Central and South American native foods and traditional dishes are surprisingly very Paleo-friendly. Wheat not being a native crop, the main starches are corn, rice and tuber vegetables...including my favorites, plantain and yucca/cassava root. Top this with a deliciously stewed and shredded meat, fermented black bean and home-made sheep's cheese, we are in business! Now on to dessert.
During our time in Belize I was able to sample and enjoy without worry many of the local and traditional dishes. We enjoyed many "community meals" where we were able to meet the chefs and dine with other travelers. It's rare that I'm truly able to indulge in a dessert, but I held nothing back with this one. Ladies and gentlemen, please let me introduce you to Cassava Pudding, or "Plastic Pudding" as the locals call it. This particular charming recipe I gathered from a cook at our resort. If you ever find yourself in Ambergris Caye, Belize, please seek out Miss Claudette for a damn good piece of Cassava Pudding.
Now, this recipe here I cannot take responsibility for. This DELICIOUS cassave pudding was the works of a very friendly woman named Miss Claudette. She has by far the BEST Cassava Pudding and Banana Bread in this entire country. No lie.
I will have Miss Claudette come over and make her banana bread and she will be one of my featured cooks in Belize. Now if you would like a sample of Miss claudette's pastries she can be found at the BIG Lime Green Chinese Shop in Hattieville on the Western Highway in Belize, it's the ONLY lime green chinese store in Hattieville and if u miss it you shouldnt be driving.. Those of you not in Belize, Im sorry you'll have to make it from this recipe or come to Belize.
So for ingredients you will need: 2 big cassava, 1/2 cup of Sugar, Ginger, Vanilla Essence, 1 can coconut milk.
Now this recipe is very very very easy and simple.
1. Grate Cassava into a bowl.
2. add the sugar, grate ginger (this amount depends how "gingery" you want it), then you add a little bit of your essence, I said Vanilla cuz i like vanilla but you can add whichever essence you want said Miss claudette. She still refuses to tell me which essence she use. I will get it from her one day tho and of course with her permission share it with you fine people.
3. Add your coconut milk BUT, add it slowly you might or might not end up using the whole can just add it to where it gets mushy and not too watery your not making soup.
4. add everything into a baking dish and cook for 30 mins at 400F or 200C. You can add a thin layer of pie crust like in the picture but most people don't. But this is miss claudette's recipe so do the crust she said it was a simple basic pie crust. you can either buy ready made or make it yourself. Now go try it because it was very very very good.
And lookout for Miss Claudette in the weeks to come where she will be making her Banana Bread. I can't wait for that one! Enjoy
Ready to commit whole-heartidly to the Paleo diet and lifestyle , I decided it was only right to meet my meat face to face (a la note-worthy Paleo blogger Diane SanFilippo here.)
We had already been long-term customers of Lewis Waite Farm via our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. The farmers, Alan and Nancy Brown, graciously invited us to stay for the weekend, we quickly discovered their awesomeness...
"We, Alan and Nancy Brown, are big believers in keeping things as close to nature as possible. We want all of our food to come from a wholesome, sustainable, earth-friendly environment. We farm with no synthetics or chemicals so our products are as pure as possible. What you eat is important to your body and your soul! Our cattle are not raised in confinement or on an unnatural grain diet. Instead, they are quite happy in scenic pastures. The practice of rotational grazing encourages the growth of native forage and the recycling of nutrients making for healthier soils."
Soapbox moment... Something that drives me bonkers is the disconnect we have from our food. We're grown so accustomed to only picturing it in the neat, little, pretty and strategically packaged squares on the super market shelf, opposed to picturing the animal it actually is, or was. Many, perhaps most, wouldn't eat the pretty little package of meat if they had seen the conditions of the animal's life. My goal is for transparency, lofty I know, for having pride and taking responsibility for being a meat consumer. I'll share some science on the matter...
