I made this soup after unpacking an unexpected Butternut Squash from our weekly produce box. And improvised with a leftover half cooked sweet potato and this was really, super good. Thick, creamy — and totally Paleo, though it tastes illegal. I recommend slurping it directly from the pot, piping hot and with a handful of crushed pecans.
Creamy Golden Butternut Squash & Yam Soup
1 medium butternut squash
1/2 large baked yam (or a full one…whatever you might have lying around and if you have NO sweet potato lying around you could just nuke one. I enjoy the easy road.)
1 can lite coconut milk
1 tbsp Thai Red Curry Powder. Try to find a brand with no added salt or sugar. In your organic grocery store, you should be able to easily find some.
Bake the butternut squash at 350 for about an hour or so. You can nuke squash but I find it’s not quite as good…a little stringier. Once the squash is cooked, the skin should peel off easily. Scoop out the seeds and pitch into a food processor. Add cooked yam, coconut milk, and a heaping tbsp of curry paste. We like stuff spicy, so I added a bit more. Then I added a wee bit of pepper and tasted the spoon. This stuff is heaven.
Whirr like crazy and then plop into a pot if you want to heat it more. Pour into two bowls and serve with crushed pecans or walnuts. Fantastic for lunch with a fresh salad.
Filed under: Breakfast, Snack Food Recipes | Tags: energy bars, healthy snack recipe, paleo, power bars, snacks
So, two things:
1) I won’t be keeping up this blog everyday anymore, it’s too time consuming and I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. We will let you know whether or not we won the Paleo Challenge as soon as we hear.
And, I will post recipes when I come up with a reallllly good one (like last night.) As I mentioned, Corey is working on a community kind of Paleo recipe website, which I think is REALLY needed. There are a few great clean eating sites on the web, but there needs to be more, and stuff needs to be searchable and quick. So yeah, he’s all over that, and we’ll keep you posted on progress, here and over at Aqufit.
2) I talked a lot about Lara bars in the 31 day challenge. Sometimes, you just feel like something heartier than fruit or a sweet potato half for a snack and the Lara bars often did the trick. But, they are also pretty high calorie, and also really expensive. I wanted to make a homemade energy bar that was filling, sweet, and healthy – and last night — booyah.
Caramel Power Bars
These nuggets of delicious chewy goodness don’t actually have any caramel in them, but that’s what they taste like to me. These are not totally strict Paleo as they do have protein powder and honey in them, but you can negate both of those ingredients for a slightly less sweet but equally satisfying bar.
You will need:
1 cup almond butter (smooth)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried berries (cherries, blueberries and cranberries all work well)
1/2 cup assorted nuts (I used cashews, pecans, and a few sliced almonds)
Any other unsalted seed, nut, or dried fruit filling you can think of – I think dried banana or shredded unsweetened coconut would be amazing!)
2 heaping scoops of vanilla protein powder (we use ISO Sensation Vanilla and it’s my favourite so far. Corey is an advocate of protein powder for muscle building and I have to say, judging from his body composition, I think he’s on to something. It certainly hasn’t hurt either one of us.)
Melt almond butter (and honey, and protein powder if desired) on low heat. Add apple sauce. When easily stirrable, add nuts and berries.
Once all ingredients are coated and gooey, put on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Hungrily lick the spoon and scrape all remnants from side of pot. This shit is amazing.
Refridgerate for several hours.
Voila! Your own homemade power bars.
Warning: these are slightly gooey. If you want to make them less so, refridgerate for longer (or freeze) — or use a bit less apple sauce. Either way, they’re gonna be good.
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Emotions, Food Log | Tags: paleo eggs benedict
On the 31st day of the Crossfit Vancouver Paleo Challenge, I wanted to make an awesome breakfast. I got up early and started cracking eggs because I wanted to make Paleo Eggs Benedict.
8:30 AM Breakfast Paleo Egg Benedict with the Tomato and Kristin’s Blood and Tears
OK, here’s the thing: you’ll note the sauce is kind of solid. Holy god is it frustrating to make hollandaise without butter or salt. I had to ditch two batches because they kept hardening. I used extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, but it made it tricky. In the end, the hollandaise was solid, but tasted damned good. I sliced organic Canadian back bacon thin and then covered it with a perfectly poached egg and ripe tomatoes. This felt like luxury.
At lunch, I was starving because of a Crossfit workout that included three timed runs, but I had no interest in tackling something complex — benedict covered saucepans still littered the kitchen. We grabbed a few turkey slices, a fruit smoothie, and some carrot sticks and that tided us over till dinner.
6 PM, Dinner Imaginative Streak Over
I think I burned out a bit on the complex meals. Dinner was scrambled eggs with onion and mushrooms, sliced turkey and a dollop of the staple tomato pesto
Typically satisfying and non-typically quick to prepare.
I am pretty proud to have made it through this month. I wasn’t sure I could do it: I have a killer sweet tooth and cheese is one of my favourite things on the planet. I did it, we did it, and did it well and we both feel really good about it. Having each other’s support — and the fact that we work from home and can easily prepare our own meals — really helped, too.
