Biscuits and Gravy is easily one of my most missed foods since going Gluten Free/Paleo. Long ago, I bookmarked the recipe in Paleo Comfort Foods for Biscuits and Gravy, but I just hadn’t ever gotten around to making them. Somehow, I had got it in my head that it would be quite a process. Last week, Juli over at PaleOMG posted her version of Bs&Gs and it started up those cravings again.
Ultimately, I ended up using a couple of different recipes for inspiration and then doing my own thing. (Adding a bag of baby greens to the sausage gravy was a yummy addition, but feel free to leave it out if you aren’t as veggie loving as we are.)
I used the biscuit recipe right out of Paleo Comfort foods (Basic Biscuits, p.108). I don’t feel comfortable sharing it, as the Paleo Comfort Foods folks haven’t share it on their website, but I found two websites that give the recipe here & here. These biscuits turned out nicely, but I am not finished searching for a good paleo biscuit recipe. There are a few others I would like to try:
You know my picky eater? This is what her plate looked like:
It only took me a few minutes to cook a few patties so that she could eat her sausage separately She also packed it in her lunch the next day. I hated gravy as a kid, too. She will soon enough learn the error in her ways!
Image above from What’s Wrong with Legumes? from Easy Paleo
The exclusion of legumes in the Paleo approach is probably one of the top 3 topics that I receive a lot of questions, skeptical looks and outright criticisms of. (The other 2 being the omission of grains & liberal use of fats in the diet, especially animal fats.)
Just to clarify, legumes are beans & peanuts.
These are both foods that I previously enjoyed before going Paleo. I mean, who doesn’t love peanut butter? Also, I am from Missouri and George Washington Carver is one of our state heroes and a part of our state history. Sometimes credited with the invention of peanut butter, but legitimately found 300+ uses for peanuts. How could our beloved peanuts be bad for us?
Beans were also one of my favorite foods, I loved all the different varieties. Butter beans, black beans, refried beans, beans & cornbread…OMG. Now I am really starting to get nostalgic One of my favorite pre-Paleo recipe creations was a really amazing Smoky BBQ Chili that had 3 or 4 different kinds of beans in it. Also, a lot of people out there rely on beans as an inexpensive food to sustain their family. My great-uncle was just telling me that he probably ate beans everyday of his life growing up with a big farm family.
Nearly any dietitian or conventional wisdom based health article will tell you that beans are an excellent source of fiber & protein that spare you the fat & the calories of meat. We should be increasing them in our diets. Even planning meat-less meals, using beans as a substitute. My 1st grade daughter recently brought home a nutrition handout from school that promoted peanut butter & beans as good sources of protein.
This is simply one of those areas of the Paleo diet that is in direct opposition to conventional dietary advice.
So, why no beans? Why no peanuts? If you are thinking about this as you visualize cavemen hunting and gathering, beans require A LOT of preparation (soaking and extensive cooking) to be edible. If you aren’t into the whole caveman thing then consider this:
Read more from the Whole9 crew in The Legume Manifesto.
It was really hard for me to give up beans. They were a food that I enjoyed and considered “healthy.” It was so easy for me to give up gluten and soy, because I had such a skin reaction when I did eat them. I didn’t have that experience with beans, so I still “wanted” them, from time to time. After a few months of pretty strict Paleo, I decided to indulge in some yummy hummus at a Middle Eastern restaurant and I ENJOYED. EVERY. BITE. A few hours later I was sleeping in the spare room because I was too embarrassed to sleep in the same room as my hubby! Yep. You know what I am talking about. I was lying in bed till 2 AM, unable to sleep. Not worth it.
Growing up, we even seemed to know that beans weren’t going to agree with us. They have their own song:
So, enjoy a quieter digestive system without your beans. And with peanut allergies at an all time high, with very serious risks and complications, replacing peanuts & peanut butter seems to be a great idea. My kids have no issues with peanuts, but attend nut-free schools and have classmates with severe allergies.
Fortunately, all kinds of nut butters are available in regular grocery stores and even more options in specialty markets. With a good food processor you can pretty easily make your own! Using nuts besides peanuts is a little more expensive, but still affordable and full of nutrition. (You know, the kind of nutrition that your body can actually absorb!) We use almond butter & sunflower seed butter regularly for snacks and in recipes.
Beans are more difficult to “replace,” but you can have meat, so that is even better, right? I have modified my chili and now it is delicious. Even without beans. And when I have cooked it for a (non-Paleo) group, no one has ever yelled out in horror “Where are the beans?”
