So in this journey I’ve gotten loads of questions ranging in the “What do you buy?” to “What do you make?” spectrum. I’ve decided to address the recipes – I have only a handful of recipes that I made up myself, so much credit is due to OTHER authors/bloggers for helping me eat real!
This isn’t all we eat! For one, I am still transitioning a family which includes an Italian husband (read: pasta) and incredibly picker eater (read: texture aversions). And the other thing to consider is that we have some staples which includes items such as fresh fruit, toast, yogurt, and scrambled eggs.
My goal is to try at least one or two new recipes a week. And I almost always make one meal that I know will freeze well… most of the time, I cut recipes in half with exception to my freeze-well ones. (Example: like the mentioned french onion soup below. Freeze the soup, thaw when you want, top it appropriately and put it in the broiler!)
It is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT YOU NOTE: I am not “paleo”. I follow a traditional foods/Weston A. Price Foundation model of foods, which includes soaked beans and soaked grains. If a recipe calls for soaking, it is imperative that you do it: 1) If you skip this step, you can expect different results/less than perfect texture (etc)… and I’m imagining significantly drier. 2) You are doing your body harm by eating unsoaked grains & beans… you’ll be exposing yourself to the phytic acid in the grains, which disrupts your gut and prevents you from absorbing nutrition.
I try to use coconut oil for most frying, grass-fed butter when required, and I read, read, read ingredient labels before buying anything that’s been processed in anyway before I eat it, and that includes even the organic/healthy/natural brands. The two biggest things I avoid are soy and corn as ingredients (in ANY format). I use organic maple syrup and raw local honey for almost all sweetening; I do keep a stash of rapadura around but rarely use it. I do NOT keep white sugar in the house. You can almost always use a mix of ground flax and almond flour for breading in a recipe (like making your own chicken-fried steak! Which, yes, I’ve done!), and you can use arrowroot powder as a corn starch replacement. If a recipe does not call for salt, add a pinch anyway. And always, always, always taste-test as you go. I can’t count you the times I’ve tasted something half-way and SO glad I did. I do not mean any disrespect to the fellow bloggers out there, but I’m of the opinion many were not in the kitchen before they started real-food-cooking and have significantly underestimated the value of salt. (And if something tastes like it’s just “missing” when you taste half-way? Add salt, then try again 5-10 minutes later. You’d be surprised what salt can do!) Last note on salt … buying refined salt is the same degenerative issues as buying refined sugar. Don’t do it! Buy it as little as processed as possible!
And this is the last piece of (unwarranted, it may be) advise: the goal is not a diet. The goal is to feed your body the nutrition it needs to thrive. When you feed your body what it needs, it will heal itself (God made your body that way!), and for me… my body let go of the weight.
So! Without further ado, my favorite recipes:
Soaked oatmeal … this is the basic idea here. What you’re really looking for is to soak the oats, then cook the next morning and season as you prefer (and by season, I mean a pinch of salt + whatever things you like in it, such as applesauce, maple syrup, etc.)
Homemade breakfast sausage I use a mix of gmo-free-fed ground pork and beef, but it’s really the ground pork that makes it taste better. (I throw in the ground beef just because I have so much of it after buying my beef in bulk.)
Pumpkin Apple Pie Muffins (paleo-friendly) … and these are to die for. If you don’t believe me, ask my co-blogger, Eleilia.
Whole-wheat soaked buttermilk biscuits. You should know that I go ahead and use 100% organic whole wheat with these, and do the overnight soak entirely with buttermilk, not the apple cider vinegar + water. I did have to increase the total amount of liquid to closer to 1 cup, and that’s because buttermilk is thicker. If you’ve ever made biscuits from scratch, you’ll know the texture required and how to tweak it. If you’ve never done it the way most people make biscuits, I would recommend either scheduling a time so I can show you how to do it or follow Shaye’s instructions exactly.
Coconut Flour Pancakes (paleo-friendly)
Pear Tart (very close to paleo!)
French Onion Soup. I did not like french onion soup until I had this. It’s incredible. I practically lick my bowl. And steal my husband’s.
Brussel Sprouts + Bacon. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve done it. You couldn’t pay me to eat a brussel sprout before changing the way I eat, and now I seriously crave this dish. (And I could eat the whole tray myself!)
Refried Beans. There are two things you need to know about beans. One, you need to soak them following a method similar to this. You rinse them off, and THEN you follow this recipe. (I DO NOT USE THE BULLIONS! Just put in a little extra salt. Or you can throw in some homemade chicken broth!) Want to know something cool about all that awesome bean broth that’s created once the refried beans are done? I use that awesome broth as the base for this fabulous Mexican Tortilla Soup. (I am all about not wasting any part of edible food! This is how people have been eating for thousands of years.)
Spaghetti Squash + red sauce or flour-free alfredo sauce. I don’t have recipes (yet) for either of these sauces, but it’s something I created from scratch. I would strongly recommend you move away from canned red pasta sauce. Aside from the fact that it’s cheaper to make it yourself, it’s incredibly expensive to buy organic, and they still often have sugar in them.
Skillet Meat-n-potatoes. I sub in kale for greens and feta for goat’s cheese.
Raw almond butter cups (paleo friendly)
Spinach crepes. These are fabulous for when you just need a sandwich/wrap. I have fried an egg and used leftover ham with these and they are divine. These are paleo-friendly.
Soaked whole wheat bread. Aside from the soaked beans/refried beans explanation, this linked recipe requires careful attention. I’ve baked bread from scratch before this, so understanding her terminology and how to do it was not hard. Baking bread is definitely a skill, and the only way to get better at it is to have lots, and lots, and lots of yucky loaves.
Homemade chicken broth. First off, it’s crazy cheaper to buy a whole bird than just buy the breasts, or legs, or whatever. AND if you buy the whole chicken you can make your own broth! Sound crazy homesteader-ish/hippie/hard? Go read the recipe. I do it in the crockpot and this is the best chicken broth EVER.