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Seared Fish, Garlic Roasted Leeks & Potatoes with Celery & Olive Salad


i haven’t cooked crap for the last year. obviously. crickets. cooking for the week feels like a chore, and i really stopped enjoying cooking. it’d take a solid hour to write a menu, and make a shopping list. then, off to the grocery store to fight the checkout lanes with grumpy biddies–who argue about bogos and .30/lb bananas. and also, the cashiers–they ask too many questions. i don’t want to tell you what i’m doing this weekend! and finally, i’d spend 3-4 hours cooking meals for the week, and another hour cleaning the damn dishes.


enter blue apron. i read about blue apron somewhere on the interwebz. they make your menu, and send all the ingredients, pre-portioned. all you do it cook it and clean it up. so check and check. also, three more checks: 1. pre-portioned means i won’t overeat, 2. new and cool ingredients that i don’t usually buy (so new! so shiny!), and 3. vegetables (i don’t eat enough of ’em). i had to try it out.


blue apron is not sponsoring this post, nor did they pay me or send me any food. i paid full price for this. anyway.


you get an email each week showing the 3 meals they’re sending (with the option to skip if they look blah). it costs $9.99 per person, per meal (shipping included). which is kind of a lot, but since we’ve been eating out more and more often, spending either the same of more for kinda crappy food, i felt validated (i mean yeahhh, there’s chipotle, but i get sick of it.). this works really well as a supplement to the quick & easy stuff i usually do each week (eggs, oatmeal, etc.).


my first shipment came friday. we got home from the gym around 8:30 that night, and found these giant boxes sitting at our door. i opened it up, and everything i needed for making 3 curated meals (including the step-by-step recipes) was included–except cooking fat, pepper, and salt. it was freaking adorbs. everything was labeled, and you get all these cute bottles and containers. i got pretty excited. it was weird.

blue apron


there was this fish dish, an asian chicken with rice and ponzu, and pork chop croque monsieur with a bacon and radish salad.


it was all sooooo good.


the first thing i made was fish with roasted leeks & potatoes, and a celery, parsley & olive salad (more like a garnish salad, not a side-dish salad). it sounded pretty fancy pants, but look about 40 minutes total (potatoes took forever, i should have cut them smaller.), and clean up was not bad at all. i bought the 3 meals for 4 people subscription, hoping i could squeak out 3 meals–one big one for b and 2 normal ones for me. so that’s why you see 2 of everything above.


fish. love. roasted anything…again, totally love. but a salad made of mostly celery and parsley, i was turning my nose up at it. to me, parsley tastes like dirt and celery just isn’t something i like in salad–it reminds me of health food. but truly, honestly…this salad was amazing. i will make the taters & leeks, and salad again for sure.


i made a few adjustments to the recipe, so here’s what went down in its entirety.


these photos come courtesy of my iphone 4 (i left my camera at the gym). sorry y’all.




for the garlic roasted leeks & potatoes

  • 1-1/2 pounds of fingerling potatoes, cut in half (the smaller you cut them, the faster they’ll cook)
  • 4 leeks, trimmed of tops and roots, cut into strips and washed well
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • butter, olive oil for drizzling
  • salt
  • 1 t piment d’Espelette (or red chili flakes and some paprika mixed together)




preheat your oven to 400ºF.


line a baking sheet with foil. lightly drizzle the foil with olive oil.



add the potatoes and leeks to the pan. top with garlic, lemon zest, dots of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. sprinkle with piment d’Espelette and be generous with the salt.


cover with a piece of foil. roast for 15 minutes. remove the foil and roast for another 10-15 minutes. make sure the potatoes are soft!


meanwhile, we’ll make the salad…




for the celery and olive salad

  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 16 kalamata olives, chopped
  • 5-6 sprigs of parsley, minced
  • juice of 1 to 1-1/2 lemons
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt, to taste (remember, olives are salty (i forgot))




in a bowl, combine all the ingredients. toss to combine. taste and adjust seasoning. place in the fridge until ready to serve.




for the fish

  • 4 filets of firm white fish (cod and mahi are my faves-easy to cook (and not overcook))
  • 1 t butter and 1 t olive oil for the pan
  • 1 t piment d’Espelette (or red chili flakes and some paprika mixed together)
  • salt, to taste


for the fish


once the potatoes are about ready to come out, start the fish.


heat a (non-stick!!) saute pan over medium heat. melt your fat. sprinkle the fish filets with spices and salt. saute until done in the center, about 3 minutes on one side, and 2 minutes on the other.



