Archive for Side Dishes

Paleo Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

Paleo sweet potato saladThis Paleo Sweet Potato Salad recipe is so yummy that I know many people eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is low on carbs and big on protein so it makes a very satisfying but guilt-free side dish. The combination of bacon, eggs, ham and sweet potato all wrapped up in a delicious homemade ranch style dressing is to die for! Seriously, if you make this recipe once it will be your favorite dish that you will make for potluck dinners, picnics and backyard BBQs too.

If you use Japanese sweet potatoes most people don’t even realize it is not a traditional potato salad, they just know that it is the best potato salad they have ever had!

This recipe makes a big bowl of salad that will feed probably 8-10 people as a side dish so feel free to cut it in half if you want a smaller batch. It does keep for several days in the fridge though and tastes just as good, if not better, in lunches and even for a quick cold breakfast.

Paleo Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

2 large Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (you can also use the orange kind if that is all you have on hand)

1-2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil

1 cup diced ham

6 strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

6 hard boiled eggs, chopped or mashed

2-3 green onions, chopped

1 c veggies (add any fresh veggies you have on hand such as shredded carrots, zucchini, sweet peppers, etc)

Ranch Dressing:

1/2 c buttermilk or coconut milk (I use the buttermilk left over from making butter in a jar)

1/2 c mayo

1/2 c greek style yogurt (optional but recommended)

2-3 tbsp fresh parsely, chopped fine

1-2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped fine

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a skillet and saute diced sweet potatoes until tender. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together until smooth. Add all the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is well combined. Chill and enjoy!

I hope you love this Paleo Sweet Potato Salad Recipe as much as I do. Serve it as a side dish or pile it on a bed of greens for a great meal on it’s own.

Quick Links:

  • paleo picnic side dishes
  • paleo side dishes for potluck
  • cold paleo potluck dishes
  • cold sweet potato paleo lunch
  • creamy sweet potato salad

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Seaweed Recipes- The Superfood You Can’t Live Without

Seaweed Recipes – Why is Seaweed a Superfood?

Cavemen and ancient civilizations would travel many miles to the ocean just harvest seaweed or sea vegetables, as they are called today. They understood the importance of the nutrients that seaweed provides. Aside from the abundance of vitamins and minerals found in kombu, kelp, nori and other saltwater seaweed varieties, the main attraction is the rich source of iodine that seaweed possesses.

Our bodies cannot function without iodine. The thyroid depends on it to produce hormones that control our metabolism. Since our body is not capable of producing iodine, we must get it from food sources or absorb it through our skin from environmental sources. The problem with environmental sources is that the iodine in our environment is usually the radioactive kind and not something you want your body to take in. To prevent this from happening we must make sure we are not iodine deficient. If you are consuming adequate amounts of iodine in your diet, you need not worry about it. That is where the importance of eating seaweed comes in.

In the 1920’s most governments imposed a law that all table salt needed to be fortified with iodine to ensure that people were getting adequate amounts in their diets. With the recent trends to reduce salt intake and the switch to sea salt as opposed to table salt, we are becoming more and more iodine deficient. This leaves us very vulnerable to radiation poisoning at times of crisis such as the tsunami in Japan, the nuclear meltdowns at 3 mile island and Chernobyl. The radiation that is emitted into the atmosphere from nuclear plants is Iodine 131. If you are iodine deficient, your body will soak that radioactive iodine up like a sponge! One of the first things the government does in times of nuclear crisis is start handing out iodine supplements to help reduce the risks of radiation sicknesses. Don’t think you are safe if you live miles away either. Once that gets released into the atmosphere it travels! The radioactive dust settles in pretty much every country in various amounts.

Most eastern cultures have always included sea vegetables in their diets. It is only western society that has not adopted it as a valuable food source. The reason being that unless it is prepared properly it doesn’t taste very nice. I can attest to that. I bought kelp shreds at my local Asian market and tried it out. It was kind of nasty. BUT I wasn’t about to give up just yet. I did some research and found that I was preparing it all wrong. Once I learned how to prepare seaweed properly I really kind of like it more and more every time I eat it.. I find the taste to be similar to green beans.

kelp shredsSo today I am sharing the proper way to prepare Kelp Shreds and my favorite recipe. This is what the package that I bought looked like. It was pretty inexpensive and comes in dried form. When re-hydrated it yields a huge mixing bowl full.

Important: You must rinse and rinse and rinse again. This was the big mistake I initially made when I first tried the seaweed and found it nasty tasting. I didn’t rinse it well enough. You need to keep rinsing until the water is clear.

Then you need to soak it. Just put the kelp shreds in luke warm water with the juice of a lemon. The lemon will help to soften the kelp so they are not so crunchy and give it more of an el dente noodle texture. Let the noodles soak for at least 30 minutes. I tend to put them to soak in the morning and just let them soak all day till I am ready to prepare dinner.kelp shreds noodles

Drain well and store in a zip storage bag in the fridge. You will need to use scissors or a knife to cut them into shorter shreds as they are like really long noodles.

If you eat a small serving every day you need not ever worry about iodine deficiency. Do not overdo it though. Too much iodine and you may run into hyperthyroid problems. If you already have thyroid issues, consult your doctor before including seaweed in your diet. Everyone else is good to go!

