New Favorite – Easy Salisbury Steak

Since it’s January, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has surveyed the damage done during the holidays and is looking to do some resetting of eating habits. If you’re like me, and you’re now into week 3 or 4 of focused healthy eating, you’re probably starting to miss the bold flavors and hearty meals of the holidays, and are wondering if all of this restriction is really worth it… Well before you go leaping off the rails, do yourself a favor and try this Salisbury Steak recipe. In fact, go nuts with it – I ended up adding a healthy amount of spices into the meat to keep it interesting and used cremini mushrooms, but the overall flavor and sauce was incredible and it was a resounding success at my dinner table.

https://realsimplegood.com/easy-salisbury-steak/

Bacon-Wrapped Crab Stuffed Prawns (PopularPaleo)

This is the original PopularPaleo recipe for Bacon-wrapped crab stuffed prawns, and is one of my all-time favorites for fancy entertaining without going off the rails. Since the site appears to have gone away, I’m reposting here for reference. I went looking for this for New Years Eve, and thought others might be missing this one too!

Bacon-Wrapped Crab Stuffed Prawns (PopularPaleo)

Recipe by Ciarra from PopularPaleo.comCourse: AppetizersCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 large prawns, raw and shelled (I use the 21-25/pound size)

  • 8 oz wild caught crab meat

  • 6 slices thick bacon (free from nitrates, sugars, gluten, etc.)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

  • 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp paprika

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1 tbsp coconut flour

  • 1 egg

  • *toothpicks are recommended

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Grab a cookie sheet and either lay a Silpat sheet down or an oven-safe cooling rack down in the sheet.  The cooling rack is ideal because it will allow the heat to surround the prawn, but the Silpat will work just fine. That’s what I used.
  • Thaw the prawns, if frozen. Remove the shell, though leaving the tail intact is just fine. Slice lengthwise with a paring knife to butterfly without cutting completely through the prawn. Also, cut the six slices of bacon in half and set aside.
  • Mix the crab together with all remaining ingredients. And ready a station to assemble these tasty morsels.
  • Lay down a slice of bacon, place a butterflied prawn at the center, take a heaping spoonful of the crab mixture and pack it into the prawn. Wrap the bacon around the crab-stuffed prawn and secure the loose ends with toothpicks. *Note: angle the toothpicks down so they don’t catch on fire when these go under the broiler!
  • Space each wrapped prawn evenly on the cookie sheet (the silicone sheet or the oven-safe cooling rack) and pop it in the preheated oven.  Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees (Fahrenheit), then switch to broiling on high for 3-5 minutes to achieve the ideal doneness of the bacon.

Happy Thanksgiving! Have some Primal Pumpkin Roll!

Happy Holidays, folks! I did a thing the other day, and I wanted to share my success with you all! I was looking for something different this year to provide as a paleo-friendly alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving pies, and stumbled across this Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll recipe on Pinterest.

My husband has always had a soft spot in his heart for pumpkin rolls that feature cream cheese icing, and though there were several full paleo options that featured shortening-based icings for the filling, I just wanted to stay as close to the rules as I could without going too far off the rails. The result was fantastic – a Primal Pumpkin Roll fit for a special occasion, made with lactose free cream cheese to reduce the reaction to the dairy. it was so good, my son assumed it was bought from a store instead of homemade. I’ll call that a win!

Paleo/Primal Pumpkin Roll

Recipe by paleosherryCourse: DessertDifficulty: Medium
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

This is a paleo/primal adaptation of the Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll recipe at Ask Chef Dennis. Even though cream cheese isn’t ok on a paleo diet, I will sometimes use lactose free cream cheese to keep the flavor and minimize the subsequent discomfort.

