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Cajun Burger and Fries l Jeri’s Corner: Food and Fitness

Spicy is always the name of the game.  I had a taste for a Cajun burger and sweet potato fries.  This is quick and extremely easy to put together.  I would recommend cutting the recipe in half if you only want to eat this for a few days.  The ingredients below will last a week and each burger is 4oz.

Cajun Burger

  • 2lbs Organic Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsn Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsn dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsn dried thyme

Most times I can not locate certain spice blends and have gotten pretty accustomed to making my own batch.  If you can not find Cajun Seasonings, you can make your own.  Try this Cajun Seasoning recipe.

Mix all the ingredients together.  You can measure out your burger to 4oz. or make as you normally would.  You can put them on the grill, broil in the oven, or use your George Foreman.

Cajun Burger

Cajun Burger

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

  • 3 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbsn Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 tbsn of Cajun Seasoning

Preheat oven 400 degrees.  Wash and cube sweet potatoes.  If you prefer to take the skin off you can or just leave it on.  Once diced transfer into a bowl and pour the melted coconut oil over the potatoes.  Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the fries and toss.  You want to make sure you cover the sweet potatoes in the oil and seasonings.

Line a baking sheet with foil and cook for 30 minutes.  You can toss the potatoes after the first 15 minutes.

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

The burger was placed on 2 slices of Coconut Bread.  Enjoy!

Cajun Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

Cajun Burger and Sweet Potato Fries

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Chicken and Vegetable Medley l Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

A funny story about this dish.  I had a taste for rice pilaf using cauliflower because I am still following Paleo.  I had the cauliflower in the skillet and added some chopped celery, shredded carrots and some chopped scallion in a little bit of chicken stock.  I didn’t like the way it was coming together so I put my ‘lets see what happens’ cap on.  I chopped up a few garlic cloves and added that to the ‘vegetable medley’.  I had a jar of sun dried tomatoes and two cans of fire roasted tomatoes and 1/2 of a zucchini that I needed to do something with so I added that to the mix as well.  I thought..oh boy what a mess.  So, what do I pair this with….chicken.  To the freezer, add water to the pressure cooker, add the chicken and cook for 12 min.

I did bring this to work and had some other folks taste it to make sure my taste buds were working.  Got a two thumbs up so here it is, my Paleo meal for week eight!

Paleo Chicken and Vegetable Medley
(Serving Size 5 – 4oz chicken/1 cup vegetable medley)

Shopping List

  • 6 Chopped Celery Sticks
  • 5 Chopped Scallions
  • 1/2 bag of Shredded Carrots
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 head of small Cauliflower
  • 1 jar of Sun Dried Tomatoes, rough chop
  • 2 14 oz cans of Fire Roasted Tomatoes, rough chop
  • 1/2 chopped Zucchini
  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Vegetable Medley

I used a skillet that was 3 1/2 inches deep.  On medium heat, add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the cauliflower and cook until cauliflower starts to turn brown.  Make sure to toss from time to time to brown as much as you can.  Should take about 15 minutes or so.  Once that is complete add the remaining ingredients including the juice from the tomatoes.  Cover and simmer on medium low heat for about two hours.

As mentioned earlier, I used my pressure cooker to prepare the chicken with just water.  I did not season it because the vegetable medley was going to cover it.  You can prepare the chicken in the oven with little seasonings.

Chicken with Vegetable Medley

Chicken with Vegetable Medley

This is what you have! My mess turned out to be not so much of a mess.  I hope you enjoy it!  You could also pair this with steak.

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Spagehetti Squash with Red Sauce – Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

Spaghetti Squash with Red Sauce

Week 7 of Paleo Eating!

It looks like I have fallen behind on my weekly post.  I am in the process of changing my blog to include a few more things such as videos, articles and more pictures so stay tuned.

Eating Paleo is still getting easier by the week.  Sometimes I dream of one of my fancy grill cheese sandwiches or my baked whole wheat spaghetti and basil meatballs.  Actually I could still make this!  If I say it out loud it is possible.  I was focusing on how crunchy the spaghetti gets when it is baked.  Time to snap out of it.

Spaghetti Squash with Red Sauce:

Ingredients (Organic when possible)

  • 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Turkey Chorizo Sausages, remove the casing
  • 1 medium zucchini, rough chop
  • 1 Green Pepper, or another color, rough chop
  • 1 Yellow Onion, rough chop
  • 1 28oz can of Diced Tomatoes + 1 14oz, no salt
  • 1 small Fennel Bulb, rough chop
  • 2 Garlic Clover, minced
  • Optional: Sea Salt and Red Pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of Olive Oil

There are two ways, that I know of, to prepare spaghetti squash.  First, cut the squash lengthwise.  I typically use a glass loaf dish and fill 1/2 the dish with water and place the cut side down in the water.  Put it in the microwave for about 5 to 6 minutes, until the squash is soft.  Scrap the seeds out and scrap the squash into a dish.  The second way is to make slits in the squash all over and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove it from the oven and let it cool.  You will need to slice lengthwise as well and scrap the seeds out and the spaghetti into a dish and set aside.

Red Sauce

Heat a skillet with two tables of olive oil.  Add the chopped zucchini and green pepper to the skillet and saute for about 5 to 7 minutes.  If you like your vegetables soft, saute a little longer and keep in mind that the nutritional value of the vegetable diminishes the softer it gets.  Remove the vegetables and add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onion, fennel, and garlic for the same amount to time.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.  Take the turkey sausage, casing removed, and break up and cook until done.

Grab  a large pot and combine the cans of tomatoes, vegetables, and sausage.  Simmer all the ingredients for 40 minutes.  I decided not to combine the squash with the sauce and served it up side by side.

Spaghetti Squash with Red Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Red Sauce

I love the crunchy vegetables in this dish and it was very fulfilling.  Enjoy!

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Flank Steak Sliders l Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

Paleo Week 6

I love that I am eating more vegetables than ever before.  Prior to this challenge, I would fill myself up potatoes, pastas, bread and all things not Paleo.

Starting week 6 was the day of the Superbowl and I happen to be a big football fan.  Sunday had always been my cheat day.  For a moment, I was tempted to fall back into a familiar routine.   I decided to make it a Paleo game day with sliders.

Organic Flank Steak Sliders

  • 1lb Flank Steak, ground
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 slice of Coconut Bread
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes

If you do not have a Vitamix you may need to ask the butcher to ground it for you.  If you have a Vitamix you will need to slice the flank steak into 1 1/2 to 2 inches, cubed, and drop them in and ground.  Remove the ground flank and add the jalapeno, red pepper and onion and chop.  Mix the meat and the vegetables together and make your 4oz sliders.  I prepared these using my George Foreman for quickness and an easy clean up.  Toast a piece of coconut bread, spread 1/4 of avocado, add a couple slices of tomato and top with a burger.  There you have it, Paleo friendly Flank Steak Sliders.

Paleo Friendly Flank Steak Slider

Paleo Friendly Flank Steak Slider

Enjoy!

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Paleo Week 5 – Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

Eating Paleo is getting easier every week.  In an attempt to keep preparation easy this week, I decided to prepare a taco salad without the cream and cheese.

Taco Seasoned Beef

  • 2 lbs Grassfed Gorund Beef
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Hot Paprika, or regular
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Mix the seasonings together and set aside.  Prepare the ground beef and break up as you cook.  While beef is cooking add about two tablespoons of the season mix and continue cooking until it is done.

I placed 4oz. of the beef mixture on top of a salad that just included Spring Mix salad, sliced Roma tomatoes, Scallions, Black Olives, and sliced Avocados.  I thought it needed something else on top, Taco Sauce.

Taco Sauce

  • 1 8oz can Tomato Sauce, without salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Hot Paprika, or regular
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Put everything into the blender or bullet.  Sprinkle a tablespoon over the ground beef and enjoy.

Taco Beef Salad

Taco Beef Salad

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Paleo Week 4 – Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

Being Paleo

On my way to one month down.  It is going by very quickly.  One important thing that I have noticed is that being prepared with meals or snacks will help remove the temptation of eating things not Paleo.  Below are some of the things that were prepared for this week.

Breakfast Casserole

This recipe was taken from Paleo Effect.

  • 2 Small Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 Chicken and Apple sausages or Pork with casing removed.  I would actually go with 4 sausages.
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/4 tsp Sage

I used an 8 x 12 glass baking dish.  The original recipe calls for an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.  Set oven to 350.  Grease the baking dish.  I used coconut oil cooking spray.

Shred sweet potatoes into hash browns and spread them into the baking dish.  Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO and add the chopped onions and chicken.  Cook until done and add it on top of the sweet potatoes.

Blend the eggs, sage and milk in a blender and pour over items in the baking dish.  Some of the things I left out from the original recipe is adding salt and pepper.  I typically like to taste the dish before I add in salt and pepper.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.  Use the toothpick test to see if it is ready.  If it comes out clean you are good to go if not, cook a little longer.

Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

Turkey Soup

  • Cube leftover turkey from last week
  • 1 small bag of carrots
  • 5 Celery Stalks
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion
  • 2 1/2 cups of Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

I had intended to add cubed Jicama and fresh Kale, but by the time I put everything into the pressure cooker it was full.  I had to prepare them on the side and add into the finished soup.

Put all of the above ingredients into a pressure cooker and cook for 10 minutes.  All I wanted to do is soften the vegetables because the turkey is already cooked.

Roasted Jicama

  • 1 medium sized Jicama, peeled and cubed
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Set oven to 400.  Place cubed Jicama in a bowl and toss with olive oil and transfer to a baking sheet.  Cook for 1 hour tossing every 20 minutes.

For the Kale, I sauteed it in 1 tbsp of olive oil.

All of the ingredients were added to the completed soup.  The Jicama added a light, sweet, unexpected crunch to the soup.

Turkey Soup

Turkey Soup

Snacks for the week

Pumpkin Pie (by Paleo Effect)

Pumpkin Pie Crust:

  • 1/2c Coconut Flour
  • 1/2c Almond Flour or Coconut Flakes
  • 1/2 Tbsp Agave
  • 1/4 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4c Coconut Oil
  • 3 Egg whites

Set oven to 400.  Mix agave, sea salt, coconut oil and egg whites.  Sift in the coconut flour and coconut flakes.  Mix until incorporated.  Grease the pie pan with coconut oil spray and press dough into the pan in a thin layer.  Poke holes in the bottom of the crust and bake for 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4c Maple Syrup or Coconut Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 15oz can of Pumpkin or 1 3/4 cup of fresh roasted Pumpkin
  • 1c Coconut Milk
  • pinch of cinnamon

Set oven to 450.  Whip the eggs and beat in the maple syrup (coconut flakes).  Add in the spices and mix until blended.  Add the coconut milk and pumpkin.  It is very helpful to put this all in a blender.  Once blended, pour into the pie crust.  Cover the exposed crust with aluminum foil to prevent burning.  Bake for 12 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for 30 minutes.  Use the toothpick trick to make sure the center is set.  If it is not, continue baking and check every 8 minutes.

I wanted to dress it up with nuts and could not decide if I wanted Almonds or Pecans.  So, one half is Almonds and the other is Pecans!

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Paleo Pumpkin Pie

Fresh Almond Butter

Using my Vitamix, I placed a bag of unsalted almonds into the mixer.  I will pair this with my apple slices.

Almond Butter

Almond Butter

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Paleo Week 3 – Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

I actually like what I have been eating on Paleo, minus the weight gain!  I am still going to continue until the end of March.  Last week while grocery shopping I came across a vegetable, Jicama.  Now, I have seen this vegetable plenty of times before but was never really interested in what it was.  In preparation for this week, I decided to see what this vegetable is all about.

Jicama, a root vegetable that is similar to a potato, but wetter and crunchier.  It is slightly sweet and nutty as well as good to eat cooked or raw.  I LOVE LEARNING NEW THINGS!  Just say the word potato and I am all over it.  As much as I love to eat hash browns, I must try this ‘lighter’ version in my hash.

Here is what I have prepared for the week!  I hope you find something useful.

Breakfast

Organic Applewood Bacon and Hash browns

  • 2 Slices Bacon
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 cup of mixed chopped peppers
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Jicama
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

First, peel the skin of the Jicama.  You can either shred it or chop it.  I decided to shred it.  Once this is done, put it off to the side.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and peppers.  Cook until the onion is translucent.  I wanted to keep the peppers crunchy so once the onion was done I removed everything from the pan.  Add the shredded Jicama to the pan and cook it as if it were shredded potatoes.  Remove from the pan and mix in the onions and peppers.

Meanwhile, in a different pan I cooked the bacon and tore it up into pieces and set it aside.  Not sure if this was a good move, but after the Jicama was cooked I grabbed just enough for 1 serving and added it to the bacon grease along with some of the peppers, onions and bacon, before I combined all of the ingredients in with the cooked Jicama.  Sautéed the ingredients for about 5 minutes or so and made a little hole in the center of the hash and fried an egg.  I added a little salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and that’s all she wrote!  I have a potato replacement!  You must try this vegetable.

Jicama Hash Browns

Jicama Hash Browns

Lunch & Dinner

Thanksgiving 2012 I prepared two turkeys.  One I ate and the other one I froze to be eaten at a later date that happens to be now.  It will be paired with Mashed Cauliflower, aka mashed potatoes, and spinach.

Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 1 Garlic cloves
  • 5oz can of Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • add salt and pepper to taste

Cut the flowers from the head and place in a pot of water until cooked, medium heat for about 15 to 2o minutes.  Pour the cauliflower into a strainer and rinse with cold water.  In a pot, simmer the coconut milk and one garlic clove for about 10 minutes.  Take the cauliflower and place into a blender.  Blend until semi smooth and then add the coconut milk mixture and continue blending until smooth.  It is ready to eat.

Turkey, Mashed Cauliflower, Spinach

Turkey, Mashed Cauliflower, Spinach

Snacks

Biscuits, the recipe can be found at Paleo Effect and they are delicious.  I made a double batch that gave me 12 biscuits.

Paleo Biscuits

Paleo Biscuits

Baked Bananas, the recipe was taken from the book, The Paleo Diet for Athletes.  Tastes ok, but I think it needs some ice cream and Ameretto.  Since I can not have either, this will have to do as a sweet snack.  It does not photograph well so I will leave you with the recipe.  I would imagine the next time I make this it will be with modifications!

  • 4 Bananas
  • Recipe called for 1/4 cup Olive Oil.  I used Coconut Cooking Spray.
  • Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsn vanilla
  • 1 tspn cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray cooking oil in a baking dish.  Slice bananas in half and place cut side down.  Squeeze juice over bananas and add the vanilla.  Then sprinkle with the lemon rind and add the cinnamon.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

I also have my cranberry scones in the freezer, Honey Crisp slices, homemade granola and Blood Oranges.

Enjoy!

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Paleo Week 2 – Day 2 l Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

CrossFit Workouts:

Monday, I was in search of my 1 rep max for back squats, #115.  Tonight, I was in search of my 1 rep max for bench press.  Unfortunately, my shoulder is still not right and I can not bear a lot of weight.  This weight is pretty light for me, 95lbs, but until I can get my shoulder right it is what it is.

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Paleo Week 2 l Jeri’s Corner: Fitness and Food

Eating Paleo

One week down!  Other than not being able to eat potato chips, cookies, bread, cheese, pastries…I am feeling good.  Below is what I have planned to eat this week.

Vegetable Omelet

  • 3/4 cup egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of chopped peppers various colors
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and sliced
  • Left over cooked pork chorizo, chopped and add to omelet before folding
  • 1/2 Orange

The omelet was seasoned with red pepper, garlic powder and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Vegetable Omelet

Vegetable Omelet

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 bunch scallions, green and white parts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded carrots
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tblsn Olive oil

Cut flowers off of the head.  Use a chopper to reduce the flowers until it resembles rice.  You can use any type of vegetables in your fried rice.  Saute scallions  and carrots, medium heat, for about 5 to 7 minutes and then add the ‘rice’, high heat, until you brown most of the cauliflower.

In a separate pan or steamer, prepare your shrimp.  I sprinkled the paprika, garlic and onion powder over them to prepare them for the stir fry.  Once cooked place to the side.

You can scramble the egg in a separate pan or cook it with the ‘rice’ while you are browning.  To do this just move everything to one side of the pan and pour the scrambled egg mixture in and cook.

Once cauliflower is browned add in the egg and shrimp stir everything together and it is complete.  I did purchase a hot chili oil that I lightly sprinkled over the rice for an added kick and moisture.

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower

Shrimp Fried Cauliflower

Meatloaf and Vegetables

  • 1 pound ground beef, you can use what you like
  • 1 8oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4 yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion sliced
  • 1 tblsn garlic powder, thyme, oregano, celery salt
  • 2 of each, red, yellow and green peppers sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tspn olive oil

Mix together: ground beef, tomato sauce, garlic, thyme, oregano and celery salt.  Mold into the shape of meatloaf.  Spread the tomato past over the top.  I did sprinkle a bit of the oregano, garlic and parsley on the top.  Oven at 375, 45-60 minutes.

For the vegetables, I just added some olive oil to the pan to saute all the pepper and onion for about 15 minutes.  Long enough to take some of the crunch out.  As I am posting this, it occurred to me that I forgot to add the broccoli into the mix.  So this will be another side to this meal!

Meatloaf and Vegetables

Meatloaf and Vegetables

For my snacking moments I prepared more cranberry/orange scones, sliced apples, oranges, unsalted pistachios and almonds.

CrossFit workouts will begin tomorrow as Sunday is my day of rest.

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