But, if you are a person, like me, that is missing hummus …
Paleo Parents is still, hands down, one of favorite Paleo resources. Of the big names in blogs, cookbooks & podcasts, they are the ONLY ones that have kids (3) and have transitioned to Paleo from a Standard American Diet. This is huge! They freely share their obstacles, their compromises, their inventive baking recipes and their health obstacles and successes. If you have a family and are trying to figure out how to do the best for your health, but navigating the “real world” as well, it is a great blog to follow.
I knew these Pumpkin Pucks were supposed to be really good, but I just hadn’t got around to making them. Wow, I am glad I finally did. They were very easy, used pantry staples and tasted delicious. They have a dense texture and really taste just like pumpkin pie! Matt and I loved them. Probably one of the best things I have baked in a while. The kids were not that thrilled, but I think it is just because pumpkin isn’t their thing. Elliot was happy to run the mixer for me and I think he would have liked them better if his sister hadn’t announced that she didn’t like pumpkin that much. Peer pressure.
The only substitutions I made in the recipe (my version is below) were using canned pumpkin and using only maple syrup instead of the honey. That was out of laziness. We topped the Pumpkin Pucks with Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds from Trader Joe’s for a little fall decoration. Next time I will probably sprinkle with the seeds about halfway through the baking time so the pretty colors don’t melt. This recipe is on my list for holiday baking and taking to parties.
(only a couple of minor substitutions made from the original recipe from Paleo Parents)
Makes 1 dozen pucks. Store at room temperature only for a day or two, otherwise keep in the fridge or freezer (if they last that long!).
For families and mothers like me, August signals the beginning of the school year.
We have bought supplies, sharpened pencils and are refocused on getting our learn on. My kids are still pretty young, so we still practice our alphabet skills and I have always had a love of Alphabet books. I have a small collection. I thought it might be fun to explore my approach to Paleo through some short blog posts in an alphabet theme. Over the next couple of months we will hit 26 different short topics & share some recipes.
Almonds. Switching over to almond products can be a big part of “going Paleo.” Besides snacking on raw almonds, we use a lot of almond flour/almond meal & almond butter at my house. Peanuts & peanut butter are standard staples in most non-Paleo pantries. However, peanuts are legumes, not nuts. Legumes are not Paleo. (I will expand on the topics of legumes, lectins, omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids later in this series.) Almond products are extremely nutritious and a good source of fat and calories, which is great for kids. I prefer the taste & texture of baked goods made from almond flour over ones made from coconut flour. Almond products are expensive, so taking some time to find sales and to purchase in bulk can be worth the time.
Almonds – look for raw & unsalted if you can. Keep on hand, in the car and at work for an emergency snack. Great combo of fat and protein.
Almond meal – unbleached, ground almonds. Great for baking & coating chicken or fish for baking and frying. Trader Joe’s usually has the best deal on almond meal.
Almond flour – bleached, ground almonds. This is ideal for baking and is most similar to flour in baked goods. You can often purchase this at regular grocery stores, but will get the best deals in ordering in bulk from Honeyville or Nuts.com. I have ordered from both companies and enjoyed their product. I bagged the bulk order in large Ziplocks and froze the bags until I was ready to use them. If you subscribe to their sites and “like” them on Facebook, you will receive alerts to their sales and free shipping offers. I wait and take advantage of those to get a better deal.
Almond Butter – ground almonds with a bit of oil added for consistency. I encourage you to buy Raw and Organic, when possible. More importantly, check the ingredient list, make sure it is clean with no added sugars. I like to check Sam’s or Costco to get a good deal on almond butter.
You can also make your own almond meal/almond flour/almond butter if you have a good food processor. Here is a nice post by Budget Paleo…Made Easy.
In terms of expense, baking with almond products is expensive. The whole point of the Paleo movement is to cut down on our use of processed foods and sugars, so I probably bake a lot less or purchase less baked goods than a traditional household. With expensive, quality ingredients, we do bake less and bake smaller batches. The cookies, muffins, scones and pancakes that I make are much more nutritionally dense and filling than their Standard American Diet (SAD) counterparts, so we eat less of them. I find it to be an acceptable trade-off. We still get to enjoy our favorite “treats” and I know that when I send my little boy and little girl off with a scone, they are getting a big dose of protein in their snack. Win-win!
