Paleo Recipes

In principal I follow a PALEO/PRIMAL/WHOLE FOODS diet.

Why?
 Because I have a very low RBC (red blood cell count), which I push to the limit on every bike ride. When I add processed foods, refined sugars, cereal grains and empty carbs to my diet, it compounds my fatigue and leaves me with no energy. By making a conscious effort to make healthier, whole food choices, I've been able to increase my energy through my diet.

What's Paleo?
Lean cuts of meat (preferably grass-fed), fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, healthy fat (coconut oil, olive oil), eggs. In short, whole real foods.

What's Not Paleo?
Grains, (wheat, rice, pasta), legumes (beans, peanuts), dairy, refined sugars, chemicals and processed foods. If it's in a wrapper and has more than 5 ingredients, it's probably not real.

"Paleofied" Treats?
Ideally I try to stick to whole foods, but eating paleo/primal isn't meant as a punishment, and I like to have an occasional treat like anyone else. I'm also trying to fuel my workouts. Many recipes listed here have been adapted using paleo principles... which allow me to fuel my workouts without reaching for a processed energy bar or drink.

Aren't grains and dairy necessary for a healthy diet?
For some people, YES! For me, not really. I have Hemolytic Anemia which often leaves me overwhelmingly drained. As someone who enjoys an active lifestyle, it can be tough to deal with. After eating clean for a while, and later moving to paleo guidelines, I noticed an increase in my energy and better overall health. Although I still struggle with a low RBC, (and likely always will), I have a better handle on the waves of exhaustion that I often struggle with.



FAVORITE RECIPES
Below are a few of my favorite go-to recipes. Yes, these are my photos. Doesn't everything look yummy?)


RIDE FUEL
What's in my pockets on a ride? It depends on how long the ride is. I haven't found a commercial energy bar that I like that fits within my paleo guidelines. Lara Bars come close, but I can make a homemade bar that tastes vastly better. Honey Stinger gels are fine in a pinch, but only if I need a shot of sugar. Here is a sampling of what can be found in my back pockets on a ride:

Energy Replenishment
  • Bananas
  • Dates, figs
  • Apricot Energy Bars (recipe below)
  • Trail Mix (no peanuts)
  • Small snack bag of almonds or walnuts
  • Small snack bag of strawberries, blueberries, grapes
  • Homemade Lara bars (recipes below)
  • Dried unsulphured apricots or raisins
  • A paleo muffin
  • Small container or snack bag of sweet potato noodles (fits in the bag under my saddle)
  • Paleo Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

Apricot Energy Bars

APRICOT ENERGY BAR (Love)
We make these in several variations. My favorite includes dried cranberries & orange extract. Or dark chocolate chips (80% cacao) and vanilla. The bars fit easily in a pocket on a bike ride.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
In a food processor blend the dried apricots and walnuts until crumbly. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt. Blend to combine. Fold in dried cranberries (or chocolate chips). Spread the mixture into an 8"x8" baking pan. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 25 minutes. How easy is that?



HOMEMADE 'LARA BARS'
Lara Bars are a fine occasional treat, but I've had iffy-tasting bars and not all of them are paleo. (Oh, peanutbutter, you devil.) A Lara Bar substitute is easy to make with the simplest ingredients. A great online recipe can be found at The Kitchn, where they spell it out simply as 1 part nuts, 1 part dates, 1 part dried fruit.) Here is my recipe for Coconut Chocolate Brownie Lara Bars (Tastes like an Almond Joy bar!)

Chocolate Brownie 'Lara Bar'

COCONUT-CHOCOLATE BROWNIE
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds (or walnuts)
  • 1 cup (packed) pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut. (I like 'Let's Go Organic')
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
In a food processor, grind walnuts until finely chopped. Add dates, coconut and cocoa. Pulse until combined and forms a crumbly dough. Place onto a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper and form an even rectangular slab, about 1/2" thick. Wrap it up and refrigerate for an hour or two to firm. Cut into 8 small bars, wrap individually and store in fridge. Yum!

