Friday, October 10, 2014

An Ode to Bacon

An Ode to Bacon

Written and Illustrated by: Me Palo

Oh bacon, a treat I cannot resist
Cooked up and crispy your purpose exists
To make me feel happy, full and content
One reason, mine only, for my belly you're meant
The harbinger of breakfasts, dinners and snacks
No frotz towards you here, you're my culinary hack
I love you dear bacon and I hope you will see
The very best you makes the very best me.

Friday, July 25, 2014


Wow, it has been a very long time since I've written on here.  Like, an unacceptable amount of time for someone who was trying to be responsible for their eating habits.  I'm going to try this again and see how it goes.

So let's see, what has happened since the last post.  Cat got a job offer with her company down in Tampa so we moved down there.  Living in Westchase now and it's probably the capital of suburbia if there is such a thing.  I dig it but Cat isn't that big of a fan.  I'm still selling freight services but just out of my house now.  And yes, it's as good as it sounds!  Hughes is still a jerk, laying around anywhere he darn well pleases and Meowpers is still her stuck up self.

OH!  Tara got accepted into early college which is an awesome deal!  She starts August 6th and it's basically a mix of college and high school.  When she graduates, she'll have two years of college out of the way.  A pretty sweet deal for everyone involved.  I'm a pretty proud dad about it, and I think she is too.  Adalina started preschool at the Jewish Community Center near our house and she seems to like it a lot.  She was a little disappointed at first because she thought she was going to get to ride a school  bus, but she got over that quickly.  They're both getting big WAY too fast.

That's the CliffNotes version of the past few months.  I guess I started writing on here again because I just got back from a business trip to Raleigh and was really working hard to find Paleo-friendly places to eat.  I found all my places through blog posts of others who are following the same or similar lifestyle and realized how big of a help it was.  And since I'm living in a new place, and there doesn't seem to be too many Paleo resources down here, I can contribute what little knowledge I have to the cause!

Not much else going on around here.  I'm going to try and remember to post something on here at least once a week like I originally planned.  More if I'm feeling extra creative or if I find something exciting.  Stay tuned!  Or don't...I don't get paid either way.  :-)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oh me oh my

Man, so I guess I'm not so great at keeping up with this.  It has been a busy few weeks since I posted last and when I finally sit down to start writing I'm either very tired or just not at all motivated.  I've been keeping up with the changes in eating, I just haven't written about it.  I'm trying!

So I had some cheating happen this weekend.  We went to the Great Wolf Lodge this weekend for Tara's birthday.  Can't believe she's already 14!  The restaurant there provided some great food to stick with the diet but I may have had some cookies, and a piece of cake.  And a beer.  Stop judging me...I can feel you judging.  :-)  But I was also chasing a 2 year old around all weekend so I think I earned some of the cheating.

So when I got home last night, put Addy to bed and straightened up for the cleaning lady (I know, it doesn't make sense) I sat down with a giant plate of fruit and water determined to oust the bad ingredients with copious amounts of fiber.  I couldn't taste anything though because my allergies were going bonkers so I popped a couple Benadryl, took a hot shower and fell asleep. 

This morning I was a little groggy but otherwise feeling ok.  I think my little fruit cleanse helped.  :-)  Whatever I have to tell myself right?  I brought some sweet potato pancakes for breakfast and a salad for lunch.  Chicken is on the menu for dinner.  Since it's just Addy and I tonight I'll probably keep it simple.  Fire cooked chicken is always a hit for a picky eater.  And me too.

I did discover a delicious combination of ingredients last week though that I would like to share.  If you like milkshakes then you'll like this one.  And if you don't like milkshakes then you must have missed childhood.

Sunny Banana Shake
Serves 2
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1.5c almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp sun butter
  • blender
  1. Break the bananas into pieces.  This will make it easier to blend. 
  2. Put all the ingredients in the blender.  You can increase the almond milk amount for a thinner shake.  Decrease the amount for a thicker shake. 
  3. Blend everything until it's smooth.
  4. Pour into a cup and enjoy!

