My beet journey.

I used to hate cilantro.  Actually hate is an understatement!  Now, I love it!  I make cilantro pesto, I put it on my tacos, I love it!  It was not an easy journey to get to my love for cilantro… it wasn’t even an easy journey to get to toleration of it.

A few years ago, I saw this video on youtube by GloZell Green..  If you guys have never seen any of her videos, check her out.  She is pretty hilarious.  This video is all about how she hates cilantro and if you eat something seven times, you will like it!  I don’t know about the number seven being the lucky number but some things definitely are an acquired taste.

Anyways, I’m sitting in my office right now with a container of beets.  It’s just me and the beets in here.  One of us is going to win this battle.  It’s my third time eating beets, the first two times I cooked the beets at home myself.  This time, I bought them in the cafeteria at work.  There’s A LOT more than seven bites… I’m hoping to love them by bite number 3, but that is highly unlikely.  I’m pretty sure I won’t get much further than seven bites, and the reactions that you saw in GloZell’s video above is pretty much spot on for what is going on inside my office right now.  Thank God I have a door… 🙂

Why do beets have to be soooooooo good for you and taste so disgusting at the same time????

If anyone has a delicious beet recipe, please feel free to pass it my way because I am determined to like them.

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Sometimes you just need some bread.. and artichoke pasta. :)

Every now and then, a few days go by that paleo is sooooo hard.  And so is Crossfit.  These two occasions usually coincide and it happens about once a month, TMI, I know… and I’m sorry.

Two nights ago was the height of my anti-paleo phase.  I had a bad day and was not about to cook anything, especially anything paleo.  So, we went out, we went to Panini Grill.  I was quickly reminded why I cook at home.  Dean’s chicken skewers were raw, and we had the worst service ever.  My panini however, was amazing.  So amazing that I ate the whole thing.  Ten minutes later I was practically curled up in a ball in pain.

Sadly the next night, I was still not interested in paleo but I knew what would happen if I ate something like a panini again, plus I don’t think I could talk Dean into that two nights in a row.  I had been wanting to make a recipe that I found on paleomg a few weeks ago.  It was an artichoke pesto with chicken and spaghetti squash.  It was THE. MOST. AMAZING. MEAL. that I’ve ever made.  It was so creamy and tasted so fatttening but it was just artichoke!!!  It was just what I needed.  Well, that and the paleo bread.

I’ve made a few paleo breads and this one is my favorite one.  Throw some butter on it while it’s warm and it’s like heaven.  I have to stop myself from eating it all night.

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The recipe and a picture of the paleo bread are below.  I wish I could take credit for either of these but unfortunately I can not.  So credit goes to paleomg and my friend TJ from Orange Coast Crossfit!

http://paleomg.com/artichoke-lemon-pesto-chicken-pasta/

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Project Champlain- and cilantro pesto chicken!!!

Project Champlain

Dean and I purchased our first home together a couple of months ago.  It has been the best purchase of my entire life and sooooo much work!  I anticipated living in construction for a month or so, we are going on 3 months and there is no end in sight!  Luckily we are no longer sleeping on a mattress on the floor or eating dinner with a wheelbarrow as our dining table!!!

There is saw dust everywhere, random paint samples on the walls, enough trash on the side of our yard to fill up about 5 dumpsters and tools EVERYWHERE.

Here are the projects that we decided to take on (and some pictures of what we’ve done so far)!!!

  • Install hardwood flooring- complete!

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  • Expand closet in master bedroom- 99% complete!

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  • Paint-   We still have the office, both bathrooms and the kitchen to complete

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  • Baseboards- in progress
  • New doors/ door casings- in progress

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  • Crown molding- in progress
  • Fireplace refacing- not even started yet!!!

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Luckily I have the most handy dandy dad in the world and he is helping us out tremendously!!!!  He comes over once or twice a week and works while Dean and I are at work to work on the house, spends the night and gets up the next morning to work on the house more!  We are so lucky to have him helping us out!!

Over the weekend he told me that he would be over on Monday night.  He told me that I better have a good dinner ready for him and it better not involve cauliflower!!!!  😉

So, Dad got chicken cooked in cilantro pesto with some steamed veggies that were leftover from my bridal shower!  I added a tortilla for him too!  He didn’t look too excited watching me cook it but he loved it!!!

