Sunday, August 5, 2012

New Food Obsessions

When I started cutting things out of my diet, like grains, I needed to find some awesome replacements to fill that delicious void. I say delicious because I'm being honest here. I've read a lot of paleo eaters say, oh grains don't taste good, it's the stuff you put on them like butter. Well, I'm here to tell you while I could certainly eat butter off a spoon, I could also eat a fresh baked baguette with nothing on it and be in heaven. But I digress. So in my journey of finding new favorite foods I have stumbled upon a couple foods that I honestly have no idea how I've been living without until this point. 

First: Goat Cheese

Holy crap! Have you ever had goat cheese? I'm sure a lot of you have. But for some strange reason, I hadn't. Now I'm already a lover of cheese in general. My favorite cheese for a long time has been this Irish cheddar I get from a local market. But I'm really loving this right now. Since I first tried this stuff a few months ago, I haven't had a salad since without it. And that is saying a lot because I eat a salad for lunch 5 out of 7 days a week. 

So what do I eat goat cheese with? Obviously salad. Since it is soooo creamy, I haven't even been using any salad dressing. I eat it on salads like the one below, pulled pork salads, bbq chicken salads, ext. Sometimes I crumble some and mix it in a bowl with some fresh tomatoes and eat it as a snack. And as I'm sure you have concluded, sometimes I just eat a big spoonful of it! ;) The most recent way I have had it is in THE BEST OMELET I have ever had. I'll post that recipe soon. 

This was the first time I had goat cheese. My mom made this yummy chicken salad with it.
Second: Avocado

Ok, so it's not as if I had never had avocado before. I have eaten guacamole a million times. But once I changed my eating habits I needed to find some higher fat, healthy foods. One food most all paleo eaters love is avocados. It's creamy and delicious and a great source of those healthy fats we are always looking for. In the past, I don't think I had ever purchased an avocado. These days it's a staple on my grocery list.   

So what do I do with all these avocados? Well, half the time I just eat them! A lot of mornings my breakfast consists of half an avocado and these organic smoothies I buy that have 6 grams of protein. (I'll have to make another post about them because they have some pretty awesome ingredients). Some days I make banana avocado smoothies with or without protein powder. The most recent concoction I have tried is this egg baked in an avocado. If you have never tried this you are missing out. It is super simple too!
Baked egg in an avocado: hollow out some of the avocado to make enough room for the egg. Crack the egg into the whole. Crack some fresh pepper and salt on top. Make a bowl out of aluminum foil and bake in the over on 375 for about 25-35 minutes just depending on how you like your egg. 
I was a little skeptical about trying this at first. I'm not sure why, but I figured it had two of my favorite foods so how could it be bad? Man was I glad I tried it! The texture of the avocado and the egg work so well together. More creaminess which I'm clearly a fan of. I saw another recipe where they used cayenne pepper, but I tend to like more simplicity. This was delicious for breakfast with that perfect balance of fat and protein I'm always looking for. Definitely a must try!

Have you guys discovered any new foods that you can't believe you were living without??

Friday, July 6, 2012

First Anniversary Dinner!

Me and Matt's 1 year anniversary was May 22. I'm a litttttle bit late with this post. I obviously haven't posted anything in a few months. I think I'm back ;). So anniversary dinner: Matt went ALL out. Of course. Even now, months later, I can still taste all those incredible flavors! It was definitely memorable. Now this dinner was not 100% paleo but I think I get a pass since it was a super special occasion.

Drinks while we cook! aka: drinks while Matt cooks and Laura....drinks?
These beautiful crystal champagne glasses were a wedding gift.
First Course: probably has some fancy name but Matt is sleeping so I'm just going to make it up... ;) I could have just eaten this as my entire dinner it was so delicious! Matt did a beautiful job getting those claws out fully intact. OOOwwwww pretty.
Tempura fried lobster claws over a bed of lettuce with remoulade apples.
Second Course: Lobster Bisque- creamy lobster deliciousness, and it's awfully pretty if I do say so myself.  I'd be happy to post any of these recipes if you want them so just let me know!

