PALEOdISH Sun, 30 Aug 2015 22:04:31 +0000 en hourly 1 Just Float! How Joe Rogan convinced me. Sun, 30 Aug 2015 21:35:27 +0000 What is sensory-deprivation floating? I first heard about floating, while listening to ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ (his podcast). The…

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What is sensory-deprivation floating?

I first heard about floating, while listening to ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ (his podcast). The video was the convincing nail in the coffin (so to speak), for us to give it a go! I agree with so much of what he explains here…

Our experience at H2O Float Spa, in the open-concept float suite (for two)

The low-down. Short review.


The step-by-step details.


  • start by doing a little google search to find a location in your area
  • check out review sites, such as Yelp to give you an idea of what other people think
  • pick a time that works with your schedule and either book online or by calling directly
  • looking for a deal? Ask them if they are running any promotions or dig around on sites such as Groupon, as sometimes they offer reduced pricing or better rates, if you book multiple floats/sign up for a month membership (however, I would recommend purchasing a single float session first to see if you like it)
  • make sure to arrive 10-15 minutes before your float, as you will have a little bit of paper work to fill out (and you don’t want to feel rushy rush)
  • we packed a little bag with soap, shampoo and conditioner to use before and after the float, but they also had all that available as well
  • bring a comb/brush and any hair products you would like to use after – they have complimentary blow-dryers/diffusers in the change rooms
  • eat a light snack/meal before you go, so you don’t hear your tummy grumbling throughout the float session


  • when we arrived. they welcomed us and gave us a clipboard with a waiver to fill out
  • they then asked us to remove our shoes, and provided us with complimentary flip flops to wear
  • from there, we were given a key for our locker to secure any belongings we had
  • we were then shown down the hallway to the change rooms, where we could undress and put on their big, comfy, white terry cloth robe
  • we locked up in the change room, except our shower products in the baggie that we took along with us
  • after that, we were asked to be seated in this lounge area for a couple minutes, until the float suite was ready
  • be sure to use the bathroom (if needed), before the float!



  • when the pool suite room was ready, we were guided in by a very friendly staff member
  • upon entering the room, you could see it included a large, double pool and an enclosed shower
  • the room and water are kept at a fairly warm temperature, in order to mimic your internal body
  • the gal explained the importance of showering thoroughly, both before, and after the float
  • this location provided us with mouldable wax earplugs to put in our ear to keep the water out
  • when entering the pool, do so with care as the bottom of the tub can be slippery, due to the salt



  • you have the option of wearing a bathing suit or going in the buck (naked)
  • you can also choose whether you wish the room to be in complete darkness (lights out) or with ambient-soft coloured (lights) on in the tub
  • listening to relaxing music while floating is also a nice feature that they offer, to enhance the float – cue nature sounds (bringing in your own playlist on your phone is also sometimes available)
  • to maximize your floating experience, playing around with different arm positions may be helpful, to find most comfort (arms at your side, across your chest, behind your neck etc…)
  • using an inflatable neck pillow is an option too
  • as you become weightless, you may hear some ‘creaking’ noises of your joints, bones, muscles (don’t be weirded out)
  • once I got comfortable and quieted my mind, I found myself in a super deep, relaxed, gone-to-the world state (we both totally feel asleep!!!)
  • don’t stress if you felt a little uneasy the first time, as it said to get better every time you float!


  • the first thing I asked myself, was ‘how was that possibly 75 minutes?! (it goes by so fast)
  • I woke feeling utterly rested – kinda indescribable really
  • you just feel absolutely RENEWED!!!
  • eases muscle tension and joint pressure
  • worth every penny (in my opinion)

NOTE: We have been back a couple time since…and the each time we go, the experience just keeps getting better and better! 



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28 + Super Summer Salads Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:59:16 +0000 Photo courtesy: Lisa Bryan | Downshiftology Summertime is the perfect time for the grill…and mixing up MORE salads. With…

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Photo courtesy: Lisa Bryan | Downshiftology

Summertime is the perfect time for the grill…and mixing up MORE salads. With so much fresh, local produce available at most farmers markets and grocers, it is an outstanding opportunity to get creative and try getting new or beloved vegetables on your plate. I am a full-on salad lover year round, but when you don’t feel like heating up the kitchen or chowing down a heavy, hot meal; one of these salad might be your answer. Most of them are quick and easy to prepare and require minimal cooking…if any at all!  I have included a wide variety, so feel free to pick one that jumps out a you, and give it a go!

