WritersButt Wednesday – Recipes that Impress!
Eating healthy does not have to be a boring helping of broiled chicken breast sitting forlornly next to a pile of broccoli. Even though I love chicken and broccoli, it is not the only option when trying to eat healthier.
As many of you know, with a few exceptions here and there, I mainly eat a Paleo Diet. It is sometimes also called the Caveman’s diet or even a Primal Diet. Basically, you eat as our ancestors did, before we started to process our food. They ate the meat of animals they hunted or fished. They ate vegetables and fruit, which they grew. And they foraged for nuts and seeds, or whatever they could find.
Now, while I think it would be pretty nifty to have my own huge garden from which to feed to my family, I live in suburbia, it’s not happening. I also couldn’t hunt my own meats. Yes, I’m one of ‘those people’.
So, I hop into my SUV and schlep the one mile to my local grocery store and get the healthiest meats, veggies, fruits and nuts I can find.
There is a plethora of information out there about the multitude of health benefits from following the Paleo diet. So I’m not going to list them all here. I will give you a resource though that I believe is fantastic and truly recommend! It’s a book written by Diane Sanfilippo called Practical Paleo. I enjoyed this book as much for the delicious recipes as I did for the easy to digest (no pun intended) information on WHY the Paleo diet is healthy and how it can literally change your health. What I particularly loved is all information on how eating Paleo can drastically help in the struggles dealing with auto-immune issues and other disorders.
Should you want to try to incorporate the Paleo diet into your life, I have another resource for you. It’s an iPad App written by Michelle Tam called Nom Nom Paleo. You guys, this app ROCKS! I’m not kidding. Whether you want to eat ‘paleo’ or not, this is packed with delicious recipes with gorgeous pictures and easy to follow instructions. I wouldn’t lie to you.
With all that said, I’m going to give you a couple of recipes I made recently. One is a salad inspired by one I had at a fabulous local restaurant last weekend. The salad at the restaurant had seasoned grilled chicken, figs, pears, spicy walnuts and blue cheese dressed in vinaigrette. My mouth watered reading the menu and I couldn’t resist trying it. I was not disappointed. It was one of the best salads I’ve ever had and I can tell you, I eat a LOT of salads!
My version is a little different. One, we had it on one of my ‘no cook’ nights, so I borrowed a little help from my grocery store and brought home a fully cooked rotisserie turkey breast. So right away we’ve switched from chicken to turkey.
What I used:
Mixed Greens plus some romaine hearts
2 ripe Bartlett pears
Walnuts – about ¾ cup
Crumbled blue cheese (a NON-Paleo item- but I only used 3 oz for a salad feeding 5)
*I couldn’t find figs in my grocery store, so I’ll add those next time.
Dressing: red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and kosher salt
Directions: I seasoned the walnuts with the tiniest amount of olive oil and then some smoked paprika and chili powder and then roasted them in a pan on my stove.
While I kept a close eye on my walnuts, I chopped and dumped all the other ingredients into a large salad bowl. I added the warm nuts when they were done, sprinkled on some vinegar, seasonings and drizzled the oil and tossed!
Next I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to make the most delicious ‘breakfast for dinner’ that we had last night. I got the idea for the eggs nested in the avocado from Michelle’s Nom Nom Paleo App I mentioned above. It worked perfect!
Ingredients on hand:
Eggs – free range, farm fresh, organic … the best you can get if possible.
2 large avocados – washed because peel will remain on them for cooking
baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
fresh tomato, chopped
fresh baby spinach
Slice your avocados in half. Then make another slice about ½ inch on either side, all the way around, so that when you take out the pit, you’ll have an avocado ring with a hole in the middle.
Heat some fat in a pan (coconut oil, butter) and put in your avocado rings. Then surround your rings with mushrooms so they can sauté at the same time.
Crack an egg into the center of each of your avocado rings.
Add your chopped tomatoes to your mushrooms around the edge of the pan.
When you eggs have set a bit, flip the entire egg-filled avocado slice over to cook the other side.
*NOTE: if you like your yolks runny, like sunny side up, you can ‘tent’ or cover your pan and not flip the avos!
As the eggs finish cooking, sprinkle the fresh spinach over your mushrooms and tomatoes so it can wilt a bit.
Transfer to a plate and truly ENJOY!!