Sunday, May 31, 2009

Breakfast Sandwich- Caveman Style

We all know how much I love a good breakfast sandwich with bacon and eggs sandwiched between two crispy pieces of bread, and how sad it makes me to miss out on such a delight! Well, that is until I stumbled upon a blog post on the Son of Grok site. This guy figured out how to make an english muffin/griddle cake out of coconut powder (put shredded coconut in the food processor) and egg. Since my food processor was inaccessible that day I decided to use almond meal (blanched almonds crushed into a flour-type powder) instead. Check it out:

Kat's Breakfast Sandwich Recipe:

"English Muffins"

1. Whisk 3/4 cup almond meal with 2 eggs and a dash of salt and pepper

2.It should look like pancake batter. If it's too dry add some milk, if it's too wet add some more almond meal.

3. Get the pan really hot and add some butter. Drop the batter in circles. Fry those babies up til golden brown.

1. Poach some eggs: boil water in a wide saucepan
2. Add a splash of vinegar
3. Carefully slide the eggs into the water
4. Remove once set (a few minutes) to desired doneness

Also meanwhile...

1. Fry up some bacon or sausage patties (add cheese if desired)
2. Slice some avocado and/or tomato, salt them

Stack em up, and enjoy

The Result:
They tasted great! We felt a little heavy (probably from all that almond meal) afterward, but it was a great splurge for us to satisfy that breakfast sandwich craving!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Making good decisions

This morning the alarm clock rang at 7AM and I had a I snooze for another 20 minutes, or do I get my butt out of bed and make some breakfast?? Well, unfortunately I chose the former, and still regret it.

I knew I had a jam packed day and didn't know when my next meal would come, so on my way to work at 7:30 (I teach swim lessons- just about the lowest maintenance job you can find) I swung by the local Starbucks for an Americano and....a sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. It just looked so good, and it was a better choice than a scone right??

Anyways, the moral of the story is now I feel like crap. My face is puffed up like a marshmallow, and my tummy is still in knots. I could have skipped the extra 20 minutes of snoozing and made myself a healthy organic breakfast, and would have had a much happier, better feeling day. I wrote this blog post so next time I'm faced with this decision I will make the right one.

Oh well, tomorrow is a new day, and it's going to be a great one! Good luck in making good decisions :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Soup (available on this week's menu)

This is one of my favorite soups of all time! Velvety, and smooth, almost a creamy texture yet no cream added. It's quick, especially if you have an immersion (hand) blender. You can make basically any veggie into a soup by following this simple recipe. OK, here's how to make it:

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

  1. 8 red bell peppers
  2. olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. 1 large yellow onion
  4. 4 tbsp. butter
  5. 1 tsp. chile powder
  6. 8 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  7. 1 quart chicken stock- preferably homemade :)
  1. Drizzle pepper with olive oil, salt and pepper
  2. Roast the peppers- On a grill, on the grates of your gas stove, or in the oven, rotating often
  3. You know the peppers are done when the outsides are charred black all over
  4. Allow to cool, then peel the skins off (this should be easy if you really let the skins get charred), Slice the peppers into 1-inch pieces (discard any and all seeds)
  5. Meanwhile, slice the (onions roughly) and throw them into a large, hot cast iron pot with the butter, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper
  6. Caramelize them 6-8 minutes, until they are a nice brown color
  7. Add the chile powder, mix around a minute
  8. Deglaze the pan with some stock (this means add the stock to the pan so that it sizzles off those yummy brown bits stuck to the bottom) and scrape off any remaining brown bits
  9. Add the tomatoes, sliced peppers and remaining stock.
  10. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer 30-40 mins
  11. With the immersion blender, blend the soup to a creamy consistency (if you do not have an immersion blender, you MUST allow for the soup to cool before placing it into a blender/food processor for blending (I ruined a perfectly good food processor by ignoring this advice--trust me!)
  12. Re-heat, add as much salt and cracked black pepper as it needs, and serve
My Roasted Red Pepper Soup is available for purchase this week at:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Green Olive Relish (great on fish!)

This post goes along with my previous post about fish. Although I enjoy a really good piece of fish that is only seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil, it's fun to make salsas and relishes that jazz up your fish every once in a while. This relish is so easy to make from ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now.

Green Olive Relish

  • 1/2 cup green olives
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chop olives and garlic
  • Zest the lemon and squeeze out half of the lemon juice
  • Combine all of the ingredients, refrigerate
  • Add to your favorite fish, and add some veggies (I added asparagus)

Eat More Fish

I used to HATE fish! Unless it was breaded, deep fried and served in a pool of ketchup, I wouldn't touch the stuff. It turns out I just didn't know how to cook it properly before. Now I can't get enough of it!

A couple of tips for cooking great fish:

  1. Buy good quality: it's impossible to make it taste good if it's poor quality. Choose fish that doesn't smell fishy. I always ask the fish guys at the market what fish is fresh, and then I ask them if I can smell it. Let's face it, good quality fish isn't cheap, you'd hate to get the fish home and realize it was a waste of money.
  2. Season the fish: First pat the fish dry with a paper towel to get the moisture out. Then salt it (coarse sea salt is best). I add pepper too, although that's optional.
  3. If you have skin-on fish (which I love!) scrape the skin with a sharp knife, drawing out all of the moisture from the skin. This will allow it to get really good and crispy.
  4. Get your pan really hot. And don't use non-stick. Get a good heavy pan out, something that will really sear that fish well. Add 2 glugs of olive oil, enough so that it covers the entire pan liberally. You should see smoke coming from the pan
  5. Next, dismantle your smoke detector, or at least open a window (those things are just way too sensitive for my cooking)
  6. Carefully lay the fish (skin side down, if you have skin-on fish) into the pan (facing it away from you so you don't get splattered with that wonderful oil).
  7. Let cook without touching it 3-4 minutes, until the skin gets nice and crispy if you have skin-on fish, or until you create a nice brown colored sear if you have skinless fish.
  8. Use a spatula to flip the fish. If the fish seems to stick a lot, it may not be ready to flip yet. Let it go another 30 seconds and try again.
  9. Allow the fish to cook 30 seconds-1 minute on the other side.
  10. Your fish should be done now, unless it's super thick in which case you can finish it off in the oven (350 degrees) for a few minutes.
  11. Squeeze a little lemon juice overtop, and you're done!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Travel Like a Caveman (or at least do your best)

San Diego will always hold a special place in my heart- I went to USD for 4 years, I met Chris there (when he hired me for a catering job), plus our good friends Charlie and Melissa live down there. So when I saw $44 flights advertised, we decided to take a spontaneous trip for the weekend. The weather was beautiful, and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be to eat well. Here are my Caveman travel tips:

  • Eat breakfast in (if you have access to a kitchen): if you go out to breakfast, you will overpay. Breakfast is the cheapest thing in the world to make, yet any good breakfast joint will charge you over $10/plate

  • Cook for friends: If you're staying with friends, plan a night to cook for them. Cooking is entertaining and fun when you get friends involved. You can control what foods you eat, and save some money

  • Avoid airport food: Yesterday at noon I found myself stranded at the airport, waiting for my delayed flight, so I decided to get some food to help pass the time. Bad idea! Twelve bucks later, and I have a chicken and ham sandwich on ciabatta, (I admit I ate half of it) plus a chocolate chip cookie (which tasted good, but I instantly regretted!)

  • Exercise: EF is great, because you can always do interval sprints. You can also switch up your workout a bit with some squats, pushups, tricep dips, situps, etc. Be creative!

San Diego was just what we needed- a couple of days to de-stress, recharge, and get ready for a busy week! Only a few bad food choices later, and I'm now on my way to getting back into Caveman shape.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Braised Lamb Shanks

On Sunday evening at 6pm I was running around, trying to get some work done before meeting my friend for drinks at 7:00. My boyfriend Chris called and said he was on his way home so he could pick up something quick to make for dinner- perfect! Well, half an hour later Chris comes in with four pounds of lamb shanks...NOT something that we could really whip up in twenty minutes! He had really good intentions though :)

Fast forward to Tuesday night. I get home from working at the Athletic Club at 6:30. Now it's time to cook! I start off by slicing pockets in the shanks and stuffing some rosemary and garlic butter into the pockets.

