A Taste of Summer-Lamb Burgers

burger 2

I am LOVING this Summer weather and these burgers! It seemed winter this year was a lot longer than usual and Summer is my favorite time of year so I have been itching to start cooking some fresh summer foods. Saturday we grilled some of these burgers for a few friends and they were a huge hit. Lamb is a leaner protein and also a little gamey so the seasoning really enhances the flavors of the burgers, if you can’t find lamb, beef would work just as well. Enjoy!

Recipe:

Makes 6 Burgers

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 12 Minutes

Total Time: 22 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 Lbs Ground Lamb

2 tbsp Ground Cumin

1 tbsp Dried Thyme

1 tbsp Dried Oregano

1.5 c Fresh Blueberries

Optional Burger Accompaniments (as seen in photo): 

Grilled Pineapple

Fried Duck Egg

Lettuce leaves

Moo Goo (Recipe coming soon!)

Instructions:

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.

In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together lamb and spices. Gently fold in blueberries so you do not mash the berries. Divide meat into 6 equal portions and form into 1/2 inch-thick patties.

Once the grill is hot, place burgers on grill, close the lid and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the burgers and the finished cooking time depends on how well done you want your burger. Grill for 3-4 more minutes for a medium-well burger. Remove burgers from the grill and let rest for 2-3 more minutes.

Additions to make the recipe look like the picture:

While the burgers are cooking,  slice 1/4-inch thick slices of pineapple and place them on the grill just to warm and get grill marks. On the stove, fry a duck egg (or regular egg) until it is cooked over easy. Assemble: Lay a piece of lettuce for the base, add a grilled pineapple slice, lamb burger, fried duck egg and the moo goo.

duck egg

burger 1

burger 3Credit for these awesome photos goes to my good friend, Erin. She is an amazing photographer and also made me a photo station for all my future blog recipes. Thanks Erin! 🙂

xo, Curls&Kale

 

Regionals Weekend

Regionals 2

 

Can you believe it is Friday already? It seems like this week went by way too fast. Don’t worry, I’m not complaining; I think we should have three- or four-day weekends every week. This post was intended for Tuesday or Wednesday but quickly turned into today when I ran out of time all week. Last weekend I had the opportunity to go down to Virginia to watch the CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals. It was my first time going to Regionals and the anticipation was killing me. We packed up all our things Thursday night and made the 3 ½ hour hike down to Fairfax, VA.
Back in March I signed up to be a volunteer at Regionals; if you ever get the opportunity—take it! I had one shift on Friday from 7 AM to noon. I checked other volunteers in, sent them to their locations, and then I worked the ticketing booth. It may not seem like much, but it was fun, I got to meet a ton of people, and got some really cool stuff. First of all, you get a free Reebok t-shirt to wear as a volunteer, then you get a wristband that gives you free access to events all weekend (whether you are volunteering that day or not), AND a weekend pass for a friend. You also get a free paleo meal ticket to use during or after your shift as well as a 25% off Reebok gift card. Talk about having perks for volunteering right?! The weekend tickets for Regionals are $50-$60 alone (that isn’t even including all the behind the scenes and how things work and are set up, plus all the people you meet). In the ticketing booth, I got to greet all the CrossFitters from around the Mid-Atlantic region. I even had the privilege of meeting the owner of AgainFaster without even knowing it! Who knew a young looking 30 year old guy owned AgainFaster? I didn’t, until another volunteer squealed at me after he walked away.
After my shift was over, the real events started. Our local friends at South Mountain CrossFit, who are completely badass, were competing in the team events. There’s nothing better than the camaraderie you feel when being a part of a competition like this among athletes who love the sport just as much as you. The best were those last to finish, with the entire heat of athletes cheering them on. That’s what I love about CrossFit, for the most part, we leave our egos at the door and uplift everyone during a workout. There is also room for friendly competition, but winning isn’t everything and one loss does not defeat or define you.
The pictures below are some of the highlights from the weekend, enjoy!


regionals 3

The TrueForm Runner from Rogue. Who says CrossFit can’t have treadmills?? Well this isn’t a typical treadmill. It is powered solely by the person using it. The user needs to find his/her own balance and stability on the treadmill to work properly and by doing this, teaches correct running techniques. It’s pretty cool if you ask me but I don’t think you’ll see many of them around with that price tag! 

tshirt1

I respect anyone who does any kind of fitness. If you are one of those people who are on the elliptical for hours every day and you enjoy it, that’s great–but that is definitely not me and I find this shirt hilarious and cannot wait to see my two year old niece wearing this around.

