Keeping Keto at Disney World

mk_crystalprerover_20170201_7938321358Last week we took Isak and met my parents at Disney World for the week.  We go every January near the end and celebrate Isak’s birthday early.  It is literally my favorite week of the year.  This year, I had lots of people ask me if we were breaking our food rules for the trip.  Nope, not at all!  It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, I’m not going to lie.  Not because there were so many temptations, because at this point, temptations aren’t really a “thing” anymore.  Yay keto–cravings disappear.  It wasn’t the easiest thing to do because literally, 95% of the food found at Disney contains grains or sugar, which we avoid.  There was one night at Epcot where we each had a quarter of a gluten-free roll.  It was really good as far as gluten-free goes…but most of that stuff feels like wet sawdust in my mouth, so the texture wasn’t appealing.

The thing about staying keto at Disney is that you have to implement some preparation and research.  I did not find any acceptable snacks on the menus of any of the restaurants beforehand when I was researching, so I knew that we were going to have to keep easily portable snacks.  Also, there isn’t much in the way of breakfast food (that isn’t ridiculously overpriced), so we knew we were going to keep a bunch of compliant stuff in the fridge at the resort.  Typically I don’t eat breakfast because of the intermittent fasting (though as of this week I’ve flipped my fast over, but that’s for a later post), but when we’re walking 10-15 miles a day in the parks, I eat more often.

For the fridge and pantry in the resort, we kept: pre-cooked bacon, black forest ham, cream cheese, french onion dip, string cheese, pork rinds, and pepperoni.  If you haven’t tried pork rinds with french onion dip, you’re missing out.  Try it now.  For portable park snacks, my only requirement was that they didn’t need to be kept chilled.  I didn’t want to carry a cooler pack in the park.  We carried macadamia nuts.  Lots and lots of macadamia nuts.  I also kept a few Atkins bars in the bag, and for Isak we had single bags of nut/dried fruit mix.

Now for the fun part…the meals!

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Neither of us could remember where the turkey legs were sold at Magic Kingdom, but after asking 900 cast members, we finally got the right location: the tavern in Adventureland, across from Pirates of the Caribbean.  This was our first stop as soon as we got to the park.  Usually we fly in and wait until the following day to go to the parks; however, we were able to snag an extra day, so JR and I went as soon as we got off the Magic Express and got Isak situated in the resort with Gammy and GrandDan.  We split one turkey leg between the two of us and dipped it in a few packets of mayo.  Everything tastes better at Disney, you know.

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Breakfast on official day one: steamed heavy cream with sugar-free vanilla syrup from Starbucks at Epcot.  This is Isak’s favorite drink.  He calls it “warm chocolate,” no matter what sugar-free flavor it is.  The vanilla though…it tastes like hot-off-the-stove vanilla custard filling.  It’s delicious.  That and a handful of cashews kept him going until lunch.

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This one was my favorite table-service meal of the trip (and yes, I left the handful of fried wonton skins on–they weren’t enough to kick me out of ketosis and Epcot is always where we walk the most).  This is the Beijing Roast Duck Salad from Nine Dragons in China, in the World Showcase at Epcot.  One alteration had to be made: the hoisin sauce dressing was out because, well, hoisin sauce.  Instead, they gave me a small pitcher of the potsticker sauce, which was to die for.  Seriously, my favorite meal of the week.

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In The Seas, at Epcot, there is a restaurant called Coral Reef.  Honestly, we go here for the experience because you’re basically eating inside a giant aquarium.  In my opinion, the food is decent, but it’s not the best food ever.  I got the grilled New York strip steak with double veg instead of veg and mashed potatoes.  We had them bring out extra butter because it wasn’t nearly fatty enough.  This is where the gluten-free rolls were.  Like I said, as far as gluten-free rolls go, those were pretty good, especially when slathered with butter.  If you’re looking for that option, definitely hit up Coral Reef.  JR got the heirloom tomato salad thing here.  I gave him half of my steak and we pretty much ate off of each other’s plates.

