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!

SO GOOD!

Pears, Spicy Walnuts, Blue Cheese … Oh MY!

Pears, Spicy Walnuts, Blue Cheese … Oh MY!

 

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

salt/pepper

Directions:

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.

Avo rings and mushrooms in the pan

Avo rings and mushrooms in the pan

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.

Eggs in the Hole!

Eggs in the Hole!

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.

Spinach comes to the party!

Spinach comes to the party!

Transfer to a plate and truly ENJOY!!

Plate of Yumness!!

Plate of Yumness!!

 

 

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About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on May 1, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I hadn’t heard of the Paleo diet before, but I’ll check out the links later today when I have a bit more time. Very interesting concept. (And don’t feel bad. I’m one of “those people” too. I eat meat, but don’t ask me to kill it or clean it. If I had to kill it and clean it, I’d instantly become a vegetarian!)

  2. Both dishes would make a great “ladies lunch,” but one of my daughters adores both avocados and eggs, so I know what I’m fixing on our next Saturday get-together.

    Ginger, you use smoked paprika in a lot of recipes. I had to hunt but found it at Trader Joe’s and at Penzey’s.

    • You’re right, perfect ‘ladies lunch’ fare! Glad you found the smoked paprika. I discovered it a while ago and fell in love with the flavor. Now, for the walnuts, I used it super sparingly so it wouldn’t overpower the nuttiness.

  3. I’m not a Paleo-eater, but I have some recipes from that book. But these two — ooh, yum! And I’m glad you did the salad without figs, because that was a bit of a turn-off for me, so I’ll try it this way too. And avocados and eggs – a combo I never thought of. Will try soon, especially when I visit my mother who likes avocados on toast for breakfast. Thanks, Ginger!

    • You know, I’m not a fan of figs at all. So I wondered if I’d like them on the salad when I ordered it or if I’d end up pulling them out. I actually loved them! I was surprised. Not sure if it was the combination or maybe I hadn’t tried figs for so long that I’d developed a liking for them. I think avocados are good with anything. They are so delicious and so very good for you.

  4. PS–I can go to Trader Joe’s to get it, but before I do, what’s the bottom line on the taste difference between smoked paprika and regular?

    • Ah … they taste really different. The smoked paprika really has a smoky flavor to it. You can tell the different with just one smell of it. I think smoked paprika is fabulous is chili, or on grilled meats.

  5. I want plates of yumness now! Did anyone else notice how many updates of food their was on FB yesterday! I am so thankful for the healthy ones. You’re the best Ginger!

    • I always seem to have a lot of food updates. Probably because I like a lot of ‘Paleo’ pages and other health and fitness pages. I get so many great ideas! Thanks, Cheryl.

  6. Just found out I’m diabetic so I’m being extra careful with my diet. The salad looks great and I love figs. But I like that you can swap things out. I never thought of eggs and avocadoes. Hubby and I were just talking about whether he should get some when he went to the store. He wasn’t sure how to pick the out so passed, but I think I’ll try this since I now have to watch the bread. I do try to use fresh whenever possible and grow a few things plus my herb garden. Never used package anything anymore. My sister couldn’t believe I never, ever buy bottle salad dressing. lol So easy to make.

    • I never buy salad dressing either. It’s always oil and vinegar and spices. A tip for choosing an ripe avocado. It should yield a bit when pressed. If it’s rock hard, it’s not ready. You can also pick off the little stem/nub. If it comes off easily and under is bright, fresh green color, you’re good. They should not be mushy or with large super soft spots.

