Happy Thai Birthday To Me

This morning was crazy.

 I woke up in a mad dash to get dressed, scarf down breakfast, hit up the drive-thru coffee stop, and make it to Cj’s work in time for his break. Not important, but it explains why breakfast was a banana slathered in sun butter and why’s there’s no picture.

Lunch was  bit more calm. I was craving my new favorite tangy dressing, but never bought more spinach.  So I went with the next bet thing and chopped up the leftover iceberg lettuce from last night’s burgers.

Lettuce, even the watery kind, mixed with broccoli, bell peppers, pecans, dried apricots, salami, pickles, and leftover lemon chicken make for a great salad.

Especially when tossed with a 1:1:3 ratio of fig balsamic, olive oil, and mustard. I can’t get the tasty taste out of my mind.

After I inhaled this huge salad, I headed to work for a few hours where I drank most of a kombucha.  Still obsessed with those as well, if only my wallet could support the addiction.

When Cj picked me up after 3 long, slow, boring hours of office work, he suggested we head out for my birthday dinner.  It’s not actually until Tuesday, but I have other plans then, so tonight was the night!

I have been thinking of what I want my birthday cheat meal to be for weeks, and only one meal came up over and over again.  Thai food !! Phad thai and bubble tea are two of the dishes I have missed most since going paleo.

Not anymore :)

We split the chicken phad thai with extra vegetables and the yellow curry, which came with a small bowl of rice

Sooo coconutty and good

Instead of getting a birthday cake or dessert this year, I went with my old school favorite: Bubble tea!!!! I’ve always gotten the coconut flavor, but tonight I went crazy and tried almond joy.  Chocolate and coconut, what’s better?

This wasn’t a paleo meal, as it was full of peanuts, sugar, and rice, but it was entirely gluten free. It may sound like a total paleo faileo, but honestly, I’m proud of the choices I made.  Part of me was tempted to go all out italian style, eating bread, pasta, cheesecake, and a mojito.  Instead, I compromised with myself and had one of my favorite meals while staying within reason. And the best part? I enjoyed every bite and don’t regret it.

I even gave the phad thai leftovers to my bestest girl, Stephy. Leftovers are one of the things I love most about going out, I always eat them later that night. Tonight was different.   I enjoyed the meal at the restaurant, stopped when I was full, and that was that.  I don’t need to come home and eat two more servings, and for once I realized that.

sad because I'm giving the leftovers away, giddy because I've never done such a thing

Gosh, 22 years young and I’m smarter and healthier than ever before :) gooood birthday dinner.

Hooked on the Salami Scramble

Today was one of those days.

I would have given anything to just hit up a restaurant for dinner. I spent a good 30 minutes looking at menus, but reluctantly headed to the store instead only because I would have felt guilty for eating non-paleo foods.  There are a lot of gluten-free options out there, but not many paleo.

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First things first though- breakfast!

Black coffee and my new favorite scramble.

Eggs, salami, leftover peppers, and saurkraut. Mmm, so tasty.

At work I also snacked on some pistachios.  So addicting.

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For some reason my lunch picture decided to be super reflective, so shield your eyes.

Spinach, broccoli, apple, pecans, and a small dried apricot all chopped together, topped with some leftover lemon chicken. Drenched in my new favorite dressing (fig balsamic, olive oil, lemon, and mustard) this salad was off the charts good.  I love how tangy the dressing is.  I need to buy more spinach so I can guzzle some more down tomorrow.

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To make myself feel better about the lack of restaurant paleo options (which honestly is for the better), I bought some special things at the store. Like this…

I couldn’t resist.  This is where my mostly dairy-free paleo diet stems from- feta and good cheddar. That kerrygold was also a special buy. It was perfect for grilling up some burgers, which were sprinkled with a tiny bit of cheese , topped with avocado, and wrapped up in lettuce.

Come on, you didn’t think we’d have burgers without bacon did ya?

The sweet potato “fries” were supa bomb as well, slightly sweet, but with a hint of cumin.

Loved this dinner, and love the fact I have extra sweet potatoes for my breakfast scramble :) it’s the simple things people.

Sweet things don’t hurt either… can’t wait to gobble this up for dessert!