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You can’t really tell what this is from the picture, as is frequently the case when making keto alterations, but this is a bacon cheeseburger from Cosmic Ray’s in Magic Kingdom.  They have a topping bar there where we added the mushrooms, onions, and (not pictured) some garlic ranch dressing.  It was a pretty good burger.  JR and I split the burger and…

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…the Greek salad, from the same place.  It was a pretty rockin’ Greek salad, in case you were wondering.  The chicken looks huge, but really it’s just pounded out thin.  The feta wasn’t as good as the stuff we get from Ali Baba; however, it was a decent substitute (and let’s be honest, if you don’t have a refined palate for Middle Eastern food, you won’t notice the difference).  We also put the garlic ranch on this salad.  Yeah, I really liked it.

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This was an Italian sausage without the bun from whatever that sausage company is at Disney Springs (what used to be called Downtown Disney).  The sausage was our least favorite thing of the trip.  It was just “meh.”  Those pickles were awesome though.  Seriously awesome.

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This is actually one of the meals we had at the airport in Atlanta on the way back to San Antonio.  I forget what the place was called, but it’s similar to a Chipotle-type deal.  It was a steak burrito bowl.  Why do deconstructed foods always look like a pile of stomach contents?  Regardless, it was tasty.

I didn’t remember to take pictures of all the food we ate in the parks, so here are the other items we had that I can remember:

Chili Cheese Coney without the bun from that Casey’s hot dog place on Main Street in Magic Kingdom (a delicious addition to our curbside seating for the Festival of Fantasy parade!)

Caesar salad with salmon at the Prime Time Diner in Hollywood Studios.  This restaurant was so fun!  The staff is a hoot and the decor is hilarious.  The salad was great.

If you have any questions about going keto-friendly at Disney, feel free to ask me!  Before going, I spent an hour on the phone with one of their dietary people, who helped me navigate all of the menus in order to find compliant food that wasn’t all burger-without-a-bun situations.  But really, if you’re only going to try one thing from this list, get the salad from Nine Dragons.  You won’t be disappointed.

Avocado Chicken Bombs (Keto)

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A friend and I went out to dinner recently at Chuy’s and discovered something delicious: the stuffed avocado.  Or, at least the version of it that I had them make for me.  It’s typically breaded in panko and fried that way; however, I can’t have panko and they can’t fry it without.  The chef came out to talk to me and we worked out a similar dish, and I thought I would mess around with it once I got home.  The other thing that is like crack at Chuy’s is their jalapeno ranch dressing.  Duh.  Anyone who has been there knows that.

With the same friend coming over to our house for dinner a couple weeks later, that was the perfect time to come up with a similar recipe, try to replicate the dressing, and then unveil the final product at dinner.  This was waaaaaaay better than what they came up with at Chuy’s, so I’m pretty happy about it.  You could make this with a plethora of different layers, but I’ll list it the way I made it last weekend.  Try it–you won’t be sorry!

Avocado Chicken Bombs (Keto)

Serves 4

Nutrition for Avocado Chicken Bombs: Calories (597), Fat (54.2 g), Saturated Fat (10.6 g), Carbs (17.3 g), Fiber (13.5 g), Sugar (1.3 g), Net Carbs (3.8 g), Protein (17.8 g)

Nutrition for Jalapeno Ranch: Calories (101), Fat (10.7 g), Saturated Fat (2.7 g), Carbs (0.7 g), Fiber (0.3 g), Sugar (0.6 g), Net Carbs (0.4 g), Protein (0.2 g)

Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 C olive oil

2 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp sugar-free maple syrup

2 Tbsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1.- Mix everything but chicken together.

2.- Cut chicken into small strips or chunks.  Put in resealable plastic bag and cover with marinade.  Mix around and allow to marinate for at least four hours.

3.- Heat skillet to medium high.  When pan is hot, add chicken in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.  Fry until cooked through and transfer to baking dish.  When all chicken is cooked, cover baking dish and put in 300′ oven for 20-30 minutes.

