Friday, October 31, 2014

AIP Paleo Menu & Budget {Week 27/10 - 2/11}

When I first started eating paleo, one of my biggest questions was, "Well, what exactly do I need to eat?" I had no idea what a typical day, let alone week, looked like, and even the simple task of grocery shopping seemed daunting because I didn't know how much food to buy!

I'm pretty comfortable with this lifestyle now though, and even though the hubster isn't 100% paleo, we have a certain groove and things tend to run pretty smoothly now. I thought I'd share a typical week of menus plus the amount I spent on the groceries for the week - you know, just to give other newbies an idea of what to expect expenditure wise, as well as an example of daily paleo eating.

A quick note about expenses... my grocery bill has gone up slightly since going paleo. It went from about 325€ per month to about 400€ per month. We eat a lot more meat than before, and we also eat a lot more veggies. So yes, in the days of subsisting on bread and pasta for most meals might have been cheaper, it also was painful and boring. Also, I don't really pay attention to what I spend when I'm grocery shopping. I know I have about 400€ per month that I can allot to food {household items such as washing power and toilet paper are also included in this budget}, so I just buy whatever I feel like eating, including some extras that we could easily live without. If 400€ a month is too much for you, know that when I shop deals and make an effort to spend less, I can stay below 300€ pretty easily. We just have less variety is all.

Anywho, on to the menu! Most weeks I choose one cookbook and try to make a maximum of meals from it. This both ensures that I'm "getting my moneys' worth" out of each book, as well as varies our meals pretty well from week to week.

Breakfast
For me: 
Bone-broth-based veggie soup {made from the weeks' scraps}
Cauliflower "Fried Rice" {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}
Three Herb Beef Patties {with added beef liver and pork heart}

For him:
Sauteed zucchini
Three Herb Beef Patties {with added beef liver and pork heart}

For us Sunday:
Cinnamon Ginger Baked Pears {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}
+ everything else from the other days

Three-Herb Beef Breakfast Patties || Mickey Trescott
Lunch
For me Monday-Friday: 
Half a bag of salty plantain chips
Mediterranean Salmon Salad {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}
served on a bed of fresh spinach

For him Monday-Thursday:
Herbed Roast Chicken {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}
Mixed bell peppers and onions cooked with the chicken

For him Friday:
Hubster Cheat Day {he goes out to eat with his coworkers}

For us Saturday:

For us Sunday:
Usually a restaurant meal with the hubster's grandparents, family lunch with parents, or we scrounge/clean out the fridge. There's never a real plan for Sundays.

Tuna & Peaches Salad || Meg White

Snack
Crossfit days:
Banana {the hubster puts his in his protein shake}
Half a can of tuna + avocado {mayo for the hubster}

Non-crossfit days:
Apple
Prosciutto
Carrot sticks
 {The hubster usually also has nuts or peanuts}

Dinner
Monday:
Lamb meatballs with Garlic & Spinach {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}
Curried Cauliflower {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}

Tuesday:
Chicken Caesar Salad {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}
Yuca fries for me {The Paleo Approach Cookbook}
Potato fries for the hubster

Wednesday:
Pork tongue {recipe coming soon!}
Rosemary Roasted Carrots {The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook}

Thursday:
Broccoli mash {recipe coming soon!}

Friday:
Leftovers, scrounge meal

Saturday:
Dinner with the parents

Sunday:
Usually a restaurant meal with the hubster's grandparents, family lunch with parents, or we scrounge/clean out the fridge. There's never a real plan for Sundays.

Cranberry Braised Short-Ribs || Mickey Trescott

And this weeks' grand total was: 84,63€. This is more than enough food for the week, and we'll be eating some of the veggies into next week as well. This budget works for us - and I hope my menu helps inspire y'all just a wee little bit!

How much do you spend on groceries? 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Squash Fish Bake {AIP, Paleo, Whole30}


I recently received a veggie spiralizer and have since been spiralizing all the things. And one evening the hubster and I were rushed and needed a quick dinner - so I pulled out the spiralizer.

I spiralized a mystery squash.

My cousin @primalmanon gave me squash from her garden... some were spaghetti squash {yay!} and some were... unidentified. I'm sure this recipe would work with whatever squash you have, such as pumpkin, zucchini or butternut. Heck, it would probably even taste great with veggies such as carrots. Just have fun with this one, okay?

(PS - If you don't have a spiralizer, go buy one already! Just kidding... you could dice the veggies instead :p)


Squash Fish Bake

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of spiralized squash of choice
  • 2 fish fillets of choice
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup bone broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper
Method:
  1. Place the squash "noodles" in a baking dish. Lay the fish on top.
  2. Pour the coconut milk and bone broth over the fish, then season with thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake uncovered at 200°C {400°F} for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the fish is lightly browned.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Not-So-Sweet Beet Cookies {AIP, Paleo}

I don't like cooked beets.