Apricot Almond 'Lara Bar'

APRICOT ALMOND BAR (Love)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup (packed) pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of sea salt
Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and process until the mixture forms a sticky, crumbly "dough". Place onto a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper and form an even rectangular slab, about 1/2" thick. Wrap it up and refrigerate for an hour or two to firm. Cut into bars, wrap individually and store in fridge. (These can also be frozen.)


Double Dar Chocolate 'Lara Bar'

DOUBLE DARK CHOCOLATE LARA BARS (FAVORITE!)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1 cup walnuts (or any favorite nut)
  • 2 heaping tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (70% cacao or higher)
In food processor, combine dates, apricots, and walnuts. Pulse to form coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder. Blend to form soft dough. Add chocolate chips and pulse 10-15 times to combine. Pour dough mixture onto large sheet of waxed paper. With hands, press to form dense rectangular slab, about 1/2" thick. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for one hour. Cut into bars and wrap individually. Store in fridge (Note: In my photo I have 9 large bars. When I wrap these, I cut each bar in half to give me 2 smaller bars, which are perfect on a ride.)


Paleo Banana Walnut Bread

PALEO BANANA BREAD
Ingredients:
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2-3 TBSP honey (I've also used maple syrup)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a loaf pan with waxed or parchment paper, (so it doesn't stick to the bottom. In a mixer, blend all of the wet ingredients, (vanilla, coconut oil, eggs, honey). Add mashed bananas and mix well. In separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients, (coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon.) Add to mixer and blend well. Stir in chopped walnuts.

Spread into loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until golden brown and cooked through the center. Mmmm...


FAVORITE POST-WORKOUT MEALS


Buffalo Chicken and Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes and chicken, with bacon and hot sauce... a perfect protein-carb combo, and a great post-workout snack or meal, hot or cold. This makes a big batch. (Portion into small containers.)

BUFFALO CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATO
Ingredients
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 large (or 3 medium) sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, rough chopped
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 2 cloves finely diced garlic (or 1 tbsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 cup Frank's red hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into pieces (optional)
  • a little bit of chopped parsley (optional)
In a large bowl, combine olive oil, paprika, garlic, hot sauce. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add the sweet potatoes, chicken, and onions, and stir to coat. Pour into a roasting pan or casserole dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. When done, mix in bacon and top with parsley.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, hot or cold... yum.


Kale & Leek Quiche

KALE (or SPINACH) and LEEK QUICHE
I love quiche! Veggies and protein all snuggled in a crust! I often make this for dinner and enjoy the leftovers for a quick protein breakfast or lunch. I'll even eat it cold on the run. (The kids like it, too... though Mike prefers it with bacon added. Hahaha...) I can think of many veggie combos that would be great in a quiche. The leeks and kale came from our CSA.

For the Crust:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 egg
For the Filling:
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large leeks, whites & greens, sliced and washed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or sage, finely chopped
  • 2 cups kale, large stems removed. (Can substitute w/spinach or swiss chard)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
For the crust: Preheat the oven 350 F. In food processor, add the three ingredients listed above and process until the mixture forms a ball. Dough will be sticky. Press evenly into a 9-inch pie plate and pre-bake the crust for 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before filling.

For the Filling: In a large skillet, saute leeks for about 10 minutes in coconut oil until softened. Add the seasoning and kale/spinach. Saute for another 2 minutes, until the greens are partially wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl combine the eggs, almond milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the leek/green mixture, then pour into the pre-baked pie shell. Bake at 375 F for 30-35 minutes, until crust is brown and filling has set. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Egg Salad made with Paleo Mayo

EGG SALAD with HOMEMADE (PALEO) MAYONNAISE
I don't know why I never made homemade mayo before, but now that I have, I'll never go back to the stuff in a jar. This is so easy to make, and I use it in egg salad or coleslaws, etc... Thank you Kathy Sweetland for the recipe and "how to". I'm posting the recipe here so I never forget.