4.- Assemble into avocado chicken bomb.

Jalapeno Ranch

1 C mayonnaise

1/3 C buttermilk made from heavy cream

1/3 C sour cream

4 oz can chopped jalapenos

4 oz can chopped green chiles

1/3 C cilantro

1 oz ranch seasoning

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1.- Whiz everything in a blender and enjoy.

How I Layered the Avocado Chicken Bomb, from Bottom Up

1.- Avocado

2.- Chicken

3.-Shredded Cheese

4.- Table Cream

5.- Pico de gallo

6.- Jalapeno Ranch

7.- Crumbled Bacon

8.- Queso Fresco

 

Chicken Fajita Bowl (Primal with Dairy Toppings, Whole30 Compliant without)

Chicken Fajita Bowl

This is one of my favorite types of meals because there are an unlimited number of items you can add to it.  And bonus points: it all goes in the slow cooker!  That being said, it’s not really one that you can leave all day while at work, unless you choose a meat other than boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I don’t normally use those cuts of meat, but they’re easier for the shredding in this recipe, so I chose the easier route.

For toppings, you can add whatever really.  We generally eat a primal diet, so I shredded a little cheese and added a spoonful of sour cream.  Other toppings I’ve used with this are: green onions, red onions, avocados, chopped tomatoes, bacon, pico de gallo, cilantro, pineapple, etc.  Feel free to add whatever sounds good to you in the moment!

A word about the fajita seasoning: I make my own and store it in a baby food jar.  I throw together something along the lines of this:

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp paprika

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne

1 Tbsp cumin

Chicken Fajita Bowl (primal with dairy toppings, Whole30 compliant without)

Serves 3-4

1/4 C Kerrygold butter

3 green bell peppers, sliced

3 red bell peppers, sliced

2 large yellow onions, sliced

4 chicken breasts

3 Tbsp fajita seasoning

1/2 C salsa

 

1.- Turn slow cooker on low.  Add butter to the bottom of the bowl.

2.- Layer green peppers, onion, red peppers, and finally chicken on top.  Sprinkle seasoning over top and pour in salsa.

3.- Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken, mix with vegetables, and serve with desired toppings.

Wonky Chili (Whole30 without Dairy Toppings, Primal with Dairy Toppings)

Wonky Chili

I’ve been going through the refrigerator this week, using up what we have so that I can get a new crop of food in the upcoming weeks.  That means that basically toward the end of the week, we were down to the slim pickings when it came to the meat.  What did I have thawed today?  Chicken thighs (which I’m making tomorrow) and ground, hot Italian sausage.  I have about 300 cans of tomatoes in their various forms (as always), a handful of staples (salsa verde, onions, etc), and my newest fun thing: the ingredients of a couple TRY THE WORLD BOXES.  Have you heard of them?  It’s one of the box subscription services where you pay for a subscription and every two months you get a box of food from a specific country.  I’ve received two boxes so far: Marrakesh and Paris.  In the Marrakesh box, one of the items was a jar of kefta rub.  Traditionally, this is used in, well, kefta.  Kefta is the name for Moroccan meatballs (and they are delicious).  But I wanted chili tonight…so I added the kefta rub to the Italian sausage as I was cooking it.  DELICIOUS!

Kefta Rub

For the record, if you can’t get your hands on a jar of kefta spice blend, it contains a mixture of cumin, paprika, morita pepper, mint, coriander, cilantro, and cinnamon.  I’m not sure what ratio they’re in; however, from the smell of the spices, it seems heavy on the cumin and paprika…so mix it at will!

Wonky Chili (Whole 30 without the Dairy Toppings, Primal with the Dairy Toppings)

Serves 4-6

1 pound ground meat (I used hot Italian sausage)

2 Tbsp kefta rub

42 oz diced tomatoes

1 large onion, chopped

16 oz salsa verde

4 oz diced green chile

 

1.- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground meat while crumbling.  When the meat starts to brown, add in the kefta spices and continue cooking until fully browned, stirring frequently.

