Posts Tagged: paleo dinners

Choose Your Own [Adventure]: Paleo Meatza or Shepherd’s Pie!

Have I just done something blasphemous? I’ve certainly broken a cardinal rule of some sort. I truly don’t mean to offend! Some of you may know of the connudrum our family faces with having to slash our meat intake becasue my husband has gout (which means more legumes and grains/wheat which are not the greatest for my underactive thyroid or in being pre-diabetic.)

Then there’s the whole other can of worms that I opened up in watching Cowspiracy, (all about Animal Agriculture and the enormous, devastating affect it has on the planet) the other night. Suffice to say, I’m confident that the universe is telling our little family to eat less meat when we can. So sometimes we go vegetarian, sometimes we eat local, free-from meat and eggs. We’ve successfully squandered down to very little dairy and will be switching to almond milk 100% for a test run. I’m researching viable plant-based vegetarian meat replacement options that aren’t going to wreak havoc on my digestive system and aren’t highly processed with tons of crap added into them. I’ve been told “good luck with that.” Anyways, the world’s all a big mess and we’re just doing what we can, what’s right for our family. I think? Yea, watch that documentary. If you dare.

So if you’re a vegetarian and you’re not totally offended by my pairing of paleo versatility with this recipe – enjoy. Play around with it, mix things up.



Choose Your Own [Adventure]: Paleo Meatza or Shepherd's Pie!
Recipe type: Paleo or Vegetarian
Cuisine: Oh The Humanity!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
What You'll Need
  • BASE:
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (big chunks fine, it's just going into a food processor or blender
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup fresh basil (pressed down, loose leaves)
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano
  • 4 tbsp. hot water or veggie or bone broth
  • 3 pounds organic grass fed ground bison or beef *or* 3 pounds vegetarian ground round
  • 8 spears of dino kale, washed and shredded
  • 1½ cups of grass fed sheeps' feta *or* 1 cup shredded Daiya cheese alternative combined with 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft
  • 2 large (or 3 or 4 small) sweet potatoes, peeled chopped and steamed until very soft
How You Do
  1. Blend onion, garlic, sundried tomatoes, carrot, basil, oregano and broth (or water), till a chunky paste is formed. (Use a food processor or standing blender with a tamper.) Set aside.
  2. Combine paste and ground bison or beef (or ground round) and mix with your hand to combine.
  3. Brown in a cast iron pan, only takes a few minutes
  4. Place steamed cauliflower, sweet potato, pink salt and ground pepp in food processor and puree until smooth
  5. Shuffle meat (or non-meat, HA!) mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish (I use a glass Pyrex one)
  6. Layer shredded kale on top
  7. Layer cheese or cheese alternative and nutritional yeast on top
  8. Scoop and smooth out mashed cauliflower and sweet potato over beef mixture, sprinkle with the smoked paprika
  9. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes
  10. Serve!


Cauliflower-Parsnip Mash

Those of us in the Paleo world know about the controversy that is whether or not to include white potatoes into one’s diet. On the one hand, they are a delicious, nutrient dense whole food. A fabulous starchy tuber in fact! Unprocessed, versatile and satisfying. And yet, they sit quite high on the glycemic index and as someone who has chosen to try and stick to a Paleo diet because I’m pre-diabetic … then obviously I am going to avoid sugar spiking foods.

I’m especially NOT going to deny myself of delicious foods however, when it comes to any holiday spread I might be hosting this time of year. I double especially love surprising my doubting guests when it comes to Paleo food substitutions. Because they’re definitely not all a win. (Sad face apple pie.)

why cauliflower
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock with nary a Buzzfeed food video or heady list touting the many wondrous virtues of eating cauliflower (instead of carbs) crossing your path, then I’m sorry. This is one of those rare times you’ve been missing out on what the internet has to toss your way. Cauliflower is a splendiferous thing indeed. I’ve tried it out in bread, soup and to make faux ‘cauli-rice’ and pizza crust already. Perhaps you’ve already been served, or have tried mashed cauliflower as a mashed potato substitute. It’s pretty good (no, it doesn’t taste exactly the same so let’s just lay that inquisition to rest), but I’ve found that the addition of parsnips really adds the taste a texture needed to make it a damn good combo of a sub needed to mimic the cloudy peaks of buttery, creamy goodness that is mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is a part of the cabbage family, which means it’s a vegetable and we know that vegetables are a good thing, yes? Particularly rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, cauliflower also has a significant amount of vitamin K, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium! As if all of that weren’t enough, noshing on cauliflower also gives you a good dose of sulfur. And until I read Mark Sisson’s article on why eating sulfur-rich foods is a grand idea, I had no clue about why I should care about that either.  It’s a damn good, eye-opening article about vegetables in general!

why parsnips copy
Pumped up with various B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K, parsnips and turnips are a great source of trace minerals, including manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc! While they may be moderately high in natural sugars, parsnips are also comprised of both soluble and insoluble fiber. (Which slows the body’s digestion of carbs and prevents a spike in blood sugar and makes food easier to digest!) When accompanied with the cauliflower, one really is bestowed with the great satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes without the dense insulin spike.

vs. blender I’m straight up gonna tell you that using a blender will issue you a gluey mass. Which you might be going for if you wanted to make a vegan cheese sauce sub; say for mac and cheese. But that’s not the texture we’re going for here. I myself am a fan of the rustic hand-held mashing or using a food processor.

Simple Paleo Mashed Alternative: Cauliflower, Parsnip and Turnip Mash
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
What You'll Need
  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 5-6 tbsp. grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1¼ tsp. pink sea salt
How You Do
  1. Remove the cauliflower florets from their bases of stems and leaves. Wash and add to a water-filled pot, along with your washed, peeled and chopped parsnips and turnip.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until all is tender.
  3. (You can cook the veg in two separate pots if you don't have a big enough one.)
  4. Drain the cauliflower, turnips and parsnips into a colander and topple them all into a food processor (or back into the pot if you are hand-mashing.)
  5. Add the butter and whizz/mash until well creamed! If you like it rustic then by hand is the best way to go.
  6. Season with sea salt to taste, eat it, love it and gloat all about it.


Dairy Free: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

title Just so we’re clear, this is a Paleo soup recipe, but obviously the sandwiches aren’t. If you’re new here, you might not know that I try and alternate between a plant-based and Paleo diet. The rest of my family don’t have the same health issues as I do so essentially they can indulge in what I do not! Meals like these make that kind of diverse food prep easy. It’s just grilled cheese yo. Perhaps a little bit fancy, but no big whoop. If you want to get into making big batches of bone broth to use in many an Autumn and Winter recipe, here’s my recipe!

Dairy Free: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
What You'll Need
  • Soup (double batch if you please)
  • 2 tbsp. ghee, coconut oil, or grassfed butter
  • 2 tbsp. REAL maple syrup (amber if you have it!)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 c. bone broth (or 3½ quart sized tetra packs of veggie or meat based stock)
  • 10 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 3½ lbs.)*
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh sage
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 (heaping) tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 c. cashew cream (soak ¼ cup of cashews in hot water for about 20 min., drain rinse and blend, adding in more water until cream-like consistency is obtained)
  • BONUS! Apple, Crispy Sage + Gruyere Sandwiches (for 4)
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 8: ¼-inch-thick Italian loaf bread slices (or bread of choice)
  • 8 slices Gruyere cheese
  • 2 peeled and thinly sliced honey crisp apples
  • 5 or 6 baked sage leaves per sandwich
How You Do
  1. Soup:
  2. Bake cubed butternut squash tossed in 1 tbsp. of oil or butter and the maple, in a preheated oven of 350 F for about 25/35 minutes (depending on the heat of your oven), turning cubes midway.
  3. Melt the other tbsp. of oil or butter in large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer a few minutes.
  4. Working in batches, puree soup in double batches. Return soup to same pot. Stir in the cashew cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Sandwiches:
  6. Preheat panini press. Butter BOTH sides of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side down across a large expanse of counter to create an assembly line. Top half of the bread slices with one slice of cheese, then apples, topping with another slice of cheese. Place other pieces of bread slices to complete the sandwich prep and grill until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from press and let sit for 30-60 seconds before slicing.
  7. Ladle soup into bowls and serve those delectable sandwiches with those who can eat bread and cheese without a care in the world!

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Curried Sweet Potato, Kale and Mango Stew

title image A versatile dish, this can be made vegan or vegetarian. You can add chicken or leave it out as I have done. Curry is a soul-food. It sticks to your ribs, warms your tummy and can be made to your own heat preference. Our kids like it with yogurt (tames the spice a bit). Do you have your kids eating curry yet? Try our this version! The mangos and a natural sweetness to the more savoury elements of this dish.

I used to purchase pre-made curry powder (because easy), but I’ve gotten into the habit of making from-scratch pastes each time I give curry a whirl as the depth of flavour is incomparable once you’ve gone there. I’ve tried to simplify the process as much as possible from some of the more conventional/traditional curry adventures, it doesn’t always have to be a huge time commitment! Enjoy!

Curried Sweet Potato, Kale and Mango Stew
Recipe type: Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
What You'll Need
  • 2 large yellow cooking onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp ghee (or grassfed butter or coconut oil)
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 400g can chopped/diced tomatoes (or diced fresh plum tomatoes)
  • 1 250ml can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 3 sweet potatoes, cubed (about 1 lb worth)
  • 1 lb carrots, cubed
  • 2 mangos, cubed
  • 1tsp. pink himalyan sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh minced kale to garnish (I like to sprinkle at least ½ cup's worth per serving)
  • ***Optional: 1 can of garbanzo beans, ½ lb of baby potatoes and 2 cups of frozen peas
How You Do
  1. Saute the chopped onions in ½ of your ghee/oil with the garlic cloves (whole) until translucent. Transfer to a small food processor, adding in the ginger, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, chili, cayenne, garam masala and turmeric, with 1 tbsp ghee/oil (of the remaining 2) with 2 tablespoons of water - process to a slack paste.
  2. Heat the last of the ghee/oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Scoop the paste out of the blender/processor into the pot. Swirl everything around for about 30 secs until the spices release a fragrant aroma.
  3. Tip in the tomatoes, broth, coconut milk and carrots. (You can add the garbanzo beans and baby potatoes if you've chosen to add these). Continue cooking on a medium-low heat for about 25 mins without a lid until the liquid begins to reduce and darken.
  4. Add in the sweet potatoes and mango and simmer for another 40 mins without a lid until the carrots are nicely stewed and the sweet potatoes are fall-apart tender. The masala should be thickened now – you might need to add an extra ladleful of broth or water if the curry needs it. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and stir.
  5. Serve with minced kale and cashew yogurt or regular yogurt and sprouted brown rice for the non-paleo eaters at your table!



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