Tuesday, 24 July 2012

And Honourable Mention Goes To.....

Today's post is not about the recipes that I made myself.  It is about all the recipes that other people have put love, time, and ingenuity into creating that show up regularly on dinner plates in my house.  So here's to all of you paleo recipe creators out there--thank you.

I had originally thought about going back and reviewing some of the many, many recipes I reference and test.  Some have been wonderful, and some not so much.  But then I figured, the recipe creator must have loved it, whatever it was, or they wouldn't have blogged about it or posted it afterwards.  They don't need me being all down on their cooking.  Maybe its just my taste buds, right?  So instead, on today's post, I'm just going to list our absolute favourites.  There are many great recipes that I try that bear mention, sometime soon enough.  But today, its just the top ones, the "cream of the crop" recipes that I'm going to give mention to.

I've said it many times before, but it bears saying again...  We don't repeat a lot of food in our house.  I'm an adventurous eater.  I like a lot of variety, and some pretty unusual combinations.  But every house has a few recipes, or should have a few recipes, that are tried and true, that just make everyone happy without any food rebellions at the dinner table.  These are ours.  These few get cooked time and again, some of them weekly, some of them every other week, some of them once a month, but definitely over and over. 

They are, in no particular order:


Zucchini Noodle spaghetti casserole.  Juli Bauer @ PaleOMG makes comfort food at its finest here.  The only change I've made is I add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a splash of red wine to the sauce.  So sue me.  It cooks off.  Of course, I have to make this hot, so I add hot pepper flakes, too.

Salisbury Steak

Hamburgers in beef gravy--need I say more?  The Domestic Man hits a total home run.  It tastes like childhood.  Paleo has not altered or tainted this taste.  I have changed nothing.  I serve it over mashed cauliflower, or mashed celeriac, or both.

Chipotle Chicken Cauliflower Casserole

The girl with the very original name, Stormy Maoomba has made a classic here.  It fills my need for Mexican, without the beans, corn and cheese.  I tend to add more tomatoes than she calls for, and sometimes I add a bit of salsa, too.  I serve it with hot sauce, too, just because I add that to almost everything I eat.

Swedish Meatballs

Tara really got this one bang-on.  This recipe is fast, easy, and totally kid-friendly.  Can't go wrong on this one; I've made it without eggs and without almond flour on days that I don't have any in the house.  It is a cannot-screw-up recipe.  But when I have the ingredients, I do make it as per her instructions.  I always serve it with mashed cauliflower and loads of sauce.  And I do not add hot sauce.

General Tao Chicken

I will admit, I have made some adjustments to this recipe.  Don't get me wrong, its great the way it is.  I use honey in place of the diet soda+splenda option, which she actually offers as a variation.  I use tapioca starch in place of the xantham gum.  I add extra heat.  Because I'm like that.  I always serve this one with riced cauliflower.  It just works perfect that way.  It looks fussy with a lot of ingredients, but it really isn't hard at all. 

Pad Thai

Mel gets the flavour bang-on.  Tastes like the real deal.  I will admit that I have been using soy sauce in place of coconut aminos because I didn't even own aminos until recently.  Her sunshine sauce rocks.  I add extra hot pepper flakes, and chili-garlic sauce.  I love heat.  I've used almond butter in place of unsweetened sunbutter and it comes out just fine, too.


Ok, skip the tortilla-omelet.  The spice blend that Mark makes tastes exactly like it came from a taco kit.  My kids love it.  I just add the spice blend to cooked ground beef, add a bit of water and simmer for a few minutes to blend in the flavours.  I typically serve it over salad with loads of avocados, olives, a dollop of plain full-fat yogurt and salsa.  No other taco recipe has tasted this authentic so far.

So far, that's it for not-made-by-me recipes in our regular rotation of dinners.  Of course, of my own recipes, there's Enchilada Pie, Zucchini Calfredo, Tandoori Fish and Chips and Sloppy Joes, to name a few.  But what about breakfasts?  I have to admit, I still like sweet things.  I never much liked pancakes before going paleo, but since then, I've had so many pancake-like things that I just can't seem to get enough of them.  Here's my favourite not-by-me breakfast recipes so far...

I cook this one alot.  It originally came from the Paleo Periodical.  I change it almost every time.  Sometimes it has sauteed carrot and spices to make it carrot-cake-like, sometimes shredded squash and pumpkin pie spice.  Sometimes it has bananas and tastes like banana bread, and sometimes apples and cinnamon and tastes like warm apple pie.  Any way you make it, if you add some sweet fruit, it tastes awesome.  There's no almond flour.  Simmer some berries, and its just total goodness.  Then add bacon.....

These delicious little devils are the moistest pancakes I've made to date.  But they sure do use up a lot of almond flour, making them expensive and at times a bit too heavy on the guts.  Save these for special occasions, they will not disappoint you, and they can definitely win over the most 'I-cannot-give-up-grains' protester you have.

This was the first truly delicious paleo food that I made that really excited me--thank you Paleo Parents.  It made me forget all about sweet, creamy grain-based breakfast cereals.  I have never looked back.  It does take some time to make, and uses a fair amount of not-cheap nuts, but it makes 5 hearty servings and is soooo worth it.  You will be full all morning.

Alright, last but not least, the so-brilliant and so-ripped George over at Civilised Caveman created this dreamy, chocolate granola.  When you serve it as a cold cereal, it makes the almond milk all chocolaty.  You can grab it and gobble it down dry to stave off a sweet craving.  You can store it in a Ziploc for a couple of weeks, easily, if it lasts that long, making it a great cold cereal that the kids can serve themselves.

There are so many great recipes and great recipe bloggers out there.  This list really only touches on the biggest ones--PaleOMG, The Clothes Make the Girl, Civilised Caveman, Paleo Parents and Mark Sisson.  I've really only skimmed the surface here, so stay tuned for more great recipe reviews coming soon!  (I cannot cook them any faster, Scottie!)

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