2.- Add meat to the bottom of the slow cooker.  Top meat with onion, tomatoes, salsa verde, and green chile.  Stir, cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours (or on high for 2-3 hours).  Top with your favorite chili toppings.

Primal Fajito

Fajito

Let’s get this out of the way: white potatoes are a taboo subject in the paleo family.  If you talk to 100 people who claim a paleo lifestyle, you will get 200 definitions as to what’s included in compliant foods.  We have relaxed our diet a bit to a primal definition so that we can include good cheese (neither of us have problems with dairy in cheese/butter/yogurt form–only in liquid-type milk form…so no milk and no ice cream).  That being said, Whole30 has recently added white potatoes to their list of compliant food.  Do we eat them at every meal?  No.  But we enjoy them in moderation…and sometimes you just need a yummy baked potato!

Like the other night…I had a few potatoes to use before they started growing a gnome village on them.  JR wanted me to make this Mexican beef stuff that I had made for the HOLIDAY PARTY last month.  So I made the beef, baked some potatoes, sauteed a mix of mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, added a dollop of plain yogurt, and made a fajita in a potato–VOILA!  Dinner!

Fajito (Primal)

Serves 3-4

2 pounds beef stew meat

1 C plain yogurt (plus a little more for a topping)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp oregano

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper

1 potato per person

1 small onion, cut into wedges

1 green pepper, roughly chopped

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced thick

olive oil

1.- In medium bowl, mix yogurt, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, and lemon juice until well combined.  Pour into resealable plastic bag with beef, move around to coat, and marinate for 24-36 hours in the refrigerator.  Occasionally turn the bag over so that the yogurt doesn’t settle in one spot for the entire time.

2.- Preheat oven to 425.  Scrub potatoes, dry, pierce them a few times with a fork, and rub them with a thin layer of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and place directly on the oven rack.  Cook for 60-80 minutes, depending on how crispy you like the potato skin.

3.- In a large skillet, heat some fat over a medium heat.  When hot, add the onions and cook until they begin to soften.  Add mushrooms and green peppers and cook until they are heated through but still a bit crunchy.  Remove from pan and set aside (I actually made these at the same time as the beef so they finished cooking at the same time).

4.- In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp fat over medium high heat.  Add beef and cook until desired doneness is reached.  Ours were medium rare at about 3 (or so) minutes per wide-side.

5.- Cut each potato with a cross.  Open up and fill with a scoop of beef, a scoop of vegetables, and a dollop of plain yogurt.  If you feel the need, you can also garnish with green onions, avocado, chopped bacon, and/or salsa.

Gyro Tzatziki Salad (Whole 30 Compliant)

Gyro Tzatziki Salad

I can’t remember where I found the recipe that gave me the idea for this.  I think it might have been the book Primal Cravings, but don’t quote me on that.  I made a few changes to it, just to closer suit my taste preferences.  It ended up being tasty!  If you like gyros and you like salad, you’ll like this.  The guacamole has a different texture than traditional guacamole because of the addition of cucumber…but personally, I still enjoyed it.

A note on greens: you should choose your favorite greens for this.  The original recipe called for chopped romaine.  I don’t usually have romaine around (unless it’s for something specific), I used whatever we had around, which I believe was a blend of spinach, arugula, and some herbs.  The slightly more bitter greens really complemented the meat.  Next time, I might toss some feta on top of everything, but it was yummy even without it.

Gyro Tzatziki Salad

Serves 4

For the meat

1 pound ground lamb

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried dill

2 tsp ground coriander

juice of 1 lemon

salt and pepper

For the guacamole

2 avocados

1/2 cucumber, shredded

2 Tbsp fresh mint

2 Tbsp fresh dill

juice of 1 lemon

salt

 

MEAT

1.- In large skillet, brown lamb and beef over medium-high heat.  When halfway cooked, add onions and garlic.  Cook until onion is soft.  Add oregano, thyme, dill, coriander, and lemon juice.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Cook 5-6 minutes (until juices reduce by about 50% and spices are well-combined).

