Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chicken Fried Beef Taco Nuggets

What happens when you're 2 hours late for your scheduled feeding time? You go home and crushhhhh Tyrell's parsnip chips and super seed butter. Yup. That's happening as. we. speak.

I've decided that I'm more bear-like than sloth-like. I'm not AS lazy as I used to be, though still pretty lazy as we'll see later on in this post. But now I'm more like a bear. A bear in a zoo if zoo bears had to hunt for their food. A bear in a wildlife park. There. Perfect. How? Well I wake up, hunt for my food (crossfit), go home, eat a HUGE meal, and then 90% of the time after that I'll pass out aka hibernate. I also have scheduled feeding times, which is where the zoo bear part comes in. Does this make sense? Probably not. Point is, I eat lunch at like 12:30-1pm every day. Today, however, I was running errands - read: shopping. I needed a wallet and a bag big enough to hold school books because I'm sick of fishing out a billion cards from my change purse and because induction day for my masters is tomorrow. WHAaah I know. I'm scared. Anyway, that shopping experience took 40 stores and like 5 hours. Gross exaggeration, but whatevs. I'm also incredibly stubborn about eating out at places when I have perfectly good food at home. Spend money on bags, not lunch. Clearly I need to get my priorities straight. But this is technically my last day of freedom so I went a little buck-wild.

Y'all, I'm a genius for this recipe. An accidental, lazy genius. But a genius, nonetheless. I've been thinking a lot recently about how I make paleo work in my life in the hopes that I can advise people how to make paleo work for their lives as well (financially and with regards to time). One of my best kept secrets is eating a shit-ton of leftovers. But leftovers get boring. As a paleo eater you have to constantly be on your toes. Not as an oly lifter though. Especially not for squats. I'm totally lying to you, by the way. This recipe did not come from me contemplating how to make leftovers brilliant and prolong the use of your often expensive paleo ingredients. I was super effing lazy last night, super tired, and super hungry. I did not want to eat another microwaved coriander burger, but it was also too late to start prepping something else. So I decided I was going to chop up the beef and sprinkle homemade taco seasoning on it, throw it in the frying pan, and serve it alongside some steamed asparagus. THEN a sheer stroke of genius came to me as I spotted the coconut flour peering at me from high upon my shelves. Fried shit. Chicken fried beef nuggets.

Chicken Fried Beef Taco Nuggets
Makes 1 portion, may be doubled depending on the quantity of your leftovers.

  • Leftover Burger Patty - doesn't have to be a coriander burger
  • 1 Pastured Egg
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 tbsp Mexican Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Slice your burger meat into 1/4 inch strips, such as shown below.

2. Combine your dry ingredients - flour & spices - in a small bowl
3. Crack your egg(s) into another small bowl and whisk.
4. Heat your coconut oil or fat of choice in a frying pan over low-medium heat.
5. Set up your dipping station, as shown below.

6. Individually dip a burger slice into the egg mixture, coat it generously, then dip it in the flour mixture, again coating generously, and into the hot oil.
7. Repeat with each burger slice.
8. Using tongs to flip, fry each burger slice for about 2-3 minutes each side, or until golden brown. Don't worry if your oil turns a brownish color.
9. Remove burger slices and place onto a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. 

**BONUS** - chop off the tips of some asparagus and throw them in the pan you used to fry up your chicken fried burger nuggets. Saute about 5-10 minutes or until soft. 


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bacon Brussels Sprouts

I am pissed. All I want to do while I cook is watch Chopped. Specifically, the Chopped Grill Masters qualifiers and championship rounds. Why? Because I have no grill anymore. And I'm sad. I'd like to reminisce about the days when I'd get off work at 11pm and perfectly grill kielbasas, bangers, and grillers from my favorite, local farm-store in the world, The Home Farm Store. I worked across from it over the summer. I salivated constantly as I stared out through my jailhouse window in my glorified hostesses sandbox, as I lovingly called it, thinking about all the delicious, local, humanely raised, sustainable meat just begging to be consumed. By me. Anyway, I digress. I can't fucking find Chopped ANYWHERE on the internet. What is this shit, UK? I can't even torrent download it. Not that I'd ever do that sort of thing anyway...But if I did, when I searched for it all that would come up would be weird fetish porn or something.

