Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

Paleo Challenege: Day 12


Karl and I are still trying to figure things out for this challenge. I always make our meal plans for the week, and I use to plan 3 or 4 meals which would get us through the week with having leftovers for lunch and dinner some nights. But apparently that isn't working with this challenge. Last week we had to go to the grocery store 3 times to restock our fridge. I went grocery shopping Sunday and by Wednesday we were out of food.. aka meat and sweet potatoes. Then by Friday, we needed to go back again.

So I've learned that I can't count on leftovers for dinner anymore. I've also learned that I need to start planning our breakfasts as well as our dinners (lunches are always leftovers- THAT I can count on!). Since we aren't just eating oatmeal for breakfast every morning anymore, I am having to do more prepping.  Like shredding 6 pounds of sweet potatoes for hash. And making 2 pounds of chicken breakfast patties.

I'm still trying to find the perfect balance of foods to make my intestines happy too. Too many veggies make it mad, too much grease, too much fruit. Hopefully I'll find a good balance soon.

Here's some of the things on the menu for this week:

Breakfast

Spaghetti Squash Hash
Sweet Potato Hash with Chicken Sausage
Butternut Squash Pancakes (I'm really excited for these!!!)

Dinner

Balsamic Garlic Chicken
Almond Pizza Crust with Salmon
Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs and White (Cauliflower) Sauce
Tuna and Avocado Salad

For lunch today Karl was making a pineapple bacon wrapped burger. Since I'm trying to limit my fruit intake, I opted to switch out the pineapple with roasted sweet potato slices.... and it was AWESOME!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers

Makes 2 burgers

Ingredients

1/2 lb ground turkey
4 slices of bacon
1/2 large sweet potato (roasted)
whatever spices you want to season the turkey with ( I didn't use any, but next time I think I'll add in some rosemary)

Directions

Make 2 Xs with the bacon.
Form the ground turkey into 2 patties and place them in the center of each X.
Slice up the sweet potato and cover the top of the turkey.
Wrap the bacon ends over the sweet potato. If you need to, use a toothpick to hold them in place.
I used my George Foreman to cook them. To cook the bacon evenly, I flipped the burgers after about 7 minutes. 

I topped mine with avocado. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

One Minute Snickerdoodle Cookie- Paleo

Sometimes you just need one cookie...

Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp egg (or just the egg white from one egg)
1/2 - 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 - 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

Combine all in a microwave safe mug or bowl.
Zap in the microwave for 1 minute.
And just like that- you have a cookie!

I like to top mine with raspberries or blueberries.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Scallop Tomato Sauce- Paleo

Paleo Challenge: Day 4

CrossFit Open: 13.1-


Proceed through the sequence below completing as many reps as possible in 17 minutes of:
40 Burpees

75/45 pound Snatch, 30 reps
30 Burpees
135/75 pound Snatch, 30 reps
20 Burpees
165/100 pound Snatch, 30 reps
10 Burpees
210/120 pound Snatch, as many reps as possible

I only made it through 40 burpees, 30 snatches, and 30 burpees, so 100 reps. But I figured that would happen. My PR for snatches is 65 lbs... so 30 reps of 75 lbs was clearly not going to happen.
I actually get to do this workout twice. Since it was the first workout for the Paleo Challenge, we will do it again at the end of the 5 weeks to see how much progress we've made. So hopefully I'll be able to hit one or two reps at 75 lbs in 5 weeks!

I'm already over eating all this meat. Meat, meat, meat. I really didn't have to change the way I eat too much for this challenge, the only thing I eat on a regular basis that isn't allowed is steel cut oats. So I'm not expecting to see any dramatic changes or anything. Hopefully a little extra muscle though!

I was craving something different, something new, something not chicken and vegetables. For some reason gnocchi popped into my head. I did a lot of searching online for ideas for a paleo gnocchi. I was trying to find one that used almond meal because I already had some. After looking at at least 7 different recipes I FINALLY found one that used almond meal! I found it on Bam Bam Paleo.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Scallop Tomato Sauce

Makes about 4 servings.

Recipe

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes (I left the skin on and it turned out fine)
4 cups almond meal + extra for sprinkling 
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg

Sauce:

1 cup small scallops
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 onion- diced
3 cloves of garlic- minced
olive oil

Recipe:

Gnocchi

Cut potatoes into cubes or coins, boil in a large pot until you can easily stick a fork into it, about 10 minutes or so. Drain and set them aside to cool.

Once they are cool enough to handle, throw them into your food processor or blender with the eggs, salt, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. I had to do a couple different batches because my blender wasn't big enough. 

I transfered the sweet potato mixture into the big bowl of my kitchenaid mixer. Start adding the almond meal slowly until you have a weird, kind of sticky, dough-like mixture. You may need more than 4 cups of almond meal or less. You want it to stick together, but be careful not to add too much almond meal, or else it could be too dry.

Set oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle almond meal onto your countertop and place a quarter of the gnocchi dough on top. Roll the dough out into a thick sausage shape (you may have to sprinkle more almond meal on top) and cut it into bite size pieces. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Boil a large pot of water and then turn it down slightly- you still want it to be boiling, but not going crazy. If the water is too rough it will just break the gnocchi pieces.

Drop the gnocchi pieces into the water and cook for about 3 minutes or so, I probably did about 10-15 pieces at a time- it will depend on the size of your pot.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi, and place them on a greased baking sheet. Pop them into the oven for 5-10 minutes to crisp them up a bit.