Chili, Garlic, Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes


I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted anything–and I don’t really see that changing much in the future. A few reasons why: a.) We’ve got our fingers crossed that our CrossFit gym will f.i.n.a.l.l.y. be open by the end of November, which means virtually zero time logged in the kitchen and b.) I’ve been doing a lot of reading and I’m pretty much “out of love” with the Paleo Diet, the circle jerks, the zealots, and the “true believers” that go along with it. Honestly, I’m not sure where I am with it, regarding this website.

I’m a chronic self-experminter when it comes to diet and I most certainly don’t mean detoxes, deprivation or 30-day challenges–extremes that go hand-in-hand with Paleo. Neither of us believe in that–and we wrote about it on our book. I mean looking at what people with differing opinions have to say about food, diet, performance, quality of life, etc. and I plan on writing about what I’ve been eating and reading, probably next week.


  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • ~2 t chili powder
  • ~½ t granulated garlic
  • salt
  • neutral-tasting oil (high-oleic sunflower oil or butter would work great)


Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Place sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet, topped with a silicone mat, and toss with lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and about 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Add enough so it looks like everybody is coated well.

Cook, undisturbed, until the sweet potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside–stirring around every 15 minutes–for about 30-45 minutes total–depending on how small your sweet potatoes are.

Once the sweet potatoes are done, place them in a serving bowl, and toss with the reserved lime zest and taste for flavor–usually needs a bit of salt.

Salads Sides

Cheap, Easy & Fast Green Salad


Warning. Turn back if offended by the use of some parmesan cheese as a way to make green things taste better.

Read more about how dairy fits into a paleo-friendly lifestyle here:

The CrossFit Journal posted a supposedly “kid-friendly” recipe for steamed kale. Here ya go:

You can just scroll to around 4:20 and watch the young lady on the right. She doesn’t say anything about what she thinks, she lets her face do all the talking. Poor thing. I couldn’t help but giggle. I don’t think she’ll be asking for seconds.

Maybe this recipe isn’t kid-friendly either. I didn’t feed it any, so I don’t really know. But as someone who will only eat vegetables when they’re drowning in bacon fat or a derivative there of, and as someone who’s really just a child trapped inside a 28 year old’s body, it gets my stamp of approval.


  • 1 large bag of pre-cut kale (some stores sell this in 1 lb packages, some in 12 ounce, doesn’t really matter)
  • couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • couple handfuls of pre-grated parmesan cheese (feta works well too)
  • couple pinches of red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste


Pick through the bag of kale; removing any stem pieces and tearing any large leaves into tiny, more manageable pieces. Place the torn leaves in a large bowl.

Drizzle in a bit of olive oil–just enough to get all the leaves coated (doesn’t take much). Use your hands to massage the oil into the leaves. Once you notice the kale’s volume diminish by about a third, you’re done. Now add in the lemon juice, salt, red pepper flakes and parm. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust however you’d like.

Pop in the fridge to chill and serve cold.


Roasted Fennel Mashed Faux-tatoes

Things have been turned upside down here in the HB household. Brandon gave his two week notice (two weeks ago) and I’ve stopped taking on new web projects–and we both started our new full time careers at Carolina CrossFit this past Monday–exciting (but slightly nerve wracking) experience.

So we’re now leaving the house late afternoon in order to get in a workout before PM classes start, and then we’re there until well past standard supper time. So, this weekend, we really focused on getting a ton of food made and stocked so we could just re-heat and eat when we got home.

Besides the standard boiled eggs, we really tried to focus on actually making bits and pieces of meals; things we could throw together in a couple different combinations–as repetition is the enemy of my taste buds. With a little more finessing, hopefully this “cook up” will be something we’re able to organize and put together for the site every week.


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • fat of choice
  • 1 cup chicken or veggie stock
  • salt & pepper


Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Remove the stem & cut the cauliflower into rough florets, then cut the fennel into rough chunks. Lay veggies and garlic on a baking sheet and toss in your fat of choice (melted, if necessary). Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. Make sure you peek in on the garlic, as it may brown up faster than the cauli & fennel.

Place the roasted cauliflower, fennel and garlic in a blender. Add the stock about 1/4 cup at a time and blend until a thick puree has formed. If you add too much stock at one time, you may end up with soup–which isn’t a horrendous problem, but it may not be the result you were after.


Roasted & Marinated Mushrooms

I love marinated _______. Seriously, fill in the blank with any run of the mill vegetable and suddenly, I’m all over it. Asparagus, artichokes, eggplant, olives and mushrooms. Love them. So with that, I’ve taken what’s probably a pretty standard idea, and tossed in a little twist. Most marinated mushrooms come off as a bit slimy to me; like they never really absorb any of the marinade they sit in. Do you know what I mean? So, I popped those suckers in the oven to help alleviate the slimy situation.


  • 1 lb various mushrooms (I used a 25/75 combo of shiitake and button)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 3 T vinegar (red wine or champagne would work best)
  • 1/2 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 T fresh oregano
  • 1 T fresh thyme


Preheat your oven to 300°F.

Coat mushrooms with some olive oil and salt. Place on a baking sheet and roast until brown, about 20 minutes.

Add all ingredients into a bowl. Stir everything around a bit.

Let marinate in the fridge at least until everything is cold, but preferably overnight.

Pork Sides

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Fries

paleo bacon wrapped sweet potato fries

[updated from 08/19/2010]

Mmmmmm, bacon candy canes. This could be a side dish or a meal all on it’s own, who am I to say?


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into matchsticks about the width of your pinky finger.
  • 8 oz bacon, don’t use thick cut


Get your oven to 425°F and place your oven rack in the center of the oven. Slice each piece of bacon in half, lengthwise and then in half, widthwise. So you’ll have 4 strips cut from 1 piece of bacon. Wrap 1 strip of bacon around 1 matchstick sweet potato. Lay on a baking sheet that’s been lined with a silicone pat or parchment paper. Repeat until all the bacon is gone. If you have left over sweet potatoes, toss ’em on the pan too, they’ll cook beautifully in all the rendered bacon fat. Bake for 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes feel soft. Then turn the oven to broil and let the tops get crispy.

Optional: Serve with the dressing (minus the vinegar) from Chipotle Slaw


Paleo Pad Thai

paleo pad thai

I hadn’t made this recipe since we originally published it back in September of 2010…but I still agree with my 2010 self when I said, “This has to be one of my all-time favorite recipes.”  Zucchinis are pretty tasteless on their own, so a strongly flavored sauce as the base, and a texture that isn’t quite noodle-like, but seemingly similar, makes this dish work really, really well. For kids (the picky ones that don’t like the color green in their food), you could peel the zucchini, then proceed with the rest of the recipe, and I betcha they wouldn’t even realize these aren’t real noodles.


  • 1/4 c fat (butter or coconut oil)
  • 2-3 zucchinis
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 T almond butter
  • 1 T chili garlic sauce
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • s&p


If you have a mandoline, get it out and start slicing the zuchinnis lengthwise. If you don’t have one, you can get one on the cheap at TJ Maxx or you can get it from Amazon or you can use a knife to slice the zukes as thinly as you can (lengthwise). Slice the slices into thin strips, just like the shape of a spaghetti noodle. Another option, for speed, lack of the proper tools or sheer laziness, you can just chop the zukes into chunks. Not quite the same effect, but same flavor.

Over medium heat, melt your fat of choice. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger, until soft. Add the fish sauce, chili sauce, vinegar, lime juice, almond butter and a bit of salt. Stir to combine.

Add the zuke noodles to the saute pan. Stir them around to get the sauce incoporated onto the “zoodles”. The point here is get the zoodles hot and very slightly cooked through (just like an al dente noodle!), about 10 minutes.

Serve hot. Any kind of grilled or pan seared meat or seafood would go really well with this.

Sides Snacks

Roasted Balsamic Acorn Squash

roasted balsamic acorn squash

Oh my gosh, I love this squash. I wish I could pick the pieces off the screen and put them into my mouth. I miss it. I was literally scraping every last bit of squash into my mouth. It wasn’t pretty.


  • 1 acorn squash
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • red pepper/chili flakes
  • 1/3 c balsamic vinegar


Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Line a baking sheet with a silicon liner, silpat or parchment paper.

Slice the acorn squash into circles. Slice the circles into half moons. Remove the seeds either via knife, spoon or hand.

Douse squash half moons in olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes.

Place in the oven and bake until tender, about 15 minutes, under tender, but not mushy.