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup extra light olive oil
Using a stick blender, put all but oil in the blender cup and add the oil on top. Submerge blender to the bottom and pulse a few times to emulsify. Then slowly bring the blender to the top. (Easy!) This is half the recipe Kathy passed along. Just double for a larger batch.


FAVORITE LT TEST PROTEIN & CARBS
(original post)

CHICKEN, BACON & APPLES
(over SWEET POTATO NOODLES)

Ingredients
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1-2 diced apples
  • 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp curry powder (or cinnamon)
  • sea salt & pepper
Cook bacon until crispy, remove from pan and set aside. In remaining bacon drippings, add onions and red pepper and cook until soft. Add chicken and cook to brown. Add apples and curry (or cinnamon), and brown slightly. Add broth, raisins, honey, and bacon and bring to boil, and then lower temp to simmer. Cook until apples are soft and mixture starts to thicken up. Serve over cauliflower rice or sweet potato noodles.



SWEET TREATS

Frozen Bananas
FROZEN BANANAS
Sliced, frozen bananas make a fantastic ice-cold treat on a hot day. When you don't eat dairy, you don't eat ice cream, either. Frozen bananas are a yummy substitute. (They're also great in smoothies!)

Peel and slice very ripe bananas and freeze on a plate or flat sheet (whatever will fit in your freezer) covered with waxed paper for one hour. (I freeze on a cutting board covered with waxed paper.) Remove from sheet and store in airtight container.


Chocolate Paleo "Ice Cream"

PALEO CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
Thank you, Valerie, for this great tip! Blend those frozen bananas (above) for a great "ice cream" treat!

Ingredients:
  • Bananas, sliced and frozen
  • coconut milk
  • unsweetened cocoa
In advance, peel and slice 2 bananas, and freeze. Add to food processor along with about 2 TB coconut milk and some unsweetened cocoa. Blend in processor until smooth and enjoy. (You can also add cashew or almond butter.) Mike likes to top with walnuts or dark chocolate chips. Yummy!



A FEW FAVORITE RECIPES

Broccoli Detox Salad

BROCCOLI DETOX SALAD
I make a big batch of this salad, store in individual square containers, and stack in the fridge. It's my go-to lunch and snack all rolled into one. Good to chase any hunger away.

Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 large head broccoli
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley or italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup lime (or lemon) juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • lime or lemon zest
Wash and cut cauliflower and broccoli into small pieces. In batches, grate on pulse in a food processor until coarse crumbles. Transfer to large bowl. Grate the carrots, add to bowl. (You can toss in finely chopped kale as well.) In a separate bowl, combine lime and honey to make a dressing. Combine all remaining ingredients together, add lime-honey and refrigerate. (This makes a ton. I divide into 5 lunch size containers and stack in fridge.)


Sweet Potato Noodles

SWEET POTATO NOODLES
I love my spiral slicer, which turns any vegetable into "noodles". The kids are especially fond of saute├ęd sweet potato noodles, served as a side dish or as a pasta replacement. (They love regular potatoes, too, though I don't eat them myself.) My spiralizer also makes a great zucchini and summer squash noodles too, perfect in pad thai (recipe below) or with any sauce. Who needs pasta?




GRAB-AND-GO BREAKFASTS
Why so many muffin recipes? Muffins, along with a piece of fruit, are an easy on-the-go breakfast for Mike as he commutes into the city. ("Paleofied" foods, for me, are a "treat" and ok in moderation.) Muffins freeze well.


Paleo Pumpkin Mufins

PALEO PUMPKIN MUFFINS
I make a double batch of these and freeze them in pairs for on-the-go breakfasts.

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (1/2 can)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350℉. If using paper muffin liners, lightly spray with cooking oil (coconut oil spray) to make removing liners easier. Mix wet ingredients in a mixing bowl (pumpkin, eggs, honey, vanilla) until well blended. In separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder/soda salt & spices). Add to wet ingredients and mix well. Fold in walnuts and raisins. (Sometimes I add a cup of shredded carrot, too.) If batter is too thick add a tablespoon or two of water. Spoon evenly into tins.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degree oven.

Pumpkin Cranberry Carrot Muffins

PUMPKIN-CRANBERRY-CARROT MUFFINS
This recipe is adapted from my favorite cookbook, Practical Paleo. If you're considering a paleo diet, this is a good book to have in your kitchen!

Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup grated carrots (our addition)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Gently fold in cranberries. (I also add in shredded carrots). Spoon evenly into tins lined with parchment or paper muffin liners. Bake 35-40 minutes.

*I forgot to add this to my last batch and didn't notice a difference.


Gingerbread Carrot Muffins

GINGERBREAD CARROT MUFFINS
This is another recipe adapted from Practical Paleo. Making a batch of muffins each week and putting them in the freezer in pairs gives us a ready-to-go breakfast. (Mike takes them to work each morning.)

Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup honey (original recipe calls for molasses)
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350℉. If using paper muffin liners, lightly spray with cooking oil (coconut oil spray) to make removing liners easier. Whisk wet ingredients in a mixing bowl (eggs, coconut oil, honey, vanilla, maple syrup) until well blended. Sift in dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in carrots and raisins. Spoon evenly into tins.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degree oven.


Banana-Chocolate Chip Muffins

BANANA-CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS
I winged it with this recipe up... so the ingredients may change a little as I tweak. Chip has suggested substituting walnuts for the dark chocolate chips the next time. Great suggestion!

Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 cup dark chocolate chips or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350℉. If using paper muffin liners, lightly spray with cooking oil (coconut oil spray) to make removing liners easier. Whisk wet ingredients in a mixing bowl (eggs, coconut oil, honey, vanilla) until well blended. Sift in dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Spoon evenly into tins.

Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degree oven.


Blueberry Muffins

BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
Yum! It's July, and blueberries are in season.

Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil or butter*
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 350℉. If using paper muffin liners, lightly spray with cooking oil (coconut oil spray) to make removing liners easier. Whisk wet ingredients in a mixing bowl (eggs, coconut oil, honey, vanilla) until well blended. Sift in dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in blueberries. Spoon evenly into tins.

Bake for 35 minutes at 350 degree oven.


Chocolate-Walnut Muffins

CHOCOLATE-WALNUT MUFFINS
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 c melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 c coconut flour
  • 1/2 c dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Add wet ingredients (except water) to mixer, including the mashed banana, and blend. In separate bowl, add all dry ingredients. (I actually sift through a mesh strainer. I do that for all my muffins and it gives them an even, tender crumb.) Add dry ingredients to mixer and blend until well combined. Add walnuts and stir in water. Divide evenly into 12 muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.


Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

PALEO PUMPKIN BREAKFAST COOKIES
Who said you can't eat cookies for breakfast? These remind me of a firm muffin top. Soft and cakey, but solid like a cookie. 2 cookies and a cup of coffee? Yes, please. These are a great on-the-go breakfast before a ride.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c honey or grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Whisk wet ingredients to combine, sift in dry ingredients, mix well. Fold in raisins. Let batter stand to thicken a little. Dough will be soft but should hold a shape. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet covered in parchment or non-stick mat, (silpat). With your hands, pat down and form your cookie. These will not spread like regular cookies. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so. Cool on cookie sheet and remove to wire rack. Makes about a dozen cookies. I store these in a container in the freezer, and take two out for a quick breakfast rather than a muffin. (Note: These aren't very sweet, which I prefer -- But Will thinks they need more honey or maple syrup for added.)


Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

PALEO PUMPKIN PANCAKES
These are inspired by my fellow SpiderOne teammate, Brooke C., who mentioned  pumpkin pancakes during a workout last week, and I couldn't get them out of my head until I made them. Chip labeled them "Dessert for Dinner"...  but with eggs (protein) and pumpkin (beta-carotene), they're packed with nutrition. Skip the syrup in the recipe to avoid the sugar.

