For those of you who may be skeptical, I admit collards don’t have the best reputation. I mean, generally they come out straight up *boiled*…goopy, bland, and just plain nasty. These are not like that. Sauteeing them with all this simple goodness not only lets the flavor permeate and keep the texture right where it should be, but actually keeps too many of the oh-so-lovely nutrients in these deep green leaves from leaching out and getting thrown away. Whoever thought it was ok to boil leafy greens…ew. Just ew.
I made some health-related New Years Resolutions this year. Hey, even on a Paleo diet it’s easy to fall into a rut when you get a little too cozy with all the junk food that seems like a good idea just because it’s “Paleo.” Live and learn.
The theme of the dietary stuff is to get more veggies. It’s pretty simple, and if ANY diet can agree on anything it’s that we could always get more veggies. So my biggest resolution is to include something green at every meal…I’m also committing to at least one meatless meal a week. Too easy.
Ross and I are also doing a 21DSD this month. Which means I’m going to be really cranky for the next week, then totally high on life. I love Diane’s program…more than anything it’s a great wakeup call. Unlike a generic Paleo challenge or even a Whole30, it hits you hard by cutting out anything that contains sugar…to include fruit sugar…and get your system back on track. I feel like other challenges–while great and highly effective for folks new and/or skeptical of the whole Paleo thing–offer a little too much room for error since you’re allowed fruit and starch. And I also like that the sugar detox is only 21 days…that extra week makes a difference
So here’s a quick side I threw together. I made an ass-ton, since I’ve had this weird craving for summery food even though it’s 7 degrees outside. It’s great for any meal of the day, too…try it with eggs in the morning, on a salad for lunch, and just as-is for dinner and I’ve met my green veggie goal for the day. Another bonus? I didn’t have to make home-made mayo. I love it SO much but it’s more work than I have energy for at the moment. And that’s probably because I’m balls deep in my sugar detox hangover. Yeesh.
Risotto is seriously intimidating to make. I mean, c’mon…how many competitors on Chopped get destrominated because they try and fail…miserably…to make risotto. But I love it enough that I took the plunge and gave it a shot.
So, listen, I’m here to tell you it isn’t that bad…this was such a nice winter meal that was definitely do-able…on a weeknight, no less. Just takes a little extra TLC. It’s one of those dished that requires your full attention whilst cooking–so I’d recommend you have everything ready to go before you start–veggies chopped, broth hot, wine glass filled…
Oh, and for all the radicals out there, yes, I am fully aware that this recipe has dairyand–*gasp*!–rice. Maybe those aren’t part of your Paleo, but they’re sure as hell part of mine. I eat rice. And cheese (sometimes). Deal with it.
For everyone else…enjoy! There is also a couple of substitutions to make if you want to keep this bad boy dairy free.
Confession…I’m a wee bit obsessed with the British royal family. Well, not so much the family themselves but really just the clothes that Kate and Pippa Middleton wear. More Pippa these days. Ever since Kashete became a mommy (which is awesome, don’t get me wrong!) I feel a disconnect between us…I’m still a fresh-faced newlywed and you…she’s a real live grown-up now. Which means we automatically have nothing in common. Except that I’m absolutely obsessed with those giant wedges she was wearing at the kids’ volleyball game. I ordered a pair of these but they came in way too small (damn you, European size chart!!) and now I can’t find ANYTHING similar in my size (shocker…the whole world wants those shoes…and I have giant feet). And worse, every time I put in a search for “wedges” or “wedge heels”…for some awful reason I keep getting stuff like this. If you actually wear these…not hating or anything but…I hate them and think they’re friggin ridiculous. Sneakers are cool. Heels and wedges are cool. Sneaker-Wedge-Heels are NOT OK.
Oooooh so let’s stop talking about my fashion icons and talk about food for a sec. This dish…welp…this dish has made an appearance almost daily and has been sustaining me all semester. Very little prep. Makes great leftovers. Bacon. It’s a total lifesaver.
I wasn’t going to share originally because, I mean, it’s sorta kinda maybe boring looking? Except that I’m obsessed–try new veggies, duck fat instead of bacon…I dunno. For more civilized folk it would even make a phenomenal side dish. Especially with Thanksgiving coming up in less than a week! Eek!
As soon as I saw this recipe pop up in my Facebook feed, I hopped on the bandwagon. I mean, who DOESN’T need something wholesome to eat in between Halloween candy binges? (Oh, Reese’s Pumpkins…you are my nemises…) Buuuuuut when I went shopping my TJ’s didn’t have any beets or sunflower seeds (seriously, WTF?), so I kinda just grabbed anything and everything I thought would taste good together.
Here’s my own riff on this salad, and it’s pretty damn good. Filling, so healthy it hurts, and a great way to change up my daily Big Ass Salad. I’ve had this every single day for lunch this week with some chicken and it’s so much more fun than spinach and tomato. Plus, you know, it’s got superfoods in it. Kale and cabbage and apple cider vinegar, OH MY!
I love Halloween but Halloween loves me. Too much. Smothering me with sugary sweetness and refusing to let go.