I'll try harder this week to write a few more posts.  Because I know all three of you are chomping at the bit to read them.  Have a great week!

-Chomp Chomp

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Monday!

It's been a long time!  I shouldn't have left you.  Without a dope blog to click to.  Click to.  Sorry...overtaken by the spirit of Timbaland for a moment there. 

And we're back.  Last week was LOOONG.  Had to drive to Atlanta for a sales meeting then back around to Greenville SC.  Then all over Greenville on Thursday and back up to my house.  Logged some serious miles I did.  OH!  But I found a restaurant in Greenville that has a a Paleo meal plan you can order.  It's called Saskatoon.  Only open for dinner but the menu looks outstanding.  Score!  But I'm not driving two hours each way every time I want delicious game meats. 

By the way, anyone out there who might see this and knows someone in the Charlotte NC metro area, I am interested in buying wild boar and venison if you have some to spare.  PLEASE!  I'd get it myself but the Saint Francis in me won't let me shoot an animal...yet. 

But yea, long week last week.  Had to bring along plenty of Paleo friendly snacks to help curb my cravings.  And yesterday was the last day of my 21DSD.  THANK GOD.  That was probably the longest 21 days of my entire life!  Though I have to say, Tara and I made some chocolate chunk cookies on Sunday with 85% Cocoa and it was plenty sweet to me.  So I'm thinking the detox helped to calm my sweet tooth a bit. 

So the rest of this week will be spent making sure I'm appropriating the right foods to continue my clean eatings.  Plenty of meat in the freezer but I'm starting to get a little sick of the three veggie mix I get from BJs.  I've made it just about every way I can think of by now.  I feel like I need some spinach and mushrooms in my life.  Perhaps some button mushrooms stuffed with a spinach and sausage mixture.  Ooo, I feel another recipe coming on!

Yes, I glossed over the fact that Tara and I made chocolate chip cookies this weekend!  Don't worry, I didn't forget.  :-)  She has been doing wonderfully for the past two weeks!  I'm so proud of her discipline in choosing the right foods and learning the good ingredients versus the bad.  But I was coming off the 21DSD and she hadn't had anything sweet aside from fruit.  We both agreed that cookies needed to find their way into our lives post haste.  We did some research, played around a bit, and made for you the delicious recipe you see below.  Enjoy!

- Chomp Chomp 

T&D Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 10 - 12 Cookies 
  • 2 cups almond meal (used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 dark chocolate bar, finely chopped (used Green & Black Organics 85% cacao)
    • You can also use a handful of a Paleo friendly chocolate chip like Enjoy Life
  • Mixing bowl and hand mixer, a stand mixer, or a food processor
  • Cookie sheet and parchment paper or silicone baking pad
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the almond meal, egg, coconut oil, baking soda, vanilla, maple syrup, and sea salt into your mixing bowl or food processor.  Begin mixing the ingredients.
  3. Add your chocolate chips a little at a time to make sure they incorporate well.  Mix for about a minute or until the dough starts to clump together in a ball.
  4. Use about 1 tbsp of cookie dough for each cookie.  Roll into a ball and place on the cookie sheet.  Gently press them down with the back of your spoon to flatten.  These don't melt down into cookie form like you may be used to. 
  5. Bake for at least 9 minutes.  Everyone's oven varies so keep an eye on them after this time.  If it looks like they need a little longer, check them every minute.  You shouldn't need any more than about 10 minutes though. 
  6. Here's the hardest step - place the finished cookies on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.  The almond meal makes these fragile when they're first out of the oven so they need a moment to bind.  After that you can dig in!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cassoulet Time!

Bonjour mes amis!  Zhere, now zhat I've set ze tone fa tooday's post, it is tam to get down to it! 

If I haven't offended any french readers yet then good.  This week has been spent working and plotting my attack on the famous french comfort food - Cassoulet.  There are probably 1,000 ways to make this dish depending where you look so now it's 1,001. 

But that's what makes it so wonderful!  You can adjust some of the ingredients by what you have in the refrigerator.  That was the idea when it was first create a filling meal using what was left in the cupboard. 

