Easy Faux-Ghetti

’ve been meaning to make this broccoli slaw “spaghetti” for awhile, and once I got around to looking at the directions, I realized it was a lot easier than I thought.  Like, easier than making spaghetti, easier.  No boiling water, no waiting around.  We’re talking 10-12 minutes max for a veggie-laden “spaghetti.”

Broccoli Slaw “Spaghetti”
Simplified from Hungry Girl
INGREDIENTS:
1/4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
One 12oz bag of dry broccoli slaw
1 cup basil marinara sauce (no sugar-added)
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a skillet with ¼ tsp olive oil to medium-high heat on the stove.
  2. Add slaw and 1/4 cup water. Stir occasionally and cook until water has evaporated. Cook until al dente (around 5-8 minutes).
  3. Add tomato sauce, stir and continue to cook until hot, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and flavor with seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, basil, etc.).  Makes two 2 cup servings.

Asparagus & Scallop Saute

This was a quick, easy, and flavorful recipe that I found and dogeared in my Fitness magazine.

Scallop-and-Asaparus Saute With Lemon and Thyme
Inspired by Ellie Krieger (Small Changes, Big Results)
INGREDIENTS
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb.), trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 scallops (I used U10 scallops but the recipe calls for bay scallops)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups cooked wild rice (optional)
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add thyme, lemon zest and asparagus and cook, stirring until asparagus softens slightly, about 1 minute.
2. In a separate pan, heat oil to medium-high heat. Add the scallops to the pan, cooking for about a few minutes on the first side until they are golden brown. Flip them over and let them cook for another few minutes.
3.  When the scallops are done, pour the asparagus mixture over.  Drizzle lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Serve with accumulated juices over brown rice if desired.…

Kelp Noodle Salad

About a month or so ago, when my dad was visiting, we went to Bier Garden Encinitas where I had a “Sprout Salad” with pea shoots, sunflower sprouts, kelp noodle, watermelon radish, and tangerine sesame dressing.  At the time, I had no idea what kelp noodles were, but when I got my salad, it appeared to have rice/vermicelli-like noodles.  It was a good salad, but it was one of those things where you pictured the dish differently than it arrived, so you didn’t quite remember what you ordered or what ingredients were used.

Fast forward to recently when I started to see kelp noodles pop up all over the internet (e.g. Grok Grub’s Asian Noodle Salad and Blogilates’ Peanut Miso Kelp Noodles).  I learned they were super low-cal and healthy, contrary to my belief they were just another type of asian noodle.

Last week I finally found some at Whole Foods!  And while I looking in the tofu/fermented/kelp noodle case, I also found mixed sea vegetables.  At a loss for what to make for dinner, on the back of the package was a recipe for a salad that I semi-mimicked (see below) with the addition of mixed greens and kelp noodles (since my whole mission was kelp noodles!).

Basically, this is a long rant about kelp noodles and how I developed this salad.  All you really need to know is that it’s easy, filling, bright and refreshing!

Kelp Noodle Salad
INGREDIENTS:
2 meyer lemons, juiced
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 package of kelp noodles, rinsed
1 bag of mixed greens
1 medium apple, diced
1 small avocado, sliced
1/2 cup mixed sea vegetables, rinsed
DIRECTIONS:

  1.  In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil.  Set aside.
  2. Prepare the kelp noodles (rinse) and cut to desired length.

On The Road, On-The-Go

Ok, so I went a little gung-ho crazy at Trader Joe’s yesterday, stocking up on some healthy/paleo snacks for my trip to New Orleans this upcoming weekend to week.  Of course I won’t be able to go and not have a beignet or two, but I just wanted to make sure  that I had some healthy alternatives to reach for either on the plane or during the conference.  And you know what they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!  Below are some whole ingredient products that don’t need refrigeration and should withstand some heat and movement.

  1.  Apples and nut butter – I love a big, crisp and juicy apple. Pairing this with a variety of different nut butters prevents this snack from getting dull.
  2. LARABAR – With minimal ingredients (primarily composed of a date and nut mixture), these have been my go-to energy bars since starting the Whole30. This is a good alternative for something sweet with options like Apple Pie and Chocolate Coconut Chew!
  3.  Nuts – Just good ol’ dry roasted, unsalted macadamia and hazelnuts.  These have quickly become a new addiction.