It’s not me, Halloween. It’s you.
Nothing better to start anew and kick off November than with a nice, wholesome veggie-packed meal before I start baking Thanksgiving pies, eh?
I know quinoa is a controversial ingredient amongst Paleo-ites, but I’m cool with it. So I don’t want to hear it, k? However, this wouldbe equally as delicious with cauliflower rice, rutabaga hashbrowns, or white rice if you’re cool with that.
Couple things about this recipe…it’s a relatively high-prep recipe so I’s recommend doing some prep in advance. When I do my weekly cook=up for lunch I tend to have a lot of this stuff around (that’s actually how this little guy came to be…just another one of my “whatever-let’s-just-throw-all-my-leftovers-in-a-pot-and-see-what-happens” dealios).
Special thanks to Paleo Pot for this riff on “refried beans” that was a critical addition.
Orange Kitty decided that the space between the keyboard and the end of the desk was perfect for naptime. Makes typing really hard. But I can’t say no to that face.
Sooooo…another vegetarian dinner! I was craving Mexican food like nothing else and figured I’d give some enchiladas a whirl. No, I’m not a Veg Head…but I will say I have my reasons for incorporating more plant-based meals into my diet. Namely, plants are , like, really good for you. And quality meat is expensive and I’m on a student’s budget…which is hard since I’m not 21 anymore and don’t enjoy living in a dorm eating nothing but instant oatmeal packets. Five years of having disposable income kinda spoiled me, what can I say? And I really don’t enjoy knowing that my steaks from the big box grocery store are probably pumping me full of hormones (like I don’t have enough already) and all the other weird crap that filters into the animal’s body fat stores. Factory farmed meat is creepy, y’all. OMG I sound so paranoid. Please don’t think less of me.
So these enchiladas. They’re a wee bit time consuming only because the tortillas take forever to make. God…first I inundate you with vegetarian meals and then I make them tedious. Cool, real cool. Totally worth it, though. Ross and I killed that entire dish in about an hour. Food coma ensued. But, you know, it had sweet potatoes and kale and fresh peppers and avocados…so basically that means we’ll live forever now.
What do you guys think of this plant-based takeover? Don’t worry…in about a week I’ll start busting out the sweet stuff again, so maybe that’ll win you all back. I’m thinking pumpkin flavored…everything.
Oh yeah, you read right. Ross and I had a VEGAN dinner last night. It was also Paleo…which I tend to get excited about since there is so little that happens to be Vegan AND Paleo AND is substantial enough to make a meal. Seriously, you can’t give me a salad with no meat and call it a meal. You just can’t. So, no, this isn’t a salad.
I do have an strange interest in Vegan cooking despite my taste for flesh. I honestly have a lot of respect for the Vegan movement–like Paleo, Veganism ultimately seeks to better the health of our population with good, clean food and do away with nasty ass farming practices and pumping our food sources full of hormones and antibiotics and stuff. The more militant members of the movement get a little weird, sure, but so do the militant members of the Paleosphere. A healthy diet shouldn’t be intimidating or make us feel like they’re bad people for not buying in. I can be an asshole sometimes, I know, but I hate it when bloggers and spokespeople get condescending–like I’m not truly Paleo if I make Paleo desserts…or include dairy sometimes…or because I don’t follow so-and-so’s definition of Paleo to a tee. Um, yeah. Bite me.
What I do like about Veganism is the focus on the benefits of a plant-based diet. Not all that soy-based crapola, but the emphasis on quality produce and sources of naturally occurring nutrients. Lately, I’ve been working on making my own diet more plant-based…I think one thing we can all do to improve our health is to get more veggies. Animal protein is an essential part of our diet, but a lot of folks, even those who have been Paleo for a long time, believe Paleo is all about eating massive quantities of meat and fat and very little of anything else. I like my steak and bacon and all that as much as the next gal, but seriously. Filling my plate with produce and supplementing with animal protein is much more effective. And colorful. You need veggies and other plant matter to get a number of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and high-quality carbs that your body can access for quick fuel. For me, thinking less 50/50 animals to plants and more 35/65, perhaps.
So this cheezey spaghetti. I was blown away at how good it was–the sauce tastes like Velveeta. It’ll undoubtedly make an appearance again soon. Like, on a cheeseburger. Or with bacon. Oh, geez, this would make a hell of an eggs Benedict. My quality of life just got soooo much better.
I can’t believe I’d never used fresh leeks before now. SO much…RICHER…than onions on a dish like this. And rich is good when you want to ditch the sugar and not feel like you’re eating rat food. Not even bird food…birds at least eat, like, berries and stuff. And Diane’s sugar detox only allows ONE…UNO…green apple and green banana a day, and I can’t stand either of those things. So bring on the coconut milk!
This recipe is my take on this GF, Vegan chickpea curry that popped up on How Sweet It Is a couple weeks ago. Literally, all I did was swap out the chickpeas for beef and some eggplant and add more coconut milk and curry paste, so full credit goes to Ms. Jessica. This curry would also be lovely with chicken, pork, or shrimp…or even on its own as a veggie entree or side!