Hey, friends! I hope Spring has started off well for you (that is, if you’re currently living in North America). As a follow-up to one of my previous posts What is and Why Paleo? I also wanted to share with you the ‘how and when to eat Paleo.’ Since I’ve converted to living the Paleo lifestyle, I’ve received several questions from family and friends on how I manage to consistently eat paleo-friendly meals and snacks. So, I created a Paleo Weekly Meal Plan, which you can find by clicking HERE
The Paleo Weekly Meal Plan includes a lot of recipes I’ve already posted here on Grass Routes Kitchen – just use the search bar and type in the name of the meal. I hope that you find this meal plan helpful, and if you want more, please feel free to email me! The key to being successful with living the paleo lifestyle is being prepared. If you have all the essential paleo friendly ingredients, it’ll get easier once you’ve adapted to the lifestyle.
In my next blog post, I’ll share a few cooking demos with you on how to make some of the most basic paleo dishes. Stay tuned!
Wishing you good health and happiness,
Happy national pancake day! These pancakes are super moist and not too sweet, plus there’s bananas and shredded coconut. What’s not to love?! I must have been dreaming of Hawaii last night. For extra umph and to keep you full until your next meal, I added Aloha’s vanilla bean protein powder. If you’re not into the protein, simply omit this ingredient, and it will still taste good AF. This recipe is super easy and can be made ahead of time. Enjoy!
COCONUT BANANA PROTEIN PANCAKES
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: Makes 10 – 3″ pancakes
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 Tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 scoops Aloha vanilla bean protein powder
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (for garnish)
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 medium bananas cut into 1/4″ slices
- In a medium sized bowl, add all dry ingredients (except shredded coconut), and use a whisk to combine.
- In the center of the bowl, create a small well, and add the wet ingredients. Mix wet ingredients thoroughly, then slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. If the batter is too thick (like toothpaste), add another 1/4 cup of coconut milk to thin out the batter.
- In a large non-stick pan, over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and melt.
- Using a 2″ ice cream scooper, divide the batter evenly on to the pan.
- Add 3 slices of banana to the top of each pancake and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Garnish pancakes with left over bananas and shredded coconut.
I typically order lamb kefta kebabs at my favorite Afghan restaurant, De Afghan Kebab House located in Fremont, CA. I love me some good lamb kebabs! If you love lamb, then this recipe is for you! I was too lazy to shape the meat into kebabs, so I threw all the ingredients in a pan and served the dish on top of cauliflower mash with a side of sauteed zucchini. A super easy, super flavorful recipe that shouldn’t take any more than 30 minutes to put together. The key is to have good quality ingredients such as the lamb, fresh mint, cilantro, parsley, and rosemary. I hope you like it! Let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment below. Happy Friday y’all!
DECONSTRUCTED LAMB KEFTA
Serves: 4 (with left overs)
Prep Time: 15 Mins
Cook Time: 15 Mins
- 2lbs fresh ground lamb
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 TSP sea salt
- 1/2 TSP ground pepper
- 1 TSP ground turmeric
- 1 TSP ground cardamom
- 1 TSP ground paprika
- 1 TSP ground ginger
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh mint, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- In a large saute pan, over medium high heat, add EVOO and saute garlic and onions for 1-2 mins until soft and translucent.
- Add ground lamb and season with salt and pepper, mix to combine for 3-5 minutes until meat starts to brown.
- Add remaining dry seasoning ingredients and mix thoroughly to combine. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until lamb is cooked through. I recommend not over cooking the meat.
- Once meat is cooked, add fresh herbs and mix thoroughly. Then add lemon juice and mix to combine, and turn the heat off.
- Serve with Caulirice, caulimash, or your favorite side carb of choice.
A few of my best friends came over for dinner and a movie today, and we had a GNI (girls night in). Gone are the days of late night partying… We were so excited to hang out in our PJs, eat homemade, nutrient dense, comfort food, catch up and watch a chick flick. Anyways, since I’m now on day day 12 of the Whole 30 Program, I purposely had the girls come to my place for dinner so they could get a taste for what I’ve been eating. So, I decided it was a good time to test this recipe, since I had to put together Whole 30 compliant appetizers. Some of you have asked what I snack on in between meals, and lately, it looks something like the photo below (minus the chips). I usually pack cut up veggies like carrots, radishes, cucumbers, sometimes jicama, and I usually carry a bag of marcona almonds or cashews too.
This dip goes with just about everything and this recipe makes a large batch to last you for the entire week. The dip is light, airy, zesty, refreshing and similar to traditional hummus, but better. I hope you enjoy this recipe with good company. Cheers and happy Friyay y’all!