GUESS WHAT! I had my intro session at my new box today!!!! Only a freak nerd would get excited about working out at a new gym. Continuing on with the no-friends trend. Y'all are going to hear me bitch about that non-stop until it changes. So get used to it. Or be my friend. So 5:30am is early. I think we can agree about that. I can't believe I used to do that session at CrossFit Blacksburg. In fact, I think I only did it once. Or maybe even never. Who knows. My memory is fleeting. Continuing on though, 5:30am is brutally early when you're waiting at a bus stop and sleet, or really fucking cold rain, is whooshing at your face. I thought I'd found a refuge when I got to the bus stop, but no. Some fucking genius decided to build a bus stop on a bridge. So regardless of where you stand, you get pelted with ice particles. Despite the nonsense weather (which I should just get used to now) and the time of day I had an awesome time and I'm ridiculously excited to get back in the gym after a, gasp, whole 10 days off!! I'm so happy with my box-choice, which is - drumroll please - Crossfit Mission Training Systems - visit their website. It's so well done, unlike my blog. AND they're featuring my website on their Facebook page. So a big hello from the Paleo Ground Sloth! I look forward to meeting all of you and forcing you to be my friends! :) And of course I will second the suggestion for a pre-paleo challenge tequila party. I like you all already if you like tequila.

The biggest perk of my job over the summer was that I had constant access to food. 90% of the time this meant sweet potato fries that deeeefinitely weren't strict paleo. They were effing amazing though and I was already eating dairy. Do as I say, not as I do. I cut out nuts, and anyone who knew me before knows that required a HUGE amount of willpower. So I could give a hoot about the whole sweet potato thing. I can only do so much. To be honest though I forgot about nuts after like a week. Even candied walnuts. And almond butter. The cravings go away people I promise! Back to the job, so the menu featured a ton of local meat & produce. I got a ridiculous discount and I was there the whole damn night, so a girl's gotta eat. Especially this chunker. They had this amazing side...wait for it...bacon brussels sprouts. Biggest faileo was...they cooked them in olive oil, used nitrate ridden bacon, AND added brown sugar, which in my opinion is a completely unnecessary ingredient. I tried them, fell in love with them, then started to hate them once I overcame my post-coital food-orgasm, then made my own version. Holla for a dolla honey boo boo child. You're welcome.

A snapshot of my nightly meals. The chefs were super great
about accommodating my demanding diet. Avocados all day erry day.

Bacon Brussels Sprouts
I ate 90% of this in one sitting.
For normal people, 3-4 servings.

  • 1/2 lb pastured, sugar-free, uncured Bacon
  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Bacon Fat 
    • Optional - if your bacon fat doesn't render enough fatty goodness
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Chop that uncooked bacon using a sharp knife as coarsely or finely as you'd like. I went more on the coarse side because I like chunks of bacon in my mouth when I eat.

This was the size "chunk" I used
2. Trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts and remove any nasty looking leaflets. Using a mandolin (or grater) shred the sprouts into fine, wispy threads. This takes for-fucking-ever. Also, be careful if you use a mandolin. Another option is to use a food processor with a grater attachment, which I just now though of, which would probably make your life super easy and make the process go a lot quicker.
3. If you took the long route, while you're shredding the sprouts, add your bacon to a cold frying pan and gradually heat on low-medium. Once your fat has started to render in the pan, give the bacon bits a good stirring with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula. Let them get nice and golden colored.
4. Once your bacon has the midas touch, toss in the brussels sprouts and stir to coat the sprouts with the fat. 
5. Dust the cinnamon over the mixture then sprinkle to taste with coarse ground pepper and sea salt. Turn the heat up to medium, stir, and cover. Stir every 2-3 minutes or so. If you need to (or want to) add some more bacon fat. 
6. From the time you added the brussels sprouts, the whole thing should take about 10 minutes to cook. The sprouts will turn bright green and when they start to brown a little, the concoction is complete. 
7. Devour. And don't share. Eat on folks.