- Meals can be time consuming.
- Paleo is expensive if you choose to eat organic, grass-fed and locally raised meat and dairy. Our grocery bill went up about 4x our average this month.
- There is a lot of planning and creativity required
- It’s hard to go out for dinner and stick to a strictly Paleo diet, unless you open yourself up to dairy and butter, which we did not.
- Since everything is fresh…a lot of grocery shopping and creative use of produce that you need to use right away because of a limited shelf life.
- The first week was hard as all hell. It’s almost like I envision withdrawal from drugs. It sucked and there’s no way around the suckage. Eat some dates. But they don’t really help when your body is screaming for rice pudding. Ignore the screaming and it’ll be worth it.
- After the first week, you’ll start to feel kind of…peppy and happy and you’ll wonder why and realize that your diet controls your moods way more than you ever thought.
- The meals are truly delicious – simple and fresh = really good eating.
- Noticeably improved energy.
- Noticeable improvements in leanness. Corey was already ripped to holy hell, but his back is even leaner and than before, and his abs are showing through like I’ve never seen them before. His legs have also added muscle. I was never ripped, and I am starting to be. I can see my top stomach muscles now, and my arm muscles are bigger. My stomach is flat and taut, none of the bloat I used to carry around.
- Quality time: it’s fun to cook and come up with new recipes together.
We don’t own a scale, but I’d be willing to wager I actually put on a few pounds this month. We did do before and after pics and I posted them on flickr if you’re interested.
I’ll keep writing here even after the contest wraps, when I do a meal I’m particularly enamoured with, or when I have something Paleo to share. Corey is going to develop a bit of a recipe application on the aqufit site, so stay tuned there too. We are going to continue to eat this way because we like the way it makes us feel.
Thanks for riding along on this journey with us, you guys!
***Edited to add: I didn’t properly note our inspiration for all of this, Coach Lu. We went to Crossfit one afternoon after a bit of a scrap; I was sick of the gym and Corey was deservedly tired of my whining. I wanted us to seek new avenues, and Corey went along with me.
Dave inspired us with his openness and immediately evident enthusiasm. He was the one who got us on the Paleo track and the dude I can credit with keeping us on it. He is a stellar coach and a really good human and we are both grateful for him.
Our workout yesterday was a bit of a doozy, and I wondered if that’s what was making me so ravenously starving this morning — I woke up feeling like I could eat a truck.
We decided against doing that, but we did rustle up a hearty breakfast:
9AM Breakfast – Steak, Eggs, and Sliced Tomato and Avocado
We used the rest of the mushroom peppercorn sauce from last night on the steak. Eggs over easy. Was awesome.
Our grocery delivery comes on Tuesdays, so we were a little low on fresh ingredients today, so Corey grabbed what was in the fridge and made lunch.
1PM, Lunch Lettuce Turkey Wraps with Leftover Curry Sauce
It was very simple and surprisingly delicious. Key was the type of lettuce, we don’t know what this stuff is called but it worked perfectly.
We wanted a curry dish for dinner, we’re mildly obsessed, and Corey had found some Vindaloo spice that would be perfect with the free-range chicken chunks that arrived in our delivery today:
7PM, Dinner Chicken Vindaloo over Spaghetti Squash
We expected to have leftovers to take for lunch tomorrow but no such luck – this was amazingly delicious.
I have to say – both Corey and I felt a bit off today – somber mood and a little draggy. We tried to analyze if it might be something we ate (as we’re realizing now that everything from morning mood to sex drive seems to be related to what we put in our body) – but couldn’t figure it out. We concluded we need a vacation. To somewhere hot! Where we can wear our new bathing suits!
The challenge ends tomorrow. I wonder if anyone has been as obsessive about this as us. At stake is a 6 month gym membership at Crossfit, which would come in pretty damned handy. Fingers crossed.
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Food Log | Tags: paleo french toast, paleo mushroom peppercorn sauce recipe, paleo tenderloin
I was feeling inspired this morning, and there was 3/4 of a pan of coconut loaf on the counter. We were going to have french toast for breakfast, paleo style:
8:30 AM Coconut Bread French Toast with Kiwis and Strawberries and a Side of Ground Turkey
We were going to try to do just nuts and meat for the last week of the challenge, but after my sausage and nuts experience…I don’t know. I’m forgoing enough without my cheese and “real” bread, I still want breakfast to taste breakfast-y. Maybe when we’re super-leaning for the summer we’ll try the nut/meat only breakfasts with a little more zeal. In the meantime, there’s Coconut Bread French Toast.
You guys, this might be my fave Paleo breakfast to date. I cut up about 3 small slices each of the coconut bread from last night and dipped it in an egg mixture (3 eggs, 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, vanilla extract, 1/2 crushed banana, cinnamon) and grilled for about a minute. Topped with some fresh kiwi and strawberry, it was to die for. We had some turkey burgers in the fridge, so I also did up one of those and served half a patty with each breakfast. Perfect.
We did a noon Crossfit workout, perhaps the hardest one ever. Corey was lifting some seriously heavy weights and we were both exhausted when we came home, so we just ate leftovers from the weekend: soup, turkey curry, the spaghetti from the weekend spaghetti omelette.
