Mexican AND Paleo

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love Mexican food. LOVE it.  Unfortunately, there are a few essential ingredients that are not very Paleo *sigh*.  I’ve resigned myself to relegating Nacho’s to the ‘very rare treat’ box, you just can’t have Nacho’s without corn chips. They wouldn’t be Nachos. However, I did have a craving for enchilada’s recently and it occurred to me that perhaps I could find a Paleo tortilla. And I did!

Paleo Tortilla

You can find the super simple recipe here.

These tortilla’s can be sweet or savoury – you can have wraps or crepe’s, essentially.  I did NOT make a crepe example, so I can only vouch for their suitability as a savoury wrap/tortilla.

They use a little coconut flour and more arrowroot flour which holds them together nicely (I hate recipes for pancakes that result in crumbly, impossible to flip messes).  They taste appropriately bland which to me is important if you are trying to make a tortilla. There’s no overwhelming egg flavour, no overly nutty flavour, nothing.  It means that whatever you put in them is what you really taste…. #winning!

They are easy to mix up and cook very well – they don’t really brown up too much but I’m ok with that.  When cooked, they are nice and flexible so wrapping them around other ingredients is absolutely doable.  They cook a little slower than a traditional crepe so that adds a bit of extra time to meal prep but nothing too major.

One thing I will say is that the quantities given in the recipe only yielded me 3 x 6″ tortilla’s and one smaller one.  I ended up making a double batch.  But maybe mine ended up a little thick? I think I’ll try to thin out the batter a little more next time.  So that’s the one negative I can report for this.

These were great filled with chicken & enchilada sauce, topped with more sauce and cheese (not strictly paleo, I know – you could do without) and baked in the oven for 15 minutes. The tortilla’s still held together and were a perfect substitute!

Yay for the return of (some) Mexican!

Bon Appetit!

x S

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Fried Eggs on Sweet Potato “Toast”

So, I love eggs on toast. I miss it!  But it was just something consigned to the “Pre-Paleo” days.. until my cousin, Louise, introduced me to this version.  Sure, I was skeptical at first but it totally works! Its now one of my favourite Paleo breakfasts.  This is how I do it, and these quantities are for one person.  Its pretty basic but I wanted to put it up anyways.

 

So, your ingredients:

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2 eggs + 1 small sweet potato (this was NOT a small sweet potato – it was medium – and it was too much for one person)
Your method:

Peel & slice the sweet potato into thick (1cm) slices. You can go for round slices or lengthways, depending on the size and shape of your sweet potato. I did both, to demonstrate:

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Place slices in dry frypan / sandwich press or under grille.  I use a sandwich press because, provided your slicing is neat, you can cook both sides at once and it cuts down the cooking time. Fry until cooked through, 5-10 mins, turning as necessary.

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Cook in batches if required, put cooked pieces on a plate and into the oven/microwave to keep warm. When you are done, or are on your last batch, fry up two eggs:

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Again – the sandwich press allows me to do both top and bottom simultaneously – saves time 🙂

 

Then its just a matter of putting your slices of “toast” on the plate, topping with your eggs, and voila!  Yum yum yum.

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Again, I know this is simple… but it had never occurred to me, so maybe there are those out there its never occurred to either. Anyway – hope you enjoy, let me know if you try it and what you think, or any variations or improvements that you make!

 

Thanks for reading – til next time,

 

x S

 

An experience shared is an experience doubled..

So here are some learnings after completing four [or is it five?] weeks on Paleo.  I decided to cap it at five because otherwise you’ll still be reading this tomorrow:

1. Its costs more to eat well.

My grocery bill is almost double – fresh produce and lots of meat, particularly where I live, is expensive.  Two adults are eating their way through around $300 food a week.  But, like I said, this is due in part to the fact that prices up here in Northern WA are super high because we’re a remote community. Lucky me.

2. Grocery shopping takes about 1/10th the time it used to and is super easy.  

It really is true, you just go straight to the fresh produce end, grab fruits & veg, skim along the back grabbing your meat and then pop into the freezer section at the other end to grab any frozens [eg fish, snap frozen veg, shellfish, etc.]  Then, unless you need to duck briefly into the darkside (read: the aisles) to visit the health food section [almond meal, organic raw honey, Linseed meal, etc] or the asian section [coconut cream, coconut milk, tapioca flour], you are DONE. Bang! Snap! Straight to the pool room! [For those outside Australia, this is a quote from a very Australian 1997 movie called “The Castle”. Its hilarious but please don’t think all Aussies are like the Kerrigan’s… except for the giant hearts part].  So – it really does take 10-20mins max to get everything you need because you only need to run the perimeter of your local supermarket. Score!

3. Organisation is paramount.

If you’re a meal planner – fantastic! You’re one step ahead of the rest of us.  If you’re not a meal planner [read: me] then …. now is a GREAT time to try something [else] new!  Failing to plan your meals and do the prep one day a week will not make it impossible to follow the Paleo way – I know this because it describes my journey thus far.  It just means that you will spend several periods a week staring into your fridge/pantry/freezer blankly for +/- five minutes, wondering what to eat or cook for dinner. You’ll google several paleo recipes at 1/2hr before dinner time, discarding each as you realise that you don’t have this or that crucial ingredient. You will visit your local grocery store several times a week [albeit briefly, refer point: 2] because you simply don’t have what you need to make an edible menu for the next few days.  The lesson here?  Sit down on a Saturday or Sunday, grab Robb Wolf’s food matrix [find this amazing tool here: http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/thePaleoSolution_FoodMatrix.pdf] and plan out your week’s meals, as best you can.  I am TOTALLY going to recommend that you start leaning towards the whole cook a bunch and eat for lunch method, whereby at least 3-4 times a week your lunch is made up of last nights dinner left overs. It just saves time and energy.  And – spend some time ‘prepping’.  Not for doomsday, for the following week. Eg: grate carrot/chop onion/slice mushrooms for salads, hardboil several eggs, make mayonnaise, make marinades/dressings, do any baking [muffins, frittata’s, crackers, biscuits]. Yes, it may take an hour or two on a weekend, but I guarantee it will save you hourS during the week. Trust me on this! Plus, you can involve the family and make it an activity, make it fun and encourage and develop their healthy eating/cooking habits. Note to readers: No, I am not currently following my own advice, but its a case of do as I say, not as I do.. 🙂

