Salmon Patties for a Crazy Weekend

As I type this, there are 5 dozen freshly baked Paleo chocolate chunk cookies sitting on my counter….straight from the oven.  My mouth is literally watering and all I can think about is the smell of those damn cookies!  But on the upside, I haven’t had ANY of them…..so I’m sticking to my Whole30!  Boom.  Those broads at the baby shower tomorrow better eat every single last one of those cookies…..otherwise I’m giving them away.  There is NO way they are coming back into my house!  I’m not sure I could resist any longer….

This weekend was completely insane.  Yesterday was packed full of a great “mystery” workout, a fabulous nutrition seminar, some lunch with a rockin’ crew, then a wedding with a group of people I haven’t seen in WAY too long!  Today, I was up entirely too early and hit the ground running!  For real, I don’t know what it is lately, but I have been sleeping FANTASTICALLY!!  I’m chocking it up to the PurePharma Magnesium/Zinc supplement I started taking.  That shit is legit.  I’m kind of in love with it.  So I was a powerhouse today in terms of getting stuff done.  I cleaned my house, planned meals, mowed the lawn, had dinner at my parents’ house, went grocery shopping, and baked those damned cookies.  I’m tired just re-reading that.  Ugh.

On top of everything, it was abso-freaking-lutely GORGEOUS this weekend!  I opened up my entire house, I wore shorts and flip flops, and I got a little bit of color from mowing the lawn.  Heck yes.  FINALLY! It just better stay this way.  Or I’m going to become a stupid sullen teenager over it.  So yes.  Epic weather, epic weekend, less than epic post.  Sorry friends.

I made these salmon patties a while back and they were pretty awesome.  I got a little worried because they were kind of crumbly before they cooked, but they held together beautifully! Not to mention they were pretty delicious!  Anyways, I made another batch of them to snack on throughout the weekend because I knew it was gonna be crazy, and they got me through like a charm!

salmon patties

I topped mine with some of my homemade red sauce and served them up with some roasted veggies!

Salmon Patties

  • 2 cans salmon drained, get the higher quality stuff without a bunch of extra junk in it (I know it looks totally gross in the can…..just deal with it quickly and break it up, you can do it!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 10-15 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 5 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Make sure you incorporate everything well.
  2. In a deep skillet, melt down 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
  3. Form your mixture into patties.  I got 8 out of mine.  You want them to be a little on the thicker side, about 1/2 inch thick so that they don’t fall apart.  When forming your patties, be sure they are tightly packed…..or they will crumble!
  4. Saute your salmon patties in the coconut oil until they get a nice brown crust.  It’s about 3-4 minutes per side.
  5. Plate them up and enjoy!

You can eat these hot, cold, or anywhere in between!  In fact, I ate them all three ways this weekend!  Just make sure you store your leftovers in the fridge!  Here’s to continuing with high productivity and finishing out the first 30 days of my Cancun Challenge strong!!!  Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

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Prosciutto and Sage Chicken Roll Ups

chicken and sage rolls

I’m officially on the downhill slide of my first 30 days of my almost 90 day Cancun challenge!  Honestly, I feel like I’m somewhat over the sugar urges.  I haven’t wanted to smash on sweet stuff in almost a week…..despite having a plate of homemade cupcakes on my kitchen counter!  Now THAT, my friends is willpower!  I just keep looking at them and thinking…..you know you don’t want that, and it won’t even be that satisfying, AND you’ll feel like crap afterwards.  By the time I rationalize all of that, I’m usually good!

Now salt?  That is where my bizarre food cravings are kicking into high gear.  Maybe it’s the fact that my allergies are kicking up because it’s FINALLY maybe starting to really act like spring here!!  But for some reason, I can’t seem to get enough salt!  Everything I make is tasting bland, and I’ve NEVER been someone who reaches for the salt shaker…..weird.  I’m sure I have some sort of imbalance going on inside of me, but whatever, I’m just gonna ride it out for now!

Speaking of the weather finally turning around here…..it was ACTUALLY sunny today!  And somewhat warm!  And as we speak, I’m watching a full-ish moon rising in a CLEAR sky.  Simple pleasures, folks.  I swear, the fact that it was sunny today improved my mood hugely.  By the end of the week, it’s supposed to be almost 70 degrees!  That’s damn near flip flop weather…..which means I need to get it together and go get a pedicure.  Ain’t NOBODY got time for unpolished toes.  For real.

Alright, food for tonight.  My mom used to make these chicken roll ups with prosciutto, sage, and then some sort of cheese.  Then she’d make a wine and mushroom gravy for them……needless to say, they were off the chain!  So I was feeling a hankering for these bad boys.  I just left out the cheese (duh….) and skipped out on a sauce, mostly due to time constraints.  These turned out great!

Prosciutto and Sage Chicken Roll Ups

  • 4 large chicken breasts, pounded out to about 1/2 inch thick
  • 3 oz. prosciutto
  • 1 oz. package of fresh sage……or about 30ish sage leaves (you could use ground sage here, but fresh is much better! If using dry, use between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon per roll, depending on how “sage-y” you like it)
  • toothpicks
  • garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, celery salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lay out you pounded out chicken breasts and lightly sprinkle the top side with each of the spices….NOT the sage though, save that for later!
  3. Layer 2 slices of prosciutto on each piece of chicken.
  4. Next, evenly arrange your sage leaves (or dried sage) over your prosciutto.
  5. Roll your chicken breasts up with all of the goodies inside and secure with 3-4 toothpicks.  You want to make sure that you roll them tightly and tuck any exposed goodies in on the ends.  Get good and messy with this!
  6. Lightly sprinkle the outside with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  7. In a deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  8. Lightly brown the chicken rolls in the coconut oil on all sides. You will want to give them about 2-3 minutes per side.  This might get kind of funky with toothpicks sticking out every which way….just do your best to get as much browning on there as possible!
  9. Once you have browned as much of the outsides as you can, place chicken rolls on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.  This will depend on how thick your chicken rolls are and how long they actually cooked in your skillet.  Use a meat thermometer to check (or do like I did and at 15 minutes, pull one out and cut it in half…..if it’s still pink, keep cooking!)
  10. Remove them from the oven, remove the toothpicks and devour!

I served mine sliced over some sauteed and steamed kale with sundried tomatoes.  It was insanely delicious and took me right back to my Mama’s old favorite! Seriously, the browned chicken breast, the salty slightly bacon-y flavor from the prosciutto, the earthy sage….MMM!!!  So good!  Hope you enjoy them!  They are a total “WOW!” meal as well because they look really pretty….so get after it! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

Avocado Pesto

avo pesto

As the weekend draws to a close I need to put two things out there.  First, I’m sorry I haven’t posted until now…I realize it’s been a couple of days.  Things have been a wee bit crazy around here and I chose to support the people in my world instead of blog, my most sincere apologies.  Secondly, I have come to truly value spending time with people who build me up positively.  One of my oldest dearest friends is in town, and seeing her really lifted me up today.

This week is gearing up to be a crazy one!  Two fieldtrips at school means that I need to plan lunches that can be eaten on the go…..which on a Whole30, ends up looking like a bunch of random stuff thrown together.  Seriously, on Tuesday, I’m pretty sure I’m taking a pouch of salmon, a few clementines, some coconut flakes, and some celery and carrots.  It’s all “snack” foods, rolled together to make it count as a meal.  Meh, it happens!

Speaking of my Whole 30/90ish, tomorrow marks day 15!  In the world of a pure Whole30, that’s the halfway mark!  I’m so proud of my girl Ava…..we are sticking with it!  I’m definitely noticing bodily changes, and my incessant cravings for sugar are seeming to dwindle, so I’ll take it!  I even baked a pie, a FREAKING PIE, without tasting a single bit of the batter/mix/filling.  Willpower has returned to me, and boy does it feel good!

Onto food!  This avocado pesto started out as just regular pesto….until I realized I had a couple of avocados lying around that were going to go bad if I didn’t use them.  I figured, hell, they were green too, so what would it hurt to just toss them in?  It didn’t hurt a damn thing.  In fact, in increased the awesomeness of this pesto by about 10 fold!  Enjoy!

Avocado Pesto

  • 3 oz. fresh basil (I used the big, deep container from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 oz. fresh parsley (again, used the small pack from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, give or take….depending on how thick you like your sauce
  1. In a food processor, add your fresh herbs, garlic cloves, and your salt. Pulse until herbs are chopped down into very small pieces, and the mix is well combined.
  2. Add in your avocados, lemon juice, and spices.  Pulse to smash up the avocados and mix it all together into a green paste.
  3. Stream in your olive oil until you achieve the consistency that you like.  I used right at 1/2 cup of olive oil, but you do whatever brings you joy!
  4. Taste to make sure it is seasoned well.  Don’t fear, the garlic will be pretty sharp at first….it will mellow a bit with time.  But I like the garlicky kick!  Roll with it!
  5. Use it to top spaghetti squash, or chicken, or pan seared pork chops AND spaghetti squash…..like I did!
  6. SMASH!
  7. Store the leftovers in the fridge……and feel free to serve it warm or at room temp.  It’s delish either way!

This is going to become a staple in my kitchen.  I can’t wait to toss some grilled veggies in it once the weather turns around for good!! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

You’re a Jerk! I know….

Yeah, it’s true.  I’m kind of a jerk sometimes.  For instance, I just put a status blast out on Facebook to tell people to save the date for our 10 year high school reunion….so that they have time to plan!  I just happened to also mention that I have gotten exponentially hotter since high school, and everyone just wants to show up to judge the shit out of each other.  It’s true, no sense in denying it.  That’s really all reunions are about in today’s world thanks to the great power that is social media.  I mean, honestly, I’ve kept in touch with people I’ve wanted to, I’ve creeped on people I’m curious about, and I’ve completely forgotten that some people even existed until they pop up in my list of “friend suggestions”.  The idea of a “traditional” reunion is just silly.  So we are renting out a bar/club for the evening, charging a reasonable cover, and having a good ol’ dance party with plenty of alcohol.  Yep, that seems about right.

Speaking of dancing, I’ve been completely obsessed with club/dance/electronica lately.  It’s totally bizarre.  That’s what’s been pumping in my car and on my Pandora at home….I don’t know what’s WRONG with me!?!  Perhaps this is my way of rebelling against winter and pretending that warmer weather is actually going to show up again someday?  I can hope.  Whatever, anyway, I’ve been pumping some pretty hard beats so I’ve been feeling really upbeat the past couple of days….to the point where I played some stuff in my classroom and a student just looked at me and said “Is this white people club music?!?”  Yeah, that opened an ENTIRE can of worms on the topic of race and music.  Have I mentioned that I love middle schoolers?  I’m being 100% serious with no sarcasm involved.  I mean, where else can you have a legitimate conversation about the role of race in music?  We all geeked out, got totally into it, and I’m pretty sure we all came out on the other side I bit more in touch with our own cultural biases.  Good stuff, folks.  Good stuff.

Ok, onto food.  One of the MAJOR things I miss since going paleo is beef jerky.  Like HARDCORE.  The stuff you can find that is readily available is pumped full of so much trash that it shouldn’t even be called BEEF jerky, it should be called Meat-like Chemical Jerky.  Gross.  Not to mention, the good stuff is so outrageously expensive that I would feel guilty about smashing on an entire package.  So….I created my own!  It’s kind of a labor of love, but trust me, it’s worth it!!!

beef jerky

This pic makes it look totally gross.  I promise, it’s delicious!!

Paleo Beef Jerky

  • 1 pound sirloin, or top round, or a filet….whatever cut of beef you get, you want it to be a leaner cut or trim most of the fat off (also, toss it in the freezer 30-40 minutes before you want to slice it up)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper OR red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce (recipe for a Paleo version below!)
  1. Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice your partially frozen beef.  You want to shoot for consistent, thin slices (think 1/8th of an inch).  You can choose to go with or against the grain, it doesn’t really matter but it will affect how the jerky chews when it is done.  Test out both and see which you prefer!
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a gallon sized ziploc bag.
  3. Add the sliced beef to the bag.
  4. Remove as much of the air as possible, zip the bag, and toss the meat around to coat it fully.
  5. Marinate in the fridge overnight.  I put mine in a glass baking dish, JUST in case the bag leaked.  You want to make sure you flip the bag over a couple of times during the marinating process.  I would marinate NO LESS than about 8 hours.  So it does require some planning 🙂
  6. After marinating, place the beef on foil lined baking sheets.  You can place them pretty close together as they will shrink up as they cook.
  7. Place baking sheets in a preheated oven set to 175 degrees. Bake for 3 hours.
  8. Flip slices over and cook for another 1-2 hours, or until beef is almost completely dried out, but can bend without snapping into pieces.
  9. STUFF your FACE!!  Seriously, I had to ration this out into small portions.  I plowed through it REALLY quickly….and am already planning when I’m making my next batch!
  10. If you manage to have leftovers, store them in the fridge…..preferably near the back where they are out of your sight line so they are not eaten immediately.

Ok, so regular Worcestershire Sauce is chock FULL of garbage……so here is a tasty Paleo version!

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos (or GF soy sauce if you are cool with using soy….)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground/dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Put all ingredients into a small saucepan.  Slowly bring to a boil and the reduce heat.
  2. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Cool and store in the fridge!  Or once it’s cooled….use it to make delicious jerky! Boom.

Alright y’all.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  Make a double batch of this stuff.  Trust me.  You WILL thank me later.  Enjoy snack time! Peace, Love, and Paleo.

-Meister

Short Ribs with a side of Emotion

Ok guys, I gotta be straight with you.  I’m having a pretty intense reaction to all of the bombing at the Boston Marathon stuff….to the point where I’m not allowing myself to watch the news or turn on any sort of talk radio.  For a good hour this afternoon, I was in complete fight or flight mode, stressing hugely over one of my best friends in the entire world who had been in Boston and had posted some pics of the marathon to Facebook about 3 hours prior to this all going down.  Needless to say, until I heard he was OK, I was a wreck.  Regardless, I’m in a complete state of shock.  The capacity for hate and destruction that some people possess truly terrifies me.  For far too long, I was the kind of person who held grudges, who had a negative outlook, and who saw the darkness in everyone and everything.  The root of this was my own hatred of myself, my place in life, and my body.  I have worked so incredibly hard to NOT be the person that harbors any sort of anger or hatred for anyone or anything, so the events of today have left me completely confused.  Now, I’m not going to make any sort of political statement here, or take any stance….but I AM going to say that I think the root of all of this lies not a gun control issue or a terrorism issue, but a lack of respect and love.  Respect and love for yourself, for each other, for your world, and your future.  Call me simplistic, but that’s where I’m at.  So I’m gonna keep doing what I can to put my positivity out into the world, because God knows there is more than enough hate to go around.

Anyways, other than that, things are going pretty great right now.  I bought my plane ticket for Cancun today!!!  Not gonna lie, I got the jitters when I hit the “book now!” button.  Then immediately had buyer’s remorse…..to which I promptly smacked myself in the forehead and was like “WAKE UP! When are you gonna get to do this?!” So, I’m over that now and have moved on to being SUPER excited!! Had a great day in the gym today….added 20 pounds to my back squat, so there’s that! Plus, I’m over the initial hump of the Whole30 where all I could think about is food.  Because I’ve done this before, I feel like that period was much shorter for me, and now, on Day 8, I’m not thinking/living/breathing/dreaming food!  It is shifting back into a position to fuel me, not just satisfy boredom.  Slowly but surely, I feel like I’m tackling that stupid sugar demon!!  I’m still eating a small amount of fruit each day, but I’m OK with that.  You know what else is great about fruit?  You can add it to savory things and it adds just a hint of sweetness!  Like it did with these….

short ribs

I know it looks like a somewhat gnarly pile of meat….but I swear to you, these were some of the most AMAZING short ribs I’ve ever made!  Plus, they go in the crockpot, so they are SUPER easy to prep, cook, and clean up!  Win all around!

Blackberry Balsamic Short Ribs

  • 3-ish pounds beef short ribs
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 10-15 large blackberries
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 10ish leaves fresh sage, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. In a deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil.
  2. Sear short ribs in the coconut oil on all sides.  You only need to get a thin crust on the meat, not cook it through, so about 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. In a bowl, mix together vinegar, tomato paste, and water.
  4. When ribs are seared, add them to your crockpot.
  5. Pour liquid mixture over your ribs.
  6. Add spices, torn sage, smashed garlic, and blackberries in around the meat.
  7. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  I actually cooked mine on low for about 9 hours, then switched it to warm for another 2 (while I was at the gym) and they were great!  Falling off the bone beautifully!
  8. Stuff your face with hearty, rich, savory, meaty goodness!

The best part about this is that I was able to eat and do all of the “cooking” dishes in less than about 35 minutes….which was amazing!  Not to mention, it was nice to have something already cooked when I got home from the gym and my house smells AWESOME!  Sending a whole bunch of love and calming, healing thoughts to all my homies in Boston.  Go love one another.

PEACE. LOVE. and Paleo.

-Meister

Fighting Sugar Demons….

minty temptation

For real.  Sorry if this offends you, it’s truth.

Remember when I talked about those STUPID Lifesavers mints in my desk drawer haunting me?? Yeah, here they are, trying that crap again.  Seriously, every single time I opened this drawer I caught a minty whiff.  It took every bit of willpower I had today NOT to destroy these.  Again, they aren’t even worth it!  If I’m gonna go to sugar town on crappy candy, I’m gonna get after some Hot Tamales…..because THOSE are perfection!

I’m at the successful completion of Day 4 of my Cancun Challenge!  It honestly, food wise, hasn’t been that difficult for me yet.  Yes, I’ve had a couple of random cravings; however, when those pass, I’m good.  I was eating pretty strictly Paleo before I started.  I had completely cut out gluten for over a year, and had cut down on processed junk long ago.  But I have to be honest, the true test will be this weekend.  I always ALWAYS generally do some sort of baking on the weekends.  Not sure what I’m going to do with myself!  Plus, I don’t have family dinner on Sunday to look forward to because my parents left this morning for Maui.  They are jerks.  Flaunting their Hawaiian gear while here in good old O-town, we’ve had every possible form of precipitation in the last 24 hours.  That being said, I’m pretty sure BOTH my folks packed their PaleoMeister shirts, and intend to rock the shit out of them all over that island.  I’m fairly certain there will be photographic evidence of this, and it will likely end up here…..because although they may be jerks, they are FREAKING ADORABLE.  For real, my folks are the greatest!

Guess what else is awesome?!?  I finished my State Testing today!!!  This is HUGE!  So relieved to go back to my regular schedule tomorrow.  Now it’s just 6 glorious weeks until summer break!  On the whole, this year has been amazing so far.  Great coworkers, great building, and GREAT kids.  Gonna really miss some of the 8th graders as they go on to high school….but until that day comes, I’m hoping for a ROCKIN’ end of the year!

Ok, recipe time! I was originally going to make meatballs, but when the evening rolled around, I just wasn’t feeling it!  Plus, I had some beautiful portobello mushrooms in my fridge, so I decided to stuff them!  Realistically, I got lazy and didn’t want to roll a whole bunch of meatballs….so sue me! Also, this red sauce is killer!  I’m a sucker for good red sauces, but getting good flavor without throwing some red wine in can be difficult….but this one nails it!  I apologize that it just looks like a meat pile in this picture.  I promise there is a mushroom under there!!

stuffed mushrooms

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Red Sauce

For the Stuffed Mushrooms (I made these first, then while they were baking, assembled my sauce):

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and “gills” (the brown undersides) removed with a spoon…..carefully scrape them out, you don’t want to tear your mushrooms!
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt AND pepper
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, finely chopped (this ingredient isn’t totally necessary, but makes it MUCH more awesome!)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the meat up with your hands, gently incorporating all of the seasonings and herbs.  Don’t OVER mix it or it will become tough.
  4. Divide your meat into 4 equal portions and stuff into the cap of each mushroom.  You want to make sure you pack it pretty tightly and in an even, relatively flat layer.
  5. Arrange your stuffed mushrooms in a glass baking dish (you might have to use 2 dishes, depending on the size of your mushrooms)
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. While these are baking for the first 30 minutes, make your sauce!

For the red sauce:

  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 oz.)
  • 1 cup liquid (I used water, but your could use any kind of stock)
  • 5-7 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan, add a tablespoon of olive oil.  When warm, add in your onions and garlic.  Saute until the are softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add in your fresh herbs, and lightly toss them with the hot oil and veggies.
  3. Dump in your fire roasted tomatoes and your tomato paste.  Stir slowly to combine.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until the tomato paste starts to loosen up.
  4. Add in your 1 cup of liquid slowly, until you achieve the thickness of sauce you want.  I used the entire cup, and I still ended up with a thick chunky sauce.  It was perfect!
  5. Stir in your dry seasonings and simmer on low until mushrooms are finished with their first 30 minutes of cooking (about 15 minutes).  You will want to slightly cover it so it doesn’t splatter everywhere, and stir every couple of minutes so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pan.  That would SUCK!
  6. When mushrooms are done, remove them from the oven.  They WILL NOT be done, so don’t worry if they still look pink!
  7. Spoon sauce over each of the mushrooms.  Use as much as you like.  I didn’t drown mine, in fact, I had almost a cup of sauce leftover (which I put in a jar in the fridge for later)
  8. Put your saucy mushrooms back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes.  Cooking time will depend on how thick the stuffing layer is, how thick your mushrooms are, how much sauce you topped with, etc.  When in doubt, use a meat thermometer to check for “done-ness”.  Or if that is too much for ya, after another 30 minutes of cooking, pull one out…..cut into it, and if it’s still pink, put it back in.  It’s not too terribly hard!
  9. Plate up, and smash!  I served mine with some roasted veggies and it was AMAZING!

These turned out surprisingly well, considering the mushrooms were a last-minute game time decision. I took the leftovers to school today for lunch, and a substitute in the teacher’s lounge was like “I know that ain’t what they are serving in your cafeteria! You make that?”  It made me laugh.  Eat up my friends! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister

Day 1, on the books!

cilantro lime shrimp

Before I jump into recipe talk, I need to come clean and be brutally honest….I had a LEGITIMATE stare down with some lifesaver mints today in my classroom.  It was beyond stupid!  I’m not even joking when I say that: A. those mints kind of suck B.  I would have eaten one out of boredom, and just because I “couldn’t” have it and C. one of my students TOTALLY called me out on it.  Like I said, it was ridiculous.  This is exactly what happened the last time I did a Whole30.  I started getting random MENTAL cravings for things I don’t even usually eat; however, simply because it’s on the “no list” I instantly want it.  Noooo, I don’t have ANY emotional issues with food.  Clearly not!

