29 Selfies from my 20s

if you really want to waste your time you can click on each link 😉

#29selfiesfrommy20s #selfie #Iturn30tomorrow

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Spaghetti Squash Bake

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This recipe is a variation I found over at PaleOMG.com  I’ve made it twice now and It’s my favorite pre-made meal I have found yet! I usually source the ingredinets from Trader Joes, they have a cheap selection of organic stuff to cook with.Prep time 1 hour, Cook Time 1 hour Ingredients:

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash – cooked and shredded
  • 1 package of Trader Joes Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage (or something similar)
  • 1 heaping tsp of italian seasoning
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (vodka sauce, 3 cheese pomodoro sauce or whatever else you desire, that doesn’t have any junk in it.)
  • 3 eggs whisked together
  • butter, olive oil or coconut oil of choice
  • salt and peper to taste
  • Any other Veggies/meat/cheese that your heart desires.

Directions: IMG_0817Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prep the Spaghetti Squash. Cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds/guts and spray or spread some olive oil (I use a misto spray can) on both halves. I usually salt it a bit as well. Place face down on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil. Place it in the oven and cook for an hour. Once it comes out let it cool a bit and then take a fork and pull the insides out. It should shred and look like noodles. (either do this straight into the mix you will make shortly, or if you do it a head of time I like to shred it into a gallon bag and shove in the fridge) P.S. Yeah I know this is a long time, and you cook the casserole for a long time but it lessens that odd crunchy texture of spaghetti squash. P.P.S. this squash will nev er ever taste exactly like wheat based noodles so please don’t kid yourself and get angry later. About 45-50 minutes into the squash cook time (plenty of time for laundry or a little cleanin g or making other meals) begin prepping the rest of the mixture. This way the squash can cool a bit.  While the squash is cooking get out a large pot, chop up the onion,  and melt a little butter, olive oil or whatever else you see fit and start sweating the onions down with a little salt and pepper. As those are cooking down cut your chicken sausage into thin medallions (or if you have ground sausage place it in the pan and cook it thoroughly). Get a little color on that sausage and if you have any veggies like mushrooms, bell peppers etc. make sure you get those cooked a bit too. I added frozen chopped spinach to my mix. Stir in your jar of sauce and let it heat up and mix the flavors together, taste and add salt accordingly. Once your mixture tastes to your satisfaction stir in spaghetti squash, coating it even in the mixture. (At this point add in pepperoni, cheese or anything else you don’t want cooked down) Take whisked eggs and stir into the mix until you can’t see them any more (IE STIR WELL, you do not want chunks of scrambled egg in this). pour into a large baking dish and pop it into the oven for an hour. let it rest for a few minutes once its done slice, scoop divide and conquer onto plates or into lunch boxes and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Apple Muffins with a twist

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So I found this recipe over here and decided to modify it with things I had at home already, they came out so good I’m having a hard time not devouring the whole pan myself.

Yeah I know it’s been a while I offer no apologies, life gets busy and I keep cooking but I don’t have time to write them down. You can thank some ice storms in Charleston, SC for this one.

Ingredients List:

  • 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato (I will usually poke holes in it and microwave it for about 7-8 minutes on high, mash it down in the cup remove the air)
  • 1 smallish apple peeled and grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (i used salted so I did not add salt to the recipe, if unsalted add 1/2 tsp of salt)
  • 1 table spoon almond flour (the dry ingredient helps i swear)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (although maple syrup or raw honey would be fine)
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • hand full or so of dark chocolate chips (optional)

IMG_0821Most instructions begin by saying, mix wet ingredients together and mix dry ingredients together. Then mix them all together.

Well I’m a guy and I didn’t do that because frankly it doesn’t make much sense when there isn’t a big dry to wet ratio here. If I was using a lot of coconut flour I would do it because of how clumpy that stuff gets.

Mix it all together kids except the chocolate chips. Get a little elbow grease into it, make sure all of that sweet potato gets broken up, using a fork is the best way ive found to get it all together. Unless you’re adverse to physical labor. add in the chips, stir around, pour into lined cupcake liners about 3/4 full. This should make you a full 12 pan.

