Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Also, if you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that today marks the one month book-iversary of Bill and Hayley’s latest grain-free adventure. You probably know them from either their website, their phone/tablet app, or one of their many other adventures (including most recently chicken raising). In Make it Paleo II, they’ve hit it out of the park with over 175 new recipes that we can’t get enough of. Let me tell you about three of my favorite things about this book.
Although I never use it these days, I spent the better part of my time in K12 studying Spanish. I was lucky to have only 3 teachers from 6th grade to 12th, so I really was able to learn a lot in that time—having neighbors who spoke fluent Spanish and were kind enough to let me come hang out and help me with my homework wasn’t too bad, either. One of the staple meals we learned about was chicken with rice, or arroz con pollo. It is known as a variation on paella, and I found it to be much easier to prepare and cook.
Arroz Con Pollo is a hearty and versatile dish. It was good fresh, as leftovers, served hot or cold. We adapted the recipe to use cauliflower rice, and it turned out great. This was one of the few times I can say I’ve made something with cauliflower rice and not thought, “well this is pretty good for pretend rice.” The flavors and texture of this dish are great, and it goes well with a few dashes of Tabasco, too. We hope you’ll give this a try.
Seafood Newburg is a great recipe that we were really excited to be introduced to by my mom (as usual; she has inspired a few recipes). She is a casual paleo chef, and often encourages us to take our cooking to the next level. This seafood dish is amazingly rich and is great on its own, served with gluten-free pasta, zoodles, or over a bed of greens. We think you’re absolutely going to love it.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it is accessible with either fresh wild-caught seafood or previously frozen. We’ve done it both ways, and it doesn’t suffer from the frozen seafood. You will want to have an immersion blender on hand for this recipe—if you have a high-quality coconut milk that is separated in the can, you’ll need your blender to get the sauce to blend. If you don’t have an immersion blender yet, get one! We got this one for Christmas (from Costco) and it’s an amazing tool. I can’t believe we waited this long to have one, but I digress. Let’s get cooking.
Pesto is an incredibly easy and delicious condiment. More often than not, it’s made with pine nuts and basil leaves. We love this type of pesto as much as the next, but we really wanted to expand our pesto-rizons (I’m not apologizing for that dad pun). Especially when we were gifted a package of Capello’s Gnocchi.
While this pesto was a refreshing topping for our gifted gnocchi, don’t feel obliged to play within the “pasta” sandbox. This pesto is great scrambled with eggs, tossed into sautéed greens, mixed with additional oil to make a salad dressing, or topped on your favorite protein baked in the oven. Have fun with this quick-to-make pesto!
Growing up, casseroles and large, make ahead dishes were big in my family. It took me a really long time to come around to loving leftovers; but now that I have a large hand in making sure meals are made and there is food to eat throughout the week, I’ve become more flexible. Mom’s comfort casserole was among the few things that I would happily eat over and over. Sadly, I did this with a lot of vigor, and usually ate the whole thing within the evening, if not over 2 days.
We’ve adapted her recipe to replace elbow macaroni with spiralized sweet potato, and excluded the cheese. If you have a high-quality hard cheese like cheddar, or even something like mozzarella, it would be amazing shredded on top (probably about 1/2 C would do). Dairy is an occasional splurge for us; but if you tolerate it well, sprinkle it on this amazing comfort casserole and go to town. I know we did.