July 27, 2012

Mango Tarragon Scallops

Second blog post in a week! I’ve been continuing to cook with fruit lately due to the abundance of fruit at my house right now.

This time I experimented with some mango! I saw a recipe card at Whole Foods while buying scallops for Scallops with Cherry-Tarragon Sauce. I was out of cherries, so after nibbling on tarragon and then nibbling on various other fruits, I decided on using mango. I mostly stuck to the recipe with a few substitutions, so I’ll just list the ingredients that I used. However, I added the mango at the very last moment for a quick stir because I didn’t think I would care for cooked mango.

Mango Tarragon Scallops

– 3 large wild-caught sea scallops
– sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
– 1 Tbsp coconut oil (I would have used clarified butter, but was out of it)
– 1/2 to 1 shallot, chopped
– 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
– 1/2 cup mango, chopped
– 1.5 tsp fresh tarragon, chopped

I ate it with arugula, my favorite green! This was really good for the first scallop and then progressively got too sweet for me. I definitely enjoy the taste of tarragon and mango together. I also decided that I like my mangos cold, not so much warm. It’s also not much of a sauce and I can’t imagine it being saucy even if I used cherries like the original recipe. I think squeezing some lemon juice over everything would have brightened up everything for me. Or maybe some spices added to it to cut down on the sweetness. It was a beautiful plate of food though! I would make this again with a tart fruit.

I’ve been having a pretty awesome week with some pretty awesome friends!
Monday – “The Dark Knight Rises” in IMAX (loved it), tunnel flying
Wednesday – tunnel, 3 skydives, skating
Thursday – tunnel, indoor bouldering
Friday-Sunday will be full of more skydiving!!!

It was the first time I had been on the ice in many many months. My ankles and feet hurt really bad from not being used to my skates anymore. I’m still on my last pair of skates, made for me in 2006! That was after I quit, so the skates are still in pretty good shape. It’s crazy to think how much I used to skate to need new boots every year and blades every other year. They make super light skates nowadays though, I kind of want new ones! I’m starting to think I want to skate regularly again, just recreationally, to not waste the massive investment my parents made. I skated a public session so I didn’t try to do much, but I know I’m out of shape.

Climbing went a lot better. I let too many months go by without climbing as well. I had lost all my calluses and my hands were burning by the third route. However, I was super happy that I didn’t have to downgrade TOO much. I was climbing most V3s easily before I stopped climbing regularly, now V2s are still easy but V3s are more challenging than I remember. I managed to climb a couple of them, but with my hands and grip strength not where they used to be, it was much more challenging. I had really missed the climbing gym! I didn’t think I’d ever be so happy to smell stinky feet and sweat! Of course I renewed my membership, so now I have to go regularly.

Conclusion: I’m in excellent tunnel shape, but out of shape for everything else I like to do that I haven’t been doing. Time for more balance in my life!

July 22, 2012

Chops and Stone Fruits

I’m going to jump right back into blogging like I haven’t been away for 3 months. Life got in the way! I even stopped being paleo for the month of May with some pretty disastrous results. It was my 25th birthmonth so I wanted to indulge in everything. I did however have plenty of adventures! Including two trips to Twin Falls, ID for BASE jumping off the Perrine Bridge! My mom and I also opened a Korean restaurant, but after 10 days of being open we had an unfortunate car accident involving sudden unintended acceleration. Now we will not be reopening for at least another month. Let me just say that being in an out of control car speeding into the building is a lot scarier than jumping off or out of anything. I will get into all of that as I get back to blogging. I have lots of pictures and videos to share, but today I want to focus on the food!

I love shopping for food in the summer! I love going to farmer’s markets and picking up my weekly Tiny’s Organic fruit bag. Since this year I signed up for the all fruit bag, it means twice as much fruit to try and consume in one week. Lots of sharing is involved. Right now the bags are filled with stone fruits – apricots, apriums, plums, peaches, nectarines, and cherries!

I’ve been trying to incorporate some of the fruit into my meals rather than just snacking on them. I end up eating less fruit that way! Otherwise I will just eat pounds and pounds of fruit because I looove the sugar.

I also found this super tasty and definitely paleo Date and Cherry Balsamic Spread from Edible Gardens at Whole Foods. The only ingredients are dates, cherries, and balsamic vinegar. I’ve been putting it on pork chops and lamb chops!

Date and Cherry Balsamic Lamb Loin Chops

– 2 Lamb loin chops
– 1+ Tbsp Date and Cherry Balsamic Spread
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– Dried thyme, salt, and pepper to taste

This was soooo good! Especially with the little salad I made – arugula, spinach, rainier cherries, and walnuts. No dressing, just the way I like it!

Date and Cherry Balsamic Pork Chops

The date and cherry balsamic spread is also super good on pork chops!! I pan cooked these pork chops (lightly seasoned in salt and pepper) and sautéed the onions with a little garlic in the pork fat. I spread the spread on the meat after everything was cooked.

I had a lot of apriums to use up from my CSA bag. I didn’t like the texture or the flavor of them while eating them fresh. Not quite apricot, not quite plum, but a weird texture in between. Ironically, I absolutely love pluots, which are more plum than apricot. Since one of my favorite pork dishes involves peaches, I decided to make another pork dish with these apriums instead of letting them go to waste. They were amazing cooked! I don’t eat pork chops very often, but there’s just something about stone fruits that pairs perfectly with pork chops!

Aprium Pork Chops
You could just use apricots. This was very simple. Caramelize onions in pork fat then add the fruit and a little garlic. I sprinkled it with some Italian seasoning at the end and ate it with a side of roasted brussels sprouts. I could eat this every day! I’ll probably make a more summery side next time though.

Thanks to all my readers for continuing to read my blog and sending me messages asking about my wellbeing! I’m pretty excited to be blogging again. It definitely helps me eat better and cook more!

April 17, 2012

Paleo Meatloaf

I’m way behind on blogging… I have lots of pictures and no posts to show for it! Hopefully I can catch up this week!

This was my first time making meatloaf and it was pretty good! I loved the sauce more than anything else. I’ve never been a fan of meatloaf and haven’t eaten it in years, so I don’t even know what meatloaf is really supposed to taste like. This one is meaty and not at all dry or bready.

I followed Alton Brown’s meatloaf recipe pretty closely, just making a few paleo substitutions and omissions. I also only had 18oz of ground beef so I halved the recipe and ended up making two half mini-loaves. Instead of garlic flavored croutons, I used the same amount of almond flour. For the glaze, I used Organicsville ketchup, which is the most paleo-friendly ketchup I’ve managed to find so far. I skipped the honey since the ketchup is plenty sweet, but the lack of extra sugar probably kept my glaze from really glazing up. I also skipped the Worcestershire sauce and used a dash of tabasco as my hot sauce.

Just a quick post today, I have a pretty busy day ahead of me. I basically lost an entire day yesterday due to a single Zyrtec pill. When I switched to paleo, I stopped getting sick or having migraines, so I was able to cut out pretty much all pharmaceuticals… except for allergy meds for my seasonal allergies that started a year or two ago. I wonder if I’ve become extra sensitive to medications because this supposedly non-drowsy allergy pill totally knocked me out for about 24 hours. I slept 80% of the time. When I was awake, I was super out of it and my friend thought I was high on something after a phone conversation. Feeling much better today! No more allergy meds for me! Know of any natural remedies?

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!


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

– 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!


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!


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



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



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



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



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



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!



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



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.



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.



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.


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.






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.!



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.



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.

– 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

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.


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!

February 2, 2012

Clarified butter is awesome

I tend to cook with olive/coconut/walnut oil or bacon fat. I never liked cooking with butter because it would always end up burning or make things taste too buttery. Well I made clarified butter for baking and hollandaise sauce, then I realized that it wouldn’t burn at higher temps due to the removal of dairy solids. I felt stupid for not having thought of this sooner. Clarified butter also has a much milder, yet still buttery flavor. Steak and veggies were both waaaay tastier with clarified butter!

It’s super simple to make clarified butter/ghee. Take unsalted pastured butter and bring it to a simmer in a saucepan. You’ll see the white dairy solids and foam (from the water in the butter) come to the top. Continuously skim them off with a spoon or ladle until all you have left is clear, golden butterfat.

It will be solid and look like regular butter when it cools.

I have been using it to cook my steak and veggies! It really brought out the delicious flavor of my grassfed beef and my veggies tasted richer. I’m still doing most of my cooking with coconut or olive oil, but this is a nice alternative to have on hand. Eggs were pretty good fried in clarified butter as well.

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January 30, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

I’m really getting the hang of this paleo baking thing! I should stop posting my recipes and open a paleo bakery! Seriously. I’m that awesome. I especially enjoy making banana-based paleo breads and muffins! So far I’ve made  banana breadbanana berry muffins, and now these PUMPKIN PECAN MUFFINS!

You might recall from the last muffin post that Holly made me a batch of pumpkin muffins as well. I ended up doubling the recipe and then making several changes to create  a denser, heartier muffin with pecans throughout and more pumpkin spice flavor. The original muffins were sweeter, lighter, and had sliced almonds on top. Here is the original list of ingredients plus all the changes I made so that you can follow either recipe.

Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

1 cup 1 15oz can pure pumpkin puree
1 2 large [over]ripe bananas
1/4 1/2 cup pure almond butter
1/3 1/4 cup raw honey
1 Tbsp pure coconut oil, melted
4 large eggs
zest of 1 lime
1 3/4 2 cups almond flour
[1 cup coconut flour]
1/4 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/8 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
1 1/2
 3 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
Sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, or unsweetened shaved coconut, for topping.
[1 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped]

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans.
2. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas and then mix in the pumpkin puree, raw honey, and eggs. In a large bowl, combine the almond and coconut flours, spices, baking soda, and sea salt. Stir the wet mix into the dry mix.
3. Fold in the pecans.
4. Fill the cupcake pans using an ice cream scoop
5. Bake for 30 minutes. Makes 20 muffins.

These were super delicious and turned out exactly the way I like my muffins! I like my muffins to be dense yet soft and slightly moist… Something I can eat on the go for breakfast or as a snack and be full. I also like my muffins to have only a hint of sweetness without losing the flavor of the star ingredients. Less added sugar of any kind is more paleo, too. I find that I can stop at one muffin because mine aren’t too sweet. Good luck stopping me from eating a whole batch of anything that’s sweet enough to register as dessert in my mouth!

After making the banana berry and pumpkin muffins, I think I can be the queen of paleo muffins. I’m planning on making the following in the future inspired by my favorite muffins, scones, cupcakes, and ice creams from my non-paleo days!
– Cranberry Orange
– Lemon Poppyseed
– Chai Cardamom
– Strawberry Almond
– Honey Lavender
– Green Tea
– Pineapple Coconut
– Chocolate Hazelnut
– Date Nut
– Cinnamon Raisin
Sooo many possibilities!!! I’m thinking one batch of muffins per week, that should keep me busy! I also see breads, cakes, and more cookies in my future.

Maybe I AM serious about this paleo bakery thing… I’ll take online orders, let me know! 😀