Pop them into the oven for 24 minutes at 350 and viola!

Sausage/blueberry muffin poppers

I pulled this recipe off of fastpaleo.com and it was great, I modified it a bit and I have some cautionary tales to go with it, mainly because i had just WODed and did not have all of my wits about me, and I was multi-tasking a bit to much.

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First things first, if you’re not getting local produce and you can, do it. There is a local organic farmer that sells some kick butt produce in downtown Charleston and every thing I’ve bought from him is good. Well except his peaches didn’t look good, but dang it, no one is producing good peaches this season.

There is something about farm fresh produce that has been produced organically, it tastes better, it lasts in the fridge longer and is a little larger. It’s probably because it’s not genetically modified to be perfect!

I’m like anyone else though, it all comes to budget and convenience. I can’t shop at the farmers market every week, and lets be honest, if you sign up for a CSA you’re going to get veggies you don’t want to eat. If they gave me a steady supply of brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes I’d be very happy.

Ok on to the sausage blueberry muffin poppers. No these aren’t actual muffins, they’re meat muffins, no grains or nuts or dairy involved.

Word to the wise. I filled up a muffin tin close to over flowing with meat. This provided for a good sized popper but what I wasn’t thinking about was grease production. Since nothing has cooked out yet, these suckers sweat out grease like a well…you can fill in any analogy you’d like there, and then I stay PC.

They produced several cups of grease and I put nothing under them to catch it, thus an ensuing massive grease fire took place in my oven causing me to shout obscenities over the phone while my girlfriend listened on in amusement. The fire went out on it’s own and thankfully so because I had no fire extinguisher (Something I will remedy) and i managed to avoid the smoke alarm going off by opening the doors and yanking the unit out of the ceiling.

IMG_4372I finished cooking them on the grill in a deep drip pan and it worked out beautifully. I might have just about had a heart attack over these little balls of awesome.

 

Prep time: only took about 15 minutes because I pre-cooked the fennel otherwise it would take like 5 minutes. Cook time…about 50 minutes at 400 degrees F. (and if you manage to catch fire and save them like I did, 400 in a tray on the grill will suffice as well, you might just have to watch it more)

Ingredients:

2lb of ground pork (i used some hot pork sausage with no added sugar or crap)

6 strips of bacon diced small

1 carton of blueberries

2-4 eggs (I accidentally omitted these and they still turned out ok)

1 bulb of fennel

1 small bunch of green onions

2 teaspoons of ground garlic

1 teaspoon of black pepper

pinch of sea salt

How to:

Dice up the bulb of fennel and onion to fairly small chunks and saute in a pan with a little fat of your choice until they start to soften.

In a large mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients together (might have to wait for your onions and fennel to cool a bit). Spoon a generous amount of the mix into the muffin tins, no paper required, it would end up a mess anyway. PUT A BIG, DEEP COOKIE SHEET UNDER THE MUFFIN TIN. This should help catch any grease spillage and avoid a grease fire and unnecessary sailor language. let them bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, if you want them to be less greasy, pop them out and let them cook on another cookie sheet for a few more minutes until the grease has vacated.

I ate them hot and cold and they were great quick breakfasts!

enjoy!

Whole 30….oops, grilled curried sweet potato fries

I know I said I’d post during the whole 30…and I’m still on it so this counts right?
I have quite a few new recipes to share, and a few funny stories along the way.
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I have decided that not only do fedoras not look good on 90% of the US population, but that I cannot ever take myself seriously in one. I look like a hybrid gangster douche. Jersey Shore watch out.

 

The first whole 30 experience I had, I dropped somewhere between a ridiculous 15-20 pounds. I think some of it was because I was not eating anywhere near enough our often enough. This time around I have only dropped about 5lbs body weight but I’ve dropped 2+ inches off my waist. I’m building more muscle and forcing myself to eat more often even if its just a small snack, or a protein shake I made (which I’ll share later, its been a life saver!).

