Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Meat or Vegetables?

I think it's a misnomer that eating paleo is all about eating meat. Sure, we paleo folks (yes, I'm going to include myself in that group for the time being) love our meat and we love to talk about eating meat, especially bacon. We also believe in cooking with animal fats provided they're from pastured animals (for the why on pastured, go here) along with other healthy fats like ghee, coconut oil, sunflower oil, red palm oil, evoo, etc. But if I sat around eating nothing but fatty meat and a bit of fruit and nuts I'd be on the fast track to Fattyville (well, I'm already kind of living there although I'd prefer to think on the outskirts and packing up my boxes, but I digress).

The other key component is vegetables. And this is where I am always looking for new and creative ideas, especially for ways to prepare vegetables that can be eaten as snacks either cold or quickly reheated in the microwave. Mel's Broccoli Salad is one of my favorites, but I had that last week and there are only so many cucumber slices and baby carrots one can eat so I headed to Trader Joe's in search of some other options. While I was there, I stocked up on a few other crucial items, grass-fed butter for making ghee:

and prosciutto for making prosciutto-wrapped frittata muffins:

I also grabbed a package of turkey kielbasa I hadn't seen before. I'm generally not a fan of the "imitation" poultry versions of sausage, but it's a bit tough to find sausages and cured meats that don't have added sugar and this didn't, so I snatched up a package for snacking:

And, I decided on balsamic-roasted vegetables for a snack this week. I already had sweet onions at home so I grabbed mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini:

This morning before I went to work, I washed and cut everything up, tossed it with evoo and s&p, and put it in a ziploc bag. When I got home, I covered a large baking sheet with heavy duty aluminum foil (heavy duty foil is your friend - if you don't have it, get some and save yourself some serious clean-up!), tossed the veggies with some aged balsamic and spread them on the baking sheet to roast:

I also decided to make the carrot salsa from Mark Sisson's Healthy Sauces, Dressings, & Toppings cookbook. I already had the ingredients at home so when I got home from work I set out to make it. Instead of shredding the carrots by hand however, I had a brainstorm and decided to use the food processor. First I used the chopping blade to finely chop 1/2 of a small red onion:

Then I swapped out the chopping blade for the shredding disc and shredded 4 large carrots:

I whisked together some lime juice, evoo, cumin, coriander, and salt in a bowl, then added the onions and carrots from the food processor and a handful of chopped cilantro:

Then I mixed it all up and stuck it in the fridge until dinner. Earlier that morning, along with chopping the veggies for roasting I had also prepped the marinade for Nom Nom Paleo's Damn Fine Chicken and tossed a bunch of chicken legs with it so I put them all in a 13 x 9" glass dish and poured the marinade over top:

The chicken went into the oven along with the tray of veggies and about 40 minutes later I had dinner:

But, more importantly, I have 2 delicious dishes that feel more like a treat than forcing down vegetables that I can reach for when I'm hankering for a snack!

By the way, damn fine is an understatement. For how simple it is, that chicken is delicious. You should go make it. Right now.

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