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER & GARLIC “HUMMUS” DIP
- 1 head of cauliflower (1-1 1/2 lbs)
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons Kite Hill Almond Milk Ricotta
- 1 cup EVOO (reserve 1/4 cup for roasting cauliflower)
- 1 1/2 Tblsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 3 Tblsp fresh chives, minced
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Cut cauliflower into florets and place on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
- Drizzle 1/4 cup EVOO over cauliflower and sprinkle 1 tsp of each of sea salt and ground pepper over cauliflower and mix throughly
- Chop 1/4″ over top of garlic head and place garlic on 6×6″ piece of foil, drizzle 1 tablespoon EVOO over garlic and season with salt and pepper
- Wrap foil around garlic, but leave a tiny opening to release air when baking
- Place garlic on cookie sheet with cauliflower and bake in the middle rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes
- Place roasted cauliflower, garlic and remaining ingredients except chives in a food processor and blend until smooth
- Add chives and season with additional salt and pepper as necessary.
- Refrigerate and keep for up to 5 days
Happy new year, friends! It’s been about a year since I’ve transitioned to the Paleo lifestyle. So much has changed for the better within the last year, that I wanted to share my personal journey with you.
A little bit about my history
It all started when I came to the realization that I was mentally and physically out of balance. I had worsening symptoms of dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, irritability, cloudy headedness, spinal and joint aches, and increased episodes of petichiae and purpura in my lower extremities. Psychologically and emotionally, I had feelings of insecurity, moodiness, paranoia, and hormonal imbalances. All of these symptoms seemed to progress within a 10-year span, and became more prevalent within the last 2 years.
I finally decided to seek help from several medical professionals. In the summer of 2015 I met with a Rheumatologist who ran blood tests and diagnosed me with several autoimmune disorders: Sjogrens Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Wegener’s Granulomatosis. I was prescribed 2 different types of anti-inflammatory medications, and was instructed to take them twice a day. I followed my doctor’s instructions and took my medication as prescribed. I continued to consume excess amounts of refined sugar, refined starches, alcohol, while exercising inconsistently and traveling very frequently for work. I was living my life in excess: tons of sugar, high stress, little to no exercise, without regard to how I felt.
After six months, I stopped taking my medication as there were no signs of improvement in my health. I knew the medications were just masking the symptoms, rather than resolving the underlying causes. I knew that I needed to change, because I couldn’t ignore the symptoms I was having. Something had to give.
I started conducting research online about autoimmune disorders, and how to heal naturally. I quickly found that the paleo lifestyle, through many different types of paleo protocols, were beneficial to hundreds of people like me who were suffering. Conditions included multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, Hashimoto’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, among many others. Many of these individuals were reversing their symptoms and improving their overall quality of life through the paleo lifestyle.
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS THE PALEO DIET?
As Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, creator of the blog, The Paleo Mom explains, “the Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.” There are several clinical trials conducted in the U.S. that provide evidence that the paleo diet versus other diets, such as the Standard American Diet and the Mediterranean diet, has improved overall health with those living with chronic autoimmune disorders. For more information on paleo diet clinical trials, click here.
For more information on WHAT is a Paleo Diet, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne explains it well here.
WHY THE PALEO DIET?
Based on the evidence from several clinical trials and reports from those that have survived and improved their health through the paleo diet, I became convinced that this could do the same for me. I started following several paleo food blogs and their social media accounts, and became so inspired by the community, that I wanted to give it a try. I’ve always had a passion for cooking and baking and love to be challenged, especially with food. I started with recipes from paleo food blogs and paleo cook books and soon after began experimenting with recipes of my own.
Six months later, I was inspired to share my recipes and how much better I was feeling in such a short time after converting to the paleo lifestyle. I also started exercising regularly, I lost weight and I felt great.
In June 2016, I started this paleo-centric food blog to share my journey back to good health through my recipes. Some of the recipes are inspired by my childhood, many are my favorite recipes reinvented, and some are from other paleo food bloggers. I can’t say that I’ve been 100% strict paleo every step of the way, but I have made a conscious effort to make this a permanent lifestyle change.
For more information on WHY the Paleo Diet, Chris Kresser explains it well in this video here.
OK, I’M SOLD, WHERE DO I START?
Based on what you already know about the Paleo diet, I suggest going through your kitchen pantry and refrigerator and begin replacing or getting rid of the non-paleo friendly food items. This will limit temptation and encourage you to utilize the foods that you already have that fall within the guidelines. Next, compile your paleo grocery list and head to the grocery store. There are a TON of resources online for paleo grocery lists – I’ve listed a few below for your reference.
Grocery Shopping Lists:
- Nom Nom Paleo Whole Foods Shopping List
- Whole 9 Life
- Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution
- Paleo On a Budget
- Paleo Leap
Here’s another easy weeknight meal that only takes 30-45 minutes to whip up, and can be made in advance for all you meal planners out there. This dish is not your average bolognese recipe, as it’s packed with flavor and is super filling – perfect for those cold, winter nights when you want a bowl of comfort food. The best thing about this recipe is that it tastes even better the next day!
I cooked the spaghetti squash according to Nomnom Paleo’s electric pressure cooker method, but in case you don’t own one (which you should! It’ll change ya’ life!), she also has alternative cooking instructions. Don’t be intimidated by the spaghetti squash – it’s not that hard.
