Stylish, Stealthy & Healthy.


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Beet Pasta with Shaved Fennel, Apples & Goat Cheese

I’m a recent beet convert.

beat pasta 1

In fact I used to vehemently hate them. But like, I think I hated them before I even tried them? I think they are one of those veggies that get a bad rap with kids. Like lima beans and brussel sprouts. Except I still don’t like lima beans… they’re just so… lima beany? But you know what I mean.

beet pasta 2

But since I’ve grown wiser in my old age, I’ve come to realize the beautiful earthiness that beets bring to a meal, especially when thrown atop salads. This recipe came about when I noticed I had some beets that needed cooking and my new favorite kitchen tool (which I’ll tell you more about in my next post). Let’s just say it’s been a bit of a noodlepalooza in our house the last few weeks. Kind of like “put a bird on it” but “make a noodle out of it.”

beet pasta 3

The thing about beets, though, is that they always need a good partner. Something to balance them with a little sweetness, and if they’re roasted, a little crunch. So a few random items in my refrigerator later, this delightful low-carb, ready-in-under-20-minute meal was created.

beet pasta with goat cheese

(Insert the urge to fight making a “beet/beat” or random Dwight Schrute beet reference)

Red Beet Pasta with Shaved Fennel and Apple
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2 (more if used as side or salad topping)
You’ll need:
1 T coconut oil
3 medium red beets, made into noodles using veggie spiralizer (or julienned)
3 carrots, shredded
1 large fennel bulb, julienned
1 medium apple, julienned
1-2 handfuls toasted pumpkin seeds
1 oz goat cheese, for garnish

Directions: Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add beets, carrots and fennel, and cook for about 5-7 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Add apples and pumpkin seeds, and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until veggies are softened to your liking. Garnish with goat cheese and serve as main dish or as a side.

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See? Also delicious on a salad. And yes, I like my packed lunches to be fancy.

PS totally random question - anyone remember the band from “Doug”, that show on Nickelodeon called “The Beets”? Killer Tofu? Anything?

God I am old.

 


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Pulled Pork Chili

Super Bowl Sunday has always been a day full of excess. Lots of food… lots of beer… never enough sleep that night and lots of regret the next day. But this year?

chili

Not so much.

I mean there was food and beer, but sadly for poor little paleo me, most of it was off-limits. Oh and apparently there was also a game? Not sure though because I sure as hell didn’t see one.

So instead of my usual gorging on all things carbalicious and cheesy, I decided to bring something that I could enjoy without totally going off the paleo wagon, but that everyone else would (hopefully) like too. And that’s how I landed on chili. It’s like the Jerry Seinfeld of food. How could anyone not like it?

pork chili 1

pork chili 3

Surely it wouldn’t be the same without cans and cans of delicious beans and sky-high piles of shredded cheese. And the sour cream?? MY GOD, THE SOUR CREAM!

pork chili 4

Yeah. Didn’t miss any of it. Not a one. In fact, I actually think using pork is my new favorite way to make chili. Not only because I got to use my crockpot, and you guys know how I feel about my crockpot, but I loved the complexity of the flavors that developed without throwing all kinds of “stuff” in to mask the flavor of the meat. Instead it really enhanced it.

pork chili 6

So maybe I didn’t get to face plant into jalapeno popper dip this year or drink a cold frosty beer, but I did enjoy a very nice bottle of Merlot and didn’t fall into a food-induced coma that resulted in unbuttoning my jeans in public just so I could keep breathing. Yeah. It was kind of nice. And everyone else actually seemed to enjoy it, sans beans and all. And if they lied to me, well that just makes them good friends.

Pulled Pork Chili
Prep time 15 min
Cook time 10-12 hours
Serves 8
You’ll Need:
3-4 lb pork shoulder (or “butt”) roast (I used boneless, but only bc it was on sale)
2 T evoo
1 T southwest spice rub (combo of cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper and garlic powder)
1 med yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 T cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 T coconut sugar (you can sub regular sugar here)
2 jalapenos, sliced
juice of 1/2 a lime

Directions: Season the pork with the southwest spice rub, and heat oil in a pan over med-high heat. Once oil is hot, sear all sides of the roast until a nice dark brown crust develops. Place chopped onion and peppers on the bottom of the crockpot and set the roast on top. In a large bowl, combine crushed peppers and the rest of your spices and sugar, and pour over the pork. Cook on low for 10-12 hours. (I cooked mine for 8 and while it was done, it was still a little tough to shred. The longer you can go, the easier it will fall apart.) Once tender, shred with two forks, add lime juice and cook for another hour. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and avocado, or any other fixins’ you like.

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paleo pork chili

The only thing I missed was using tortilla chips as my spoon. But again… pants stayed buttoned, so win?


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Fitness Diaries

Greetings from inside the igloo of America! I know, I know, surely Pennsylvania isn’t the coldest part of the US right now, but it sure as crap feels like it. Or rather, doesn’t feel like it, seeing as I haven’t felt at least three of my toes for what seems like a week now… that could possibly be an issue… anywho.

So I thought I’d pop in to talk a little bit about one of my current goals: getting back into shape. On a side note, I always found that a weird way to say “lose weight and tone up”, because I’m obviously  already a shape, it’s just I’d rather be a slightly smaller more defined shape, you know? These are the things I think about.

First things first, I’ve done a pretty intense diet overhaul. I started off this year in the hopes of cutting out gluten to alleviate some issues with my gut, as well as some other benefits I’ve been reading about, but I’ll save that for another day. That slowly transitioned to cutting out grains in general, and eventually I returned to a Paleo diet. I know this diet can be pretty controversial, and frankly I don’t even like calling it a “diet”. BUT… I have to say that I feel pretty awesome when I stick to it, and for that reason I’m going to keep it up. There are lots of different reasons people do the Paleo thing, but for me, it’s mostly because I just feel better when I eat this way. (Also my skin looks better, and um, hello…have you met me? Muy importante.) It also really helps that my sister-in-law in TX is doing it with me, so we have someone to share recipes with and send angry texts at 9:30 at night when we’re really craving pizza and chips.

Mmm.. Paleolicious.

Mmm.. Paleolicious.

As far as the working out goes, I rejoined the Y and have set a goal to go at least three times a week. This is a challenge with my traveling schedule sometimes, but I’m making more of an effort to work out when I’m staying at a hotel. Even though I’d much rather sit in the lobby with my iPad and a glass of wine… or three. That Candy isn’t going to Crush itself. I’ve been attending some classes and found a Zumba class that I love, so that’s really helped, but think I’m going to try and start running again so I can enjoy the warm weather with Macky when it finally comes back to us.

Lastly, I started using the FitBit, which I looooove. I actually had no idea how many steps I took in a day, but let me tell you, it was way less than I thought. Like.. alarmingly less. So I’m much more motivated to get up and walk around more throughout the day, take the stairs and just be more active in general. I also like that I can track all kinds of other fun stuff like sleep, calories and distance, and you can even connect with your friends to cheer them on or send them dirty messages just for funsies!

(This is the exact one I have)

(This is the exact one I have)

So that pretty much wraps up what I’ve been up to on the fitness front. I’ve lost a few pounds, nice and slow they way you should, so that’s encouraging. But I’ve got a cheat day on the horizon and let me assure you that I’m going to murder some pasta and cheese.

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