Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tilapia, Asparagus, and Purple Potatoes

I'm not sure what is going on, but the store has had terrible fresh salmon. This is very unfortunate for the McMillan household because it is one of James' favorite meals, and he hasn't had it since before the Philippines. Poor James. And poor Richard, he loves salmon.

Anyway, this meal is supposed to be made with salmon (I will post the recipe the next time we are successful at the store) but we improvised and used fresh tilapia. Now, it was no where near the same, but it also wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated. I had plans to drench my plate with hot sauce (my go-to solution to undesirable food), but this time it wasn't necessary. I'll take it. 

2 lbs of fresh tilapia (this is enough for both of our dinners and lunches)
3 diced jalepeno
1 handful of chopped cilantro
1/8 cup of oil (your choice)
3 tbs chili powder
1/2 lbish Asparagus
11 Purple Potatoes

1. Add the chili powder, diced jalepeno, chopped cilantro, and oil to a large bowl. Mix together. 
2. Rinse fish and check for bones.
3. Add fish to the bowl and mix together (It helps if you use your hands - the goal is for each piece of fish to be coated)
4. Place on a cookie sheet or baking pan
5. Bake for 23ish minutes at 400 degrees

Asparagus and Purple Potatoes - James is the owner of these lovely dishes, but I think the directions are somewhere already on the blog. If not, I will add them later. 

Don't judge the dish off it's picture, I swear it's better than it looks. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ceviche and My Obsession with Mint

Hi! It's been a while since I've taken the time to write a post, and I now realize that I miss blogging and I miss the accountability from strangers searching for recipes on the Internet. I am a data freak and seriously enjoy watching the views climb each time I write a post. I have still been eating my normal Paleo diet and attending CrossFit classes, I just haven't talked about it.

Here are my two favorite recipes for the summer. They are both insanely delicious and I highly recommend them.

Ceviche (This recipe is from my dear friend, Carrie)
1 lb shrimp
1 lb white fish (tilapia)
4-5 tomatoes
2-3 jalepeno
1 white onion
5-6 limes

1. Devein your shrimp and sautee in desired oil on a skillet
2. Cut fish in chunks and add to the skillet (Note: if you want to be adventurous, you can allow the lime juice to cook your shrimp and fish. I prefer to cook them a little first, just to be safe).
3. Chop your tomato, jalepeno, and onion like you would for pico de gallo
4. Add the shrimp, fish, and vegetables to a large bowl
5. Squeeze lime juice into the bowl. I LOVE lime, so I have James do this so that he is able to still enjoy the snack...if it were up to me I would use way  more lime. My advice is to start slow and find what you like.
6. Stir, let sit in the fridge for a few hours, and enjoy! We serve ours with avocado oil potato chips, but you can use anything you want.

Mint Grapefruit Spritzer
3-4 mint leaves
2 slices of grapefruit (I've also used 3-5 raspberries instead)
Splash of organic limeade

1. Muddle your mint leaves in the bottom of your glass
2. Add grapefruit (or muddled raspberries)
3. Pour in a shot or two of liquor (my favorites are Tito's or Bulleit Rye)
4. Add ice and top with a splash of limeade and water
5. Get ready for the most refreshing drink of your life. I've made this drink at every get together I've attended this summer, including a boat party and a hill country cookout.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Franklin Barbecue: Yes, It's Worth the Wait

On February 1st, James and I woke up early and were on a mission to finally try Franklin Barbecue. Considering the fact that James is from Texas, he understands and appreciates good bbq (especially brisket).  I, on the other hand, am a newbie to the smoked meat scene (in PA we considered hot dogs and hamburgers bqq. Sometimes, we even added chicken.). Now, if you know me at all, or read my blog, then you know eating a tray of meat isn't exactly my favorite thing to do...but this time, I loved it.

7:00 Woke up and got in a workout. I did a variation of Fight Gone Bad in the garage, and added a 400 to the end. Why? Because I'm a mfgbw. If you workout in our garage you'll learn what that means.

8:15 James drops me off at the Franklin Barbecue line and goes to a coffee shop nearby to grab caffeine and snacks. A man across the street was renting chairs to sit in, but we opted for Josh's army blanket that was still in the car. While I wait for James, I email Franklin to reserve a whole brisket for James' birthday weekend at the end of March. They are already sold out for February, but they start taking March orders on February 1st.

8:30ish James returns with caffeine and yummy snacks. The line is energetic and growing as a lady from Franklin comes around to take your predicted meat order. We order 2 pounds of brisket, a mammoth beef rib, and a sausage link. Our expected time to eat is 12:15.

This is all that stands between us and brisket. I'm assuming the line began forming around 7 :00. 

Between 8:15 and 8:45 the line became this long. Throughout the day people attempt to join the end, but leave hopeless once they hear they will most likely sell-out of meat by the time they make it inside. 

