11 August 2015

Experiments in Paleo

As part of my foodie adventure, I am always up for trying something new (and weight loss friendly!). When a friend mentioned to me that she recently switched to a paleo-inspired diet and was able to re-adjust to life without carbs fairly quickly I figured why not give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. After quite a bit of googling and reading, it sounds like a pretty simple diet for us since we already don't eat packaged food and have access to inexpensive farm fresh vegetables and meat. From what I can tell, we need to switch to more healthy fats and up our protein and vegetable intake. Fortunately, we live in the land of ghee so cooking with clarified butter is not a problem and olive oil isn't blacklisted. Reducing fruits might be more of challenge, but substituting antioxidant-rich berries and low-fat nuts should help with the transition. The main challenge, I think, will be cutting out the grains and legumes. Since we eat a lot of bread, pasta, rotis, rice, and daals, the first order of business was to find some satisfactory alternatives. Fortunately, I found quite a few rice and flour substitutes.

Tonight I'm trying out a recipe for cauliflower rice and pairing it with grilled chicken.

Cauliflower Rice

1 large head of cauliflower
2 tbsp ghee
1 onion
2-3 garlic cloves 
tumeric powder, cumin seeds, salt, and ground pepper (to taste)

Cut cauliflower into chunks and pulse in "mixie" until broken into rice-sized pieces. Brown onion and garlic in ghee before adding cauliflower and spices. Cook cauliflower about 3-5 minutes. After roasting I add a small amount of water to keep it from becoming too dry and cook it a bit longer. I wouldn't say that it tastes like rice, but it does make a good side dish on its own and is a nice alternative to the carbs.  

Balsamic Chicken

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard 
3-4 garlic cloves
salt and ground pepper (to taste)
1/2 lemon (optional)

Mix vinegar, olive oil, mustard, garlic, and salt & pepper. I love garlic, but you can reduce  down to 1 clove, if you don't love it in excess as I do. Marinate chicken breasts in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).

You can roast the chicken in a preheated oven of 200°C (400°F) for about 20-25 minutes; however, since I do not have a proper oven and have yet to figure out how to convert my microwave to convection, I grill my chicken on the stovetop. After cooking the chicken until the juices run clear and the chicken is no longer pink in the center, sprinkle lemon zest and juice over the chicken to add a bit of tangy to the sweet.

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