How do you eat seaweed?

  • mix it in with your salad greens in your favorite salad
  • mix it in with zucchini noodles and top with your favorite pasta sauce
  • make a seaweed salad
  • use it in any of your recipes that call for green beans. My personal favorite is Szechuan Kelp Shreds (my Paleo version of Szechuan Green Beans)
  • use a Nori wrap and fill with sandwich fixings

The fact is you can easily include seaweed in your daily diet if you just use your imagination.

Szechuan Kelp Shreds Recipe

szechuan kelp shreds recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups prepared kelp shreds (see instructions above)

2 green onions, chopped

1-2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (depending on how spicy you like them)

1 tbsp soy-free soy sauce

1 tbsp minced ginger root

drizzle of sesame oil

toasted sesame seeds for garnish

olive oil

Directions:

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a wok or skillet. Quickly saute the onions, ginger and chili garlic sauce for a minute or so to infuse the oil with flavor. Toss in the kelp shreds and saute until heated through and well mixed with sauce. Drizzle with a small amount of sesame oil (don’t overdo as this is a strong flavor. A little goes a long way) Plate it up and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Quick Links:

  • kelp shreds how to prepare

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Perfect Paleo Citrus and Avocado Salad

paleo citrus avocado saladThis Paleo Citrus and Avocado Salad is so good on so many levels. It is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Grapefruit is well known as a natural fat-metabolizer. It is the perfect way to detox your body and stabilize your blood sugar while at the same time giving you a deliciously sweet and sour taste your taste-buds will thank you for! Another thing this salad has going for it is that it has a high enough acid content that your avocado will not turn brown so it will keep for a day or two in the fridge! This means you can make it for dinner and then take the leftovers in your lunch the next day. (IF there are any leftovers)

I made this last night as a side dish for my pork chops and today I am going to have the leftovers on a bed of greens and tuna. Can’t wait!

Ingredients:

2 grapefruits or 1 grapefruit and 1 large orange, diced

2 ripe avocados, diced

2-3 tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped fine

1-2 tbsp fresh chives or scallions, chopped fine

cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)

Dressing:

juice from 2 limes

1-2 tbsp honey (optional but recommended, if you use the orange you need less honey)

1/4 c olive oil

Directions:

In a serving bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together. This emulsifies into a nice thick dressing. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss until all are covered with the dressing. Serve and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

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Purple Carrots Recipe – Keeping it simple yet tasty

purple carrots recipeI wanted to come up with a simple purple carrots recipe for my first time trying this new veggie find so I could get a sense of the real flavor of purple or maroon carrots. I have to say that this simple roasted carrots recipe is a big hit. It makes a very delicious side dish and helps retain all of that antioxidant and anti-inflammatory goodness without boiling it away in water.

Look how dark and rich the purple carrot color stays when roasting instead of boiling. That means that all of those nutrients are going straight into your body and not being drained down the sink!

Roasted Purple Carrots Recipe

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 small purple carrot per person

olive oil

2 sprigs of rosemary or thyme (fresh is best) or you can use dried

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Wash the purple carrots and cut into wedges or fingers. Place on a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings and pop it into a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes until tender-crisp.

It can’t get much easier than that! If you have a favorite purple carrots recipe please share a link in the comments.

 

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Purple Carrots – An Old Superfood Gets New Life

purple carrots superfoodPurple carrots may sound totally new to you but did you know that carrots were originally purple? This variety was almost lost to us but thanks to farmers who are dedicated to preserving heirloom veggies they are beginning to appear in farmer’s markets and some supermarkets in North America. I was so thrilled to find bags of heirloom carrots in my local Freshco supermarket today that I bought 2 bags! 😀 So today I will be adding some purple carrots recipes.

Purple carrots – Why you should grab them whenever you can find them.

So what is the big deal about purple carrots and what is the difference besides color from our traditional orange variety? Well, the purple carrot is now being considered a new “super food”. It is loaded with 28 times more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties than the run of the mill orange carrot. Just like blueberries and blackberries, the deep purple-red color comes from anthocyanins.

Recent research in Britain has shown that this veggie has more value to it than just being a topic of conversation over the dinner table. When scientists tested it on rats they first fed the animals a high fat, high carb diet that is typical of most American families for 8 weeks prior to introducing the purple carrot to their diet. As expected, the 8 weeks of unhealthy diet caused an appearance of heart disease, pre-diabetic symptoms, damaged liver function and high blood pressure in the rats.

In the second 8 weeks of the study the juice of purple carrots was introduced to the diet. The blood pressure went down, the collagen in the heart was back to normal, the liver histology was back to normal, the liver enzymes, the glucose tolerance, the fat pads were all back to normal even though the rats continued consuming the unhealthy typical American diet.

I don’t know about you, but that is reason enough for me to introduce this wonderful veggie into my Paleo diet. You can prepare these the same way you prepare the orange varieties but keep in mind that the deep purple of the purple carrot is similar to beets in that the color is water soluble which means that it “bleeds” and will change the color of any food you are cooking it with.

