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I’ve mentioned one or two times that I have a hard time eating all the meat I am supposed to for the Paleo diet, so every once in a while I like to throw in one of my favorite recipes since my semi-vegetarian phase.  When I used to make this recipe, I used cornflakes instead of the almond flour and a packet of french onion soup mix instead of plain old onions and veggies.  I always felt that it wasn’t as healthy as it could be, but until starting Paleo, I didn’t realize there were other options and ingredients I could swap out to make this more whole and healthy.
I haven’t seen this version of a cottage cheese, meatless recipe out there anywhere (I had to experiment to see if it would work), so hopefully somebody will be appreciate of my approach.  To most, or anyone who is familiar with a Cottage Cheese Roast/Meatless Loaf, this recipe may sound odd and not particularly appealing, but you’ll have to trust me as it is delicious and it holds together nicely once cooled.  The recipe actually ends up being pretty high in protein and good vitamins and low in carbs so it blends well into my version of Paleo.
My preferred way of eating this is on it’s own with a little mustard and some brussels sprouts on the side, but I have also mixed leftovers into eggs for breakfast, which was really tasty.  Back in my bread eating days it made a good sandwich, too!
This makes 2 regular sized loafs and one small loaf.  I found that you can get about 6 big servings out of it.
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 2 regular sized loaf pans and 1 mini loaf pan with pam or olive oil.

In a pan, saute mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers until onion is translucent.  This is mainly to cook some of the water out of the vegetables to help your loaf stick together.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the four eggs with a fork and then stir in the cottage cheese, flour, half the can of tomato sauce, walnuts and worcestershire.  Fold in the veggies that were just sauteed.

Pour mixture into the loaf pans evenly.  Spread some of the remaining tomato sauce across the top of each of the loaf pans.  Cook for 1 hr or until firm (the big ones had to cook for about 90 minutes for me to be satisfied they weren’t “jiggly”, but the little one only took an hour).

After discovering the Oatmeal Replacement, which consists mainly of applesauce, I decided that it was time for me to try to make my own applesauce.  As you probably know, there are a wealth of options at the grocery store…strawberry applesauce, cinnamon applesauce, apple butter…the list goes on.  I was able (after a lot of label reading) to find a version from Mott’s with no sugar added, but I went through it so quickly that I found myself without any on hand and I was curious if homemade would be better.   Since I always have apples and pears on hand, I decided to give it a whirl.  To say it was delicious would be the understatement of the year.  Every bite got better and better.

I should also say that before starting Paleo, one of my favorite desserts to make was this pear syrup over vanilla ice cream.  I would just slice up a pear and cook it on the stove with a little brown sugar and cinnamon and in no time I would have a tasty topping.  This gave me the idea of trying to add a few pears to the applesauce mix.

I surfed around for a good sugar-free recipe and I stumbled across this one on Paleoparents.com.  I like it because they give you suggestions for what types of apples to use.  Unfortunately, all I had on hand were a couple of Honeycrisps and some Bosc pears, but I figured they would have to work in a pinch.

Guys, this is a hard one to mess up and you may never go back to the store bought stuff!  Now, if anybody knows if I could jar this and store it so I always have my own on hand – let me know…that is not yet my area of expertise!

This made about 3 cups – maybe a tad more.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 large Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Bosc Pear, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, approximately – I really just sprinkled it on
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, approximately
  • A 9×13 inch glass baking dish
  • tinfoil
Toss the apple and pear chunks with the cinnamon and nutmeg and put in the glass baking dish.  Cover the dish with foil and cook for one hour or until soft.  Mash with a fork – you can do it as chunky or smooth as you would like it, but the whole mashing process took me about 30 seconds because the apples/pears were so soft.

Fish Sticks

This is the baked version - there is one picture of the fried version at the bottom!

It is a beautiful Friday (what Friday isn’t beautiful??) –  70 degrees F and sunny.  I have all the windows open and a cool breeze is blowing through.  It’s hard to see the glass half empty today, so I am using the postivity to propel me through a few Paleo recipes.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been back and forth lately on whether I will be able to sustain the Paleo diet.  I love the way it makes me feel but oh man, I miss bread and sugar sometimes (I would love to have a lunch every now and then that is a sandwich and then follow it up with a cupcake!).  But alas, I am going to charge ahead and keep trying to stay on this path as it is very nice to not have to take blood pressure medicine anymore.

On that note, I made two separate meals today that I think will help me get through.  First, fish sticks!  I based my recipe on an Elana’s pantry recipe, because in my mind she is the Queen of Gluten Free cooking, which translates to Paleo most of the time.

