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“Paleo” Dark Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

Scrambling to put together a sweet treat for Valentine’s Day? Well, even if you’re not, dark chocolate covered strawberries are a relatively guilt-free little indulgence for any special occasion (or ...

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TEST DRIVE: Bon Appetit’s Proscuitto-Wrapped Pork Loin with Roasted Apples

So, I was perusing my mounds of cooking magazines a few weeks ago and ran across this beauty. (BTW, I may have a problem… So. Many. Magazines.) It’s gorgeous, impressive, ...

Paleo Sweet Potato Fries Ready for the Munchin'

Comfort Food: Baked Paleo Sweet Potato Fries

Every once in a while, it’s nice to eat something that’s a kick-back to the pre-Paleo days: something salty and reminiscent of burger drive-throughs without being a total gut-killer.  Sweet ...

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Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Apple

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Apple

I’ve got a new side dish for you guys today, inspired by ...
Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake with Banana-Cinnamon Sauce

Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake with Banana-Cinnamon Sauce

At my core, I am a baker. I LOVE baked goods… cupcakes, ...
ceviche

Quicky and Easy Shrimp Ceviche

I had a great dinner this weekend with my hubby and some ...

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Lotsa love around here!

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day, everyone!  I’ll admit, the hubby and and I are not huge fans of this particular holiday, but it turns out that we’ve got a lot of love to celebrate this year.  We’ve been married now for just over a year, and we’re super, super excited to be expecting a new baby together later summer!

Being pregnant (for the first time!) has thrown me for a little bit of a loop when it comes to how I eat… I’ll admit I’ve been indulging in some old favorites, and although they were a nice treat for a while, they reminded me how my old way of eating kinda made me feel like ick most of the time. ;)  So, I’m kicking off my 2nd trimester back on the wagon, and it really does feel great.  My goal is to CrossFit throughout the pregnancy, and I need the right kind of fuel for both me and the baby to be at our best, in workouts and out.

Any fellow Paleo mamas out there? Would love to hear how you’ve done it and what resources you’ve found!

PS – Still trying to sort out a fun little treat for Valentine’s Day (that doesn’t involve boxes of sugary sweets)? Check back tomorrow for some super simple dark-chocolate-covered strawberries!

Paleo Slow Cooker Carnitas

Paleo Slow Cooker Carnitas

I swear I have been meaning to do something with a pork shoulder for six months, and I just now got around to it. Seriously. And I really shouldn’t have waited – this super simple dish couldn’t have been easier, and it was delish to boot! I love that it makes a ton of super versatile meat – you can throw it onto romaine leaves for some gluten-free tacos, toss it into a frittata, or just chow it with some fresh avocado. Check out the recipe after the jump!

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PaleoBetty on the (CrossFit)Radio


Yep, that’s right! I had the awesome opportunity to do a radio interview with CrossFit Radio’s Justin Judkins about my experience with CrossFit and transitioning from a gluten-rich, processed-food-laden diet to the Paleo lifestyle.  Had a blast chatting with him about my experience cooking tasty Paleo food, and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to spread the word.  Take a listen if you have a moment! It’s a free MP3 download on the CrossFit Journal website (Episode 206).

Bonus: Also interviewed on this episode is Annie Sakamoto, basically a legend in the CrossFit community!

Listen to the interview here >>

PS – For all my fellow CrossFit Central clients & coaches… the article’s currently got me listed as a Dallas Central client, but it should be fixed shortly. :)

My New Indoor Herb Garden

Itty bitty basil sprouts in my new GrowBottle.

Happy new year, everyone!  Wow – it’s been a whirlwind couple of months, and I’m so happy to be back at the laptop with you all. The fam and I had a wonderful holiday season this year, and things are finally getting back to normal (whatever that is!)…

Thought I’d share with you the super cool gift my hubby got me for Christmas… my own indoor herb garden using GrowBottles (from UncommonGoods). We have a little herb and veggie garden out back, but the Texas heat just brutalized our little greens last summer, so when he came across these little guys, he knew we had to have ‘em.

We’ve started with four: mint, basil, parsley, and, to be honest, one I can’t remember (and I already threw away the packaging)… We’ll just have to wait and see what sprouts! I’m loving the concept of the GrowBottle – the bottles are recylced, reusable, and pretty cool to look at to boot.  The kits are super easy to put together, and so far idiot-proof (while I’m decent in the kitchen, I’m not known for keeping plants alive).  I started the basil before we left for the holidays, and we’ve got some cute little sprouts coming up.  The others I tackled today, so hopefully we’ll start seeing some green soon!

