Yum, yum: Paleo Diet: What’s the Deal?

The paleolithic diet. You’ve heard of it? Great. It’s a way of eating, a lifestyle, that’s said to help us lose weight, prevent disease and generally make you feel clean and full of energy. The basic principle is to eat as the cavemen(women) did. Survive off of hunting and gathering, eating only lean protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. We’ve tried it, and if done right, you will feel full and satisfied, lose weight and kick that bloated feeling.


Dude, we should totally go paleo. I know.

Planning
Being a successful caveperson these days is all about planning and preperation. Cook in large batches and freeze portions. It’s best to dedicate a few hours during the weekend to cut up all of your fruits and veggies for easy snack/stir fry/smoothie access. The hardest part of being a paleo is the inability to grab something on the go. However, if you’re in a major jam, you can always buy a banana from your local Starbucks.


Moderation
Let’s be real, most of us are busy juggling work, family and a social life. The paleo books we’ve read touch on this. It’s ok to have a glass of wine, a beer, in moderation. You have the power to choose how paleo you want to go. Greek yogurt, oatmeal, and whole wheat carbs like Ryvita crackers are some examples of paleo no-no’s we think are worth bending the rules for. Incorporating just some of the paleo principles into your life can be easy, and you will still reap many benefits.


Here is a basic recipe for paleo pancakes that will give you a glimpse into paleo living.


Paleo Pancakes
(1 serving, multiply the ingredients as needed)


Looks yummy, right?

This is one of our favourite breakfasts. It tastes delicious, is almost too easy to make and will keep you satisfied. You can add whatever paleo-approved items you like to these pancakes, just like the real thing.

  • 1 banana
  • 1 egg (no egg whites on this diet, need those yolks)
  • 1 tablespoon of nut butter of your choice (almond, hazelnut – the only nut on the pale-no list is peanut)
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil (this is a staple in the paleo pantry)
  • dash of cinnamon

Optional

  • dash of vanilla
  • squeeze of natural honey
  • splash of soy/almond milk (fluffyness)
  • cacao chips (natural alternative to chocholate chips, enjoyable, we promise)

Directions

  1. Mash banana in a bowl
  2. Mix in egg and nut butter
  3. Grease frying pan with coconut oil and pour mixture into pancakes

Smoothies


A meal that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This will be a go-to because it’s easy. Again, you can use the basic recipe below, add protein powder or a variety of other spices, flavours.


1 banana
A handful of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 scoop/ tbsp of flax seed
1/2 cup of soy/almond/coconut milk


Directions

  1. Blend. 🙂

Sweet potato fries or chips


Diet food? We think not. You can also make a paleo approved dipping sauce.



No recipe needed here. Since there is no wheat allowed, natural carbs such as sweet potatoes are beloved.


Spice them up however you want (rosemary, paprika, why not try some curry powder?). There is no added salt in the paleo diet, so other spices are super important. Cut or slice however you desire, toss with olive oil and bake in the oven at 375 degrees Celsius.


You can get as creative as you want with the paleo diet. If you have a favourite recipe or dish, chances are someone has created the paleo version . There are a number of comfort food inspired cookbooks and recipes out there worth checking out.


We recommend the below cookbooks for beginners – tried, tested and rock-it approved.


The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More than 150 recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages


The Everything Paleolithic Diet Book: An All-Natural, Easy-to-Follow Plan to Improve Health, Lose Weight, Increase Endurance, and Prevent Disease


You can also refer to the internet, for lists of paleo approved foods, meal plan ideas, recipes, shopping guides and more.


If you were thinking about going paleo, there is no better time to clean out your pantry and your tummy. New year, new plan – why not? The whole point of this diet is feeling good, being healthy and the satisfaction of treating your body like a temple.


You will go from this… (I’m not bloated, I’m just fluffy)…. 

…to this! 

Yum, yum: Spiced Tilapia Sandwich with Onion Salad

Summer screams for barbecue: greasy, juicy burgers, creamy potato salad and bright yellow ears of corn slathered with butter and a generous helping of salt. The thought of all of those tasty dishes makes our arteries clog! Oh, how deathly delicious. 
We recently picked up a copy of Canadian Living’s The Barbecue Collection to expand our grilling repertoire. With this hit of inspiration, we are in full force planning backyard bashes and cozy cook-outs. 
We tried out this tilapia sandwich recipe first, since it sounded delicious and seemed pretty easy to make. Coming in at 480 calories, the sandwich will not only satiate your taste buds, but it’s also waistline friendly (as long as you stick to a salad as a side instead of chips or something creamy). A great choice after a summer of indulging in burgers, chicken wings, beer and other high calorie treats.
Spiced Tilapia Sandwich with Onion Salad

