One thing that gets me very excited is hearing someone say, “I’m learning a whole new way of eating and loving it!”
That makes me smile from the inside out! I know if people see, taste, and experience food that feeds their bodies and delivers in the flavor department, then that’s when real, long term changes can happen.
Once a month, I have about 25 people captive, actually at my mercy. And I have the opportunity to cook whatever I want for them and the rule is that, they have to at least taste it. Now, this audience can be a tough one, as this is an 8:00 class on Saturday mornings required by their alternative sentencing program. Most participants are in recovery for alcohol and/or drug related offenses and the majority are used to eating very differently from what I’m feeding them. The fun part is that inevitably, at least one half of the crowd gets very excited about what I’ve prepared and at least another 1/3 grudgingly admit that it was good.
This last Saturday, I prepared two very basic dishes that are considered Paleo and Keto friendly. I chose Paleo/Keto as I knew a couple of people in the program were trying this new way of eating and I wanted to help them expand their culinary repertoire. Going paleo is basically eliminating all grains, legumes, potatoes, sugar and dairy.
That’s a lot of food to cut out of the typical American diet and can easily leave one feeling deprived and at a loss. It does take a bit of effort, some brain shifting and gear crunching to understand how to fill up your plate with a variety of wonderful tasting foods that are Paleo legal but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite satisfying and fun.
So this Saturday, I came up with a very simple curried kale and potato side dish that I adapted to Paleo standards by substituting cauliflower for the potatoes. I also served beautiful fresh berries (they’re in season now and cheap)! topped with coconut whipped cream. The recipes are below. Whether you’ve decided to eat Paleo or not, your taste buds AND your body will enjoy these recipes!
Golden Kale and Cauliflower:
1 head Cauliflower
1 Red Onion-chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 big bunch of red kale or curly kale
3-4 Tbsp Grape seed or Coconut Oil
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp Real Salt
¼ cup toasted or raw pine nuts (optional)
1/3 cup golden raisins (optional- yummy but not Paleo Legal)
Cut Cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Combine with the onions and oil in a preheated wok or skillet and cook over medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove kale from stems and tear into bit size pieces. Add kale, curry and cumin, real salt in with the cauliflower and onions and sauté for additional 3-5 minutes or until kale is a bit soft.
Top with optional ingredients if you wish.
Curry and Cumin are in the Curcumin family which is known for its abundant anti-inflammatory properties
Cauliflower and Kale are both in the cruciferous family and supply sulfur components which enhances our bodies ability to remove toxins.
Whipped Coconut Cream and Berries:
1 can coconut cream-well chilled (This will allow for the coconut water to rise to the top to be poured off before whipping. Otherwise the cream will not whip up)
½ tsp Vanilla extract
5 drops Stevia (optional)
Combine all of the above together and whip with a blender until light and creamy. Spoon over the berries.
4 cups fresh or frozen berries of your choice
1 cup walnuts
2 pitted dates
Process walnuts and dates in a mini or regular food processor until it’s crumbly. Sprinkle over the berries and cream.
You will not feel deprived eating like this, I promise. And your blood sugar and inflamed body will thank you big time!!!
- The walnuts and dates add a wonderful amount of texture, sweetness, fiber and protein.
- The berries supply much needed antioxidants
- The coconut cream is a delicious milk substitute that supplies a wonderful type of fat that our bodies can use as energy, along with antibacterial properties and is soothing to the digestive system.