Summertime is travel-time for many people … and I was no exception this Summer. My travels took me to Colorado to celebrate the 4th of July events in the Denver/Boulder area. At first, I was quite concerned that it would be difficult to make healthy choices on the road – but (in fact) I am happy to report that “it was not difficult at all”!
Here is a quick look at what nourishment on the road looks like to me:
- Poached Eggs with veggies, avocado and fresh fruit (the Buff in Boulder, CO)
- Bacon, Eggs and fresh berries (The JW Marriott, Boulder, CO)
- Bacon, Eggs and fresh fruit (the Buff in Boulder, CO)
- House Salad with 1/2 Turkey/Bacon/Avocado sandwich “deconstructed” (The Rock Ship Grill at the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO)
- Flatiron Steak Salad [no potato, no cheese, dressing on the side] with fresh avocado (the ModMarket, Longmont, CO)
- Herb Crusted Wild Salmon with sage-cauliflower puree and roasted root medley (Blooming Beets Kitchen in Boulder, CO)
- “Barker Burger” Grass Finished Bunless Burger with sage-cauliflower puree and Swiss Chard medley (Blooming Beets Kitchen in Boulder, CO)
- The Elk Burger with Bacon and Avocado [no bun] (Wapiti Restaurant & Pub in Estes Park, CO)
- Raw macadamia nuts, pistachios and coconut flakes – a sort of trail mix that traveled with us everywhere we went (Sprouts Supermarket in Boulder, CO)
- Water, water and more water!
- Yes … coffee, too!!!
See how easy that was? whew!!!!
As part of my commitment to clean eating this month, I decided to challenge myself to put together an entire party full of paleo eats that were fit for sharing with friends. So … we offered up invites to a few close friends and hosted our first-ever “Perfectly Paleo Dinner Party”. Since everyone attending was at some stage of a “WHOLE 30“, we started with “mocktails” (okay, okay, it was Perrier garnished with some colorful fruit)!
Perfectly Paleo Dinner Party
Appetizers were antipasti skewers with a dipping oil seasoned with some good italian herbs. So far, so good. Followed by Fruity Kale Salad, Zucchini Fritters, Spaghetti Squash (seasoned with lemon juice and fresh basil, salt and pepper, and Balsamic Chicken Breasts. The chicken is a recipe I found in “It Starts with Food“. Great book!
I normally don’t do desserts – ESPECIALLY when I am in the midst of a “whole30”, but this being a very special occasion, I did make a batch of Paleo Zucchini Bread and a Paleo Apple-Berry Pie to share with guests.
I intended to take more pictures, but was enjoying myself so much that I forgot. And actually, some of the food was just gone! Vanished! Adios! But by all measures this was a success. By the end of the evening we were nourished by time spent with great friends, sharing and laughter … and “oh, yes” very satisfying and nutritious foods, too! HOORAY for Perfectly Paleo dinner parties!!!
OH SO YUMMY … Paleo Zucchini Fritters
I was skeptical – but wanted to try a new vegetable for my first Paleo Dinner Party! Wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to give this a try!
I normally do not make breads – not even paleo breads. But this week was special. Some of my very close friends and family were embarking on their very first whole30 challenge, and I wanted them to see that even WITHOUT SUGAR there was really no food deprivation involved. So, our dinner party – which started with refreshing “mocktails” – ended with fresh baked zucchini bread. No sugar. Really! It was a hit!
I found my recipe at one of my favorite places … Stupid Easy Paleo. I cannot tell you how many great recipes I have found on this her site. Please check it out! In the meantime – I did not make many changes to her original recipe:
- 3 Organic Zucchini, shredded to make about 4 cups
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch or cayenne pepper
- Coconut oil for cooking
Shred zucchini in food processor. Sprinkle with salt and toss well. After a 10 minute rest, squeeze all the moisture from the zucchini until they are dry. Place in a dry bowl. Add coconut flour, egg, peppers and baking soda. Stir to combine. Melt a large spoonful of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Scoop 1/4 cup of mixture onto the pan and flatten until you get a patty. Fill your skillet – and cook on each side 3-5 minutes until nicely browned.
Be sure to add fresh coconut oil to the skillet for your next batch!
Remove to a cooling rack so they do not get soggy.
No one will have trouble eating their veggies tonight 🙂
Wow! So Yummy! What a treat!!!
Paleo Fruit Pie
Is it really pie? It has no crust. Nope – not on top or on the bottom. It has no sugar added. It has not thickeners added. Hmmmm.
BUT – it IS baked in a pie pan. And it IS delicious. And it sure DOES smell and taste delicious like a really good pie. So …. I say “YES” it is Paleo Pie!
- 1 Tablespoon Organic Coconut Oil
- 4 Organic Apples – I used Gala apples – peeled and sliced
- 1 cup Organic Blueberries
- 1 cup Organic Black Berries
- 2 teaspoons Organic Cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon Ghee
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom and sides of a ceramic pie pan generously with coconut oil. Toss apples, blueberries and blackberries in pan and sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with ghee, and cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes or until fruit is soft. If you prefer a drier pie, uncover for the last 15 minutes. Serve warm … Mmmmmmmm!
This is a great topping for paleo zucchini bread! What???? Paleo Bread?????
- My 4th “WHOLE 30”
On Friday of last week I began what I think is my 4th “WHOLE 30”. If you are not familiar with it, I highly recommend it. You will get any question answered that you can imagine on the new website, whole30.com. This time around is a bit different for me because I have several friends and family joining in the challenge. I will post some updates in another week or two – right now we are all in a sort of sugar detox phase, so I’ll be brief. Here is what the squeaky-clean food of a day in the life of my 30 Day Challenge looks like:
A Day of Clean Eating!
Breakfast: Two Natural Pork Sausage Patties (no sugar/no nitrites), Two Cage free Organic Extra Large Brown Eggs (scrambled in my favorite iron skillet) with a side of organic broccoli-slaw that I pan fried along with the eggs.
Lunch: A steamy bowl of Hearty-Tasty-Paleo Chicken SOUP that I recently blogged about and some crunchy organic carrot sticks, dipped in organic guacamole that I found at Costco on my last trip. YUM!
Dinner: Citrus Chicken (the recipe is on page 266 of “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig) served with some organic bell pepper strips and organic broccoli-slaw that I dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Delish … and very satisfying 🙂
Day one was easy! Hope the next 29 are as well!!!
Bacon & Eggs in a Pepper Ring
Looking for a breakfast that you can prepare the night before – and have ready to take to an early work day? I think this is one for the books.
I always like to make only ONE BIG MESS in my kitchen. I just hate the clean up. And so, I will cook the whole package of bacon whenever possible. In this case, there were about 10 strips to cook.
- 1 package DaBecca Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon ($5 at Produce Depot)
- 1 large Organic Red Pepper – cut into 8 rings ($2 at Produce Depot)
- 8 Cage free Organic Extra Large Brown Eggs (@$3 at Meijer)
Cook up your bacon on a large flat skillet … trying very hard not to sample too many as you are cooking! Pour off and save excess bacon grease, leaving enough on your skillet to fry the eggs. Heat skillet to medium-high heat, then place pepper rings on skillet and break one egg into each ring. Cook until firm on bottom. Flip and cook until egg is cooked through.
Package up into 4 Ready to Serve Breakfasts. You’ll be glad you did when you have to rush out in the morning!
Serves 4 people at about $2.50 per serving.
Even though it’s not so simple to say … these “Bacon-Pepper-Pineapple-Poppers” are a simple crowd pleaser! They are – without a doubt – one of the best appetizer treats you can add to your cookbook whether you are eating paleo or not.
I got the original recipe from stupideasypaleo.com. Here is my quick change-up to make a dozen little crowd-pleasing poppers:
- 12 chunks (about 1″ each) of fresh pineapple (@ $2 at Meijers)
- 1 ancient sweet bell pepper – cut to 1″ squares (@ $1 at Meijers)
- 6 slices of Applegate Farms bacon – cut in half lengthwise (@$3 at Meijers)
- Smoked paprika
- 12 Toothpicks
Preheat the oven to 375F . Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stack one chunk of pineapple on top of square of pepper. Wrap the bacon around (ends at the bottom) and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on the baking sheet and dust with smoked paprika. Bake for 25 min or until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are softened.
Really – these are so simple and delicious, you will make them for every special occasion! Enjoy!!
Each popper costs about $.50
You might think you can just eat two … but, even if you eat 4, that is $2/serving 🙂