This morning when I woke up, I wanted to do something a little different with my eggs. When I saw the vegetables we had in the fridge (asparagus and Brussels sprouts), I started to wonder why some vegetables are a common find at breakfast time, while some are not. Mushrooms, peppers, and onions are often seen as omelette fillings, but Brussels sprouts not so much.
10 Delicious Recipes Paleoified
I am going strong on the fourth day of my Whole30! I’ve been taking a look at my recipe index, trying to find more recipes I can tweak to make them paleo. I like variety, and it can’t ALL be about almond flour pancakes and zucchini noodles. The more dishes I have in my paleo arsenal, the more likely I am to successfully stay full and on track.
This weekend is going to be a big challenge, because I’m heading down to Austin for my cousin’s wedding. It’s going to be really hard to say no to tacos and wedding cake! I’m thinking about relaxing my standards a TINY bit while I’m there…nothing too crazy, but maybe a little barbecue sauce. Do you guys know any great Austin restaurants where I might be able to get great food without straying too far from my paleo intentions? If you do, leave me a comment! I’ll take some pictures while I’m out and about and share with you when I get back.
So, without further ado, here are ten recipes from my index along with easy ways to make sure they’re paleo.
1. Gambas al ajillo–this recipe is ALREADY paleo! It would be great over zucchini noodles.
3. Berry Coconut Smoothie–leave out the protein powder, or use a paleo version (I just discovered this site and haven’t tried their products, but it looks interesting!).
4. Chocolate Mousse–sweeten with honey to taste instead of sugar. If you haven’t tried this, check it out–there is a secret ingredient and it’s SO easy and decadent!
Sesame Lime Steak, Zucchini, & Avocado Salad
Ingredients (serves 2):
For the steak:
2/3 pound thin sliced top round steak (or another thin cut)
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red chili paste
Juice of half a lime
For the salad:
2 zucchini, cut or peeled into thin, noodle-like matchsticks
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon almond butter
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon apple juice
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds
To make the marinade, combine all ingredients in a shallow bowl and toss with the steak to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to two hours. If you marinate in the refrigerator, take the meat out 30 minutes before you plan to cook it to let it come to room temperature.
Heat a George Foreman grill or a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the steak to your desired doneness. Set steaks aside on a plate, covered.
In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter, sesame oil, coconut aminos, and apple juice to make a smooth sauce. Toss the zucchini to coat it with the sauce, and divide the zucchini between two plates. Slice the steak into strips and place it on top of the zucchini. Top the steak with the avocado slices and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve warm or chilled with lime wedges.
Paleo Poached Eggs with Creamy Spinach
Okay, big news. A Calculated Whisk is going paleo for one month. There. I said it. Now if I go and try to post some kind of insane ice cream cupcake cookie sandwich, you guys will call me out on it. Right?
Nobody tells you this, but the ugly downside of starting a food blog is you EAT so much of the delicious food you make that your figure kind of falls by the wayside. I love desserts, obviously, but you can only have so much. It’s time for a change. In the past I’ve lost a lot of weight following the Zone diet, but this time I wanted to try something different.
I’ve been hearing so much about paleo, and it makes sense to me that eating the foods we evolved eating would be the healthiest way to go. I checked out this website for the Whole 30, and thought I would give it a try. I got The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking: Entire Month of Paleo Meals, and I’m ready to go. The book is great, but I always think it’s more fun to create my own recipes. So, here it is! My first paleo breakfast. It tastes great, and I didn’t feel like anything was missing since it’s so filling, rich, and creamy.
Oh, and by the way! I’m on an exercise program, too. I’ve started barre3‘s 28 to Great. That’s six days of workouts a week (they have an awesome online library of 10, 30, 40, and 60 minute videos) for four weeks. I’ve done two workouts so far, and they are exhausting. It’s really targeted muscle work and I can tell it’s going to have an impact.
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Blackberry, Almond, and Rocket Salad with Fresh Mozzarella
Did you know that arugula is called rocket in the UK? Arugula is a pretty fun word, but rocket is even better. This salad has rocket in it, along with all the other delicious things listed in the title. After making blackberry cupcakes for this month’s Get Your Chef On challenge, I wanted to do something else fabulous with the rest of my juicy blackberries. I dreamed up this salad, and thought about it all day during class.
