• Chai Sweet Potato Muffins

    Chai Sweet Potato Muffins

    For Erin’s first day of school I got up early and was pretty ambitious.  Make a quick pesto chicken salad while baking sweet potato muffins for her lunch!  Crazy!  But I got it done with time to spare even though it … Continue reading

  • Paleo Lunch Box - Pesto Chicken Salad, Chai Sweet Potato Muffins and Veggies

    Paleo School Lunch Idea – Pesto Chicken Salad

    How hard is it to pack a paleo school lunch?  On a scale of 1-10 I would rank it a 7 or 8.  Without having enough pre-made proteins, snack foods and veggies, it can be very difficult to pack off … Continue reading

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    Ginger Garlic Pork Meatballs

    Ok I have to admit one week into my new no Nightshade regimen I am getting a little hungry and need some FLAVA! So today while waiting to watch my coach Rachel Martinez, in  the opening event of the Crossfit Games I made up … Continue reading

  • Grilled Lobster with Basil Butter

    Grilled Lobster or as I call it Lobstah!

    I LOVE LOBSTER!!  Special thanks to Kelly, Liam Ron, Liz and Anthony for helping me get a second time in perfecting this delicious lobster reipce on Saturday night.  So much fun cooking with you guys! As I said earlier, I … Continue reading

  • Paleo Sweet Potato Salad with a hint of Cumin

    Paleo Sweet Potato Salad

    Need a cold summer side dish?  This young lady does after her very hard workout near the beach!  Getting healthy carbohydrates is always a challenge and I feel like I always need a new way to eat sweet potatoes.  Hot … Continue reading

  • Chicken and Pear Salad with some orange peppers for color!

    Chicken and Pear Salad – To Go!

    LUNCH!!  What to make so the kids don’t eat junk all summer at their job?  That is the question.  It is really a challenge to keep enough Paleo food in the house that also travels for lunch.   This guy … Continue reading

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    Grilled Striped Bass

    Found the freshest striped bass at Chatham Fish & Lobster Company yesterday.   Awesome!  I haven’t bought striped bass in a long time and it just looked so good.  Our evening barbecue was fast, easy and healthy until we had the Razzleberry … Continue reading

  • Chopped Summer Salad

    Chopped Summer Salad with Lemon Herb Dressing

    Lunch for the last few days have been a version of this salad.  Same dressing different proteins and sometimes some blueberries thrown in for color.  If you are trying to eat a clean diet during the summer months having a … Continue reading

  • Mango Salsa on Baked Cod

    Mango Salsa with Grilled Fish – Perfect Summer Dinner

    Now that it is finally summer, its time for some great lighter fare.  I love this recipe.  It is easy, fast and fresh.  You can also make the mango salsa ahead of time.  The salsa also tastes great on chicken. … Continue reading

Mussels in Cilantro, Lime and Coconut Broth

Wow what a summer,  31 recipes is way more ambitious than I thought it would be.  Right now this will be my 12th summer recipe –  I have some work to do!  One source of inspiration for my recipes is going out to eat and then trying to imitate that meal at home.

A couple of weeks ago we had dinner at Bluefins Sushi & Sake Bar in Chatham.  What a great place.  A mix of traditional sushi and some other great dishes.  One dish I love is the Cape Cod Wild Mussels which are also a take on Mussels in a thai coconut broth.  Here is my interpretation of the recipe.  Its easy and a great way to eat a very inexpensive shell fish.  I paid $2.50 a pound for the mussels!

Mussels in Cilantro Coconut Broth

Mussels in Cilantro Coconut Broth

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Mussels in Cilantro, Lime and Coconut Broth

  • Servings: 4 appetizers, 2 dinners
  • Time: 15 minutes prep and 15 minutes cooking
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 lime peeled and cut up
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp ginger chopped
  • 2 tbs coconut aminos
  • 1 can coconut milk, 1/2 can of water
  • 2 lbs mussels beards removed and scrubbed

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or heavy bottomed sauce pan with tight fitting lid over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.
  3. Add lime, cilantro, basil, ginger, coconut aminos, coconut milk, and water to pan.  Bring to a low simmer.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes to incorporate flavors.  Taste the broth and adjust seasonings to taste.  Does it need a little salt?
  5. Bring back to a low boil and add mussels.  Simmer until all mussels open 3-8 minutes.
  6. To serve, divide mussels into bowls and ladle broth over the mussels.

