Sunday, January 19, 2014

Chicken Salad (paleo)

Seriously good. Although chicken salad is often a summer food, grapes in michigan are awesome in the fall/winter so with 2 feet of snow on the ground (not kidding) it's chicken salad time. Feel free to add celery, or any other ingredient you enjoy in a salad... Personally hate celery :). It may be eaten plain, in a wrap, or served over greens. 

Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayo (recipe follows)
2 tsp Red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tsp raw honey
1 cup grapes (halved)
2 green onions (chopped)
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 411
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33 g51 %
Saturated Fat 2 g10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 65 mg22 %
Sodium 262 mg11 %
Potassium 306 mg9 %
Total Carbohydrate 14 g5 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g7 %
Sugars 8 g
Protein 24 g47 %
Vitamin A6 %
Vitamin C3 %
Calcium2 %
Iron7 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


2/3 cup avocado oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thick. (Side note: I put all the ingredients in a mason jar and use an immersion blender... same result in literally less than a minute and then if you have extra you already have a container to store it :) this recipe will not use it all unless you want it super creamy- it will use most... But mayo will keep about a week in the fridge! 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Cook chicken- drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over the chicken and bake 35-40 minutes. 
2. While the chicken is baking make the mayo. 
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients (except chicken and mayo) in a large bowl. Mix. 
4. Chop the chicken in small cubes. Add the chicken to the bowl and start with 1/3 cup of mayo, stirring and adding more if necessary. 
5. Chill at least an hour. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Paleo Sweet Potato Salad

It is bound to happen... you are invited to a pot-luck or a party not with your CrossFit friends or ones that follow your lifestyle and you need to bring a side dish. It is hard trying to stick to a diet (like Paleo or Gluten free) and bring something other people will want to eat/try at the same time. This is a potato salad I brought to my work pot-luck and it was a huge hit... so many people asked for the recipe. I assume many of them will not make their own mayo, and won't care because they aren't Paleo. I think homemade is way better than anything from the store anyway!!

Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

(Printable Version)

4 Sweet potatoes- peeled and cubed
4 hard-boiled eggs
5 slices of bacon- in 1/2 inch pieces
3-4 green onions 
2/3 cup avocado oil
1 egg (raw)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste 

1. Cook the sweet potatoes in boiling, salted water until they are just fork-tender.
2. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy, set aside to cool.
3. To make the mayo combine the oil through cayenne in a bowl and whisk until thick. (Side note: I put all the ingredients in a mason jar and use an immersion blender... same result in literally less than a minute and then if you have extra you already have a container to store it :)

3. Add the hot potatoes, bacon (with grease), mayo and chopped green onions to a large bowl- mix, taste for salt and pepper and refrigerate at least 2 hours. 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 10.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 228
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19 g29 %
Saturated Fat 3 g17 %
Monounsaturated Fat 12 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 98 mg33 %
Sodium 168 mg7 %
Potassium 257 mg7 %
Total Carbohydrate 10 g3 %
Dietary Fiber 2 g6 %
Sugars 4 g
Protein 5 g11 %
Vitamin A185 %
Vitamin C16 %
Calcium3 %
Iron5 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Finally on the Podium

I have been crossfitting a little over a year.... This summer when times got tough in my life (ie: divorce) I turned to something I could focus on to make myself feel better. I moved into a house with my daughter in a new city and joined a new box... Fresh start! I did my first individual completion about a month ago and completed my second this past weekend. Olympic lifting is not my strong suit and this competition was heavily lifting based.... I went into it thinking I would try my best and if anything gain some valuable experience.
After the first wod I was in dead last in my weight class... Boo! I texted my twin who reminded me that Froning did not have a very good first WOD at the games in 2013 and came back to win it, so keep my head up and go after the next workout.
Second WOD- came in first... Enough said :) I also almost threw up in my mouth twice. This jumped me to 4th place overall.
Third WOD- killed the first half, second half... Hang snatch 3RM... Failed the 3rd attempt THREE times!! I did the weight a total of 6 times but couldn't get that third rep every time... Grrrr! Took 3rd.
Fourth WOD- took 3rd... At this point I didn't know my overall standings and was gearing up to go home and eat some pizza... Nope!
Made it to the finals (3rd place) which meant another WOD: clean and jerk/rope climb ladder.... 5 climbs, 5 C&J - 4 climbs, 4 C&J... Etc. The girl in the lead was untouchable- she was good. The girl in second literally couldn't climb the rope!! Again, channeling Froning in his first games. I made it through the third round when time was called. Even though the girl in 2nd place literally didn't climb the rope or do any C&J I took 3rd overall based on points... Boo! 
I can't be mad... I have proven to myself that I can do it, and learned there will be always parts of every competition I wish I could do over... Good lesson learned. I want my daughter to be proud of her mom and crossfit is giving me that confidence... Among a new "family" and many other things. 
Thought at the end of this: I wouldn't be close to where I am without my mom, dad and sister helping me out. It seriously does take a village! 