Lobster Bisque
Main Course: Surf and Turf. Probably the best surf and turf I've ever eaten. Main lobster tail, perfectly cooked rare fillet mignon with a creamy hollandaise sauce and 3 cherry tomatoes and a sprig of thyme from our garden.

Fillet Mignon & Main Lobster Surf & Turf
Dessert!!! Obviously I don't normally eat cake. The last time I did eat cake was on our wedding day. THIS Cake however is the masterpiece my sister in law created for us. We ate the top tier of it for dessert. It was my mother in laws apricot recipe. I'm not sure what's in it but it sure was heavenly. 

Looking back at all of this is making me hungry! Lucky for me my birthday is in 8 days so there should be some fancy food coming soon. I'll be sure to share all the food gloriousness with you. 

life rearranged

Would you guys rather have your boyfriend/fiance/husband cook for you on a special occasion or would you rather go out to a nice restaurant? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Garden & Berry Picking

Ok. So I've never actually been berry picking before. Any kind of berry. At least not that I recall. Well at my work we have this super creepy field in the back with really tall grass and I'm sure snakes. But amongst all the creepiness are thousands of blackberries! Some people just pick the berries along the edge of the field. Me? I put on my rain boots and brave the jungle, stomping through waist high weeds and thorns. It's actually sort of painful. You know those berry vines have so many thorns! I have gone out there several days and have managed to pick  over 5 lbs of blackberries! 

On the left is my supervisor and fellow RD Regina picking blackberries. She usually goes out there in a skirt! Right is a few black berries I picked one day to have as a snack.

Now, on to our garden! I am so lucky to have a husband with an amazing green thumb. The man could grow anything I swear. I know I told you guys before, due to our crappy Florida soil, we opted for potted plants this year. Everything is starting to just go crazy!!! I couldn't even tell you how many tomatoes are on those plants right now. 

Here is a picture of one of the many tomato plants and on the right is the first red one!!
Left is the first purple heirloom tomato. I'm really excited about these. Right is a couple of strawberries. We have already tried a couple and they are so sweet and delicious!
Left is one of our cucumber plants. No cucumbers yet but they are all blooming now so it shouldn't be long! Right is the poblano pepper plant. I think as of today I saw 9 peppers on this one plant!!!
If you guys have a garden this year, how is it coming along? Have you been able to eat anything yet?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Amazing Meal + Smoothies

I love smoothies. Love them. There are endless combinations of what you can do. The best part about smoothies, (to me) is the fact that they can taste so amazing but still be super healthy. One of my favorite things to put in a smoothie are bananas. Why? Well, we all know bananas are good for us, but I am just not a big fan of them. Maybe it's just me, but they make my teeth feel yucky and gritty. Now I sound crazy...didn't I just said they were my favorite? I did, because something happens to a banana when you blend it all up. I don't know what, but I like it. ;)

The smoothie that I have been recreating on almost a daily basis lately is this super refreshing Banana Avocado Smoothie. I'm not even going to pretend like I was creative enough to come up with this on my own. I found this recipe by Marcus Samuelsson.

Ingredients: 2 bananas, 1 avocado, zest from half a lime, orange juice, ginger, cardamom, honey, plain yogurt, vanilla ice cream, ice cubes. I don't use the ice cream, and I just squeeze juice from an orange.

So I had been drinking this smoothie for a little while and then a few weeks ago I won a giveaway from Jessica @ What Would Jessica Eat. Thank you Jessica!!! What did I win? Well what I THOUGHT I won was 15 serving packs of Amazing Meal by Amazing Grass. What they actually sent me? TWO 15 serving containers of Chocolate Amazing Meal, a cute drink cup, and 4 sample packs to try all the flavors. And boy is this stuff Awesome! I'm in love already. So this stuff taste fantastic and it's good for you! I'm hooked.

