So this is a recipe I tried a while back when I was still trying to decide if I could handle this whole paleo challenge. I absolutely love pasta and creamy sauces, so I figured if this recipe came out anything like I wanted it to, then I could totally handle eating paleo. Well, luckily it turned out to be completely delicious and I am now a whole month into the paleo challenge (you too)!
You've probably already been experiementing with spaghetti squash recipes, so I hope you give this one a try as well. It's delicious and easy and totally worth it!
Adapted from PaleOMG.
Start by preheating the oven to 425°F and splitting your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (use those muscles SCF gave you!). Scrape out the cavity like you would a pumpkin. Coat a pan lightly with olive oil and place the squash halves cut side down on the pan.
Bake for about 25-30 min, until the skin is no longer solid when poked with your finger. Set aside to cool.
In the meantime, start your sauce by adding the coconut milk and tomato sauce to a large saucepan.
Bring to a simmer for about 4 minutes, then add your sausage chunks and spices.
Simmer for a few more minutes, stirring gently. Add the spinach, submerge and simmer for about 4 more minutes – until sausage is cooked through and spinach is wilted.
By now, your squash should be cool enough to handle. Take a fork and gently scrape the squash, releasing the strands. Once you have completed that for both squash halves, place it directly into the saucepan.
Stir, and heat until squash is heated through again.
You’re ready to serve! We got four good-sized servings out of this recipe - enough for delicious leftovers for the next day.
Okay, so this recipe definitely includes some of the ingredients on our "in moderation" list, but we're half-way through the challenge and I think we deserve a treat! Also, this week has definitely been the hardest for me (not sure if it is just timing or coming down with a cold), so having little treats like this to distract me kept me from driving to Flying Star and devouring a huge piece of chocolate cake.
What's nice about this recipe is it tastes about as close as you can get to a cheat without actually being a cheat - that is if you control your intake and it's rich enough that just a bit should satisfy your sweet tooth!
I got this recipe from FitViews. She calls them paleo energy bars, but I thought calling them candy bars would be more satisfying :)
Start by grinding up your almonds, chocolate and dates separately in a food processor. You might be able to process them together, but the consistency might be off because they are all different textures. I just did the almonds and chocolate until they were crumbly, and the dates until they formed a ball.
Place the ground almonds, chocolate and dates in a bowl along with your whole pumpkin seeds.
Now it's time to mix! The best way (though not the cleanest) is to use your hands. If you have a really good mixer, that might work better. Mix until well combined, and there are few loose pieces in the bottom if the bowl.
If it is still too crumbly, now would be the time to add some more processed dates. They are your glue!
Once you have gotten the consistency you like, press the mixture into a lined pan 9" x 9" pan (I doubled the recipe and used a 9" x 13" pan).
Place the pan into the fridge for about an hour - until chilled through - then remove, and cut into rectangles.
They can be packaged up and stored in the fridge for up to a month, so they will be ready for when you have a craving!
Happy paleo eating!
I had been toying with the idea of making a paleo lasagna for a while when Maida challenged me on Facebook to do it for real. Challenge accepted!
Often, I will directly take a recipe from something I find online and just recreate it with minor adjustments (I always credit my source). This time, I am proud to say that this is all mine! It took me a while to explore a few recipes that seemed to have pros and cons, then take all of the good ideas from each recipe and discard the bad ones. I was pretty nervous to see how it would come out, but I just made it and... It. Was. Amazing. I know that's braggy, but I don't care. For tonight, at least, I am a genius.
Paleo Ricotta (This IS a borrowed recipe. It is not required, but definitely recommended!):
I prepared the ricotta and zucchini noodles the night before I made this recipe. You don't have to do it this way, but it was really helpful, and the earlier you cut your noodles and allow the moisture to drain, the better.
Start by slicing your zucchini noodles to your desired thickness. I wanted them really thin, so I used a mandolin on the thinnest setting possible.
Place your noodles between layers of paper towels or cheesecloth to absorb as much moisture as possible. This will prevent the lasagna from getting to runny.
Overnight was perfect for me. I wouldn't do longer, but less would be fine. Another option when in a hurry is to place them in an oven at 350°F for 10-15 min.
While I was doing that, I was boiling the cauliflower until tender.
When done, drain and let cool for a bit, then gently squeeze out extra moisture from boiling. Place in a blender or food processor with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, vinegar and nutritional yeast.
Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides at least once.
I stored in the fridge overnight and added the egg before assembling the lasagna.
When you're ready to assemble and bake the lasagna, preheat your oven to 450°F and throw your sausage and onion in a pan to cook. I used a potato masher to break up the sausage. With a few minutes to go, I added the mushrooms.
Now it's time to assemble! Start by spreading a layer of marinara on the bottom of your pan (I used 9" x 13").