Cilantro pesto

In your food processor, combine-

  • A bunch or two of cilantro
  • Handful of toasted almonds
  • 3-4 crushed garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of Chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper

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I sauteed the chicken in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Once the chicken was cooked through and browned, I added in the cilantro pesto and cooked it together for a few minutes!  I served it with some fresh avocados that Dad brought over from his tree!  They were extra creamy and so much better than the ones at the grocery store.

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Dad also told me he can’t wait for my next blog entry-  HI DAD!!!!  🙂

Paleo confessions

No, I’m not going to confess all the champagne and cheesecake I had this weekend… it was my bridal shower this weekend, give me a break.  🙂

I consume 3 things on a DAILY basis that are not paleo.

1. Pre-workout drink.  It wakes me up before Crossfit, gives me more energy to lift heavier and faster, and it’s a lot quicker for me to get ready in the mornings than coffee.

2.  Protein shake.  It’s loaded with protein, it’s a quick way for me to get protein right after working out and it tastes pretty damn good!!!  If I don’t take my protein shake right after I work out, it will be about 2 hours before I get anything in my stomach after working out, and you don’t want to encounter me when I am that hungry.

3.  Coffee creamer.  Guilt pleasure.. I have no excuse.  I’ll be in the kitchen at work (where people know how I eat), having a conversation about paleo, while pouring my coffee creamer into my coffee.  I’ve been called out on it more than once.  It’s almost embarrassing, but I still use it every day.  :/

I wanted to put that out there more of a disclaimer before this next paragraph.  I am in no way perfect, I don’t follow paleo 100% but I try to use my head about it.  I don’t eat something bad for me and try to justify it.  I “like” a lot of Crossfits on facebook, I like to see the different WODs, the set up of the boxes, maybe I have friends that go there, or maybe I’ve visited or thought about visiting that box.  The other day I saw a local box post about a “24 day Advocare challenge”.  I looked up advocare and saw that it’s basically a TON of supplements, appetite suppressants and meal replacements… MEAL REPLACEMENTS????  REALLY????  If you are hungry, then you should EAT!!!  And eat real food!!!  No need to suppress your appetite or replace a meal with a shake!  I was extremely shocked to see a Crossfit box promoting this.  Seems like a gimic and not quite in line with what I understand from Crossfit/paleo.  I’m sure it works, I’m sure you can lose weight, but does it really fall in line with Crossfit and paleo?  Is that really healthy????  I don’t feel like this is something that a Crossfit box should be promoting or selling. The box that posted this “challenge” is one that is close to my house and if my situation ever changes and I’m not able to go to OCCF, this one would be an option for me.  It’s not anymore.

Here is a blog I read when researching Advocare.  http://whole9life.com/2010/08/supplements/

Salmon burgers!

Salmon burgers… yum!!!!

I always see frozen salmon burgers in the grocery store and think they look disgusting.  Someone that I follow on instagram posted one the other day and it looked sooooo good, I also knew it couldn’t have been frozen so I started doing some research.  This was my first attempt at salmon burgers and I’m happy to say that it was successful

Dean and I buy a huge slab of salmon from Costco and come home and cut it up into filets and freeze them individually.  There is always that piece at the end that nobody really wants, it’s thin and ugly.  We used that portion of the salmon to make the burgers and we were left with quite a few beautiful filets to freeze for a later time!

Salmon Burgers:

Toast a handful of pinenuts, and grind it up in a food processor.

Grind up salmon in your food processor until it looks like ground beef.

Mix up the salmon, pine nuts  lemon, siracha, salt, pepper and garlic and form into patties.  Cook in coconut oil until thoroughly cooked.

I served with a simple cauliflower rice and topped with a mushed up avocado.  To make the cauliflower rice, put through your food processor using the shredding attachment (yes I know I use my food processor a lot).  You can also just pulse it or chop by hand- I like the shredding method best.  Put how much cauliflower you plan to eat into a microwave safe container, sprinkle with salt pepper and garlic and microwave for 2-3 minutes   You can add a little butter to this to add some extra flavor as well!

Simple, easy and delicious!

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Chicken rosemary and prosciutto

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Tonight for dinner I made chicken thighs stuffed with rosemary and wrapped in prosciutto with cauliflower disguised as mashed potatoes.  😉

I marinated the chicken thighs in white wine (nothing fancy), olive oil, rosemary, garlic and lemon for about 30 minuntes.  When I was ready, I took the chicken thighs out, rolled them up with a sprig of rosemary inside, wrapped it in prosciutto and stuck it together with a toothpick.  Baked for 40 mintues and they were ready to go!

