WOD, Shop, Cook (Shrimp Pad Thai)

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Rachel from, “MakeItCoun Kitchen.com” remarked: Too much muscle in this photo!

WOD?  If you’re a CrossFitter, you know that means “Workout of the Day”.  Every day is different.  Saturdays at Vortex are now Partner WOD days.  I LOVE these because you’re forced to keep up to the person you’re paired with.  For the second week in a row, I was partners with Kelly.  She’s. Just. Awesome.  I can’t tell you how she inspires me to work harder, get stronger and be faster.  Thanks for taking the picture that appears above, Linda!

I met up with my friend, Irene, at Vaughan Mills after the WOD for some much-needed girl time.  She’s worked weekends for the last 7 years and finally has been promoted to a Monday to Friday position.  Yay!  Means we can hang out now.  We talked and shopped…and shopped…you get the idea.

Once I finally got home, I realized I forgot to thaw out the venison chops I had planned for dinner.  Damn.  What to do now?  Well…opened up my Kobo app and came across Primal Craving‘s Shrimp Pad Thai.   Worked for me!

Shrimp Pad Thai
note:  you can use chicken instead of shrimp or add more zucchini if you want it vegetarian

1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1.5 pounds shrimp
1 pound zucchini
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced  (I used 1/2 tbsp ground)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce (I used chicken stock)
2 tbsp lime juice (I used the juice of 1 lime)
Sea salt to taste

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Method

With a mandolin, slice the zucchini length-wise into thin slabs.  Using a knife, slice those slabs down to something that looks like spaghetti.  It takes a bit of time, so do this before you do anything else.
Over medium heat, melt a tablespoon of ghee in a pan.  Add the shrimp and saute until pink.  Remove the shrimp.

shrimp pad thai
In the same pan, add some more ghee and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until soft.  Don’t rush this part.  Let it happen 🙂
Add the vinegar, almond butter, Sriracha sauce, fish sauce (or chicken stock), lime juice, and salt.  Combine.
Add zucchini “noodles” to saute pan.  Stir them around.  Cook until al dente – about 5 miniutes. Add shrimp back to the pan, and stir to combine all ingredients.
Serve ASAP.
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Someone’s Having a Baby…(not me!)

I had a darned good time at CrossFit Vortex Thursday night.  My pull ups are improving, and I did 2 more rounds of the workout than I thought I could (10 handstand push-ups, 15 pistol squats and 20 kettlebell swings). I got through 5 rounds, 10 more handstands and  7 of the squats.  Woo!

As interesting as that is, it was nowhere near as entertaining as my trip to the Fortinos close to my house afterwards.  I had a craving for garlic stuffed olives and needed some bacon for pizza making this weekend.

It was a good night to go because I finally found SunButter (sunflower seed butter that PaleoOMG.com recommends), cashew butter was on sale and so were the Raw Superfood Paleo bars.  One odd thing about them though, they have a version that’s peanut butter.  I feel like writing the company and asking what Paleo Diet peanuts are allowed on.  I just may do it.

Now that's a basket of goodness
Now that’s a basket of goodness

The best part of the night came after I was done going through the check-out line.  As I was picking up my bag, I watched the guy behind me slap down a Beuno chocolate bar…and a pregnancy test kit.  I mean, how random is that?  Wonder which package gets opened first?  LOL.

So this morning I tried the cococut Raw Superfood bar and it was quite good.  I have to wait for the verdict on the cocoa one because I’ve sworn off all chocolate this month.

Jan 24 coconut bar
Pretty tasty!

 

 

Cauliflower & Leek Soup

Sometimes I update recipes and posts because I learn something new that is better!

We bought a side of Heritage pork from a family who raises their animals naturally.  Cindy is paleo too so we hot it right off 🙂

The pig is amazing!  Tender, flavorful and without a lot of fat.  I will be doing a ham in the slow cooker tomorrow.

The change to this recipe is how to prepare the bacon.  Baking bacon beats frying hands down.   The other change is the VitaMix I now own and adore…but a regular blender or immersion blender will work too.

Cauliflower & Leek Soup
(makes 4-6 servings)

1 head of cauliflower
2 Leeks
8 cups (two boxes) chicken stock
10 strips of decent bacon

Sea salt and pepper to taste

1

Method

Chop cauliflower into small pieces
Chop leeks into small pieces and then soak in water for a few minutes.  (Rinse and repeat a few times to remove any sand that is caught within the layers)
Add chicken stock to a large pot
Add cauliflower and leeks then season
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium for 60 to 90 min.
When the vegetables turn to mush, it’s ready.