After a lot of baking experimentation, I am happy that I purchased the cookbooks by Elana Amsterdam of Elana’s Pantry. They have been very reliable. I have substituted coconut oil and various sweeteners in her recipes, they still turn out perfect. I appreciate saving money & time by having these to refer to.
If you are a faithful reader from the beginning, I apologize, this is an old recipe. It needed a better picture and a little revamping! This is one of my hubby’s favorite dinners. Unfortunately, it is one of the least photogenic recipes that I make. No matter what I do, it still looks like a big lump of almond butter on chicken and vegetables! It is, however, very easy and has a ton of flavor! Using some chicken and some Paleo pantry stables, this is a quick recipe that seems to be popular with several husbands of some of my blog readers!
This is originally a recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking. If you haven’t checked out this blog, you should. It is genius. She cooked with a Crockpot everyday for a year, in 2008, and blogged the good, the bad and the ugly. Simple, yummy food. She also has a child that is celiac so the recipes are already gluten free, they don’t need much adapting to be Paleo! One of my most used blogs for recipes.
Almond Butter Chicken
1. Spray a 4quart slow cooker. Put the chicken into the bottom and add the almond butter.
2. Add cumin and garlic.
3. Squeeze in lime, and add soy sauce/coconut aminos and chicken broth.
4.. Stir as well as you can to combine (the almond butter will be clumpy, and that’s just fine).
5. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours.
6. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice and vegetables.
Other Asian inspired recipes to check out:
Another successful baking experiment, thanks to the Paleo Parents. (www.paleoparents.com) Recently I ordered a tub of Palm Shortening from Tropical Traditions. It is a great substitute for butter or shortening in recipes. I hadn’t made much with it and it seemed silly to just set on the shelf. My kids asked for Snickerdoodles, again. Although I love the Elana’s Pantry recipe, it doesn’t use any eggs and uses grapeseed oil for the “fat” in the recipe. It is delicious, but I had a bunch of eggs and a bunch of this shortening, so I was happy to try the Paleo Parents recipe.
It is a winner! Uses eggs, palm shortening, maple syrup and almond butter in a addition to the almond flour. They turned out amazing!
Recipe can be found here: http://paleoparents.com/2011/snickerdoodle-whoopie-pies/
A friend mentioned brownies today and my kids are ticked because we have a car full of Girl Scout cookies that we are not going to eat. It is hard having a hippie, gluten intolerant Mommy. So, I printed off this recipe I have been meaning to try and I think this will be our brownie Go-To recipe. I had all the stuff (almond butter, eggs, banana, unsweetened baking chocolate, chocolate chips, maple syrup), it was easy and they are delicious. I did follow their advice and since I was putting 1/2 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips in the brownies, I left out the 1/2 cup of palm sugar. They were gooey, sweet and delicious. My little Girl Scout has nearly forgiven me!
Check out this website, the family, the kids, their paleo journey. It is all awesome. They are releasing a kid & family friendly cookbook as we speak.
Flourless Fudgy Brownie Bites by the Paleo Parents
This uses a lot of almond butter (2 cups) which isn’t the cheapest thing ever. It makes 36-40 brownies out of my mini muffin pans which is a lot for us. We ate some, I gave some away & I froze a bunch to get out for treats later. Don’t shy away from it. I am just overjoyed I got some almond butter and banana in my picky eater without her fussing too much. It is the little things that make me happy!
I am calling this post Chocolate Chili because it gets your attention. It doesn’t have chocolate chips in it or anything, just some cocoa powder.
I decided to make this recipe about 5 minutes before dinner should have been ready. I had ground beef thawed out and that was about it. I had listened to an awesome interview with Melissa Joulwan (blogger and cookbook author) from www.theclothesmakethegirl.com on Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast. I loved her story about growing up cooking, battling her weight and coming around to being Paleo. Her new cookbook, Well Fed, is the next on my list to purchase. She talked a lot about cooking with spices and taking different flavor profiles from different cultures and applying them to paleo food. So, I clicked on beef and realized I had everything to make her chili recipe.
The hubby, the boy and I loved it. She points out that the flavors really come together if you simmer it for a couple hours. I only did about 15 minutes, but I think the leftovers are going to be amazing tomorrow!
Her original recipe can be found here:
The only changes I made were adding a cup of diced sweet potato, subbing chicken broth for beef broth & subbing 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp ground cloves for the 1 tsp of allspice. I was out of allspice.