Somewhere around 9:30: A nice man with painted fingernails starts selling beverages to The Line. We are reminded to be responsible and respect The Line...after all, there are about 3 hours until we eat. As I sip on my Pearl Snap, I take in the delicious fragrance of the smoker behind us and find it ironic that we are tailgating for our lunch. 

12:00 By this time Ryan has joined us and we've had a couple interactions with the nice man selling beverages. We're getting closer to the door, but are not yet inside. 

Sometime between 12 and 1: We are So. Close. Even though we've been here since 8:15, I'm not upset at all. In fact, the atmosphere inside of the restaurant is super chill and relaxed. The staff is extremely friendly and takes their time with each person. We are handed a sample from the tip of the brisket, which was divine. Absolutely, delicious. 

1:00ish, but who really cares: We have close to 4 pounds of barbecue, coleslaw, and pickles. Did we over order? Heck no. 

This is hands down the best barbecue I've ever had in my life. While La Barbecue and Salt Lick are amazing, they have nothing on Franklin. The only downfall is the wait, but in the end, I would say it makes the experience even better. Oh...I received a disappointing email that afternoon from Franklin. Unfortunately, they sold out of brisket for the month of March before they received my email at 8:20. Next time I will be more prepared and send the email at 12:01 am on the first of the month. Sorry, James. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Breakfast: Sweet Potato/Jalapeno Hash

It is very accurate to say that Breakfast is, by far, my lease favorite meal of the day. Looking back, I didn't even eat breakfast until I met James, and there are several days that I still wouldn't eat it if it weren't for him. I've found it much easier to consume some gross breakfast than listen to him explain how terrible I am for skipping a meal. xoxo

Anyway, I am a creature of habit and routine. Monday through Friday I eat the same paleo banana bread breakfast and green apple smoothie afternoon snack. I make the bread every Sunday evening so that each morning I only have to slice it and pack it. This system has worked for over a year, but I decided  it was time for a change.

Because I usually work out in the mornings,  I decided it would be alright to try sweet potatoes smothered in hot sauce. Apparently, there are amazing benefits from consuming sweet potatoes post workout. So, last Sunday night instead of making my banana bread, I baked two large sweet potatoes. I didn't season them or do anything fancy. Instead, I poked a few holes in them and gave them a nice foil blanket. By Tuesday morning there was more hot sauce than baked sweet potato, so I decided to come up with something different. There was no way I was going to eat a boring baked sweet potato every single day. Good-bye banana bread, hello sweet potato jalapeno hash.

O EMMM GEEE. I forgot to mention the amazing addition to our family!  Teresa and Stokes blessed us with a beautiful garage gym. She came to us on Monday afternoon weighing in at a whopping 850 pounds. I apologize in advance for bombarding my Facebook and Instagram with pictures of us lifting. I seriously can't help it. #sorrynotsorry.

Sweet Potato/Jalapeno Hash

3 large sweet potatoes
1/2 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
2 seeded jalapeno
Little bit of cinnamon
Little bit of salt/pepper
Little more of chili powder

1. Place garlic cloves in food processor and pulse until minced
2. Add onions/jalapeno to food processor and pulse until they reach the desired thickness
3. Put minced garlic, onion, and jalapeno into a pan with coconut oil. Heat until fragrant.
4. Change the blades on the food processor from chop to shred (the super cool attachment that hovers around the top).
5. Shred your sweet potatoes in the food processor (depending on the size you may have to quarter them first)
6. Add the shredded sweet potatoes to the skillet and cook. I like mine a little crispy, so I cooked them a little bit longer so that they would brown.
7. This amount was enough for three days of breakfast. I packed them in separate containers and added a splash of hot sauce.

*I will add a pic of the hash later.

Isn't she beautiful?

James' new buddy
I got to feed a giraffe! Thanks again, Josie and Ryan!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.
"there was a brief hiatus in the war with France"
synonyms: pause, break, gap, lacuna, interval, intermission, interlude, interruption, suspension, lull, respite, time out, time off, recess;

After a brief hiatus and several life changes, I'm back on the blogging grid. I don't think my updates will work in paragraph form due to the randomness of events, so I am going to list them in true Ali form. Get ready friends, I have a lot to share.