Bacon preparation:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a baking sheet with foil.   Place bacon strips on the foil lined pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and place strips on paper towel to remove extra fat.

When the vegetables are mushy blend the soup with a VitaMix (low speed), immersion blender or regular blender.

Be extremely careful if using a regular blender.  Do the pureeing in batches.  The hot soup will fly out of the blender if it’s too full.  Learned that the hard way making tomato soup last year.

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Once everything is pureed, place back in soup pot, add the bacon  and cook on low for another half hour.  Then enjoy!

Mike liked it a lot!
3

 

Spicy Spaghetti Squash and Shrimp

It was one of those Sundays where I was feeling extra lazy.
When dinnertime rolled around, I was at a loss at what to make.  I hadn’t taken anything out of the freezer to defrost and I think my brain was overstimulated from all the food at the previous night’s Paleo Cook-Off.

I checked out the freezer and found this staring back at me;

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And that started an idea.

Spicy Spaghetti Squash & Shrimp

1 medium spaghetti squash
1 jar of stewed tomatoes (my sister made stewed tomatoes this year so I used half a large mason jar’s worth)
*2 cups of thawed shrimp (approx…I actually didn’t measure!)
1-2 tbsp crushed red chili pepper
1 tbsp of sauce from the Paleo Pizza recipe (I had leftovers…if you don’t have any, don’t worry about it)
1 head of broccoli
sea salt and black pepper to taste
*if you don’t like shrimp, scallops would work well too

Method
Preheat oven to 420F
Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place cut sides down on baking sheet.  There is no need to grease the pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.
To check when it is cooked, gently squeeze the squash (with an oven mitt!)  and if it is slightly soft, you’re ready to go.
Take a fork and scrape out the insides.  It will look like spaghetti, I promise.

While the spaghetti squash is baking, take a skillet and heat the stewed tomatoes on medium setting.  Once the tomatoes start to simmer, add the shrimp, sauce, and spices.

When the spaghetti squash is cooked, shred the innards with a fork and add it to the skillet.  Add the broccoli florets, mix all the contents together and cover for 5-6 minutes.
Serve immediately.

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Spicy Spaghetti Squash & Shrimp

Paleo Party Pics

What do you get when you pair clean food with CrossFitters?  Happy and healthy people!

Rachel and Noah hosted the first ever CrossFit Vortex Paleo Challenge.  A fantastic night of great food and sweet treats.

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Our night began with the Appetizer Challenge.  Team “Cindy”, “Fran” and “Angie” were tasked with making Caveman Granola, Roasted Red Pepper Dip, and Sweet & Spicy Nuts respectively.  Teams were identified by homemade crowns:)

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Linda, Mike, and Andrew conspiring to make “Sweet & Spicy Nuts” even better
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No longer a food processor virgin
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Randy, Adam, Lowell, and Olga construct “Caveman Granola”

With the addition of 100% pure chocolate to the “Caveman Granola”, Team Cindy emerged as the winner of the Team Challenge.

Then it was time to break out the salads and the main dishes.

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Rosa’s, “Roast Beef”, Gloria’s, “Coconut Curry Chicken with Riced Cauliflower”, and Randy’s, “Slow-Cooker Meatballs” tied for the best dish.  A tie-breaker finally gave Randy the title.

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Desserts and fruit followed.  Thanks for coming out everyone!

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Kristi compiled most of the recipes into cookbooks for us!

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Paleo Party

What a great night of food and friends at the First Annual CrossFit Vortex Paleo Challenge Cook-Off.

 It was no surprise that my newly christened, “Caveman Granola” recipe won the team challenge.  Randy won the individual challenge with his slow cooker meatballs.  

Thank-you to our hosts, Rachel and Noah!  Thank you for making the cookbooks, Kristi!

Pics and posts to come.

Perfect Pizza

It’s been a full week of going pretty strict Paleo for the Challenge at CrossFit Vortex.  Everyone last weekend was craving pizza and it got me searching for a good pizza crust.  Sadly, in Paleo World, a decent one is hard to come by.  Then I found this one!  I thought it was awesome and so did Mike.  He went back for seconds!