4. You will consume an enormous amount of eggs.

If you can – buy chickens!  I wish I could but our living arrangements [and our Siberian Husky, to be honest] kind of puts a kabosh on that. So if you’re in my boat, at least study up on what eggs are available to you, go for something reasonably priced if you can but do NOT ever, EVER purchase cage eggs – its abhorrent and I think it should be totally banned; strive to purchase free range, naturally fed hen eggs [eg grass fed, not grain fed] and always look for Omega3 enriched eggs.  If you can’t tick all the boxes – try finding Omega3 enriched eggs in my town 😦 – tick as many as you can, and at minimum, buy free range.  Or go without. Seriously.

 5. Snacking is hard if you a) don’t like nuts or b) don’t like fruit and/or are trying to lose weight.

For those of you who do like nuts and or fruit and or are not trying to lose weight – you can skip straight to the end.  Do not pass GO, do not expect $100 or a make up learning. You only get four.  For the rest, read on.

Sometimes, you just want to nibble on something.  Just a little bit of food. Maybe something sweet, maybe savoury.  Not a meal. So you go to the fridge and here are some typical choices:

  • Left over roast chicken from last night.
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fruit
  • Eggs

Sigh. You close the fridge and open the pantry.  Its even more *gulp* bleak:

  • Herbs & spices
  • Coconut milk
  • Various types of flours
  • Nut butter
  • Nuts
  • Oils

Well.  That’s some seriously limited choices. The ‘easy’ snacks are nuts and fruit. What if you don’t like either??  I am not a nut fan and don’t really like fruit overly much. Plus, for those who are trying to slim down, consumption of fruit should be limited until you reach your goal leanness. So what do you do?  I think this is where your dedication [or lack thereof] to Paleo will really show and imagination is super useful.  Prep time on the weekend can also help here – bake some Paleo muffins, or egg/bacon frittata’s and keep them for snack attacks. Find one fruit or nut that you like.  Try celery with a nut butter on it.  Google ‘Paleo Snacks’ and then don’t be shocked when they are all healthy. First step though: Have a glass of water.  Years of comfortable existence have meant that what humans often translate as ‘feeling hungry’ is actually thirst. So if you feel a little pang of hunger, snack size, there’s a good chance that you’re actually just thirsty.  So try a glass of water or cup of tea. Wait ten minutes. If you still feel it, search for a snack.

So there you have it. Five of many things I’ve learned since 1AP [After Paleo].   Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go away and think of a title for this post, as the original title I had ‘How do you do what you do?’ no longer applies… as so often happens, once I clicked in the ‘body’ box and started typing, this post became something completely different to my original vision. Oops!

Eck so, eck so,

Paleo Girl.

Week One Done

So – we’ve completed the first week of our Paleo Attempt.

We managed to empty our pantry of ‘non-paleo’ foods (read: all my favourites) and purchase MOST of what we need for a Paleo diet, the “staples”, although being in the Pilbara means there is a few items we’ll need to order online or just go without. Like kelp pasta. It sounds terrible but if its the only pasta I can have…
So far – its been OK. Turns out the dinners and lunches are pretty easy to think of – meat and vegetables, or meat and salad.  Its when you want something different that you need to branch out, oh and when you want breakfast. What breakfast can you have without grains (bye-bye bread, bye-bye cereal!) or carbs? Not that I usually have rice for breakfast but still.  A lot of eggs have been consumed this week by my husband, lucky for me I don’t eat breakfast so its not been a challenge – until the weekend, when I usually will eat brekky.

Solved the problem with scrambled eggs w/chorizo yesterday and today, tapioca crepes with bacon.  The eggs were yummy and something I would have eaten pre-paleo; the tapioca crepes were… different. Pretty nice, and surprisingly filling but definitely different.

We realised while making breakfast that we’ll need to completely re-learn how to cook things because the ingredients we are now using behave differently (like tapioca).

So – weight wise I’ve gone from 61.1kg > 59.5kg; I’ve found myself consuming more fruit / vegetables this week than I have in the past month (which can only be a good thing) and feeling better throughout the day, as in I’m not coming home from working feeling so bloated any more.  Maybe its a co-incidence, but we’ll see I guess!

Week 2 my challenge is to cut sugar out of my coffee (its the only time I add sugar to anything) and see what Paleo options McDonalds offers. Truly! I really don’t want to say goodbye to Macca’s!

Nicest v-day meal ever! Roast pork with chilli broccoli & mushrooms. Yummo!

Nicest v-day meal ever! Roast pork with chilli broccoli & mushrooms. Yummo!

Lunch made of dinner left overs - simple: BBQ Roast Chicken and a salad. Miss the cheese but we're finding ways to make up for it :)

Lunch made of dinner left overs – simple: BBQ Roast Chicken and a salad. Miss the cheese but we’re finding ways to make up for it 🙂

Some of the non-paleo items we've removed from our pantry... we probably took out 75% of our food! No exaggeration!

Some of the non-paleo items we’ve removed from our pantry… we probably took out 75% of our food! No exaggeration!

I’ll also try to put up some before and after pics of our pantry 🙂