I was pretty convinced that I was going to prefer to wrap the chicken in bacon instead of prosciutto but the prosciutto was actually really good!!!  I am definitely making this again!

I made mashed cauliflower with it.  Dean calls cauliflower broccoli’s ugly twin but I think of cauliflower is more like a chameleon… you can seriously turn it into anything!

I steam the cauliflower in a standard veggie steamer with garlic salt and pepper for about 20 minutes, then I throw it into the food processor with the garlic and a lil butter!

So on Saturday morning I went back to the box to attempt the open wod 13.1 again.  I knew was I was getting myself into and I knew what I had to do.  I felt a bit slower than Thursday but my technique was better and I hardly failed on any of my reps!  My final score was 123 and I’m so much happier with what I did!  I felt a little sluggish but I am positive that it’s due to the wine, cheese, bread and pasta that was consumed on Friday night!

Chin to bar and pineapple burgers

Chin to bar- It sounds like I’m talking about pull-ups, doesn’t it? I’m not. I wish I was.

At Crossfit on Monday morning we were going through the burgener warm up progression for snatches before we worked on our 1rm. Well, Joe (my coach) always tells us to make sure that we are quick and to bring our elbows up high and outside. Well, maybe I had too much coffee that morning, or maybe I just wasn’t thinking clearly but I brought my elbows up TOO HIGH and TOO QUICK. For whatever reason, I happened to be biting my lip (must be all the 50 shades of Grey I was reading a few months back). The bar slammed into the bottom of my chin at what felt like 50 miles per hour, forcing me to bite down on my bottom lip. I quickly ran to the bathroom to clean up the blood and VERY CAREFULLY finished my warm up. My lip felt as if was as thick as the bar that did the damage, and entire mouth was throbbing for about 5 minutes afterwards. Luckily the swelling went down pretty quickly and a friend told me that it looked like I had lipstick on my bottom lip.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen blood at CrossFit and I’m sure it won’t be the last. One time I ripped a mole off my chest doing power cleans and front squats. Yes, completely ripped it off. I had no idea. I didn’t feel a thing. I don’t remember what else was involved in the WOD that day but I was walking away from the bar and a fellow Crossfitter pointed out that I was bleeding. I don’t know if any of you have ever ripped a mole off before but it doesn’t stop bleeding for quite some time. I went through a few different bandaids and had a mess to clean up when I was done but you better believe I finished the WOD!!!

Ok back to my lip- it has hurt like a bitch for the past couple of days (finally starting to feel better) and everything that I ate on Monday had a slight blood flavor. Yum.

On a brighter note, I PR’d my snatch by 10 pounds for a new record of 80 pounds! 80 didn’t feel as heavy as I expected but I couldn’t get 85, I’m pretty sure it’s mostly mental but it’s amazing how heavy an extra 5 pounds can feel! I can hear Joe saying, “Get UNDER the bar” in my head as I think about it.

pineapple burger

For dinner last night I made pineapple stuffed burgers with sliced sweet potatoes. I wish I could take credit for the pure genius that is this burger but I can not. I actually took a recipe that I saw on Paleomg.com and adjusted to my liking (I do that a lot). It’s kind of like a Juicy Lucy but with pineapple instead of cheese… and no bun of course. Amazeballs.

A link to the original recipe is below, I used all beef instead of chorizo because I just don’t like chorizo. For whatever reason, paleo recipes never tell you to use salt and pepper… I added salt and pepper to my beef when I mixed it, along with garlic powder. I made 8 patties and then put the pineapple slice in the middle of 2 and turned it into one patty (4 burgers total). I used about a pound of beef and definitely should have used more. Once the burgers were made, I needed to cook them in bacon fat but I didn’t have any SOOOO I cooked a few pieces of bacon and used the grease to cook my burgers. Took me about a total of 15 minutes to cook the burgers thoroughly. Once they were done, I put the bacon strips on top of my burgers along with some guacamole!

original recipe- http://paleomg.com/pineapple-stuffed-chorizo-burgers/

For those of you that are not interested in paleo, please look up the recipe for a Juicy Lucy and sink your teeth into one as soon as physically possible.