I am excited about discovering purple carrots and can’t wait to add my new recipes so you can enjoy them too! Think of how pretty your carrot salad can be!

 

Quick Links:

  • purple carrots vs orange carrots

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Paleo Deli-Style Coleslaw Recipe – Perpetual Salad

Paleo deli-style coleslaw recipeThis Paleo Deli-Style Coleslaw Recipe is a go-to salad that you should have in your fridge at all times for a quick side dish. I call it the perpetual salad because you only need to make the dressing up once and then just keep adding the coleslaw veggies as they get used up. Because it has such a high vinegar content, the dressing will keep for a very long time in the fridge. It is so simple to make using the convenient bags of ready-chopped veggies you can find at any grocery store. I like to use the broccoli slaw because of the added vitamins but the traditional cabbage slaw works equally well with this recipe.

You should make this up a day or two in advance as the veggies are actually marinated in the dressing. The longer it sits, the better it tastes which makes it great because you do not have to feel you have to use it up within a few days as you would with most salads.

Paleo Deli-Style Coleslaw Recipe

Ingredients:

1 c cider vinegar

2 tbsp pickling spices

1 cup olive oil

2 tbsp grainy mustard or mustard seeds

1/4 c honey

12 oz pkg broccoli coleslaw or shredded cabbage

Directions:

Place the vinegar and pickling spice in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil and then remove from heat and allow to steep for a few minutes to infuse the vinegar with the flavors. In a bowl or 1 qt Mason jar mix all of the remaining liquids together. Strain the vinegar and add to the other liquids while still slightly warm to help blend the honey into the mixture. Whisk together, or put the lid on the jar and shake until well mixed. Pack the broccoli slaw or cabbage into the jar with the liquid or into the bowl. There should be enough liquid to cover the veggies. If not, top it up with more vinegar. Pop it into the fridge and it will keep for months. As you use up the veggies, just add more.

To serve, just use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the veggies. You can then add other ingredients such as bacon and raisins or slivered almonds to your serving. (don’t add these to the marinade)

If you make up this Paleo Deli-Style Coleslaw Recipe let me know what you think or if you use any other variations share it by leaving a comment below. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts for Paleo Deli-Style Coleslaw Recipe
Amount Per Serving: 1 serving (74g)
Calories
195.2
Fat
18.3
g
Saturated Fat
2.5
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
13.3
g
Cholesterol
0
mg
Sodium
9.4
mg
Potassium
114.4
mg
Carbohydrate
7.6
g
Dietary Fiber
0.1
g
Sugars
5.9
g
Protein
1
g
Vitamin A
2
%
Calcium
2
%
Vitamin D
0
%
Thiamin
2
%
Niacin
1
%
Vitamin B6
2
%
Phosphorus
2
%
Selenium
3
%
Vitamin C
44
%
Iron
3
%
Vitamin E
17
%
Riboflavin
2
%
Vitamin B12
0
%
Manganese
7
%
Copper
1
%
Magnesium
3
%
Zinc
1
%

Quick Links:

  • paleo coleslaw dressing
  • paleo coleslaw dressing recipe
  • paleo coleslaw recipe
  • paleo coleslaw

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Paleo Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Paleo cauliflower rice recipeOn the Paleo diet, side dishes can sometimes get a little boring. I mean, side dishes are always veggies, which is cool ’cause I love veggies, but sometimes you just want something a little different. I had heard about mashing cauliflower as a replacement for mashed potatoes, but then I heard about cauliflower rice. So here is my version of the Paleo Cauliflower Rice recipe.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about it being a replacement for rice but boy but was I wrong! This looks like rice and even kind of tastes like rice. It sure doesn’t make me think “cauliflower” when I eat it. When I cooked it up for the first time and took a little taste as I was cooking it I was hard pressed not to just sit and eat the whole pan full right then and there. 🙂

Now I keep a big container full of the raw riced cauliflower and veggies in the fridge. That way I can whip up this Paleo Cauliflower rice recipe anytime I want and I can also use it as a salad topper to add some sulfur rich veggies to my salad or toss some into an omelet. Because the veggies are riced, they cook really quickly in an omelet

Paleo Cauliflower Rice Recipe

This will make up a big honkin’ batch, probably 4-6 servings. I usually just prepare the veggies as mentioned above and just cook up enough for my meal when I want it. (only use one clove of garlic for cooking a single serving unless you are way into garlic!)

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower

2 carrots

1 parsnip

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp olive oil

2 spring onions, chopped

Directions:

Put the cauliflower and root veggies into the food processor and buzz them until they are about the size of grains of rice. It only takes a few seconds.

Pour the olive oil into a pre-heated skillet. Toss in everything except the spring onions and parsley and sautee on medium heat until everything is tender-crisp. It doesn’t take very long to cook. When it is just about ready stir in the parsley and onion. Plate it up and enjoy!

This Paleo cauliflower rice recipe is another one of those really versatile dishes that can be changed up with different spices and veggies. Replace the parsley with cilantro and add some ginger and chilies for  Thai flavor. Add some diced tomatoes, a little jalapeno and cumin and you will have Mexican rice. The possibilities are endless!

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