One year ago, I radically changed my diet over night. But the transition of how to feed my family has taken much longer to figure out.
It’s one thing to change my own eating habits. It’s quite another to change someone else’s diet, especially when they are teenagers and might not want to make a switch. I’ve finally come to terms with the idea that most of our family dinners will be Paleo. In other words, I serve the whole family the same dinner I am making for myself about 80 percent of the time.
The kids can eat what they want for breakfast. (I still buy cereal and cow’s milk, but they have the option to use almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk and eat a grain free breakfast.) They often purchase hot lunch at school, or I will pack them a lunch that’s either Paleo or Standard American Diet (whichever they prefer).
They’ve come a long way in adjusting to eating dinners that are grain free, dairy free, soy free, legume free, sugar free and free of processed foods. But it’s still entertaining to watch their reactions when they come to the dinner table. The 8-year-old usually announces right away that she doesn’t like what’s being served. Our 13-year-old daughter often laughs while she’s scooping food onto her plate.
Our 15-year-old son is the most hilarious. He typically looks at the food and shakes his head with a look of “What happened to my life?!” I imagine him doing the Kramer surprise reaction on the inside. Ironically, he almost always goes back for a big plate of seconds. He’s a hungry boy.
Last week, however, our oldest son took one bite of dinner and exclaimed, “Wow! This is good! I could eat this everyday!”
He was eating a made-up recipe that I created after being inspired by the crustless pizza available at Lou Malnati’s.
I’m sorry about the photo that is to follow. I am discovering that food bloggers have a special process for making food photos look amazing.
Basically, I added some oregano, garlic powder, basil and salt to two pounds of ground pork. I pressed that into the bottom of a large dish and baked it at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. I topped it with pizza sauce, mushrooms, onions and sliced olives, and then baked the whole thing for another 15 minutes or so. The result was something that reminded us of pizza!
Here are a few of my other new favorite Paleo recipes that I tried in January:
(That’s a real food blogger photo!)
This Curried Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash was amazing. I would have never thought to put curry in a shepherd’s pie. (I only used 1 teaspoon, instead of 1 tablespoon.) I cooked my sweet potatoes in an electric pressure cooker and then mashed them for the topping. (I also left out the peas, since they are not Paleo.) So good.
OK, so I didn’t actually even attempt to feed this one to my kids. I knew the combination of Crispy Chicken with Artichokes, Beets, Lemons and Olives would be too much for them. But I LOVED it! I really enjoy combining a variety of unusual flavors and this one had them all!
If you haven’t made Kahlua Pig in the electric pressure cooker yet, give it a try! Just a head’s up that it does take a WHILE too cook. Give yourself at least two hours, since it takes 90 minutes just to cook the pork. My kids have discovered they love cooked cabbage! We never have enough. I served this with baked sweet potatoes, which I made in my second electric pressure cooker.
I actually made my kids a real gluteny, dairy filled lasagna to eat, while I ate this amazing Puerto Rican Plantain Lasagna. I don’t eat peppers, so I substituted mushrooms and olives in the filling.
When I find a recipe that I want to try I pin it on my “Meal Planning” board on Pinterest. You can follow this board for other ideas (including lots of recipes from before I went Paleo).
My boys are always starving when they get home from high school at 2:30, so I like to have some filling, healthy snacks for them to grab when they get home. These also made some easy lunches for me to grab on my way to work on those days I don’t want to eat soup!
I substituted canned salmon for the tuna, and omitted the peppers in these (not so) Spicy Tuna Cakes.
My family thought these Curry Turkey Bites had too much of a kick, but I really enjoyed them, especially with the apricot ginger sauce.
My kids gobbled up the Egg Foo Youngish. (That’s a real food blogger photo!) They are kind of like a pancake, but really easy to grab and go on the way out the door.
My husband’s birthday is in January, and I typically make him a cherry pie. He prefers not to eaten gluten these days, so I tried this recipe for Cherry Cobbler. For the filling, I simply used frozen cherries that you can buy in a bag at Costco. This was aMaZiNg and so easy to make!
Since our oldest son can’t have nuts and the cobbler uses almond flour, I also made a Paleo Pumpkin Pie. I make this all of the time without the crust. You just bake the filling at 350 degrees for 65 minutes. It’s so simple, and we all love it! (Sorry again for the bad photo!)
I also can’t believe that I finally found a Paleo Banana Bread recipe that is so easy to make and tastes amazing. I have made this a few times now, without the chocolate chips. It’s SUCH a treat to eat something that tastes like bread.
So, what about you? Have you tried any awesome new recipes lately? Have you made any changes to your diet this year? How’s it going?