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp grade B maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • coconut oil for pan

Whisk together eggs and pumpkin, add remaining ingredients to form a batter. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat coconut oil in fry pan and spoon into small pancakes. (I fit 4 in a pan.) Wait for bubbles to form on top and flip to cook other side. So sweet, they don't need maple syrup.



SWEET TREATS 2


Peach Crisp

PALEO FRUIT CRISP
It's peach season and we're crazy with peaches right now from our farm co-op. (Soon it'll be time for apples!) This recipe can be adapted for many kinds of fruit, (apples, berries, etc..) and the kids like it. Not too sweet.

Filling ingredients:
  • Peaches, (or peeled apples, etc.), sliced 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (plus 1 TBS cinnamon if apples)
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder
Topping ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flower
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey
In large bowl toss fruit, arrowroot powder and spices to coat evenly. 

In separate bowl, combine topping ingredients. Add fruit to 2 quart baking dish. Dot topping over top of peaches, (it's a bit moist, but you can make small "crumbles") and bake in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until bubbling and topping is brown. 


Dark Chocolate Mocha-Bacon Brownies

MOCHA-BACON BROWNIES
This recipe is amazing. Dark chocolate-espresso-bacon brownies... what could be better? (This is not a weak brownie.) Adapted from Practical Paleo
    Ingredients
    • 4 oz dark chocolate, melted
    • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
    • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 Tablespoons very strong coffee
    • 3 slices slightly crisp bacon, chopped
    In a medium bowl, combine all wet ingredients except coffee. (Chocolate, coconut oil, maple syrup, and eggs.) Slowly sift in cocoa powder over wet ingredients, stirring to combine. Stir in coffee until well mixed. Line a 9"x9" square pan with parchment or waxed paper. Spread brownie batter in pan and top with bacon. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 25 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and cut into squares. Mmmmmmm perfect.




    ORGANIC VEGETABLES FROM OUR LOCAL CSA
    We belong to the Farm Direct Co-op, which isn't technically a CSA but operates like one. (It includes several farms.)  Many of the meals I make during the week depend on what vegetables I have on hand.

    Tonight's dinner is a Chicken Vegetable Pad Thai, made with summer squash noodles that I make with the spiral slicer. Tonight I also added pea tendrils, sugar snap peas and fresh carrots. YUM.

    Here is the recipe based on what I picked up from yesterday's farm share. You can vary the veggies based on what's in season.

    Paleo Pad Thai

    PALEO CHICKEN VEGETABLE PAD THAI
    Ingredients:
    • 1 lb chicken tenders
    • 2 medium summer squash or zucchini
    • 3 medium carrots
    • small handful pea tendrils
    • three handfuls of snap peas
    • 4 scallions
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
    • 2 heaping tablespoons sunbutter (replaces peanutbutter.)
    • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
    • 2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
    • 1 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • shake cayenne pepper, shake red pepper flakes
    • chopped nuts for garnish (tonight we have toasted almonds)
    • chopped scallions for garnish
    In crockpot, add coconut milk, broth, sun butter, coconut aminos, fish sauce, ginger, garlic, green onions, cayenne, and red pepper. Stir well until sunbutter is dissolved. Brown chicken and place in bottom of crockpot in the sauce. Wash and spiral slice your squash or zucchini into "pasta strands" and set aside. Shred your carrots, (I use a food processer but you could use a veg peeler), and remove ends of sugar snap peas. Layer the veggies on top of the chicken, with the squash noodles as the last layer on top. The idea is to steam the noodles, not stew them. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Remove noodles and other veggies and strain in a colander, tossing to mix. To serve, top noodles with chicken and sauce and garnish with chopped nuts and scallions.


    Chicken Curry

    CHICKEN CURRY
    Like stir fry, curry can be versatile. Vegetables depend on what is in season. Protein can be chicken, beef or shrimp. Below is a basic curry.