Paleo "pasta" bake... When you're missing cheese and pasta

Cheese may be one of the most delicious things I can't turn down... If there is a cheese platter I'm all over it!! My Charlie- girl hates cheese... What toddler doesn't like cheese?? Good thing this is an easy make-ahead dish that's too spicy for her any way :)
 This recipe is adapted from a one... I made it spicier, added spinach, changed a few other things and will share the best and easiest way to cook spaghetti squash! It's fool proof, easy, fast, and never turns out wet.

Spicy "Pasta" Bake

Serves 4-6

1 spaghetti squash
2 cups baby spinach
1 pound chorizo (loose or removed from casings) 
1 small onion (finely chopped)
1 garlic (minced)
1.5 cups marinera sauce  
3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

1. Cooking spaghetti squash: cut the squash in half length-wise and remove seeds. Place in a microwaveable dish (I use a shallow glass baking dish), cut side down, and add 1/2 cup of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 10min. Use a fork to shred the "spaghetti" part of the squash out. Repeat with the other half.... That's it!! 
2. While the squash is cooking, sweat the onions and garlic in a little oil over medium heat. When they start to turn translucent add the chorizo and cook through. 
3. In a 9x9 glass baking dish mix the marinera and eggs, add the squash, spinach, and chorizo. Mix until everything is homogenous. 
4. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour until the top is crispy. So good!

Friday, January 10, 2014

What's for breakfast?

As a single, working mom trying to balance and maintain a a lifestyle of paleo and CrossFit fanatic the question of "what do you eat for breakfast?" Often comes up. Here is what I eat 80% of mornings....
Sundays I do almost all my cooking. I make a big pan of this "hash" and in the morning quickly cook an egg and add a half of avocado. You can obviously omit the previously stated two ingredients, microwave as much as you want, and be on your way! This makes enough for at least 4 of my breakfasts depending on the number of eggs I cook.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash

1 sweet potato- peeled and diced in small cubes
5 pieces of bacon in 1 inch strips
1 package of sausage links (about 8-10)

1. Cook bacon over medium heat until fat starts to render. 
2. Add the sweet potato and sausage and cook until potatoes are fork tender and sausage is cooked through.
3. You're done! Enjoy or store for the week :)

Broccoli Salad

Problem: exhausted mom is not getting her veggies and 18 month old Charlie-girl is starting to get picky!

I think one of the hardest things about being paleo beyond the no sugar aspect is getting in enough veggies. I don't always have time to cook (pans to wash, baby doesn't want to let me, etc.) and I seem to cook bacon at least once a week so I often use some of it for this recipe. Bonus! My child loves it! She only eats the very tops of the broccoli but loves the cranberries and almonds (you could even use raisins). And I give you my current favorite veggie dish: broccoli salad.

Broccoli Salad

4 broccoli crowns (diced in bite sized florets-raw)
3 green onions (diced)
4 pieces of bacon (cut in 1/2 inch pieces) 
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup cranberries 
1/3 cup sliced almonds 

1. Cook bacon until crispy
2. Add broccoli, raisins, onions, cranberries, almonds in a bowl and toss. 
3. Add cooked bacon with fat and mix.
4. Eat immediately or keep it in the fridge for when you need a snack :) 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

From vegan to paleo

How does someone go from vegan to paleo? They seem like completely different lifestyle choices. Here's the short version:
At some point in college I had this ridiculous love for animals and that mixed with one to many science classes made me unable to "disconnect" from my food. When I saw steak I saw striated muscle, when I saw chicken I saw tendons....ew! I stopped eating meat. Fast-forward five years and I decided to become vegan... It seemed like a healthy option and cheese is terrible for you. Vegan lasted until my pregnancy. My pregnancy was less than ideal.... I threw up all day every day for 5 months and was hospitalized a few times. At that point I decided I needed to eat whatever sounded appealing which meant vegan was over, back to vegetarian. Fast forward another year and I found myself in the middle of a divorce and becoming a single mom, living "alone" for the first time, and in need of an outlet. CrossFit became my outlet... As the weights went up and the training  more intense, I was craving meat. Almost 7 years after becoming a vegetarian I ate cheap Chinese food... yep, that was my first meal. Since that day I haven't looked back or felt better. I have become obsessed with paleo cooking and a clean lifestyle. I am 100% paleo about 90% of the time. The recipes are mine that have been adjusted from non paleo recipes or ones that called for too many steps and ingredients. I read cook books and recipes for fun :) With all the new changes in my life It seems like a good time to start sharing my recipes and stories- I need to cook with products not hard to find or expensive and meals must be relatively quick... So here we go....