Mmm, Mmm Chicken Good

Last night’s sweat sesh: 30 min elliptical intervals- whew, I got sweeaaaaty

15 reps, 4 different crunches

plank-45 seconds total (hey, that’s a lot for me.  I was shaking)

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Followed by one of the best meals I’ve had in a while.

Carne Asada!! Grilled peppers & onions, all topped with fresh guac. This was soooo good, I couldn’t help but pick at the leftover meat all night long.

It started with 3 peppers sliced…

… and an onion too, all thrown into a pan with coconut oil and a splash of olive oil. I was too distracted by doing my best to not cry like a giant baby to take a picture of them onions.  Damn alliums.

While the veggies were blackening up, I cooked the carne asada on high heat in my cast iron skillet.  If anyone ever tries to rob my apartment I’m looking forward to bashing him with that pan. It weighs a TON.

I mashed up an avocado with some garlic powder, onion powder, and salt & pepper right before topping the meal.  Like I said- this was divine. The meat was super tender and the guac was supa creamy, I never wanted my plate to be empty.

Sadly it was, so I cheered myself up with some dried coconut pieces- the perfect dessert before bed.

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This morning didn’t start so sweetly.  I could barely get up, maybe I slept too much? Whatever the reason, coffee was a must.

Mmm, cold coffee.  I can’t stand hot coffee.

When I got to work, I scrambled up two eggs and topped them with some crispy salami.

Loved this combo, can’t wait to have it again tomorrow with some kraut! Gotta get them probiotics.

Lunch was leftover carne asada and peppers/onions.  It was just as delicious, but way uglier. I didn’t even bother snapping a photo, I was too busy chowing down in my car.

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When I finally got home, Miss Stephy decided to drag my butt to the gym again.

Sweat Sesh: 1o min on the row machine, followed by 20 min on the bike.

We kept it simple. I’m so not trying to wash my hair everyday. Tryin’ to stay classy over here.

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Dinner tonight was just as good as last night’s, except it was chicken-good, not steak-good.

Roasted Chicken, sauteed spinach, and blackened peppers. YUM.

Everything about this meal was simple.  The chicken I rubbed with olive oil, lemon zest, and herb de provence seasoning. When it was almost done cooking at 375, I sprinkled it with salt and cranked the heat up to 425.  Had to get that crisp going.

 The peppers were cooked over med-high heat in some coconut oil, and I sautéed some garlic in butter before throwing in handfuls of spinach.

That’s it. Super easy, and super duper tasty.  I had to hold Cj back from eating all the leftover chicken.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s some dried coconut waiting for me…

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Maybe we’ve been watching too many episodes of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I’m already talking like Guy, next thing ya know I’ll have bleach blonde hair. Yikes.

Before work yesterday I scrambled up a couple eggs in coconut oil and called it good.

While there I had my new favorite snack.

A banana dipped in sunflower seed butter, aka heaven.  I’m loving that stuff lately!

After shoving our faces full of fajitas, we weren’t super hungry for dinner, and I wasn’t in the mood to slave away in the kitchen.  I was in the mood for laying on the couch and drowning in my paleo-faileo sorrows.  But when the man gets hungry, the lady must cook.

I had some chicken thighs in the fridge and my hand dandy Make It Paleo cookbook, so I whipped up the baked chicken thighs.

Supa easy for a loaf like myself.

All it needed was a bit of chopped shallots and garlic stuffed under the skin.

Spinkled with some salt & pepper, the chicken was ready for baking. No oil needed, I was skeptical.

While those babies were roasting up, I trimmed up some broccoli and threw it in the oven as well.

I also reheated some leftover garlic cauli mash, and before I knew it dinner was done.

I love crispy broccoli, and to my surprise the chicken was super crispy as well.  Salt does wonders.

It tasted fantastic, a simple comfort chicken dinner. Cj was allll about the crunchy skin.

I know this chicken recipe will be a go-to of mine whenever I have random chicken pieces laying around.  It was quick, simple, and made some deliciously juicy chicken.  Truly is a winner.

Speaking of winners, my friend Stephy is on her way over to drag my butt to the gym.  Only a true winner could accomplish that.

 I’ll be back tomorrow with more eats and info on my sweaty gym session.  Should be interesting, it’s my first time back in there in weeks!