Who knows…it just might become a regular number in your weekly rotation or turn into that delectable dish that you bring to your next BBQ with family or friends. Heck…there are plenty of choices here in this salad selection, that you could actually try a new one every single day of the month! Have a poke around in the image gallery below. Click on one that ‘tickles your fancy’. The touch of the mouse with bring you directly to the original recipe on the creators’ site. First up for us – Asian Noodle Salad, by Grok Grub. Enjoy!

~ A special shout-out to the bloggers below for graciously sharing their favourite summer salads with us! XO

Asian Noodle Salad | Grok Grub Summer Garden Salad | Downshiftology Easy, Raw, Summer Fruit & Kale Salad | Eat Your Beets Buttery Sweet Corn, Tomato & Feta Salad | Simple Roots Wellness Chicken & Sprout Veggie Salad | A Girl Worth Saving Zesty Red Cabbage Coleslaw | The Curious Coconut Kale, Apple & Pancetta Salad | Merit + Fork Santorini Summer Salad | Plaid & Paleo Roasted Beet, Blood Orange & Mandarin Salad | Downshiftology Eggplant Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes & Arugula | Downshiftology Turkey, Bacon & Raspberry Salad | Comfort Bites Sweet & Sour Kale Salad | Hollywood Homestead Spanish Tuna Salad with Roasted Red Peppers | And Here We Are Tequillaberry's Salad | Real Food RN Spinach & Berry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing | Living Loving Paleo Southwest Chicken Salad | Primally Inspired Simple Cucumber Salad | Paleo Living Magazine Tomato Basil Salad | Paleo Living Magazine Seven Layer Salad | A Girl Worth Saving Veggie Salad with Dairy-Free Pesto | Anya's Eats Tuna Salad | A Girl Worth Saving Cucumber Tomato Salad | Merit + Fork Persian Watercress, Strawberry, Chicken & Bacon Salad | Comfort Bites Arugula Salad with Orange Mustard Dressing | Hollywood Homestead No-Bake Crab Salad | Cavegirl Cuisine Perfect Summer Salad | Veggie Staples Fennel & Orange Salad |And Here We Are Lemon Basil Squash Pasta | Paleoschmaleo


As a bonus: I will leave you with some of my favourite salads from my site for you to browse!

Triple Love Salad | PALEOdISH Meaty Taco Salad | PALEOdISH Cabbage, Carrot & Cucumber Slaw | PALEOdISH Bacon 'n Dill Sweet Potato Salad | PALEOdISH Zingy Tuna Salad | PALEOdISH Fruit Salad - Very Berry Coconut Parfait | PALEOdISH

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Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Compound Herb Ghee Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:38:28 +0000 When we received Steph’s beautiful book, ‘The Performance Paleo Cookbook’ in the mail…we truly had a difficult time deciding…

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When we received Steph’s beautiful book, ‘The Performance Paleo Cookbook’ in the mail…we truly had a difficult time deciding what to make first. Decisions…decisions…decisions. After consulting with my husband and after a long deliberation…the ‘Hasselback Sweet Potatoes’ came out on top. They were intriguing to us. Like something we had never done before. Simple, yet gorgeous in presentation. Easy to prepare, yet complex in flavour. We followed the recipe and hoped for leftovers (crossed our fingers), but we irresistibly gobbled them all up before the vision of ‘tupperware’ container even entered our minds.  They really didn’t stand a chance, to be honest!

PP‘The Performance Paleo Cookbook’ holds something a little special between the pages for everyone!!! Steph offers meals that are geared towards building strength, maximizing recovery, boosting your nutrient intake and refuelling your body. The photos are brilliant and the information included in each chapter may be just what you need to help you get stronger and healthier, one meal at a time.  We truthfully cannot recommend this book enough. Other recipes from Steph’s book that we have tried to date include: ‘Creamy Mango Jalapeño Dressing’, ‘Swiss Chard Salad With Toasted Walnuts’ and ‘Baked Cinnamon Carrots.’ Many more are on our ‘to-try’ list!

To read more about her wicked awesomeness happenings…go check out Steph Gaudreau ~ the creator of Stupid Easy Paleo. She’s a nutritionist and science nerd, and she loves to lift heavy things up (and put them back down again). Let her show you how easy it is to eat real, nutritious food!