    Ingredients
    • 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 2 Tbsp curry
    • 1/4 cup golden raisins
    • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil for cooking
    • Any variety of vegetables. (Tonight's curry included 1 red pepper, 3 carrots cut into large cubes, 1/2 lb snap peas, (ends snapped, strings removed), and cauliflower.
    Cook chicken in coconut oil, remove from skillet and set aside. Add onions, garlic and veggies to skillet and cook to crisp-tender. Add chicken broth, coconut milk and seasonings. Stir and cook to simmering. Serve over cauliflower rice. Easy!

    Add a pinch of ginger or cinnamon or red pepper flake to alter flavors. Sometimes I add diced chillies.



    Butternut Squash and Pear Soup



    BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PEAR SOUP

    Fall crops are our favorite, and as the days get shorter and the nights colder, a soup simmering on the stove fills the house with yummy goodness.

    Tonight I happened to pick up a butternut squash and pears from our farm share, and knew this recipe would be perfect with grilled chicken or coconut biscuits on the side. Fall is here.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 large butternut squash
    • 3 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp ginger (or minced ginger root)
    • 1 Tbsp curry
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 4 cups chicken broth
    • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • raisins (optional as added garnish)
    Cut squash in half, remove seeds and guts and place halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast in a 375 degree oven until very soft, about 45-50 minutes. Scoop from shell and set aside.

    Melt coconut oil in dutch oven (or large sauce pan) over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and salt. Cook until onion is soft. Add chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add pears and squash and simmer until pears are soft.  Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. (Or pour soup into blender -- no more than half way full -- and blend in batches. Return to pot.) Stir in coconut milk and reheat. (If soup is too thick, add broth or coconut milk to desired consistency.)


    Beef and Tomato Stew

    BEEF and TOMATO STEW

    Ingredients:
    • 1-2 lbs stew beef
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
    • Approx. 4 cups beef stock
    • 2-3 onions, chopped
    • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
    • 3-4 potatoes*, peeled and cubed
    • 1 quart diced tomatoes (or a 28 oz can)
    • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
    In dutch oven over medium-high heat, saute onions, carrots, potatoes for 3-5 minutes in coconut or olive oil. Add beef, tomatoes, beef stock and seasonings. Cover and cook for 1 hour on simmer. Remove lid and cook uncovered an additional 45 minutes to reduce some of the liquid and thicken the broth. Easy. (Thanks, Leslie, for the recipe!)

    *White potatoes are "on the line" as far as paleo is concerned. We eat them occasionally.


    Paleo Beef Chili with Sweet Potato

    PALEO BEEF CHILI
    Ingredients
    • 1 large chuck roast, cut into small cubes
    • 2 large onions, chopped
    • 2 red peppers, chopped
    • 2 chili peppers*
    • 1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2" cubes (optional)
    • 2 Tablespoons coconut or olive oil
    • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
    • 2 quarts diced tomatoes (or 2 large cans)
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 2-3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake (or cayenne pepper)
    • salt and pepper
    In dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add beef cubes to brown 4-5 minutes, stiring once. Add garlic, chopped onions, red peppers, and chilies*, stiring to soften slightly. Add all seasonings, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Mix well. remove dutch from stove and place in preheated 250 degree oven, (or transfer chili to crockpot set on low setting). Slow cook for 6-7 hours. For thicker chili, remove cover of dutch oven/pot for final half hour of cooking to allow some liquid to evaporate. The whole house will smell good. Perfect on a cold, wet winter day!




    There's probably a great recipe somewhere for meatballs that I haven't yet come across. This one I made up on the fly, and the boys actually liked it. 

    EASY PALEO MEATBALLS
    Ingredients
    • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
    • 1/2 head cauliflower, pulsed in a food processor to a coarse rice-like texture 
    • one egg
    • 1 small onion, diced 
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 heaping tablespoons of italian seasoning (basil, oregano, rosemary)
    Combine all of the ingredients until they are well mixed and form the mixture into meatballs. Gently brown in a heated skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil.

    In a saucepot, heat tomato sauce or seasoned diced tomatoes over a low heat, and add meatballs to continue cooking in sauce for about an hour. (Another option is to place the meatballs in a slow cooker with sauce and cook on low for a few hours.)