 

  1.  Unsulfured and unsweetened dried fruit – Apple rings, pineapple rings, and dried cherries with no sulfur dioxide and no added sugar.  I love throwing these with some nuts for a homemade trail-mix of sorts.
  2.  Roasted Plantain Chips – I haven’t had these before, but the only ingredients were plantains, sunflower oil, salt – they sound pretty safe.

How do you eat healthy on the road and on-the-go?

Tips for Bending Wood Using Microwave Oven

 

One method for quickly adding heat and moisture to small pieces of wood is to use a microwave oven. As long as the wood and a means of keeping the wood moist can fit into the oven, this is an extremely efficient method for softening wood. Through experimentation, I have found there are several things to take into consideration when steaming wood in a microwave oven.

 

A microwave oven works by focusing tightly shaped radio waves on the water molecules within whatever is placed inside the oven. The molecules become slightly agitated and as a result, they give off heat. A dried piece of wood will heat up quickly when placed into the oven because it still contains enough water molecules to create heat. When the wood is removed, it is very hot, but it dries out very quickly because the water molecules have broken down and so they easily evaporate. This process actually makes a microwave oven a good tool for drying small pieces of wood for turning and other small projects – but only if the moisture content is lowered slowly enough to prevent cracking.

To make the microwave useful for bending, you need to add some moisture to the equation, just as you do when steaming wood. There only needs to be enough water present to surround the wood. Any extra water will just slow down the process. Wood can be wrapped in a soaking wet rag or placed in a shallow microwave-safe bowl with just enough water to cover the wood. There is no set time for heating wood in a microwave, so a little trial and error will be needed. Usually 5 to 10 minutes will do the trick. Keep a close eye on the progress, because if all of the water evaporates …

Carbo-loading & Plantains

It’s once again taper week!  Today I shake off my holiday weekend vices (aka big gulps and fro-yo).  I’m trying to keep my Nalgene filled with water and glued to my hand to stay hydrated (and avoid any Diet Dr. Pepper cravings).  My schedule for this week is/has been:

Sun –  6 mi
Mon – 2 mi
Tues – 3 mi
Wed – 4 mi
Thurs – AM yoga
Fri – AM yoga + 2 mi shake-out after work
Sat- AM yoga
Weekly mileage: 17
Sun – Race Day!

Today, let’s talk a little about carbo-loading.

2-3 days prior (so Thursday and Friday for me) you should up your carbohydrate intake to increase your storage of glycogen (glycogen is your body’s most easily accessible form of energy).   I never go all out carbo-loading with pasta dinners or bagel breakfasts, but I do enjoy eating more sweet potatoes and Japanese yams guilt-free.  Plantain chips are not recommended for a low-carb diet, howeverthese are perfect for pre-race “carbo-loading.”  I’ve got these prepped and ready to be my go-to snacks for the end of this week.  If you’re just looking for something to dip and scoop, these baked plantain chips (not fried) provide a healthy alternative to regular potato chips.

How to pick your plantains: unripened plantains are starchier, and ripened plantains have higher sugar content.  Green plantains = firmer, yellow = stickier.  I opted for unripened plantains to ensure that they were easier to cut.

Paleo Plantain Chips
From Fed and Fit
INGREDIENTS:

2 plantains
2 tsp. extra virgin coconut oil
Pink Himalayan sea salt, to taste
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut off the ends of the plantain, and make 3 shallow slits, just through the skin (this

Paleo Mayonesa

Growing up we were always a “Miracle Whip” family.  To be honest, I don’t even really know what Miracle Whip is.  All I know is that it was sweeter than real mayonnaise, and supposedly “better for you.”

Anyways, both Miracle Whip and mayonnaise contain the same basic ingredients of eggs, soybean oil, vinegar and water.  I am/was/still anti-all mayo-types, but I think Paleo mayonnaise might change my mind.

How do you make mayo paleo?  Remove the soybean oil and substitute it with some real fat.  Bacon fat.  In this case, bacon does make everything better!

Paleo Mayonnaise
Adapted from 21DSD
INGREDIENTS:
1 large egg yolk (pasteurized)
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 cup bacon grease (from 1 packet of bacon)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar and mustard.
  2. Very slowly, using a 1/8 measuring cup, pour in the oil while consistently whisking.  Continue to add oil and whisk until the mixture has thickened (about 8 minutes).
  3.   Cover and chill for up to 4 days.

I plan to use this mayo in an upcoming paleo-rendition of a broccoli crunch salad.  Stay tuned!…

Eating for the Season: Tropi-Kale Smoothie

It’s time to get back on track and eating right.  Yesterday I went for a run after traveling 6+ hours.  I was worried I was going to be sluggish and that my running was going to be affected by my change of (poor) eating habits for the past few days.  However, I felt really good, and my legs just wanted to keep moving.  It was so refreshing to be back by the big blue ocean.  I did a 4 mile run, that included my first sub-7 minute mile at 6:44!

Ok, so now back to this week’s edition of eating for the season: another kale recipe.  This is the perfect drink to help detox your system and make you start feeling right again. I’ve gone through phases of making and liking green smoothies, and then not.  They usually start out nice and mild, but then I become a mad scientist in the kitchen.  They become increasingly more brown than green, and the flavor becomes less than appealing.  However, the other day I got a great green smoothie from the Whole Foods juice bar which jotted my memory.  “Hey, I can do this!”

Tropi-Kale Smoothie
This recipe is Whole30 and Paleo-approved
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup kale
½ frozen banana
9 frozen mango chunks
¼ cup frozen pineapple bits
12 oz. coconut water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients in the blender.
  2. If you don’t have a Vitamix (like I don’t), I usually set the blender to “chop ice.”
  3. Once everything has been broken down a little bit, I alternate between the “puree” and “liquefy” speeds.  Tip: If it’s hard to get moving, just add a little bit more coconut water.
  4. When it’s all blended, you should have a nice and thick, tropical tasting, green smoothie.

Fall in Food

Happy Friday!  What says Fall more than pumpkin and squash? NOTHING.  Maybe vibrant, colorful leaves, but you’re not going to eat those unless you’re Piper…are you?

Here are a couple of recipes I would love to make.  And probably will make in the near future.  But as of now I’m in the same position as you, cleaning up some keyboard drool.

    1. For my running group we sometimes have to play name games.  The last one was your name and your favorite food. Answer: Kabocha Squash. I finally had a brainchild and decided  to look up some recipes other than just roasting it!  Sake-Steamed Kabocha Squash with Miso – The Year in Food
    2. Donuts. And Pumpkin.  That is all. Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Maple Almond Butter Glaze – Taylor Made It Paleo

  1. There’s nothing I love more than cornbread.  Seriously, I ate it so much last year, eventually I had to stop because I started to gain weight.  This looks like a pretty good option; flavorful and still healthy.  Put anything like honey and sage in my butter and I’ll eat it.  Pumpkin Corn Muffins With Honey Sage Butter – Running to the Kitchen 
  2. This needs to be a on a restaurant menu somewhere so I can go out and get it NOW.  Paleo Butternut Squash, Kale & Ground Beef Breakfast Bowl – The Healthy Foodie

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Hooray!  So I finally made something seasonal (aside from kabocha squash on the reg.) and something other than tacos.  My goal is to try and cook every Sunday, since I’ve been taking that as my rest day, and I pretty much don’t do anything else…we’ll see how that plays out.  For now, enjoy these fall flavors!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Spinach, Apple and Sausage
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS:
2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
6-8 thin Italian sausage links
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 cup spinach, chopped
1 apple, finely diced
½ cup walnuts, chopped
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle acorn squash halves with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place cut side down and roast for approximately 25 min.
  2. Flip over the acorn squash and cook for approximately 15 more minutes or the edges are golden brown and the flesh is tender.
  3. As the squash is cooking, bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Stir in the quinoa, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook sausage links for 5 minutes on each side, until browned and thoroughly cooked.
  5. Separately, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar is a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Chop the spinach, apples and walnuts.  Set aside.
  7. When the quinoa is done, pour the quinoa into a large bowl.  Mix in the spinach (so it wilts down) and allow the mixture to cool completely.  Stir periodically.
  8. Once cool, pour the dressing over the quinoa, add sausage and apples, and stir.
  9. Once the squash is done, fill each half acorn with a slightly heaping portion of