Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Zucchini for Dipping

Zucchini has quickly become one of my favorite Paleo side dishes.  I grill it, I fry it, I broil it.  I’ve sliced it every which way.  I dump herbs and spices galore on it.  I love it!

Today, I sliced two zucchinis diagonally (one small zucchini per serving), laid them out on a greased baking sheet, and sprinkled them liberally with my spice container that says “Italian herbs.”  I also like using my spice grinder called “Pizza Spices” for Italian-style broiled zucchini dippers sometimes.  But if you don’t have anything halfway fancy like that, just some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano will work just fine.

Broiled Italian Zucchini Dip

Then all you have to do is put the sheet on a rack that’s about six inches from the top of your oven (for me that’s the top rack) and wait until they start to brown.  My 1/2 to 1/4 inch slices (I’m not very consistent) browned after about seven minutes.  Then I flipped them all over and gave them another three or four minutes.  Most of the time, if you cut them thin enough, you don’t really have to worry about flipping them over.  They’ll be cooked well enough when just the one side is browned.

The dipping sauce is just some canned tomato sauce I found that had the least amount of sugar and zero canola oil.  All I added were some extra “pizza grinder” spices and of course the Parmesan cheese that I grated over the whole shebang.  I know, canned sauce is a crappy shortcut, but some days I just have better things to do than spend a half hour making fresh tomato basil oregano garlic dipping sauce for my zucchini munchies!

One last pic… there actually was some chicken covered in mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, and more sauce on my plate, but it was pretty boring.  All I really wanted was more zucchini please!


Natural Paleo Dyed Easter Eggs

I discovered this way to dye eggs last year around Easter time, way before I went Paleo.  And now that Easter is only a few short days away this year, it occurred to me that onion-peel-dyed hard boiled eggs are totally Paleo without even having to try!  Besides, I read somewhere that this is how Jesus dyed the dinosaur eggs that were served at his last supper.  Super awesome, right?

All the directions are in the photo above, and all you really need are whole raw eggs, string or rubber bands, onion peels, and an old tshirt.  And no, the eggs don’t really end up tasting like onion or curry.  They just taste like normal hard boiled eggs.

Paleo Egg Breakfast Typical

I have always had trouble finding a good breakfast that stuck with me all the way until lunchtime.  Until now.  🙂  On the Standard American Diet (SAD diet lol), the breakfasts I tried were “healthy” cereals, eggs and toast, oatmeal, meat and egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, etc.  Nothing lasted for more than a couple hours, and by the time lunch finally rolled around, I was nearly always hungry, grumpy, and tired.

Now though, I invest the extra ten minutes each morning to make a warm protein and vegetable breakfast plate that generally looks something like this.  It really does an amazing job of sticking with me!

My Typical Paleo Egg Breakfast Plate (pictured above):

Serves 1

  1. 1 egg
  2. 1 egg white
  3. 1 mushroom, sliced
  4. 1/2 zucchini, quartered
  5. handful of baby spinach
  6. a slice of onion
  7. 1/8 avocado, sliced
  8. a little salsa, depending on how spicy I’m feeling that morning
  9. enough healthy fat (I used coconut oil, but sometimes I use bacon fat too) to coat the bottom of your skillet

Directions: Heat a small skillet (I used a 9″ cast iron) on Medium.  Grease your pan if you need to.  Add the zucchini first – it will take the longest to cook.  Wait a few minutes, flip it a few times, and then add the onion and mushroom slices.  Empty the skillet onto your plate when everything looks done (mushrooms look smaller and more moist, onion is partially translucent, and zucchini is a bit browned and soft all the way through).

Then add enough fat to your pan to coat the bottom again.  Add the egg white, and then the whole egg.  Wait about thirty seconds, then fold up the thinnest side of the egg white.  Sit some baby spinach down there.  Cover the skillet, and wait a few minutes until the spinach starts to wilt.  Then flip the egg over (it should hold together pretty well by now), wait another 30 seconds for an “over easy” egg, and then move the egg and spinach to your plate.

Top with avocado and a little salsa if you’re in the mood, and eat!

Chinese Chicken and Five Spices Meal

Today I parboiled a whole chicken.  If you don’t know how to do this, it’s massively easy.  Just remove the gizzards from your thawed chicken, sit it breast side down into a big pot with about an inch of water in it, and crank the heat up to high.  Once the water starts boiling, put a lid on the pot and turn it down to just above simmer.  The water will continue to lightly boil and steam your chicken within an hour.  By then, the meat will be moist and tender enough to practically fall off the bone.  Forget the oven – parboiling is where it’s at.

