4.28.2011

5 Must-Have Ingredients to 'Paleo-ize' Your Meals

Almost everyday I read about some new ingredient to add to my fridge or pantry that can spice up meals without comprimise.  I am thankful that there are so many good people out there playing with recipes and coming up with gems that I can steal!  I decided to come up with a list of great kitchen items that don’t necessarily pop up on the rookies’ shopping list.  If you can get yourself familiar with a few of these, you will open up a much wider range of Paleo recipes.  I’ll include some suggestions for usage after each item.  Here we go (in no particular order)…

- Coconut milk


Okay, this one isn’t really THAT profound, but it makes the list because it is so incredibly versatile.  Use it for sauces (even gravy!), curries, coffee creamer, or even ice cream (all you need is an ice cream maker or a friend like me that has one).  Basically, when you would normally use milk or cream, try coconut milk.  As far as nutrition goes, it is loaded with good, healthy fat.  Remember, eating this will not make you fat...we embrace the good fat, and we look better for it (don't believe the 'low-fat' hype...stupid mainstream).

-Coconut flour


I just recently experimented with this one for the first time…again, super wide range of uses.  Use it to thicken a sauce (like corn starch), to bake (sub for regular flour), to “bread” fish or chicken, and in place of bread crumbs…I actually find this stuff to be more absorbant than the conventional stuff, so you seem to need to use less in recipes where you'd normally dump in flour or bread crumbs.  Again, since it’s all coconut, it's good for ya.
*Also try almond meal for a similar effect.  Adds a little more texture than the coconut flour.


 -Coconut aminos


You probably haven’t seen this stuff.  We have been tearing through bottles of this, because it is a GREAT soy sauce substitute that is far less processed and is not filled with nasty soy.  It tastes a bit milder, but has the same general profile as it’s Kikkoman brother.  Use however you would use soy sauce, duh.

-Spaghetti squash


Again, you may not have ever tried this chameleon of a squash, but if you have a nasty hankering for a pasta dish, this guy can help without the intense insulin spike and carb bombed gut that the flour and wheat brings.  This stuff actually looks like pasta after it’s prepared.  It tastes sorta like pasta, but once you add the sauce, the texture and the look of it makes for a perfect Italian knock-off.  Try this recipe.  Top with any sauce you'd like.

-Cauliflower

This one might be sitting in your refridgerator right now!  The key though, is how you prepare it.  Now you may think that your days of delicious mashed potatoes and fluffy white rice are behind you since you went Paleo…not so fast!  You can make cauliflower into nice subs for both of those tasty side dishes.  For rice, try this method from Nom Nom Paleo.  For a “mash” or puree, just steam the cauliflower florets.  When fork tender, puree them with some butter or some water from the steamer and seasoning until they are the desired texture.  You can try adding some coconut milk for creaminess, too (since you are well stocked now).  Cauliflower is also great roasted or grilled if you feel like changing things up.

So next time you go to the store for your typical meat and veggies, grab these things and start getting creative.  We made these fried chicken tenders last night with a coconut flour/almond meal crust…delicious.  Paleo soul-food!  Anything’s possible! 
Fried chicken tenders in coconut oil, breaded in coconut flour and almond meal with cauliflower puree and broccolini

4 comments:

Whitney said...

Spaghetti squash is my hands down favorite. I LOVE it, even plain with a bit of butter. YUM!

Karen P. said...

Alright, you've convinced me to try the spaghetti squash. I'm thinking Italian sausage sauce with mushrooms and a lovely red wine...

DBax said...

Get it Karen! Good call on the sauce...should go well!

Fatima said...

I used coconut milk today to make red curry shrimp. Thanks on all the coconut tips I'll be sure to try them!