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin Roll
  • 3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Paleo flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar

  • 2/3 c pure canned pumpkin

  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 2 8-oz tubs of lactose free cream cheese (Green Valley Creamery)

  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar

  • 4 tbsp mable syrup

  • 6 tbsp butter, softened

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 tsp ground orange peel

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Line 15×10 jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil OR line with a silicone baking mat (that’s what I did and had no issues)
  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick.
  • Beat in pumpkin.
  • Stir in flour mixture.
  • Spread evenly into prepared pan and/or use the spatula to shape the batter into a rectangle
  • Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel, and carefully peel off paper or silicone mat
  • Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Be sure to do this while the cake is still quite warm to “train” the cake to roll without cracking.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Make cream cheese frosting by whipping together butter and cream cheese and then mixing in the rest of the frosting ingredients.
  • Carefully unroll cake; remove towel and spread cream cheese mixture over cake.
  • Re-roll cake, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Moroccan Lamb Stew

So once again, I am saddened to learn about one of my favorite recipe sites disappearing… this time it’s where a Moroccan Lamb Casserole recipe lived over at Eat Drink Paleo. I’m not going to say we have lamb often in my household, but when we do, this is an easy slow cooker recipe that requires very little effort and ends up with a fantastic result. For posterity and future reference, I’m sharing the recipe here so others can enjoy along with me!

UPDATE! Turns out the original author didn’t go away, but instead migrated to a whole new site… found it! In general, I always prefer to link to the original creators if I can. It’s only fair since we all get to benefit from their genius!

https://irenamacri.com/recipes/moroccan-lamb-casserole-slow-cooker/

Almond Butter Bars

Oh no! Another one of my favorite Paleo recipe sites appears to have gone offline. I hope it’s temporary, but just in case it isn’t, I’ve preserved my favorite quick Paleo treat recipe so it doesn’t go away forever. We’re still finishing up our standard January recovery, but once we head towards Valentine’s day, you can be sure I’ll be making some of these!

Almond Butter Bars

Recipe by FastPaleo.comCourse: Recipes
Servings

9

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

1

minute

A quick and easy paleo treat reminiscent of Reese’s cups.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup almond butter

  • ½ cup clarified butter or coconut oil

  • 1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour

  • 1 ¼ cup organic coconut sugar

  • 1 ½ cup dark chocolate chips

  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the almond butter, butter, almond flour and sugar until it is completely combined. Press the mixture evenly into a 9 ­inch square baking dish.
  • In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of almond butter. Melt in the microwave for 10-20 seconds, stir and repeat until the chips are completely melted.
  • Pour the melted chocolate over the almond butter base and spread it into a thin layer.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Cut into 32 bars and serve chilled.

Paleo Orange Spritz Cookies

Happy Holidays, folks! I don’t know about you all, but the only positive that I have been able to pull from this year’s Covid Christmas season is that I’ve had more time for holiday baking. In a normal year, I’d be so busy every weekend from Halloween to New Years, that I’d be lucky if I could find one solid afternoon to make a cookie or two and that would be it, but this year, I think I’ve baked at least 2 batches of something every weekend for the last 3 or 4 weeks. That means that I finally perfected the conversion of my mother’s Orange Spritz Cookie recipe (my perpetual favorite) to a paleo recipe. If I’m not mistaken, the original recipe came from Wilton in the little booklet for their electric cookie press back in the 70s or 80s. My mother would pull out that little appliance every year and make these cookies in triple batches so that we could share with neighbors and friends. You can find a modern version of the recipe that uses all butter and no shortening, but the original had both and produced a lightly crispy cookie (rather than chewy), which is what I always loved about them. Nowadays you can’t find the electric press, but you can get a manual cookie press from Michaels, or most stores that carry cake and cookie decorating supplies.

It’s taken 3 or 4 tries to get it right, but I’ve now used this paleo version twice with consistent results. Note that to keep it paleo, you should forego the red and green sugar sprinkles that the original recipe called for, but I won’t judge if you go for it anyway.

