Mostly Paleo Austin Recap Part 1

Joe and I just got back from Austin, Texas and had a blast! It was filled with lots of good food, great weather, exploring downtown, hiking, paddle boarding, shopping and catching up with a friend. I promised to provide some food highlights from the trip, so let’s just get to it…

Wholly Cow Burger The first place I wanted to try was Wholly Cow Burger. I had done some research ahead of time and knew they had Paleo options. They even had a sign outside advertising their Paleo burger which is what I had: grass-fed beef, bacon, lettuce, tomato and grilled onions between two portabella mushrooms with a side of sweet potato fries. Delicious! I was stuffed and very happy with this one.

 

LambertsFor dinner the first night we headed to Lamberts downtown for some “fancy” BBQ and a good happy hour. I had a wedge salad with bacon and tomatoes and smoked BBQ chicken, collard greens with bacon and a yummy slaw made with oil and vinegar. Washed it down with a local Austin beer…yum!

 

24 Diner

For lunch the second day, we tried 24 Diner which had unique, gourmet diner food for a great price. I tried their vegetable frittata that had roasted Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and onions and a side of fruit instead of the toast that came IMG_0763with the meal. Joe had a roasted chicken sandwich and mashed sweet potatoes. The frittata was huge and delicious, as were the sweet potatoes. I wanted to try so many things on that menu. They even have a separate gluten-free menu. I would go back here in a heartbeat!

I have some more highlights, and will post those soon. Overall, there are a ton of good Paleo options in Austin. I definitely didn’t stick 100% to the diet, eating things such as pizza (probably not worth it), lots of skillet potatoes with breakfast, french fries, ice cream (dark chocolate from Amy’s Ice Cream, totally worth it) and cheese. But overall, I did my best and still felt good throughout. More to come!

Spread the Word:

My Favorite Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

I am officially obsessed with sweet potatoes (hence the name of the website). 🙂 If I could eat them for every meal, I probably would. Actually, I definitely would. I try to limit them to a few times a week (which is really limiting them for me). My favorite way to eat them is by roasting them in the oven with fresh rosemary until nice and crispy. I always make plenty so I’ll have extras to eat throughout the week.

Joe and I are heading to Austin this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m ready for some warmer weather and a break from the normal day to day. I have been doing my Paleo restaurant research and have a long list of places I really want to try while we’re there. There are a ton of places that promote local farms and ingredients which is always great. And we will be getting some of our Texas favs, such as BBQ, Tex-Mex and St. Arnold Beer. Trying to keep things Paleo will be interesting for sure. I will be writing a post after we get back with all of the yummy food highlights. So until then, enjoy one of my favorite recipes!

Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4-6
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Side Dish
Rosemary and sweet potatoes pair perfectly for this delicious side dish.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (minced)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

Step 1
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Thinly slice sweet potatoes and place in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with fresh rosemary, salt and pepper.
Step 2
Roast sweet potatoes in the oven for 20 minutes, flip and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Spread the Word:

Ham, Mushroom and Spinach Omelet

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Joe and I stayed at Hotel Deco in downtown Omaha to enjoy a nice relaxing evening away from home. We had reservations at the Zin Room and I could not wait for our little in-town weekend getaway.

Unfortunately we were both underwhelmed with the whole experience. Food was pricey, service was slow, didn’t get a good night’s sleep from the loud club 11 stories right below our room, they messed up our room-service breakfast order…but I shouldn’t complain because we got out of our house and were still able to enjoy time with one another. Next time we will just be going somewhere else.

Despite the overall negative experience we had, the omelet I had that morning was delicious and inspired this recipe. They had big chunks of mushrooms, roasted red peppers and crispy ham all rolled up inside fluffy eggs. It was yummy (even though it took two tries to get it right) and I was excited to make my own version at home. Enjoy!

Ham, Mushroom and Spinach Omelet

Serves 1
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Egg
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Breakfast
This omelet is great for a relaxing weekend morning. Serve with fresh fruit and a nice cup of hot coffee with grass-fed cream.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 roasted bell pepper (diced)
  • Handful baby spinach
  • 1 medium slice all-natural ham (diced)
  • Grass-fed butter or fat of choice
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Step 1
Heat grass-fed butter or fat of choice in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook about 5-10 minutes until soft.
Step 2
When mushrooms are almost done, add in diced ham and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. Remove from pan, add in diced roasted bell peppers and keep warm.
Step 3
Whisk eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and add more butter to the pan if needed. Add in whisked eggs and cook, moving uncooked portion of the egg underneath, until almost cooked through.
Step 4
Add all filling ingredients (mushrooms, ham, spinach and roasted bell peppers) to one side of the omelet, fold over and heat until cooked through completely. Plate up and enjoy with some fresh fruit and a nice cup of hot coffee.

 

Spread the Word:

Crockpot Italian Shredded Pork

I am absolutely in love with the crockpot. Having dinner waiting for me when I get home after a long day couldn’t get any better. And this recipe is delicious! Reminds me a lot of Italian Sausage and Peppers.

For Christmas, Joe got me a Groupon to Omaha Power Yoga. I’ve done yoga off and on in the past, but these classes have challenged me to a new extreme. I have loved the challenge and the ability to get more personal instruction on how to get better. If you are in the Omaha area, I recommend giving it a try. I can tell you I am more sore and sweaty (TMI?) from these classes than when I go to weight-lifting classes at the gym.

The only thing that I dislike is that I get home much later in the evening when I take these classes (since they are after work). The other night I went to class and was so glad to have this pork ready when I got home. I just had to roast some green beans and zucchini in the oven and we were ready for dinner.

I definitely recommended browning the pork and cooking the veggies before putting them in the crockpot to give it a little more flavor. I did this the night before so in the morning all I had to do was set the crockpot to low. You could add other spices, like basil or oregano, to spice it up a bit. Enjoy!

Crockpot Italian Shredded Pork

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 8 hours
Total time 8 hours, 20 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Main Dish
Region Italian
Slow-cooking in the crockpot all day brings out all of the deliciousness of this pork dish filled with Italian flavors.

Ingredients

  • 2lb Pork Roast
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 stalk Celery (diced)
  • 3/4 teaspoons Fennel Seeds
  • 3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 28oz Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
  • 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary (minced)
  • 1 sprig Fresh Thyme
  • Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

Step 1
Heat olive oil or coconut oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the pork roast. Brown pork roast on all sides and place in crockpot.
Step 2
Heat more oil if necessary in same pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add diced bell peppers, celery and fennel seeds and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic cloves and fresh rosemary and cook another minute.
Step 3
Add in red wine and scrape bottom of the pan to get all the yummy browned bits. Let reduce by half for about 3-5 minutes more.
Step 4
Pour veggies and wine over pork in crockpot and add diced tomatoes and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Set your crockpot to low and cook for 8 hours or until pork is cooked through.
Step 5
Remove pork from the crockpot and shred with two forks. Skim any fat off of the sauce (if there is a lot) and remove the thyme stems. Return the pork back to the pot, stirring to coat. Eat up!
Spread the Word:

Paleo Beer Dinner (Well…the food is Paleo!)

A few weeks ago we celebrated Joe’s birthday. Last year we were living in Texas and went to a 5-course beer dinner at a local brewery to celebrate. It was delicious but definitely not Paleo. This year instead of going out to dinner, I decided to surprise Joe and create a Paleo-inspired 4-course beer dinner at home. I know beer is not technically Paleo, but Joe loves trying unique beers (and so do I) so I thought it was a great way to celebrate.

I didn’t create these recipes on my own, but came up with some ideas of things I wanted to make and searched for Paleo versions to inspire me.  The best part was probably the dessert. I’ve made coconut milk ice cream before, but with the recipe I used for our dinner, I had to make a custard by cooking the coconut milk with egg yolks. Usually I’m too lazy and if I see egg yolks in an ice cream recipe, I won’t even try. I’m glad I did because it was delicious! It was so good, I forgot to take a picture of it before we devoured it all…

The original recipe for the Orange BBQ Beef says to cook it in a pressure cooker and to use beef brisket, however I used a chuck roast and just put everything in the crockpot which worked great.