I love raw beets, and even have two different shredded beet salad recipes on my blog. Raw beets are crunchy, slightly sweet and pair well with tangy dressings.

Cooked beets are squishy, overly sweet and make everything to touch taste nasty.

Except for one recipe: The Urban Poser's Tomato-Less "Marinara" Sauce.

This sauce is just so dang good. Jenni says that this sauce is one of the greatest things she has ever made - and I believe it! This sauce looks, acts and tastes just like a tomato sauce should! All without a single nightshade. It's like some kind of voodoo magic - and I'd gladly sell my soul for this sauce, it's that good!


But anyway, back to the subject on hand: beets. This sauce uses beets. I have an incredibly hard time finding fresh {read: raw} beets at my local grocery stores, but I can always find ready-cooked beets. That doesn't matter for this recipe as they need to be cooked anyway. The problem is, they are sold in packs for 4-6 beets. Jenni's recipe only calls for 2-3 beets. Can you see my problem?

Now, I could just make a double batch and freeze the extras, but my freezer is only about the size of a large microwave. That space is precious and reserved for meat, veggie scraps and bones. I needed a way to use up the extra cooked beets, but a way that would mask the flavor enough for my temperamental palate...

I tried blending it into a green smoothie, and while the taste was alright, it wasn't delicious - and I ended up getting a sugar headache after eating it all. {I'm pretty sensitive to sugar these days and have to keep my doses fairly low.} 

I didn't give up though, and eventually a plan hatched in my head - beet cookies. I'd seen beets used in red velvet cakes, so I figured red velvet cookies could work as well. I mixed a few ingredients together in a bowl and put them in the oven to bake - and you know what? It worked. 


These cookies are just barely sweet - both in taste and ingredients-wise - so they're perfect for people like me. They are super soft and chewy, but they hold together very well and are therefore perfectly portable and holdable - they would be great for lunchboxes! And they even have a slight oatmeal-cookie texture to them, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The only thing I didn't like was the color - I was expecting a nice red hue {the batters' color is great!} but it baked into a dark brown. It is still an appetizing color, but red would have been better :p

In any case, enjoy these not-so-sweet, guilt-free cookies! Oh, and did I mention they're AIP compliant? #teamAIPforlife 

Not-So-Sweet Beet Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 200 grams beets 
  • 1 green plantain
  • 3 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Method:
  1. Blend everything together, except the coconut, using a high speed blender or an immersion blender.
  2. Stir in the coconut.
  3. Place dough on a nonstick baking surface, forming cookies as you wish.
  4. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 20 minutes.
  5. Enjoy hot or cold.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Feeding Dinner Guests {who aren't paleo}

In my circle of friends, we often invite each other over for a simple dinner of pasta. It's simple to throw together, fairly cheap to make for a crowd and nearly everyone has at least one recipe they excel at making. It was always possible to please everyone with this formula... until I went paleo.

We have our fair share of picky eaters in the group, but it was usually just a question of leaving out this spice or not using that particular ingredient. And if someone forgot, it wasn't the end of the world. Easy.

With me though, it's a different story. I have horrible reactions to many, many ingredients. I know what to look for, but most people don't realize that gluten, lactose and corn are hidden in everything. Everyone tries their best, but often I just bring my own meal as cross contamination happens more often than not and my evenings are spent agonizing in my bed.

That's when I eat over at someone's house... but what about when people eat over at my place?

I recently invited some of my girl friends over while our men were off hiking and tasting whiskies in the wilderness of Scotland. As I planned the food, I immediately thought of pasta. I would just use Zoodles! I decided though to make something that wasn't a SWYPO meal. I would make something yummy and already paleo.

I would make a salad.


I decided on a simple green salad topped with shredded chicken and black olives, dressed with an Italian vinaigrette. The flavors of this simple salad married perfectly. The only thing I would have done differently would be to add sun dried tomatoes. They would have taken the taste to a whole other level!

Before the meal though, I needed snack food. Here in Belgium, it's customary to offer copious amounts of finger food before the meal. I'm usually never hungry by the time dinner comes around, but tradition is tradition, so I went with it.


I chose to make a simple veggie platter composed of cucumbers, carrots and Belgian endive with my delicious Real Deal Paleo Ranch for dipping. I then sliced up some mild chorizo, some dry cured ham and even some Italian cheese {just because I'm super nice like that}.

The finger foods were a hit {the pretty presentation changes everything in my opinion - and yes, those are Christmas napkins, cause I'm classy like that} and the salad was light enough so that even after all the veggies no one went home stuffed beyond belief!