PaleOMG's Moist Chocolate Zucchini Baby Cakes

I need someone to make my blog pretty. I don't have the time or brain capacity to learn whatever coding this thing takes. I hate the fonts, spacing, recipe area, everything!!!!! I don't understand how people do it. Make pretty blogs that is. Mine looks like a child's diary. Or drawing book. Whatever.

I got plants today!! I've been really depressed about leaving Eleanor bean behind in the US of A. Really. Effing. Depressed. So depressed, I've turned to house plants to love and care for. No, succulents can't snuggle at night, and to be honest, they don't need a whole lot of attention, which is good for a noob green-thumber like myself, but it is a living thing. And they make me happy. I purchased a whole bunch of succulents and 2 gorgeous heather plants at this place I stumbled upon called Narcissus. I like mythology. I don't like not being able to find the CrossFit gym I'm supposed to be working out at tomorrow at 6am. But I'm SO EXCITED. It's a 2 hour introductory course noobs to the gym are required to take. I'm excited to work on the technique of all my lifts. And HOPEFULLY meet some friends who like to workout. And eat all things meat and no things grain.

I went out solo last night. What. An. Experience. Thankfully, it was just at a bar across the street from my flat. I must really smell or something because no one talked to me. I even made sure to put deodorant on, which I accidentally forgot the other day. Eeeeesh. No bueno. Granted, it was not a hoppin' place...and I sat at the bar and drank red wine out of a low ball glass. Umm yup, I was that girl. Anyway, it was a strange experience and it convinced me that I'm an ogre that's going to spend my time in Edinburgh devoid of human contact. So I'm just going to go workout all the time and get sweaty and uglier instead, oh and a bigger butt. Maybe people will overlook my social awkwardness and be my friend if I get a huge ass. MOAR SQUATS.

I reeeeally broke my magic bullet this morning. In the process of taking it off my kitchen counter, somehow I flung the attachment halfway across my room and the plastic shattered. If anything, my time alone has taught me that I am ridiculously clumsy. I dropped one of my new plants and scattered soil all over my bathroom. Now people are going to come to my flat (if I ever meet any friends), use the bathroom, and think I'm some nasty-hoe with poop particles lingering around her toilet. I tried sweeping, but sadly the domestic gene completely bypassed me. Fail.

The pre-cooked, eventually soggy zucchini chips. They showed so much promise.
But I have no patience. And zucchini cake called.
Today's post is not my recipe. I have a giant zucchini I bought from the farmer's market, as pictured above, and I've been absolutely dying to make Juli from PaleOMG's Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread. So I did. But I miniaturized them into ramekins and used a sunbutter/hemp seed butter blend. Holy crap it was so good. I ate an entire one. I needed to get my vegetables in for the day...duh. I'll post my shitty iPhone quality pictures, but follow the link above for the recipe! I essentially halved it, using more of some stuff at times and less in others. The ramekins still cooked through in about 30 minutes, so regardless of whether you use a loaf pan or a smaller baking apparatus you should be alright with guestimating the time. When in doubt, toothpick test. Or knife test if you're like me and don't own toothpicks yet. Add it to the to-do list.  

Oooh hello there! Hurry up now.

You're goddamn right I documented the entire process. These little things
are heaven. They deserve respect and several pictures.
So. Moist. Mmmmmm.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ground Sloth 2.0 - Coriander Beef Burgers

I'm baaaack! Did you miss me? Probably not. But let me tell you, you missed my food. Sike. Let's recap the past few months. 

Fondly known in my little head as the "Summer of Cheese", I let myself diverge from the paleo path a lot this summer. Gluten? Hell to the no. Dairy? Um. Yup. Fro-yo, cheese, more cheese, more fro-yo, more cheese. My body shows it. I've got a love tire buildin' around my haunches. I nicknamed her Michelin. I don't love her. It's time for us to go our separate ways.

