Everyone craves the sweets eventually, and at my house I rely on the Paleofit Pastry Chef: Sweet Jessi. When you feel the need to treat yo-self, thank Jessi for this recipe.
4-6 large figs
1 TBSP Honey
1 TBSP ghee
pinch of kosher salt
1 cup paleo-friendly ice cream (we like the So Delicious brand; it’s mostly coconut milk sweetened with agave)
Slice the figs into bite sized portions. Sautee them in ghee over medium heat, season with salt. When they are beginning to soften, drizzle the honey into the pan and sautee for another minute. The honey willbubble and glaze those figs with the most decadent wildflower caramel.
Pour this onto two bowls of the ice cream and enjoy.
While paleo is wonderful for its allergen free nature, it often can come across as a little nut-heavy. Here is a great recipe for nut free muffins for those needing to avoid. It uses coconut flour as opposed to almond flour, my kids love them. If you can resist carbo-loading when they come out of the oven, you can bake a full pan and freeze the rest, eating one for breakfast every day.
4 ripe/over-ripe bananas (chopped, smashed, or squished up)
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
2/3 cup almond butter
1 t. vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl, we used a food processor to smash up the bananas and incorporate all the wet stuff together. You can use a fork and spoon, it’ll just take some squishing of the banana.
Mix the dry ingredients together in another bowl.
Blend to combine.
Pour into greases muffin pans or muffin liners and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
My family and I went on a picnic this week and wanted to throw together a simple finger-fed basket. Here is a recipe that nods to my Wisconsin heritage, a Bratwurst Chicken Salad. I tossed the salad at home and packed it in the basket with a head of romaine and kale chips. We rolled some lettuce wraps, drank honeyed lemonade, and chased our daughter around the grass.
1.5 pounds chicken sausage, cooked and diced (find a paleo friendly source; we used a bratwurst that our butcher stuffed himself)
4 ounces cabbage, chopped
2 TBSP paleo mayonaise (recipe at bottom)
1 TBSP stone ground mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, large diced
Toss the first 5 ingredients together in a bowl, coat them well with the mayo. When they are well worked, add the avocado and toss to finish. Try not to mash the avocado up, those big bits of avocado are lovely. Roll this up in lettuce, eat it on paleo bread, or just eat it with a spoon. Delicious
Basic Paleo Mayo
1 large egg
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup extra light olive oil, avocado oil, bacon fat, or any combination of paleo-friendly fat.
Blend or whisk the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl or blender, slowly add the fat until it combines. It will emulsify into noticeable mayo-texture as you combine. As it sits in the fridge it will thicken fully into that fat spreadable goo that we all know and love.
I’m sure many of you are taking probiotic pills and have seen great results in your immunity, vitality, digestion, skin, etc. There’s nothing I love more than talking probiotics. When anyone asks me what supplements they should be taking, a quality probiotic is usually the first thing out of my mouth. There’s nothing that compares to improving the landscape of our gut microbiota. Most of you are aware that we’ve got good and bad bacteria in our bodies and the degree to which the good guys are winning plays a huge role in health and vitality.
With that said, I think one of the most overlooked and underutilized food sources today is cultured foods. Primarily cultured vegetables (vs dairy) because they are so easy and inexpensive to make. And, if we’re talking primal/Paleo/traditional foods… cultured foods is THE lost art of these people groups. It was their primary method of food preservation and added an insane amount of nutrition to their diets. In 2014, if I am going to have one main food goal, it’s not going to be “loose the baby weight,” it’s going to be EAT CULTURED VEGGIES.
Since most of us didn’t grow up eating cultured foods, we sometimes have to develop a taste for them. I am working my way there starting with Bubbies brand pickles. It’s the fermented food virgin’s place to start. Believe me. Fabulous dill pickles that are a raw ferment. Regular pickles are a vinegar process that doesn’t have any beneficial bacteria. Bubbies does it right- they’re at Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, Nature’s Pantry and even some HyVees.
Now, you may be asking….why not just take the pills? Well, I do that too, but fermented foods can have up to 10x the beneficial bacteria of some of the best probiotic pills. This means you can get all the probiotic you need in just a couple spoonfuls of cultured veggies. This means you can save LOADS of money by making your own veggies vs buying probiotic pills (or be able to buy fewer pills). What’s cheaper than cucumbers and salt? (or cabbage or carrots…)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the pills. I take them daily, but we’ve got other options! The pills usually have millions or billions of cells per pill ranging from 5-35 CFUs. Dr. Mercola tested some fermented foods and found that they can have trillions of live cells. In addition, cultured veggies you make yourself have way more variety of bacteria and it’s alway beneficially specific to YOUR environment when made in your home. How cool. Milk Kefir can have up to 27 different strains of bacteria. Again….cool.
