Biking and climbing + ribs, rubs and dips

It has been quite a few days since my last blog entry and I have been willing to write something for almost every day, but at the same time I did not feel like writing on my iPod πŸ™‚ June started and I decided not to get a bus pass but use my bike instead. Saturday I bought a used bike (did not see point of getting new one, because we don’t know how long we gonna stay here blah blah). It goes so much faster with my new bike and even those horrifying hills don’t seem that horrifying anymore and quite manageable. I have been increasing my arrival time to my work place every day. Tuesday I made it in 60mins, Wednesday – 55mins. Thursday – 54mins. I am proud of myself to go each time faster and faster, means my legs are getting stronger. And I also reached fastest time to go down the hill: 52.5km/h πŸ™‚ I also have been very good girls and already went to climb 3 times this week. It is so much more easy to go to climbing gym when I am on the bike, rather than bus, because I don’t have to get out of the bus, walk to the gym, walk back to the bus, take bus, walk home….It takes loads of time…With bike I arrive faster than with bus, plus I can leave work half an hour earlier than before, because I don’t depend on bus schedule, so it is very simple to take a little turn on the way home for the climbing gym. They also made new routes and some are really interesting and powerful. For the first two times I was climbing routes that are more of my level and does not require too much concentration and effort, because I was forgetting to take tape for my fingers, and my tendon is still not o.k. As much as I know it might take even a year for tendon to heal, so I don’t have any other choice as wait patently and climb using support. Yesterday I decided to climb routes that are higher than my level, because I want to improve and I was switching between overhanging climbing (powerful movements) and crimps (endurance and finger strength). That was super nice session that I really enjoyed. On Wednesday, when I did not go to climb, I made a little workout for the abs from Skimble app, called Ab-Bootcamp. Today was my rest day as I have Crossfit tomorrow, first time after a week break (seems like ages ago πŸ™‚ ).

Obviously, I had to make something sweet and nice today, so I chose to make the chocolate cake that was actually my first paleo dessert which I made for my birthday πŸ™‚ It is still cooling down and waiting its turn to be tasted. It is super delicious, just takes time to deal with those dates πŸ™‚

This week I discovered ribs. Last time I ate ribs back in Lithuania and when I saw humane raised ribs for fair price in the shop I decided to take a chance and to make something out of it. It is absolutely delicious. Keven now is just dreaming about ribs πŸ™‚ So, today I made a load of rub from “Paleo Comfort Foods” that probably will be enough for a year. The rub consist of:

  • thyme
  • four peppercorn blend
  • grilled sweet pepper
  • hickory salt
  • sea salt
  • black and white pepper
  • onion powder
  • ground cumin
  • chilli powder
  • turmeric
  • garlic powder
  • sweet paprika
  • rosemary
  • mustard powder
  • cayenne powder

Uff…It was easier to make than to write it down πŸ™‚ But now I will have rub for all the rest of the year. In the original recipe there was no grilled sweet pepper and no hickory salt, but I found these smokey ingredients in some other recipe, tried it out and fall in love. I was checking many recipes to find how to make the ribs in the oven (most of them offer you to use grill, which I don’t have), so after checking probably 10 websites or more (all of them required roasting ribs in the oven for at least 3 hours), I came up with this preparation of Pork Back Ribs in the Oven:

Remove filmy membrane of the back of the ribs. Spread the dry rub all over. Leave it to marinate in refrigerator, covered with plastic film or aluminum foil for at least 2-3 hour or best overnight. Cut the ribs into 3-4 rib chunks. Preheat the oven to 450F. Heat 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in the pan on high and both sides until nicely browned. It’s quite fast process, but it will give that amazing crunchiness afterwards. Place ribs on roasting pan and put in the oven for 50-60mins, turning over half time. This is much faster than having them in the oven for a longer period on smaller heat and I found it very nicely cooked and crispy.