Yield: 2-4 people
Hasselback potatoes originated in Sweden, and they make basic roasted spuds special. When roasted in the oven, the fan-shaped cuts get crispy and delicious. Top these sweet potatoes with a compound butter of ghee and fresh herbs for a sophisticated finish.
  • 1 lb (454 g) white sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) melted ghee
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) ghee
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary, about 1 sprig
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, about 5 sprigs
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Scrub the skin of the sweet potatoes thoroughly. Use a very sharp knife to make several vertical cuts from the top of the sweet potatoes most of the way through, stopping about ¼ inch/6 millimeters from the bottom. Place the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet. Brush with the melted ghee and sprinkle the sea salt on top. Roast for 60 to 75 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, make the compound ghee. In a small bowl, combine the ghee, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Stir well with a spoon until it forms a soft mixture. Top the hot roasted sweet potatoes with the compound ghee.
Use white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. In this recipe, I make an
exception about not eating the skin because it’s so crispy.
Nutrition Information
Fat: 10g Carbs: 21g Protein: 2g


Photo courtesy of Stephanie Gaudreau, author of ‘The Performance Paleo Cookbook.

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The Eve of ‘Frugal Paleo’ Tue, 02 Dec 2014 03:03:44 +0000 I had the pleasure of meeting Ciarra back in August at the Ancestral Health Symposium at University of California,…

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I had the pleasure of meeting Ciarra back in August at the Ancestral Health Symposium at University of California, Berkeley. She is the talented gal behind the site Popular Paleo. She was so enjoyable to be around. Completely glowing and full of energy. Her passion for cooking and eating healthful food beams as you get chatting with her. During that time, we got talking about her upcoming book. I loved the concept right away, as I knew it would be of help to many. Eating amazing food on a budget (without skimping on taste and quality) well….that is just pure genius.

Fast forward 3 months to now! That time has arrived, and I couldn’t be more excited for her. Having just gone through this same experience myself, it just makes me so pumped for her to release her first book….tomorrow (RELEASE DATE: DEC 2/14!!!) ‘As visions of sugar plums danced in their heads…’  (Ciarra will be dreaming of ‘Brussels Sprout Hash’, ‘Ginger Peach Pulled Pork’ and ‘Tex -Mex Casserole’, as she crawls into the sheets tonight!)

I can imagine the feelings of anticipation will be like a child on Christmas Eve. Without further gabbing from me…go order your copy tonight to receive some sweet deals from Ciarra. You seriously DO NOT want to miss this opportunity. Read more about all of this below and check on the bonus recipe too!!!


The Frugal Paleo Cookbook shows everyone how to eat well and eat well within their means, by maximizing time in the kitchen, avoiding waste and preparing delicious food that you actually want to eat. You won’t find pretentious food here; only easily accessible ingredients, prepared using approachable cooking methods and in ways that prioritize saving time, effort and sanity!


For those on the Paleo diet, one of the biggest concerns isn’t the variety but the price. Luckily, Ciarra Hannah, creator of, has 100 easy, wallet-friendly Paleo recipes that’ll feed the whole family.

Ciarra uses flavorful but less expensive cuts of meat in traditional yet approachable cooking methods, as well as her roll-forward technique for creating multiple dishes to maximize your time in the kitchen. You’ll love her keys to budgeting, tips for making items ahead of time, 5-ingredients-or-less seasoning blends and other money-saving pointers.

Ciarra offers an incredible and practical selection of Paleo dishes for everyday eating including Tequila Carnitas, Stupid Easy Asian Beef, Chicken & Chorizo Stew, Cuban Tilapia in Mojo and
 Tater Tot Casserole with Sweet Potato Tater Tots! So, if you’re loving the Paleo diet but hating the amount of money you spend each month, this book is a must-have. Save your money, enjoy tasty grain-free meals and be healthy!

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 8.40.00 PM

Here’s the skinny with the pre-order bonus package. Anyone who pre-orders the book gets all of this stuff along with it when they click HERE! Since the pre-order discount takes the book to like $13.50, it’s a great deal! PLUS>>>AN EXTRA 30% OFF!!!

– 20 Frugal Finds at Costco
– 10 Paleo Diet Myth Busters
– 7 Special Offers from Barefoot Provisions, Tx Bar Organics grass-fed beef, Fat Face Skincare, Pure Indian Foods, WholeMe, Exo Protein Bars, and 50% off PrimalPal—the best online meal planner out there!

IF you aren’t already convinced…here is an incredible bonus recipe that Ciarra has offered to share with all of you from your new cookbook. These are honestly to die for. The crispy crunch of these tater tots brought me right back to my youth. Total comfort food, made healthy. They were super easy to make…and definitely didn’t last long in our house!!!