My new indoor herb garden.

Team Tryptophan’s Paleo Potluck

Team Tryptophan Chowing Down

Another crazy week down!  Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of hosting some fellow CrossFitters from CrossFit Central at the house for a Paleo potluck dinner… we’re all on the same Lean Turkey Challenge team (Team Tryptophan!), and we’ve been focused on amping up our workouts and dialing in nutrition leading up to the holiday season.  It’s been a great experience so far – met some cool new folks, trained with some awesome coaches, and I’ve even whittled the waist down just a bit over the past five weeks.  We had seven folks join in the fun on Tuesday, and everyone brought a yummy Paleo dish to share – woohoo! Here’s what we had:

  • Paleo Spaghetti (Squash!) and Meatballs — Jay
  • Cauliflower Fried “Rice” — Heather
  • Homemade Almond Crackers — Kristin (sound yummy… check out her recipe!)
  • Fresh Greens Salad w/Avocado — Jessica
  • Brussels Sprouts with Apples & Ginger — Wendy

The food was absolutely delish, and I’m totally snagging the recipes… yum!  I made a few things as well:  oven-roasted chicken legs and thighs, spicy roasted pecans with cinnamon (which, by the way, I could NOT. STOP. EATING.), roasted sweet potatoes with apples, proscuitto-wrapped figs, and flourless chocolate cake bites.  We had a great time hanging out and sharing our CrossFit/Paleo stories – looking forward to the big end-of-challenge competition on Saturday… bring it on!! Go Team Tryptophan!

Jess and Kristin getting things going...

How much do you really love bacon?

It’s not often that my professional and personal lives so totally interconnect, but in the case of bacon, there is a clear cross-over. I work in the IT industry (for the awesome IT software company Spiceworkscheck out this video about zombies and, yes, bacon), and I work every day with IT pros all over the world. What brings them all together? Bacon. Yep, IT guys love bacon just about as much as we CrossFitting Paleo nuts do.  And why shouldn’t they? Bacon is quite simply one of the tastiest treats out there, and I snarf down every little scrap when the opportunity arises.

Now, I really do love bacon, but it would seem that there are some folks out there who REALLY love bacon, and they’ve got the merchandise to prove it. I recently purchased a variety of bacon-related items as prizes for our software conference a few weeks ago – I had no idea how much bacon-related paraphernalia was out there.  It’s a little scary. And a little awesome. Check out what I snagged… Not gonna lie, it would take a braver woman than me to try out the bacon-flavored toothpaste.


Bacon-Scented Soap Plus, the bar of soap looks like a huge slab of bacon. Lather up!


Bacon Flavored Mints  Hmm, not sure my vegetarian hubby would be super pleased if I started popping these.

Follow the jump for more awesome bacon-ness.

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I’ve been a bad little blogger…

Well, hello everyone!  Forget me?  I know it’s been ages since I posted. Apologies!  Life’s been a little on the crazy side for the past month – we’ve either been traveling or had house guests every weekend, and I just completed our annual big conference at my day job – an enormous amount of work, but a great success!  I’ll admit, when I’m in crazy-busy mode, I revert to my fall-back staple recipes and pretty much end up eating the same thing every day (roasted turkey and chicken, cast-iron steaks, LOTS of salad, etc.), so my culinary exploits have suffered just a bit.

My beautiful new spice management solution.

Now that I have a little time to breathe again, I’m back in the kitchen and back on the blog. It feels good to be back! ;)  I’ve spent the last few days cataloging more than 100 recipes that I want to try/adapt/Paleo-itize, so you’ll be seeing lots of fun stuff to come!  I’m thinking maybe some special Thanksgiving-inspired posts are in the near future.

As part of my “get back on the wagon” efforts, I spent the last few days organizing/cleaning out my kitchen. My favorite project? Tackling the MESS that was my spice drawer. There were spices in there that must have been 10 years old (ugh)… A bunch were my husband’s before we moved in together (more than three years ago). Plus, all these crazy, unusable spices were taking up a ton of valuable space in our not-so-large kitchen.