I had some work to finish off, so Corey later picked up some ingredients for dinner: tenderloin (organic), two kinds of mushrooms, and some lite coconut milk. I was going to make beef tenderloin with mushroom + black peppercorn sauce!
That meat really is that pink. My man is a seriously hardcore carnivore, would eat it raw if he could. And he has.
This meal was super good and really easy. I had to experiment with the mushroom peppercorn sauce a bit because most recipes call for cream and wine. I use lite cocounut milk, a bit of almond milk, and a lot of spices. It was really good.
Tomorrow is our second last day of this challenge. What should we make?
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Effect on Workout, Food Log | Tags: paleo bread recipe, spaghetti omelette
We slept in until 10:24 this morning. This is a new world record for me.
Nolan’s still with his paternal grandparents, and so there’s no middle-of-the night wakeup calls, no desperate pleas for me to put Iron Man’s head back on his body. The house it’s quiet. I treasure it and want it gone at the same time, miss my little sidekick like crazy.
I got busy making a late Paleo breakfast at 10:25 am.
First, because it’s Sunday, a treat:
Here’s the perfected recipe by request:
2 cups almond flour
1 tbsp coconut flour (if you have it, lends a rich flavour but you can do without too)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp baking powder
If you want them sweeter, you can add a little Stevia or agave nectar to taste. I pick a different frozen berry everytime, this morning it was blackberries and raspberries mixed. I place 4 or 5 berries on top of the muffins after I pour them into their muffin holders, to prevent blue batter.
Bake at 350 for about twenty minutes.
Breakfast, 10:40 AM Spaghetti Omelette
The only meat we had in the fridge was some organic lean ground beef. I combined tomato paste, mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, and the beef into a thick sauce and then whisked it into a two egg and one egg white omelette. Corey was a fan, I give it a 7 out of 10.
Pre-run smoothie, 1 PM:
Fuel for our long run today: frozen banana + frozen berries + unsweetened almond milk and a whack load of ice.
(Turns out we got poured on and cancelled our run about 3 kilometers in. It was pounding so hard I couldn’t see out of one eye.)
We did some work and then went to the gym around 6, so dinner was late:
Fresh Halibut with Asparagus and Mushrooms + Thai Red Curry Sauce
One of the best things about living in Vancouver is our access to lean, tasty, fresh seafood. We picked up two small halibut steaks at Lonsdale Quay this afternoon. It is so perfect, it only needs a tiny bit of lemon, garlic, pepper and olive oil. But I felt creative, so whipped up a thai curry sauce to dip. The mushrooms and asparagus were strangely good mingled with the curry, too.
One last thing. I’ve been jonesing for bread. I want to make a decent paleo sandwich before this challenge is done in 3 more days. So tonight, I experimented. And made coconut bread:
It’s good: dense, slightly sweet, and really rich. I’d make sandwiches with this, but using a very thin slice only. Here’s the recipe, I followed it pretty closely though I omitted one egg and the salt (6 eggs seemed a little much).
We’re off to bed, deciding between Shutter Island and Dexter (oh my god, so addicted to Dexter. Only in season 2, don’t tell me what happens!)
Have a great week!
Filed under: Daily Not Bread, Emotions, Food Log | Tags: coconut banana paleo pudding
We originally had intentions of skiing today, but we woke up late and our legs were kind of writhing in pain from our Crossfit workouts — we’ve been going hard lately.
So instead we opted for a leisurely shower, breakast, and wander.
10:00 AM, Breakfast Snowboarder’s Breakfast (avec modification)
I was starving this morning. Yesterday was a rest day, technically, although I spent 3 hours slicing through slushy snow on the mountain. The cooler mountain air plus snowboarding plus some time spent in the hottub = relentless hunger. I ordered the snowboarder’s breakfast – 3 eggs with sausage and bacon — and asked them to hold the hashbrowns and toast. They brought me fruit and sliced tomatoes with peppers instead. Awesome.
Breakfast was kind of brunch-ish in it’s girth, so we didn’t actually have a real lunch. Full confession: we rolled home and went to bed again. Lazy weekends breed increased laziness, which is kind of awesome. We then went for a massage which was amazing and awesome. I know, my life is hard. Sometimes I wonder when the Universe will see that it’s given me way too much and lunge in to snatch some of it back. I’m ridiculously lucky.
We snacked on dried banana and hazelnuts, and then Corey made a chicken curry + spaghetti squash dinner, which has become a fave around here. Each time it’s a little different:
, Chicken Curry on Spaghetti Squash, with assorted veg
I had a sweet tooth afterward, and whipped up a Warm Coconut Pudding with Sliced Banana + Coconut Shred
Coconut Pudding Dessert
2 egg yolks
2 tsp almond flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Few tsp. agave nectar or Stevia
Heat on low till thickened, then pour in 1 can lite coconut milk. Heat to a boil.
Reduce heat. Slice up banana at the bottom of two pudding dishes, then add some shredded unsweetened coconut. Pour pudding mixture over top and enjoy while warm. Heaven!