I like to eat food. …All sorts of food.
Sometimes I like to cook food and try new recipes.
Sometimes I don't and I feel lazy.
Being lazy is not healthy- because that means you order pizza or take-out Thai food.
Mmmm Pad Kee Mao.
I am trying not to be lazy at this very moment and find inspiration to create a tasty and healthy dinner.
…It's not working.

I thought maybe if I shared my experience and the recipes I tried in my sad attempt to try and follow the Paleo-lifestyle that it would encourage me to cook tonight.  Hopefully by the end of this post I will have found such encouragement.

So… Paleo, huh?  I know, everyone is doing it.  Sometimes you want to roll your eyes at the stupid stuff that "everyone" is doing… kind of like what I did with Twitter.  And then I had PR reps look at me and tell me I need Twitter if I want to be a food photographer.  Twitter didn't seem so stupid after that.  So when people told me about Paleo- that they cut out all grains, sugars and dairy again I rolled my eyes and called it a fad diet.  Which perhaps it is.  However, if you look into it a little bit you realize, fad or not, it makes sense and it's healthier.  I eat too much sugar, I know that.  I'm addicted big time.  (Man, a donut sounds good right now, doesn't it?)  I thought I would give the Paleo-lifestyle a go and try to at least cut down my grain and sugar intake.  I knew off the bat that it wouldn't be a 100% full-commitment type of thing, that's not my style.  In fact I can only think of two things I am 100% committed too- God and my husband.  I LOVE eating out… I mean I am trying to be a food photographer so it comes with the territory.  That has probably been the most difficult part- eating out.  A close second is me being lazy… it takes more effort to buy cauliflower, finely grate it and create rice than throwing my already purchased (extra, extra large bag) of white rice into my rice cooker.

Have I cheated?  Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

I am trying to figure out this new lifestyle and find the correct balance for me.  In the mean time I have come across a lot of stellar recipes- mainly from OMG That's Paleo? cookbook.  I'll share them with you. :)

1. Cilantro Chicken Nuggets.  …I bought a dill flavored and jalapeño flavored mustard to go along with these nuggets and other grilled chicken dishes.  Ground chicken might taste better- not sure… I only could find ground turkey and I used that.

2. Pumpkin Cashew Coconut Curry over Coconut "Rice" …Cauliflower rice works and tastes great.  It's messy though!  My husband was not impressed with the kitchen afterwards.

3. Avocado Cilantro Chicken Salad …Great for lunch.

4. Spicy Mexican-Stuffed Poblanos …I did it with 5 peppers and that was more than enough for two people.

5. Blackberry Glazed Pork Chops …Easy-peasy and good.

6. Citrus Mango Spicy Tilapia and Kale …For two people I just used two large fillets and I only had lemon and it was still delish.

7.  Red Curry Scallop Soup … The only dish that I made twice (and in the same week)!!  It was very good.  Unfortunately this was a "new" recipe just for the cookbook I bought so I can't link it up to her blog.  If you'd like the recipe you can either purchase the book or email me.

8. Grilled Salmon and Asparagus Frittata …Obviously for breakfast.  I thought it needed a little something on top (like she mentioned) so I put avocados, cherry tomatoes and a little bit of a chipotle sauce I have.

9. Caramelized Plantain Pancakes… Not only did I make these for the first time but I pre-made the batter and then used it while we were camping.  That changed a few things as far as cooking them- I had to like turn them into little patties almost (like crab cakes).  I enjoyed them still and will definitely try again as more of an actual pancake style.

10. Simple Blueberry Muffins… I made them and my husband loved them and asked me to make them again.  Second time around there were no blueberries at my grocery store (??) so I bought blackberries. I also didn't have quite enough coconut oil… so I did half coconut oil and half lemon grape seed oil.  Since I was going with a little lemon I also tossed in some lemon zest.  They were good too- but the blueberry was probably a little better.

11. Apple Cinnamon Muffins… These were good but not as good as the above muffin recipe.  (Probably because it's missing the most amazing thing- almond butter! lol.)

