Monday, April 29, 2013

What I've Been Up To...

I haven't blogged in almost a year. Oops. But apparently people ( a few) have been viewing my page and instagram account (paleokatybird). I think I hesitate to blog because I over think the whole process. I think everything has to be perfect right from the start. Well, it doesn't. It just has to be a work in progress. I've probably said that before. Oh well.

I got engaged this year, and we moved to a small town in Virginia so that my fiance could start a new career. We miss our old farmer's market, we miss the grocery stores, and so much more. It's hard starting over in a new place, especially when you eat paleo. The town is so small that my only option was to take a job at a chain steakhouse. Belch. Needless to say, I don't like working there. It is the antithesis of paleo and real food eating. So to cope with the stress, we make really awesome paleo food when we are at home. I post quite frequently to instagram, because it's quick and easy, and my digital camera is sadly broken. We are a young couple starting out, so I spend money on healthy food, instead of fun cameras, so for now, you will just have to deal with my dinky iphone pictures. Forgive me. I am trying to get better at food-styling.

This is a salad that I have made over and over in the last few weeks. 

Although we live in a small town with regular grocery stores, we travel about once a week to a larger city to shop at Costco, Whole Foods, and Earth Fare. We got each other a Costco membership for our anniversary, and it is the best present, even if it isn't very romantic! The paleo finds at Costco are awesome. We buy frozen Wild Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, canned Wild Caught Tuna from Wild Planet, Olives, Almond Butter, Kerrygold Grassfed Butter, and veggies, both organic and conventional based on "The Clean Fifteen" and the "Dirty Dozen". You can make the above salad almost exclusively from items you can buy at Costco and feel good about.

Tandoori Salmon Salad

Serves 2

For the Salmon:

2 Thawed Portions of Costco's Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon,

3 Tablespoons of Kerrygold Butter

1 Tablespoon of Frontier Organic Tandoori Spice

Melt the Butter over medium high heat in a saute pan. Season the salmon (skin included) with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and Tandoori Spice. Once the butter is melted and bubbly, place the salmon in the pan skin side up. Cook for five minutes and flip. Cook the salmon to medium and serve next to avocado salad, and include the skin! It's packed with nutrition and it tastes great all crispy and covered in spices.

For the salad, dice one avocado and split between the two plates. Serve over mixed organic greens with a few julienne red onions. All of those, by the way, can be found at Costco. True story. Squeeze fresh lemon juice of the salad and salmon, then drizzle the salad with really good extra virgin olive oil. Make sure to sprinkle salad with sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper.

Lately we have been trying hard to eat a lot of wild caught fish. I am addicted to listening to The Paleo View Podcast, and Sarah Ballentine from The Paleo Mom suggested eating fatty fish from a good source at least three times a week. Costco is such a help in that department! Not only do they have canned tuna and frozen salmon, but I have also seen frozen cod, frozen flounder, frozen shrimp, canned sardines and canned sockeye salmon -- ALL WILD CAUGHT! Awesomesauce. Here are a few things we bought during one trip to the big city and nice grocery stores.

Speaking of missing home, one thing I really miss was my favorite lunch spot The Gourmet Shop. It was my favorite place to go with my mom. It's part fancy wine shop, part fancy cookware and gourmet foods shop, part cafe. It's in an eclectic part of downtown Columbia called Five Points, and it's awesome. I always order the same thing, and I've been going there for probably over 5 years: Tuna Salad served in a half a cantaloupe. Seems simple, and maybe a little strange, but it's pretty brilliant. I ordered it before I was paleo, and I can still order it now and not feel too bad about it.

I've been waiting for the stars to align to make my own completely paleo version. For my birthday, World Market sent me a $10 coupon, so I snagged a bottle of Avocado Oil. Epic paleo mayo ensued. I always use Nom Nom Paleo's recipe for a base, and then I flavor it with my own twists. I don't want homemade mayo to taste like the plain stuff in the jar - I want FLAVOR. This time I added smoked paparika, lots of cracked black pepper, a large spoonful of Annie's Naturals Organic Horseradish Mustard, and probably twice the amount of lemon juice in the original recipe, because I like it tangy.

I love homemade mayo. Go make some now. And then make this Tuna Salad:

Mix Together:

2 Cans of Wild Planet Tuna, or similar Wild Caught Canned Tuna
Diced Red Onion
Diced Green Pepper
3 Spoonfuls of Mayo, preferably homemade
Hymalayan Pink Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

To serve, cut a small cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Divide the tuna salad into each cantaloupe half, and serve with a light salad, like the simple avocado salad from above.

So I guess that's it for now. I'll work on making these posts a regular thing, because apparently I have people who want recipes from me. In the mean time, follow me on instagram at paleokatybird. 

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