So back to modern times.  While this is supposed to be a simple dish to make, it didn't start that way.  My biggest issue was the beans.  There is hardly an ingredient out there allowed in the Paleo diet that maintains the same consistency as a bean under long cooking.  Can't use white potatoes, can't use beans (duh), sweet potatoes will get mushy.  Pacing along the produce section I saw one of the ugliest items:  the celery root.

I know, hideous right?!  But I'd read some recipes with braised celery root and thought, why not?  Took it home, chopped it up and went to work. 

There was a female chef made very famous by her love for french cuisine.  Her name was Julia Child and she has one of the go-to recipes for cassoulet.  What Julia had that must of us don't have though is time.  Three to four days to prepare one meal?  NO THANK YOU.  This was one of the other problems I ran into because the beans are supposed to soak overnight and since I live in a cultural dead center, you can't find any type of poultry or fowl confit which means I would have had to make that part too.  And I'm sorry, I love all four of you who read this but i don't love you that much. 

Then there was the selection of meat.  A lot of recipes calls for lamb shank.  I'm not a huge proponent of killing a baby animal so this was another road block.  I only like eating the adult ones.  Lamb helps give the cassoulet it's rich texture with all the collagen you get from those bones.  But there's another underutilized meat product out there that gives you similar results; ox tails and beef short ribs!

Beautiful.  Give me a minute.  So everybody's together and ready to go.  Most of my test runs involved cooking some of these items first as Julia suggests then putting them all together for one last joint cooking.  This was taking far too long so I turned to my trusty cooking element, the Crock Pot.

Using the crock pot was a winner.  The only cooking you need to do before piling everybody into the pot is some browning of meats and simmering of sauces.  And because I'm not a classically trained chef, it only too me four *&#! hours to figure that out!  So here you are, after much swearing and hating on french people and maybe a little crying is my take on cassoulet.  Enjoy!

- Chomp Chomp
Chateau Palo Cassoulet
Serves 6 - 8
  • 2 lbs celery root, chopped into "bean size"cubes
  • 1 lb salt pork or bacon, chopped into 1" pieces
  • 8 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium or large yellow onion sliced
  • 5 tsps tomato paste
  • 1.5 c dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 3 c beef stock
  • coconut oil or bacon fat
  • 2 lbs beef short ribs
  • 1 lb ox tails
  • 1.5 lbs chicken thigh, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 lb sausage (I used kielbasa)
  • Almond meal or coconut flour (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Large skillet
  • Medium sauce pan
  • Crock Pot
1) Put your sauce pan over medium low heat and add the wine, beef stock, herbs and tomato paste.  Let this simmer while you work on the next step.
2) Get your skillet over (almost) high heat and drop in whatever you're using for cooking oil, around 2 tbsp.  When it has melted and is just starting to smoke, brown your meats a few pieces at a time.  You should only leave them on each side for 20-30 seconds tops.  Set the browned pieces aside to drain.
3) Place your onions in the skillet and cook them for 30 seconds to a minute, making sure to stir constantly.
3) When the meat has cooled, remove bones and chop into bite size pieces. 
4) Layer the bottom of your Crock pot with some of the celery "beans", enough to cover the bottom.  Add a layer of meat to the top of the beans.  Repeat with a layer of beans, then meat ending with a top layer of "beans."   
5) Taste the ingredients in the sauce pan.  If they need some salt or pepper, add that and stir.  Then pour this mixture into the Crock Pot.  It should be just up to the same level of the beans. 
6) Turn your Crock Pot on Low and cook for 2-3 hours. 

BONUS STEP- It's almost impossible to call this a cassoulet without the bread crumbs on top.  Typically you put some across the top, bake it for a few minutes, push that layer into the cassoulet, add more bread crumb and bake for a few more minutes.  Since bread and the grains are bad for our body, I used almond meal and coconut flour.  It worked well for this purpose so add this if you like.  You'll have to toast them on the side in a clean skillet before adding to the finished dish.