A Sunday Paleo Feast

Last weekend was unseasonably cold in Chicago.  We went to a baseball game Saturday night and I wore a down shell, scarf and closed toe shoes.  That’s absolutely ridiculous for the last weekend of July.  Sunday was not much better with semi cloudy skies mixed with the city’s infamous wind.  My mom was in town, so instead of a walk by the lake, we opted for an indoor activity.  We have fun no matter what – weather be damned!  Off to Costco and Whole Foods we went.  We gathered ingredients for Sunday night dinner and got her stocked up on paleo goodies.  Whole Foods – if you’re reading this – Northwest Indiana is craving a store!!

Last week, our friend Jim got us hungry for meatballs.  It just so happened that Juli from PaleOMG also posted a meatball recipe called Summer Squash Meatball Casserole.   A casserole (on a cold summer’s day!) sounded so good.  After grabbing zukes, squash, meat, etc. we headed to the almond butter aisle …1)  Chuck must always have a jar of Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter on hand  2) We’d definitely want a paleo treat for dessert after the casserole, so I picked up a simple MaraNatha brand jar to make zucchini brownies.  $25 worth of Almond Butter later and we’re ready to checkout.  Zoinks.

We cooked up our feast, which also included collard greens (from our organic delivery that week) and baked sweet potato bites.  The casserole was really good and heated up nicely the next day in my lunch as well.  My mom loved the brownies, as I knew she would – (duh chocolate!)  My only recommendation on the brownie recipe is to be sure to squeeze out all the water from the zucchini after you’ve shredded it and before adding to the rest of your ingredients.  I also used ‘Enjoy Life’ chocolate chips instead of the dark chocolate chunks it calls for.

Let’s hope for sunshine this weekend, but try out this feast in any kind of weather!

The FeastZuke Brownie

From Hopping to Shuffling

While Chuck is busy losing weight like it’s his job, his dutiful girlfriend is here to guest blog.  I’m the one who, if you’ll remember from this earlier blog, did not quite take to paleo as quick as Chuck did.  Instead of starting gradually, I started suddenly and my body did not like having the foods that it had thrived on for 34 years taken away.  So, for all of you starting paleo, going cold turkey is not my recommended approach.  But, if you do it right, you will adapt and you will see a difference in how great you feel every day!

Ok, let’s hop backwards a bit to Easter and talk about what we really like to talk about on this blog…Food!  I spent Easter day with my momma who has also adopted the paleo lifestyle,  I will tell you – sharing the same eating habits with those close to you makes it a lot easier.  There is far less temptation and a greater community of support.  We cooked up some bone-in pork chops on top of baked apples and pears.
Here is what our delicious dinner looked like:Paleo Pork Chops_Cropped

Here is the recipe we put together:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F
2.  Slice apples and pears (we used 2 of each) and arrange in a casserole dish (we used a 1 1/2 qt glass one)
3.  Sprinkle the apples and pears with cinnamon and set aside
4.  Heat a skillet with a little bit of olive oil (enough to coat the bottom)
5.  Cook the pork in the skillet until each side is slightly browned (about 5-7 minutes total; flipping as needed)
6.  Place the pork chops on top of the layer of apples and pears in your casserole dish
7.  Cover (we used aluminum foil) and cook for about 45 minutes.  The fruit will be very tender and the pork should read close to 160 F on a meat thermometer.  (The USDA says pork cooking temp should be between 145 and 160 FYI)

Now, it was Easter and since we weren’t sitting around sampling sweets from the Easter basket anymore, we also made a paleo dessert.  We felt a rich, decadent (and most importantly) chocolate dessert was in order.  After all we had been fasting following a strict paleo lifestyle since February.  That was just a joke – we have all learned that there are tons of tasty paleo recipes out there 🙂  So, we made these paleo brownies courtesy of bakergal.com.  We made the version with the egg and did not add either optional ingredient.  Rich, decadent and sweet they were!  It was my first time cooking with Agave, which is what really brought out that sweet element.  We did make them in an 8×8 pan, but you could use a 9×12 for a bit thinner slices.  Like I said, they are rich – so a little bit will do ya!  They were equally delicious the following day…and that’s as long as they lasted.

Paleo Brownie 2_Cropped

I hope you all had an equally delicious paleo holiday, if you celebrate it.

Well, that does it for me…back to my day job.  Now that Chuck has reached his weight goal (dropped 20 lbs – jerk) and finished the Shamrock Shuffle last week, he will be back to blog soon.  Since his training for the run was sparse (read that as pretty much non existent), he credits the paleo lifestyle for his terrific results.  He completed the 8k in 44:08 with an avg pace of 8:53.  Not bad for a middle aged white guy.  Congrats to all the runners!

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