Chris Kresser is always gathering the latest research and statistics: Why Grass Fed Trumps Conventional Red Meat
Regardless of all else, the taste alone will blow your mind. Nancy tells us a lot has to do with the herds' reduced-stress lifestyle. "Tenderness and taste in beef, especially grass-fed and finished beef, is enhanced by reducing stress throughout the animal's life and during the final processing. Our mixed herd has a wonderfully peaceful life on our farm. They only wonder which pasture is next for their next meal! Sometimes they are waiting by the gate to let us know their preference. We only take small groups of cattle for processing. Each steer is processed individually using a small family run USDA inspected facility for safe and humane processing."
Lucky for us, we were able to enjoy several community meals on the farm, everyone contributing labors, all the outstanding kale, beets, haricot verts, goat feta, sheeps chèvre, cedar smoked bacon, NY strip, beef brisket, etc, etc, etc!!
Read this the other day and fell out of my chair laughing! Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards is a Paleo and doesn't even know it. Here's his amazing and delicious recipe for traditional English Bangers and Mash. Tested it out yesterday in the home kitchen and it was mad tasty, finished the remainder for breakfast this morning. Cheers!
"MY RECIPE FOR BANGERS AND MASH" BY KEITH RICHARDS
1. First off, find a butcher who makes his sausages fresh.
2. Fry up a mixture of onions and bacon and seasoning.
3. Get the spuds on the boil with a dash of vinegar, some chopped onions and salt (seasoning to taste). Chuck in some peas with the spuds. (Throw in some chopped carrots too, if you like.) Now we're talking.
4. Now, you have a choice of grilling or broiling your bangers or frying. Throw them on low heat with the simmering bacon and onions (or in the cold pan, as the TV lady said, and add the onions and bacon in a bit) and let the fuckers rock gently, turning every few minutes.
5. Mas yer spuds and whatever.
6. Bangers are now fat free (as possible!)
7. Gravy if desired.
8. HP sauce, every man to his own.
Well said, Mr. Richards.
And to think we used to shun it, throw it away, soak it up with paper towel....never again!!!
Paleo is so liberating! Before Paleo, I used to shun away from fat and gave into the whole “low-fat” culture. I hung that up 1 year ago when I began my journey into eating whole, real, unprocessed foods and realized that saturated fat is not what’s killing us. And the best thing Paleo has done for me is given me a love for BACON! Oh I heart bacon…and I no longer feel bad about eating it, as long as I do in moderation. I’ve continued to lose weight and I continue to feel amazing all the while eating bacon a few times a week. I cook it on the griddle in the morning and use the same flavorful pan the rest of the day, no rinsing or washing. And my new favorite recipes include adding something sweet to the bacon pan, like fruit, balsamic vinegar and even ginger!
20 DELICIOUS AND NUTRITIOUS RECIPES USING BACON FAT
You may ask yourself, "Self, what one product can I use for cooking, cleaning, first aid, skin care, hair care, sun care, baby care, oral care, weight control, and a personal lubricant?" (I know that last one's high priority). COCONUT OIL!!! Yessiree. It's pretty much a one-stop shop. I've started keeping a bottle in the kitchen, the first aid kit and the shower. It's also cost and space effective replacing many of your various toiletries. And best of all, you smell like the beach in Turks & Caicos. Oh, and one more use...softening up the leather furniture...seriously, I tried!
101 USES FOR COCONUT OIL from Wellness Mama
Is to have a sense of humor about it all! Happy Holidays!
Seriously, soooooo easy, and it tastes good too! Here's the recipe muffin style. You'll be in and out of the kitchen in 30 minutes. If you're watching calories, I did 5 whole eggs and the rest egg whites. You could also add some flax seed for extra fiber. Or sub in honey for the maple syrup if that's your fancy. Trader Joe's and Bob's Red Mill both make an
Preparation Time: 35 minutes including cook time
Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes (until firm to the touch).
Interested in learning more? Michael Pollan is a wonderful read.
