We got a lot of snow in Boston last night, and the temperatures are hovering right around zero. I’ve been staying inside and cooking up a storm, mainly testing out recipes for my review of Cooking with Coconut Oil by Elizabeth Nyland of Guilty Kitchen, which will go up this weekend. I’ve made two meals from the book so far and loved them both! Since I don’t have a brand new recipe to share today, I wanted to point you towards five paleo flavor boosters to make or buy and have on hand for an extra delicious Whole30 (if you’ve never heard of a Whole30, check out yesterday’s post where I explain things briefly). Even if you’re not Whole30-ing this month, stocking your pantry with these delicious items enables you to indulge while still being healthy!
Also, guess what? I found another blogger doing a Whole30! Even though she’s across the country in Austin, I’m still so happy not to be in this alone! Stop by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine to say hi to Ashley and see what she’s cooking. She recently posted a Paleo taco casserole with sweet potatoes that looks amazing.
1. Ghee–This stuff is amazing. No wonder Indian food is always so delicious, since almost every recipe starts with ghee! It’s easy to make your own ghee at home. It smells so good, and tastes even better. Seriously, you might want to eat it with a spoon. It’s the only kind of dairy allowed on the Whole30, and I am so glad to have it. Non Whole30ers, you should still make this! It has a much higher smoke point than butter, so you can cook with it and not worry about it burning. Also, the flavor is just superior to regular butter in every way. Best of all, ghee is free of lactose and casein, so people with dairy intolerances are often able to enjoy it.
Learn how to make ghee with these step-by-step instructions from Nom Nom Paleo. If you’re looking for a Whole30-approved way to drink your coffee in the morning, you might want to try this Bulletproof Coffee from Stupid Easy Paleo that’s made with ghee and coconut oil. I also use my ghee to fry eggs and saute meat and vegetables.
|This fabulous Creole hash & eggs was cooked in homemade ghee.
2. Almond milk—Making your own almond milk at home is fun and pretty simple. It’s delicious in coffee, and a small glass of almond milk makes a great snack. You can also use it in place of regular milk in soups, gratins, and many other recipes. Most store-bought almond milk has many additives and is not Whole30-approved, so homemade is the way to go. See my post on how to make almond milk here.
4. Sunshine sauce–This amazing sauce from The Clothes Make the Girl is my favorite paleo condiment. Are you a fan of Thai peanut sauce? This tastes almost exactly the same, but it’s Whole30 approved. Mel’s original recipe calls for sunbutter, but I usually make it with almond butter and it’s just as delicious. I like to halve the amount of rice vinegar and use orange juice instead of lemon or lime for a slightly sweeter sauce. Try serving sunshine sauce alongside sliced chicken breast and steamed veggies for a paleo version of Rama Garden. Or, slice up some bell peppers and carrots and dip them in the sauce for a healthy snack. Mel also has a recipe for paleo pad thai using sunshine sauce that I’ve been meaning to try. I highly recommend making a double recipe of this to have some on hand in the fridge!
|Paleo Rama Garden: sliced rotisserie chicken, steamed broccoli, and sunshine sauce.
5. Garnishes–I know this is not really just one thing, but garnishes make your meal more beautiful and flavorful, which is especially important during a Whole30. Stock up on some garnishes and start making your food that much more irresistible.
- Soup: I hardly ever eat soup without a garnish. Try herbs or spices used in the soup, a dollop of coconut cream (refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight and scoop the cream off the top), or a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil. Mix your coconut cream with citrus juice or a little bit of chipotle chile first to make it extra special (who needs sour cream?). Or, get fancy with sliced almonds, chopped pecans, pomegranate seeds, or citrus zest. If it’s chili, I recommend avocado, cilantro, chopped red onion, sliced scallions, and a squeeze of lime (any or all of these are delicious).
- Salads: These need a little extra flair and/or crunch. Try cilantro, mint, parsley, pomegranate seeds, sliced almonds, toasted walnuts, diced apple, toasted coconut flakes, diced red onion, blueberries, dried cranberries, flax seeds, avocado or sunflower seeds.
- Meat and poultry: Melt a little ghee on top, then sprinkle with your favorite spice or some chopped fresh herbs. Or, take a few extra minutes to make a fabulous sweet and savory shallot garnish: Finely chop a few shallots, then saute them in ghee or olive oil until they are nice and browned. Trust me–a spoonful of sauteed shallots makes everything way more delicious!
|Pomegranate and sliced almonds make this orange ginger soup special.
Do you have any other favorite paleo flavor-boosters or go-to garnishes? Please share in the comments!
Want more Whole30 tips & recipes? Come back for a new post everyday this month, and check out Day 1 and Day 2 if you missed them! For even more paleo recipes, check out these Whole30 posts from my archives or my Whole30 Pinterest board. Also, follow me on Instagram to see pics of what I’m eating throughout my Whole30.
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