2.- Chop greens and serve with gyro meat, topped with guacamole.

GUACAMOLE

1.- Shred cucumber and press with towels.  Squeeze all the moisture you can from the cucumber (this will reduce the texture difference).

2.- In blender or food processor, mix avocados, drained cucumber, mint, dill, lemon juice, and salt until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

 

A Primal Vacation

Okay…I managed to go on a 10-day vacation and stay compliant.  Yes, even in drive-thrus (that part involves a lot of boring, naked, grilled chicken and salad without dressing or fruit…but it can be done).  I didn’t take pictures of the fast food meals though.  They were too boring.  I took pictures of the food that I got at regular restaurants.

A caveat: if you are strictly Whole 30 or strictly Paleo, eating out will be harder.  Not impossible…but definitely harder than someone on a Primal diet.  So keep that in mind.

Texas Roadhouse

This was a meal from Texas Roadhouse (in Plano, TX).  It’s their 6 oz (I think it was 6) steak, medium rare, with steamed vegetables and a baked sweet potato.  I even managed to sit there in front of a basket of their rolls and homemade cinnamon butter without caving!

Pressroom

Breakfast at The Pressroom in Bentonville, AR.  Basically, deconstructed breakfast tacos.  Scrambled eggs, salsa, cilantro, sliced avocado, and a bowl of chorizo (I normally don’t like chorizo; however, this was delicious).  Breakfast seems to be the easiest meal to find while at a restaurant.  Every place that serves breakfast has eggs, meat, and vegetables.  Done.

Taziki

A lamb salad plate from Taziki’s in Bentonville, AR.  The lamb on this salad was DELICIOUS.  The nuts were a great addition, as was the feta.  Even if I weren’t eating a primal diet, I would eat this salad for every meal of every day.

El Charro

A Mexican salad from El Charro’s in Joplin, MO.  I have been to this restaurant probably 500 times between when I was 12 and now.  I have only ever gotten one thing here: the chimichanga.  It is a delicious deep-fried, tortilla-wrapped, meaty piece of goodness, covered in a white cheese sauce and served with beans and rice.  This is the first time I got anything else.  It was really good!

Applebees

This is one of the sizzling Bourbon Street something-or-others from Applebees in KC, MO.  It was decent.  It wasn’t the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten, but it got the job done.  Protein + fat + veg = a happy person.

Tassos

Finally, the Gyro Salad from Tasso’s in KC, MO.  I usually get the gyros here (we visit Tasso’s every time we visit KC…but it’s because of the belly dancer, not because of the food), but the salad was actually quite good.  It definitely made for a very happy tummy (more happy than when I used to have the regular gyros).

So that’s my 10 days in a very small nutshell.  We didn’t eat every meal out, so these pictures are most of the restaurant meals that I had.  We just got home tonight, and I’m super excited to get back to cooking at home.  This week has a lineup of things like goat, lamb, and beef!  Can’t wait!

Kansas City Vacation End-of-Summer BBQ (Whole30 Compliant)

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We are on vacation!  You know that already though, because I mentioned it in the last couple posts.  If you haven’t been to Kansas City before, it is HUGE.  Not huge in population (though I think the metro population is something like 2 million), but in physical area…it is just…well, huge.  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, we have friends all over the city, and every time we come, we end up driving all over hell’s half acre, visiting everyone.  This wasn’t a problem when we didn’t have a child (or when Isak was an infant), but with a two year old, spending hours a day in the car with short breaks to get out and see a couple people just doesn’t work.  We end up with a very grouchy toddler.  This time we decided that we would have a party at JR’s parents’ house and invite all of our friends.  We told people to bring side dishes, and we handled the rest.  As a primal eater, this was leaving a lot in the hands of my friends…but one of my friends is a paleo chef (who will be doing a guest post on here sometime soon), so I had total faith that between whatever she was making and what we made, I would have enough to eat.  Do you want to see a picture of what she brought?  It was this (apple spice muffins, apple slices, and paleo caramel):

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Remember how I said I avoid paleo baked goods because I can never seem to get the consistency correct?  Well, I would eat these things until I throw up…they are that good.