Regionals 1

Ben Smith after dominating the hang snatch WOD with 280lbs. Like it was nothing. He is probably one of my favorites and he had an awesome weekend!

Christmas 1

Saving the best for last, I got to meet my favorite CrossFit chick, Christmas Abbott! Remember how I mentioned another volunteer squealed when I was talking to the AgainFaster owner? Well, I’m pretty sure I almost ripped off my boyfriend’s arm when we walked past Christmas. I could not get the words out of my mouth about who we had just passed and he was so confused until I could finally collect my thoughts. If you haven’t already figured it out, grace and poise are not my strong suits. I don’t always think before I act, I’m awkward and a little weird when I meet new people (and apparently get too excited for words when I pass by people and know who they are). Christmas is as sweet as you would expect her to be. She talks to everyone like she has known them forever. She even seemed disappointed when we didn’t stay to chat after the photo, as, sadly, there was a line forming behind us. Hey Christmas, if you’re reading this, we could be friends.

xo, Curls&Kale

Stupid Easy Paleo Simple Paleo Tortillas

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Similar to probably every other paleo-nut out there, I love reading other blogs and trying out new recipes while also reading about other bloggers’ lives (we all secretly love hearing about other people’s lives right? It’s not just me?). I have a list of all my favorite blogs HERE, but once in awhile I also want to highlight specific blogs—and specific recipes– when something particularly catches my eye. I found a fellow CrossFit and Paleo blogger, Stupid Easy Paleo, a few months ago and can’t get enough from her website. Her paleo recipes are exactly what her name describes: easy! There are not a million different ingredients in her recipes that you have to spend a ton of money on and her recipes are simple to put together. She really caught my attention with these simple paleo tortillas. You can find the details and directions on her BLOG and you can find arrowroot and coconut flour HERE or I have also found them in Whole foods and specialty stores.  I made a few batches of these tortillas this weekend and really thought they were going to be more difficult than her directions read, but it turns out they are just as simple and her instructions and pictures are perfect. I used a nonstick pan and heated the pan prior to adding any of the batter. When you are adding the batter, you don’t need a lot. I made this mistake with my first tortilla before I understood how to pour a little bit of the batter and then roll the pan around to move the batter all across the bottom. The tortillas cook fast so keep an eye on them. One batch will make 3 tortillas if you don’t pour too much batter in the first time like I did. Three tortillas weren’t enough for me and another hungry CrossFitter so I made a double batch. I made tacos with them and also just spread some honey and cinnamon on them for a sweet dessert, they are amazing! This is perfect for any meal that would normally have tortillas and they could even be a quick pre or post workout snack. She states they are easy to fold up and freeze so you can make them ahead of time and then pack them for your afternoon workout.

Ingredients you will need for one batch:

For directions and step-by-step pictures visit Stupid Easy Paleo, she also has a great section for athletes so check out her full site!

xo, Curls&Kale

 

How Paleo are You?

Caveman Photo

Irony is just hilarious sometimes. I got this in a snapchat yesterday from a friend of mine. It brings up my all-time favorite debate on paleo and how it is “supposed” to be based off what cavemen used to eat; however, with modern-day access to pretty much any food (and genetically modified food if you want to get really technical) the term “paleo” gets thrown around a lot. Then you get mixed results when you google paleo recipes that could range from plain chicken with veggies and coconut oil to the really creative people who make Paleo Rocky Road Cupcakes–yea that’s a thing, I would not joke around about that. So who is right? The answer isn’t a cut and dry right or wrong. Technically, if you want to be strict paleo, guess what? You are going to be hunting, gathering and growing all of your food. Who has time for that?! Sure, in the perfect world, who wouldn’t want that, but at the same time, we shouldn’t make it the soul purpose of our lives to be harping so much on every single piece of food we put in our mouth..because that’s not healthy either. Live your life!!