I was happy to find that it was even better than I had imagined! The spicy arugula, sweet blackberries, creamy mozzarella, and toasty almonds are the perfect combination. This is my new favorite summer salad. Ben loved it, too! When I served it he said it looked fancy (secret–any salad with blackberries looks fancy!), and then he asked for seconds. Usually he’s a one plate of salad kind of guy.
So, here’s what I would recommend. Go buy a lot of blackberries, make these cupcakes, then make this salad. A light dinner with a decadent dessert is the perfect thing to have on a summer evening.
Ingredients (serves 2):
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 cups arugula
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sea salt
1 heaping cup blackberries
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, roughly cubed
Toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often to make sure they don’t burn, until golden brown (less than five minutes). Set aside to cool.
Toss the arugula with the oil, vinegar, and salt and adjust seasonings to taste.
To serve, line plate with arugula. Top with blackberries, fresh mozzarella, and toasted almonds. Enjoy!
Vietnamese Pork & Vermicelli Bowl
There are lots of Vietnamese stores and restaurants in my neighborhood. On lazy days I do all my shopping at Truong Thinh, the Vietnamese market around the corner, and pick up a banh mi for lunch. One of my favorite places to eat is Pho Hoa, where I love to order the House Special Vermicelli Plate (number 90 in case you’re going–Pho Hoa is a chain and there might be one near you!). It comes with a bunch of delicious things, and rice paper wraps so you can make your own spring rolls. The first time I ordered it, the waiter brought the rice paper wraps first and Ben and I tried to take a bite of them. No dice. They are dry like paper until you soak them in hot water. Oops.
Anyway, the house special plate comes with those wraps (and a big bowl of hot water to soften them) and vermicelli, herbs and vegetables topped with grilled pork, meatballs, a spring roll, and shrimp & sugarcane. It also comes with fish sauce on the side. It’s SO good, and the grilled pork is my favorite. I don’t know what they do to it.
This dish is my attempt to recreate that dinner at home. I have to tell you, it’s really good, but it’s not QUITE the same flavor I get at the restaurant. You should still make it, though. It’s super yummy and healthy and beautiful (and lots of fun to photograph, if you’re into that). It has a lot of components, but almost all of them can easily be made in advance. When it’s time to eat, just cook the pork and put together your bowl!
Chewy Chocolate Almond Cookies
Guess what? In only 20 minutes, you can have rich, chewy chocolate almond cookies with no gluten, no butter or oil, no egg yolks, and no dairy! It sounds too good to be true, but these cookies are really delicious!
You’ll end up with a couple of egg yolks, which you could save for ice cream.
The bad news is that my bag of almond flour is now almost gone! I’ll definitely be buying more. From financiers to mocha brownies to these cookies, it’s my new favorite healthy baking ingredient. Go get some and make these today!
Note: You won’t taste the coffee in these cookies–I just added it to bring out the chocolate flavor. You can leave it out if you want a decaf cookie :0.
Ingredients (adapted from Heather’s Dish):
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 rounded tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon finely ground coffee (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the egg whites, vanilla, and almond extract and stir until the dough comes together.
Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the parchment paper, and flatten the tops slightly with your hand or a spoon (the cookies will not spread much at all while cooking). Bake for 10-15 minutes, until crisp on the outside but not burned on the bottoms. Cool on a wire rack.
Chickpea Mushroom Spread
In my last post, I shared a recipe for gambas al ajillo inspired by my meal at Solea. The other thing I was dying to try at home was Solea’s chickpea spread, which they bring at the beginning of the meal with a basket of crusty bread. It’s really delicious! I could tell it had chickpeas in it (plus, it was adorably garnished with one whole chickpea), but I couldn’t tell what made it so much richer, and so different from, hummus.
Luckily, our waiter didn’t mind telling us the other key ingredient–porcini mushrooms! I had never cooked with them before, and they smelled really funky before they were reconstituted. But, it was worth it. I was rewarded with this hearty dip, which I think is just as good as what I had at Solea.
Ingredients (makes about 1 1/2 cups):
1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Juice of half a lemon, or to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
Paprika for serving, optional
Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, and pour in very hot water to cover. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, rinse, and pat dry.
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, and saute the mushrooms for about five minutes.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, lemon juice, salt, and mushrooms. Turn the processor on and add the half cup of olive oil in a steady stream (you can use less oil and more mushroom water if you’d like). If the spread seems too dry, add the mushroom soaking water a tablespoon at a time and process until smooth.
Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Serve with crusty bread or vegetables for dipping.
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Lentil & Corn Fritters (plus Lentils & Couscous)
(my other favorite grain product). If you have leftover lentils, these are very easy and quick to make. If not, you should make this first recipe and have it for dinner with rice or couscous. The next day, you can make the fritters with the leftovers.
Ingredients for the fritters:
1 1/2 cups leftover lentils (from above recipe, or any well-cooked red lentils)
1 cups frozen corn kernels (no need to defrost)
3 scallions, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup masarepa
1 cup hot water
Canola oil or olive oil for cooking
Lime wedges for serving
In a large bowl, mix the leftover lentils, corn, scallions, cilantro, masarepa, and a pinch or two of salt. Add the hot water and stir to combine. Let sit for five minutes.
Meanwhile, heat about 1/8 inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough, a droplet of water should bounce and skitter across the skillet.
Using your hands, make balls of dough a little larger than golf balls and flatten them slightly to form patties. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Be gentle when you flip them–you’ll lose a few pieces of corn, but that’s okay.
Drain on paper towels. Serve hot, with sea salt sprinkled on top and lime wedges for squeezing over.
Extra uncooked fritter mixture can be kept for up to three days in the refrigerator.
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Black Bean & Corn Bisque
This is a delicious pantry soup, meaning you can make it with ingredients that might already be in your pantry. It’s healthy and filling, and topped with lots of good stuff. Also, it comes together in less than half an hour and packs a little mini punch. Yum!
P.S. I am calling this a bisque, because it sounds so much fancier than soup. However, according to Wikipedia, bisques have to be made with seafood stock. Oh well! No seafood here, but still delicious.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic paste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 15 ounce cans of black beans
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 packet Sazón Adobo seasoning
A few pinches cayenne pepper, to taste
1 cup water
Splash of silver tequila (optional)
3 tablespoons cream or coconut milk
Chopped fresh cilantro and scallions, for serving
Heat the butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and corn, and raise the heat to medium high. Stir in the garlic paste and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about ten minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beans along with their liquid. Add the oregano, cumin, Adobo seasoning, cayenne, and water. Stir to combine. Simmer for ten minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, stir in the tequila and let it bubble away for another minute or so.
Remove soup from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove about half of the beans and puree them in a food processor until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan, add the cream, and stir to combine.
Serve the soup with a generous scoop of corn and onions, and a sprinkling of scallions and cilantro.
Red Curry Vegetable Noodle Bowl
I LOVE curry made with coconut milk. It’s the most delicious thing ever. But, I am not the biggest fan of rice. I mean, rice is fine, but for me it’s nothing to write home about.
But, noodles? Noodles are my jam. All kinds of noodles. Italian noodles, Asian noodles…where are the noodles in Indian and Mexican cuisines? Big problem. Someone get on that quick.
Anyway, whenever I see noodles, I’m interested. Even in places where noodles might not seem to belong–bring on the noodles! One of my favorite Thai restaurants has a dish called Noodle Curry, which is a delicious yellow curry served over udon noodles. Genius! Curry and noodles are a match made in heaven. Watch out, rice. You ain’t got nothing on noodles.
Ingredients (adapted from The Little Foodie):
1 pound rice noodles
1/3 cup coconut cream (scrape off the top of a can of coconut milk that has not been shaken)
3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 tablespoons fish sauce (omit for a vegan or vegetarian dish–you may need to add some salt)
1 can coconut milk (Not the same can you scraped the cream off of! We need a lot of coconut love here. Save the other can for smoothies!)
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 pound snow peas
Sliced scallions and chopped fresh cilantro for serving
Boil water and cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
Heat the coconut cream in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it bubbles, add the curry paste and stir to mix. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.
Add the pepper and onion and mix well. Cook for five more minutes. Add the garlic, fish sauce, coconut milk, brown sugar, and snow peas. Cover the pot, and turn the heat down so the mixture simmers. Cook for about five more minutes, or until the snow peas are cooked but still crunchy and bright green.
Serve noodles in a bowl with vegetables and curry spooned on top. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro and serve hot.
Arepas with Black Beans and Corn & Avocado Salsa
caught my eye, and guess what? It had a super easy recipe for arepas right on the back.
(fine yellow cornmeal)