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The paleo version of mashed potatoes!

Here is what I started with:

  1. Chop raw cauliflower and steam until very tender.
  2. Put the cauliflower in a food processer with just a bit of coconut milk and blend until smooth.
  3. Add pepper to taste.

I tasted this, and it was good. It did not, however, taste just like mashed potatoes. The texture was similar, but it tasted still like cauliflower. If I was cooking for myself, this would have been fine. But I was cooking for Team Paleo Thanksgiving, so I wanted to make it a little more special. So, I roasted some garlic, chopped up some green onion, and added a little flax-oil mayonnaise to thicken it up just a bit.  Still didn’t taste like potatoes, but I think it was pretty delicious!

Super easy, visually appealing side dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 10 slices of prosciutto (I used applegate farms)
  • Olive oil and pepper, to taste

Recipe:

  1. Wash and trim asparagus. Place in a baking dish with olive oil and pepper.
  2. Roast the asparagus at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. You can vary this depending on how you like your asparagus, but don’t cook them all the way just yet)
  3. Assemble “bundles”- 3-5 asparagus wrapped with a slice of prosciutto.
  4. Before serving, roast for about 5 minutes so that prosciutto is slightly crispy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving! 3/5 of Team The Label Says Paleo are gathering for a 100% paleo feast, while Lyssa and Arun are braving the elements at other gatherings. After 3 trips to the grocery store and many hours in the kitchen, I ended up with:

  • Mashed Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic
  • Prosciutto Asparagus Bundles
  • Cranberry “Jelly” (very tart due to lack of sugar…we’ll see how the reviews on this come out)
  • Apple Crisp (baking right now and smells amazing!)

Pictures, recipes, and reviews coming soon!

If you brought (or enjoyed) something paleo for Thanksgiving, we’d love to hear about it!

Hello Cupcake

I know I’ve blogged about this before, but today something special happened. When I walked into the break room this morning to put my lunch in the fridge, the most beautiful cupcakes were sitting on the table. Not store bought crappy cupcakes- beautiful, homemade triple chocolate and strawberry with cream cheese frosting cupcakes. Beautiful. I can not say this enough. I started to roll my eyes. I repeated my normal “wow, it’s happening again, baked goods that I can’t have…again…”. And then something great happened.

I realized – I don’t want a cupcake. At all. It was silly to be annoyed about the cupcakes because they really didn’t bother me. I just wasn’t going to eat them, and I wasn’t all that sad about it.

Maybe my stomach was still a little twisted from the kettlebell/burpee fun that Crossfit Central served up this morning. Or maybe it was the fact that a good workout in the morning motivates me to stay healthy throughout the day. Or, maybe after 16 days of saying no to cupcakes, the sugar-addicted part of my brain is starting to learn its lesson. And if kicking the sugar (crack) habit is all I get out of this 30 day challenge, I think that will be worth it.

Recipe: Paleo Pizza

I really really like pizza. Like, not-gonna-give-it-up like pizza. Not even on this Paleo Challenge, you hear me pizza gods? So I figured out how to make my own.

The best part? It definitely tastes decadent and delicious, but it doesn’t leave the dreaded carb-bomb-brick in the stomach that traditional pizza tends to leave (I’ll suffer through it for you anyway, Mangia, but only you).

Anyway, Lisa and Georgia both asked for the recipe, so I’m going to make one up for it, since I just sort of threw together some stuff …

Pizza crust:

4 egg whites

1 c. almond meal

1/2 c. pecan meal

1/2 c. cauliflower “rice” (food-processor the cauliflower)

1/4 c. flax meal

1/4 – 1/3 c. olive oil

1 tsp. baking powder

garlic salt to taste

To do: Mix it up in a bowl. If it’s sort of gooey, you’re good to go. You should be able to pour it out of the bowl, but it should not stream easily, you have to scrape, if that gives you any sense of the consistency. If it seems too runny, add more of any of the flours. Don’t add more cauliflower, because I did and I think it makes it too squishy. You can also leave out the cauliflower entirely with great results, but I like to sneak in more veggies wherever possible.

Pour it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. I’m pretty sure the parchment is essential for the crisping, but I’ve never made it without parchment so I can’t be too sure. Anyway, spread it out as thinly as possible, without gaps, on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, right before it starts browning.

Toppings:

Layer, in this order:

1) Raw pumpkin seed cheese from Whole Foods

2) Pizza sauce (canned tomato, garlic salt, liberal amounts of basil, 1/2 as liberal amounts of oregano)

3) Steam-sauteed kale (olive oil in a pan, add chopped kale, put a lid on it. When it turns bright green, it’s steam-sauteed)

4) Ground beef (98% lean Springerhill Ranch is available at Randall’s for $5.79/lb. Dump that in a pan. Salt and pepper. Make it brown, but still pink in the center since you’re cooking it more on the pizza.)

5) Raw cabbage chopped into tiny pieces (erm, chop the cabbage. Not very much of it … like a 2x2x2inch square was all I had left and was a good amount)

Put the pizza back in the oven for 5-10 minutes. The crust will get golden brown edges. Everything else is pretty much cooked, so you just want the flavors to meld together.

Bonus points if you make it, wait 20 minutes for someone to bring over wine, put it back in the warm oven, and THEN think it’s the perfect meld of flavors.

Week 2 recap

The Label Says Paleo team is halfway through the challenge and still going strong!  I’m going to report my progress in this post; team members please post to comments.

Week 2 was tough.  I traveled to San Diego for work and did the best I could with eating out and living out of a hotel for a few days.  Breakfasts and lunches weren’t too bad (although In-n-Out Burger is just not the same without the cheese), but dinners proved a little more challenging.  Lots of menu substitutions and meals that were not ideal.  I also discovered the Larabar (amazing!), and while they’re a little high in sugars, if you need something quick and you can’t be a traveling pantry, they’re a solid option.

I was pretty good on the alcohol throughout the week.  I found out that even after just 2 weeks of eating clean, alcohol affects me much more.  Hangovers are much easier to come by, which is both a blessing and curse.  I know, alcohol is not technically allowed in the challenge, but I’ll post on why we’re allowing it another day.  It is nice to remember everything and have much cheaper bar tabs.

My last 2 issues have to do with the macronutrient composition of what I’m eating.  I don’t think I’m eating enough fat, because I’m STARVING throughout the day and just looking for the next meal.  That leads into a dangerous situation where I go to the grocery store and want to buy the entire dessert section (try to stay out of the store when hungry, btw, it’s bad news bears).

Overall, I’m starting to feel much better throughout the day (other than the hunger thing), and I’m also starting to believe that the paleo lifestyle can be sustainable, with a little modification (i.e. bourbon, please).

Recipe: Zucchini Hummus

Totally stolen but slightly adapted from http://makeeverydayraw.blogspot.com/2007/06/zucchini-hummus.html

1 large zucchini in summer or 2 small zucchini in winter (I ended up using 1 large and 2 smaller zucchini because the tahini flavor was too strong)
1/2 cup Tahini (I’d lessen significantly, then add back in to taste)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Large Garlic Clove (I used three or so)
Sprinkle of Paprika (for garnish)

Peel the zucchini until all the green skin is removed. This is very important! Not peeling the zucchini will make it chunky and green, not like hummus at all. Slice peeled zucchini into smaller pieces.

Combine all ingredients except Paprika into food processor and blend until creamy and thick. Taste. Add things if needed. Done!

If not desired consistency add a little bit of water while blending. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish.