Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu Suggestions

Your 2010 Thanksgiving Menu

by CrossFit Central's Crystal Nelson (Thanks for sharing Crystal!)

Thanksgiving is approaching fast and it is important to start thinking about what you are going to be eating on what is typically the biggest "pig-out" day of the year (minus the Superbowl). Here is my 2010 Thanksgiving Menu so that you can enjoy a healthy, tasty, appealing Thanksgiving weekend. Your family and friends will not even notice the difference in these dishes!! It is so EASY to eat clean, I have given you a lot to choose from. Here are the options!


Shrimp Cocktail
Stuffed Party Mushrooms

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Hot Cocoa

Beef Tenderloin
Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Butter

Brussels Sprouts with browned butter and hazelnuts
Mashed Parsnips
Lemon Butter Asparagus
Maple-Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes
Spicy Parmesan Green Bean and Kale
Orange Scented Broccoli and Cauliflower

Pumpkin Nut Muffins
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Peach Crumble

Now pick your favorites!! You should have PLENTY of choices and new dishes.

Shrimp Cocktail


Cocktail Sauce
½ C Ketchup (homemade or Organic)
About 1 Tb of horseradish (this depends on your taste, I like extra!)
14 oz shelled and deviened cooked shrimp


In a small bowl, combine ketchup and horseradish, mix well. Cover, refrigerate until serving time to blend flavors.
Arrange on shrimp on a serving tray, cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Stuffed Party Mushrooms


1 lb of medium sized whole fresh mushrooms
¼ C grated Parmeggiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
¼ C almond flour
¼ C finely chopped onion
½ tsp dried oregano leaves
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush or wipe mushrooms with damp cloth. Remove stems from mushrooms; set caps aside. Finely chop mushroom stems.
In a medium bowl, combine chopped stems and all remaining ingredients; mix well. Press mixture firmly into mushrooms caps, mounding on top. Place in ungreased 13X9 inch pan. ( You can cover and refrigerate at this point for up to 4 hours. Then bake when ready.)
Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm.


Pumpkin Spice Latte


2 TB pumpkin puree (canned or made all by yourself)
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
Tall/small coffee

Mix together and enjoy your creamy, perfectly spiced drink with a kick.

Hot Cocoa


1 rounded tsp Dutch process cocoa powder
2-4 Tb heavy cream or full fat coconut milk
Hot water, not quite boiling
1 tsp or less sugar or maple syrup (optional)
Servings: 1 Drink

Place cocoa powder in a mug and break up any firm lumps with the back of a spoon. Add the cream and coconut milk to the cocoa powder and stir to create a paste or slurry. Pour in a few tablespoons of hot water and stir to blend. Add more hot water to fill mug and stir well. If sweetening the hot cocoa, sweetener may be added at any time.
If cocoa doesn’t dissolve well, try again adding 2 Tb of hot water to cocoa and stirring first, before adding the cream and the rest of the water.


Roasted Beef Tenderloin

4 ½ to 5 pound beef tenderloin roast
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove excess surface fat and connective tissue from roast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Turn thin ends under; brush with melted butter. Insert meat thermometer so bulb reaches center of thickest part of meat. Do not add water or cover.
Bake at 425 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 140 degrees. To serve, cut into slices across grain of meat.

Rosemary Roasted Pork Tenderloin


5 tsp Olive Oil
1 (3/4 lb) pork tenderloin
1 Tb chopped fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp salt
¼ tsp coarse ground black pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat 2 tsp of the olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add pork tenderloin; cook until golden brown on all sides.
Place pork tenderloin in ungreased shallow baking pan. In small cup, combine remaining 3 tsp of oil, rosemary and garlic; mix well. Brush rosemary mixture over pork tenderloin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake at 425 degrees for 18 to 25 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in center. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into slices.

Roasted Turkey Breast with Herb Butter (compliments of Mark’s Daily Apple)

4-5 pound bone-in turkey breast
3 Tb unsalted butter
1 Tb finely chopped fresh sage
1 Tb fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp pepper
1 tsp. salt
`1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 C chicken or turkey broth
Servings: 6
Preheat oven 425 degrees
Gently melt butter with the herbs, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add the garlic. Gently pull the skin away from the turkey meat and drizzle a little bit of butter under the skin. Drizzle or brush the rest of the butter over the top of the turkey.

