When there’s nothing on television I have three go to vices: The Big Bang Theory repeats, The History Channel, and The Food Network. The problem with watching the Food channel is that I want to make so many of the delectable treats I see there. And for a while I did. And I blogged about it. And I let the creators know about it. Some of them even took time from their busy schedules to respond.
Times have changed. I have a brand new hip. I’m getting old and pounds are getting hard to drop. I’ve returned to the gym, became gluten free, and now, at the suggestion of my trainer, I’m experimenting with paleo.
The paleo diet in a nutshell is about eating only the foods our prehistoric ancient ancestors ate, which means no milk products, no grains, and no processed foods. I can handle the processed food bit, and even the grains–I’ve cut all but oatmeal and quinoa out of my diet already and technically, quinoa is a seed and not a grain. But the milk? To go totally paleo means no morning latte, no greek yogurt snack (including as a substitute for bananas in my Yonanas machine), and no cheese protein boosts.
I really need to think about this decision.
In the mean time, let’s just say I’m leaning.
As is the case with any diet, there is tons of preparation involved. I arrived home from work at 4:15 last night and spent more than two hours cooking. I made chicken breast with duck sauce (processed sauce, so not truly paleo chicken), and tried a few new recipes.
Roll up for last night’s magical mystery tour of the paleo diet in the test kitchen!
Cauliflower hummus? Sounds weird, but it’s actually quite flavourful. Not quite as smooth as the original recipe (I had to add extra oil, lemon and tahini but couldn’t get it to quite the right consistency), and still reminiscent of baked cauliflower, this was really good with the microwave sweet potato chips recipe below. The recipe calls for 4 cloves of garlic which seems like a lot, but it’s really not. I made the mistake of substituting hot chili pepper for paprika–not something I would recommend–but the extra wet ingredients balanced out the taste a bit. No need for sriracha in my version, that’s for sure. The recipe is time consuming (30 minutes to bake) but well worth the wait.
Crisp potato chips in the microwave? There’s a trick to it, but if you can master it, they’re really good. The problem is that they’re cooked on parchment paper on the spinning tray inside the machine. This means the chips on the outside perimeter would eventually get crisp if only the ones in the middle didn’t start to burn. When you try this, line them up around the outside of the tray, leaving the middle empty and watch them closely. Take them out just before they begin to brown. Use them as scoops when eating the paleo hummus recipe above.
Technically this really isn’t granola as there are no oats in the recipe. Instead, these bars contain lots of healthy nuts and seeds and coconut and hold together nicely when frozen. When making these, I misread the recipe and measured a half cup of coconut oil instead of a quarter cup. I caught it before it melted, but the oil is a solid coming out of the jar and I’m not sure I wound up with exactly a quarter cup. I boiled the mixture per instruction, but then realized it was burning–maybe if I melt the oil with the honey first, bring it to a boil and then add the almond butter it will be more candy-like and harden better next time? Regardless of the “glue” holding this bar together, the end result is delicious, and I’m not a coconut fan.
If you come across any interesting, easy and delicious paleo recipes, please post the links in the comments or tweet them to me. If I test them out, I’ll give you credit for the find in my blog.