This post is dedicated to all my favorite/best friends who have had the chance to try and love this recipe (you know who you are!). Happy FriYAY, folks!
TURKEY BOLOGNESE + SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Serves: 4 hangry peeps.
Cooking/Prep Time: 30 – 45 minutes
- 2 Tblsp Avocado oil or EVOO
- 1.5 lbs of ground turkey
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Teaspoon sea salt (add more at the end if needed)
- 1 Teaspoon pepper
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1 jar (25 oz) of your favorite tomato sauce (look for a bottle with no sugar if possible)
- 1 large (~2lbs) spaghetti squash
- 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced for garnish
- Prepare your spaghetti squash (I used Nomnom Paleo’s method)
- In a large pot over medium high heat, heat oil and saute onions and garlic for about 1-2 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add add crushed red pepper flakes and mix to combine for about 1 minute.
- Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, mix to combine and cook for 7-10 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
- Throw in the bay leaves and tomato sauce, mix to combine, and reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes. Add 1/2 – 1 cup of water if the sauce is too thick.
- Serve on top of a bed of spaghetti squash and garnish with fresh parsley.
This is a super easy weeknight meal or you can bring this dish to your next potluck and wow your guests. The great thing about this dish is anything goes with the veggies you have on hand. The flavor combination has umami, sweet, sour and the veggies add a nice clean and crisp compliment to the dish. This was the first time I’ve ever cooked with kelp noodles, and they turned out amazing – a nice al dente chewy texture. This dish kinda reminds me of a Filipino noodle dish called pancit, but BETTER. I hope you enjoy this recipe!
VEGGIE STIR FRY WITH GROUND CHICKEN & KELP NOODLES
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Total cooking time: 30 – 40 minutes
- 1 lb kelp noodles, soaked in a large bowl with warm water
- 2 Tblsp coconut oil
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ lbs ground chicken
- 3 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 Tblsp coconut palm sugar
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 3 Tblsp fish sauce
- 2 Tblsp coconut aminos
- 1 Tblsp raw apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2-3 Tblsp)
- 2 cups fresh baby kale
- 1 cup green beans, diced into ½” pieces
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded watermelon radish
- 1 cup shredded cucumber
- ½ cup green onions, diced
- In a large bowl, fill halfway with warm water and soak kelp noodles.
- In a large saute pan, on medium high heat, saute onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
- Add ground chicken and all dry seasoning ingredients; mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon to combine, and cook for 5-7 minutes. Cover pan with lid to ensure chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
- Add fish sauce, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, and juice of half a lemon to the chicken mixture, and mix to combine for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add kale and green beans and saute for 2-3 minutes; add remaining veggies: carrots, radish, cucumber and green onions, and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Finish by adding remaining lemon juice and add more salt and pepper to taste (if needed).
The holidays are here, and I know we’re all busy with holiday parties. But I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes adapted by one of my all-time favorite Food Network chefs, Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa. This dish is super quick and easy to make – no actual cooking involved! And your guests will love it! It’s one of my go-to appetizer or side dish recipes, and can be served all year round. Happy holidays friends!
CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD
Serves 10-12 people
- 1 rotisserie chicken, breast and thighs deboned and shredded
- 1 1/2 cup avocado mayo
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of 1 medium lemon
- 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 Tsp sea salt
- 2 Tsp pepper
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tsp paprika
- 3 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 cup diced apples
- 3/4 dried craisins
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds (for garnish)
- Remove skin from rotisserie chicken and discard.
- Debone chicken breast and thighs, and chop or shred meat.
- In a large bowl, combine all wet ingredients including lemon zest, and stir until fully combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and use a whisk to combine.
- Fold in shredded chicken, apples, green onions and craisins until fully combined.
- Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour or overnight before serving.
- Serve on top of sliced cabbage using an ice cream scooper, or on top of sliced cucumber using a tablespoon to scoop mixture on to cucumber.
- Garnish each scoop with slivered almonds.
Chicken Maple & Herb Breakfast Sausage
Makes 12 – 2″ Sausage Patties
- 1.5 lbs organic, free-range ground chicken thigh
- 1 egg
- 1 Tblsp maple syrup (grade A)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 Tblsp garlic powder
- 1 Tblsp dried onion flakes
- 2 Tblsp fresh chives, minced
- 2 Tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tsp dried fennel
- 2 Tblsp coconut flour
- 1-2 Tblsp avocado oil for frying
- In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients.
- Mix gently with a wooden spoon or your hands until ingredients are fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
- On a cutting board or plate, scoop 1/3 cup of ground chicken into a ball, and flatten out into a pattie. Repeat for remaining mixture.
- In a large skillet under medium heat, pour avocado oil in the pan and allow oil to heat.
- Carefully place chicken sausage into the pan ( do not over crowd) and cook each side for 5-7 minutes.