a baking sheet. Rub the butter or olive oil over the chicken. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken and let pool on the bottom of the pan. De-stem the rosemary and sprinkle over the chicken. Peel as many garlic cloves as desired and place on the chicken. Keep some whole and dice the others. Sprinkle on salt. Roast for 1 hour. Serve with sauteed chard massaged with basil pecan pesto (recipe below). Enjoyy.

Basil Pecan Pesto (paleo)

Recipe: Makes 3-5 servings

1 cup basil, packed
1/2 cup mostly roasted pecans, some cashews (for creaminess)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (secret ingredient)
a few shakes of salt
1/2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Store in a tight container in the fridge. Can also be frozen! (It will brown but it tastes the same.)

Benefits

Basil * Has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants called flavonoids. Flavonoids protect your cells from damage (and thus, in the long run, cancer).

Nutritional Yeast * is one the very few non-meat sources of B vitamins! It also contains folic acid, biotin, and some protein and fiber.

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Chicken * an excellent source of lean, complete protein as well as B vitamins.

start saving yer bacon grease!

So, I am in a cooking rut.

After pinning and re-creating dozens of recipes, I’m all kitchened out. Lazy. Plus, the weather here has transitioned from windy and freezing to sunny and oppressively hot over the course of about a week. Because our hoursehold tries to minimize use of the heater and air conditioning, our house is often 78 degrees during the day. I turn on the AC at least at night, or else I pretty much dont have a shot at sleeping. [I am thankful I have the luxury of an air conditioner. :)] This rapid change in the weather hasn’t allowed my taste buds to catch up. I’m still in my hot waffle, hot soup or sandwich, and hot stir fry dinner mindset, and yet all of those things sound completely unappealing in this heat. Yes, even the waffle. I have resorted to thawing my waffles in open air instead of toasting them and eating them slightly cool (or half frozen…) and smothered in nut butter.

So, lunches are transitioning to cold salads and dinners have been whatever I have laying around. Most of which, has been lackluster – except last nights dinner! SO  GOOD and SO EASY. Also perfect for breakfast or lunch. You’ve got no excuse not to make this one! Oh, and its paleo ;)

Sweet potato, kale, and egg hash with salted avocado

whaddup 30 grams of protein!

sweet potato + bacon grease = <3

Recipe: Serves 1

  • 1/2-1 tbsp bacon grease (I keep mine in a jar) or the grease from one slice of cooked bacon (you can tear it up and add it to this recipe!)
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 1/4 cup serrano pepper, diced
  • 1/3-1/2 sweet potato, grated
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • iodized sea salt

Directions – Melt the bacon grease into a large pan on the stove on medium high heat. (Or, you can nuke a slice in a bowl in the microwave for about 2 minutes and pour the grease into the pan. This will also get the bacon to super crunchy bacon bit status for easy crumbling.) Add the pepper, onion, kale, and grated sweet potato. Let cook until everything has softened to your liking. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Pour into the pan with the veggies. Sprinkle everything with salt. Once the eggs are cooked, scrape all of the contents of the pan into a bowl. Top with cubed avocado and a bit more salt. Enjoyyyyy the goodness.

Note: I recommend buying nitrate free bacon and pastured eggs. If you cant find pastured, try organic and free range. The onion, avocado, and potato don’t need to be organic, but it is ideal to buy peppers organic due to their thin skin. I also recommend buying iodized sea salt because you get the metabolism increasing benefits of iodine as well as the natural minerals from the sea.

Benefits:

Sweet potato * high in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, and B6! The antioxidants in sweet potatoes work to eliminate free radicals (which damage the body) and are anti-inflammatory, so they can help alleviate symptoms of many conditions.

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Kale * Extremely high levels of vitamins K, A, and C! Also has manganese, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.

Bacon * I have a huge post that I want to write about saturated fats and how they aren’t the evil health destroyers that we think of them as. For now, suffice it to say that it is likely that most of the negative effects associated with eating bacon are not from the fat in bacon itself but from the nitrites and nitrates that bacon is usually treated with.

not one, but two carrot + nut butter soup recipes.

Hello! It is only day 2 of Spring quarter and I am already feelin’ the heat! And by heat I mean pressure, not really the temperature. Unfortunately. Hopefully, the sun will come out to play and stay put soon! I am so much happier when it is warm and sunny :). Before the weather gets hot all around the country, I wanted to post these two awesome soup recipes. Both involve carrots and nut butter and each is delicious in its own way. The tahini soup is savory with a Middle Eastern flavor flare, and the peanut butter soup is perfect for all the PB addicts out there. Be warned though, they are so good you just want to keep eating it – but they are filling.

