Thursday, May 14, 2009

"NOT your Moma's Pork Chops!"

Pork w/pomegranate-apricot sauce & roasted rutabagas ... and you thought paleo food was boring! Pork CAN get boring - you know this if you've bought the "family pack" at Costco. I've eaten this meal 3 times in the last week, dialing it in, and I'm still not tired of it. I'm a little obsessed about combining fruits/nuts/meat and it comes out in this recipe. The key is - not too sweet. Rutabagas - when's the last time you had one? Never? I like buying them at the store - the checker never knows the code. No one eats them. Why? They're too busy gobbling up all that extra corn, and it's byproducts, which fill up most of the supermarket because we had to do SOMETHING with all that corn (Read Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan) . Ounce for ounce, rutabagas have the same amount of potassium as bananas at 1/3 the carbs. "Hey, you should eat a rutabaga before that ride so you don't cramp." The amount of calcium in 10 oz (which is nothing really - 102 calories) is equal to that in 1/2 C milk. Surprised? Where do you think cows get all that calcium that ends up in their milk? From eating plants of course. Not rutabagas, that i know of, but you get the idea. Enough ranting... here's the recipe. It's a little high on fat so if you want to exactly zone it, be skimpy on the walnuts and bacon fat. Also, U might do this on a weekend - the rutabagas roast in the oven for 55 minutes...

Pork w/pomegranate-apricot sauce & Roasted Rutabagas

Your ingredient list for (2) 5 block meals:
~12 oz pork chops - boneless, trimmed of any fat (10 oz) - 70g P, 8g F
2 Tablespoon pomegranate juice - 5g C
4 dried apricots halves (unsulphured, unsweetened, chopped) -8 g C
1/4 cup walnuts - chopped - 20g F
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil - 5g F

2 med rutabagas - peeled ~10 oz each - 44g C
2 med pink lady apples (or substitution) - 36g C
2 slices uncured bacon - 30g F, 6g P
fresh organic spinach - 4g C
spices: celery salt, onion flakes

1st preheat the oven to 450. Next get the bacon slowly cooking in a pan. Now we're going to get the rutabagas in the oven because they take the longest. Slice the ends off so they will "stand up" then score the top as you see in the picture - like you're making one of those potato stamps. Wrap some foil around them leaving the top exposed - put 1 teaspoon of bacon fat on top of each one then add some spices. I like celery salt and onion flakes. Close the top of the foil and put them in the oven. Set timer for 55 minutes. You can easily relax for 15 minutes now before you start the pork/pom sauce/apples.
Put small amount of olive oil in saute pan and toast the walnuts - don't burn them! I do this every time - smells like burnt popcorn... when they're just browned, add the pomegranate juice, water, pepper, and chopped apricots and let simmer.
Next we'll prepare the pork and apples. The apples are fried in any remaining bacon fat - this was in my first post - sounds crazy but apples pan fried in bacon fat are the best!(Remember, within reasonable limits, you're not going to get fat by eating fat. Why? no blood sugar spike, no insulin response, no fat storage trigger - it's hard to accept this after so much brain-washing but get over it. It's been proven) Cook the chops any way you want. When they're about half way done, start the apples. Hopefully the rutabagas are ready about the same time as the pork and apples. Put the apples on top of the spinach. Put the pom sauce on top of the pork. Unwrap the rutabagas - salt and pepper to taste - then add bacon pieces to the rutabaga and spinach/apple salad. Enjoy! Your comments are encouraged :-) Steve "Paleo"

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Paleo Tandoori Chicken w/Curry "Rice"

Wow it's been a long time since i posted! My life was turned upside down and i fell on my feet in Boulder, Co - I love it here! Now for a new recipe....1st, U gotta plan ahead on this one and marinate the chicken overnight. Also, you may be going to the store to pick up seemingly obscure spices - "suck it up Buttercup!" -I saw that on a Crossfit Oakland t-shirt and since they're some badasses over there, i'm gonna start talking like them ;-) Seriously, spices last a long time and chicken gets OLD. It's a good size batch - perfect for some follow-up meals. You WILL enjoy some new flavors...
This recipe was inspired by 6 months in Bangkok, Thailand eating at Indian restaurants every other night. Tandoori chicken is traditionally made with yoghurt and cooked in a clay oven at really high temps - screw that, we're using coconut milk and grandma's oven! [caveman was practical] Simple as that - the rest is well known. The curry "rice" is actually curry cauliflower - but you can be easily fooled. Not my idea - can't take credit for it. If you read up on paleo recipes, you can't NOT discover this clever trick. Lastly, cucumber - don't substitute something else for this or leave it out. This dish is a little hot and the cucumber, taken between bites, just works - cools off your mouth a bit.

*Paleo Tandoori Chicken*
3 lbs of boneless/skinless organic chicken breast (can you say left overs?)
1/2 C Coconut Milk
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped or crushed ginger
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
Olive oil for brushing
Fresh cilantro and red onions for garnish

Poke the chicken with a fork and score the top with a knife
Mix up all the ingredients and combine with chicken in a zip lock bag or shallow dish. Marinate overnight. Preheat oven to 450. Put chicken on a rack within a pan and brush olive oil on top. Cook for about 30 mintues. While it's cooking we'll make the curry "rice"

Curry Rice - this recipe is per person, 5 block meal
1 med head cauliflower - 20 oz (ya, no kiddin, paleo meals are BIG)
1/2 teaspoon ground curry
1 green onion - finely chopped
dash of cayenne pepper, sea salt, ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Finely chop cauliflower, discarding stem pieces. Microwave for about 3 minutes in a covered convenient bowl (i use platic "tuperware"). Mash the cooked cauliflower like there's no tomorrow. I often use a beer bottle or beer glass (I AM taking credit for that) but there's better utensils obviously. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a hot pan and stir-fry the stuff.(Look at that pan - i ate the whole thing MYSELF!)

Slice the cucumbers thinly and chop some red onions and cilantro. Put it all on a plate and chow.
- for a 5 block meal, you're looking for about 5 oz of chicken added to that entire recipe for curry "rice". Oh BTW, confession time. In my other recipes, i keep referring to 7 block meals - wrongo. They're 5 block which means about 35 gm protein and 45 gm carb. The protein/carb content i mentioned is correct. Just had the blocks wrong (i've since gone back and fixed the mistake). To digress a bit, i've been on 1 gm protein per lb of lean body mass for 9 months now - which is about 23 blocks/day. People are a little surprised by that but I lose body fat AND muscle mass at 23 blocks/day if i don't add a fair amount of fat (i know this because i've been getting body comp tests for awhile - full blown dunk tank). In other words, a strict 23 blocks/day won't sustain me. Back to this meal - protein and carb gms are about equal so dice up a little mango (1/2 C) or some other fruit to snack on after dinner. The fat is about right, as is, but some chopped almonds thrown in the cauliflower are kinda tasty.
Enjoy and let me know how you like it. ---> Steve "Paleo"