This has certainly been the first time I made a hit and run on a supermarket and brought home only veggies. No seafood, no beverages, no oils or vinegars, no packaged items. (No catfood either, and that one was probably a mistake…) Not even when I make food for the Food.Com vegetarian challenges. This is what I brought home for the Paleo challenge, though I didn’t all of this and had other ingredients on hand.
I attended a Paleo PotLuck Sunday. Paleos eat what cavemen more or less ate: no grains (we hadn’t invented agriculture yet), no legumes (they couldn’t figure out how to prepare the ones more toxic when raw, and I guess had a severe oversight on sugar snap peas), no high fructose corn syrup or lengthy chemical names or tater tots, no added sugar (other than the occasional bit of honey), and for some, no dairy (as lactose tolerance was a recent evolutionary development for some populations of people). There’s different levels of stringency among these Paleo people, and what I like is like me, they are low-carb, and they like pasture-finished meats, and prefer to source veggies organically as much as rationally feasible/affordable. (Some veggies it matters more than with others.)
Anyhow, let’s go take a look at what turned up at the pot luck:
There were lots of highlights. Pulled pork with BBQ sauce to die for, scallops wrapped in bacon, an excellent salsa, whole eggs in a chili sauce, just downright fun stuff. And the company and conversation were friendly and excellent! Glad I went!
I made beef sliders with “buns” and condiments.
The beef is pasture-raised in Virginia, and I prepared the ground beef patties no different than I would normally, except for leaving out the Worchestershire sauce, which contains soy and gluten, a grain product. (For vegetarian challenges I have to leave it out because it contains anchovies!) To make the patties, dice up white onion, add a farmer’s market egg, some ground pepper, maybe add a touch of extra virgin olive oil (this meat is VERY lean) and shape the patties. I did this seconds before heading out the door (I would have use of kitchen facilities for cooking on-site).
Paleos technically don’t do bread, so… two choices:
Long leaves of hydroponic lettuce
Wrap around burger and gnosh down, with condiments (see below).
5 turnips of more or less appropriate size
Coconut oil to coat
Cracked black pepper
Slice turnips approximately 1/3 inch diameter, so they’ll eventually hold the sliders. Mix everything up, wrap in foil and roast at 400 F for about 45-55 minutes. It helps to liquify the coconut oil before using, as at least at winter room temperature times, it is a solid. I just put it on the stove top as the oven is pre-heating, it’s liquid before the oven comes to temperature.
(You can warm them before you use.)
1 small container McCormick yellow mustard seeds
1 equal volume water
1 equal volume apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper cloves
1 pinch sea salt
2 cloves roasted garlic (roasted with a little avocado oil for 30 min, soft parts collected and used)
Let mustard seeds soak in the liquid for several hours or overnight.
Combine everything and blend. Add more water if consistency is too thick. You can take this as far as a smooth puree or stop earlier if you like. Let it set a few hours then refrigerate. My sample taste said: HOT. I made this the day before the event, and it did seem to mellow a bit, both in overall character and heat. It continues to improve.
Mango and Pear Chutney:
This recipe comes from the second edition of Sauces, by James Peterson. I made adaptations, leaving out the sugar and making some spice modifications (I did consider honey but figured the mango would be plenty sweet).
1 mango, underripe, peeled, pitted, and chopped to small bits
1 Bosc pear, underripe, likewise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 of a mildly hot pepper, chopped very fine and deseeded (or to taste)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
The following are approximate, and they were probably added at slightly “heaping” quantities:
1/8 teaspoon dry-roasted cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon dry-roasted fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds
Get the vinegar simmering gently with the mango and pear, until the fruits soften, but they should retain form. Probably around 15 minutes. If you have a lot of liquid left, drain the fruit into another saucepan, reserving the liquid for cooking with the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t then simply add in the rest of the ingredients without draining, stir a little longer to mix everything, and allow to cool If you did separate out the fruit, when you have just the amount of liquid you need, add the fruit back and let everything cool down.
Red Bell Pepper Puree:
2 large red bell peppers, de-seeded and broken up.
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 mildish hot pepper, deseeded and chopped
juice from 1/2 lime
extra virgin olive oil
I was going to make guacamole. The avos were harder than diamonds, so that idea got scrapped, and so the peppers came into play. This is actually an adaptation of a recipe also found in the cookbook, Sauces.
Simmer the bell pepper in the oil for about 20 minutes; add the rest of the ingredients and simmer two or three minutes longer. Run it all through your blender or whatever you use, pour into bowl and you’re ready. I brought along a little cilantro for adding on top, but decided not to do it directly this time just in case there were those who considered that herb to taste of soap.
The other thing to note is that any color of bell pepper can be used, but that the green ones may turn grey-ish with cooking.
Oh, by the way, the Paleo plan does include desserts, they’re just not grain-based. And dark chocolate is important. Honey is the sweetener of choice.
Another person made little lemon, jicama and coconut balls, no photo.