Whatever, now that that’s out….today was just a total Monday.  In every sense of the word.  I put myself on autopilot and just went through the day.  Eh, those have to happen every once in a while I suppose.  On the UP side, I should be done with my State Testing this week!!  That will get a huge weight off of my shoulders.  It also means that I get to go back to real life, and better yet, REAL teaching!  Whaaaaat?  For real.  Giving tests is really, REALLY difficult and it sucks the life out of you.  I teach middle school for a variety of reasons, one of which is the amount of energy that I get from my kids.  That just doesn’t happen during testing time because of the serious environment.  Much like sunshine, good food, and excellent music, I need adolescent energy.  I’m weird.  Deal with it.

On to food!  I sat last night looking in my freezer thinking, “hmm…..shrimp?”  So I went with it!  My mom makes this Chinese coleslaw that has crushed up Ramen noodles in it.  She makes it for every summer party she goes to.  I hate it.  In fact, I hate raw cabbage in coleslaw form.  One of my friends describes it as wet grass and I couldn’t agree more…..that was until I had myself some Napa cabbage!  That shit is BOMB!  It’s also about the only cabbage I can stand in coleslaw form.  So, the slaw portion of my dinner was inspired by my wonderful Ma, and her super popular (though hated by me because I’m a jerk like that) coleslaw.  The shrimp was kind of an after thought.  I knew I wanted something spicy and green and fresh.  Plus, I’m totally in love with fresh cilantro right now….so that’s how this shrimp came to be!  Not to mention limes make me think of cocktails, which makes me think of summer…..which I want, NOW.  Here goes!

napa slaw

Napa Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 head of Napa cabbage, shredded (it’s a much more delicate leaf, both texture and flavor….or get regular cabbage if you dig it.  I don’t, not raw at least!)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, diced finely
  • 1 bunch (8-10) scallions, chopped up….both white and greens
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos (you could use tamari or GF soy sauce…but I’m staying strict to no soy)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, onion, peppers, and scallions in a large bowl.
  2. In a jar (or something else you can shake up dressing in) combine your vinegar, coconut aminos, olive oil, lime juice, and all spices.  Cap the jar and shake the SHIT out of it.  I happened to dance around to Whitney Houston in my kitchen while preparing this.  It helped, trust me.
  3. Pour about half of the dressing over the cabbage and toss well to coat it.
  4. Let it sit in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to blend flavors and such.  Top it with the sliced almonds and serve!  Top with more dressing if you like yours saucy-er!  Or better yet!  Top it with this shrimp!

Spicy Cilantro Lime Shrimp

  • 1-1.5 pounds of medium sized raw shrimp, peeled, de-veined , and tails off
  • 2 bunches of scallions, white and greens, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 serrano peppers, thinly sliced into rounds (these little guys can get HOT, so if you don’t get down like that, sub out jalapenos, or no peppers!)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  1. In a deep skillet, melt your coconut oil.
  2. When heated, add your shrimp in a single layer.  Season the shrimp with half of the seasoning mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp start to turn pink and curl up a bit.
  3. Flip shrimp and season with the remaining seasonings, it’ll form almost a crust on the shrimp.  Cook for another 2 minutes on this side.
  4. When shrimp is ALMOST cooked through, push it to the sides of the pan.  In the center, add your scallions and peppers.  Saute them for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Toss the shrimp and the veggies together to finish cooking.  Add in your lime juice and toss in your fresh cilantro.  Stir for about 1 minute to heat them through and coat your mixture in the juice.
  6. Devour.  For real.  I’m surprised I was able to snap a picture before scarfing mine down…..let alone exercise enough self control to pack up leftovers!

Here’s to freaking delicious food, kitchen dancing, the light at the end of the tunnel, and day 1 of Operation Cancun in the books!  I dare some stupid Lifesaver Mint to tempt me tomorrow….ain’t nobody got time for that! Peace, Love, and Paleo!

-Meister