We Found Shamu

So I gotta be honest.  We have been cheating up the wazu around here.

Not cheating as in “give me all the gluten you can”, but more like ” wellllll, technically this is paleo, there’s no bun so it’s all good”.

Yes, we still aren’t eating gluten, grains, and legumes, but we are tiptoeing the paleo line, wobbling as we go.

For instance, last night’s dinner was from Five Guys.

See! No bun, so it’s totally paleo.  Wrong.

I got the bacon burger with pickles, grilled onions, green peppers, ketchup, and mustard all wrapped up in some lettuce.

It was delicious, but it wasn’t whole, fresh, home cooked good cookin’.

Another example: Today’s lunch was from a local mexican joint.  We had a living social type deal, and today was the day we cashed in.

Fajitas!!!

Sans tortillas, beans, and rice.

We split the Chicken & Steak Fajitas, and the Carnitas Fajitas.

They were super good, but I don’t even want to know what kind of oil it was all cooked in.

Oh ya, extra guac!!

The fajitas were the best paleo option on the menu, but then again the best paleo option would have been to NOT go in the first place.

Oh, and don’t even ask about the mandatory chip baskets at all restaurants.

(isn’t it obvious we downed those addicting fried corn tortillas)

To top it all off, Cj insisted on ordering deep fried ice cream to “use up all of our gift certificate”.

Ugh.  I had a few bites, bite me.

The fajitas were good, which I’m glad about cause they were my last “cheat” meal for a long while. I’ve had enough, and I’m ready to get back to true paleo eats: veggies, healthy fats, quality meats, all home cooked and delicious.

To make myself feel better about our mexi feast I dragged Cj out on a good 2.6 mile walk.  It was a hilly one, with some jogging and hill sprints thrown in.  I’m wiped.

As I was huffin’ and puffin’ along, I spotted this gentle giant in the bushes…

I think the poor thing is beached.

Tasty T-Bones

Yesterday’s dinner was pretty ahhhmazing.

While running all our errands we made sure to hit up our local butcher shop for some quality grass-fed/free range meats.

Good choice.  While we were ordering up our usuals (bacon, chicken breasts, and ground beef), the butcher man reeled in Cj like no other. Before I could point out the juicy looking pork chops, we were on our way out with two t-bone steaks and  giant hole in his wallet.  Dinner couldn’t have come soon enough.

I hear a grill is the best tool for cooking these beauties up, but since we’re grill-less folks we whipped out the grill pan.  Almost as good, minus the smokey house.

I seasoned them up with s&p and some seasoning blend that’s only found in the great state of Cali. Once the grill pan was insanely hot I threw those bad boys down.

They seared for about 3 minutes a side before hitting the oven at 450 for about 8 minutes. After a 10 minute rest they were perfectly cooked medium rare.

We enjoyed our steak feast with some garlicky cauli mash and fresh veggies for crunch.

sadly that ranch was all Cj's

Aaaaannd a hard cider to share.  I’ll take a quality dinner on the couch in sweatpants over a fancy shmancy restaurant any day.

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Breakfast this morning was almost as good, but I’m guessing that’s because it involved the leftover steak and leftover satay chicken.

I cooked up the leftover meats with some broccoli in the bacon fat, then cracked in a few eggs.  Served with avocado, we had a delicious and supa filling breakfast. That bacon is THE BEST BACON EVER. It’s also way cheaper than crappy grocery store bacon, and there’s nothing added.

I think Cj is having a love affair with it, check this picture I found on my phone…

Someone’s in loooveeee.

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For lunch, we headed out for some Goodwill shopping (I always find the coolest sweatshirts) and a much anticipated burger date.  We never knew that Giant Burger, a local burger stop, served 100% local, fresh, grass-fed beef!  Once we found out we started planning our visit. They’re burger menu is huge, but I finally settled on the Bandit Burger.

A 1/3 lb patty w/ grilled onions, green chiles, red and green bell peppers, and guacamole all wrapped in lettuce.

The burger was good, but not worth the 45 minute wait!!!! We couldn’t believe it took so long, there were about 4 ladies working and the place wasn’t that crowded.  Honestly, it was a huge turnoff and kind of put our moods in the pits.