We ended up grilling burgers and hot dogs (duh), having a big box of organic baby lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, aged white cheese (not Whole30), pico de gallo, and guacamole.  The recipe for hot dogs is as follows:

1.- Buy hot dogs.

2.- Cook them.

The burgers were a little more involved.

 

Hamburgers

Serves 4

1 pound ground beef (this recipe also works with ground lamb or bison)

1/2 medium onion, diced

1/2 C mushrooms, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper

2 tsp Kerrygold (or other fat of choice)

 

1.- Heat fat in skillet over medium heat.  When hot, add onions, mushrooms, and garlic.  Saute a few minutes until onions are soft and mushrooms are browning.  Move to small bowl and set aside.

2.- In large bowl, mix ground beef, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper with hands.  Once incorporated, add in onion mixture and mix until well-combined.  Form into 4-5 hamburger patties.

3.- Grill to desired temperature is reached (you can also cook these in a skillet, broil them in the oven, or cook them on a George Foreman-type situation.

4.- Serve over greens, topped with pico, guacamole, sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, cheese and sour cream (if you tolerate dairy), bacon, and anything else you want.

 

Pico de Gallo

3 C tomatoes, chopped

3 C red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 bunches of cilantro, chopped

1-2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (use two if you like it a little hotter)

Juice of 1 lime

 

1.- Mix everything well in a large bowl.

 

Guacamole

4 avocados, pitted and mashed

1 C pico de gallo

Juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper

 

1.- In large bowl, mash avocado.  Squeeze in lime juice and mix well.

2.- Add in 1 C of pico and stir.  Salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.

 

Vegetable Skewers

1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and chopped in 1/2-1″ thick slices

1 red onion, cut in wedges

8 oz mushrooms, cleaned

1 red pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 yellow pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 orange pepper, cut in 1″+ squares

1 pineapple, peeled and cut in chunks

1/4 C olive oil

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp raw honey

1 Tbsp mustard (regular, spicy brown, and Dijon all work)

salt and pepper

wooden skewers

 

1.- Soak wooden skewers in water for at least an hour.  Chop all vegetables and pineapple and put in large resealable bag.

2.- In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, raw honey, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined and creamy looking.  Pour over vegetables and fruit in bag.  Move bag around to coat vegetables.  Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

3.- String fruit and vegetables on wooden skewers in whatever order and amount you’d like.

4.- Heat grill to medium.  For easier cooking, put grill pan on the racks where you’ll be cooking the vegetables.

5.- Put vegetable skewers on grill pan and cook 6-10 minutes on each side (or until you like them done).

 

Oh, and what did we do with the leftovers the next day?  This!

BBQ leftover salad

Road-Trip Roll-Ups (Primal)

Road-Trip Roll-Ups

Tomorrow morning we leave to start our drive to Kansas City!  We will go as far as Plano tomorrow (it’s only five hours from here…but with a 2 1/2 year old in a Prius…let’s just say we’ll be stopping at a lot of the rest-stop parks along the way to get out and play), then to my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Bentonville on Sunday.  Come Tuesday, we are KC bound for the next six days!  I may be able to post while on vacation, but we shall see.  What I WILL be doing, though, is taking pictures along the way of paleo meals from typical road-trip stops.  Yes, that means fast food.  Trust me, it can be done.  It doesn’t satisfy the “quality” aspect of paleo; however, it will satisfy the very basic guidelines.  I’m doing this to show that even if you (a) only have time for fast food, or (b) are traveling, you can always find a paleo option.  Well, that is unless you’re stopping at American-style Asian restaurants.  You’re on your own there.