    Serve the meatballs over spaghetti squash (if you're paleo) or regular pasta (if you're a kid), or just eat them with sauce. Easy.


    Sunday Prep

    WEEKLY PALEO PREP LIST

    It takes me 2 hours on Sundays to get our week in order. It sounds like a ton of time (and sometimes it feels like it) but it's hard to stay on track without putting in the effort on Sunday. Mike takes a breakfast, lunch, and snack to work every day, including a salad, grilled chicken, 2 servings of fruit, an energy bar and a package of paleo muffins. Dinner is late, and often something he or I can make quickly like a stir fry or curry, so having the veggies and protein cut and prepped in advance makes life easier. (And I like having energy bars or lara bars ready-to-go in the fridge, for a long ride or pre/post workout snack.)

    The Weekly Prep
    • 1 dozen hard boiled eggs
    • 4-5 salads in ready-to-go containers
    • Grilled chicken, divided for 4-5 salads
    • 1-2 dozen paleo muffins, paired into sandwich bags and stored in freezer
    • 2 versions of Apricot energy bars -- one chocolate chip, one cranberry-raisin
    • 1 head cauliflower, "riced" in food processor
    • Broccoli and cauliflower, washed and cut for stir fry
    • Red peppers & onions, sliced for stir fry
    • Spiral sliced sweet potatoes, stored in ziploc bag
    • Carrots, shredded and stored in container
    • Ripe bananas, sliced and frozen, stored in airtight container
    • Strawberries (in season), washed, sliced, and divided into small containers for lunches
    • Watermelon (in season), cut into cubes
    • Homemade applesauce (canned this fall) in small containers
    • Paleo mayo, (recipe above), stored in small container



    THE TRADER JOE'S SHOPPING LIST
    Our closest Trader Joe's is 20-30 minutes away, and I need A LIST when shopping there so I don't forget anything! Below are the paleo friendly 'staples' that are in our shopping cart. (Non-paleo items are noted.)

    Trader Joe's Shopping List
    • Almond Butter
    • Sunbutter
    • Unsweetened applesauce
    • Clover Honey
    • Grade B Maple Syrup
    • Dried Turkish Apricots (unsulphered)
    • Dried Cranberries
    • Golden California Raisins
    • Banana Chips
    • Almonds (individual snack bags)
    • Nuts—Almonds, Walnuts
    • Tomatillo Roasted Yellow Pepper Salsa
    • Fire roasted diced green chilies
    • Salsa Authentica
    • Fire roasted red peppers
    • Olives
    • Almond meal
    • Vanilla extract (alcohol free)
    • Coconut Milk (in resealable container)
    • Almond Milk (unsweeteed)
    • Coconut oil spray
    • Balsamic vinegar
    • Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Coconut Oil (yum)
    • Olive Oil
    • Dark Chocolate (70% cacao and up)
    • Tea
    • Fruit Juice (100% juice)
    • Energy bars for boys*
    • Mandarin Orange Chicken for boys*
    • Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner*

    *(Not paleo, or not edible, ha ha, but I don't want to forget these while I'm there!)

    WHAT'S IN SEASON AT OUR LOCAL FARMS
    This is a great chart that reminds me what I can expect to see at our CSA or the Farmer's Market each month. Click photo to enlarge.




    WHAT'S ON MY BOOKSHELF OR KINDLE
    There are many great books and websites I use a reference for the paleo diet. Practical Paleo has it's own dedicated spot in my kitchen, and I use it several times a week. (You would think I'd know the recipes by heart.) We're still working through the book, trying new recipes, and my copy is becoming well-worn. I also like Alana Amsterdam's website (Alana's Pantry) and recently purchased her new book, Paleo Cooking. It's a small one, but has a few already-favorite recipes inside. It Starts with Food is another great reference book, and I often return to it when embarking on a Whole 30 to tighten up my diet. Here are the books you'll find on my paleo bookshelf: