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Blog Posts, Recipes

Paleo Challenge Day 8: Chopped

Jan 8, 2012 – Day 8
Brunch: scrambled eggs, bacon, salsa, turnip greens
Workout: shoulder press 85lbx5, 100lbx5, 115lbx10, then 50 chinups
Post-Workout: sweet potatoes, coconut-flour breaded chicken breast (see below)
Dinner: pork chop with roasted cauliflower (see below)
Second Dinner: pork chop with roasted cauliflower
Future baby chickens consumed: 5 (40 total)
Sweet potato body count: 2 (6 total)
Inhaler puffs: 0 (3 in past 7 days)

I didn’t cook that much before I started the Paleo Diet, but ever since then, I’ve found a new outlet for my creativity in food. And as a result, I’m obsessed with cooking shows, one of the best of which is called Chopped on Food Network. The premise is that chefs have to create a meal on the spot (each round is a different course) utilizing 4 mystery ingredients which may or many not go together. Duck breast, gummy bears, radish, and rice cakes, for example.

It dawns on me that I tend to this everyday. Despite being a bit of a foodie and enjoying cooking, my fridge is still decidedly bachelorish, partly because I buy about 90% fresh, but also because I’m lazy. A lot of my dinner inspirations come from random combinations of whatever meat and vegetables I have available anyway. And just the other day, I happened upon this, which (of course) I plan to use once a week in order to try some new meats and veggies, and to keep things slightly random. One can only eat *so* much Thai curry.

Winning dish from yesterday: Pork Chop and Garlic Cauliflower

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It was my first time ever cooking pork. Ever. I Googled a dozen websites and YouTube videos, and came up with the following; Heat some oil in a pan and turn the oven on broil. Sear pork chops for 2 minutes on each side, then add 1 tsp chopped garlic and a handful of partly-cooked cauliflower. Put it in the oven for 10 minutes, or until it’s browned on the top to your liking. Add a bunch of salt. Delicious!

Failing dish from yesterday: Chicken breast breaded in coconut flour
I had run out of eggs, so I neglected to use an actual egg wash batter for the chicken, instead pounding it flat with my new meat tenderizer / reflex hammer (probably my favorite Christmas gift in a long time), then patting it dry with coconut flour and cajun seasoning. I pan-seared it, but most of the flour came off and got way too burnt. The fire alarm in my condo may have gone off. Twice. Won’t make that mistake again.

Anybody have any bright ideas/uses for coconut flour that *don’t* involve vast amounts of smoke?

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