Next, add a layer of half your meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the spinach and some ricotta.
Add marinara sauce on top and another layer of noodles, then repeat the meat/spinach/ricotta step again. Top that with another layer of sauce and zucchini, then a final layer of sauce and ricotta.
Just to sum that up, here is the order:
It's really not that important, I'm just OCD. Also, do as many layers as you want.
When you have it completely assembled, put the pan in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until cooked through. Thicker noodles will need a bit more time than thinner ones.
Get yourself as large of a serving as possible so you won't have to get up for seconds, because you're guaranteed to want some! I made this for myself, my zucchini-hating boyfriend, and both of our mothers. We were all so impressed at how well it tasted and how close to lasagna it was. And let me tell you... I was a little iffy on the paleo ricotta, but as soon as I tasted it I was totally surprised! It tasted just like ricotta, and the texture was unmistakable.
You better make this, and I better see pictures on the group wall. If not you are so missing out.
Also, this is proof that I will take your suggestions into account. Keep giving me wonderful ideas!
Until next time... Happy paleo eating!
Store-bought mayo is far from paleo. I managed to find one that was hiding in the back of my fridge and survived the paleo challenge onset refrigerator cleanse. Curious, I took a look at the ingredients list. I'm not sure exactly what I expected, but I definitely didn't expect it to be as bad as it was...
Water, soybean oil, modified starch (corn, potato), eggs, sugar, salt, vinegar, lemon juice, sorbic acid and calcium disodium edta (used to preserve quality), natural flavor, vitamin e.
**ingredient not in mayonnaise
Considering that the following recipe uses only FIVE ingredients that are unarguably whole, the ingredients on the back of this jar seem pretty outrageous. I even heard that the so-called "olive oil" mayos use soybean oil primarily and the olive oil just so happens to be included.
All-in-all this is surprisingly easy, but it does require a good amount of patience... SO WORTH IT. You can use either a blender, a food processor or if you want to turn this recipe into a WOD you can hand whisk it! I used a blender ;)
Start by adding your egg or egg yolks to the blender with the lemon juice. LET IT SIT for 30-60 min until they both reach room temperature. This will make the mayo more likely to emulsify properly and less likely to separate.
Once your patience has been completely used up, add the mustard powder, salt and a small drizzle of the oil - between 1/8 and 1/4 cup. Give it about a 30 second whirl in the blender on low until frothy.
Okay, now comes the true test of patience. Turn the blender on low and SLOWLY drizzle in the oil while the blender is running. This should take at least 3 minutes to drizzle in all of the oil. I would say to keep the stream of oil smaller than the width of spaghetti.
I must be honest... I was starting to get very discouraged at about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. It seemed like nothing had changed! All of a sudden, I could literally hear the difference. It no longer sounded gurgly and liquid, it now sounded whirry and thickened and smooth. I know that's not exactly the most specific description, but you'll know it when you hear it.
Refrain from dumping any remaining oil in, and continue drizzling it in as you have been. When all your oil is gone, stop the blender, and your mayo should look like this:
Pour it into a storage container and take pretty pictures of it.
(Don't worry if it is thinner than you expected - it will thicken in the refrigerator.)
Let it chill for at least an hour before serving. Mine wasn't completely set until a few hours later.
Here are some tips and facts about homemade mayo:
Have fun using this in SO MANY WAYS. Tuna and chicken salads, creamy salad dressing, on BLT lettuce wraps (Xochi), aioli (Hannah), etc.
Let me know how you like it!
FYI - paleo lasagna coming soon as requested by Maida. If you have requests/suggestions, I really will take them into account!
Until next time - happy paleo eating!
This is a paleo hummus recipe I altered from one I found at Paleo Plan. It is a delicious paleo-friendly alternative to the legume laden version we are familiar with. Make up a batch for a party, or package it up for snacks throughout the week.
Preheat your oven to 500° F.
Start by coring and cutting your cauliflower into small florets.
Toss the florets in the olive oil, cumin and salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer onto a rimmed baking sheet.
When oven is up to temperature, place the baking sheet in the oven and roast cauliflower for about 20-30 minutes, checking periodically, until just browned along the edges.
Place the roasted cauliflower into a blender or food processor along with the tahini, garlic, juice from one of the lemons and paprika.
Blend well until the mixture has turned into a paste. Add more olive oil if the mixture is too thick.
Give it a taste, and adjust the flavor as necessary. I added some lemon juice from the second lemon, and a little more salt.
When the flavor is where you want it to be, package it up and refrigerate until chilled. Serve with delicious veggies!
Feel free to spice this up with add-ins like roasted red peppers, pesto, curry powder, etc.
Comment with any questions or suggestions.
Until next time... happy paleo eating!