Tomato-less Pasta Sauce

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I’ve decided to challenge myself a step further in my journey towards optimal health. There is a version of the Paleo diet called AIP, or the Autoimmune Protocol. AIP is a stricter version of the Paleo diet and has been followed by many individuals trying to find reprieve from autoimmune diseases.

One of the food groups that is restricted on the AIP diet is the nightshade family (i.e. tomatoes & eggplants). I won’t get into the specifics of why they’re restricted here but I wanted to share this fantastic recipe with everyone. Even if you’re not following the AIP this recipe is still a great way to add nutritious vegetables to your favorite meals!

INGREDIENTS

½ red onion, diced
4 tbsp avocado oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 handful of basil
1 garlic clove
8 ounces roasted beets (pre-cooked, organic canned kind works great)
8 ounces butternut squash, puréed (pre-cooked, organic canned kind works great)
6 – 8 ounces water

RECIPE

In a large pot heat avocado oil on medium heat, high heat.
Once heated place in onion and sauté until the onion softens.
In a food processor blend beets, basil & garlic.
Add beet/basil mixture, salt, parsley and butternut squash to pot, reduce to medium heat and stir.
After 5 minutes add water and stir, let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Note: Add the water slowly. The water is used to change the thickness of the mixture. If you used roughly 4 ounces of water, you’d end up with something similar to tomato past. However, if you used over 8 ounces you’d end up with a more watery mixture. This part is purely preference.

I left mine a little thicker and used it on my pizza like this!

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The best part about this sauce is that it actually tastes like tomato sauce and per our usual is super easy to make. Oh, it’s also passed the husband test! (I regularly test all my recipes on my husband, he’s a picky eater so I know if he likes it I’m on the right track)

Enjoy!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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Marinated Lamb Chops

Marinated Lamb Chops
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Lamb chops are not all made equal, and in my years in America I still have yet to find chops as tender as those from the Karoo, South Africa. So I set out to find a marinade solution that tenderizes the meat and makes it melt-in-your-mouth, just like I remember.

INGREDIENTS

1/8 cup Fatworks Tallow, melted
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 lamb chop
1 cup broccoli crowns

RECIPE

In a shallow bowl, mix the melted tallow and balsamic vinegar.
Add the lamb chop to the marinade mixture, turning a few times to allow the marinade to coat the entire surface of the meat on both sides. Allow it to sit for 2 to 5 minutes.
In a steamer or small pot, steam the broccoli over high heat for about 10 minutes.
Place the marinated chop in a medium sauté pan and cook on medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning every few minutes.
Remove the chop from the pan and plate alongside the cooked broccoli.
Pour the leftover marinate from the pan over the broccoli crowns.
Enjoy while hot.

This recipe makes a single serving.

It’s a simple dish made magical!

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Natural Sweet Tea

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Sweet tea could possibly be the thing I miss the most when it comes to my pre-paleo diet. However, the amount of sugar that it takes to make true sweet tea is ridiculous and when I think about what it does to your body in terms of blood sugar and insulin levels it makes me cringe.

One of the beautiful things about the paleo diet is that there are always ways to enjoy versions of what used to be our favorite foods, we even have the chance to create new favorites. I say “used to be” because the longer we stick with a diet, lifestyle the more our taste buds and preferences start to change. If I had sweet tea now I’m not actually sure I’d enjoy it as much as I once did because I simply can’t consume sugar the way I did without feeling horrible. So I’ve decided to make a new “favorite”, naturally sweetened tea, sweet tea.

You’re probably thinking, well just add agave or honey to your tea and then it’ll be sweet. I could do that but I wanted to see if I could take it a step further and make it more natural. So I decided to see if I could sweeten my tea with dates! I know it sounds crazy but I actually often eat dates with my ice tea and it’s a great flavor combination. Here we go!

INGREDIENTS

2 dates (pitted)
12 ounces of water
black tea
a few ice cubes
*This recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, quadrupled and so forth to make the quantity you need.

RECIPE

In a blender or processor, blend your dates (make sure they’re pitted), then set aside. A note: if you like super sweet tea you may choose to use more dates.
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Boil 12 ounces of water and brew tea according to package instructions.
Remove tea bags or strain tea, immediately add blended dates.
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Stir occasionally until tea cools to room temperature.
Strain out dates and pour over ice(if you’d like you can always keep the date pieces in the tea and enjoy as is).

It’s important to remember that as soon as the tea is done brewing that you must add the dates as quickly as possible. The hot water helps to pull the natural sweetness out of the dates.

Enjoy!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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Win a FREE, signed copy of PALEO Cleanse!

PALEO Cleanse Demo Image
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This beautiful morning we have VERY exciting news…

Not only are we extremely grateful for the wonderful audience at our most recent Cooking Demo at the Littleton, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage store where we hosted Paleo Bread and Pizza following requests, we are very proud to share the final version of our PALEO Cleanse book cover design and we can’t wait to hear what you think!

PALEO Cleanse Book Cover - Final

 

Additionally, we couldn’t be more excited to tell you first that we are giving away 10 copies of PALEO Cleanse FREE! Plus those 10 copies will be signed by your ecstatic authors ;)

ENTER TO WIN a copy of PALEO Cleanse on Goodreads!

To be sure you get your copy at a 24% discount, or to purchase additional copies as stocking stuffers to help your loved ones start the year off on an amazing note, you can also PREORDER Copies on Amazon.

Thank you all so much for the support, friendship, wonderful stories and knowledge you have shared with us,

Camilla Carboni and Melissa Van Dover

thepaleopact.com | @thepaleopact | facebook.com/thepaleopact

The Human Body Series: Gut Inflammation

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Inflammation is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.”

Inflammation is detrimental to the human body. Brief episodes can cause tiredness and malaise, while chronic exposure has been linked to diseases such as cancer. Clearly, inflammation is something that we should try to stay clear of if at all possible. Unfortunately, what few people know if that the common diet consumed by most western societies is riddled with foods that promote inflammation in the gut.

Thankfully for us, we’re Paleo! A benefit of the Paleo lifestyle is that it does a great job of restricting foods that contribute to inflammation in the body overall but primarily in the gut. Paleo specifically excludes foods that can cause damage to the gut lining, which contributes to inflammation. The following is a list of foods which damage the gut lining and cause chronic inflammation within the body.

Foods Causing Gut Inflammation Include:

  • Gluten
  • Grains (i.e. rice & corn)
  • Legumes (i.e. soy & peanuts)

The reason these foods cause gut inflammation is because of their high lectin content. Lectin damages the gut by tricking your gut into letting it cross its border into your body. When this happens the body develops an autoimmune response(it creates antibodies) and attacks the “intruder”. Unfortunately, Lectin tends to look similar to our natural cells, so the body becomes confused and beings to attack itself. Thus the lining of the gut becomes inflamed.

The issue is that this type of inflammation becomes chronic as people continue to eat these foods and do not allow their bodies time to repair themselves. Not to mention most people are unaware of the effect of these types of food on the body. Furthermore, additional issues can arise from this chronic inflammation included anemia.

Thankfully though, we follow the Paleo lifestyle. A lifestyle that does not promote consuming these foods which cause gut inflammation!

Melissa

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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Paleo Toasted Granola

Paleo Toasted Granola
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It’s definitely not unheard of to miss granola! At least I do, but as much as traditional granola would be a lovely addition to a fruit salad or coconut yogurt, it’s usually packed with refined sugar and grains, leaving store-bought granola less than desirable for the body.

As it happens, I was attempting to make Paleo Crunchies (a South African favorite snack) but instead of crisp bars, I found myself with…Paleo Granola! Sometimes baking mishaps are the best kind (though I promise I will perfect and post a Crunchie recipe soon!)

The great thing about granola is you can prepare it at the start of the week and then place the toasted product in an airtight container and it will last a good 7 days. Not only is it convenient for snacking purposes, but it is rich in natural fats, antioxidants and fiber, providing sustenance without any negative effects on ones blood sugar levels.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 cup pitted and shredded dates (you can shred dates easily in a food processor)
1/2 cup grass-fed butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons honey or raw agave nectar
1/8 cup unsweetened coconut milk

RECIPE

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place all the dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and using a spoon, mix together well.
Add the dates and cut them into the flour and nut mix; using a spoon or knife to break up the date lumps and prevent them from sticking together by blending them well with the dry mixture.

Paleo Toasted Granola Mix

Add the butter, honey/agave and coconut milk to the bowl and mix well with a spoon. The mixture will be moist and sticky (though it shouldn’t form a ball).
Scoop the mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and press it down to form a flat surface so that it bakes evenly (about 1/2-inch high). You can use a rolling-pin to do this, but there is no need for perfection here and so you can get friendly with your granola and simply use your hands.

Paleo Toasted Granola Preparation

Once the mixture is evenly spread on the baking sheet, place it in the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove the sheet from the oven, cover the granola with a sheet of foil, turn the oven down to 300 degrees and place it back in the oven to bake for about another 10 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes are up, separate the granola into traditional bite size pieces, using a knife or spoon to break it up. Then allow the granola to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container for storage.

This recipe makes about 3 cups of granola.

Enjoy your Paleo-friendly breakfast!

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Ground Lamb, Chard & Squash Mix Up

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I set the goal for myself lately that I would try to think outside the box when it came to recipes. I still want them to be easy with ingredients that are easily found but I want to try combinations of things I wouldn’t normally think of. The following is a result of one of my experiments. In true Paleo Pact flare it requires 1 pot, 1 spoon, 1 knife and a cutting board to make and it takes less that an hour. I know because I made it before I went to work yesterday!

INGREDIENTS

1 lb ground lamb
1 bushel green onions, diced (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
1 bushel red swiss chard, chopped (roughly 2 cups)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (roughly 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 tbsp. bacon grease
salt
pepper

RECIPE

Fill a large pot half way with water and bring to a boil.
Add a pinch of salt and butternut squash(that has been peeled and cubed) to water, let boil until cooked(it’s cooked when you can poke a fork through the squash).
Drain water and place back on stove over medium heat.
Add green onion (diced) and swiss chard(chopped) to pot and cook for roughly 3 minutes.
Add ground lamb, bacon grease and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until lamb is cooked(use a spoon to break up the lamb, so it doesn’t all stick together).

That’s it! I split mine up into five portions for lunch for the week.

Enjoy!

Melissa Van Dover

@mvandover | melissavandover.com

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