Thursday, June 28, 2012

Paleo Eats Out in Atlanta

Most of the time I am really commited to eating my meals at home so that I am in charge of the ingredients, but sometimes this cavegirl needs a break. I am here to tell you that it isn't that hard to eat a mostly paleo meal out, as long as you put your brain to it. So in this post, I'll share some of my recent eats out in Atlanta and a few tips and tricks I use when eating out.

First of all, I always try to research the menu before I venture out. If you can look at the menu ahead of time, you can decide what you are going to have before you set foot in the door. It helps me to have a paleo plan ready so that I am not tempted by all of the grain and sugar filled distractions on the menu. I use the Urbanspoon App on my phone quite often to find restaurants, and a Google search is always the all-knowing fallback. I have even typed in "paleo eats in (insert city)" and wound up with great results.

Mot recently that same Google search led me to Farmburger in Atlanta. I grew up in Atlanta and I also went to culinary school there, but I have since moved away, and I always enjoy a trip back. Farmburger is a new restaurant with a location in Decatur and in Buckhead that offers grassfed beef and local produce. It is a casual place where you place you order at a counter, and you can customize your burger with any number of gourmet toppings. In particular, a few toppings popped out at me: fried local eggs, porkbelly and ROASTED BONE MARROW. Can you say paleo heaven?

Both me and my man opted to build our perfect paleo burger on top of a salad made with local greens, squash, radishes and onions and tossed in the mustard seed vinaigrette. We topped our delicous grassfed beef patties with a fried local egg, porkbelly and tomato, and we also added a roasted bone marrow to our plate. YUM! We will be back! What a great date for this cave-couple!

The next morning we decided to go for a late breakfast at The Flying Biscuit. I love this place despite the fact that their claim to fame is a grain-filled "gutbuster" because they have awesome scrambles. My man ordered the special scramble of the day which had chicken, peppers, onions and spinach with fruit on the side and an order of turkey bacon. I opted for the veggie scramble with mushrooms, peppers, onions and spinach with fruit on the side with an order of chicken sausage. When the food arrived, we ignored all onlookers and split everything down the middle, enjoying the best of both worlds. As a sidenote, our server was great and paid attention to our special orders and did not bring us the complimentary biscuits as we requested. Both me and my man work in the restaurant industry and we appreciated his excellent tableside manner and attentiveness.... wish I could remember his name to give him a shout-out.

I am traveling across the country next week to Portand, so make sure to check back for some more paleo eats out! I am so excited to share with you the restaurants I have researched!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Favorite Roasted Tomatoes

This dish is so simple, I hesitate to even call it a recipe. But it is AMAZING. I swear, you have never tasted a better tomato.

First step: Buy lots of tomatoes. Use any kind you like: roma, heirloom, grape, cherry, canned San Marzano – doesn’t matter. Splurge on organic if possible, but if not, just wash with regular tap water like Mark Sisson recently suggested.

Second Step: Lay tomatoes in a glass baking dish. Quarter larger tomatoes, but you can leave small grape or cherry tomatoes whole. Dot the top with a healthy fat

The fat you use is flexible. Grassfed butter is delicious and highly nutritious, and I like to use a big hunk from my grassfed butter from Happy Cow  that I buy at the All Local Farmers Market. If you don’t do dairy, like my little bro who is allergic, use virgin coconut oil or lard.

Third Step: Season. At the bare minimum use sea salt and fresh ground pepper. If you are feeling fancy, add a few other spices to your tastes. Right now I like a blend of paprika, dried thyme, dried oregano, granulated garlic, and a generous amount of my favorite Italian seasoning grinder. This time I also used a special Rosemary Sea Salt that I picked up from the farmer’s market as well. By the way, I don't measure... more utensils to wash! Just sprinkle evenly. 

Fourth Step: Roast low and slow for 4 hours at 300 F. Toss the tomatoes around a few times during cooking to encourage even caramelization. You definitely want the tops to blacken…they are not burnt though… that’s flavor baby!

 I make this recipe weekly in bulk, and then I use it in as many dishes as I want as an incredibly rich ingredient. I store them in a recycled jar in the fridge. You will likely see them referenced often!
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