This recipe is very forgiving.  If you don’t have the ginger, coconut aminos, or one of the herbs just try it anyway.  Coconut and lime are the basic flavor building blocks so you can really play with the other flavors.  However, FRESH mussels are a must.  I made a great broth once and used mussels that ended up tasting not so fresh.  Total bust!  Drinking the broth after the fact didn’t seem like a very safe option so really push your fishmonger on when they got the mussels in.

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All the mussels just fit in my skillet.

 

Easy Oven to Grill Baby Back Ribs

Erin chowing down some ribs on the deck!

Erin chowing down some ribs on the deck!

This was a great summer vacation recipe.  Easy clean up and you can cook the ribs  ahead of time for care free summer entertaining.  Our vacation mornings usually consist of lots of coffee, reading and thinking about maybe we should get our day going.  During this very slow hours of sitting around and waiting for the preteens and teens to wake up, I cooked the ribs then threw them in the fridge for our dinner.  I also went ahead and made some Asian Cole Slaw and Paleo Sweet Potato Salad for a complete make ahead dinner.

After a great beach day, we had a bunch of family over for a bbq and we reheated the ribs during cocktail hour.  Easy and delicious and almost no clean up.

Easy Oven to Grill Baby Back Ribs

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 15 prep minutes 2 hours cooking
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 2 slabs of baby back ribs
  • 2 -3 tbs Penzeys Pork Chop Seasoning or make your own – 1 tbs garlic powder, 1 tbs onion powder, 2 tsp white pepper, 2 ground ginger, 1 tbs sea salt.
  • 4 tbs dijon mustard (optional)
  • 4 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Take out your ribs and peel off the membrane that is along the bone side of your ribs.   See picture below.
  3. Season ribs on both sides with seasonings.
  4. Wrap each rack in foil.  I used non stick foil and two sheets.  I made sure to completely enclose each rack. Don’t wrap them tightly.
  5. Place on top of a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 1.5-2 hours.  The longer you cook the more they fall off the bone so it depends on your preference.
  6. Take out of the oven and remove ribs from foil and drain excess fat.
  7. Make your optional BBQ by mixing mustard with maple syrup.  This is a tomato free sauce for those avoiding night shades.
  8. You can now let your ribs rest in the fridge if you cook them in the morning like I did just be sure to let them warm up to room temperature for at least a half an hour prior to grilling (cocktail hour!).
  9. Heat grill to medium heat and girl on a well oiled grill for 5-10 minutes per side.  Fresh from the oven, only grill for 5 minutes per side.  If reheating room temperature ribs cook for about 10 minutes per side.
  10. Serve with mustard sauce or your own BBQ sauce.
  11. Ribs reheat well for a lunch in the microwave!

I put my seasoning on, wrapped my ribs and then remembered to remove the membrane!  The joys of cooking on the fly!

Peeling off the membrane on the bone side of your rib rack.

Peeling off the membrane on the bone side of your rib rack.

Ribs are fully cooked but a little gray.  Throw them on the grill for a little color.

Ribs are fully cooked but a little gray. Throw them on the grill for a little color.

Shrimp with Toasted Coconut Peach Salsa – Perfect Summer Dinner

With my new night shade and egg restriction cooking has been a little more challenging lately.   We also have a family member who is not feeling well so food prep has been on the back burner.  Yesterday, things got a little more back to normal and some inspiration for a tasty meal returned.   I found a great recipe for a Shrimp burger with Chipotle Cream and Coconut Peach Salsa but it needs quite a few adjustments to meet our new dietary restrictions.   With a few changes, the recipe is night shade and egg free and completely paleo.  It is also no longer a burger which saves me a lot of prep work.

Toasted Coconut and Peach Salsa is just great with some shrimp!

Toasted Coconut and Peach Salsa is just great with some shrimp!