This meal was surprisingly simple thanks to my pre-cooked chicken parts.  I just removed the skin from the leg/thigh and smeared it with some olive oil.  Then I sprinkled a bunch of Chinese Five Spices onto it.  You could eat it just like this, but I chose to give it a minute or so on each side on the grill to get that sealed brown outside look and texture.

The hard boiled egg is just there.  I squirted some balsamic vinegar on the asparagus before grilling.

Ginger Cucumber Onion Paleo Salad

The cucumber salad is best made a day, or at least a few hours, ahead of time.  You can use any thinly sliced cucumber, but an English or Armenian one will work best because they have thinner skins and less seeds. Add thinly sliced yellow or sweet onion.  Slice your cucumber first so you can watch the ratio of cucumber to onion as you’re adding the onion.  I did about a 2:1 ratio, but you may have a different preference when it comes to onions (the dressing will greatly tame them though, I promise).  Then finely dice and add about a thumb’s worth of ginger root (yes, look at your thumb.  That size).  Pour about 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar over everything and toss it all together.  Put it in the refrigerator.  Take it out an hour later and toss again.  Put it back in the refrigerator.  Repeat several times.  Add a little salt and pepper just before you serve it cold.  My one cucumber and 3/4 of a medium onion made enough of this Asian inspired salad for four servings of the size you see on my dinner plate.

Fried Chocolate Banana Breakfast

So like I said in yesterday’s post, I don’t really know if pure unsweetened cocoa powder is truly Paleo, but I used a tiny bit for my breakfast again this morning.  The fried egg is boosted with an extra egg white, and my veggie pile is made from white mushrooms and finely chopped kale and red onion.  But you don’t care about that.

Fried Bananas for Breakfast:

You will need: Ripe (not green!) Banana, unsweetened pure cocoa powder, a healthy oil with a high flashpoint (I used grapeseed), a frying pan.

  1. Heat on medium enough oil in your pan to cover the bottom.  It’s heated when you flick a little water on the pan and it sizzles and disappears.
  2. Slice your banana lengthwise down the middle.
  3. Toss your banana slices flat side down onto your pan.  Wait for about 60 seconds.
  4. Using a spatula, flip your banana slices over.  Wait another 30 seconds.
  5. Remove to plate.
  6. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.
  7. Enjoy your decadent but maybe also kind of healthy breakfast treat!


Banana Cocoa Snack or Dessert

OK, so maybe the title is a little bit of a stretch.  I took this quick cell phone shot of my evening snack – something I decided on a whim to try.  I had a ripe banana and some pure unsweetened cocoa powder, and I figured it just might work.  And it did!  Although now that I’m thinking about it, cocoa is a bean… does that mean it’s not Paleo?  Oops.  But who cares – at least there’s no added sugar, and you only need a very very tiny amount of cocoa powder.

All you need is the pure unsweetened cocoa powder and a banana that is at least ripe enough to no longer have any green on it.  Actually, the more brown the better.  Up to a certain point anyways.  No rotting allowed.

My plate has half of a big room-temperature banana on it, sprinkled lightly with cocoa powder.  Pat the powder down onto the banana slice before you pop them in your mouth though – accidentally inhaling dry cocoa powder is not fun.  The ripe banana gives you all the sweet you need, especially if your taste buds are fully adjusted to the Paleo way of eating.  Mine definitely are.

Chocolate Mint and Rosemary Herbs

Fresh herbs are such a wonderful and flavorful staple in a Paleo diet, and I’ve been trying (and failing) to grow my own from for at least the past six months.  Recently, I decided to switch from cilantro and basil over to heartier herbs (here in the Southwest anyways): mint and rosemary.

Then while I was at the Home Depot today getting some other “normal” Home Depot supplies, I suddenly remembered that they have a whole great big greenhouse section.  With pre-grown plants and herbs!

Potting my Herbs

So I picked up a rosemary plant and a chocolate mint plant (what?  chocolate mint!  I know, right?) for $3.88 each.  The pots were only about $2 each.  And apparently if I kill the plants, I can actually get my money back for them so long as I keep the receipt.  Isn’t that the craziest thing you’ve ever heard?  I’m not planning on killing them though.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  🙂

Someday, I will have my own fabulous medium sized vegetable garden with raised beds and fresh peppers and tomatoes and squash.  But first thing’s first: keep the rosemary and chocolate mint alive.