1. James and I live in South Austin and absolutely love it!
2. I now teach Algebra I and Geometry at KIPP Austin Collegiate. Over the past seven years my range of experience has grown from Kindergarten to 10th grade.
3. I started working out at Crossfit and Fearless on South Congress. My schedule doesn't align as nicely as it did with Strom, but I'm working on it. Sometimes you have to be creative and shower in the girl's locker room at school (don't worry, NO students are present that early in the morning. That would be awkward.)
4. I stopped using almond milk in my coffee and have switched to coconut milk. As you know, it takes me an entire day to drink my one cup of coffee and for some reason the almond milk starts to separate after hour one. It looks and tastes a little odd after that.
5. James is in a fantasy football league and his team name is Hot Ham Water. So gross.
6. Traffic in Austin is stupid. Really, stupid.
7. Traffic in Austin during ACL is even more stupid.
8. My favorite cheat meal so far has been at this amazing food truck called Potato A. I thought I had mastered the french fry during my time at Edinboro University, but this guy puts my fries to shame. They are freakishly delicious.
9. My bff Lisa got engaged to a very awesome, kind, hairy man. I can't wait for their wedding this July!
10. My bfff Michelle is going to have her baby within the next few weeks. It is so weird that she made it through an entire pregnancy without me seeing her baby bump. If only I had a private jet so that I could fly home to see my family and friends.
11. I want to plan a concert weekend very soon. Sh*$ Show and Shenanigan girls, let's work on that. Maybe over Christmas break??

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

2 lbs of ground turkey/lean beef
3 garlic cloves
6 bell peppers
4ish roma tomatoes
1/2 white onion
2 jalapenos (1 seeded, 1 whole)
1/2 C fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Sprinkle garlic powder
Sprinkle onion powder
2 sprinkles of chili powder

1. Sautee crushed garlic cloves in oil/fat of your choice. I usually use coconut oil (we don't have any bacon fat, but if we did I would definitely use it)
2. Add turkey meat to the pan and season with garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Cook thoroughly.
3. Make the salsa by combining the tomatoes, onion, jalepenos, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. I have roasted the veggies before, but lately I have been making fresh salsa instead.
4. Cut the tops off of your bell peppers and remove the seeds.
5. Turn off the heat on the meat and mix in the salsa with the meat.
6. Scoop the meat/salsa mixture into the peppers
7. Bake at 400 degrees until the peppers are at the desired squishiness. I like my peppers very squishy, so I cook them for 30-40 minutes.

Optional add-ins/toppings: 
1. Cheese
2. Cauliflower rice
3. Greek Yogurt: I swear to you it's just like topping your food with sour cream!

Only in Austin. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I (Sometimes) Hate Meat

Paleolithic Diet

'Centered on commonly available modern foods, the contemporary "Paleolithic diet" consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.'

This post is not really intended to share a recipe or valuable information. On the contrary, I'm looking for support for any fellow cavepeople who sometimes hate meat. Eating paleo can be very challenging for me because I (sometimes) have a hard time eating fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, and fungi. If you remove these items from the definition of paleolithic diet you are left with vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts. To make matters worse I've been working on minimizing the amount of fruit I eat because of the glycemic levels. What does that leave me with? Select vegetables and nuts, which frankly isn't enough to live. Thankfully, the times that I hate meat are becoming fewer and farther between, but they still exist. Thankfully, I'm not as bad as I was between 2000-2006ish when I didn't eat any meat. I honestly would go through McDonald's and Taco Bell and order meatless hamburgers and tacos. #truestory.

So. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, especially for the times that even the largest amounts of hot sauce doesn't do it.

We're cute. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Paleo Chocolate Almond Milk



  1. (of food) Extremely appetizing or delicious.
  2. (of a person) Very attractive.
delicious - delightful - superb - luscious - delectable

I set one food goal for the summer and it was to make chocolate almond milk. The reason for this is because I found some at Randall's that was freakin' delish, but definitely not paleo. Does it really  matter? No, but when you have hours of nothing to's worth trying. So, in between my morning and evening WOD I gave it a go, and the result was completely scrumptious.

1. Easy to make
2. Tastes very fresh
3. There aren't any added ingredients that I can't pronounce

1. It only stays in the fridge for about 4 days (Not really a con because of how delicious it is. I have no problem consuming it quickly).

1 cup of almonds
4 cups of water
Several squeezes of honey
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
Splash of vanilla extract

1. Soak 1 cup of almonds in water overnight. Add enough water to cover the almonds
2. Discard the water that the almonds were soaking in and place almonds into the Vitamix, or other powerful blender
3. Add 4 cups of water
4. Blend for 1-2 minutes
5. Use a cheese cloth to remove the almond residue from the milk (Ok, let's be real. I didn't see the point of buying a cheese cloth for this, so I used an old, but clean, t-shirt. It worked fine, but James convinced me to buy a cheese cloth for the next time.)
6. Quickly rinse out the Vitamix
7. Return the almond milk to the Vitamix
8. Add honey, cocoa powder, and vanilla
9. Blend for 30 seconds
10. Pour into a glass jar and put in fridge
11. I put the almond residue from cheese cloth (t-shirt) onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and baked it at 200 degrees for 30ish minutes. I then used the almond flour as the crust for my pumpkin pie bites.