Organic, Raw, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, Kosher

So what's in it? Here are some of the ingredients your body will thank you for:

Antioxidant fruit & Vegetable Blend
Digestive Enzyme & Active Culture Probiotic Blend
Goji Berries
Greens Blend
Hemp Protein
Organic Flax Seed Powder
Protein Blend
Wheat Grass

The smoothie I have been making now with the Chocolate flavor is:

2 bananas, 1 avocado, honey, bunch of ice cubes and 1.5 scoops of Chocolate Amazing Meal.
It is delicious and (because of the avocado) has the consistency of a chocolate milkshake.

I also tried the Vanilla Chai Flavor and I loved it too. The smoothie I made with it was:

1 banana, 1/2 cup canned coconut milk, honey and 1 single serving packet of Vanilla Amazing Meal.
I think I may actually like this flavor's hard to say.

The only flavors I haven't tried yet is the original and the Pomegranate Mango. Let me know if you have any suggestions for that one!

What Kind of Smoothies do you love? 
Do you use protein powder?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Our Garden!

I know I haven't been around much lately but I have been really sick. :( I've been doing a lot of sleeping and eating bananas and rice. Thankfully I am starting to feel better now! yay! So, it's officially SPRING! That means it's time to plant your garden if you haven't already. Last year we planted everything in the ground. Even though stuff still grew, it was kind of a pain because we don't have the best soil here. This year we opted for a potted garden. I am so excited about all of our plants and I love going to check them out everyday and see what is growing. 

Here is all of our plants. Penelope likes to help too. :)
We planted some herbs as you can see (except for the peppers). I love having fresh herbs at the house to use whenever we need. It's so convenient and fresh!

We have quit a few tomato plants but this big one already has 3 babies on it! I love having lots of tomatoes so we can make our own tomato sauce.
And last but certainly not least, my favorite, Strawberries!! Have you ever seen a strawberry plant with pink flowers? It's so pretty! And all of the strawberry plants already have lots of baby strawberries! I can't wait to eat these!!!
Not pictured is a couple cucumber plants. Nothing blooming quit yet.

Have you guys planted a garden? What are your favorite things to grow at home?

And for your entertainment, here is a St. Paddies video of yours truly doing a pretty awesome jig. I had to volunteer strangers to dance with me...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

McGuires 5k + WIAW


This What I ate Wednesday is brought to you by Saturday. :) That felt very sesame street...

 Ok, I LOVE St. Paddies Day. LOVE. As in more then my birthday or Christmas. And one of the best things about living here is the McGuires St. Paddies Day annual 5k. A little running, a lot of fun and drinking delicious green Irish Wakes. This year the run was the Saturday before the 17th which I was very excited about. Why? Because it basically means I get 2 St. Paddies Days this year!

This was part of my pre run fuel. Left over rare steak, oddly it was from McGuires... ha. plus some broccoli and water.

 After the race I had some veggie soup and a few irish wakes at the after party then headed to the local fish market to get some stuff for dinner. They were handing out these yummy scallops to try:

 Dinner was some jumbo sea scallops, escolar, cucumber and seaweed salad all made by my hubby. There's nothing better than fresh seafood.

Wanna see some fun race pictures? Part of what makes it so much fun is the fact that it is a prediction race. No pressure to finish first. Which would be hard with the 12,000 other people. I'm no runner! But I try. ;) Anyway, people dress up in all kinds of crazy outfits because they have a best costume prize. 

The guy with me in the center definitely ran the entire race with that vacuum...I also loved the guy in the top left with the green duck tape holster for his Jamison. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Jenn's Spicy Kale Chips

I hate it when you want chips and someone tells you, "you just want something crunchy, eat some carrots" Uh, no, actually...I want chips. But thanks. So that being said, I apparently missed the kale chip bandwagon. BUT! When I saw Jenn from Peas & Crayons makes these spicy kale chips a couple weeks ago I knew I needed to try it out. 

I picked up some awesome looking kale at the farmers market last week.

And then it took me a few days to get motivated to make them... sometimes I'm so lazy.