Now, the only caveat or caution with making cultured veggies is to remember that these are powerful foods and need to be introduce to the diet/body slowly. Literally a teaspoon a day for the first week is an appropriate amount. Eating too much too fast will cause a die off reaction that can be BRUTAL. I actually know this from experience. Last year, I finally made some cultured veggies that I liked and ate about ½ cup in one sitting. I felt so proud and victorious. Then…by that evening I got what looked and felt exactly like the flu. Not kidding- it was rough (tempting to describe how rough, but I won’t). I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that I did it to myself by being too overzealous. I knew about die off reactions and just wasn’t thinking. Now, I’m working my way back to the abandoned jar of Bubbies in my fridge.
Don’t let my embarrassing story stop you though. It’s a fun kitchen adventure and there are tons of online resources to guide you through. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s massively important for our health. Go for it!
Recipes I’ve used have just used salt, water and time. This year I plan to try Caldwell’s starters because I keep hearing about how great they are.
Here are places you can find great culture starters and recipes:
Cultured Food Life– Donna Schwenk is a Kansas City native and our local Weston A Price chapter leader. She is a well known fermentation expert right here in KC!
Nourished Kitchen: Pickles
There you have it friends…
Blakely Page RD, LD
Blakely has been a dietitian in Kansas City for 7 years and is passionate about the health of children and families. When standard public health messages were failing both herself and her clients, she turned to a more holistic/alternative approach to nutrition. She uses a traditional food/ Paleo template to help people thrive with real food for the long haul rather than surviving day to day with health issues that can be improved. Blakely believes real food from quality, sustainable sources is one of the main keys to unlocking the full potential of our bodies
When it comes to food, I enjoy the complexity of flavors as much as I love the simplicity of flavors. Here is a simple summer dinner that offers both. The deep flavored chicken on the earthen, juicy portobello with tart pickles, and a super simplified salad give you the flavors of summer. For the chicken, you can use your crock pot to avoid heating the house, the oven if you have to, or the grill if your fire skills are honed in. We made this chicken with our own Paleofit BBQ sauce and produce from our garden. Use what you have, keep your food fresh.
2 pounds organic chicken (thighs or white meat, depending on preference)
1 bottle of Paleofit BBQ sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 large or 8 small portobello mushrooms (small portobellos are pictured)
2 large tomatoes
1 tbsp really good olive oil
1 tbsp avocado oil
salt and pepper to taste
For the chicken, you can start this in the morning if your crockpot has a timer, of cook it on a Sunday if you like to cook in bulk, it is equally delicious eaten cold. If you are using a crockpot, put the first three ingredients in and set to low for four hours. If using the oven or a grill, put those ingredients in a covered dish at 325 for four hours. The chicken is finished when you can rake through it with a fork. Let it rest for 30 minutes, then shred with a fork or your calloused hands. I also added a little more salt when I shredded it.
For the portobellos, drizzle avocado oil through the membranes and rub down the top smooth side. Season with salt and pepper. I grilled them on medium-high for 5 minutes per side. You could also bake them at 400 for 10 minutes. To assemble, turn mushrooms smooth side down, add chicken and pickles.
For the salad, go to your garden, the farmer’s market, or the best grocery in town and take whatever the freshest, most juice vegetables you can find. I sliced tomatoes and cucumber from my garden. You could do thin sliced beets and carrots, tomatoes and peaches, peppers and onions, whatever you like. Juice the lemon into a cup, pour in the olive oil, mix it up, drizzle onto your veggies, and season with salt and pepper. We ate this with kale chips, as our garden is plentiful.
The evening summer always beckons me to the grill. I don’t like heating my house with kitchen appliances, so I use the grill as an oven, a range, a smoker, and even steam food in parchment wraps. Here is a good way to utilize your grill for more than just steaks and chicken breasts.
Grilled Portobello Bison Burgers and Brussels Sprouts
1.5 pounds of bison
4 portobello mushrooms
2 pounds of brussels sprouts
2 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
burger accoutrements: I used large romaine leaves, sliced avocado, Paleofit BBQ Sauce, and Paleofit Maple Mustard (look for this product soon)
Set gas grills to medium-high, or set charcoal grills with a full chimney on indirect heat. If your grill has a thermometer, keep it around 425.
