Hi Friends! Please welcome my brother for a guest post on his, and his family’s paleo journey AND our AWESOME paleo feast we had this weekend! The photos were from me and the captions too, if you couldn’t tell
HI! My name is Chris and I’m Rachael’s older brother. I started on this adventure with Rachael around Thanksgiving 2012 and boy what a ride it has been so far. I see that Rachael has told you a little about us but I will elaborate. Abbie and I live together in South Minneapolis with our four children, Nico, 11, Gabriel, almost 10, Zander, 8 and finally dear little Hazel who will turn one on May 8th. Hazel was our main inspiration (along with Rae) for us to start this diet. Abbie, who was worried about her figure, along with providing the best possible breast milk for Hazel, was the first to change her diet. We all started by cutting out grains, which we had done before. Abbie, Nico and Zander were all gluten free for a while but when I got sick of the (nasty) gluten free bread Abbie kept making (she liked it, I hated it) I put a stop to it. With grains back on the table an almost immediate and very noticeable change occurred in Zander. He became unruly, rude and went from no “time outs” to several each day. When it quickly started affecting his school life we again put him back on the GF diet. Meanwhile we all happily went back to our old ways. Then along came Hazel.
Since Hazel was 5 months old Abbie has fluctuated between partially paleo, on the Whole 30 or 45, or primal (currently). After I saw Abbie survive the first 15 days of the whole 30 I decided to try it for myself and Abbie extended hers to a Whole 45, we ended together on Valentine’s day. We weighed ourselves for the first time in a long time and found out that we each lost 30-40 lbs!!! We were suddenly the same weight as we were in high school! Having graduated 12 years earlier that was impressive and encouraging. The extra energy, better complexion, and less belly fat helped us decide to stick with it.
When we finished the Whole 30 we switched the entire household to Paleo except for the few things we still get from WIC. Nico and Gabriel, who don’t appear as affected by their diets, are still eating non-paleo at their other parents’ houses. Zander started getting into trouble at school again so we decided to have Zander try the Whole30. Abbie joined him for moral support. There was a noticeable difference in Zander within a few days! His eyes were clearer (I swear), he was more focused, and could pay attention better than ever before. He completed his chores in little time and read quickly so he could play on his 3DS. He also barely misbehaved or lost his privileges since then… UNTIL we let him try sugar, his dad gave him brown rice,and dairy last week. He came home from school and couldn’t for the life of him get through his chores; he was mouthy, spacy and rude. This lasted two long days. We talked to his dad to make sure that he gets back on track and hopefully he will stay that way. Hazel is also paleo unless a sneaky auntie gives her something icky (NOT Rachael, obviously). She is a total “cave baby” because she loves any protein (eggs, scallops, shrimp, fish, chicken, oysters, beef, lamb, pork) and will eat all the sweet potatoes or squash as fast as it hits the tray. She almost eats more food (by volume) than I do!
On to our amazing meal. We decided to create a 5 course meal to feed my parents for Easter dinner because they still don’t quite get what paleo means. It seems like we repeatedly answer the question “So can I eat…” with “no” because its such a change from their norm. We decided to show them a complete meal with all necessary components that is entirely paleo!
Now, the recipes!!! Get ready, there are a LOT of them
Chris’ Easy Coconut Shrimp, similar to ones I made as a line cook
-Large tiger shrimp, remove skeleton, devein and pat dry
-Toast coconut flour, shredded coconut, garlic powder and sea salt in cast iron pan
-Use one pastured egg for an egg wash
-Dip dry shrimp into egg wash, dredge both sides with toasted coconut mix
- Heat coconut oil until hot in another cast iron pan, cook 1-2 min per side
-Top with drizzle of melted Ghee mixed with lemon juice
Prosciutto Wrapped Pickle, we used sour mini dill pickles
-Pretty self-explanatory, we were going to put coconut yogurt in as well but the kids ate it all with breakfast. We will try it and see if its good and then let you know!
Chris“”Classic” Deviled Egg
-Hard boil as many pastured eggs as you would like, cut in half, scoop out yolk
-Mix yolk with The Freckled Foodie’s Creamy Nutty Mayo (we subbed coconut oil for macadamia in ours)
-Add Paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper to taste
-Puree in food processor until smooth
-Place into ziplock bag and pipe into whites
-Top with crumbled, peppered bacon, paprika, and chives
Abbie’s Cucumber Tapenade, adapted from ISpeakPaleo
-We used green olives and omitted the sun-dried tomatoes
-Skin a few cucumbers ( to make it look fancy)
-Cut into half inch chunks ( notice ours were thicker, WRONG )
-Find scoop that removes mostly just the seeds
-Scoop halfway to the plate, Breaktime – eat all insides of cucumber
-Top each cucumber round with 1/2-1 Tbsp of the tapenade
“Very Simple Salad’, adapted from Civilized Caveman
-Use mandolin to slices equal parts carrot, zucchini and cucumber into noodles
-Nest onto plate
-Drizzle with lemon juice and lemon zest on top (sea salt optional , NO cumin in ours!)
“Delicious Squash Soup” by Abbie
-Cut two butternut squashes in half
-Bake at 375 degrees, use parchment paper to save time cleaning baking sheet
-Takes almost an hour, watch for the squash to start caramelizing
-Add homemade vegetable/bone stock cubes into stock pot, add 2 cups water
-Caramelize an onion while the stock simmers
-Add 2-3 Tbsp minced garlic, caramelized onion and squash to pot
-Cook down then salt and pepper to taste
-Puree in food processor if desired (We did)
-Top with bacon, chives, and maybe some leftover yolk for color (leftover from the Deviled eggs!)
Lamb with Asparagus and Scalloped Potatoes, lamb adapted from Yummly
-We got Australian lamb on sale at Costco
-Cut into flesh and press in rosemary, thyme, garlic cloves and anchovies
-Bake on broiling pan at 400, about 20 min per pound until the center reaches 145 degrees
- Let rest for 30 minutes, then carve and serve!
While your lamb cooks and rests…
- Saute asparagus in bacon fat that you rendered and saved from making the bacon crumbles until cooked through
-Slice potatoes thin into glass baking dish
-Saute 2 thinly sliced shallots and 2-3 minced garlic cloves in cast iron pan add 2 cups of stock, cook for 5-10 minutes until softened and fragrant
-Add shallot mix to top of potatoes and bake at 350-375 for 30-40 min, finish by broiling for 5 minutes
Flourless Zucchini Brownies, slightly adapted from Delighted Momma
- Added 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1/4 cup cocoa powder and omitted the nutmeg and cinnamon
- Served with “Same Day” Homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from Paleo Diet Lifestyle
We made a delicious meal and everyone enjoyed it, even the non-paleo among us. The scalloped potatoes were my least favorite part. I am usually fairly critical about Abbie’s cooking but this meal truly satisfied. We pulled off a fancy breakfast with asparagus and bacon souffles, homemade coconut yoghurt, and fruit, completed our household chores, prepared and served a 5 course paleo dinner, dyed Easter eggs (including quail eggs, see below), and completed an egg hunt all on a Saturday!