What is CrossFit you say? Well according to the CrossFit website it's a strength and conditioning program built under the principle that you shouldn't specialize in any one thing but that you should excel at many. Everything is scaled to suit your own fitness level so an elite military or law enforcement officer can do the same main workout that say an out of shape food-blogger can do...we might do different amounts of weights or a variation on the same exercise but it is the same workout regardless. Why CrossFit? Because it's addictive, the competition it fosters (you vs. you), the shared goals among your classmates and team environment as well as the sense of accomplishment you get after pushing through a workout that you thought you would never be able to complete. That coupled with the fact that it's helped me get into much better shape (miles to go still but in the short few months I've done it I've seen immense changes) makes me a devoted follower these days.
Enough preaching about CrossFit....I shared this because while working out I have also started to adopt the eating habits that are prevalent among CrossFitters...which is a combination of the 'paleo diet' (basically lots of fruit and veggies, gluten free and good proteins) and a zone diet (again, lost of fruits and veggies, limited grains, if any, and quality lean protein). Being food-obsessed this was a bit tough for me at first, I have no gluten sensitivity and frankly love to try new things so the thought of limiting myself to these confines really bothered me at first. Slowly though I have adapted, partly because our CrossFit gym (much love to Milestone Crossfit!!) set up a 6-week challenge which I eagerly joined and partly because I have seen what the combo of this diet and CrossFit does for people. In four weeks my 'cravings' for grains and super-sweet candy, etc. have dwindled (not going to lie here, I would still kill for hot-buttered fresh baked french bread!) and I feel great. So again, why am I sharing all this? Because it will color a lot of what I will be posting in the near term, most of my coming posts will be recipes that have been made since the beginning of my 6-week challenge and will be reflective of ingredients that are 'zone-paleo' friendly. So be wary those of you who aren't so excited about 'healthy' food, these things will all be slightly better for you than most that I have posted in the past but none of them will taste like 'health' food, I refuse to give up good food for just healthy food.
To that end, the first recipe I want to share is a re-vamped version of something I have posted before, Mustard Green Pesto with Chicken Meatballs, only this time instead of pasta it is served over Spaghetti Squash.
Spaghetti Squash with Mustard Green Pesto & Chicken Meatballs
1 lb Mild Turkey Breakfast Sausage or Ground Chicken or Ground Turkey
1 lb Chicken-Apple Sausage*
3 Tbsp Almond Meal
1 1/2 Tbsp Rubbed Sage
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Black Pepper
1 Cup Apple Cider, reduced down to 1/4 cup to create a syrup
2 Lg Bunches Baby Mustard Greens
5 Cloves Garlic
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Pecan Pieces, Toasted
1 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts, Toasted
1 Red Bell Pepper
2. Fold bulk sausages together wtih 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, rubbed sage and reduced cider. Do not over work the mixture, shape into balls and place in a greased 13 x 9 pan. Bake at 400 F for 25 minutes. Can be baked concurrently with spaghetti squash, squash will be ok at 400 F.
3. Remove squash from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and use a fork to scrape out the flesh of the squash with a fork. Place in a large bowl/dish.
2. While the meatballs are baking, blend the mustard greens, garlic, olive oil, cider vinegar, 1 tsp salt, pine nuts and pecans.3. Slice bell peppers, leave raw. Toss meatballs, pesto and bell peppers together and serve on top of cooled squash flesh.