Next I seasoned and browned them in my Le Creuset with some olive oil.

Once they were browned I roughly chopped the only other veggies we had in the house- shallots (I wish we had more), a couple carrots, and a couple handfuls of crimini mushrooms- and threw them in the pot. I let them cook a couple minutes then deglazed the pan with some chardonnay.

I put the shanks back in, and found a can of crushed tomatoes and poured that in too, along with enough chardonnay so that the shanks were halfway submerged.

I let it come to a boil and then left it on the stove to simmer partially covered for almost two hours. Rotated the shanks halfway through.

It was a late dinner, but definitely worth it! The mushrooms had absorbed all of the yummy shallot and lamb flavor. The tomato sauce was rich and velvety. And the lamb was falling off the bone. I need to make this more often. It just takes a little planning ahead, but once it's in the pot you can leave it and get some work done!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fast Dinner Solutions

I apologize for the poor photo quality, that was taken from my blackberry (or my pinkberry, as I call it)! But what you're looking at is slices of chicken cordon bleu, baked brussel sprouts, and green beans sauteed with chopped almonds. Sounds like it took a while, right? Wrong! Here's how it went down:

6:30pm: returned home from making deliveries for the business
6:45pm: Interval Sprints in the rain (so refreshing!)
7:05pm: Enter kitchen, take chicken and veggies out of fridge (they are vacuum sealed)
7:06pm: Heat skillet, add a tbsp olive oil, cut open vacuum packs, empty contents into pan
7:09pm:After some stirring and a few flips of the pan, DONE!!
7:10pm: yummm

How convenient, right?

Well, this is where I can get on my soapbox and advocate ordering all of your meals from Evolution Catering. But I know that all of my readers are not local, so I will teach a man to fish instead.

My tip of advice for the day: Buy a vacuum sealer. Whenever you have leftover say, chicken cordon bleu, just vacuum seal it and keep it in your freezer for those desperate nights when you have had a monster of a day, and realllly need an easy quick meal.

Problem solved, and you are still in caveman shape!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

CaveWoman Kat's Before and After Pics

Why do I advocate the Caveman Diet so much? To promote my business and become a millionaire? Well sure that is a good point, but here are some pics to prove the Caveman Diet worked for me:

This one was taken in Spring 2003 when I was a senior in high school. I was at my heaviest here. I ate fast food at least twice a week, enjoyed freshly baked cookies from our school's cafeteria at least a couple days a week, and had a diet heavily based on pasta and bread.

Weight: 127 lbs.
Pants Size: 5/6
Height: 5'0"

The second pic is in college. I had been practicing a diet of low fat foods including Slimfast bars every morning, and a well-rounded diet that followed the Food Pyramid. I worked out moderately at least 5 days a week for a minimum of 1 hour per workout. I couldn't lose the extra chub around my face, arms, tummy, love-handles or thighs.

Weight: 118 lbs.
Pants Size: 3/4
Height: 5'0"

This was taken Summer 2008 (age 24). I was 4 months into the Caveman diet, and felt more alive than ever! I worked out 2-3 times a week, following the Evolutionary Fitness workouts as described by Art Devany. ( My arms were toned, my tummy flat, and my face finally had a jawline.

Weight: 105 lbs.
Pants Size: 0
Height: 5'0"

Has this been hard to maintain? Honestly it hasn't. My current weight is 102.5 lbs, and I have more muscle tone thatn ever! I never feel deprived. I always look forward to my next yummy EF meal, and I just have a ton more confidence and pride in my health. I can't remember the last time I was sick or took a nap. EF has truly been a miracle for me, and I feel so lucky to have discovered it at a young age.