I will post again very soon with a look at Spring quarter classes and some new purchases that I am in LOVE with!

carrot tahini soup

only one photo because the two soups… looked the same

Recipe: Makes 4 servings

from Eats Well With Others

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fat leek, excluding dark green area
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb carrots
  • 1 quart veg broth
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • fresh lemon juice, to taste

Directions – In a soup pot, over medium heat, pour in oil, then add leek and saute until translucent. about 4 minutes. Add garlic, salt, pepper, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots and stir to coat them with leek mixture.  Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, then add broth, thyme, and 2 cups water.  Bring to a simmer, partly cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes. When carrots are tender, remove thyme branches and stir in tahini.  Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor/blender), puree soup until smooth.  Return to pot and reheat if necessary.  Taste and add lemon juice.  Add salt to taste.

roasted carrot & peanut butter soup

Recipe Makes ~3 servings

adapted from Katie Did

  • 1 lb. carrots (7-8 large)
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, salt and pepper all to taste
  • 2 cups chicken or veg broth
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4th cup peanut butter, any variety 
  • fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts to garnish, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel, wash, and cut carrots into sticks. Dice onion. Toss carrots, onion, and two peeled cloves of garlic with melted coconut oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne, salt, and pepper all to taste.

Let veggies roast for 30-40 minutes until beginning to brown. Transfer to a deep pot and add chicken broth and coconut milk. Cover, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add peanut butter.

Transfer soup mixture in batches to a blender and blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasonings as desired!

Benefits:

Tahini * a good source of essential unsaturated fatty acids, copper, iron, calcium, fiber and B vitamins. Copper is good for treating some of the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium can help lower blood pressure and help women going through menopause maintain normal sleeping patterns.

Peanut butter * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Carrots * a prime source of vitamin A and antioxidants

one of the unexpected benefits of lifting + a recipe

Hello from the Texas hill country! It is blue bonnet season, and they are absolutely stunning. I think one of the coolest things that a First Lady has done is how Lady Bird Johnson planted millions wild flowers all along the highways in Texas. Now, every Spring, the sides of the roads are blanketed in wild flowers. There are blue bonnets, Indian paint brushes, and daisies.

Being home has been soothing. I can actually sleep here and I’m not quite the cracked out stress ball that I am at school.  My cousin, Kelly, is visiting my mom and Steve at the same time as I, so we have all been hanging out together constantly. Home cooked meals, laying out in the sun, working out, kind of studying MCAT… and watching movies. Kelly also does CrossFit, so today we did her gym’s WOD and it was awesome! And for a WOD, it was long – 37 minutes.

The WOD

45 seconds headstand, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds tricep dips, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds hollow rock, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds pistols, 45 seconds rest

45 seconds burpees, 45 seconds rest

repeat 5x

Me and Kelly! And Mom taking the photo because she wanted a “girl power photo” ;)

With my extra spare time here I have been thinking about a few things. One of them being reasons for why I lift. I realized that feeling physically strong makes me feel more emotionally strong. Its like, if I can lift this 150 pounds or whatever than I sure as hell am not going to let that comment or indiscretion knock me sideways. As I am writing this, I was going to go on about the empowerment of lifting and physical strength (which is true), but I began thinking about those who are not physically able. They are certainly emotionally strong – probably far more than your average person. So, I decided to do a little reading about how those with disabilities empower themselves, and I found this  article from Lillie Ammann. She suggests that people with disabilities empower themselves by getting out there and trying to not limit themselves from the activities that they enjoy. Also, to focus on the positives in life rather than what is lacking. Both of these recommendations easily apply to everyone. Like not letting fear keep us from going after our goals are doing what we want.

Ammann also wrote a few recommendations for those able bodies, like

  • Treat everyone you meet with respect and courtesy, and don’t ignore or exude pity to disabled people you meet.
  • Offer assistance without being condescending, but don’t be offended if it is declined.
  • Don’t occupy the facilities that are reserved for the handicapped.
That got rather off topic, but it is always good to get brought back to reality and count ze blessings! Another blessing of the week was the epic success that was this  lunch. We have fresh rosemary growing in our front yard and I wanted find a way to use it with chicken and black walnuts (my favee). 

rosemary walnut crusted chicken

Recipe: Serves 2

adapted from My Recipes

  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, black if possible
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions – Preheat oven to 425°. Combine egg white and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat. Combine panko, nuts, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from egg mixture; discard extra egg mixture. Dredge chicken in panko mixture. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack. Bake at 425° for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.

So delicious!! And this would definitely work for dinner too, perhaps with some kale or pasta and olive oil!

Benefits:

Walnuts * a fabulous source of 0mega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts have been found to decrease LDL cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve endothelial cell function, and decrease risk of excessive blood clotting, all of which decrease heart disease risk. They may also help reduce metabolic syndrome symptoms and decrease tummy fat. They are rich in antioxidants and may help protect against some cancers.

Chicken * an excellent source of lean, complete protein as well as B vitamins.