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp each salt and pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
4 tilapia or catfish fillets, each 6 oz/175 g
4 tsp olive oil
8 slices of thickly cut bread or buns*

*We hit up a local bakery for some soft artisan buns.
Onion Salad
1 cup thinly sliced white or sweet onion
1 tsp salt
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp paprika
Tahini Yogurt Sauce
¼ cup plain yogurt*
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp hot pepper sauce
*we substituted Greek yogurt for plain. It’s thicker and packs a protein punch.
Onion Salad
Toss onion with 1 tsp salt; let stand for 20 minutes.
Using hands, squeeze out moisture: rinse under cold water and drain, pressing to remove excess moisture.
Toss together onions, parsley, lemon juice, oil, paprika and pinch salt.
Tahini Yogurt 
Mix together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, cumin and hot pepper sauce.
Tilapia 
Mix together paprika, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne; sprinkle all over fish.
Brush with oil. Grill on greased grill over medium-high heat, turning once until fish flakes easily, about 6 minutes.

Serve on bread with Tahini Yogurt Sauce and Onion Salad.

Yum Yum: Gwyneth Paltrow’s "My Father’s Daughter"

We’re always on the lookout for cookbooks that offer healthy fare that don’t skimp on flavour – not always an easy task. When we heard Gwyneth Paltrow was releasing a cookbook we were a bit skeptical. Actors aren’t necessarily known for their chops in the kitchen, after all.

After hearing some great buzz about GOOPy’s book, we decided to give it a whirl and oh boy – are we glad we did. Recipes run the culinary gamut, from salad dressings to fried oyster po’boys to vegetarian paellas, and most have a “make vegetarian/vegan” suggestion. If you’re looking for red meat or pork, you’re in the wrong book. If you’re a seafood or poultry lover then we highly suggest picking My Father’s Daughter up.  

Here are two of the recipes we tried the other night. Gwyneth suggested serving these together, so we did. Enjoy.

Best Stir-Fried Chicken
serves four

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp cornstarch
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup peeled and minced garlic
1/4 cup peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup minced green scallions (white & green parts)
Pinch red chili flakes (optional)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Toss the chicken with cornstarch, a large pinch of salt and quite a bit of pepper.  

Heat oil in large, non-stick wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions and chile flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, for one minute.  

Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. 

Add the vinegar, sugar, and five or six grinds of black pepper. 

Boil on high for three minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the whole mixture is dark brown and sticky and lovely. 

Add the soy sauce, and cook for another 30 seconds. Serve immediately over fried rice (recipe below), sprinkled with cilantro. 

Photo via GOOP herself.

Fried Rice with Kale and Scallions
serves four

1/2 pound kale, stems discarded
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 large scallions, cut into 1/8-inch diagonal slices
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce

Cut the kale leaves in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into very thin ribbons (chiffonade). Steam the kale for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. 

Add the garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, being careful not to brown the garlic. 

Raise the heat to medium and add the steamed kale and scallions. 

Cook for two minutes and then add the rice and cook for another two minutes, stirring. 

Add the soy sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.

Health in a bowl.
Photo via Milk & Mode

Yum, Yum: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt

Those who say “you can’t have it all” have never been to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, at 511 Bloor Street West. A cool snack mecca, Menchie’s offers fro-yo lovers over 100 rotating flavours to top with some 60 rotating toppings. Literally, you can have it all on your yogurt, if you want.

Image source.
At Menchies, some of the best combinations begin with mixing and matching. You grab your cup, and make a tough decision. You can fill it with chocolate espresso, coconut, vanilla latte, no-sugar-added boysenberry, low-carb angel food cake or dairy-free mango tango sorbet.

Next, sprinkle your yogurt with snack bar toppings, like peanut butter chips, Jelly Bellies, and m&m’s, the Chill Bar’s blueberries, cheesecake bits and mochi, or Hottie’s sauces in chocolate or caramel.

Menchie’s fans pay by weight, not per topping, so be sure to load up on fun fixings. There is no such thing as fro-yo with too many marshmallows.

After recovering from our latest PS. I Made This disaster venture, we were finally ready to take on another DIY project. We joined the ever-present line at Menchie’s, and began our yogurt dessert cup with a birthday cake and frozen hot chocolate base. To that, we added sprinkles, Oreo cookies, carob chips, strawberries and bananas.


Yes, we made it, we liked it and we ate it all.