Tag Archives: vegetarian-option

Steamed Broccolini with Lemon

Steamed Broccolini with Lemon

This is one of my husband P.J.’s go-to dishes… He’s a vegetarian, so he’s been a great influence on me in terms of incorporating more vegetables into my daily diet.  He’s also one of those guys who can grab four seemingly unrelated things from the fridge and create something awesome.  It’s an incredible skill, and I love it about him.  He created this dish to round out our main course options at the inaugural Paleo Dinner Party.  I take no credit for this dish – it’s all him!

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Thyme

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash with Thyme

These were a HUGE hit at our Paleo dinner party last Saturday. The combo of sweet and savory paired beautifully with our pan-seared roasted pork chops, and they’d also be great as a fall/holiday dish. I highly recommend peeling/prepping your squash ahead of time… it’s not the most fun thing to do, and it seems to take a little longer than you’d think.  Not much fun when you’re trying to pull together your dinner at the last minute.

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Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake with Banana-Cinnamon Sauce

Decadent Flourless Chocolate Cake with Banana-Cinnamon Sauce

At my core, I am a baker. I LOVE baked goods… cupcakes, cakes, cookies, caramels, etc. I loved baking so much that I had my own cake design business for several years. One tiny little problem… everything I used to make was loaded with gluten and processed sugars. Sure, I used the highest quality ingredients out there – imported chocolate, European butter, Madagascar vanilla. But, at the end of the day, there was a lot of not-great stuff in those tasty treats, and that just doesn’t jive with my Paleo lifestyle these days.

That said, I’m still not willing to give up the OCCASIONAL baked treat, and figuring out how to make “healthier” versions of past favorites is going to be an ongoing goal. I am super excited about this recipe… my husband and I test-drove it this weekend, and it is stinking delicious. Seriously. I had to get it out of the house as quickly as possible. An extra bonus? It was ridiculously easy to make.

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Watermelon and Arugula Salad

Watermelon and Arugula Salad... Perfect for Summer!

My husband P.J. is a HUGE fan of watermelon and arugula, so I’d been meaning to adapt and serve this recipe for a while. I actually stumbled across it in my pre-Paleo days and had it earmarked for summer. At the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, we stumbled across some seedless yellow watermelon (crazy!) – that was all the prompting I needed to make this salad.

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Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs

Roasted Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs

I have a confession to make.  I had never purchased a fig before this weekend. In fact, I didn’t even know what a fig looked like. (Whew! Thanks for letting me get that off my chest…)

So, how did I end up making this app over the weekend for our Paleo Dinner Party? Honestly? I scoured my loads of cookbooks (Ina Garten! Bobby Flay!) to find something that sounded fancy but that would be easy to make as well.  Since I’m a huge fan of cured pork AND this fabulous Ina Garten recipe (from her book, “Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?”) sounded sufficiently fancy, I figured I’d give it a try. This recipe is so stinking simple, there’s not much to change! Here’s what I made:

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Spicy Oven-Roasted Pecans with Cinnamon

Spicy Oven-Roasted Pecans with Cinnamon (These puppies are addictive!)

Years ago, there was a restaurant here in downtown Austin called Crimson… I think the restaurant was only open for about 8-10 months, sadly, but they were the wonderful folks who introduced me to spiced pecans. Rather than bread and butter, they would bring you bowls of these delicious, addictive spiced pecans to munch on while you picked out your meal for the evening – I loved it!

When I was thinking about what to make as an easy snack food for our friends this weekend (at our Paleo Dinner Party), the idea of spiced pecans came to mind.  Easy, delicious, and they’d pair really nicely with the very non-Paleo German beer we were having.  For inspiration, I looked to a variety of places, including the wonderful Elana’s Pantry. This recipe is my adaptation… I hope you enjoy it!