Sauce

In a large pan, saute your onions with a splash of olive oil. When they are tender and translucent, add the garlic. A minute or so later add the tomatoes and scallops. Let the whole pan simmer for 15 minutes, until it thickens up a bit.
I really had to work for this meal- it took a long time to prep, it definitely wasn't the easiest thing to make, and in the end you don't even get THAT much food! But it really did hit the spot. It was a nice change, plus it was DELICIOUS! The nutmeg and the scallops definitely made this meal great.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mashed Potato Pizza Crust

I loooove mashed potatoes. For Thanksgiving, half my plate is mashed potatoes.
I'd seen pizzas with mashed potatoes as a topping, but I'd never seen one with mashed potatoes as the actual crust. I had recently made a this pizza with a sweet potato crust and it turned out great, so I thought I'd give regular ol' potatoes a try.

Mashed Potato Pizza Crust

Ingredients


1.5 cups mashed potatoes
1.5 cups almond meal
2 eggs
1 egg white
1 cup cheese
 1 tsp baking powder
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt


Recipe
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine all the ingredients, mix well.
On your silicone baking sheet (recommended!), greased pizza stone, or greased baking sheet, spread the dough evenly into one or two circles, about 1/2 inch thick. I made two smaller pizzas because I think it cooks better in the middle, plus they are easier to get off when they are done.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until center in firm and the edges are lightly browned. 
Add your toppings and bake for another 5-7 minutes, until cheese is melty and browned. 


For my toppings I used ricotta cheese as the sauce (because it's my favorite!), some green onion, mushrooms, bacon wrapped chicken, and mozzarella.




Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Roasted Broccoli

My box is having a Paleo Challenge that is starting next week, so I've been doing some major paleo recipe collecting lately. I'm trying to stock up on recipes to make the challenge as easy (and delicious) and possible. So since I've been searching through tons and tons of paleo recipes, I've obviously been looking at lots of pictures of bacon. (if you don't know what I'm talking about, go search for paleo recipes for a minute or two and you will understand!) Bacon this, bacon that, bacon bread, bacon cookies, bacon breakfast, bacon lunch, bacon dinner, bacon soup.

And of course all those bacon pictures makes me want bacon, and I just so had a package in the fridge! I saw a recipe for bacon wrapped pesto chicken- which sounds delicious. But I didn't have any pesto. So I simplified it even more and made bacon wrapped chicken. How easy is that?

Bacon Wrapped Chicken

serves 4 (perfect for dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day, or on some mashed potato pizza!)

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts
1 package of bacon
whatever seasonings you want to put on the chicken

Recipe

I started by slicing each chicken breasts into three strips each. You don't have to do this, but I wanted it to cook faster. Season the chicken breasts however you want to (I just did salt and pepper). 
Wrap the bacon around each chicken breast, I used about 2 pieces for each piece of chicken. The bigger the piece of chicken the more bacon you'll obviously need. If you need to, stick a toothpick into the end of the bacon to make it stay put.
I cooked these on my George Foreman for about 10 minutes or so.

Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients


2 cups broccoli
olive oil
sea salt

Recipe
Preheat oven to 400.
Rinse the broccoli and spread evenly onto baking sheet.
Drizzle or mist with olive oil. Sprinkle a little sea salt over all the pieces.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until browned and crispy. 


Paleo Fudge

For Valentine's Day, Karl and I had a hot date.
Our Crossfit box had a Sadie Hawkins workout- so I asked Karl to be my date. We did as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of 20 pull ups, 30 squats, 4 laps running, and 2 laps wheelbarrow walking. Holy cow- my shoulders were shot after the wheelbarrow walking! And then my hands kept slipping off of Karl's sweaty shins, so I had the hardest time holding him up (sorry for dropping you!!). 
Since it was Valentine's Day I felt like I needed to make something to share with people at the box, so I decided to make fudge (because it makes sense to bring fudge to a gym right?). And it was perfect timing because I had recently seen a recipe for paleo fudge- score!

Paleo Fudge

This fudge has a rich, melt in your mouth coconut flavor. It's awesome!

Recipe from Practical Paleo

Ingredients

1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c almond butter
1/4 c maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Recipe

Melt the coconut oil (and only the coconut oil! On my second batch I made the mistake of putting all the ingredients in a bowl and then melting them- totally changed the consistency.)
Blend all the ingredients together.
Pour into a lined muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tin). You could probably use a greased 8x8 baking dish and then just cut it into squares, but I haven't tried it. 
Pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes or so until it's firm. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.


Spinach Pizza Crust

This pizza was delicious!!!!! I know- it looks weird, it's green. And it's main ingredient is spinich. But seriously- soooo good! Oh, and the best part? It doesn't taste like spinach at all!

This is the easiest pizza crust I've ever made. Way easier than regular wheat pizza crust. No yeast needed! And it's only 3 ingredients plus whatever spices you want. 

Spinach Pizza Crust

Recipe adapted from this blog that I found via pinterest

Recipe

4 cups raw spinach
2 egga
2 cups cheese (I used mozzarella)
whatever spices you want (I used garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of salt)
Whatever toppings you want

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.
Grease your silicone baking sheet. If you don't have one, line a regular baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper (you may want to grease the parchment paper too- this stuff sticks really easily).
Puree spinach and eggs until smooth. Add cheese and spices.
Spread evenly onto baking sheet. I made two smaller pizzas and they turned out great, but you could make one big one too.
Bake for 15 minutes- until edges are brown and center is firm. 
Add toppings and bake until cheese is melty and browned, about 5-7 minutes.

I made one pizza for Karl and one for me. On Karl's I used regular pizza sauce, ground chicken, mushrooms and peppers. On mine I used ricotta cheese as the sauce (AWESOME!), mushrooms, and some ground chicken.
This pizza held together really well, I could pick up a slice and it didn't fall apart.