I wanted to give you all a recipe, as promised last week! But instead of posting a long recipe, or something complicated, I thought you might be better served to learn a few of the super simple recipes I use multiple times in a week. This may help you get started!
First, go get some UNREFINED coconut oil. Yes, it’s more expensive than refined, but this is something I don’t negotiate on. Unrefined is way more important than organic, too, so that’ll save you a little money! (Oh, and by the way, saving money on Paleo is *very* important to me.)
Okay, the rest of this you may already have! Let’s get started.
Fried Sweet Potatoes (My Own Super-Simple Recipe)
First, peel a few sweet potatoes. This will be easier with a peeler. Felt that needed to be said. Chop them up (The smaller they are, the quicker they’ll cook! Mine are usually the size of a square marble.), throw them in a pot and cover with water, then boil until soft. (Prick it with a fork – I usually try not to let them get too soft, so the recipe that follows works…)
That’s easy, right? I do that once or twice a week. You won’t believe how much more quickly dinner goes when you have cooked sweet potatoes in the fridge.
Okay, so you have the sweet potatoes cooked. Yay! Now you essentially have the building blocks of a Paleo side. You could mash some up with salt and coconut oil (my favorite) or olive oil (try either instead of butter – you might like it!), throw some in a hash (basically the Paleo term for a bunch of random cooked veggies in a bowl with meat, my breakfast of champions), or just leave them in chunks and add salt and oil!
But here’s my favorite way…
Heat about a tablespoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot (melted – coconut oil is semi-solid at room temperature, then melts at around 76 degrees), add a serving of sweet potatoes. This also works for two servings or more, just add more coconut oil as needed. Add some sea salt (or table salt).
Okay, here’s the fun part. It should start cooking. Resist the temptation to stir very much. Actually, it’s hard to stir this at all, because the potatoes get all mushy. So you get to toss it. Ever watched those cooking shows? Yes, give the pan a little flick of the wrist. Easier to do with a smaller pan, but you could probably make it work as long as the pan isn’t too heavy.
It’s an art form.
I was so scared to try it, but I eventually did, and now I love it! It’s all about committing to it. And don’t worry if you get a few pieces on the stove. It’s not the end of the world. Just don’t burn yourself on the oil.
Set the pan down, let it cook a little. Do some dishes, make your next side, cook up the meat…Just toss the pan every once in a while. Easy peasy.
You’re looking for all sides of the sweet potatoes to turn brown and crispy. Wait for it – I promise it’s worth it.
Once most of the sides are browned and crispy, eat! You won’t believe how good they are.
They look kind of like this, though these didn’t get all crispy and brown…
Fresh Kale Salad
Okay, so you may need to buy some kale for this one. It’s pretty much a super food. A super yummy food.
Wash the kale (really well), remove the leaves from the large stem down the middle, then tear into bite size pieces. I have a large glass bowl that has become my kale salad bowl. Really.
Then add whatever you’d like! My sister-in-law made a salad like this with roasted beets, roasted butternut squash, and roasted pecans, with a champagne vinaigrette, and it was soooo yummy, but my body does not like beets. So.
My favorite version is to add pieces of a few oranges and some fresh blueberries. You could also add some red (or white) onion if you like onions! I do, but they don’t like me.
Then here’s the dressing. Juice another orange (I can usually get away with cutting up one and a half oranges in chunks, then using the remaining half of the orange for the dressing) over the salad, then add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a good amount of salt. Can you tell I don’t really measure anymore?
Toss the salad, then you’re done!
Here’s my first attempt, when I still ate beets…
The oranges don’t turn red when you don’t use beets.
Banana Blueberry “Ice Cream”
So I have this rule with my husband: “air quotes” are understood when I’m talking about Paleo foods. “Spaghetti” is spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. “Pot pie” is this amazing recipe I found that makes a crust out of carrots, parsnips, coconut oil and salt. It’s mind-blowing. And “ice cream” doesn’t actually have cream. It is icy though, so that kind of counts.
So this is super simple. I promised that, right?
It does require you do something beforehand, though…freeze a few bananas. In my house, I buy a bunch for the week, then, when they inevitably start going bad before my husband and I can eat them all, I unpeel them and freeze them whole. I used to cut them up, but my hubby’s a genius and suggested I freeze them whole. And when it makes my life easier, it’s a win win. Major husband points.
I also keep a bag of frozen blueberries in the freezer, just for this occasion. And now that the weather’s getting warmer, that occasion will probably be happening rather often… just saying.
Throw one banana and a handful of blueberries in a food processor. But don’t start the food processor yet! Those blueberries are FROZ-ZEN and will likely mangle your blade into a tangled mess. Just kidding. But don’t break your food processor.
I usually let it sit and defrost for about 20 minutes. During this time, clean your room, play with your kids, watch some TV, read a few articles online, check FaceBook…you get the picture. Then go back and blend. Or is it process?
You’ll probably need to stop after a bit and use a spatula to get banana chunks off the sides. Probably the blueberries, too. Then let it go again!
Food processors are fun.
The end result is creamy deliciousness. Use the spatula to clean that bowl out – don’t miss a speck, it’s too good – then stick a spoon in the bowl and go to town. Try not to get a brain freeze.
Sadly, this “ice cream” is apparently so yummy that it hasn’t stuck around long enough for a picture.
Wow, I write a lot. *Deep breath*
Here’s the “recipe” section:
Fried Sweet Potatoes
cooked sweet potatoes (about the size of a handful for 1 serving)
1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil (per serving of sweet potatoes)
sea salt (or table salt) to taste
Melt coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes and salt. Toss occasionally to stir until edges are brown and crispy.
Fresh Kale Salad
a bunch of kale
2-3 oranges, depends on amount of kale (or 4-5 mandarin oranges, plus one Navel orange for juicing)
1-2 handfuls fresh blueberries
red or white onions
anything you can think of!
1 orange (from above)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil (depends on size of salad)
salt to taste
Clean the kale well, remove from stems, and tear into bite-sized pieces. Peel and cut up orange slices into bite-sized pieces (or use whole slices of mandarin oranges) and add to kale. Add a couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries. Then add in anything else you’d like!
To dress the salad, simply juice 1/2 to 1 orange over the salad, add olive oil, then add salt to taste. Toss and serve!
Banana Blueberry “Ice Cream”
1 frozen banana
handful frozen blueberries
(Alternatively, you could add a nut butter [peanut isn’t Paleo, but almond is if there’s no sugar added] or sunflower seed butter [again, no added sugar for Paleo] instead of the blueberries)
Add ingredients to food processor and let thaw for 20 minutes. Blend, stopping after a short time to combine the fruit that hasn’t blended in yet, then blend again until smooth. Enjoy!
If you get around to trying any of these, let me know how it goes!