While the squash is baking, pour the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pot and heat to a simmer. Let the vinegar reduce by at least half. The goal is a syrupy consistency. You won’t necessarily be able to see that consistency while the pot is over heat, so if you think it’s reduced enough, take it off the heat and while it cools you should be able to see it thickening. If it’s not thickening, give it some more time over the heat.

Do NOT put your face over the top of the vinegar while it’s reducing. The vinegar releases some kind of horribly bothersome vapor. Not fun.

Drizzle the reduced vinegar over the squash.


Green (Not Bean) Casserole

Green bean casserole, you know the culprit–canned food mixed together and baked. Oddly enough, I think it may be the only holiday dish that’s made the same way by all regions of the U.S. No? It’s pretty tasty, I suppose, but a fresh, homemade version is all the more tasty. Leaving out the green beans and substituting fresh kale, along with a rich, mushroom sauce, helps this dish come out of its shell…errrrr, can.


  • 1 lb kale, cleaned and torn into bite size pieces
  • 2 T fat of choice (we used butter)
  • 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 c raw cream
  • ½ yellow onion finely sliced (a mandoline would work best here)
  • ¼ c fat of choice
  • s & p


Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

Melt your fat of choice in a saute pan, over medium low heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic and diced onion. Let them sweat out together until the mushrooms have released all their liquid, said liquid has evaporated, and the shrooms have started to brown.

While that’s going, set a pot of salted water on the stove and bring the water to a bowl. Toss in the kale. Set up a large bowl full of ice water. Once the kale is almost cooked through, about 15 minutes, place it into the ice water. This is called blanching, the ice water step is very important because it will keep the kale a bright emerald green, otherwise it’ll turn blah. Once the kale is cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the thoroughly dried kale in a casserole dish.

Once the mushrooms, onion, garlic mixture is where you want it, add it to a food processor and pulse it into a paste. Put the paste make into the saute pan. Add the cream and let it cook and reduce for about 5 minutes. Pour this mixture into the casserole dish.

Mix everything together and stick in the oven until you see the sides of the casserole dish get bubbly.

While that’s cooking, we’re going to fry some onions. Wipe out the shroom, cream, onion saute pan and melt about ¼ c fat of choice over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown. Place the onions on top of the casserole and serve.


Thanksgiving Stuffing Hushpuppies

Stuffing is my most favoritest (I know this isn’t a word, but I want to illustrate my favoritism) part of Thanksgiving. My mom is the stuffing queen. Homemade bread, homemade chicken stock and a butt load of butter. Doesn’t get much better (and yes I will be eating it this year, and next year and the year after that, and no I won’t feel guilty). It seems a lot of Paleo stuffing recipes don’t really get the ‘stuffing’ part of stuffing correct, in my opinion. Stuffing is carby, starchy, bready, and rich. Taking that away does not a stuffing make. So is this VLC/low-carb friendly? Hell no. But we don’t always see carbs as a bad thing, and if you’re active, neither should you. If you’re looking for a Paleo-friendly stuffing option, that’s fun and resembles the texture and flavor of traditional stuffing, then this should be right up your alley.


  • 4 green plantains
  • 2 celery stalks, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T dried sage or poultry seasoning
  • ¼ c fat of choice, melted (we used butter)
  • s & p
  • 2 c frying fat (non-hydrogenated palm oil and/or coconut oil will work best)


In a large pot, bring some salted water to a boil.

Get the plantains peeled by:

  1. cutting off the tops and bottoms
  2. score the peel lengthwise, through to the flesh
  3. use your fingers to pry under the score marks and peel off the…peel

If this sounds confusing, watch this video. It’s dull and slow, but should help illustrate what I’m trying to say.

Plop the plantains in the water and boil under tender, about 10 minutes.

In a saute pan, melt a few tablespoons of fat over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and onion. Saute until cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add the saute mixture, plantains, eggs, sage, and fat of choice to a food processor and blend until smooth. The batter will be sticky.

In a 1 or 1 ½ quart sauce pot melt the 2 cups of frying fat. If you have a candy/oil thermometer, you’ll need to make sure the temperature is at least 300ºF, or the stuffing hushpuppies will not hold together in the oil. If you don’t have a thermometer, good luck. Okay not really, but you should seriously think about getting one. You’ll have to guess at the heat by looking for bubbles.

Using a scooper or spoon, portion out about ½ a tablespoon worth of hushpuppy batter and drop it into the oil. You can probably fit about 4-6 hush puppies at a time, so you’ll be doing this in batches. Fry until golden brown. Serve immediately.