Roast the turkey uncovered in a roasting pan for 45 minutes. Then, add the broth to the pan and continue to roast until the temperature of the turkey reaches 165-170, about another 45 minutes. If the skin on the top of the turkey begins to get too dark, lightly cover it with foil.

Remove the turkey from the oven and pour any liquid into a sauté pan. Simmer the liquid on the stove for several minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Slice the turkey off the bone, drizzle turkey juices on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Brussel Sprouts with browned butter and hazelnuts


3 Tb butter, unsalted
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
¼ C chopped hazelnuts
3 Tb Water
Servings: 4

Positions rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450 degrees
Place butter on a rimmed baking pan that is large enough for the Brussels sprouts to roast in a single layer or else they will steam instead of roasting if too crowded. Roast until the butter is melted, browned and fragrant, 4-6 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven; toss the Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts with the browned butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Return to the oven and roast for 7 minutes. Remove briefly and sprinkle with water; toss, then continue roasting until the sprouts are tender and lightly browned; about 7-9 minutes more.

Mashed Parsnips


2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 C chicken broth
Salt and butter to taste
¼ C of Cream (optional)
¼ tsp nutmeg and cinnamon (optional)
Servings: 2-4
In a deep pan, combine parsnips with chicken broth and 1 ½ C water. With a lid on, simmer until very tender (about 15 minutes). Drain off broth and reserve it on the side. Mash parsnips with a fork or masher. Add broth and cream until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and butter to taste. Top with a pat of butter and if you wish, a dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Lemon Buttered Asparagus


1 lb fresh asparagus spears
3 Tb butter
1 Tb lemon juice
½ tsp grated lemon peel

Snap off tough ends of asparagus. In large skillet, combine asparagus spears and ½ C water. Bring to a boil over medium heat cook 5 to 10 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt butter in small saucepan. Stir in lemon juice and lemon peel.
Place asparagus on serving platter; pour butter mixture over spears.

Maple-Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes

4 small dark-orange sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ¾ inch cubes (about 4 cups)
¼ C real maple syrup (optional)
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tb finely chopped walnuts

In large saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes, return to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 8 to 12 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Return sweet potatoes to saucepan or place in serving bowl.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine syrup and cinnamon; mix well. Add to sweet potatoes; toss gently to coat. Just before serving, sprinkle with walnuts.
Another option is to mash the sweet potatoes and mix in syrup, cinnamon, and walnuts.

Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale

6-8 Servings
3 Tb Olive Oil
1 medium onion, sliced
¼ lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 ½ lbs green beans, trimmed and cut in 1 inch pieces
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 bunch of kale, rinsed, stemmed, and coarsely chopped
2 Tb freshly squeeze lemon juice
3 Tb finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, green beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and the kale and continue cooking until the kale is wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Orange Scented Broccoli and Cauliflower


1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 navel orange, rind removed and reserved
Salt to taste
3 TB Olive Oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 Orange, juiced
2 scallions, sliced

Bring a couple inches of water to boil in a large skiller and add the florets, orange rind and salt. Cover and simmer until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain the broccoli and cauliflower, remove rind and transfer to a platter or bowl. Return pan to heat, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until soft, 2 to 4 minutes. Add broccoli and cauliflower and turn to coat. Squeeze the orange juice over the pan and toss veggies again. Season the orange scented broccoli and cauliflower with salt and pepper, to your taste. Garnish with sliced scallions.


Pumpkin Nut Muffins


½ C coconut flour, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves or 2 tsps pumpkin pie spice mixture instead of individual spices
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ C cooked pureed pumpkin
6 eggs, beaten
4 Tb coconut oil (or unsalted butter), gently melted
1/3 C pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B (or less) or honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ C coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
¾ C semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
Servings: 12


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Grease muffin pans very well or use aluminum disposable muffin liners. Using aluminum foil liners instead of paper liners also allows the muffins to sit unsupported on a sheet pan without a muffin tin. A double batch baked in aluminum liners will fit on a large sheet pan for easier and faster baking of larger quantities.
Sift coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices into small bowl. Stir to blend well and set aside.
Place pumpkin puree in a medium mixing bowl. One by one, crack the eggs into the bowl, mixing well with the pumpkin puree after each egg is added. Add melted coconut oil or butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly.
Add flour mixture to egg mixture and blend well with a whisk until most of the floury lumps have disappeared, but don’t stir more than necessary to blend. Gently fold in nuts, if using.
Spoon into greased muffin pan or cup liners to two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden brown on top and toothpick inserted into center of muffin is “clean” when removed.
Turn out and cool on wire rack. Serve or room temperature. No frosting needed.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie


1 cup Canned pumpkin Puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of sea salt
2 pinches of grated nutmeg
2 organic eggs
2 Tbsp grade B maple syrup (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut milk (full fat)


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Set a pot of water on to boil (enough water to fill the baking pan as directed below).