Paleo Orange Spritz Cookies

Recipe by paleosherryCourse: DessertCuisine: EuropeanDifficulty: Medium
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

My favorite holiday treat made paleo.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c butter (softened, but not melted)

  • 1/4 c palm shortening

  • 3/4 c maple sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 c almond flour

  • 1 c tapioca flour

  • 6 tbsp coconut flour (divided)

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp orange extract

  • 1 tbsp ground orange peel

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Mix almond, tapioca, 2 tbsp of coconut flour, and salt together in a bowl and set aside
  • Mix butter, shortening, sugar, and egg in mixer until well combined. 
  • Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture until all ingredients are combined.  Dough will be stiff.
  • Add extract and orange peel
  • Let dough sit for about 5 minutes and add the other 4 tbsp of coconut flour. 
  • Let sit again another 5 minutes before loading dough into cookie press.  
  • Press cookies onto parchment-lined cookie sheets (as close together as you can with the press is fine.  they don’t spread much).  If the dough isn’t stiff enough for the press, try adding another 2 tbsp of coconut flour to the dough and letting it get absorbed before trying again.   If it’s too stiff, you can add a tbsp of water.
  • [Optional] add sprinkles to each cookie 
  • Bake for 10-12 mins until edges look lightly browned. Cookies will crisp when cooled.

Hanging on to that Wagon (Trying not to fall off)

It’s been a long time since I posted a new article, but in my absence, the world has been doing a lot of changing. What hasn’t changed, is E.J. and my commitment to paleo eating, and we’ve been relying quite a bit on the favorites we’ve accumulated over the last few years and put over on the Favorite Recipes page to keep us on track even in the strangest of times.

You may have noticed one or two additions in the last year or so on that favorites page – and even a few that have disappeared. Unfortunately, the Internet is a fluid thing, so when I detect that a favorite recipe has disappeared from its original host, I’ve been posting my own copy of the recipe so my friends can continue to use this site as a hub for tried-and-true Paleo recipes.

As far as sticking to the plan goes, we’ve been pretty good…. I’ll admit to enjoying more than a few non-compliant glasses of wine over the last 6 months, and we may have leaned a little heavier on the Paleo chocolate chip cookies, but overall we’ve been able to basically maintain or at least only experience minimal backsliding into old habits.

That being said, we managed to enjoy a socially-distanced 2 week vacation where we overlanded/car camped up one side of the Rocky Mountains and down the other side, and that much sitting over that long a time is bound to put on a few pounds. So, we are now going into the 4th week of another Whole 30, and things are starting to right themselves in our health and weight again.

In fact, I think we’ve really upped our game when it comes to Whole 30 meals this time, and I’ve discovered some new recipes that I think are worth sharing with my fellow paleo peeps because they’re so healthy and don’t compromise on flavor, so here goes:

This one is fantastic, and you’d never know it was Whole30 compliant. If you’re a buffalo wing fan (like we are), you’ll love these
This stuff is really good – I’m quite partial to my sweet potato salad recipe in the summertime, but this is a great fall/winter version with a light mustard and vinegar flavor with dill and bacon

If you’re looking for a simple but flavorful side dish for a special occasion that falls during your Whole30, check this one out:

https://therealfoodrds.com/chorizo-stuffed-mushrooms/

And if you’re not on a Whole30 and want to try a crowd-pleasing grill recipe, this one was a hit on our trip:

Hang in there, everyone!

Best Whole30 Dish I’ve Made Yet

Well folks, I’m 3 days from finishing up this latest Whole30… E.J. and I decided to tackle another one for June, and I’ve almost made it to the end.  Yes, it was really hard at the beginning, but I’ve lost about 5 lbs, my clothes all fit better, and I’m glad I did it.

Interestingly, the last 2 weeks of this one was accomplished with EJ out of town on his annual training exercise at Fort Hood for the National Guard.  I wasn’t sure if it would be easier or harder without him, but I actually found it to be fairly easy with this latest recipe I found which he would hate… you see, E.J. believes cheese does not belong on hamburgers… and I think, he’s nuts.

So, this was the perfect opportunity to try Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole… and I’m sooooo glad I did.  The flavor is amazing, and while I’ve actually eaten it several different ways, the picture above is my favorite.  A bed of lettuce, warm casserole, and a fried egg to crown it.   Even though this is called a casserole, it’s more like the consistency of Hamburger Helper (which is also a long time favorite of mine), and the cheese sauce is so tasty, I have half a mind to serve it like queso dip for one of our weekend get-togethers this summer.

