Amanda is one of my friends from college. She originally introduced me to the 21 Day Sugar Detox and can generally be relied on as an ally in eating more healthfully and commiserating about eating more healthfully. She’s amazing and wonderful, generally hilarious, and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram. I’m planning to have a guest post at least once per month on the last Friday of each month and have a few lined up already. Enjoy!
Hi. I’m Amanda.
I’m one of those crazy paleo people. Except that I’m not. I’m more paleo-ish.
(What’s paleo? Long story short, I strive to eat mostly meat and vegetables. Why? Here’s a fun place to start.)
I believe in paleo – although I believe it needs a serious rebranding, as to most who practice, it’s much less about what cave people may or may not have done, and more about choosing the foods that are scientifically proven to be the most nourishing and least damaging to our bodies. However, I only eat paleo maybe 70% of the time (outside of strapping myself into a 21 Day Sugar Detox or Whole 30). Why? Because I love pizza and ice cream and not making it myself. I love wine and beer. I love eating in restaurants without asking an underpaid server sixteen questions to determine whether or not a sauce contains soy or gluten.
But at home, for the most part, I try to keep stuff healthy and real. If I’m going to go to the trouble to cook, I might as well make it the best I can for me (and for my kid, if she will eat the stuff). But, truth be told, if you ever decide to take on a real-food eating plan (paleo or otherwise), you’ll be spending more time in your kitchen than in your bedroom. Or that’s how it feels, anyway.
I like NOT being in the kitchen 24/7, so here are a few items I’ve found to be helpful to my paleo-ish operation.
My Netflix queue thanks these time-saving, sanity-saving items:
- Spiralizer. These are all the rage now, and for damn good reason. Pasta? Schmasta. Give me zoodles any day and keep your slimy wheat strings. And give them to me FAST.
- Green bags. Keep your fresh veggies fresh longer. Because who wants to go grocery shopping every other day? (YES, these really work. Just ask the week-old cabbage in my fridge RIGHT NOW.) Yeah, they cost more than Ziploc, but you can wash them and reuse them. I turn them inside out and wear them like gloves, then wash my hands. Okay, okay. Sometimes, I just stick another vegetable in one without washing it at all. (It’s all going the same place!)
- A deep freezer. (Not linking you to one, because I imagine you’re familiar.) I bought a small one with dreams of going in on a butchered grass-fed cow from a local farmer. That hasn’t happened yet, but I HAVE managed to fill it up with leftovers, bone broth, old chicken bones to make MORE bone broth, and meat that was on sale. So, yay? (I WILL get my cow someday.)
- A food processor. (I have this el cheapo one and it’s still my favorite ever.) This is seriously a must-have. There are just too many foods that are completely delicious when pulverized WAY finer than a knife can get. Like the recipe I’m going to give you at the end of this post, for instance.
- Slow cookers are good, too. I don’t think I have to explain this one.
- Parchment paper. I generally don’t use cooking spray due to soy and other additives, so it’s up to parchment paper to save my cookie sheets!
So what’s something good to eat? It’s hard to pick, because paleo food is GOOD, but here’s a recipe I recently fell in love with. I can’t take credit for it, as I found this recipe from The Fitchen and basically paleo-ized it. (I may have also swapped some ingredients – like sesame seeds for chia seeds – solely just to match what I had in my cabinet.) I’m calling my version Paleo Ramen Noodles, because that’s exactly what it smells like while it’s cooking! Ahhh… takes you me right back to my college dorm room, minus the “freshman fifteen”. And I honestly think it TASTES a little like Oriental-style Ramen, too. But this is MUCH better for you! Even if you make the non-paleoized original version!
Paleo Ramen Noodles
- Half a head of green cabbage
- 2 or 3 carrots
- Half a bag of broccoli slaw*
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds**
- 2 teaspoons ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat your oven to 400.
Pulverize your cabbage and carrots in your food processor. Not all at once…unless your food processor is much bigger than mine.
Mix the shredded cabbage and carrots in a big bowl with the broccoli slaw.
Melt your coconut oil in a small bowl. Whisk in the coconut aminos, chia seeds, ginger, salt, and pepper. Pour this stuff in there with the cabbage-carrot-slaw stuff. Toss it so it’s all nice and coated.
Spread it all out on a baking sheet. (Don’t forget to throw down a piece of parchment paper first!) Just try to get it in an even layer. Stick it in your 400-degree oven and find some way to occupy yourself for about 20 minutes.
Note: My oven is not your oven. You should probably start checking at around the 10-minute mark. The stuff is done whenever a little bit of the cabbage starts to look a bit burnt. What? I never said I was a chef. I’m sure it’s good grilled too, as the original creator intended. I’ll have to try it someday. I’m not a big griller, though.
*You may notice the original recipe uses all cabbage and no broccoli slaw. It’s great that way too! I experimented with the broccoli slaw once and thought it turned out nice, though. So here it is in the recipe.
** Sesame seeds would probably be better than chia seeds here. I just didn’t want to go buy any. I like it just fine with my chia seeds, though. And they’re supposedly a superfood!
This stuff’s good with just about anything. The other night for dinner, I crumbled up a leftover hamburger patty into a bowl of this stuff and sprinkled some more coconut aminos on it. Yum!