I "should" have offered a dessert as well, but it completely skipped my mind. Luckily, the girls didn't mind :P

I could have made up simple chocolate mousses though, or even banana "ice cream" with or without a warm berry crumble. Dessert doesn't have to be complex and full of sugar to be delicious and pleasing to many crowds :)

So the next time you're having non-paleo eaters over for dinner, go the simple yet flavorful route. Less stress means more fun had with your friends - which is the point of any get together in the first place! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Snicker Doodles {AIP, Paleo}


My all time favorite cookie is the snicker doodle. I'm a huge fan of cinnamon and put it on nearly everything I eat, so these cinnamon laden cookies are just perfect for me.

I tried quite a few paleo versions of snicker doodles, but every time I was disappointed. They weren't snicker doodles, at least, not as I remembered them. I decided to try my hand at making some, and what I ended with was three different cookies - one of which tastes like the snicker doodles of my memories!

And the best part about these recipes is that they are all single servings. That's right. Each recipe makes two cookies. That's just the right portion for me, but if you're feeding more (or have a bigger sweet tooth than I) simply scale up the recipe as you see fit.

Bonus idea - use one of the recipes below as a topper for baked fruit and you'll have the most delicious AIP crumble or crisp ever! Simply chop up your fruit, place in a baking dish and crumble a cookie dough from below over the top. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 15-20 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked and bubbly.

Paleo Single Serving Snicker Doodles

These cookies are crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside - delicious with or without the sugar coating!

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar of choice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar + 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Mix together all the ingredients using your fingers. 
  3. Separate the dough into two parts and roll into balls. 
  4. If using the sugar coating, mix together the optional sugar and cinnamon, then roll the balls in the mix to cover.
  5. Place balls on a nonstick baking surface and flatten using the bottom of a drinking glass (dip in the sugar mixture to prevent it from sticking).
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool before handling.


Paleo Single Serving Shortbread Snicker Doodles


These cookies taste like snicker doodles, but with a slight shortbread texture on the inside. The outside crisps up nicely, with or without the sugar coating.

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar + 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Mix together all the ingredients using your fingers. 
  3. Separate the dough into two parts and roll into balls. 
  4. If using the sugar coating, mix together the optional sugar and cinnamon, then roll the balls in the mix to cover.
  5. Place balls on a nonstick baking surface and flatten using the bottom of a drinking glass (dip in the sugar mixture to prevent it from sticking).
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool before handling.


Paleo Single Serving Lace Snicker Doodles

These cookies are what would happen if snicker doodles and lace cookies had a baby. They are fairly delicate, but their crunch is addicting!

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar of choice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar + 1/8 tsp cinnamon
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Mix together all the ingredients using your fingers. 
  3. Separate the dough into two parts and roll into balls. 
  4. If using the sugar coating, mix together the optional sugar and cinnamon, then roll the balls in the mix to cover.
  5. Place balls on a nonstick baking surface and flatten using the bottom of a drinking glass (dip in the sugar mixture to prevent it from sticking).
  6. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cook before handling.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Lamb Stew {AIP, Whole30, Paleo}

There's no long, fancy story behind this recipe...

This recipe was born simply because I found lamb stew meat on sale. I looked up a few recipes, but I didn't have the necessary ingredients for any I'd the few AIP compliant recipes I found... so I decided to wing it.

And I hit the nail on the head! It was even hubster approved! I served it on chopped Savoy cabbage for a bit of green, but I ate the leftovers by themselves like a true stew. Anyway you choose to eat it, you're sure to enjoy it.

Lamb Stew

Ingredients:
  • 500 grams lamb stew meat
  • Fat of choice
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup bone broth
  • 1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  1. Brown the lamb over medium heat in the fat. I used my pressure cooker, but any thick bottomed pot will work.
  2. Set the meat aside and add the onions, garlic and carrots to the fat, adding more if needed. Cook until the onions soften and brown slightly.
  3. Add the meat, liquids and spices and bring to a simmer. If using a pressure cooker, cover and pressurize, cooking for 45-60 minutes. If using a pot, simmer for 2-3 hours or until tender.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tuna & Peaches Salad {AIP, Whole30, Paleo}


I already have a recipe for tuna and peaches here on the blog... it's a Belgian favorite, so it was one of the first recipes I posted.

Since then, I've dappled with AIP a bit, and I've discovered I feel great on this diet {I hate that word}. And while I don't follow it strictly, I do eat mostly AIP now. This means I limit my consumption of mayo.

At first I was sad - no mayo means no tuna and peaches. But then I remembered my dear friend avocado. Of course! Avocado would help me.

And boy did it ever! Tuna and peaches have become my traditional Saturday post-WOD lunch. The hubster still down his in mayo, but I now revel in the deliciousness of avocado!

Tuna & Peaches Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1 can of tuna, drained
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1 peach or two canned peach halves
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Method:
  1. Mix together the tuna, vinegar and avocado, seasoning to taste.
  2. Place the greens on a plate, top with the peach halves, then the tuna mix.
  3. Enjoy immediately. {If making ahead of time, pack the peaches and tuna separately from the greens.}