Zach and I are sitting in the Phoenix airport currently, reminiscing about the weekend. We were both saying how we usually are excited to get back home and get back into our normal routine after a vacation, but this time is different. We enjoyed the awesome weather, the beautiful scenery and some good paleo food. It is making it very hard to go back to the shitty midwest. And since we lived there our entire lives we can call it shitty. Every day was sunny and perfect and who wouldn’t want to be in a place where there are over 300 days of sunshine.
Saturday we got up suppper early (hadn’t adjusted to the time difference yet) and went to the Scottsdale farmers market. We both felt like it was made for us. They had organic everything- coffee, veggies, fruits, meat, seafood. You name it, they had it. They advertised to the paleo diet. We couldn’t believe it!
Zach and I picked up some veggies for our lunches and grass-fed bison jerky to snack on. After that, we decided to check out Cactus Crossfit and joined the local scottsdaleons in a wod. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and taking in some sun. We had dinner at Hula’s in olde town Scottsdale where they had some meals that could accommodate our diet. We were interested in the menu because they had a pacific island themed menu and it was a little different than anything we experienced before.
Sunday we got up ate breakfast and headed straight to Sedona. This was definitely the highlight of our trip. They had amazing rock formations and 360 views. Just awesome!
We did some hiking for the majority of the day and headed back to phoenix for dinner at 1130 the restaurant in downtown. There we had steaks! Zach got a NY strip and I got a filet. They offered broccoli and asparagus as sides. We also got mussels as an appetizer. Delish!
Today Zach got up and worked out while I stayed back and relaxed by the pool. We thought we would hike up Camelback Mountain because it was only about a mile and a half trail hike and wouldn’t take too long. Little did we know that it was a very steep and a challenging trail (at least for us). We made it up about half way and it took us about an hour. It was an awesome hike, but we didn’t really have time to hike all the way up. We still wanted to explore downtown Phoenix with the time that we had left. We headed to Cartel Coffee Lab, where they roast their own coffee beans and had a cup of Joe. We also ate our paleo packed lunch there :).
Even though we are on vacation, Joelle and I still need to have our staple breakfast. We went to the store last night to get the supplies after our awesome paleo dinner experience. We ate at a restaurant last night called “Nourish”. They labeled all of their food on the menu with a gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, egg free, corn free and paleo. It was so nice being able to order something off of a menu at a restaurant and not have to tell the waitress to keep something out of the order. We simply ordered and it was all paleo. Joelle got a raw Alfredo dish. It was spaghetti squash with a homemade Alfredo sauce (cashews, lemon juice), broccoli and she added a piece of wild caught salmon to it. I had a grass fed steak topped with mushrooms and onions. My dish also came with a sweet potato/avocado salad (the house special) and a pasta salad made from zucchini and butternut squash noodles. As a appetizer we got a butternut squash/beet salad that was topped with walnuts. This was the first time in a long time that Joelle and I went out to eat and left the restaurant satisfied. We will keep you updated on our travels each day.
So Joelle and I have recently fallen in love with a new set of burger toppings. I would have to say if there is one thing that Joelle and I really appreciate during grilling season it is definitely a good burger. We recently made a new style burger and we loved it. We grilled up some lean beef patties. I like to keep the seasonings simple (salt and pepper) on a burger. I think it allows the meat to speak for itself as far as flavor. Before grilling Joelle whipped up our toppings. We would be putting homemade sun flower seed butter along with homemade strawberry Jelly on our burgers. Now I know what you are thinking, “on a burger?!” Yes! The flavors work so well together. You have the bold taste of the beef combined with the salty creamy taste of the sun flower butter and the sweetness of strawberry jelly. For the sunflower butter we bought roasted unsalted sun flower seeds. Dumped them in the food processor along with some oil and puréed it until it was smooth and creamy just like peanut butter. For the strawberry jelly all you need to do is get a sauce pan cut up your strawberries, add juice of 1/2 a lemon and some powdered ginger. You let the jelly cook down at medium/low heat for 20-25 minutes. The more you cook it the more it will thicken up. They all come together to make a memorable burger. We had them this past Sunday and we had leftovers on Monday as well. During the week I couldn’t stop thinking about this burger and neither could Joelle. So we decided to make them again on Thursday night. We did make grape jelly this time. I think it was a tie between the jellies. They were everything we remembered from Monday and Sunday.
Currently Joelle and I are on our flight to Phoenix Arizona for the weekend. Oh yea and before we left for the airport Joelle and I tagged team on a left over “SB&J” burger. It was even better the day after. We are staying in a vacation rental so we can have the use of a kitchen. For this trip we will be doing breakfast, snacks and lunches at the vacation rental. Each night we will go out for dinner. We have already done our research on some really great places to eat while in Phoenix that will take care of our paleo needs. We will be sure to keep you up to date on our food adventures in Arizona. I think it will be a much easier place to eat paleo than in the suburbs of Chicago. I feel like the west coast and the surrounding area are much more up to speed when it comes to paleo.
Oh yea and here is my afternoon snack that I packed for the plane ride. Cut up Chicken breast and a bag of banana, pineapple and walnuts. You gotta do what you gotta do.