Merry Christmas, to all of my blog followers, and everyone who is struggling like I am to maintain some kind of food impulse control amid the avalanche of decadent foods that are readily available this time of year.
I apologize for the long delays between posts. During the holidays, E.J. and I have so many events and activities planned every weekend, so prep cooking is a quick and easy affair, full of easy go-to favorites from my Favorite Recipes page, and smoked & grilled meats.
For the big holiday weekend, I actually put together 2 big meals and mixed in some new winners I’m happy to share.
For Christmas Eve, my brother came into town, and we feasted on a couple of stuffed chickens from Hebert’s specialty meats along with baked sweet potatoes and balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts. But before that, I wanted to give E.J. a sweet breakfast indulgence he hasn’t enjoyed since we started with Paleo in 2015: cinnamon rolls. I found 2 different approaches to the dish – one from A Girl Worth Saving that uses mostly tapioca flour and a dough similar to our favorite pizza crust, and one from Paleo Grubs that uses a more standard almond flour dough. Rather than choose, I decided to try both and take a queue from my mom’s old Czech cinnamon roll recipe for the filling: a combo of shredded granny smith apples, pecans and honey. For the icing, I actually used the one from this Instructables recipe that uses maple sugar – one of my new favorite baking ingredients. The resulting rolls were both good in their own ways – the tapioca one stayed together better and could be eaten without a plate, though the dough was a bit chewy. The one with almond flour had a lovely light flavor but crumbled too much to eat without a fork. I’d recommend either of them.
Then on Christmas Day, our friends Kenny and Elaine joined us for the big meal, and we had plenty of tasty Paleo options on the table for the diet conscious and everyone else.
- Nitrate-free, hormone-free honey ham from H-E-B – Not 100% compliant, but definitely the best option we could find
- Roast Duck – This method for roasting duck works fabulously – we ended up with a juicy, crispy duck with a lovely flavor. For the glaze, I used the one in this recipe from Paleo Table. It was fantastic.
- Stuffed Mushrooms – This is the same one we did from Thanksgiving – they really are tasty
- Cinnamon Pecan Roasted Butternut Squash – This was ok, though not as sweet as I thought it would be.
- Mashed Sweet Potato
- Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus – super simple, but very fancy. I used purple asparagus for an extra flare
- Sweet Potato Rolls – These dinner rolls from Paleo Cupboard use mashed sweet potato, which gives a pinkish hue to the roll, but makes it pretty tasty
- Cranberry Sauce – same one from Thanksgiving (it’s that good)
- Balsamic Glazed Beets – these are always a winner.
- Deviled Eggs
All in all, another successful holiday spread. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday meals as much as I did. We’re already enjoying the leftovers and likely will for the rest of the week. E.J. and I have the week off, so we’re planning some adventures that I hope to share with you all later.
And just so we’re being honest, even with our paleo food choices this week, E.J. and I are still up a few pounds simply because of volume of food we’re consuming. We know it’ll come off again when we get back to a normal routine in January, but in the meantime, we’re just going to keep trying to make the best choices and keep up our running routines every couple of days.