So I’m saying all the paleo cookies, ice cream and other delicious treats are OK, right? Not exactly. Paleo treats should be taken for exactly what they are, treats. The amount of treats you get a year/month/week, depends on your goals as an individual, it is different for everyone. If you just started your paleo journey and your goal is to lose weight, don’t tempt yourself by making those paleo chocolate chip cookies. If you are going to a get together and you want to prove to your friends paleo isn’t just eating steak all day long and to shut them up about how you eat weird (not from experience or anything), make those rocky road cupcakes and let them eat their words! Or, if you have adopted paleo as a lifestyle, don’t deprive yourself of the good things in life every once in a while. You should never feel deprived when you are trying to eat better. If you feel deprived you will never stick with the diet. There are always going to be those strict paleo people who will never say a cupcake is paleo, but it comes down to your own beliefs and what is right for you. I created this blog to show there can be a balance. I will post meal ideas for everyday life and then sweet treats for those special occasions. That’s why I have different tab options under recipes, if you don’t want the treats, don’t look at them!

I’ll get off my soap box now. But if you have any questions about paleo, ingredients or anything about nutrition, comment or email me at curlsandkale@gmail.com! I’d be happy to chat 🙂

SO the other reason for this comic that was actually perfect timing, is that if you aren’t one of those people who hunts, gathers and grows all of their food, sometimes paleo recipes have weird ingredients. When I first started my paleo journey a good two years ago, I had never used almond flour, coconut cream or even remotely knew what a spiralizer did. Luckily for all of you, I have made this easy on you. I learned how to create an Amazon A-Store and now it is permanently added to my blog under the “Shop” tab. Amazon is awesome–I have a Prime membership so anything I order I get free 2-day shipping. My A-store has all the kitchen gadgets, books and grocery products that you may need for your paleo lifestyle. It’s a perfect one stop shop! Anytime I have a weird ingredient in my recipes like coconut cream concentrate, I’ll link it to the store where you can get it or at least see what the product looks like! Plus I give recommendations on specific products–like this almond flour is cheaper than others and it is SO much better when you are baking compared to other almond flours. You’re welcome people. So check it out here!

xo, Curls&Kale

Fruit & Nut Bark

bark3

We can all agree that sometimes, things don’t turn out how you expected; and on a few of those occasions, it is a surprisingly better outcome. This recipe is one of those rare occasions. I was in Trader Joe’s last week grabbing some lunch and as usual I walked in STARVING. I have been loving their pre-made salads lately because they are quick, mostly paleo and you cannot beat the $3.99 price. However, the salad wasn’t quick enough for my stomach that was screaming at me for food. I went down the aisle with all of the “healthy meal replacement bars” (seriously a granola bar will never be a meal replacement for this girl). Every single bar had some kind of grain in it…really?! How hard is it to make a paleo grab and go bar (harder than I thought)? I settled for a KIND dark chocolate cherry cashew bar, thinking it had all that other good stuff in it that outweighed the crisp rice and peanut ingredients. I also had another motive behind buying the KIND bar, to recreate it with only paleo ingredients; so it was really for research that I had to try the original bar, right? So in the kitchen I went and if you can’t guess by the picture, they didn’t turn into bars so much as they did chocolate bark. I figured no one would really complain about this mistake and would appreciate the treat nonetheless. I will go back to the kitchen again with this recipe and try and recreate the KIND bar, but for now, enjoy these because they are delicious!

Recipe

Makes 1 cookie tray of bark (serves 8+)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 c chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

1/4 c coconut concentrate, melted

2 c mix of almonds, cashews and walnuts

1/4 c dried cherries

1/4 c dried cranberries

1/8 c honey

Before starting, place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside.

Take a saucepan over low-medium heat and add nuts, fruit and honey. Mix in the pan until the honey has melted and the fruit and nuts are sticking together.

 

In another small saucepan place the chocolate chips and coconut concentrate on low heat. Stir mixture constantly to prevent it from burning. Continue stirring until everything is completely melted.

Once the chocolate mixture is melted, take the saucepan and pour the chocolate on top of the parchment paper, spread around the whole cookie tray to even out the base layer. Immediately take the fruit and nut mixture and spread it as evenly as possible/desired on top of the chocolate. Place the cookie tray in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes. Once the bark has had time to harden in the freezer you can remove and either cut the bark with a knife or use your hands to break into pieces. Done! Store in the freezer if you don’t eat the whole batch in one sitting.

bark3 bark1