Sweet Potato Tater Tots
I’d like to say that I came up with these sweet potato tater tots for my kids, but we all know the truth. Adults love these just as much as kids do! Tater Tots are an irresistible crunchy side dish, which can actually be made Paleo-friendly thanks to a couple of sweet potatoes—not yams—and some good-quality oil for frying.
  • 2 to 2.5 lbs (908 g to 1.1 kg) yellow sweet potatoes (not yams)
  • ½ cup (118 mL) Paleo-friendly fat (I prefer lard, duck fat, avocado oil or coconut oil)
  • pinch of salt (I like coarse-grain Celtic sea salt)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Wash the sweet potatoes and poke a few times with a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature. This will take a few hours, so plan ahead.
  2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin. It should easily slide off when you drag the back of a butter knife across it. Discard the peels.
  3. Using a box grater, shred the sweet potatoes. The potatoes should be somewhat sticky from having the intrinsic sugars activated from the baking. In fact, it’s the natural sugars from the sweet potatoes that act as the binder for the tot.
  4. Use a tablespoon or something comparable to scoop out spoonfuls of shredded potato. Working one at a time, roll the potatoes back and forth in the palm of your hand a few times, then squish the ends flat to create the classic tater tot shape. Continue working until all the potato is used up.
  5. Now move to frying the newly formed tots. I like to use an 8-inch (20-cm) cast-iron skillet because it is narrow with high-sides. This means less oil is needed, which saves money. There is some flexibility between which Paleo-friendly oil to select, but in general animal-based fats will yield a better flavor, so my vote is for lard from pastured pigs or duck fat. In the event you don’t have these on hand, avocado oil works great—as does coconut oil. Avoid oils with low smoke points like olive or bacon drippings. They won’t fry properly.
  6. Melt or heat your chosen fat in a small, high-sided pan at just shy of high heat. Don’t max out your dial, but get it pretty close.
  7. When the oil is hot, fry 5 or 6 tots at a time, working in batches. Frying only a few at a time will keep the oil temperature stable. This means the tots will have a crispy outside and a creamy inside.
  8. Each side only requires about a minute or so to brown, so keep a close eye on the tots and always be ready to turn and/or remove them. The end caps don’t generally need frying since the oil level is likely high enough to brown the edges.
  9. Once the Tater Tots are golden brown, remove them from the oil and transfer to a surface lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat until all of the tots are cooked.
  10. Season with salt (I like coarse-grain Celtic sea salt on these) and maybe a sprinkling of House Seasoning (from page 187 of the book) for an extra kick. Serve with your favorite Paleo dipping sauce or use these to make Paleo Hotdish (on page 48 of the book)—more commonly known as Tater Tot Casserole.

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Healthy Eating was Never Easier with These Delicious 3, 4 and 5 Ingredient Recipes

By: Cindy Sexton

Page Street Publishing / October 2014

Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer Book Cover

Sticking with a Paleo diet may seem daunting to many people, especially making the time to cook. Cindy Sexton, the creator of, believes cooking Paleo meals and snacks can not only be a breeze to do, but can often be done with 5 ingredients or less, thereby saving lots of time and energy in the kitchen. To that end, Cindy has created PALEO TAKES 5 – OR FEWER [Page Street Publishing, October 2014, $21.99 US], the perfect cookbook for anyone who follows a Paleo Diet, or is simply looking for healthy recipes that are delicious and hassle-free.

“With a less is more mentality, these recipes will allow the true flavors of the ingredients to shine through,” says Cindy. “Each dish will leave you feeling accomplished knowing how little it took to create something purely delicious.”

Cindy’s recipes are designed to complement each other, so home cooks can put together an entire meal from mains to accompanying sides. The book is packed with mouthwatering three – to – five ingredient Paleo recipes such as:

  • Ginger Balsamic Date Glazed Chicken Legs
  • Chorizo and Kale with Sautéed Onions
  • Lobster with Tarragon Parsnip Fries
  • Venison with Juniper Berry and Pomegranate Sauce
  • Herb Buttered Whole Chicken Stuffed With Sauerkraut
  • Bacon-Crusted Chicken Strips
  • Beet and Brussels Sprout Salad
  • Zucchini Noodles With Sautéed Shrimp
  • Lemon and Tomato Baked Halibut in Parchment Pouches

 * Note – Cooking fats, vinegars and select dried herbs and spices are not included in the ingredient count.

