These caramelized pork meatball “vermicelli” bowls are made with paleo-friendly caramel and spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
My favorite thing to order at our local Vietnamese restaurant is bún chả, a bowl of vermicelli topped with pickled vegetables, peanuts, and grilled sliced pork or pork meatballs, served with a generous bowl of nước chấm (sweet fish sauce) on the side. This caramelized pork meatball “vermicelli” bowl is a paleo version that hits all the right notes without refined sugar, legumes, or actual vermicelli–the noodles are spaghetti squash instead!
I’m not always a fan of swapping spaghetti squash for regular noodles, but it really works in this dish. There are so many flavors and textures intermingling that the squash flies almost completely under the radar.
I’m finished with the first week of my Whole30, and feeling pretty great. You can see almost every delicious thing I’ve eaten over on Instagram–I’ve been having so much fun trying out new recipes and revisiting old favorites. Doing a challenge like this really gets the creativity flowing!
So far I’m breezing through each day without craving any off-plan foods–I even survived a friend’s birthday party last night without any serious yearnings for the cake, cookies, booze, or tortilla chips that everyone else was enjoying. I sipped on seltzer with lime, snacked on mixed nuts, and felt pretty darn virtuous.
As winter settles in, I’m trying to remain focused on the few cold-weather activities I actually enjoy– namely, roasting things, making hot drinks, and baking cookies. (Don’t even try to get me excited about skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. I’ll just meet up with you in the lodge for some hot chocolate when you’re done freezing your nose and toes on the frigid slopes.)
There is one other winter activity I enjoy, though, and that is going on Caribbean vacations. I don’t have the money for a trip anywhere warm this year, but Ben and I had an amazing time in Jamaica year before last. Today we relived some of those good times by eating this paleo roasted jerk chicken with carrots and potatoes. It’s no trip to the islands, but it does taste really good.
My mom is from Texas, and I lived there for four years, so I am a bit of a Southern girl at heart. I like fried okra, really hot weather, and smiling at people I don’t know (not as much of a thing here in Boston, unfortunately).
As a true Texan, my mom gets really excited about greens, but I was never able to share in her excitement until now. When I was a kid she often worked to recreate the greens my grandmother used to make, which started with salt pork and reportedly ended up as a fabulous and memorable side dish. I never had the chance to try my grandmother’s greens, so I can’t really say how my mom’s versions compared, but as a child I felt exasperation and dread whenever my mother picked up those gargantuan leaves at the store. I just didn’t like collard greens.
Summer has finally (and suddenly) arrived in Boston, so it’s probably time to have a party. Here are ten paleo recipes I recommend for meeting all manner of summer celebration needs, from “What can I do with all these flag toothpicks from my mother?” to “How can I sneak coffee and/or balsamic vinegar into recipes that don’t normally call for them?”
Those are the kinds of dilemmas you’re grappling with, right?
I am always on the lookout for more ideas, and hearing from you makes my day. Share what you’re planning to make (or just eat) in the comments, or let me know what kinds of recipes you’d like to see on A Calculated Whisk in July and August!