12. Roasted Grape, Bacon and Kale Salad … OMG is right on this one.  I've made it a handful of times now- it's soooo good.  Of course the "dressing" is basically bacon fat.  I don't have a link for this recipe either but it's a piece of cake.  Take a handful of red grapes throw a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on them and then bake them at 425 for about 15 minutes.  While they are baking throw about 4-5 pieces of bacon on a skillet and cook.  Remove bacon and then toss a bunch of chopped Kale into the bacon grease and cook the Kale down.  Toss all three ingredients together (obviously brake up the bacon) and chow down.  It's amazing.

13. Roasted Red Pepper Dip… Great dip.  She has you make Sweet Potato Chips to go along with this dip.  I actually have made the chips and used them with my guacamole recipe instead.  With the pepper dip I used Plantain Chips which she also has a recipe for but no link… or if you're feeling lazy Trader Joe's sells plantain chips.

14. Coconut Curry and Butternut Squash Soup… this is the only recipe I'll link-up that's not from the OMG Paleo book.  This is straight-up Pinterest.  It was alright… because I used a Vitamix I think some of the flavors were too strong like the onion.

Of course there were a lot of things I just made with out a recipe.  I did the obvious spaghetti squash as "spaghetti" and lettuce-wrapped hamburgers.  I made Portobello Mushroom Pizzas which were really good.  And the good ol' standbys… grilled meats, grilled veggies, salads, taco salad, tortilla soup (minus the tortilla and cheese part), smoothies and lots of lots of egg concoctions for breakfast.

I'm sure there are two questions on your mind.  One- Where are the photos, Aubrie?  Can you believe that I did not take photos of any of these recipes!!  I'm thinking that if I continue to do this that I'll have to start photographing the dishes and posting them.  But for this post, sorry, no photos.  Second- did I find my  motivation to cook at home last night?  Yes, last night.  I started this post Friday evening… my husband came home and said "I had a hard week can we go out and get a beer?"  So to answer the question I did find motivation but my husband quickly changed my mind.  If my man needs a beer and needs to go out than dang-it we need to go out!  We ventured over to a really cool new spot in downtown Beaverton called Watson Hall.  Great food, yummy beer and cool atmosphere.  Check it out.

…I now have motivation to write out my recipes for this upcoming week and keep chugging along on this Paleo-lifestyle.

Cheers and happy eating.

PS. If you're out and about in the Northwest/Nob Hill area and need a great spot for yummy salads check out Kiva.  Their Kale Salad was amazing!!

1 comment:

Adventures in Dressmaking said...

Congrats!! Totally makes sense to me - If I write about it, and find all the links and look at all the pictures, I'll probably be more excited to do it! I do that with sewing inspiration sometimes... ;)

But wow, great collection of recipes, those all sound incredible!! I really started enjoying cooking and food when we went Paleo almost a year and a half ago. (I was raw vegan for 3 years before that which seriously damaged both my health and my relationship to food, and was vegetarian for 10 years before that so had literally NEVER cooked meat or complicated dishes.) I have several beautiful cookbooks and I get so excited when they come out and I listen to podcasts with the authors and all that, and it is SO wonderful how many resources and websites there are now with recipes for anything you could want, made Paleo-friendly. And really, most delicious dishes can be made without inflammatory ingredients once you figure it out (Julia Child recipes, other culture foods...) - and since going Paleo, I've been able to eat out way MORE than I used to, at most high quality Portland restaurants it's easy to just say "no bun" or no crackers or whatever. (A little less so on the Paleo 21 Day Sugar Detox we're on this month, but still lots of options!)

You'll probably figure out after an elimination diet phase like Whole30 which foods work for you and don't. My husband can tolerate white rice and some dairy, for example, without a negative reaction. (And has kept off 30 pounds - so proud of him!) The new movement in Paleo is personalization, really - the "Paleo police" who complain on people's Instagrams that XYZ isn't "Paleo" are out and people discovering which foods and which macronutrient balance works for them is in.

If you ever want to listen to podcasts about Paleo nutrition and lifestyle topics, I highly recommend Balanced Bites and The Paleo View! And Fat-Burning Man show. There are SO many good ones out there, but if you have any specific questions it's great to listen to the archives.