Paleo, But Not Paleo

While I don’t follow a paleo lifestyle, I do appreciate many of the ideas behind it. I have never been a person to subscribe to just one lifestyle when it comes to food. I prefer to listen to my body, eat as clean as possible and try to stay balanced with my choices. I’m also not one for depriving myself. If I want pizza, I’m going to eat pizza. If I want a regular baked potato, I’m going to eat a regular baked potato and I may even put a little margarine on it even though I know it’s not healthy. I’m such a rebel!

Regardless of this, I have been trying a lot of paleo recipes lately. I do feel better when I eat clean and honestly, paleo is just a strict version of clean eating. I just don’t stress out if I only have soy sauce and not coconut aminos or if I have peanut butter and not almond butter. I have a limited budget for food and I do the best I can when shopping, however there are times that $6 for a jar of something just doesn’t work and that’s okay.

With that said, I got very excited when I found this recipe for Kotleti which are Ukrainian meat patties. It’s rare that you find recipes like this unless you specifically look for them (I don’t know why I haven’t before) but Mike is half Ukrainian and since his mom passed away when he was young, the only traditional recipe we have is her peirogi recipe, which we love. I enjoy showing the kids pieces of their heritage (even though they make a funny face at most food items) and I hope they will carry on the pierogi tradition when they grow up and have families of their own.

I prepared the Kotleti with a spiced roasted vegetable recipe I found and I was pleased with both, especially because they can be made during meal prep sessions.

Kotleti – Ukrainian Meat Patties
Recipe from A Teaspoon Of Rosemary

Kotleti and Roasted VegetablesIngredients
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Directions
1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix well using your hands, until everything is incorporated.
2. Wet your hands and shape a two inch ball of meat into an oval and then pat it gently to flatten it into a patty.
3. Heat a frying pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Place about 4-5 patties into the pan. Do not overcrowd.
4. Flip the patties after a few minutes, once they have browned and repeat on the other side. Don’t worry if your patties are not cooked through all the way, they will continue to cook in the next step.
5. While the patties fry, put some water in another saucepan (just enough to cover the bottom) and set it next to the frying pan.
6. When the patties are browned on both sides, remove them with the spatula and place them closely in the saucepan with water, then cover.
7. Once all of the patties are browned and stacked in the saucepan with water, bring that saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes. This will ensure all of the patties are cooked through while making them moist and tender.

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Paleo Diet Roasted Vegetables
Recipe from AncestralChef.com

Ingredients
2 carrots, peeled
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
1 lb of Brussels sprouts
1/4 – 1/3 cup of cumin powder
1 tablespoon of turmeric powder
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 tablespoon of sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Chop up the peeled carrots and sweet potatoes into large chunks.
3. Boil the carrots, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes.
4. Strain out the vegetables and place on a baking tray.
5. Sprinkle with the spices and melted coconut oil and rub everything together.
6. Roast in oven for 30 minutes until soft and slightly browned.

I will tell you that I drastically reduced the spices used in the roasted vegetables and I didn’t have tumeric on hand but they came out really yummy. While I normally just cut up my vegetables and toss them in the over for an hour to roast, I did like the reduced cooking time with boiling them first, even though it meant another pot to wash.

The other upside to the recipes I’ve been trying is that they have all been using similar ingredients, so it allows me to buy some vegetables in bulk and save some money.

Do you have heritage specific recipes that are a tradition in your family?

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