Maintaining the Paleo Diet has never been so easy. PALEO TAKES 5 – OR FEWER makes grocery shopping, meal prep, and cooking quick, simple, healthy, and most importantly: delicious!

About the Author

Cindy Sexton is the creator of the popular site She lives in Toronto, Canada.

Robb Wolf is a New York Times bestselling Paleo author and a leader in the Paleo community.

Mathieu Lalonde, PH.D, is an organic chemist who lectures at Harvard University.

  • • •


Healthy Eating was Never Easier with These Delicious 3, 4 and 5 Ingredient Recipes

By: Cindy Sexton, Robb Wolf (Foreword by), Mat Lalonde (Contributions by)

October 2014 / Page Street Publishing

$21.99 US; Paperback

ISBN: 9-781-62414-075-4

Ebook also available.


Trina Kaye – The Trina Kaye Organization

310-915-0970 /

What people are saying about Paleo Takes 5 -or- Fewer:

“The recipes are fantastic, the information is easy-to-understand and her enthusiasm for the Paleo lifestyle is infectious.”

—MARK SISSON, author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of

“Distilling a recipe to its bare essentials doesn’t mean skimping on creativity, taste or nutrition. In Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer, Cindy’s nourishing and amazingly simple dishes burst off the pages with originality and flavor. Each of her carefully chosen ingredients has a delicious, nutrient-packed punch, and when combined, the results will astonish you.”

—MICHELLE TAM, New York Times bestselling author of Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans

“Straightforward, easy and packed with flavor, Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer is going to be a game-changer for those on a Paleo diet. Witty writing, bright photographs and a handy nutrient density chart all combine
to make these simple ingredients come together magically for one of the best Paleo cookbooks I’ve seen.”

—DIANA RODGERS, NTP, author of the bestselling Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go

“Trust us when we say you want this book!”

—JULIE & CHARLES MAYFIELD, bestselling authors of Paleo Comfort Foods and Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods

“Cindy has created a cooking resource for real people who want to improve their nutrition and still enjoy eating. This book is a perfect addition to anyone’s kitchen.”

—GREG EVERETT, author of Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Head Coach of Catalyst Athletics Weightlifting

“Cindy’s appetizing and satisfying recipes are ones that you will want to make over and over again.”

—KEN HITCHCOCK, Stanley Cup Winning NHL Head Coach

“Cindy absolutely NAILED it with Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer! Every page has something new, fun and creative. The first time I sat down with this fantastic cookbook, my eyes lit up – I found myself saying out loud, again and again: “Wow! We’ve GOT to make that!” Tarragon parsnip fries? Clam Curry Mussels? Yes, please! These recipes will surprise, impress, and satisfy, but as creative as they are, they definitely WON’T overwhelm. These are delicious yet doable – perfect for beginner and seasoned Paleo chef alike.

—LIZ WOLFE, author of bestselling Eat the Yolks

“With Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer, Cindy proves that meals can be nourishing, fun, and above all – dead simple.  Her take on basic, unadulterated tastes is remarkably inventive, and a great fit for busy home chefs everywhere.”

—RUSS CRANDALL, author of bestselling The Ancestral Table

“Cindy new book makes it obvious that healthy, nutrient-dense food and culinary excellence are not mutually exclusive—and in fact, go hand in hand. Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer will make a great addition to any Paleo foodie’s kitchen shelf.”

—CHRIS KRESSER, author of the New York Times Bestseller Your Personal Paleo Code.

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Bacon-Crusted Chicken Strips Sun, 05 Oct 2014 18:03:43 +0000 Okay…well this is how my brain works.  Home from the gym and bum is fully parked on the couch.…

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Okay…well this is how my brain works.  Home from the gym and bum is fully parked on the couch.  ‘The Duster’ utters the classic line…’what do you want for dinner?’  I responded….’hmm let’s see!?!’  We could make those ‘breaded chicken strips!?’  Ya…that’s a possibility…

I peeled myself off the couch to take a peakeroo in fridge to see what else we could throw in the mix.  With a slight notion of something ‘shake and bake(ish)’ floating through my mind…the pound of bacon jumped out at me and gave me the following idea!  Why not take a similar version of our original ‘breaded chicken strips’ and make ‘em extra fancy schmancy by grinding up some farm fresh pork bacon in there.  What is not to love, right?  I thought the flavour of the chicken-bacon combo would be to die for…and I was right (although my husband was someone reluctant to trying this idea in the beginning).  To be honest, I was a little skeptical myself.  I wondered if the mixture would stick properly and fry up to a nice and palatable consistency.  Everything worked out fabulously in the end.  This recipe is a definite keeper for us.  It will serve as a yummy treat every once in a while.

Bacon-Crusted Chicken Strips
Recipe Type: Main, Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2
  • 1 lb bacon (good quality)
  • 2 chicken breasts - flattened and sliced into strips
  • a few shakes (sorry, don't remember exact amount) almond flour
  • 1-2 eggs - whisked (for dipping)
  • assorted spices (optional)
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  1. start by lining 1 or 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil
  2. place bacon strips by laying them out flat on the sheet(s)
  3. put in oven (separately) and cook at 325 degrees, until desired crispiness (do not overcook)
  4. remove from pan, and set aside to cool
  5. when cooled, put strips of bacon in a 'magic bullet' style device and grind
  6. pour this mixture into a separate bowl
  7. add in some almond flour and desired spices (optional) to create the 'crust' mixture
  8. meanwhile, flatten chicken breast, using a meat mallet
  9. cut chicken breasts into even(ish) strips
  10. re-add some leftover bacon fat back into a frying pan and heat on medium
  11. take each chicken strip and dip in in egg and roll is 'crust' mixture, making sure they are fully coated
  12. arrange in the frying pan and cook for approx. 3 minutes or so on each side (depending on thickness)
  13. using tongs, flip when ready and repeat on the other side (keep a close eye, as you do not want to overcook them)
  14. served with a side garden salad and sliced avocado
  15. dip in homemade sauces or mayo for added pizzazz
  16. enjoy!
If you do not wish to use bacon in your recipe, follow the above steps while just omitting this ingredient and adding in a little extra almond flour to create the 'breaded' effect • play around with different spices such as, cumin, paprika, cayenne, cajun etc • also, feel free to fry them in a pan, using coconut oil, as an alternative



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Beet and Brussels Sprout Salad Sun, 05 Oct 2014 18:02:10 +0000 I need to preface by saying this is one yummy little number.  I decided to combine one of my…

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I need to preface by saying this is one yummy little number.  I decided to combine one of my all-time favs (beets), with something I have never EVER tried before (brussel sprouts).  This Saturday morn, we took another visit to the Evergreen Brickworks Farmer’s Market.  Something that has become an awaited weekend adventure.  I love the atmosphere.  I love the people.  I love chattin’.  Week after week, the icing on the gluten-free cake is when the vendors and farmers start to recognize your face and call you by name.  Really cool!

Amongst our market haul, were amazing organic heirloom beets, brussel sprouts and fresh perch.  To put this dish over the edge, I thought it would be ideal to cook up some bacon in the oven first and then roast the beets, onions, garlic and brussel sprouts in the fat afterwards.  Two words.  Fantastic decision.  It was so flavourful and delicious.  After slowly roasted in a big pan in the oven, everything caramelized together, to make one huge mound of goodness.  While still warm, we platted this on same mixed greens and drizzled with some really good quality olive oil.  Trust me…once you actually have a taste of what olive oil should really taste like, you will never want to go back to your other ‘cheapy’ brand.  I highly recommend paying the few extra bucks and getting something worthwhile if you are able.

Beet and Brussels Sprout Salad
Recipe Type: Side, Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4
  • 6-8 beets - I used heirloom beets (different varieties) - cubed
  • 1 small basket of brussel sprouts - cleaned thoroughly
  • 1 medium white onion - thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic - chopped
  • .5 - 1 lb bacon
  • 3 tsp dried thyme
  • ground pepper
  • sea salt - I used coarse rosemary & lemon
  • chopped nuts - I used a mix of pecans, walnuts, almonds and cashews (optional)
  • handful or two of mixed greens
  • a splash of olive oil
  1. on a tin foil-lined baking sheet, lay and cook bacon in oven until desired crispiness
  2. remove and set aside, keeping the bacon fat for cooking the vegetables
  3. in a large roasting pan, add beets, brussel sprouts, onion and garlic
  4. drizzle with leftover bacon fat
  5. add in a few dashes of ground dried thyme, ground pepper and sea salt
  6. roast in the oven at 350(ish), until softened and browned
  7. in last 5-7 minutes of roasting time, crumble in the bacon and set to broil (watch carefully)
  8. on a dish, plate a couple handfuls of mixed greens
  9. while warm, scoop out several spoonfuls of the roasted mixture
  10. top with a sprinkle of chopped nuts (optional, but they were a yummy touch!)
  11. finish by adding a drizzle of good quality olive oil (optional as well, but recommended)
  12. enjoy!


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Bacon ‘n’ Dill Sweet Potato Salad Sun, 05 Oct 2014 18:00:36 +0000 Make it your own.  Cooking paleo-styles doesn’t have to be all that difficult.  It is quite simple actually.  Read…

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Make it your own.  Cooking paleo-styles doesn’t have to be all that difficult.  It is quite simple actually.  Read on to see how easy it can be.  This may be especially helpful to you if you are new to paleo.  Substituting for paleo ingredients is highly doable in most cases.  Take an old family recipe and make it your own.  Grab a friend’s go-to dish and make it your own.  Spruce up a meal idea from your past, by adding a new somethin’-somethin’ and make it your own.   Shake up meals that you see being prepared on T.V, by mixin’ and matchin’ and make it your own.  Or…….even try, transforming an entree from your favourite restaurant and make it your own.  Have a looksy at a recipe from a cookbook and make it your own.  Add in your own twist or flair, to make it unique. ‘Own it’, by adding in ingredients that suit your tastes and desires.   ‘Own it’ by being upfront and giving credit, when and where credit is due.  When inspired by someone or something, be sure to make note.  Although most of the dishes I make, I think up on my own or create by throwing random ingredients together…this one was not a PALEOdISH  ‘original’ to speak .

I purposely choose to post this one because – a) I love it so much and b) – knew the initial ‘store-bought version’ (source of my inspiration) wasn’t fully paleo.  It was my mission then, to make a more paleo-ish recipe.  You can do this too!  Why re-invent the wheel!?!  Let’s face it, we have all done this before.  Is it copying?  Naww…not in my books.  Again, just be sure to show appreciation and acknowledgment towards the ‘thing’ or the ‘being’ that gave you the idea in the first place.

I first tried this salad quite some time ago (last year), when I was competing in the Element CrossFit Challenge.  We were running behind and crunched for time…(as per usual), so I decided to pick up a few things to bring with me from the grocery store down the street.  I walked in…did my littl’ stroll about and grabbed some ‘sweet potato salad’ from the “meal-to-go counter” (some of you from Toronto, may know the salad I am talking about – think Loblaw’s or ValuMart).  In my mind, I thought this would be a quick, easy and yummy ‘post-wod’ meal.  So off I went…and was good to go.

Since then, I have been meaning to ask them what the exact ingredients were…and from there, substitute ‘this and that’ in order to make my own.  So, this is exactly what I did.  Many people are hestitant or afraid to ask store owners, farmers, restaurant managers etc…what is in their food!  Don’t be!  Most places have the information readily available and are happy to provide it to you.  Alright, on with the story…I proceeded to ask the young lady behind the counter and she responded by pulling out a big binder from beside the meat slicer.  She flipped to the appropriate page and rhymed off the goods…the salad included: sweet potatoes, green onions, cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, minced garlic, cilantro, canola oil, balsamic vinegar, mixed herbs, salt and pepper….and SUGAR.

After reading/hearing the list of ingredients, I thought to myself…meh…not too…TOO bad, but I can def make it more paleo and geared towards my taste buds.  So this is what I did.  I was influenced by the basic foundation for the recipe, so I obviously stuck with the roasted sweet potatoes and green onions, but made the following modifications.  I took out the dried fruit…and added bacon.  Why bacon?  Well because it is wicked in damn near everything.  Then I threw in pumpkin seeds, rather than sunflower.  I wanted to try pine nuts, but they were nowhere to be found!  Kept the garlic, but roasted the cloves instead.  Yum!  Switched the cilantro for fresh dill, because it is my fav!  Ixnayed the canola and opted for olive oil instead.  Stayed on par with a splash of balsamic and a sprinkle or two of sea salt and fresh ground pep.  However, gave the mixed dried herbs the boot and added in some chili flakes instead, to kick it up a notch.  I totally garbaged the sugar, while wondering why it was really even in there in the first place!?!  Oh ya…I also squeezed in some fresh lime juice, because lately it goes in just about everything!!!

As you can see, a few  minor changes here and there, but they def made a noticeable and fairly drastic change in the end product’s taste.  I would have to say that the 3 ingredients that altered it the most were – the bacon, the fresh dill and pepper flakes.  The roasted garlic was a close 4th, as that flavour was more prominent in my concoction.  Again, back to the real purpose of my post.  I wanted to show you that recipes are ever-changing.  One individual person does not ‘own’ the only ‘egg frittata’, ‘beef stew’ or sole ‘roasted chicken’ recipe.   Be creative, don’t over-think it and experiment with an array of amazing substitutes.  Cooking can be an old pastime, a new venture or something to be shared among family and friends.  Find a way to make it your own.  Make it fit your lifestyle.  More importantly, find a way to make it enjoyable.  It is possible…explore a little.


the gal who never used to like to cook.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Bacon 'n' Dill Sweet Potato Salad
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2-4
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes - chopped and roasted
  • 4 cloves of garlic - chopped and roasted
  • olive oil for roasting and dressing
  • 8 slices of thick bacon - cooked and ripped into pieces
  • Dressing:
  • 2 limes - freshly squeezed juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 green onions - thinly chopped
  • a handful of fresh dill - chopped
  • a dash or two of pepper flakes (optional)
  • a few sprinkles of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • garnish with a handful of raw pumpkin seeds
  1. arrange slices of bacon on a tin foil-covered baking sheet and cook for 25-30 mins at 375 heat - keep an eye on it, as thickness of the bacon can vary cooking time
  2. when cooked, set aside to cool
  3. next, peel and chop sweet potatoes and garlic into cubed-like chunks
  4. toss in some olive/coconut oil and arrange on another baking sheet and roast for 30 mins or so at the same heat, until slightly browned
  5. remove and set aside to cool
  6. in the meantime, chop up green onion, fresh dill and prepare the other ingredients to form the dressing mixture in a bowl. Stir all dressing ingredients together.
  7. once the roasted sweet potatoes and garlic are cooled, proceed by adding in bacon pieces.
  8. finally, pour in dressing and mix everything together thoroughly - I like to use my hands here to make sure all is coated well!
  9. garnish with raw pumpkin seeds or other nut/seed of choice
  10. can be stored in refrigerator and is even more delicious and flavourful if served cold the next day!
As with any dressing, feel free to taste and tweak it as you go!


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Chunky Beef Chilli Sun, 05 Oct 2014 17:59:20 +0000 We made this concoction up last night for dins.  Slightly similar to a previous chili recipe of mine, HOWEVER…

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We made this concoction up last night for dins.  Slightly similar to a previous chili recipe of mine, HOWEVER def jazzed up with more flavour and bacon!  I have to say…the bacon was a solid addition.  Today, it has served me very well as a breakfast, lunch AND dinner.  I kid you not!  Some people get all weirded out my eating the same kinds of meals several times in a row and making use of their leftovers.  Not this gal.   More specifically, when it comes to stews, chilies and soups…sometimes they are even better the next day.  Anyhoo, I am keeping in short and sweet tonight.  Hitting the hay…and off to the states tomorrow to do a little shoppy shops!!!  LE CREUSET outlet store…here we come!  TA TA for now…
Chunky Beef Chilli
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 4 +
  • coconut/olive oil- for cooking veggies
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 8-10 slices of bacon - or more if desired!
  • 1 can diced tomatoes- organic (just tomatoes- look at ingredients)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes- same as above
  • 2 package mushroom- quartered into chunks
  • 3-4 large carrots- coined
  • 3 stalks celery - chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion- thickly diced
  • 3 zucchini- diced into chunks
  • 2 red pepper- chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 tbsp ground smoked chipotle chilies
  • loads of chili powder - add and taste - repeat (to reach desired flavour and colour richness)
  • fresh cilantro- chopped for garnish
  1. start by browning the ground beef, on medium heat in a frying pan- set aside
  2. in the meantime, bake the bacon in the oven at 325 degrees, until fully cooked - set aside to cool, then break into chunks
  3. in a separate dutch oven (large), sautee all the veggies in coconut/olive oil on medium heat, until cooked (softened)
  4. drain most of the liquid from the veggies, as you don't want it too watered down
  5. then take the ground beef and bacon pieces and add both to the veggies in the dutch oven
  6. next, add in both cans of tomatoes and stir throughly
  7. then, sprinkle in desired amounts of spices (taste test as you go - we put in lots as that is the way we prefer it!)
  8. let cook on low-medium heat- stirring occasionally
  9. dish and garnish with fresh cilantro
  10. enjoy!
The above recipe is wonderful for freezing smaller portions, because of it's size. I also enjoy using the leftovers as a yummy topping on eggs or over greens. • One of my 'readers' the other day, suggested that it may be a tasty topping for my twice baked chipotle sweet potato. Good call!



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