Chris and I recently decided to try the Paleo diet. The choice wasn’t born from dietary restrictions, and the reasons aren’t interesting enough to write about, but we’re making an effort to eat roughly a Paleo diet.
(For those not familiar with the Paleo diet, Russ has a great explainer at http://thedomesticman.com/about/, which also touches on the variations on a strict Paleo diet.)
Understandably, switching to a quasi-Paleo diet from no particular diet at all has been interesting, in no small part because of the snacks we kept around (goodbye granola bars and roasted peanuts). Meals themselves haven’t been too challenging, but most of the items disallowed under Paleo weren’t staples for us, so we’re fortunate; changing out a few specific ingredients has gotten us a long way. Undoubtedly we’re also benefitting from the abundance of resources available, like Russ’s site and books.
In fact, one of the meal highlights thus far has been his Samosa Mashed Potatoes, which we’ll definitely be making again. And again. And again. 🙂
Encouraged by our initial success, his Chicken Piccata, Ham and Kale Risotto, and Mole Verde Roasted Chicken are all dishes I’m eager to make, and I don’t generally cook at all–or enjoy it when I do. More on that in a future post, I suppose, but suffice it to say that risotto’s a daunting challenge I’d normally flee from.
While we’ve been lucky with meals, desserts have been a different situation entirely. Since dairy and refined sugars are disallowed, ice cream and most sweets are non-starters. Unlike cooking, however, I’ve enjoyed baking in the past, so we decided to experiment.
Last night’s exploration in unfamiliar territory led to a fruit cobbler. I’ve made my share of traditional desserts, and even traditional cobblers, but attempting something without dairy, grains, and traditional sugars seemed destined for failure, no matter how straightforward. Overbrimming with confidence as I’m known to be, I took the very 21st-Century approach of Tweeting my anticipation:
I've made a paleo fruit cobbler. In twelve minutes, we'll find out if I've done so successfully.
— Erick Hitter (@ethitter) May 30, 2015
Despite my reservations (and lack of proper tools), things turned out well. The recipe I used is from Delicious Obsessions, and despite the overwhelming smell of coconut and my certainty in failure, it’s excellent. I’d reasonably say one would struggle to tell this cobbler from a traditional version. It’s possible the two of us ate half of it last night, before I could get a worthwhile photo of the end result. 😉
So far, our experiment with Paleo is off to a pretty good start. I accidentally had a flour tortilla a few days ago, but I’ll accept that because it was for a burrito. There’s also the pesky issue of cheese. I’m okay giving up most dairy products, but cheese is going to be a struggle. This should be interesting…