German Beer

Surprisingly, both of us really like the German beer we tried the best. I didn’t expect to like it at all, but it was very tasty paired with the beef.

Click on the recipe titles to find the original recipes.

Spinach and Apple Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Pairing: Sweaty Betty Blonde; Boulder Beer Company

Baked Thyme Onion Rings
Pairing: Fixed Gear American Red Ale; Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Pairing: FM 966 Farmhouse Ale; Shiner Brewing

Orange Barbecue Shredded Beef
Pairing: Sheephead Ale; Brau Brothers Brewing Company
Pairing: Warsteiner Premium Verum; Germany

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake with French Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Pairing: Take Down Black Lager; Game On Brewing

Spinach Apple Salad

Paleo Onion Rings

Orange BBQ Beef

Kacie and Joe

And there we are…happy and stuffed!

Spread the Word:

New Product – The Avocado Saver!

amazon

One of the things we want to accomplish with sweet-paleo.com is to show our readers some unique but useful cooking products.

Avo_saver2

 

So with our very first product listing, I wanted to introduce the Avo Saver.  Their are a number of Paleo recipes that use avocados and more often than not, you won’t be using the entire avocado.  So rather than tossing it into a baggie and watching it turn brown almost instantly, try using this to preserve them.

 

My wife literally uses this thing all of the time.  It’s dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and reusable!  No more wasted baggies or half eaten avocados tossed in the trash.  If you’re interested in some other products we like, check out our Products page!

Avo_saver3                       Avo Saver

Spread the Word:

Pork, Orange and Spinach Salad

A few weeks ago Joe, and I sold our house in The Woodlands, TX. We moved back to Omaha, NE from Texas in July and had our house on the market for about 7 months. It was a long roller coaster ride, but the house is now sold. Luckily we have an awesome family who is currently housing us until we get back on our feet again.

We went out to celebrate the sale of our house and enjoyed an awesome meal at 7M Grill. There were a lot of Paleo choices on the menu and they even offered a separate gluten-free menu. I didn’t stick 100% to Paleo that night, but my food was delicious. I had a scallop bisque to start that had big chunks of scallops and a spicy cream base. For dinner, I had roasted pork tenderloin with blueberry sauce, blue cheese mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts with bacon.

Joe had the gluten-free version of the Caribbean chicken that had these delicious grilled bananas dusted in curry powder. I could have just ate those! Then we had their Sin-Viche for dessert that was a chocolate mousse made with five different chocolates served with dark chocolate crisps. I was beyond full after that meal, but it was totally worth it. It’s probably a good thing we can’t afford to go there every weekend or I definitely would.

The pork I had was so tender and juicy that I decided to make a salad with it the next day. This is one of my favorite salads I’ve had in a while. I’ve made similar combinations of flavors but usually use chicken and cashews instead. The pork with the addition of bacon and the olives was delicious.

It also inspired me to try my own take on a pork roast with a blueberry sauce which I made last weekend. It was good, but not quite as good as 7M’s. I tried out this recipe. Now I’m just waiting for another excuse to celebrate so we can go back!

Pork, Orange and Spinach Salad

Serves 1
Prep time 10 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Salad
This is a quick, healthy and delicious salad. You can sub chicken, steak or fish for the protein.

Ingredients

  • Cooked pork (sliced)
  • 1 orange (sliced (save one wedge to squeeze juice over salad))
  • A few handfuls spinach
  • Pecans (chopped)
  • 1 slice bacon (cooked, crumbled)
  • Kalamata olives (pitted and sliced)
  • 1/2 avocado (diced)

Directions

Step 1
Get all ingredients ready and heat pork until warm in microwave if desired. Place spinach in a bowl and top with all other ingredients.
Step 2
Squeeze orange juice from one wedge over salad and eat up!
Spread the Word:

Coq au Riesling (Rosemary Chicken and Veggies in a White Wine Sauce)

I adapted this recipe from one I found in Good Housekeeping. It’s a yummy twist on Coq au Vin that incorporates dry Riesling with chicken, bacon, rosemary and vegetables slowly cooked in a Dutch oven over the stove. This is definitely a weekend meal because there is a little bit of prep time and the chicken ended up taking longer to cook than the original recipe stated. If you don’t want to use wine, I’m sure you could substitute organic chicken or vegetable broth.

I found an inexpensive bottle of Riesling at Trader Joe’s. I basically just asked an employee if they had any that was dry and they pointed me to a really good bottle. Unfortunately, I cannot remember what it was called but it incorporated great flavor into the chicken and was good enough to drink alongside the meal.

The chicken turned out really tender and was great for lunches throughout the week. I served this with roasted sweet potatoes and shredded Brussels sprouts with bacon (recipes to come!).

Coq au Riesling (Rosemary Chicken and Veggies in a White Wine Sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1 cut-up chicken (about 3 lbs), (I used bone-in chicken breasts and chicken legs)
  • 4 slices bacon (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 cups baby carrots (I used organic carrot chips)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry Riesling
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt/pepper

Directions

Step 1
In a Dutch oven, cook chopped bacon on medium heat until crisp (5-7 minutes). Remove to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.
Step 2
Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then cut into small slices. Place leeks in a bowl of cold water to rinse off the dirt (it should all fall to the bottom). Then remove clean leeks and reserve until ready to use.
Step 3
Heat the bacon grease in the pot and add the chicken to brown (do half at a time if needed), about 7-10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
Step 4
Once chicken is browned, add the cleaned leeks and carrots to the pot. Cook until they soften about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste, cook stirring for one minute. Add the wine, rosemary sprigs, thyme, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling and add the chicken back along with any juices.
Step 5
Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 45-60 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through. Discard the rosemary and garnish with bacon.
Spread the Word:

Quick Visual Guide to Eating Paleo

While playing around on Pinterest the other day (you can follow Sweet-Paleo on Pinterest here by the way), I stumbled across this cool infograph that is a quick guide to what the Paleo diet entails. Great for those who are visual people (like my husband!). It’s a good starting point for those who are on the Paleo fence or are brand new to the concept of eating like our ancestors. By eating the way our bodies were designed to eat, we can become healthier and stronger. Why not start now!

Paleo Diet

Spread the Word:

Roasted Rosemary Carrots, Beets and Turnips

I have a tendency to get into recipe ruts from time to time. I end up making the same thing week after week or some variation of the same thing…meat, Brussels sprouts, green beans, butternut squash, sweet potatoes and avocados. These are all things that I love to eat, but my husband definitely let’s me know when he needs something else.

I was shopping at Whole Foods and looking for some veggie inspiration when I found a ginormous beet. It ended up weighing about 2.5 lbs and cost about $6…I was a little shocked at the price and the cashier ended up letting me have it for free because I wasn’t going to buy it. I’m glad I did because I love this veggie dish!

Carrots, beets and turnips get nice and sweet when roasted in the oven and I love pairing fresh rosemary with root vegetables. This would be great alongside some roasted or grilled chicken or a nice, juicy steak!

Roasted Rosemary Carrots, Beets and Turnips

Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Side Dish
Roasting carrots, beets and turnips brings out their natural sweetness. With a touch of fresh rosemary, these veggies are a great side dish addition to your dinner table.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Beets (peeled, cut into 1-2 inch chunks)
  • 5-6 Carrots (peeled, cut into 1-2 inch chunks)
  • 2-3 Turnips (peeled, cut into 1-2 inch chunks)
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Rosemary (chopped)
  • Salt/Pepper

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spread veggies onto a large rimmed baking sheet.
Step 2
Drizzle with olive oil and season with rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix to coat well and arrange veggies in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Step 3
Roast veggies in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and flip over. Return to the oven and bake another 20-25 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.
Step 4
Serve as a side with grilled or roasted chicken or a nice steak.
Spread the Word: