Archive for March, 2012

March 31, 2012

Skydiving, landjäger, and paleo sliders!

It’s Saturday and I’m still in bed because it hasn’t stopped raining for a week. Doesn’t look like it’ll stop raining for yet another week, but next weekend looks promising! I can’t wait to jump again. After so much tunnel time, I feel like a brand new skydiver and I’m completely addicted again! There is sooo much space in the sky! No walls up there! And the skydives actually go as planned! Fascinating! The tunnel is such an invaluable training tool. I was able to get 12 jumps in last weekend and I thought I’d share a few pictures! All photo credits to Kelly Craig.

I’m sure I’ll be posting more photos and videos as the season goes on! Thank goodness we have a wind tunnel here now to get through the rainy days. I’m pretty excited to go fly tonight!

The downside of so much tunnel flying and skydiving has been that I’m way less motivated to work out. I haven’t consistently exercised in several months now and I can feel myself getting out of shape. It’s such a waste because I felt so amazing and so fit after months of daily intense activity and I am just letting it all go. I still LOOK fit, but I don’t FEEL fit. Every day I wake up thinking, I should really go to crossfit/hot yoga/climbing/running/skating today and then I never really make it out. I know that if I just commit to a few days, I’ll get into a routine again. So I am going to hold myself accountable to do that starting on Monday. 🙂

The upside of skydiving is definitely our close community full of awesome friends. One of them is actually a butcher and I got hooked up! I’ll never go hungry again! I’m going to try to do a post about him and the butcher shop in the near future, if he agrees to it. His shop only carries the highest quality local meats, including the best tasting 100% grassfed local beef I’ve ever had. He actually makes lard, tallow, sausages, and cured meats, all completely paleo! I’m planning on stopping by every week! This is how I found my new favorite snack, called the landjäger (I’m too lazy to describe it so I linked to wikipedia)!

Soft, not too salty, meaty, satiating goodness! This would be perfect for hiking/trail running! I had never even heard of this before, so ask your local specialty butcher?

The NY steaks I got were so giant that I had to cut one in half. Steak and eggs for breakfast! I poached the eggs this time and put it on some arugula and baby spinach.

 

I also grabbed some lean ground beef for burgers. I usually don’t season or do anything but shape the beef into a patty when I make burgers, but this time I was inspired to actually put some work into it. I added 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 cup chopped onions, 2 slices of bacon (cut into little pieces), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1 tsp chipotle chili powder, salt, and pepper to a pound of lean ground beef with delicious results! These are my naked sliders! Heirloom tomato slice and a dollop of avocado for each mini patty! I was out of all lettuce or I probably would have wrapped them. Delicious!

 

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March 27, 2012

Truffle goat cheese-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates

For last night’s dinner, I made some bacon-wrapped dates and lamb meatballs with a balsamic reduction over arugula and baby spinach, sprinkled with more balsamic vinegar. YUM!

 

View the lamb meatballs post for the recipe! I did make one small addition – I added 1/2tsp of CARDAMOM! I loved it even more!

Goat Cheese-stuffed, Bacon-wrapped Dates

Ingredients:
– Noor dates, pitted
– Chevre goat cheese
– One slice of bacon per 3 dates
– Toothpicks, cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut the dates almost in half and spread them apart.
3. Fill the pitted part with goat cheese and close the dates.
4. Cut bacon slices into thirds and wrap the dates, securing each with half a toothpick.
5. Bake in a baking pan for 20-30 minutes until bacon is cooked to your liking, turning the dates over half way through.

To make this fully paleo, you would skip stuffing the dates with cheese. However, I think the cheese is necessary to add a tangy flavor to cut the sweetness of the dates because bacon just isn’t strong enough for that. So this one is primal! I found this super delicious chevre goat cheese – Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor at Whole Foods. It’s probably one of the best goat cheeses I’ve had because I LOVE truffle. I used Applewood’s Sunday Bacon, which is thin and great for wrapping, and noor dates because they are smaller than medjool dates.

March 26, 2012

Hawaii Vacation ’12

This might seem off topic since I’ve been mostly focusing on food for this blog, but I always intended to write about my adventures as well! I spent 2 days on Oahu and 5 days on the Big Island for a family vacation last month! I save the best for last, so read on!

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At some scenic viewpoint overlooking Honolulu/Waikiki

I really hoped to skydive over the North Shore again, but my new rig wasn’t ready yet and I didn’t have a chance to jump on this trip. I was only a little disappointed though. Let’s be honest, the main reason I insisted on stopping in Honolulu was to eat at one of my all-time favorite restaurants – Alan Wong’s. They never disappoint! The chef’s tasting menu blows me away every time I eat there! I was pleasantly surprised this time that pretty much the whole meal was gluten free! But you’ll see that the meal was certainly not paleo. Definitely worth it and I didn’t get sick! Each course was flawless and the wine pairings really complemented the food.  Can’t wait to go back!

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1st Course: Trio of Appetizers - Seafood salad on soy milk panna cotta, Kona lobster "Vichyssoise," Peterson Farm egg flan

 

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2nd Course: Crab "Tofu" Agedashi - Tofu-like spinner crab mousse, Kona lobster medallions and lump crab meat, kudzu dashi

 

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3rd Course: Bubu Arare Crusted Diver Scallop - edamame truffle sauce

 

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4th Course: Butter Poached Kona Lobster - Hamakua Heritage eryngi mushrooms, green onion oil

 

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5th Course: Pan Steamed Opakapaka, Short-Tail Pink Snapper - Shrimp pork hash, truffle nage, gingered vegetables, tapioca pearls

 

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6th Course: Char Su Colorado Lamb Chop - Kabu mostarda, cardamom greek yogurt sauce

Hello best lamb chop I’ve ever had! I’m definitely going to try using cardamom the next time I make lamb!

 

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7th Course: Kula "Strawberry Romanoff" - Big Island Dairy goat cheese panna cotta, Kula strawberry-hibiscus consommé, goat cheese sorbet

 

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The best chocolate covered macadamia nuts ever!

 

I discovered that not all musubis are the same! Here I thought that musubi = a slice of spam slapped on sushi rice with a band of nori. NOPE! There were so many flavors to choose from at Mana Bu’s! I especially enjoyed the unagi, baked salmon, and spicy tuna. The whole strawberry mochi was really good as well! I was most definitely going for local food and didn’t concentrate on staying paleo the entire vacation.

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Then we made our way to the Big Island where my adventure really started. Not much notable food there. Except for the loco moco or moco loco or whatever it’s called. DISGUSTING. Meat(s) of your choosing on rice topped with fried eggs and drowned in massive amounts of brown gravy. I feel sick just thinking about it again. I tried it because it’s one of those classic Hawaiian dishes or whatever, but yeah… never again!

We stayed at the ginormous beautiful Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. This is where I got all my exercise – having to walk like a mile to get to anything! I wish I was exaggerating! Ok, I’m probably exaggerating.

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Hapuna Beach was wonderful! I even managed to get several shades darker from my usual glow-in-the-dark pale. I still have tan lines! I spent one day on the beach stocking up on my vitamin D. One day of R&R is usually all I can handle on any vacation. I’m really bad at the whole sun bathing thing. SO boring.

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I want to be back on this beach!

 

With absolutely no rental cars available on the whole island during our first couple of days, we went on a circle island bus tour.  I don’t know about the rest of my family, but I had an awesome time. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in one day in a long time. I won’t disclose why since it’s one of those “you had to be there” things. Plus I’m pretty sure we would have never made it around the island with our own car.

I loved the black sand beach! Felt awful with bare feet, but it was sooo pretty!!! Especially with the gray skies that day. My pictures look black and white! I was super bummed that we didn’t see any turtles on the beach.

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We also stopped by the volcano national park. I wish we could have had time to do the lava boat tours where you can see flowing lava! But all we saw were smoking craters. I’m surrounded by volcanos where I live – Rainier, St. Helens… no big deal. We also stopped at a lava tube. The bus driver said it would take 20min to get through so I was expecting this epic lava tube hike, but no… it was like a 2min walk through a very boring tunnel. 20min for all the senior citizens on the bus tour maybe? I mean, let’s be honest, who else goes on bus tours? Anyway, I was expecting something more like the Ape Caves in WA, which I recently found out is the longest continuous lava tube in the continental U.S.!

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We visited the Dole pineapple plantation and learned a lot about pineapple. Who knew that they don’t ripen further after being picked? So eat your pineapples right away! The pineapple soft serve there was one of the yuckiest frozen treats I’ve ever had. Don’t get it. I’ll add pics later.

We definitely experienced a downpour of rain in Hilo! 200+in of rain a year and a lot of people live there! Crazy! We stopped at these waterfalls. I think it’s called the Rainbow falls? I don’t really remember.