To cheer ourselves up we decided to truly splurge and get fro-yo! (gluten-free of course)

It worked. In fact we were so happy we went on a 3 mile walk.  Maybe it was more a sugar high than happiness, but either way I’m glad.

Now time to enjoy a lazy saturday evening :)

Dreaming of Those Darn Potatoes

Howdy! Hope your day has been as grand as mine.  Not much can beat a morning work shift followed by too many errands.

Woohoo, grocery shoppin.

I kid, I kid. I always have a good time shopping around with my handsome man.

On a more serious note, this was the best breakfast I’ve had in way too long…

3 eggs, fajita seasoned chicken, bell peppers, onions, and sliced green chiles served with salsa, bacon, and potatoes

Damn good.  Cj and I hit up The Glenwood for breakfast the other morning, a cute little local joint not too far from us. I had called ahead to see how they cooked their potatoes, more specifically to see if they’re gluten free.  They were sooo nice about it, unlike our usual breakfast joint I also called.  The Glenwood offered to make them separate in some olive oil (instead of their normal soybean oil), which was all I needed to hear.

The potatoes were amazing, and I felt good eating them knowing they were paleo approved, at least as much as potatoes can be.

3 eggs stuffed with bacon and cheese with a side of bacon and special potatoes

This was Cj’s.  Ya, I don’t think he had enough bacon either.

After a great breakfast (which was under 20 bucks!), we headed to a local used book store to make some big bucks. Well, actually only 28, but that’s prettttty big for this college student. I like to think I’m smart and save my money, but I never seem to back that up. Instead I took my newly earned cash and started searching for paleo books.  Look what I found!

It was only 3 bucks after I used the trade-in money !!! I came home and read every. single. page. It’s love I tell ya.

On to more food, check some other recent eats (though they weren’t nearly as good as those potatoes up there)

For lunch I had some leftover fish taco fish on the leftover fish taco slaw topped with the leftover fish taco guacamole.  Mmmm, fish tacos. Love ‘em.

Remember how I mentioned that Kombucha obsession? Well I couldn’t get my grimy hands on any the other day so I settled for the next best thing.

Not too shabby, and since it’s 100% juice, it’s 100% paleo, right? Riiiiiiiight.

After drinking this I hoofed it to the nearest kombucha outlet and found this gem…

I practically chugged it. I felt all amazing and organic-fied after, so I made a super yummy dinner.

I slightly adapted a recipe from The Paleo Comfort Foods Cookbook, and it turned out divine.

First, I got sweet potato mash going. It’s just some potatoes in a sauce pan with chicken stock, simmered until tender.  Then I mashed the crap outta it with some coconut milk and coconut oil.  I could have just eaten that and been happy.

But I had a man waiting for meat, so I browned up some ground beef and garlic, followed by bell peppers, onions, and celery.  I added the beef back in with the veggies, and threw in some worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, and Wolfgang Puck’s vodka sauce (ya, it’s paleo, I checked a million times.  except for the vodka, don’t hate).

After simmering for a few, I dumped it into this beautiful dish Cj’s momma gave me (THANK YOU!), covered it with the sweet potato mash, and threw on some leftover chopped walnuts I had chillin.  It baked for about 25 minutes, and tasted absolutely fabulous when it was done.  More fabulous than it looks.

This is one of those dinners that made me count down the minutes until breakfast so I could have more.  Sooooo good. I actually think there’s still one more serving left in the fridge.  If Cj touches it, he’s dead.

Today’s lunch was also super good, although I won’t be killing anyone for eating the leftovers.  Cj picked the recipe out of my new cookbook.  I was a bit surprised that he selected chicken satay with “peanut” sauce, but hell, I wasn’t about to complain.  I marinated a ginormous chicken breast in coconut milk, fresh ginger, curry powder, and garlic before heading to work today.

 I baked it off when I got home.  Sheesh, it took FOREVER.  Next time I’m sticking with the breasts of a normal sized chicken. It went perfectly with the not so peanuty peanut sauce and some roasted broccoli.

The picture looks shitty, ignore that part.

We both loved this meal as well.  I’m excited to eat up the leftover sauce in the coming days.

I’m sure its good with just about any protein, or scooping straight out of the container.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some giant T-bone steaks to grill up!!

Oh ya, check my saweeet nails….