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Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Dessert Bars

A Note from PaleoBetty on 10/6/11: Hello, all my lovely readers!  I’ve actually gotten a bunch of interest in this recipe lately, and I wanted to give you all a heads-up that I’m reworking it… It was one of my first adaptations, and while it’s delish, it can be even better. 🙂 If you’re looking for a decadent dessert immediately, I’d hop over to the flourless choco cake – it’s super simple to make, and it’s ridiculously rich. At a party this weekend, I just cut it up into little 1″ squares to share. Yum!

Indulgent, gluten-free, and dairy free. Oh, yum.

CrossFit Central is hosting a bake sale today to support the Habitat for Humanity build, and given that I’m a huge fan of baked goods (professional cake baker in a past life), it seemed like a good idea to try a recipe.  For inspiration, I looked to Elana’s Pantry (amazing gluten-free, low-dairy, low-sugar treats) – I’d tried her Almond Joy Bars in the past, and I’d been looking for an excuse to do an adaptation of my own.

I think I’ll keep tweaking the recipe – the very bottom bit does still tend to come out a little underdone, but honestly, these things taste ridiculously good. They passed with flying colors with my 12-year-old, and he was VERY nervous about the almond extract going in…  I think the key is getting really high quality dark chocolate chips.  Next time, I’ll further reduce the quantity of palm sugar – I like my treats a little less sweet.  I’ll keep you posted as the recipe evolves!

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Savory Sweet Potato Mash

Cute little serving of the sweet potato mash.

About two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have gum surgery (insert sarcasm here).  Seriously, I had been dreading this procedure (gum grafts due to genetic recession, for all you dental folks out there) for about three years. I’d had it done as a teenager and remembered it as quite literally the most painful thing I’d experienced. Ever. Lucky for me, I was introduced to Dr. David Yu here in town, and the experience was actually surprisingly pleasant all around (well, as pleasant as gum surgery can really ever be).  If you ever need Perio work and you live in Austin, go see Dr. Yu. Seriously.

How does this have anything to do with Paleo eating?  Well, since converting to Paleo in April of this year, I’ve been really strict about following the guidelines, and I’ve been feeling fantastic. However, as all of you who’ve had mouth surgery in the past know, the recommended post-surgery fare is pretty much limited to milkshakes, pudding, applesauce, and mashed potatoes.  Couple that with the fact that I wouldn’t be able to work out for a week, and I was TERRIFIED of how my body was going to react.

So, I looked for some health(ier) options to get me through the requisite “mushy” food stage.  Enter mashed sweet potatoes.

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Grab & Go Southwest Mini Frittatas

My Sunday breakfast plate (not going to lie, I had two more "muffins" after these).

These are a weekend favorite at our house… Make a big batch on Sunday, and then you can just grab ’em on your way out the door for a quick breakfast during the week.  (I actually find them delish cold.)  I first ran across the idea of doing these over at nomnompaleo.com (if you’re not reading this blog, go there right now and read it. It’s amazing!)  The great thing about these is that you can put just about whatever you want in them and they’ll taste good.  Today was a bacon and southwest veggie day…

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Super Easy, Go-To Salad

Since switching to a Paleo diet in April of 2011 (about 3 months ago), I have quite literally eaten more salad than the entirety of my life leading up to this point. Seriously.  I was not a salad eater, and I would pretty much only eat them when it would be socially awkward/unacceptable to avoid it (i.e. weddings and business dinners).

That said, when my coach told me I needed to eat a full serving of veg with every meal (of five) of the day, I figured salad would be a good place to start (no cooking, quick to prepare in the morning, etc.).  I tried a bunch of different greens, and I’ll admit, I’m still working my way into some of the more serious greens (kale, spinach, etc.). That said, I’ve learned that I LOVE Romaine lettuce.  Never thought I’d say that.

I keep my salad pretty simple for every day, but I’ll periodically dress it up with whatever fun veggies we pick up at the fantastic Austin Farmer’s Market (downtown, Saturday mornings).  Here’s what I do every day…

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