Cut brussels sprouts in half and toss in coconut oil and salt and pepper. Roast the brussels on indirect heat in a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan.
While they are roasting, rinse the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Also shape the burgers into 1/3-1/2 pound patties and season with salt and pepper or your favorite grilling spices.
After the brussels sprouts have cooked for 10 minutes, put the mushrooms face down on direct heat on the grill. Cook for 3 minutes and flip, putting the mushrooms on indirect heat.
Put the burgers on the direct heat and cook for 5 minutes per side. They should be around medium rare. Cook longer as desired.
Dress the burgers on a portobello bottom with romaine leaves on top with your favorite dressings.
Kids are tough. They are opinionated and they have cravings, and they don’t yet have the self control to intentionally eat spinach instead of a Big Mac. From a young age, they also don’t yet know why it is important to avoid sugar and heavy carbs. By no means do I consider myself a leader among other parents, but one area in which I feel like a proud dad is when my daughter sits at the dinner table. She’s two and a half, and she eats well. She loves beets and kale, she loves stewed chicken and grilled burgers, she loves almond milk and cashews. We are not perfect, and we didn’t live out the following tips all the time, but she definitely loves to eat real food.
1. Give them food.
Jessi (my wife) has breast fed both our kids (which I still consider to be the most paleo food source of all time), and we were fortunate with schedules to allow for Hazel to wean herself (Isaiah is still nursing). If you parent a baby and want to know more Google “baby led weaning,” it’s fascinating. When Hazel started picking at food and gnawing on the dinner table, we started giving her the food that we were eating. Rather than give her purees, we gave her table food. If we cooked chicken and green beans, we’d keep a few beans in the water for a bit longer. If we were eating grilled sweet potatoes, we’d leave some without seasoning for Hazel. If we ate eggs for breakfast, we pulled some aside for her. She ate what we ate when we ate it. After all, the best way for kids to learn is to model for them. Now as Isaiah begins his relationship with food, we are giving it to him as he appears to want it. He’s 7 months and doesn’t seem interested in eating yet. So we give him carrots and apples as teethers. This allows for them to taste real food and experience a small range of different textures from the get go. It’s not perfect, and they occasionally choke (I’ve read that coughing when choking is developmentally good, as it teaches them how to use their throat. Choking silently is bad, as they can’t breathe.), but it exposes them, which is very important in kicking the salt/sugar plague that is eating our country.
2. Show them food.
My grandfather was an avid gardener, my mom is a Master Gardener, and now we have a substantial garden in the backyard. It has always been a rewarding practice to eat warm summer tomatoes and sweet baby spinach that we planted and picked ourselves. When my wife and I need to harvest or water or process our veggies, our kids are there to “help.” Many mornings I am wrestling a baby in my left arm and hosing the plants with my right. This year we gave Hazel a garden box of her own. She wanted to plant bananas and tomatoes and flowers, so we planted yellow string beans and tomatoes and flowers. In between naps over the last two days, Jessi has harvested 60 feet of kale and 30 pounds of carrots. Hazel has been “helping,” Isaiah has been sitting in the grass and playing with his toys. Because of the exposure, Hazel now knows that she can pick leaves off of the kale plants and eat them. She walks out to the strawberries and knows to take the red ones (and occasionally there are some left over for Jessi and I). Because she sees real food, she recognizes produce at the grocery store. Eating healthy is not foreign or exotic, as we sees it in different capacities.
3. Play with food.
Food is fun. It’s colorful and varies in texture. If I’m honest with myself, I also want to make sand castles out of mashed sweet potatoes. If we want a healthy relationship with food, we need to experience it fully. Food is often polarized as convenience or extravagance. We eat on the go, with trail mix and protein bars and prepackaged meals, and we eat at the dining room table, with expensive meats and fancy glasses. Eating well can’t exist if our experience with food is plastic or china plate meals. Kids play, so give them food to play with. Hazel has a kids kitchen in our kitchen. As we are cooking dinner, we give her a butter knife and mushrooms to cut. She makes soup out of water and peas. We’ve made play dough. When we eat, she sometimes dunks her broccoli in her water. It often drives us crazy, when we want to just eat without scrubbing the table and mopping the floor, but she is experiencing food as a toddler should. She is growing a relationship with vegetables that will ultimately continue as she grows older.
Again, we are normal people with normal children. She complains about the iPad and often asks for M&Ms in her popcorn. Undoubtedly, she loves cheese quesadillas and chocolate chips, but when my wife and I are foresighted enough to cook well, and be patient, and talk about what we are doing, she usually eats well. The most important thing is to model what you want for you kids. If you find joy in healthy food, your kids will probably also find joy in that. If you are able, try these tips to keep your kids eating in a fulfilling and healthy routine.