I should start by pointing out that these are not your standard fish sticks.  This version didn’t come out crispy like I had hoped, but they still really hit the spot for me.  I liked them so much I made them two days in a row.

This served one as I was just making them for lunch, so you can up the recipe as needed.

Fish Sticks

  • 4 oz white fish (I use flounder, but you could use cod, tilapia, or a number of other fish!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • If baking, 1 tbsp melted butter
  • If frying, 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you could use half and half grapeseed/olive oil)
You can bake or fry these – if baking, preheat the oven to 450 F.  I did both methods and probably prefer baking for the ease, but the frying made them slightly crispier.  Also, line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with Pam.
  • If not baking, heat about 1/4 cup grapeseed oil in a pan over medium heat.  Be patient so you don’t burn the oil.
Start by whisking an egg in one bowl and stirring all the dry ingredients together on a large flat plate (you could use a bowl, but I found the plate to work nicely).  Slice the fish into strips (about an inch thick, maybe a little less).  Dip the fish into the egg to coat and then roll in the flour mixture until well coated.
If baking, place on the foil lined baking sheet, brush with a little melted butter and cook at 450 for about 15-20 minutes, flipping once to brown both sides.
If frying, once the oil is heated, place the fish sticks in the pan, leaving plenty of room to flip – don’t overcrowd, do a couple batches if necessary.  Fry on each side for about 2 minutes (I did all 4 sides).  Remove from oil and place on paper towel lined plate to absorb extra oil.

Oatmeal Replacement

If you asked me back before Paleo what foods I thought I would miss, oatmeal would not have been one of them.  I liked oatmeal and I ate it pretty often, but it was never really that exciting.  Now that I have been attempting Paleo for about 6 months, I miss other breakfasts besides eggs, which of course includes oatmeal.  I sometimes just crave something warm and slightly sweet that isn’t an egg.

When I stumbled across this recipe for ‘Almost Oatmeal’ on the Paleo Plan website, I was doubtful that it could be good but excited at the possibility.  Wow, I was overwhelmed – it was delicious and so easy!  I modified just a little based on what I had on hand.  Given I was still a little hungry after I would probably have this in the morning with an egg or some kind of protein on the side just to bulk it up a bit and make it to lunch.

Serves 1

  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce (I used Mott’s)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • fresh blueberries, raspberries, and a few hazelnuts for toppings
  • Combine applesauce, almond butter, almond milk, and spices in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave for about 30 seconds, just until warm (of course you could have this cold if you prefer).  Top with blueberries, raspberries, and hazelnuts.

Yellow Squash “Spaghetti”

I know I have said this about a million times now, but I miss pasta.  I have been struggling lately to stay the course of gluten free Paleo eating, so every day I have been trying to com up with new recipes that will help me get through it.  One of the things that definitely includes pasta that I have missed the most is spaghetti surprisingly.  It’s hard when you don’t have pasta to find something to put the sauce over besides plain old meat.

For some, this might not be that big of a challenge, they will just throw some sauce over a slab of meat, but I like to have lots of vegetables to balance out my meat so I don’t think about what I am eating so much.  Pasta has usually held the place of that distraction but now I am turning to my dear old friend veggie to take that spot.  I have been wanting to try using zucchini or squash as a substitute lately, so today I finally gave it a shot.

Now, let me first state that you cannot expect it to taste like pasta, let’s be clear about that.  That being said, the texture and bulk it adds to a meal was much more satisfying and tasty than I expected.  I watched a how-to video on Summer Tomato and she showed exactly how to get these beautiful “noodles”.  I used a vegetable peeler just like she did.

 

 

Serves: 1

1 yellow squash (or zucchini)

Olive Oil and Butter for sautéing

Aidell’s Andouille Sausage (or any other nitrate free meat product)

Your favorite Spaghetti Sauce (I used Chef Ricardo’s Mucho Macho – read your ingredients label carefully to ensure no sugar and other sketchy ingredients)

Start by cooking your meat (I grilled my sausage for 10 minutes on high, rotating every couple minutes) and slicing it up.  I then heated up the tomato sauce in the microwave.

To prep the “noodles”, I used a vegetable peeler and just shaved long thin slices off the squash.  Every time I shaved a slice off, I turned the squash a quarter turn.  When I got down to the seeds I stopped to the noodles wouldn’t get soggy.  I did choose to use the outside peel slices as well.

Next, heat a pan over medium high with a little olive oil and butter.  Once heated, toss in the squash and cook for no more than 2 minutes (I did about a minute and a half).  You don’t want the noodles to get soggy.