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One thing I don’t have a picture of is the 40,000(?) acres of land that is the cattle ranch. There is so much land that it looks like there aren’t many cows! All the cows looked happy and relaxed grazing on the grass with their cow buddies. Yay for happy cows, right? NOPE! Apparently they don’t slaughter on the island. These cows get shipped to the mainland feedlots where they are grain finished and slaughtered. The now (ruined , in my opinion) meat is shipped all over the country, including back to Hawaii! Ridiculous, isn’t it? I felt so bad for the cows. So glad we have many happy local cows in WA!

And now for the very best part of my trip: NIGHT DIVE WITH MANTA RAYS!!!! This was the whole reason why I made the family go to the Big Island. This was one of two reasons why I became SCUBA certified! I recommend Wanna Dive because they have a small 6 person boat for a much better experience than the bigger boats of other companies. I was worried about not being able to cross this off my bucket list, but as soon as our boat pulled up to the dive site, we saw a manta ray on the surface! Then I saw 3 at a distance during the first dive in the late afternoon. I actually kinda hate diving – it doesn’t matter if I’m in the Puget Sound or in Hawaii, I am guaranteed to be freezing. But I was super excited when it finally became dark enough to dive in! All the divers from the various boats sit at the bottom (about 35-40ft down) with their lights pointing up while the snorkelers hang out on the surface pointing their lights down. The manta rays of Kona have learned that plankton love dive lights so they show up at this spot every night to feed, giving us a spectacular show!

I am sooo glad I took my GoPro! I didn’t expect to get such great footage! We saw 9 manta rays and a big swirling column of countless fish. It was truly one of the most beautiful and most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. These creatures are HUGE and soooo graceful. It’s surreal having them graze the top of your head and swim straight towards you with their giant mouths wide open. Can I go on my “save the oceans!” rant now? 🙂

In case you were wondering, the other reason I started diving was to see whale sharks. I hope I can make that happen this year so I can quit diving once and for all! Haha, just kidding…maybe.

March 15, 2012

Coconut encrusted shrimp and crab cakes!

I can’t believe it has taken me over a month to get back to blogging! I have some new delicious paleo recipes to share. I’ll start with these coconut encrusted shrimp and crab cakes, i.e. possibly the best thing I’ve ever made! I decided to add a couple ingredients to my original paleo crab cakes. The shrimp really adds a meatier texture while the coconut gives it this delicious crispy crust. It’s like crab cake and coconut shrimp’s love child!

 

I didn’t measure out anything, but I’ll try to write down the recipe as closely as possible. The ingredient amounts are approximate, adjust them according to your taste. I was out of celery, but it would have been a nice addition.

Ingredients:
– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
– 1/4 onion, chopped
– 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
– 1/4 cup chopped green onion
– 1 heaping tsp minced garlic
– 1/2+ cup shrimp, chopped
– 1 cup lump dungeness crab meat (precooked)
– cayenne pepper to taste
– black pepper to taste
– 1 egg
– 1 Tbsp dijon mustard (check ingredients, I use Annie’s)
– 1/2 cup almond flour
– 1/2 cup shredded coconut
– 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions:
1. Sauté the first three ingredients in olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add the garlic, green onion, and shrimp. Continue to cook until the shrimp starts to turn pink/orange. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Mix in the crab meat, cayenne and black peppers, egg, dijon mustard, and 1/4 cup of the almond flour.
3. In a shallow bowl or a plate, mix together the rest of the almond flour with the shredded coconut. (I first ground the shredded coconut in a food processor for a finer texture.)
4. Form the crab cake mixture into patties and coat in the coconut-almond flour.
5. Cook the shrimp and crab cakes in coconut oil (extra virgin for more coconut flavor) until golden brown on both sides.

Enjoy!!

I have a lot of catching up to do on my blog. Hopefully I can complete at least one more post before my weekend skydiving trip to SoCal!

March 8, 2012

Apologies for the lack of updates!

Life and vacation got in the way of blogging this past month. Thanks to my macaw, I also haven’t had a functioning laptop in a while! But I have some new posts coming up in the next few days. Looking forward to sharing more food with everyone!

All my baking includes coconut flour and I realized the importance of it when I tried baking with only almond flour. Disastrous!!! It was a mushy mess with bread and a flat puddle with cookies. Time to stock up on coconut flour!

I’ve also developed an addiction to coconut butter. It’s amazing! I eat it out of the jar with a spoon. It’s even better combined with spoonfuls from a jar of raw honey. I went through a whole jar of coconut butter so fast! While good for you, it’s super high in calories! So I will not be purchasing coconut butter again anytime soon, I have no self control.

Check back this weekend for new food posts! Thanks!