If you're eating low carb for weight loss or digestion issues, I'm sure you often find yourself missing the taste and texture of something crunchy and starchy...I know I sure do! Well thanks to the recipes on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet I have found many wonderful options. I'll share one here that is a perfect compliment or main dish at any meal, Split Pea Cakes. And what's great about this recipe is it can be so easily tweaked, modified and experimented with to your own tastes. This recipe is LOW CARB, LOW CALORIE, HIGH PROTEIN, HIGH FIBER and UBER HEALTHY!
SPLIT PEA CAKES
2 cups rinsed and cooked Green Split Peas (Arrowhead Mills is excellent)
2 small onions
1/2 cup Cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup plain yogurt
4 cloves minced garlic
Carrots/Kale/Spinach (other cooked veggies optional)
Spices to taste: salt, black pepper, red pepper, hot sauce, etc.
Cook the peas as the package states, for extra flavor sub out half your water for chicken or veggie stock. Cook your garlic and onion in the pan separately in a little olive oil. Combine everything except the cornmeal together in the blender or food processor until it's a thick liquid. Poor into a mixing bowl and add in the cornmeal. Now it should have the consistency of pancake batter (add more yogurt to liquify and cornstarch to thicken). Butter a hot skillet and pour on your batter like your making pancakes. Fry about 5 minutes on each side, but it really depends on the heat of your pan. Just eyeball it. Top with sour cream or a little more yogurt and serve. Yummy! Extra batter stores great in the fridge or freezer and can be used for soups too.
Note: You can also follow this same recipe with Navy Beans or Black-Eyed Peas. Make sure you always start with dry beans, not canned. Beans should be soaked overnight in water (peas don't need to be).
Cakes can also be oven-baked or made muffin style. Here's an awesome recipe:
Okay, and while we're talking pancakes, I might as well share another super easy LOW CARB, LOW CALORIE, HIGH PROTEIN recipe that parades as a naughty baked good...
CARBLESS ALMOND PANCAKES
1 cup almond flour (Trader Joe's is awesome)
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, etc to taste
Mix all ingredients together and pour onto a greased griddle/pan or in a waffle maker. Cook as per the usual. Serve topped with something yummy like banana, blueberries or yogurt.
More soon about the awesomeness of cooking with almond and coconut flour. Gluten free baked good do not have to taste like poo!!
I've been so moved by how much food has positively and negatively affected my health as a Celiac, that I've been inspired to share my journey. Cooking gluten-free and Paleo has become one of my biggest passions. Not only is it tasty, but I can feel my body healing itself one day at a time. When the GF diet wasn't enough to feel well, I switched to a Paleo diet in January. I was so concerned about what food I was missing, but soon realized this was a self-imposed, negative and narrowing mindset. This quote helped me gain perspective, "It's never too late to turn it all around. Be honest with yourself and others. If anything you're doing in life is not what you should be doing...stop. Life is way too short to continue in the wrong direction, but the longer that you do, the less time you will have to travel in the right direction." -Doe Zantamata, author of "Happiness In Your Life." My goal is to share and hopefully inspire others who are suffering or considering major diet changed to GO FOT IT! Paleo is easy, satisfying and often requires less ingredients and time in the kitchen than you're used to. And it's fun to improvise. Here's some of what's been going on in my kitchen...thanks for looking!
I'm a little obsessed with beets, they're good in any season. And we're getting a ton from the CSA right now. Any vegetable tastes divine roasted. On this occasion, the herbs of choice were fresh rosemary and black peppercorns. Same deal...just toss on some herbs and oil, throw them onto the pan and roast them about 15 minutes in high heat (about 400). I find mine crisp up best on the top oven rack.
Same story here with the cauliflower. This is especially yummy in the winter. COCONUT OIL is a wonderful pairing with the cauliflower. Here I did Coconut oil and turmeric for a thai-like flavering, and both are awesome natural tonics.
Ohhh, and speaking of CSA's....COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE. It's like a co-op for produce. I'm willing to bet there's one near you. The basic idea is you buy a crop share from a local farm and they provide a weekly delivery of what's in season and delish. It's a win, win, win... healthy and organic, supporting your local farmer and often cheaper than the grocery store (well definitely Whole Foods). Check it out: