Posts tagged ‘mexican’

January 10, 2012

Blog improvements and Mexican-style shredded chicken

I recently asked for some feedback on ways to improve my blog and received some great suggestions!

  • Better pictures – higher quality, use actual camera instead of phone, neater staging
  • More updates – frequent smaller posts of individual meals rather than occasional big posts of many meals
  • Actual recipes – clearly written out so readers can recreate the food
  • More Korean food

Thank you! Please email or comment with any additional suggestions! I definitely agree with all of the above and will be incorporating them in my future posts!

While I have a DSLR, I don’t always have time to pull it out (especially when I’m hungry!) so I will continue to use my phone when I’m out or feeling lazy at home. I downloaded a new camera app for my phone which has where I can adjust white balance and a special food setting! I haven’t had a chance to play around with it yet, so the picture in this post was just with the food setting (I think it makes the colors more vibrant?) and no adjustments for the orangey light.

Sometimes I use a recipe as a starting point and tweak them to be paleo, but usually I cook without a recipe depending on my cravings and what I have on hand. I’ve mostly been linking to a recipe and describing the changes I made or just explaining how I made something. From here on out I will include recipes within my posts unless it’s something super obvious. I’ll copy paste the starting recipe then edit them with my changes or I’ll attempt to write a recipe down when I’m cooking spontaneously. Most of my food is enough for 2 big servings.

 

Mexican-style Shredded Chicken Salad

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I saved a chicken breast from the whole chicken I used for my coq au vin because I wanted to make something with Mexican flavors! I often order fajitas (no tortillas) at Mexican restaurants and always wish I could have it in salad form with a bunch of greens since the fajita meat and veggies tend to be a little salty. Instead of making fajitas, I decided I wanted something softer with shredded chicken.

I used mixed baby greens and Whole Foods guacamole. Pico de gallo would have been awesome with it too! I love salsas and guacamole as salad dressing. This was sooo good! It’s easy to make, but takes a little time and attention to make the soft, flavorful chicken.

Shredded chicken recipe from food.com, with minor edits below:

Ingredients:
– 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast (or 2 small)
– 1 cup chicken stock/broth (optional, I used it for more chicken flavor. Best to make your own, but this is the best store-bought I’ve found so far.)
– 1/4 yellow onion, sliced
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– water

– 1 tbsp olive or walnut oil
– 1/2-3/4 yellow onion, sliced
– 1/2-1 green bell pepper (I used red, any color will do)
– 1 med tomato, chopped (not pictured since I didn’t have one, but would have added)
– 1 tsp minced garlic
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1/2-1 tsp chili powder
– 1/2 tsp marjoram
– Black pepper to taste
– Sea salt to taste (I didn’t add any)
– 1 tbsp tomato paste (or 2 tbsp sauce, I used paste because I didn’t have sauce)
– 1/4 cup chicken broth reserved from simmering the chicken breast
– 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:
1. Place first five ingredients in a pot, adding just enough water to cover the chicken.
2. Bring to a slow boil, cover, lower heat to maintain a simmer and cook until done, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove chicken from pot, cool enough so you don’t get burnt (quicker in fridge) and shred to your liking. Do not discard the broth left in the pot.
4. In a large pan, sauté onion and bell pepper in olive oil over medium high heat until it starts getting soft. Then add tomato, garlic, cumin, chili powder, marjoram, pepper, and the shredded chicken. Reduce heat to low and continue to sauté until the veggies are soft but not mushy.
5. Add broth and tomato paste/sauce (paste will dissolve in broth). I spooned the broth from pot to pan until everything was slightly juicy/moistened, not soupy.
6. Stir in cilantro.

The shredded chicken is also really good on its own!

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June 1, 2011

I think I shall fast today

I’m sore today and I love it! I went bouldering for 3 hours at the newly opened Seattle Bouldering Project on Monday! I wish I lived closer because it’s AWESOME. First of all, the place is huge and feels very open. It’s well ventilated and doesn’t smell like feet, though it has only been open for 2 weeks so that’s subject to change. Then there’s the floor! The entire floor is a thick, bouncy mat. I couldn’t help but bounce around from wall to wall. It helped me feel more comfortable as I’m trying to overcome my fear of falling while bouldering. The SPJ also offers a gym and yoga, among other amenities. Go check it out!

Dungeness Crab and Asparagus ScrambleToulouse Petit, Seattle
Helloooo breakfast happy hour at Toulouse Petit where most things on their menu are $7.50! There are several paleo friendly choices on the menu. I decided to go with the crab and asparagus scramble with gruyere, chervil, chives, mornay. I asked for the gruyere on the side so that I could taste it. While the gruyere was good and mellowed out the zing of the herbs in the scramble, it wasn’t at all necessary! This scramble was DELICIOUS. Full of soft crab meat with crunchy asparagus, it had a wonderful texture packed with flavor. I substituted fruit for the breakfast potatoes.

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As you can see in the following pic, I was totally able to make myself a paleo bowl of food with carne asada, veggies, and salsa at the Mexican themed skydiver BBQ yesterday.

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The problem was that I didn’t stop there, even though I was full after a couple of bowls. I munched on a bean dip with sour cream and cheese with tortilla chips. I ate some Mexican wedding cakes (which I baked for everyone). I had a slice of chocolate cake for Jami’s birthday (happy birthday!!), and had a taco with a corn tortilla. I KNEW I would get sick afterwards and my paleo bowl of food tasted best out of everything else I ate, but I apparently couldn’t stop! So I’ve been dealing with a headache, stomachache, and fatigue since last night. I find that it helps for me to fast for a day (water only) and then eat 100% strict paleo for at least a few days to feel completely recovered from eating too much non-paleo food.