Breakfast is always stapled to my morning routine, and dinner is always predictable after work. In my typical daily rhythm, lunch is usually the most difficult thing to schedule. Here’s a simple idea that you can prepare at night before as you put dinner away. These are fresh, crispy, and provide the right amount of energy to overcome the afternoon foot drags. Leftovers’ Lettuce Wraps
4 ounces of leftover meat, thinly sliced (I sliced one of our Salt and Pepper Chicken entrees)
1 tbsp Paleo Ranch Dressing
1 tbsp stone ground mustard
Hot Sauce to taste
any combination of sliced cabbage/carrot/onion/or other fresh vegetables
2-3 large romaine leaves
Line the romaine with your fillings, roll, and enjoy. We ate ours with some kale chips we had made from our garden bounty; we’ll post that recipe later. This recipe can be adapted for whatever flavor suits you. Try it with our Buffalo Chicken Thighs, sliced Lemon Sirlion Steak, or Carne Asada!
We’re always looking for ways to improve our offering at PaleoFit. Our goal is to delight our customers with quality service, the finest offerings and simply delicious meals.
As we reviewed PaleoFit after our first year of business in early 2014, we saw a couple obvious changes we wanted to make. It’s taken us a few months to implement the improvements, but we’re pleased to announce that they’re here.Grass-Fed Beef from Rain Crow Ranch
Starting this week, all of our beef will be from Rain Crow Ranch in Southeast Missouri. Even though we’re in the Midwest, finding a ranch who can provide grass-fed beef in our needed volume is no small task. We were thrilled when we discovered Rain Crow and began to sample their product. It is absolutely delicious.
We’re particularly excited about our Salt & Pepper Steak and Rosemary Steak, both of which will be Grass-Fed Sirloin. Our other meat dishes will be sliced grass-fed hanger steak which will soak up the full flavor of the sauce upon reheating.
Now Offering Two Protein Portion Sizes: 3oz & 6oz
In working with Blakely, our PaleoFit dietitian, and speaking with you our customers, we realized in many instances our portions were too large. A typical protein portion is 3oz (approximately a deck of cards), but we were serving 4-5oz depending on the dish.
Switching to 3oz & 6oz allows you to select exactly what you want to fit your needs. For those who found our meals too large or are wanting to eat 4-6 smaller meals each day rather than the cultural 3 large meals this change is for you!
With the change in portion sizes, we’ve switched our pricing to be based on both the portion size, as well as what goes into making the dish. In a lot of instances the price went down, especially on our 3oz main dish portions & side dishes.
The most notable increase is around our Salmon dishes (Mahi Mahi & Tilapia will remain in 6oz portions and the price is comparable, $9 & $7 respectively). We’re sorry for that increase as we know that’s some of your favorite dishes. The reality is that seafood, and particularly Salmon, is expensive. This is why a lot of prepared meal companies don’t offer seafood dishes. Seafood is so nutritious that we want to offer it, but we know it means it is now a more expensive dish to enjoy.
No More Confusing “2 Packs”
Yeah, that was confusing. Sorry about that. I won’t go into the details of how it came about, just know it’s now gone. You order 1 portion at a time and aren’t stuck eating the same meal twice if you don’t want to.
Select What you Want on Meal Plans
All this leads to Meal Plans being far easier to order. Now you can select the exact portions you want without having to leave instructions at checkout or have our team take the best guess at what you want.
You’ll also notice that our Meal Plans don’t have have a standard price attached to them: your price is based entirely on the portions you select. At the bottom of each page you’ll see a running total of your order with any discount associated with that Meal Plan already calculated; the total saved is shown on the last page of each Meal Plan.
Last, we’ve extended the Meal Plan discounts to cover our Breakfast Quiche & Snacks as well. Just another benefit of ordering through our Meal Plans.
A lot of changes and we’ve got a couple more benefits coming your way shortly. Please do reach out to us if you have any questions on the changes. We always love hearing from you.
Graham Ripple, CEO
The son of an Army Doctor, Graham spent his youth moving about before attending college at Kansas State University. Studying engineering & business, Graham spent a few years as an engineer before venturing out on his own. He co-founded Life Equals, a vitamin company built on the one-for-one giving model. From there he started PaleoFit with Chef Dave. He sees PaleoFit as merging his passion for health taught by his dad and love of good food instilled by his mom from whom he learned the joy of cooking.