I did not cook AT ALL this summer. Why? Well I have some exciting news that may seem to have absolutely nothing to do with cooking, but it's a very important detail in our upcoming culinary journey together: I MOVED TO SCOTLAND! WHAT?! I know. More on that later. When you move abroad, you tend to need money. When you move to a city, you definitely need money. So it went that in order to make money to travel, I needed to work. And work I did. I worked my little booty off all summer long. Basically, I did nothing but crossfit and work. You look shocked. Of course I continued crossfit. Every. Damn. Day. Well, 5 out of 7 days. Sometimes more, sometimes less. I never dipped below 4 times a week though. Proud. With my summer eating habits it was necessary for me to continue burpee-ing and squatting. If I hadn't, I'd be obese. True story. 

That brings me to CrossFit Reston. I can't say enough good things about this gym. Coaches: awesome, inspiring, challenging, pushed me to new levels I never knew possible. I'm obsessed. I miss them. I miss my Blacksburg family too. If it hadn't been for the coaches in Blacksburg, I'd have had terrible form, a lack of confidence - which is not only bad for the mind, but dangerous for the body as well! - and an inability to look at the WOD and say, "Ok. I'm going to need to scale myself down today."

And not that you can see it but in the above picture I pay homage to Crossfit Blacksburg on my bulletin board. A postcard mailed to me by Jesse when I first started up! That, my friends, is the famous new Ground Sloth 2.0 blogging area. Still in progress. As an aside, I had to get rid of a couch in order to fit a clothes rack. Clothes > comfort. Priorities people. Those are mine. Along with food. And sleep. And red wine. 

I FINALLY found Tyrrell's parsnip chips at my new favorite food store Real Foods. It's like Whole Foods but smaller. And awesome. Why? Because they have Tyrrell's. And a competent staff. And Raw Cacao and Cinnamon KALE CHIPS. They have cashews in them. And over the summer I swore off nuts because I kept getting really bloated when I ate them. But these nuggets are soaked first, which helps. And I wasn't going to pass them up.

The farmer's market here is ridiculous, by the way. I get amazing local meat and produce from farmers in the area who care about things like sustainability and welfare and making food that tastes good. The vegetables I purchased literally were dug up from the ground and brought over to the market. So. Cool. Best part is? It's every Saturday, year round, right down the street from me. Yipee!!!

Now, tonight I had my very first cooking experience in my new flat. Aaaaand I almost burnt the house down. RIP Magic Bullet. You were the cats pajamas. Sadly, you did not come with a converter. Almost starting an electrical fire is a SURE way to make friends. Idiot american, that's what I am. Fiasco numero 2: my microwave requires rocket science to operate. I had my meat 90% thawed. Thought I'd pop it in the micro just to get that last 10% down because my tummy was a rumblin. Select: defrost meat. Put in 0.3 lbs (because obviously that's 10% of 1 lb). Hit start. 2 minutes later - ding. Meat comes out lookin' all sorts of weirdly cooked around the edges. Fail. These burgers were still awesome. And if you're not a dumb dumb, they'll probably be even more so. 

Coriander Beef Burgers
Topped with Pork-Venison Salami and Caramelized Onions
Makes - 4 quarter pound burgers 
  • 1 lb. Local Ground Beef
  • 1 Pastured Egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped Fresh Coriander (Cilantro)
  • 2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tsp dried Onion Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt

Directions - 
1. In a large mixing bowl combine all the above ingredients. 
    Mix well and let chill for about an hour in the fridge or form 
    4 even patties. 

2. Heat stove or grill and grease with a little coconut oil. 

3. Cook patties for about 5 minutes each side. 

4. Serve hot topped with pork-venison salami (if you can find 
    it you're one lucky person!!!), caramelized onions, and avocado. 


For the caramelized onions I took this onion above, cut it in half, mandolin-ed it (dangerous with the previous luck I was having), and sauteed it in the pan after the burgers had cooked with a tablespoon of coconut oil until they were golden.