I won’t keep you waiting any longer.  Here it is:

Crust
(Makes 1 14″ pizza)

Ingredients for pizza crust
Ingredients for pizza crust
1 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/3 cup of water
1 tsp powdered gelatin
(if you don’t want to use regular gelatin try Agar Agar.  It is sea vegetable and I found it at Whole Foods.  Works equally as well)
1 egg
1/4 Cup olive oil
Salt to taste
Preheat Oven to 400F
Grease baking sheet or pizza tray (I used olive oil)
In a large bowl, whisk tapioca and potato flour together (add the sea salt here if you are using it)
In a smaller bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the water
Add egg and oil to water and gelatin, and combine it by whisking
Dry ingredients in a large bowl, wet ones in a small one
Dry ingredients in a large bowl, wet ones in a small one
Mix wet ingredients into the dry and knead until combined (you may need to add a little more water)
Press out the dough using or hands or a rolling pin. I added a bit of potato flour to the rolling pin to stop any sticking possibilities.
Pizza dough after being rolled out
Pizza dough after being rolled out
Prebake the dough until it’s crispy and golden brown. (About 16-20 min)
Remove from oven and loose crust from pan with a spatula.
What I used for the pizza sauce
What I used for the pizza sauce

Sauce
(Makes about 2 cups)

1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1 6-oz can of tomato paste
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning (I used oregano)
1 tsp  red pepper flakes (I used chili flakes)
Salt and pepper to taste
Put ingredients in sauce pan.  Combine.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Top pizza with sauce (there will be some leftover)
Combine all ingredients and simmer
Combine all ingredients and simmer
Topping
Saute a variety of meats and vegetables including onions and garlic
I like to use bacon, red peppers, and mushrooms.  Broccoli and spinach are great alternatives too.
I add 3 tablespoons of oregano and 1 teaspoon of red pepper chilli flakes to the topping mixture.  Combine and cover for about 3 minutes.
Use whatever you have on hand
Use whatever you have on hand
Cook the bacon down a bit before adding assorted veggies
Cook the bacon down a bit before adding assorted veggies
The finished product
The finished product

When the vegetables are tender, place on pizza and bake for another 15 minutes (approx.)

Snack Time (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

Today I lost my mind…but in a good way.

I registered for a tag team CompWOD today with my friend, Jamie Hall AND I registered for the CrossFit Games Open.  I have a LOT of work to do between now and then.  Stupid double-unders…

Today’s post is a result of my friend, Michelle Rap, practically begging me for the Roasted Red Pepper Dip recipe that I’ve been raving about to pretty much everyone.  Since hummus is off-limits, it was very exciting to come across this little gem from paleomg.com

Here we go!

Roasted Red Pepper Dip

Jar of peppers and sea salt came from Costco.  Onion powder from a corner grocery and the walnuts from Bulk Barn
Jar of peppers and sea salt came from Costco. Onion powder from a corner grocery and the walnuts from Bulk Barn. Organic garlic from Fortinos.

Ingredients

1 (12-14oz)  jar of roasted red peppers  (the jar in the picture is HUGE!  I used 1/4 of it.)
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 garlic clove (if it’s a small one, add one)
1-2 tsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder (add more if you love onion flavour.  I did.)
Sea salt to taste

Instructions

Add peppers and garlic clove to food processor and puree
Add walnuts when machine is off.  Turn back on to make a paste
Add olive oil, onion powder, and salt.  Puree until you get the dip looking the way you want it.

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I like this consistency for my dip

You can either serve it right away or chill it before serving.  It’s great with any kind of vegetable.  I store it in a tight container in the fridge.  I guess it keeps a week, but I’m not sure as it never lasts that long!

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I had a plate full of vegetables, dip and broccoli tuna cakes. That recipe is coming to a post soon!

 

 

 

Something Fishy

I’m going to Daytona Beach in just over a month with my favourite (and only) sister, Bev.  Words cannot express my need for sun, sand, and fast cars.  The main reason for the trip is attending the Daytona 500 again.  We went in 2012 and if you remember, that was the first year in its 54 year history that it was rained out.  We’re hoping for a better outcome this time.  (We still did see the race last time but we’d really like a proper sunny Sunday this year.)

So I bought a tablet yesterday so I could blog on the road.  I’m interested to see how easy it will be keeping up a Paleo diet as we drive through the US.

In the meantime, I promised on the facebook page today that I’d post my favourite fish dish.

I use this on salmon, talapia, cod, and haddock.  I just buy frozen fish when it goes on sale and store in the freezer until I need a quick 20 minute meal.

The recipe says it’s for two fillets but it seems to be more than enough for 4.

Herb Crusted Fish-of-Your Choice

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One of the types of fish I use. It’s about $7 at Fortinos
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These are the ingredients I use.

2 fillets of fish
1 tbsp coconut flour
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste (I don’t use it as mustard is tasty)

Preheat oven to 420F                                                                                                                Place fillets on baking tray .                                                                                                  In a small box mix the coconut flour and dried parsley together.