Here are Jenn's directions ( I just crossed through the things I changed and wrote what I did in red:

first, preheat your oven to 300F 350F
grab a chunk of kale the size of your face + rinse to clean + dry thoroughly
tear pieces of kale off their stem/ribs into the size of potato chips
lay, spaced, on a wire cooling rack and place atop a foil lined cookie sheet
[if you're making a boatload of kale, make two sheets/batch's so they cook evenly! <3]
spritz with a natural cooking spray  or brush on olive oil
sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper
bake on the center rack for approx. 18-20 12-13 minutes until edges are crispy
serve with extra honey mustard for dipping I really felt no need for a dipping sauce.

They were REALLY good!!! And super crunchy and spicy! The only advice I would give you is only make as much as you are going to eat because the next day they were not crunchy anymore. 

Think I'm going to try my hand at some other veggie type chips soon. :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Boathouse Oyster Bar

It's my parents anniversary (31st I think??) and they came down to Destin for the week to stay at the beach. So, obviously, I went to hang out too! My parents were going to go to Joes Crab Shack, so I quickly intervened. ;) Instead, we went to this cool local place on the water called the Boathouse Oyster Bar.
Awww! My lovely parents.  
This place is known for it's raw oysters, and for good reason. They were incredible! We ended up getting 4 dozen! I ate mine with horseradish, lemon and cocktail sauce. (skipped the crackers).

Sorry my pictures are dark, it wasn't very bright in there and I was using my Iphone that had about 10% battery left. Hurry?

I ordered the "Bang Me Shrimp" not realizing they were breaded. Oops! Oh well, I ate them anyway and they were freaking delicious! I loved the spicy sauce on them.
Bang Me Shrimp
 And quit frankly, since I accidental ordered breaded shrimp...why  not get a beer too! First beer I've had in 2012. 

Shock Top
 These guys were great and I just loved the atmosphere here. It reminded me of my favorite bar from college with all the music I love.

He played the guitar most of the time put played the fiddle for this song.
And just when I thought things couldn't get MORE awesome...This guy played the saw!!! How cool is that!?

When you go on vacation, do you go to places you know or do you try to seek out those "best kept secret" local restaurants?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chicken Biryani

Since Matt has been crazy CRAZY busy lately, I've been doing a ridiculous amount of cooking. I was flipping through one of my old (non-paleo) cook books and found a recipe for Chicken Biryani. There were definitely some ingredients I had to alter and I even added some extra ones. 

1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp raw honey
salt to taste
about 3 lbs of chicken
1 head of cauliflower
2 limes, cut into wedges

You can use more or less of any of those spices, depending on your taste buds.

In a large, deep pan, heat the oil and butter. When hot, add onion, garlic, gigner. Cook until onion is translucent. I cooked it about 10 minutes. Add all spices and stir while cooking about 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, honey and salt. 

Add the chicken to the pan, bring to a simmer and cover for about 25 minutes or until chicken is done. 

Shred entire head of cauliflower in the food processor. Cook it about 10 minutes with a some olive oil. 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add everything to a large, deep baking dish and bake in oven about 10-20 minutes. I left it in longer since it was in a dutch oven.

The lime wedges can be added when you plate.

This is what I picked up at the store for the ginger ingredient. I thought it seemed like a rather large piece of ginger... Then when I got home I googled ginger and this is not what came up. Obviously this is horseradish... That could have gone terribly wrong. Just knowing this fact alone can help you understand why I ended up having to go back to the grocery store 4 times this day. 
Chicken Biryani

National Nutrition Month

Hey guys! In case you didn't know, March is
National Nutrition Month!!!
In honor of this, I'm going to be talking about some different nutrition topics that are important to me throughout the month. I'm also going to be making a BIG effort to try some new veggie filled recipes during March.
The theme for this years National Nutrition Month is Get Your Plate in Shape
Here are a few plates that I happen to like:

This one obviously isn't a plate but I like it and it is super fun:

How are you planning to Get Your Plate In Shape for 
National Nutrition Month?