I served it with my Asian Napa Cabbage Salad and the dinner reviews were over the top.  Both kids and my husband thought dinner was delicious!  Home Run!

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

The entire dinner took about an 45 minutes  which means if I had actually gotten all of my ingredients out ahead of time I could be done in 30 minutes.  If you are trying to cook this quickly and efficiently, chop all the ingredients at once and set up two bowls.  One for the Asian Napa Cabbage Salad and one for your peach salsa.

Sauted Shrimp with Coconut Peach Salsa

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 3 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tbs diced red onion
  • 2 tbs diced fresh cilantro
  • 3 ripe peaches peeled and chopped
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 avocados chopped and set aside
  • 2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs coconut oil

Directions

  1. To toast your coconut, heat a small skillet or pan over medium heat.  Toss in coconut and toast for 1-2 minutes until medium brown.  This is very quick!
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and toss to make your salsa.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Combine mustard, 2 tbs lime juice and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
  4. Season your shrimp with 1-2 tsp sea salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add your coconut oil.
  6. Add shrimp to hot pan and sauté.  This can take 4-8 minutes depending on the size of your shrimp.
  7. Once shrimp is just cooked thru check for excess water in the pan.  (Mine had quite a bit).  Drain excess water by covering your pan and carefully pouring hot liquid into a sink or heat proof dish.
  8. Stir in your mustard mixture and serve.
  9. Place shrimp on plate, toss some avocado on top and then the salsa.  Serve with Asian Napa Cabbage Salad for a complete meal.

If you are making this with the cabbage salad you can chop extra cilantro and squeeze two limes to save you some time!

I will double the salsa next time it is already gone!

2 lbs of shrimp overwhelm a 10" skillet but it still will cook quickly.

2 lbs of shrimp overwhelm a 10″ skillet but it still will cook quickly.

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

I have made this a few times and it is remarkably quick and it lasts in the fridge for 1-2 days.  Great for eating clean and paleo!  I have found many recipes for a cabbage based slaw or salad use some sort of sweetener and this one doesn’t.  It is very savory which helps when you are eliminating sugar and sweeteners from your diet.

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

I have used bean sprouts which are technically not PALEO but I have read they are pretty benign.  If you are not eating bean sprouts just substitute grated carrots or celery for a little crunch in your salad.

Asian Napa Cabbage Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbs coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tbs coconut vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 4 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbs fresh basil chopped
  • 4 tbs fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • 1 medium head napa cabbage thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Make your dressing by combining lime juice, coconut amines, vinegar, sesame oil and salt in a small bowl and mixing with a fork.
  2. Combine your chopped ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  3. Add your dressing and toss.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  It may need no additional seasoning.

 

Parents of Adult Children – DONT GET UP IN MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT

 

Beautiful sunset in Chatham

Beautiful sunset in Chatham


Why am I warning you not to get up in the middle of the night if you have adult children?  That comes later.  Lately, my husband has had a heck of a time sleeping due to a neck/shoulder strain.  The muscle spasms just won’t stop and wake him up all night long.  This is not good for his health.  Part of the reason we are trying a new stricter diet avoiding grains, dairy and night shades is to help him heal and prevent it from happening again.   Luckily he is finally starting to get a little sleep.

Being awake at night at home is awful but in a summer house it can really be challenging.  Other adults whom you may be related to may also be up in the middle of the night.  That is the problem.  If you can,  Stay in Bed,  there are just things you don’t want to see or hear.

Let me tell you a story overheard in Chatham….

It’s one o clock in the morning and a man can’t sleep due to pain so he decides to hop into the oversized tub in the bathroom at the other side of the house.  As he is leaving his bath still in pain, he hears a young man sort of talking and then he hears the unmistakable sound of a woman he doesn’t know NOT TALKING.  Man heads back to his side of the house totally dismayed and still in pain.  Really can it get any worse – you are in pain and you hear others who are feeling the exact opposite?

Next morning.

Mom says to son, “Had a good night last night?”

Son stops in tracks and then slowly realizes he is busted.  Even worse he now has to ask Mom for a ride to pick up his car.  ( He was responsible and did take a cab after drinking at local tavern and he had already borrowed Mom’s car and driven young moaner home.)
Mom has two choices.  Drive in silence or pepper son with questions.