Don’t freak out that I fast every once in a while. Intermittent fasting (IF) can actually be very good for you and does not ruin your metabolism. It has restorative and healing effects. I only fast when I feel sick, but many people make it a regular practice. I may post more about IF at another time, but you should definitely google and learn more about it!

I received a wonderful compliment in a message from a reader yesterday: “You really should think about writing a book!” Totally made my day since I honestly don’t know if my blog is at all interesting for people to read. No plans to write a book anytime soon, but I will keep blogging! Thanks Theresa! 🙂

May 21, 2011

So much pork lately!

I actually hated pork and didn’t eat it for close to 10 years at one point in my life. To be honest, I still don’t really like bacon. Blasphemy, I know. But several years ago at Restaurant Zoë, the server recommended their braised pork belly. I thought, why not give it a try? One bite and I was in love. IN LOVE. I started eating pork again. Then I discovered the Cuban Roast sandwiches at Paseo and my appreciation for pork grew.

Roasted Pork Belly
I still love pork belly and for the first time, I tried it at home. I was too lazy to braise it, so I found these instructions on how to roast it. I kept the skin on because people were raving about the crispy rind. I scored the skin at 1cm intervals, I sprinkled sea salt on it, and I put it on sliced onions so that the meat wouldn’t touch the hot pan. I added garlic because I love roasted garlic way too much. The onions ended up being the best part of all this. With pork juices running down the onions as it roasts, the onions are phenomenal! I did not care for the crispy rind. I’ll definitely try braising it next time…. maybe without the skin.

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Roasted Pork Shoulder

After my underwhelming experience with roasted pork belly, I went back to using pork shoulder. So much better! I had always just roasted it in a pan with some garlic after rubbing it in garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, and italian seasoning. This time I roasted it on onions and added cumin and smoked paprika to the rub. Turned out amaaaazing! The cumin definitely added a little something extra to the pork. And yes, I know I eat a lot of garlic. It’s good for you!

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Taco SaladEl Chupacabra

Taco salads usually come with a lot of non-paleo things. I just asked them to leave out the tortilla bowl, rice, beans, and cheese. Which left me with pico de gallo, lettuce, olives, avocado, and my choice of meat. Of course I chose carnitas!!! It wasn’t the best I’ve had, but still pretty darn tasty! Can you mess up carnitas though? They did give me entirely too many olives, I only ate like 3 since I don’t care for them. They also left out the avocado!!! 😦 Anyway, this is another great paleo-friendly option at Mexican restaurants. I should also mention that El Chupacabra serves strong awesome tequila drinks!

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May 2, 2011

A short trip to CA

I was in the bay area Thurs-Sat getting two hours of tunnel time at iFly SFBay! I had so much fun and can’t wait to go back next month for more time. Let’s just say that eating paleo while on a trip with several non-paleo friends is difficult, but not impossible. Thankfully they are patient and understanding when I order food!

“Mexican” food

The first night I was there, we ate at Chevy’s, a tex-mex restaurant. I ordered the carnitas fajita. The menu description: “Build your own fajitas, one steamy, soft El Machino tortilla at a time. Served with sautéed San Antonio veggies, Fresh Mex rice, fresh guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, our signature sweet corn tamalito and refried beans.” “Carnitas-Great new recipe! – Tender, marinated pork slow-roasted with fresh oranges, lemons, garlic, and cilantro.” I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the carnitas fajita with no tortillas, no rice, no sour cream, no sweet corn tamalito, and no beans.

I ended up having a chicken fajita for lunch one day from a fast casual burrito place. No pic. Mexican restaurants are great for paleo eaters. You can get fajitas without all the non-paleo stuff. Carne asada is awesome too.

Indian food

I love Indian lunch buffets. Unfortunately, most Indian curries contain dairy (yogurt, cream, butter). When I can’t be fully paleo, I try to stay at least primal and that’s what I managed to do eating Indian. If I had ordered food, I would have been able to pick something paleo, but with the buffet I did the best I could. It was easy to avoid the rice, but the naan at the table took some effort. I love naan (especially garlic naan) with mint and tamarind chutney, but I didn’t eat any.

In-N-Out

I had been to CA numerous times without ever having tried In-N-Out. I dislike fast food and haven’t really eaten it in 10+ years. My friends insisted that I must try In-N-Out and that they have a protein style option that uses lettuce instead of buns. So I ordered one protein style hamburger with extra tomatoes. Pretty sure that the sauce wasn’t paleo, but whatever. It was surprisingly good for such a simple hamburger! I was surprised that I didn’t miss cheese or the bun. The veggies were fresh and the patty was pretty flavorful. I’ll have to make some of my own protein style burgers at home!

We also had a bbq at a friend’s house. I wasn’t able to find grassfed steak at the grocery store we went to, but it was nice being able to choose my own meat and veggies to grill while traveling. Staying paleo while traveling is hard and while I didn’t fail completely for my main meals, I definitely had some ice cream, some scone , and some alcohol during the trip. What I missed most about home was my refrigerator FULL of various organic veggies!

I will be eating out a lot more during May since it is my birthday month. So expect lots of posts on eating out. Substituting is easy in casual restaurants. Fine dining is another story.

I definitely prefer cooking at home to eating out since I have total control and can feel good about what I’m making and eating. Yesterday was a gorgeous day here in Seattle. I had to skip skydiving due to bad allergies, but I managed to grill some baby back ribs on our deck. I should find a paleo bbq sauce recipe!

Have an fantastic monday!! Today I’m going to hot yoga, skating, and getting a much needed haircut.