  7. I was watching a taped Dr. Oz. He had the creator of the Paleo diet on his program. It looked very interesting and the weight loss was great. However, the clearing up of health issues really intrigued me. BTW – love the pictures and the stuffed avocado. Excellent

    • Yes, it was a big deal that Dr. Oz talked about the Paleo diet and gave it some air time. Usually there is weight loss involved with following this way of eating but that’s almost a happy bi-product. The biggest gain are all the other health benefits, stomach issues go away, skin clears up, more energy, joint pain gone and that’s not even addressing things like ADD/ADHD and auto-immune disorders. I’ve read a lot about how it helps Alzheimer’s and even rheumatoid arthritis. Anyway, lots of info out there! 🙂

  8. Both receipes look and sound wonderful. If it weren’t the middle of the night (I’m an insomniac) I’d whip up the eggs and avocado right now. I rarely cook but both of these dishes can easily send me to the kitchen.

  9. Carolyn Dekat

    I am so glad it’s spring. Sort of. I’m much better about salad experimenting when it’s warm outside. Both of these sound so yummy! I have seen eggs cooked in onion rings and red, yellow or green pepper rings, but never avocados. And oh how I enjoy avocados! Thanks!

    • Oooh, you just gave me the idea to use a bell pepper. A bright red or orange one would look so pretty! I love food that looks good as well as tastes good. I agree about avos — they’re some sort of nirvana! 🙂

  10. Trish Loye Elliott

    Omg! My hubby is going to love that avocado egg dish! I’m so trying it this weekend. Thanks for the recipes!

  11. Both of those look delish! I eat salad all the time, so I am always on the look out for new things to add. I can’t really do cheese, but the nuts are a great idea! Thanks for including how you seasoned and roasted them. Great tip!

  12. Ginger – I now have the app downloaded to my i-Pad and am out the door to go pick up a cook book or two. My husband and I are tired of trying to think of what to eat so have been going out for dinner 4 or 5 times a week since it’s just the two of us. I made both of your recipes (and I hadn’t made anything other than soft-boiled eggs in something like 10 years). Both recipes are oh so yummy. I’m not going to be doing the cooking but hubby is thrilled with new ideas. Hubby put the app on his phone:). You should get a commission as several of our friends have done the same thing!

    • I love this, Sheri! SO proud of you for cooking. 🙂 There are so many wonderful recipes in this app and in in that cookbook, that you are going to be eating VERY WELL you lucky girl! Enjoy every bite!

  13. YUM! My step-daughter eats paleo. I like certain aspects of it, but….cheese…. However I do see the healthy benefits to it. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I’m going to have to try the avocado/egg one.

    • I hear you about the cheese, Serena. If I didn’t suffer from eating it, I’d have to add it back in on a regular basis. For now, I will splurge on really good cheese every now and again, knowing full well that my stomach will hurt, but it will have been totally worth it! 🙂

  14. Hi Ginger! Those dishes look amazing. My youngest son eats Paleo. He lost all his hair on his body about eight years ago. Because of this diet, his hair has started to come back. The diet really makes sense. Now he is working on his parents. Not like we eat bad as you well know. We’re trying to eat as raw as possible. I now have a yogart maker and am making raw yogart. It is so delicious. And we buy raw, organic nuts, grass fed organic meats, cause cows are not meant to eat grains. It fattens them up and does the same thing to us. Hmm. I wonder why people have a problem with their weight? You know that old saying, “You are what you eat.” I guess there was something to that after all. Keep these recipes coming Ginger and thanks for the Paleo links! 🙂

    • Karen, you are so on the right track. Yes, grass fed beef!! Raw yogurt is actually not a bad dairy, because it IS raw. I have a recipe I want to try for making my own coconut milk yogurt. I so miss creamy stuff like that occasionally.

      That is amazing about your son and his hair loss. Very interesting! I’m glad eating paleo has helped him. I hear more and more stuff like this all the time. It’s just the way our bodies were created to eat. You are exactly right … no wonder we have an obesity epidemic and a plethora of other neurological issues in our country!

      HUGS — always great to hear from you!

  15. Ginger! Just had to log on and mention that I made the avo/eggs dish for b’fast this morning (working at home today). DELISH. It has officially made it into my Primal menu routine.

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