Anyway, tonight I was tasked with making our snacks for the trip.  I wanted to make something tasty with some protein and fat.  I mean, in addition to the usual things I pack (“granola,” nuts, carrots, clementines, raspberries, and trail mix).  Don’t worry–the granola recipe is coming next.  The beauty of these roll-ups is that you can put whatever you have on hand in them.  You can use whatever meat you want (you want the deli to slice the meat on a 1 or a 2, but nothing thinner than a 1).  You can use whatever vegetables you want.  As long as it fits, it works!  I’ll write the recipe the way I made them, but make them however you see fit!

Road Trip Roll-Ups

1/2 pound lunch meat, sliced on a 1 or 2 (if it’s sliced on a 1, this will make seven or eight rolls, so adjust accordingly)

organic whipped cream cheese

3 green onions, sliced thin

1/2 – 1 C baby greens (I used Central Market Herb Garden Spring Mix)

 

1.- Spread 1-2 tsp of cream cheese on each slice of ham.  Sprinkle with green onions.  Push a few of the baby greens into the cream cheese

2.- Roll up, short side to short side.  Store in a container.

* A side-note: if you want to make these paleo instead of primal, ditch the cream cheese and spread guacamole or straight avocado

Cowboy Stacker (Whole30 Compliant)

Cowboy Stacker

I have to laugh about how this dish came to be: last night while flipping through Pinterest, I saw no fewer than 10 different recipes for Eggs Benedict.  All the photos looked delicious!  Of course then I remembered three things:

(1.) I started a 30-day Primal cleanse on Saturday, so I can’t have English muffins…which are one of the best parts of the meal, IMHO.

(2.) I remembered that I’m always disappointed by hollandaise sauce…  I love the smell, the taste is good…but the aftertaste is just gross.  Always.  And everyone’s.  It makes me sad that this little hussy of a breakfast tasty always seduces me and then leaves me disappointed, but I digress.

(3.) I can’t poach eggs.  I can follow crazy directions to create some of the most amazing foods you’ve ever tasted, but I can’t poach a d@mn egg.  I’ve tried every “this is the easiest way” trick there is, and it just won’t happen.  If you can teach me, I will love you forever.

I wanted to recreate something similar to Eggs Benedict, but in a Primal fashion.  I  thought about using thick sweet potato slices for the “muffin” part, but I didn’t think I could get them the consistency that I wanted.  I thought about doing a friend egg instead of poached, but I thought it would look funny.  So the following is what I came up with…which is NOTHING like Eggs Benedict, by the way!

* As an aside, during a text message conversation about this dish tonight, I decided that these are the perfect size to set on top of a filet mignon…so do with that information what you will!

Cowboy Stackers

Serves 4

1 medium potato, shredded (sweet or white, doesn’t matter–I used white tonight because I ran out of sweet potatoes)

1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and shredded with the potato

1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp Kerrygold butter

6-8 pieces of bacon, cooked to crispy and drained on paper towels

6-8 pieces of black forest ham (or anything other meat you’d like)

1 small shallot, diced

6 eggs, whisked with 4 Tbsp water

guacamole

For the potatoes:

1.- Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and brush with your choice of liquid fat.

2.- In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbsp Kerrygold.  When hot, add shredded potatoes and acorn squash.  Cook until browning and starting to crisp.

3.- Using a large spoon, scoop spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet.  Flatten slightly into the shape of patties.  Bake 15 minutes, flip patties, and bake another 10 minutes.  Keep warm with foil-wrapped cooked bacon in 170 degree oven.

For the eggs (feel free to add any other vegetables you want to the scrambled eggs):

1.- In large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp Kerrygold.  When hot, add shallots.  Saute until they start to soften.

2.- Add whisked egg mixture.  Cooked scrambled eggs as you normally would.  Season with very little salt and as much pepper as you want.  Remove from heat.

To assemble:

On individual plates, layer in the following order (from bottom to top):

1.- Hash brown patty

2.- 1-2 slices of black forest ham

3.- Scoop of scrambled eggs

4.- Scoop of guacamole

5.- 1-2 slices of bacon (it’s easiest if you break each slice in half)