Combine pumpkin and all spices in one bowl.
In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs lightly then whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla and coconut milk.

Whisk the egg mixture into the pumpkin mixture until well combined.

Pour the custard into 6- 1/2 cup ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and add enough boiling water to the dish to come up 2" high around the ramekins. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean. (I'm pretty sure mine took a bit longer to bake, but it may be my oven!)

Serve warm or chilled. Serves 6.

Peach Crumble


4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced, or 3 cups frozen peach slices, thawed
2 C blanced almond flour
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ C grapeseed oil
1 Tb vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place peaches in an 8 inch baking dish.
For the topping, combine the almond flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until coarsely blended and crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Let the crumble cool for 30 minutes, then serve warm.

Nutrition Seminar

Whole9 | The  9 Blog

Melissa Urban (formerly Melissa Byers) and I used to blog at each others workout log on the CF Main Site message board back in 2008. She and her husband, Dallas, were in town at CF West Houston last May and I didn't get the chance to make it. They will be in town again on January 2011 to hold their second nutrition seminar in the Houston area. I will be attending their seminar package that weekend and will launch ACF's official PALEO CHALLENGE the following week. If you are interested please check out the registration below.

Saturday, Jan 8, 2011
9 AM - 5 PM
CrossFit West Houston
Houston, TX
Register for Whole9 Foundations of Nutrition Workshop -     CrossFit West Houston (Houston, TX) in Houston, TX  on Eventbrite

"But I'm just here to exercise" doesn't cut it anymore. We can't stress enough the importance of good nutrition. It takes a certain mindset and the discipline to carry on long-term of optimal nutritional habits and choices. It's not a quick fix, but check out THE WHOLE30 SUCCESS GUIDE. The holidays can be very challenging in the next month and a half, that is why ACF will start the challenge in January. Stay tuned for more details on the challenge later.....

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Simple Meal Ideas

Protein (/fat) = 2 Whole Eggs
Carbs = Cherry Tomatoes and Pineapple
Fat (/protein) =Yonder Way Farm Poorman's Bacon

Friday, November 12, 2010

Robb Wolf - The Paleolithic Solution Seminar

Grace, Patty, Nate and Tammi attended Robb Wolf's Paleolithic Solution Seminar on October 31, 2010 at CrossFit West Houston

Tammi and Robb
Grace and Robb
Nate ("nice shirt") and Tammi

Meal Ideas

Protein = Grass Fed Ground Meatballs
(mixed with whole eggs, pepper, italian seasoning and a dash of salt)
Carbs = Raspberries and romaine lettuce
Fat = 1 large whole avocado and 2 tbsp of olive oil

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's In Your Food Pyramid?

Below is the Food Pyramid guide followed by many in the CrossFit Community.:


It doesn't have to be this strict. The general rule of thumb is to limit consumption of non-favorable carbohydrates and others. Also, check out CrossFit Journal Issue 21 on Zone Meal Plans. Interestingly, there is a recently posted article below from Mark's Daily Apple on pyramids.

USDA Food Pyramid

Rejected Food Pyramids

The USDA recently released a report outlining dietary guidelines for 2010. While the new guide has not been finalized, one thing is for certain, the food pyramid is in need of an upgrade. The classic, 1992 food pyramid was scrapped five years ago. Apparently someone in the government figured out that 10 cups of grains a day was not solving the obesity epidemic. The 2005 food pyramid (shown right, click to enlarge) wasn’t much better, not so much a pyramid as a cacophony of clip art and food photos clustered under colorful disco rays. Seriously, the milk section includes transparent cheese. Is that a new Kraft product?

Fortunately, the USDA is currently accepting comments and opinions about their new health guideline. I am considering submitting my own pyramid for review. In preparation, the Worker Bees have collected other food pyramids submitted by various health professionals and concerned citizens. I have learned that all of the following have been rejected and will not be recommended as adequate diet guidelines for the average American, though several were heavily considered.

Keep reading…