It is also nice to have sweet potato chips along with ribs and some nice dip. I was using roasted red pepper dip from paleOMG and I loved it. Definitely recommend to try it out. It goes also really well with roasted cauliflower and broccoli. The other dip that I also used with ribs was Tahini dip ( good with veggies and fish as well) which is super easy to make:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water (start by adding less to check for the desired thickness)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp hot sauce (optional)
I like hot sauces, so I do add hot sauce and as cumin is one of my favourite spices, I never forget this one πŸ™‚
For my lunch when I am working, I am still stuck with Tuna salad (tuna, celery, apple, chive, spinach or kale, sometimes avocado, some nuts (pecan is super nice) and the dressing), because I just can’t get over it. It is easy to make and I just love the taste of it and sauce is really good with anything actually and I use it sometimes with other salads as well:
  • 1-2 tbsp of home made mayo
  • 1 tsp of mustard (I use old-fashioned)
  • 1 tsp of apple sider vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
So much from my food and exercise world this week πŸ™‚ I hope you will try out some recipes and enjoy them as much as I do.

Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers

This recipe is entirely taken from The Clothes Makes The Girl website, but I thought that it would be nice to share it with you, especially because livers are really nutritious, but at the same time not the food that is eaten every day. Anyhow, today I bought some chicken liver, because I saw them in meat section and I already made this recipe once. Keven really likes it and he is all about texture and really hesitant in trying new stuff, so I was pleasantly surprised that he loved them and actually ate almost all of the ones that I just made, before I could take a picture πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken livers
1/2 cup coconut flour (there still will be left quite a lot, but it need to be a lot for proper dusting. Β I just reserve it and used it later with some savoury recipes that require coconut flour, such as Zucchini pancakes – nothing to be wasted)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Β garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cloves (I did not have it, so used all spices mixed with Chinese 5 spices)
2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
garnish: fresh lemon and chopped parsley

Cut chicken livers into 2-inch pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Mix flour and all the spices in a big bowl. Add the livers and mix with flour making sure that the livers are all covered. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil over medium high heat, let it heat for couple minutes and add livers. I needed two batches to cook them all as they need to have space and not touch each other. Be prepared for lots of some, as high heated oil and flour tends to have such a powerful smokey combination and don’t be too close to the pan. Fry for 2-3 mins. until bottom is browned and crispy. Β Flip livers with tongs and brown other side. Put the done ones on paper towel to drain while you make the rest. Serve alone or with squeezed lemon juice.

Chicken soup for sore throat

So, I have been laying around and reading all articles about toddlers and their education and how to deal with different stages of their life, trying to find something interesting to watch (no luck, maybe too picky today), and switching to whole9 website and surfing through recipes. So then I though that it would definitely help my throat to get some chicken soup, especially because I have everything at home to make it. So here it is:

  • portion of chicken (I used some leftovers from cooked chicken)Β 20120423-151412.jpg
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (best if homemade)
  • broccoli, chopped
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • 6-7mushrooms, sliced
  • one baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic, or to taste (garlic powder is also good here)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste (this will give hidden hotness that helps sore throat)
  • 2 tbsp ghee, or favorite cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt ghee on medium-high heat in large pot. Add diced onions, cayenne pepper, and garlic and cook until onions are starting to soften. Add vegetables and continue to cook 5-7 minutes. Add chicken broth and stir.
When it becomes hot stir in chicken and mix it. turn of the heart, leave to stand a bit and serve.


Seafood and vegetable curry

Yesterday me and Keven were making dinners whenever which one was hungry, so we were not dining at the same time. He still is finishing our food that we had before switching to Paleo, therefore he had gnocchi with meat sauce. It does not happen that often that we don’t eat dinner together so I decided to use the opportunity and enjoy some seafood that Keven despises (clamps, scallops and octopus would never be his food choice). So, I just decided to have a quick dinner and threw into wok pan whatever I could find on hand. It came out really nice:

Melt 1 tsp of fat of your choice (I used ghee), add crushed garlic, fry for 1 min. until it starts smelling. Add seafood and fry for few minutes until water starts evaporating and seafood starts grilling. Add second tsp of fat. Add cauliflower and fry it a bit with seafood (cauliflower was the only ingredients that wasn’t frozen, therefore I put in first to fry). Add spinach and stir fry vegetable mix. Fry until veggies becomes soft, then add coconut milk and spices. Let the flavours mix and simmer for couple minutes. I also added the mint and parsley pesto because it is very fragrant.

