Eating well on The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 13

Paleo brunch - I'm eating well!

So, I’m sure you’re wondering, what was the result of yesterday’s shenanigans with the paleo shopping list. Did we find anything edible in the supermarket, or did we succumb to the sea of sugar? Am I eating well or just surviving?

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Eating well on a paleo diet

It depends, I suppose, on your definition of “eating well”. For me that has often meant intensely rich foods, usually involving no small amount of butter, cream or cheese, or perhaps all three, quite possibly some alcohol, and no fear of sugar either.

Paleo Breakfast - has bacon!There’s a powerful depth of flavor in those rich and creamy sauces that I’m finding hard to match with my restricted store cupboard. Pork crackling has it, bacon too, but I can’t have bacon with every meal…..

Can I?

No. That would be too much, and it’s just possible I might even get bored with bacon. Unlikely, but possible.

So how does one go about eating well on a paleo diet? I think the approach is twofold. Firstly there is the simple act of noticing.

As you start to detox, and you’re no longer trashing your taste buds with chemical and sugar overload, you notice that things start to taste a whole lot better. Things like Brussels sprouts and mangetout seem to have a much bigger flavor, and sweeter too.

So just noticing how good things are starting to taste, now that you’ve stopped poisoning yourself, will help you appreciate that, now, you really are eating well.

New culinary adventures

The second thing that may become apparent when you restrict the range of your shopping to that which is real and whole, is that there’s now plenty of money to spend on more expensive and exotic foods. This will be especially obvious if alcohol and tobacco have been swallowing up a major part of your ‘food’ budget!

So now rather than spending £5 – £10 on a bottle of wine, I’m looking to spend that on some nice, quality olive oil. A bottle of cold pressed, unfiltered, single estate, extra virgin olive oil should be compared to a fine wine, or perhaps a single malt. It certainly had more in common with either of those than it does with the commercially refined plastic junk oils!

But where’s the cream?

Ah, yes, the dairy. The one thing I really struggle with on a strict paleo diet. My definition of eating well absolutely, definitely has to include cheese, and I’m not sure there’s much that can substitute for it.

Cream, on the other hand, can be done. More or less, anyway.

eating well with paleo creamy peppercorn sauceTake steak au poivre, for example, a classic of the rich and creamy school of cooking, and very much in line with my ideas about eating well. But without cream, and usually some kind of alcohol, you’re a bit stuck. Or are you?

Well no, actually, not if Cara’s in the kitchen! Yesterday she managed to produce the most delicious, rich creamy paleo peppercorn sauce to go with our steaks. I’m pestering her for the recipe so I can post it here, but for now I know one thing…

EDIT//
Got it! About half way down this page: Paleo Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Coconut milk.

Super-rich, high fat, deliciously good enough to eat straight from the can but I probably shouldn’t – sounds very much like clotted cream to me!

Yes, coconut milk is superb for making rich and creamy sauces. Cara’s creamy paleo peppercorn sauce has been the finest so far, but she’s also done a great cream and white wine style sauce for chicken, without the cream or white wine of course.

eating well with paleo chicken tikka masalaAnd in curry too, the coconut milk is superb. Much used in Thai cooking of course, but I’m trying to create korma and tikka masala here! The korma may be a bit trickier, but I do declare* I make a fine paleo version of chicken tikka masala.

* I feel pretty safe in this too, as it passed the Mason test. Mas is seven, knows a lot about eating well, loves curry with a passion, and declared this to be my best yet. I was worried it might be too spicy for him, but he demanded seconds and finished the pan of it!

So from my brief definition of eating well, what do we have? Well alcohol doesn’t seem to matter so much after all, strange but true. Dairy, at least for cooking purposes, can often be replaced by coconut milk – there are other options here, but the rich creaminess of the coconut milk makes it my favorite by far!

And sugar? Well that you really don’t need. What with the sweetness of the coconut and the new range and depth of flavors that you  start to notice, some things taste almost too sweet.

But I don’t want a paleo creamy peppercorn sauce!

Tsk! No pleasing some people.

However…

Consider some of my other meal options this week – I think you may concede it’s possible to go strict paleo and still be eating well. eating-well-paleo

  • prawn and avocado with homemade mayonnaise
  • Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs
  • Roast pork, apple sauce, roast butternut squash and veggies
  • Liver, bacon and onions with veggies
  • Chicken fried in olive oil and garlic then wrapped in parma ham, with avocado and asparagus hearts

Are we eating well yet? Well I am!

So I may still grumble about the lack of cheese and coffee, and just occasionally I’ll glance longingly at a chocolate fudge cake, but really I can’t complain. All this good food does make it easier!

So have I been eating well today?

Breakfast
Smoothie – banana, berries, spinach, coconut milk, ghee
I prefer it with dried fruit and seeds, but I forgot to soak any – this is still pretty good.

Lunch – Yep!
Bacon
Scrambled eggs
Spinach
Mushrooms
Tomatoes

Dinner – You betcha!
Chicken fried in olive oil and garlic…
wrapped in Parma ham
Asparagus hearts
Avocado

Supper – Yep, love Cox’s
Apple – Cox

Drinks
Water

And that’s all
IanB is eating well with this paleo creamy peppercorn sauce

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