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I’ll be honest there is only so many ways you can cook a sweet potato and have it be like WOW that was amazing. Hash is one way but I’ve been eating lots of that. So I figured why not make fries, that are not fried, and no I don’t want to put these in the oven. (I like grilling almost everything it feels more manly that way)

So I decided why not grill some sweet potatoes and see what happens!

Ingredients:

1-2 sweet potatos peeled and cut into wedges
olive oil
1tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ginger (optional)
Coconut oil (for the grill)

 

How To:

These numbers are all arbitrary because it’s just a rub of sorts. I cut the wedges, trying to make sure they were not to thick, I’d say about an inch to inch and a half at their widest point otherwise they will take forever to cook. After you cut the wedges throw them in some kind of tupperware container with a lid, drizzle the olive oil over them and then add the spices in, close the lid and shake it up to coat the wedges. 

After you’ve preheated the grill to grill whatever meat of your choice is that evening (all I have to say is it had better be beef, and it had better be cooked medium rare or rarer). Make sure your top rack is clean and then soak a paper towel in the coconut oil and wipe down the rack. This will help keep the sweet potato from sticking.

I usually run my grill hot, so i can get a good char on steak or burgers while keeping the center red. So the temp sits around 500. I laid the potatoes out on the top rack, it worked best when there was a little space between them so if you have a lot of potato you might need two batches. after you put them on the rack you’ll let them cook about 5-6 minutes per side, so 10-12 total, you want them with some good char on them so you know they’re cooked through.

Remove from grill and enjoy with whatever else you hunted and gathered!

Oddly enough the curry and salt together with the sweet potatoes give them an eerie, sugared quality which is awesome if you’re on whole 30 or a 21 day sugar detox and want something with a little sweetness to kill that urge.

That mushroom gravy on the steak photo is something else I will blog about later. It was killer and totally paleo. That might have to find its way onto some paleo biscuits before too long after whole 30 is over. (trying to stay true to “real food”) rather than mimicking stuff I shouldn’t be eating, even if it is made out of whole foods that are good for you.

 

Crockpot Chicken: curry style

Just to keep up blogging I’m going to add a new crockpot chicken variant. Next month I’m going to go Whole 30 and I’ll try and post something regularly that meets Whole 30 requirements at least weekly, and this does meet it!

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Ingredients:

pack of chicken thighs (i cooked 6, skin on)

1 can of coconut milk

1 can of organic sliced mushrooms

1 can of organic artichoke hearts

1 large bag of fozen spinach (you can use fresh but frozen was faster for me and less bulky)

2-3 tablespoons of red curry paste

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of ground ginger

1 tablespoon of ground garlic

Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions: 

dump coconut milk, curry, garlic, ginger and some salt and pepper into bottom of crock pot and mix until curry is disolved. Add in mushrooms and artichoke hearts with liquid to thin out coconut milk, mix a little. Add in spinach as a layer, then lay chicken on top, put salt and pepper on top of chicken. (i put spinach on top but it will be a little better to let it mix in on bottom). Cover and let it cook. I put it on low over night and boom lunch for the next day!

Prep time 15-20 minutes(if that)
Cook time 7-8 hours

Paleo Strawberry/Peach Coffee Cake

Life has gotten busy and I haven’t been cooking as much (shame on me both for my budget and eating purposes).

This is a version of a recipe I found over at http://fastpaleo.com/strawberry-almond-coffee-cake/

Here is my modified version to include the peaches and basically whatever was in my pantry.

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 2 peaches diced
  • 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
  • Topping: ½ cup almond flour, 3 tablespoons butter slightly softened, 6 tablespoons palm sugar, ½ cup ground pistachios

Cooking Steps

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cake ingredients up to the strawberries/peaches and stir to incorporate.
Fold in the diced strawberries and peaches. This ends up a little more moist and if it thins out too much you might want to add an extra tablespoon or so of coconut flour.
Press the thick and sticky dough into the prepared pan.
Prepare your topping by combining the remaining ½ cup flour and butter, working the mixture with your hands or a pastry cutter to disperse the oil evenly.
Mix in the sugar and sliced almonds.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in to the middle comes out clean or the top is completely set.

enjoy!