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Roasted chicken with cauliflower curry and mint and parsley pesto

Since I started to eat paleo and especially since I started to check all the labels and eliminate everything that contains words that I don’t understand or that sounds unnatural I had to get rid of a lot of things in my kitchen or simply stop using them. One of them is stock. So, I decided today to make my own chicken stock, so we got some nice grain fed chicken and couple of chicken quarters. My intentions were to roast chicken and use carcase for the stock and use quarters for the stock as well. So, I dug into almighty Internet and came up with a mixed recipe (I never can follow just one recipe, except when I am making desserts). So, my chicken stock is being made in crock pot on the slow and consist of:

  • 2 chicken quarters
  • carcase of roasted chicken
  • 2 carrots (washed and roughly chopped)
  • 3 celery sticks (with leaves)
  • 1 onion (quartered)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt, bay leaf, oregano
  • splash of apple cider vinegar
  • 7 cup of water

While I was roasting chicken ( I made a dressing of almond butter, olive oil, chopped mint, salt and pepper that I rubbed into the skin) I started searching what I could accompany it with that I still haven’t made yet (and I haven’t made a lot, as usually my recipes would consist of some type of diary, grains, legumes and pasta or some other wheat products, so to have raw carbohydrates is a new thing for me).

I had some pineapple in fridge that I definitely wanted finish and I bought today a lot of cauliflower as they were on sale and cauliflower is carb-dense veggie. So, I used for inspiration recipe from Melisa’s amazing website where I am quite an often guest now. The recipe that inspired me is called Curry Fried F’rice and it ws super delicious:

Ingredients20120422-092121.jpg

  • 2 cups of chopped cauliflower
  • 2 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds
  • 2 leafs of baby bok choy (chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground curry powder
  • dash of coconut milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat nonstick pan to medium-high, add 1/2 tsp of oil and sautee pineapple until lightly brown in some spots. remove from the pan and set aside. Then sautee almond slivers until lightly browned. Remove from pan and add to pineapple slices.Heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in the same pan, add cauliflower and stir-fry 2-3 minutes,until it starts getting a bit roasted. Add chopped bok choy, curry powder, salt & pepper, pineapple, and almonds. Fry until it is all heated and nicely mixed. Add a dash of coconut milk and mix in through.

I also had some fresh mint that I bough yesterday and that reminds me of my life in Barcelona and mojitos that we used to make. In Barcelona you can get bunch of mint for 1 euro or less. I used to go get my fruits and vegetables in Boqueria market where I would get pull hands and spend maximum 20 euros. Here in Canada it is at least twice more expensive…So, anyways, I decided to use Melisa blog again and her recipe for Medditeranian Mint and Parsley Pesto, I just modified it a little bit.

Ingredients:20120422-092052.jpg

  • 1 bunch of fresh mint (about 2 cups)
  • 1 big handful of fresh parsley (about 1.5 cup)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of chilli flakes

Put all ingredients in food processor and puree until desired consistence. It came out so fragrant and delicious and it worked really well with curry cauliflower. It was just missing some sort of the dessert, but I am not allowed any sugar during my Whole30 challenge, so just had some nuts with raisins and loads of tea. I have to admit that sugar dragon is definitely killing me softly and I would like so much to indulge into some paleo treat or have a glass of wine. But I haven’t even yet finished my first week of challenge, so just have to toughen up….Even though….cashew butter is gone…I won’t buy new one as probably I would finish it in a week and it would not be that good for me…