A few weeks before the Paleo Challenge kicked off, I attended a small paleo workshop presented by one of the owners of my Crossfit box. She shared a lot of information and encouragement during the workshop, but one thing she said really stuck with me. I kind of think about it daily. She said, "I get so excited when I hear someone is going to do a paleo challenge because I think they are finally going to taste food."
At first I thought… Blah. I am not looking forward to tasting those foods. Veggies… ew. Chicken liver? Bone Broth? Suaerkraut? So gross. And, anyway, I really like my sugar, salt and cheese.
But, 5 days in I can tell you she was right. I have a handful of new favorite foods already. Guilt-free, good for me, delicious and savory foods. Foods I never would have tried had I not taken on this challenge! If you've never tried these foods, I challenge you to pick one from the list below and make it this week!
Spaghetti Squash - The best kept squash secret!! There are a ton of ways to make spaghetti squash (just as there are a ton of ways to make spaghetti pasta). I simply substituted the squash for pasta in our traditional spaghetti dinner. But you could sauté it with garlic, grass-fed butter, and salt... or sauté it with olive oil, basil and tomatoes. The list could go on. I used this recipe for our dinner the other night. So, so good. I won't miss pasta at all! (Actually, I already miss cheese-stuffed pasta. :))
Sweet Potatoes - These were instrumental in my survival of the paleo diet. Sweet, savory, filling, and can we say CARBS?? Emotionally needed (comfort food!) and guilt-free. I love to peel, cube, and sauté sweet potatoes in a pan with a chopped white onion, coconut oil, salt and a dash of cinnamon! It's like candy!!
Grain-free Porridge - I thought I would never get to have a creamy, warm, filling breakfast cereal again (I am a huge oatmeal and cream-of-wheat fan!). Well... who would have thought that almond butter + coconut milk + coconut flakes + vanilla would be a delicious and creamy winter breakfast? And it seriously leaves me satisfied for hours. (Warm it all up on the stovetop, of course!)
Onions - Anyone who knows me well know I do not like onions. Or peppers. At all. I'm kind of a texture weirdo and I have avoided them my whole life. Now, I've always been able to appreciate the taste of onions (but not peppers) and in the past few months I started recognizing the flavor of onions really added to a meal. So, I started using teeny, tiny onion pieces in my meals. Until this week. I made a roast the other night with large onion chunks (for Tommy - he loves them) and those slices of onions were super delicious. The next night I served sauteed onions as a side dish to our meal. Hah. I am SOLD! So, so good!
Grass-fed Beef - When people would tell me how much more delicious grass-fed beef was versus simple generic ground beef, it would totally go in one ear and out the other. I'm not a ground beef fan. I find it pretty much tasteless and I have never been a big burger fan. When I made spaghetti in the past, I'd use italian sausage instead of ground beef. Until now! This stuff is PACKED with flavor!! And truthfully, it may just be that my taste buds aren't coated with salt and sugar so I am finally tasting the meat. It doesn't matter. It's delicious.
So there you have it! Five new favorite foods in five days! It's like I'm becoming an adult or something. :) You should really give one of these a try!