I tossed the sausage, sauce, and “noodles” together and topped with a little parmesan.  It was fantastic!

 

 

Sweet Potato Home Fries

**Update on this** I tried making these on the grill tonight to avoid running the oven in the summer heat.  They were great!  Slice as instructed below and put in a pot of boiling water for about five minutes (heat up the grill while the water is coming to a boil).  Drain and dry on towel for a minute.  Toss in olive oil and a little cumin and paprika and put on a grill pan.  Grill over medium high heat for about 5-8 min per side.  I found about 6.5 min on each side was perfect for mine!

I have to admit, I have been struggling with the Paleo diet lately.  I’ve been having the same thing almost every day (fish and vegetables or meat and vegetables) for dinner and a salad for lunch, eggs for breakfast.  The routine has become a little mundane and I just feel like I need to shake it up.  You can probably also infer that this is the reason I haven’t been posting as often, I mean how much can you right about a piece of meat with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli on the side, right?

Well, today while I was searching for some new and exciting recipes for dinner (there will be a Paleo-ish pizza for dinner tonight!), I stumbled across a recipe for Sweet Potato Rounds on one of my current favorite blogs, Everyday Paleo, (originally coming from Nutritionize – which is a new discovery!) that reminded me of my favorite home fries that I used to get at Aunt Sarah’s growing up.  I knew that I had to give them a try.  While I try not to have sweet potatoes too often, they say that people who work out a lot can work them in every once in a while.  Since I definitely qualify in that category, I am having some sweet potato home fries!

I will also add that I was skeptical of this recipe at first as I wasn’t sure how they would turn out – I’ve had mixed results in the past with some of my sweet potato recipes. It did not disappoint.  I couldn’t stop eating them – I kept going back for more!

Sweet Potato Home Fries

1 sweet potato, sliced into quarter inch rounds

2 egg whites

1 tbsp olive oil

A variety of spices (any mix can be used, but I used 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp hot chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano)

Salt or salt blend (I used a creole salt blend I had in the cupboard)

Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prep a cookie sheet with a piece of lightly greased tinfoil.

Whisk together the egg whites, olive oil, and spices (except the salt).  Dip the potato rounds one by one into the spice mixture until coated and place on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle the whole try lightly with the salt.

Cook for 20 minutes, flipping once.  Then, if you want them a little more crispy and browned, switch to the broiler for 5 minutes at most (keep an eye on them as they will brown fast).

Paleo Egg Muffins

Every morning during the week I follow a similar routine.  I wake up, take a shower, and proceed to either make a quick breakfast or if I’m working from home I can get a little fancier.  What used to be the fun part of this sometimes mundane start was deciding what to eat.  Should I do an eggo – with powdered sugar or syrup?  How about a veggie sausage patty with an over easy egg on an english muffin?  No?  Maybe some oatmeal with bananas and cinnamon.

Well, since being on Paleo these days, most of the things I just listed are off limits…I still splurge with them on weekends, but during the workweek, they are a no-no.  So I have to find new ways to shake it up.  You can’t just have an egg with cheese on it every morning for breakfast, right?  You’ve probably seen my flour-less muffin recipe but I just found a new kind of muffin to keep things interesting.


Clearly, these are not your traditional muffins (like any of mine really are?).  I’ll admit, I stumbled across this little gem of a recipe on My Retro Kitchen.  These muffins are just egg, meat, veggies, and some cottage cheese…if you please.  Give them a shot, you may just like them as much as me!

 

Makes 12 muffins

11-12 Eggs (I only ended up needing 11, but the original recipe calls for 12)

1/2 lb turkey sausage (or I used 4 pre-cooked turkey sausage patties for speed)

3 green onions, chopped (I used greens only, but you can use both if you want)

1/2 cup cottage cheese

4 oz can diced green chiles

1/2 cup broccoli, steamed and chopped

 

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease 12 muffin tins.  Layer into each muffin tin a little broccoli, green onions, sausage, cottage cheese, and green chiles.  The muffin tins should be pretty full.

In a bowl with a spout (I used a large measuring cup), beat the eggs with a whisk and sprinkle in a little salt and pepper to taste.  Pour the egg mixture over top of the veggies, sausage, and cheese (if using).

Pop them in the oven and let them cook for about 25 minutes (they will puff up a little and just start to get a little golden on top).  I threw a little cheddar on top, but it was totally unnecessary.  Now I just throw them in the microwave in the morning and voila – breakfast for a week!

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