She chooses peppering..

Son tells story of visiting a local tavern, the Chatham Squire, and meeting a table of single women on vacation from NYC.  The women had actually been trying to come up with pick up lines to get him to the table.  Since he is a gentleman, all it took was, “Can you help us carry our drinks to the table?”

Boy meets girl.  Both drink a lot and end up in a summer house.  Early in the morning, in the car, boy asks girl, ”

Boy: “So how old are you?”

Girl:   “27.  How old are you?”

Boy:  “22”

Girl:  “I still got it.  I can’t wait to tell the girls back at the hotel.”

Mom’s first thought, she’s not 27.  And what happened to the walk of shame?

No one is named in this story even though none of the participants are really ashamed or bashful about their behavior and seem to really want to brag!

Good Bye to Night Shades and Eggs

I love night shades, dairy and eggs!

I love night shades, dairy and eggs!

Two things happened yesterday that made me dig a little deeper into how I can get rid of some weight and reduce my joint pain.  First my husband had the realization that his 20 year grad school anniversary is in 10 weeks.  10 weeks.  Then I did a workout and my knee pain came roaring back.  Its so annoying.  My husband also has been having back and shoulder spasms this week from wrestling our kids at the beach.  Its time to fight back against our aging joints!  I don’t mean to sound that dorky its just I don’t want to fill the page with expletives.

My husband doesn’t know it yet because he is all drugged up on painkillers (for his shoulders) but we are not only going to try to lose some weight we are also going to try and get our joints to stop hurting so frequently.  He said he can always follow a PLAN and he needs a PLAN to lose weight and feel better.  I first found Paleo through Robb Wolf’s website so I went there first to look and see if he had any new online tools to help us develop a PLAN.  I found his joint venture with Chris Kresser,  Paleologix Total Transformat2on.    It seemed to have the right mix of online tools and even some supplements if we are so inclined.  I signed us both up.

The interesting thing is how much I can read the same info and not absorb it.  I can understand giving up grains and dairy and then jump right onto grass fed butter.  I have heard and read so much about people’s struggles with auto immune issues and I thought well I have a little inflammation but it isn’t that bad.  Ask anyone I work out with who is also my age and they will tell you I am constantly adapting workouts because of either my knees, hip, glutes or back.  Basically I’m a walking joint pain.  I hate having to frequently leave out movements in workouts because some joint or tendon is just not recovering from a workout 2-4 weeks ago.

In the questionnaires it says if you have joint pain then you have auto immune issues and you should avoid night shades and eggs.  What?  Oh that’s why I have been ignoring it.  I hate having so many food restrictions.

So good bye to eggplants, potatoes,  tomatoes, peppers, paprika, and eggs.  HELLO that is our breakfast every morning.  Scrambled eggs with salsa (tomatoes and peppers)!  That will be a big challange for the next 30 days avoiding eggs and night shades.  I mean avoiding wine, beer, sugar and all dairy will be a breeze but geez I have to give up tomatoes!!!   Yesterday,  I made a huge batch of the sweet potato salad and now that’s off the meal plan for the next 30 days.  Well here’s to making my knees feel young again.

And here is my first lunch without night shades…

IMG_0284Tuna and Avocado Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing!

 

Avocado and Tuna Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing

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This is a quick lunch and meets quite a few requirements if you are trying to eat a strict paleo and avoid Night Shades!

Avocado and Tuna Salad with Ginger Lime Dressing

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados peeled and chopped into 1/2″ bite size pieces
  • 8-10  ounces of canned tuna drained
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp or sprinkle of ground pepper
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of homemade mayo

Directions

  1. Break up tuna with a fork in a medium to large bowl.
  2. Add avocado and combine gently.
  3. In a small bowl combine lime juice, ginger, salt, pepper and mayo.  Stir to combine.
  4. Add dressing to tuna/avocado mixture.
  5. Serve over bed of greens.

I served this with some asian dressing cole slaw I had in the fridge.  This is definitely a mild tasting salad so use your own judgement on whether you would like a little more kick!

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