So… I went to the Container Store. I love that store and will be spending more time there over the coming weeks as I organize like a fiend. This time around, I found these awesome magnetic spice canisters that I can stick to the side of my fridge! Plus, I got to use my handy-dandy label maker, so it was a win all around. Love it! Easy to see what I have, everything’s at arm’s reach, perfect. More on the way for this week – have a fabulous day and stay tuned!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Apples

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples

I’m back! Whew! So sorry for the lag in posting – it’s been a crazy month, and we’ve either been out of town or had house guests the last four weekends in a row. Tons of fun, but it didn’t leave a lot of time for experimenting in the kitchen.  Finally got some downtime with the hubs yesterday, and it really was a fantastic day – woke up to the rain (Rain? In Austin? Seriously??), went for a nice, easy Sunday run, practiced my double-unders & handstands, ate a delish bun-less burger at Hopdoddy (I tried the Llano Poblano – yum!), and then rounded things out with Halloween costume shopping on South Congress (going to rock it this year!). Just lovely. We capped off the day by cooking dinner together and then watching John Carpenter’s The Thing (the original)… really a fantastic film, and despite being made in the early 80′s, it totally stands up today.

So, back to the food!  We made a couple of new dishes yesterday – all the recipes are coming shortly! Let’s start with my favorite of the newbies: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples. Both P.J. and I agreed that this one just tasted like Fall and would be a really great Paleo Thanksgiving side option.  Hope you like ‘em! Check out the recipe after the jump…

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Boiled and Sauteed Fresh Lobster

One seriously gorgeous cooked lobster.

As you all know, I recently made the leap into true carnivore-dom (yep, I’m totally calling that a word) by killing, cooking and eating my dinner for the first time: lobster! As it turns out, the cooking part of the meal was quite straightforward (aside from placing the live, moving lobster in the water – that one got my heart pounding a little)… if you can boil water, you can cook a lobster.   The bigger challenge is getting all that delicious meat OUT of the lobster’s shell so you can actually enjoy it.  Luckily, my brother Andy was on hand to do the dirty work of cracking shells and harvesting the meat.  Poor guy had no idea how much work he was getting into!

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How Lobster Made an Honest Carnivore of Me…

Or, How I Killed and Cooked My Own Dinner.

Our seriously intimidating 2.5 pound live lobster.

I am a carnivore.  I love meat… grilled, cured, raw, stir-fried, dried, whatever. I’m a huge fan of all pork products, from bacon to jamon to pork belly to chops. Seafood? Yep. Poultry? Yep. I love it all, and I’ve eaten loads of it over the years, giving little to no thought about where that yummy meat was coming from.  As long as it tasted good, I wasn’t bothered.  Don’t get me wrong, I love animals and my dog, Piggy, is basically a full member of the family. That said, I’ve always been able to disassociate my love for animals with my love for eating them. I do truly believe that there is a natural order of things and that our bodies crave animal proteins to function at our very best.

Anyhoo, after years of guilt-free animal consumption, this meat-loving gal met the man of her dreams, and he turned out to be… (gasp!) a vegetarian. Who’d have thought I’d end up marrying my food opposite? Early on, P.J. and I found that we could happily co-exist – a carnivore and a vegetarian living in peace, albeit mostly on pasta at the time. Lately, as a result of P.J.’s influence and my transition to Paleo, I’ve been giving the origins of my food a lot more thought. I’ve been exposed to a whole new way of looking at meat – responsible, sustainable farming practices and cruelty-free animal husbandry. We visit the Austin Farmers Market every Saturday to stock up on grass-fed beef and pork, fresh eggs from happy pastured chickens, and loads of locally grown veggies.  When we eat out, we find ourselves gravitating to boutique restaurants serving locally grown and raised fare. It’s been a gradual evolution, and an important one.

On our recent trip to Martha’s Vineyard, while I was snarfing down a silly amount of lobster over three days, it occurred to me that I’d never actually killed my dinner myself. Ever. I can’t even recall cooking a lake fish that I caught as a child (this is probably mostly due to the fact that I was an AWFUL fisherman… fisherwoman?).  With such easy access to beautifully butchered and prepared meats, I’ve found it to be so easy to insulate myself from the realities of eating animal meat. It occurred to me on this trip that I should, at least once, do the deed myself… I needed to kill and eat my dinner. Myself. I see it really as an act of respect for the animals we consume… if I’m not “man” enough to kill the thing I’m eating, well then maybe I shouldn’t be eating it.  Now, I’m not advocating regular at-home butchery for everyone, but I think there’s something important and elemental about respecting our meat enough to be the one to kill it.

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