I know, I know… “nutritional yeast” as a cheese flavoring sounds absolutely awful, but I’m really glad I got past that and tried it anyway.   I can’t wait to have it again tonight for dinner!

2 New Favorites!

I know it’s been months since I’ve posted anything new – I would say it’s because my work life is so hectic right now, there isn’t much time for anything else, but that’s not really true.

Realistically I have simply been maintaining – rotating through a lot of my favorite recipes which I’ve already shared here, and trying a few new ones (with disappointing or just ok results).  EJ is a bit less picky than I am, so he’s been fine with everything I’ve made, but I just haven’t been really wowed by any of the new dishes until recently.

So, here are the 2 new favorites I’ll be adding to this week:

Picadillo with Plantains (from A Calculated Whisk) – this is amazingly simple and delicious.  I’ve made it nearly 3 weeks in a row now, and I still love it.  We’re not olive lovers, but there’s a suggestion to add boiled or fried egg on it- and I highly recommend both.  It’s also really good topped with this Creamy Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing from Paleo Gluten Free Eats.  It’s quick enough to pull together for a weeknight meal (30 mins or so) and reheats really well when prepped in advance.

Instant Pot Cashew Chicken (from Whole Kitchen Sink) – this is another quickie that can be pulled together quickly enough for a weeknight meal.  I used chicken tenders for quicker and smaller cuts, and spread this over caulirice (fried rice w/ coconut aminos is a real treat).  We managed to acquire a large container of roasted cashews, and this is a great way to enjoy them without snacking between meals.  I also cut back on the sugar content by omitting the coconut sugar, and instead adding some fresh squeezed orange juice.

Enjoy!

10 lbs and New Recipes

Well, I know I went off the grid for awhile, but it’s been good…  my work situation is stabilizing a little, and E.J. and I decided to spend September doing a “quiet” Whole 30 – basically we have been following the Whole 30 rules all month, with the exception of special occasions, and choosing meals that are as compliant as possible when we eat out.

For me, this was a much needed self-check.  I had managed to gain about 20 lbs of my original 70 lost 2 years ago.  Some of it was just falling back into old habits of eating too much and craving sweets after dinner, even when the meals and sweets were fully Paleo compliant.  Some of it was the 2 European trips we took where we threw healthy eating out the window for 2 weeks each.  Most of the recent damage was actually due to emotional eating and alcohol consumption, generally due to my company being acquired and the chaos that ensued from that event.

I was still exercising and doing my best to eat according to plan, but even the best diet can be totally derailed when the “treats” become commonplace.  On top of that, all it takes is a bottle of cider or glass of wine with a weekend meal, and most of my resolve goes out the window.  Next thing I know, I’m eating bread and ordering full desserts…

Anyway, in August when my clothes were too tight, and I started feeling sluggish again, I was ready to get serious about eating right again.  Fortunately, E.J. is a great partner in these cycles, and was right there with me.

The 30 days will actually end next week, but I’ve already lost the 10 lbs I had targeted for the month.   I’m back in my favorite jeans and dresses in time for the fall, and feeling a lot better overall.  It’s funny how taking control of your diet and your weight can help you feel better about taking control of everything in your life….

In that journey I did run across some new recipes I’d like to highlight:

  • Cajun Sweet Potato Chowder – This stuff is amazing.  It’s a little higher-carb than many other Paleo soups because of the potato, but it’s positively yummy!
  • “Honey” Mustard Chicken – I made this one with the date paste to keep it Whole30 compliant, but it was positively scrumptious.  I served it with broccoli, and smothered the extra sauce on it as well as the chicken
  • Apple Squash Pork Casserole – This is a great one for fall as temperatures are cooling off, and I modified it a little to account for the fact that I smoked a pork shoulder in advance, and just braised it a bit longer in the pot with the apple juice before adding in the rest of the veggies for the casserole.

Enjoy!