Spicy Ginger Pan-Seared Salmon

So…guess what I just did?  No, you’re not hallucinating (although maybe I am)…I’m doing a figure competition.  In an attempt to avoid losing any more readership than I already have after dropping this ball on the world, I started a new blog to document my experience–I’m still Paleo but I’m changing up the structure of my meals and my workouts quite a bit.  I’m already a week into it and frankly I’m impressed my marriage has survived this much of the madness…Go ahead, get your digs in now…

OK moving on.  Like 95% of the diet my first week of competition prep was salmon and sweet potatoes.  Or sweet potatoes and salmon.  God, 12 weeks of this is gonna get old.  Anyhow, in an attempt to make the whole thing less boring I’ve been throwing all kinds of seasonings together with all of the “safe sauces” I own–coconut aminos, fish sauce, lemon/lime juices, mustard, vinegar, you name it.  And go figure, a few of them have been nastified on par with raw sewage.  Fish sauce and mustard do NOT belong together, just sayin’.  BUT I did hit on this little gem of a combo last night and figured, what the hell, I haven’t been cooking much for the blog since the Vegan Series…let’s share a Paleo Bodybuilding Recipe that doesn’t taste like paper.

INGREDIENTS

6 oz Salmon

2 t Coconut Oil

2 t Coconut Aminos

2 t Fresh Grated Ginger

1/4 t Cayenne Pepper

1/4 t Paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Pat the salmon dry with paper towels.  Brush each side with the coconut oil and sprinkle with the seasonings.

Sear over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

If you’re trying to lean out, serve with steamed veggies.  If you’re a normal person, serve with something delicious.

Salmon Tarts

OMG OMG OMG.

GAME OF THRONES COOKBOOK!!

As soon as I found out that such a thing, indeed, was possible I had it on pre-order.  AND.  IT’S.  HERE!!!

And yeah, the whole thing is pretty Geek-a-Licious.  I spent a soild hour and a half just perusing the intro and reading all the regional descriptions and double checking everything on my handy dandy map of Westeros.  Do not judge me…I have a thing, OK?!

THEN I started getting into the recipes themselves.  I love how almost every recipe comes in two parts–a medieval version and a modern version.  There’s some wacky stuff (pidgeon pie…that calls for pidgeons) but also some recipes I’d be proud to serve to a crown (honey roasted chicken with currants…holy crap I almost ate the photo).

So last night was originally a leftovers night–with said leftovers being the remnants of a baked salmon fillet–but I was dying…DYING!…to try something out.  Needless to say there isn’t much that’s Paleo but thankfully medieval recipes are pretty un-complicated and all I had to do was get creative with some substitutions.

I honed in on the Fish Tarts because, well, I had fish in the house that needed to be eaten.  Plus anything in tart or pie form is delicious. Which is reason number 5734875345785 that I love this book, because those Song of Ice and Fire folks ate a lot of stuff in pie or tart form.  I had to find a Paleo-friendly pastry dough, which I did over at The Nutty Kitchen (only change I made was not adding shredded coconut and nixing the honey)…side note-BEST Paleo pie crust I’ve ever had.  Seriously…OMG.  Plus I got to use my brand new tart pan!  Thanks Mike & Missy!!

The original recipe also calls for dates and figs to be added to the tarts, but I nixed those thanks to the 21DSD.  I’d also note that tart pans come in all shapes and sizes, so monitor the cooking time a bit depending on the difference.  The pan I used has four, 4-inch tarts.  What I ended up with was a pretty simple recipe but damn if it wasn’t delicious.  Kinda like fancy-schmancy-grown-up comfort food!

INGREDIENTS

Crust (adapted from the Nutty Kitchen):

1/4 c Butter, softened

2 T Coconut Oil, softened

1 c Coconut flour

3 Eggs, beaten

1/4 t Salt

1 T Cold Water

Filling:

1 lb Salmon, cooked and flaked

1/2 Onion, diced fine

1 Egg

2 T Fresh chives, chopped

1/2 t Paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

For the crust…

Whisk the dry ingredients together.  To this, add the butter and oil and with either a fork or food processor, mix until you have a coarse meal.  Add the eggs and water and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough (it will be a little more crumbly than wheat-based pie crusts).  Press into tart molds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until a light golden brown.

For the filling and assembly…

Combine the salmon, egg, and seasonings.  When the crusts are done baking, remove from the oven.  Spoon the filling evenly among the tart shells.

Return to the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

Toasted Pine Nut Crusted Salmon Burgers

So last night I was on my way to Whole Foods after yoga and texted my husband for a little inspiration–in hindsight that might have been a little cruel.  Kind like, “Oh, hey, I know you’re a couple states away at the moment but I need to make a delicious meal for myself and have no idea what to make!  Please help!”  So like a good Man, he shoots back, “Steak!”  …I asked for something more creative.  “Crusted fish and chutney.”  I could work with that.

I’m sure he was envisioning something more like this old fave, but thinking of seafood reminded me how atrociously long it’s been since I did anything with salmon.  Salmon is like the Chocolate of the Sea.  If you don’t like it you must be unstable or something.  Know what else is unstable?  The Weekend Time Continuum…I swear it was Friday afternoon about five seconds ago.  That’s just messed up.

Ingredients

(Serves 2-4)

1 c Pine Nuts

1 lb Salmon

1 Egg

1/2 Small Onion, chopped

1/2 Bell Pepper, chopped

1/2 t Paprika

1/2 t Dried Parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Heat a dry skillet over high heat and toast the pine nuts, tossing occasionally until they are light brown all over.  Let cool, then toss into a food processor and pulse into a coarse meal.  Set aside.

Cut the salmon into chunks, then place in the food processor.  Pulse until finely ground, then transfer to a bowl with 1/3 c of the ground pine nuts, egg, onion, pepper, and seasoning.  Mix well.

Form the mixture into 4 balls, then flatten into patties.  Coat each side with the remaining ground pine nuts.  Arrange on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Shrimp Tacos w/ Jalepeno Cream Sauce

If I’d have been thinking straight we could have had these on Tuesday…you know, Taco Tuesday??  *Sigh*

I’m not a spicy food person.  Like, really not a spicy food person.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice kick that comes from a hint o’ curry or pepper.  But then there’s the sado-masochistic lot of you that will happily shove 911-Hot-Wings in your mouth like candy corn.  Nope, not this girl…I don’t believe my food should cause me physical pain.

So, that brings me to the fiasco that was making these tacos.  I wanted to use some fresh jalepenos I picked up earlier in the week…but when you’re looking for just the right amount of heat it’s all too easy to end up with something either way bland or so hot you’ll be banished to the porcelain throne for a week.  Given the fact that I handle spicy food worse than I can handle anything with alcohol, my time in the kitchen wasn’t pretty, lemme tell ya.  You’re welcome, because both the shrimp and the sauce were perfect.  You’re welcome.

Ingredients

(Serves 2-4)

1 head Iceberg Lettuce

1 lb Shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1/4 c Lime Juice

2 T Fresh Cilantro, chopped

2 Jalepeno Peppers, sliced

Batter:

2 Eggs

1/3 c Arrowroot Powder

1/4 t Black Pepper

Olive Oil for frying

Jalepeno Cream Sauce:

2 T Olive Oil

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1/2 Onion, diced

1 Jalepeno, diced

1/4 c Lime Juice

1/2 c Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1 c Sour Cream

Instructions

First, prepare the cream sauce.  Heat oil over medium-high heat, then add the onions and garlic.  Saute until soft, then add the peppers and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and de-glaze the pan with lime juice.  Allow to cool.  Combine sour cream and cilantro, then add the jalepeno mixture and whisk together until smooth.  Cover and chill before use.

For the shrimp, marinate before cooking in the lime juice, cilantro, and peppers.  Do NOT leave in the marinade for more than 10-15 minutes, or the acid in the lime juice will cook the shrimp.

Beat the eggs, arrowroot powder, and pepper.  Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan.  In batches, dip the shrimp in batter and place in the hot oil.  Cook for 1 minute on each side, then flip.  Drain on paper towels.  **I strongly suggest you dip some of the marinated jalepeno slices in batter and fry those up, too!

To assemble tacos, fill lettuce leaves with shrimp and top with cream sauce.  Add any other toppings you want (we used diced sweet peppers, tomato, and avocado).

Shrimp ‘n’ Eggs

After Thursday’s Box-Stravaganza, my kitchen is a little lacking.  I mean, who’da thunk these people would take EVERYTHING?  Seriously, they even got Ross’s laptop because it wasn’t properly marked as something to leave out.  As far as my kitchen goes, let’s just say it’s been an adventure in learning how to get eggs out of a pan with a tablespoon.  Literally.  Because it didn’t cross my mind to hold on to a spatula.  Stupid, Camilla….STUPID.

Thankfully for you, the eggs made it on the plate and I got some shrimp cooked up perfectly to go on top.  I know, I’ve never had shrimp with eggs, either, but I really needed to use up what I had leftover from Monday.  And yes, shrimp with eggs is fracking delicious.  And quick…oh, so many thanks, little shrimpies for being so quick to cook…

Ingredients

(Serves 2-3)

2 T Olive Oil

1/2 lb Shrimp, shelled and de-veined

1/4 c Fresh Cilantro

1 Clove Garlic, minced

1/4 t Sea Salt

1/4 t Black Pepper

1/4 t Oregano

1/2 c Shrimp Stock

8 Eggs

1/4 c Coconut Milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

Place shrimp in a bowl with stock, salt, pepper, oregano, and cilantro.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute until soft.  Add the shrimp mixture and cover for about 3-4 minutes until cooked through.  Reserve 2 T of liquid to flavor the scrambled eggs.

Beat eggs together with coconut milk, salt and pepper, and shrimp juice.  Scramble over medium-high heat.  Top with shrimp and enjoy!

Salmon-Sweet Potato Breakfast Bake

Lately I’ve been completely addicted to Worst Cooks in America.  I mean, I’m sure they screen people to get the ridiculous mix of personalities but I literally sit on my couch laughing so hard I look like I’m having a seizure.  Seriously, last night this woman was trying to make Swedish meatballs and was all like, “When I think of Sweden, I think of chocolate and the Alps…because Sweden is in Switzerland!”  And then this other chick was freaking the eff out because shecouldn’t get her tofu to melt.  I mean, holy hell…I love it so much.

I have the utmost respect for Anne and Bobby and Robert…I’m a terrible teacher.  I have zero patience.  Ross is a better man than most for staying with me after I berated him for not knowing how to make butter, and then all those times when I make fun of him for being such a slow salad-maker.  I’m being mean, though.  Despite some sub-par knife skills, he’s actually a good cook, really…in fact, he’s cooking dinner all week this week and I am so, so thankful for the break.

So…breakfast.

Egg casseroles are under-appreciated.  I mean, they’re good for any meal of the day…like one of those “BLD’s” Rachel Ray likes so much.  Plus they’re so fracking easy to make and they last all week long…all I have to do in the eveing to prep for the day ahead is rinse out my tupperwares and add another piece.  Boom.

Ingredients

18 Eggs

8 oz Cooked Salmon, flaked

1 Red Bell Pepper, diced

1 Small Onion, Diced

1/2 Large Yam, grated

1 c Fresh Kale, shredded

1 t Sea Salt

1 t Black Pepper

2 t Rosemary

Instructions

Beat the eggs and spices with a wire whisk until foamy.

In a 15 x 10 x 2 inch greased baking dish, spread the kale on the bottom.  Add diced pepper and onion, then salmon, then sweet potato.

Pour the eggs over the filling and let sit for 5 minutes to let it settle.

Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  It also keeps in the fridge, covered, for up to a week.

Bacon Scallop Stir Fry

I haven’t been as good about the whole twice-a-day blogging schtick lately (or even daily blogging, for that matter), but that’s what you get when you’re back at work after a decent amount of time away with an imminent move across a couple states.  I’m also trying to focus the blog a little more and make sure anything I post has something people actually want to read and can use…bottom line is that I want this to be a helpful tool for people, whether I’m sharing a new recipe or a workout.

I know there are quite a few Paleo/Crossfit blogs out there, but it’s worth it to me to pitch in my two cents and learn from others along the way.  I’m not here to dish my innermost thoughts and feelings make this a forum for suicidal rants every time I eat a cookie.  Just know that I may or may not be incapable of thoughts and feelings and I love cookies.

If I can buy in to and stick with the Paleo/Crossfit thing, anyone can…trust me, I’m broke and lazy and am still secretly terrified of lifting heavy weights–but I see the results of the changes in my lifestyle every single day and that’s what motivates me to keep going!

OK, enough of that.  You all want food…and more importantly, you want some bacon, right??

Last night Ross and I went over to babysit for a few hours for a friend who’s getting ready to take the bar and needed some uninterrupted study time.  Let’s be honest…it’s always good practice for us, too, and reminds me just how much I underestimate the demands of motherhood.  (Mom, if you’re out there, you’re my hero!).  Besides watching the munchkin (we took it upon ourselves to sit him down in front of the news and school him on the political state of the country…), I whipped up some dinner.

Originally, I bought a 2-lb bag of scallops intending to wrap them in bacon (because who doesn’t love those?!), but I decided on a quicker meal that still satisfied my bacon itch.

Ingredients

2 lbs Scallops

2 c Snap Peas

1/2 Onion, diced

3 Garlic Cloves, minced

2 T Olive Oil

4 Thick Slices Bacon, diced

Instructions

Heat oil over medium-high heat and add the garlic.  (If you have a wok, it would be ideal)  When garlic is browned slightly, add bacon and cook until crisp.  Add the onions and snap peas.  When the onions are translucent, add the scallops and reduce the heat to medium.  Stirring occasionally, cook for an additional 5 minutes or until scallops are cooked through, but not tough.

We had ours with Japanese and Hannah sweet potato fries.  Probably not the most “traditional” combo and I’m sure a real foodie somewhere is completely disgusted with me…but whatever, who doesn’t like sweet potato fries!

When I’m Short on Time and/or Energy…

30-Minute Meal:  Baked Salmon and Brussels Sprouts

Large Salmon fillet and halved Brussels sprouts, drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and herbs de Provence.  Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.  Total prep: 5 mins.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast



I woke up at 4:00am, and in my delirium managed to toss a beef chuck roast in the slow cooker on low with nothing but salt and pepper.  When I got home at 6, I poured 1 cup of Merlot on top, cooked another hour, and served with a Big Ass Salad.  Too easy.

A Monday-Worthy Recipe

Monday sucks.  I’ll spare you the details, but today I was tired and cranky and still had splinters in my hands from the Spartan.

(Recap still in the works…too tired today)

I planned on a 4-mile run this morning but about 100 meters in I realized it was not gonna happen and I just did a 2 1/2 mile run and went over to the gym over lunch hour for some strength work:

Deadlift 6 x 5 @ 70%


…I did one of six rounds and realized it wasn’t going to happen, so I compromised with 5 x 3 @ 75% (115 lbs)

Back Squat 5-5-5-5-5


Results:  65-75-95-95-100

I was dragging today and got home way late, but luckily tonight’s dinner was a simple one:

Macadamia-Crusted Tilapia

4 Tilapia Fillets
1 c Macadamia Nuts
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pate each fillet dry with paper towels.  Grind nuts in a food processor until fine.  Beat egg.  Dip fillets in egg, then coat with nuts on each side.  Arrange in a greased baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes.

Prep + Cook = 20 minutes.  Seriously, it took The Man longer to make the salad.  On a sh*tty Monday when all I needed was a sinfully delicious dinner in as little time as humanly possible, this was it.  It was light, buttery, and oh, so good for you.  (Nutri-Geek Alert:  Mac’s have the best omega-3 to 6 ratio of any nut!)