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Smooth olive oil onto the fillets and add the Dijon mustard on top of that.

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Olive oil on first, then spread Dijon on top.

Sprinkle the coconut flour mixture on top of the fish and lightly pat down to make a crust.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.  While the fish was in the oven, I sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, and red peppers in a pan with coconut oil.  Voila!  20 minutes to a tasty meal and had the leftovers for breakfast today.

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My Goofy Breakfast and Lunch

It occurred to me that you likely don’t know about my crazy work shift and the sleeping/living schedule I keep.

My day begins with the alarm clock going off at 12:55 am.  Yes…AM.  I’m not super-human though.  I probably hit the snooze bar at least once.

In a nutshell, I work from about 2:15 am until about 10:45 am.  Depending on the day, I have a light lunch, take a nap around 1 pm, wake up at 4, head to the gym for the 5:30 CrossFit class, come home, have dinner with Mike and go back to bed around 10ish. This is my life Monday to Friday.  I pretty much chose this shift, so I can’t complain about it.  I just have to make it work.

My breakfast gets spread out over a 3 hour period.  I always start the day with at least a glass of water to give the kidneys a good head start before I drown them in coffee by the time I get to work.

Jan 13, 2014 breakfast

Lately, I’ve been packing a paleo muffin, carrots, cucumbers, paleo granola and any leftover dinner.  Since my CrossFit gym just started another Paleo Challenge, I’ve dropped the “treat” part of Paleo so no Chunky Monkey muffins or granola for a month!  It’s a personal choice.  I’d like to see good results in my fitness and body composition at the end of the month.  I probably had a few too many Paleo shortbread and gingerbread cookies over the Christmas holidays 🙂

This morning’s breakfast started at 3 and included the afore mentioned carrots and cucumbers with roasted red pepper dip, then  around 5 I had the banana.  Finally, I warmed up my leftover chicken soup around 7:30.

See? Paleo is easy and there’s almost no clean up involved! (have I mentioned my love of cows yet?)

After work, I stopped off at the local grocery store to pick up a couple of things.  My lunch usually consists of something that resembles a wrap…just without the wrap.  I buy the Natural Selections turkey and chicken deli meats.

For these wraps, I just put some  organic Romaine lettuce on a plate, roll up a slice of meat inside, top with Dijon mustard (I use the Maille brand) and enjoy. I like to pair it with tomatoes and garlic stuffed olives (OMG…they are like salt and vinegar chips to me!!!) but the store hadn’t restocked them yet…so just the tomatoes.

And now it’s nap time!

 

No Pain Paleo Is Here! (Caveman Granola)

It’s January 12, 2014 and also the day of my first blog post!

Where does the name come from?  Other that my belief that the Paleo Lifestyle is painless…it’s also a play on words.  The French word for bread is “pain”.  Therefore, no “pain” Paleo.  Get it?   Hope so.  My husband, Mike, and I thought it was genius:)

Since September 2013, I’ve followed the Paleo Diet and have seen incredible changes in my body plus I just FEEL better. Who doesn’t want that?  (I’ll tell you about my journey from skinny to fat and back to healthy another day)

*Paleo Granola from Paleomg.com (modifications by nopainpaleo.com)

So many people are think they can’t live without pasta and cheese (yes you can!)

After posting photos, sharing paleo dinners and treats, many people have asked me to write a blog.

How could I say no? So here goes…I have a lot to learn about blogging so bear with me!

This is the first paleo recipe I ever made…and it’s still the best.  Figured it’s a good place for everyone to start.  I always double this recipe to make sure I have a good breakfast ready to go every morning.  Enjoy!  (Bulk Barn will quickly become your friend!)

*Paleo Granola = Best Breakfast Ever!

This is my breakfast almost every morning instead of regular cereal.  I use vanilla unsweetened almond milk to keep it Paleo.

Ingredients
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup pecans (chopped) I put them in a plastic bag and bash them with a meat mallet for a few seconds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw honey (if you can get it…organic otherwise)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted and slightly cooled)
t tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
(1 cup of dried fruit (cranberries, or blueberries or raisins etc) to be added to granola AFTER baking) optional

Method
Heat oven to 300F
Add all ingredients to a large microwaveable bowl (except the fruit)
Mix well.
Place on baking sheet (use parchment paper for easy clean up)
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Stir a few times so it won’t burn (I don’t bother…but if this is your first time, sure…check it out)
When you take it out of the oven, mix in dried fruit (optional)