On getting your kitchen ready…
On the buddy system…
On handling social drinking…
On having a contingency plan…
Imagine a Paleo chef cooking you plates of amazing food each week – a variety of high-quality, sustainably-raised meats, locally-sourced vegetables, scrumptious snacks, and the most amazing bacon you’ve ever tasted – and all you’d have to do is place your order online.
Go ahead. I’ll wait as you wipe the drool off your keyboard.
If you’re in California, this daydream can actually be a reality, and Pete’s Paleo – owned by Pete and Sarah Servold – is the company making it happen. They ship all over the state or deliver to different local businesses here in the San Diego area. For those of you outside California, don’t despair! Pete’s is planning to expand into a national program soon. Score! Watch their website for more details, and get on their mailing list.
Back to the food…and let me tell you, it’s delicious. Ever since Pete’s started offering delivery to Invictus Fitness, the CrossFit gym I train at, I’d been curious about ordering. I love to cook and create recipes of my own, but sometimes even I need a break! Having someone cook for me – especially awesome Paleo food – is rare, so I decided to treat myself with an order from Pete’s. That’s right…some girls pamper themselves with new clothes or a mani-pedi, but I do it with food! It couldn’t be easier to order: after a few clicks on their site, my order was placed and all I had to do was wait. Pete’s lets you customize your order by selecting the number of meals (5 or 10 plus snacks), or adding extra veggies or protein for an additional charge.
I excitedly opened my order on Thursday to find the drool-worthy menu and neatly labeled individual bags with tasty bites tucked inside. Each component – meat, veggies and snacks – is separately packed in vacuum-sealed pouches to keep it fresh and can be frozen as well…ultra-convenient if you are going out of town or want to stock up.
Even though I love to cook, I often find myself rotating through the same meats and veggies. Hello, food rut! One of the things I appreciated the most about Pete’s was the variety: grass-fed beef; chicken, duck and turkey; pork and lamb; game meat like elk and bison; and seafood all make their way onto the menu. Produce is no different with a wide array that is mindful of seasonality and freshness.
Not only that, but Pete’s culinary training clearly shines through in the masterful combination of flavors, perfectly adjusted seasonings and well-executed cooking techniques – all the meats were fork tender and succulent, for example. Perhaps the crown jewel in Pete’s menu is his sugar and nitrate/nitrite-free bacon. I know, I know…many of you will claim allegiance to other brands or suppliers but I must say, I’ve never had any quite like this. It was perfectly seasoned and subtly smoky and rendered so the fat layers were light and crispy. Heaven.
Mmmmm. Now I’m hungry again.
Definitely go check out Pete’s Paleo’s site. I dare your mouth not to water!
Recently I took a Saturday morning off (no training, slept in late) and met my friend Jaimie in downtown SD for the Little Itay Farmer’s Market (Mercato). It’s great to see so many farmer’s markets (FM) popping up around the county. We’ve had Hillcrest, OB, etc for what seems like a while, but now I’ve noticed them in some more out-of-the-way locations (okay, I will not rant about how unhealthy 95% of the offerings are at the closest FM to me).
There was lots to feast my eyes on–and some stuff I’d never buy–but I came away with some great finds anyway, knowing my Suzie’s Farm CSA box was on its way in a couple days. These are a few of my favorite things (a la Julie Andrews):
Happy Pantry is a SD company specializing in pickled and fermented products. They had a huge selection on hand, and I was most excited about their sauerkraut and kimchi!
I’d been super interested in fresh sauerkraut since reading the Balanced Bites article on the topic: sold! I picked up a jar of their juniper berry/caraway seed sauerkraut and the spicy Korean-style kimchi. Both were phenomenal! Bonus: Mark, the owner, will give you $1 off your next purchase if you return the canning jar
Next, I hit up the Salt Farm, drawn over to their booth by their spread of beautiful finishing salt blends. So many flavors caught my eye (natural, infused, blended or smoked). They offer containers of a couple different sizes and combinations. I opted for the 3-pack of small vials and chose Smoke Paprika, Chipotle and Bonfire-7 wood smoked. So far, they’ve been a delicious addition to meats, eggs and vegetables.
Get out and hit up your local FM…go for in-season produce, fresh eggs, and quality sources of protein if you’re lucky enough to have any participating meat CSAs. Try something new. Explore. Life’s too short to only eat bananas and apples!
One of Coronado’s nicest restaurants with a view of the San Diego skyline is Candela’s, and now it’s gone next-level with the addition of a Paleo menu supplement with a Mexican flair like that of the restaurant’s original offerings. This is a huge step forward for the local Paleo scene (now we just need a Paleo coffeehouse in downtown…hmmm maybe a new business venture for me?!). To make the deal even sweeter, Candela’s is offering 20% off the Paleo menu bill until 9/18 if you mention you are from a local CrossFit affiliate so get on down there before the week is up!
My goal isn’t to review the restaurant as a whole but rather to show some of the Paleo menu offerings and make a few comments. Will I go back? For a special occasion…sure! I rarely eat out anymore (cheaper and healthier to eat at home and frankly, I love to cook).
I ordered the Raspberry Salad, Duck Tacos and Coconut Creme Brûlée. The salad…decently tasty, but I was honestly salivating over my friends’ choice of the Avocado Soup (I snagged a spoonful to taste, and it was divine…rich, creamy and flavorful).
The main course of Duck Tacos was filling and tasty, the jicama slices substituting well as tortillas. The meat was nicely spiced (though maybe a tiny bit on the dry side), and the sweetness of the pineapple and flavor compliment provided by the onion rounded out the flavors. As for the nopales salad…first time I’ve ever had nopales (sliced cactus pads), and I wasn’t prepared for the texture (a little like cooked okra), but it was interesting to try something new.
I of course partook in the dessert offering of Coconut Creme Brûlée. It’s sweetened crust of honey and coconut (crispy and topped with fresh raspberries) was the crown over a the deliciously rich creme. I savored every single bite since dessert is a rarity these days for me.
With the 20% discount, my bill (no alcoholic beverages…just sparkling water for me) totaled about $27 for the three courses, which I’d gladly pay again for a nice dinner out to celebrate something special. Not having to worry about the menu choices or how I would modify a dish to suit my Paleo way of eating was a welcomed change. Here’s hoping Candela’s continues to offer their Paleo menu and even expands upon it in the future. In the meantime, check them out on the lovely island of Coronado.