Foodie Friday: Paleo Perfected Conquests

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I mentioned in my monthly wrap up that I found this gem at the grocery store checkout, and didn’t think twice about purchasing it. Cook’s Illustrated is my absolute favorite resource for all things food related. Their cookbooks are more like textbooks, and the test kitchen chefs try hundreds of versions of each recipe before coming up with their own, perfected version. I enjoy reading about the process and the methods they use to design their recipes.

My goal is to cook every single meal in this magazine in order to continue to develop my paleo cooking skills. I’ve mentioned before that I like to call myself “paleo-ish”. About 90% of my week (when I’m not cheating, like last week!) is paleo, with the other 10% is the “ish”. I can’t get down with subscribing to just one dietary label, for starters. I believe everything is good for you in moderation. I truly love paleo foods, so I don’t have a hard time following the lifestyle. But I still love my pizza, so there’s that. I feel better in general and have lots of energy when I’m on the paleo wagon, and it works for me.

This week, I tried the following recipes:

Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Anise

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I love anise, my husband doesn’t. It tastes a lot like licorice or fennel, but anise isn’t fennel – anise and fennel come from different plants. In this recipe, you butterfly the shrimp and make a brine. While it’s soaking in the brine, you create a mixture of ghee (clarified butter, but I just use Kerrygold butter since it comes from grass fed cows), extra virgin olive oil, garlic (six cloves, YAS!), anise seeds, red pepper flakes, pepper, and fresh parsley. After draining and patting the shrimp dry, you coat the shrimp with the butter/spice mixture, and broil on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.

It’s a super easy recipe, and has a ton of flavor. I used shrimp that was already peeled and deveined, but they recommend leaving the shell on. I love red pepper and thought that it was a little overpowering, so next time I’d adjust that slightly. I’d also consider serving this over a salad. I was boring and just made some roasted sweet potatoes, and really could have used another veggie on the side. But lazy. My husband loved it and had no idea that the delicious flavor he tasted was, in fact, anise.

Stir-Fried Sesame Pork and Eggplant

imageEveryone always says stir fry is soooo easy, one pot meal, blah blah blah. I do agree that it’s easy, but it makes a freaking mess! There was lots of chopping for this one (which I enjoy) but I was a little hangry when I was cooking so it seemed to take forever. In reality, it probably took me 35 minutes to get this on the table, which is totally fine.

It called for toasted sesame oil, which I thought I had – but I was out and just used plain old sesame oil. This dish was fabulous anyway, so I suspect it would have a richer flavor if I had the correct oil. Toasted sesame oil has such a bold, distinct flavor. Next time I make this, I’ll make sure I’m less hungry and have my pantry stocked with the correct ingredients. I LOVE eggplant but hardly ever make it. As an italian, I often think the only use for eggplant is to make something with lots of cheese, breading, and tomato sauce. This was a delicious use for a fabulous veggie.

Leek and Prosciutto Frittata 

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There’s a breakfast chapter at the end of this magazine, and I’ve been eating pumpkin custard for like the past three months. I was ready to switch it up, and this was perfect. I love leeks and prosciutto, and I love eggs for breakfast. I was concerned that the lack of cheese would make me dislike this, but nope. It was excellent, and really easy to make. It makes six servings, so I was able to put the leftovers in the fridge for a quick breakfast the rest of the week.

Latin-Style Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

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I like all of the ingredients in this dish individually, but normally I’d pass on a recipe that uses them all together. But I want to try all of the recipes, and this looked like a simple, one pot meal. It was easy, but it also required a lot of chopping/prepping. I wasn’t as hangry, so it was fine.

I’ve made cauliflower rice many times before, but this had a little twist – after searing the chicken, cooking the onion, blooming the aromatics (garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne, tomato paste), cooking the “rice” and finishing the chicken, you add chopped tomatoes and green olives. I LOVE green olives but would never think to mix them in with cauliflower rice on their own. It gets finished off with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. My husband hates cilantro, and I love it. This recipe was great since you add it at the end, so I just didn’t add any to his. This dish was bursting with flavor, the chicken was cooked perfectly.

These are all recipes I would absolutely make again. I already have my eye on a few dishes for next week that I’d like to try. It’s nice to have a little extra time to cook at night and try new recipes – it’s the perfect way to spend my recovery!

Do you enjoy cooking? Have you tried any new recipes lately? 

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26 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: Paleo Perfected Conquests

    • allisonfiorini May 13, 2016 / 11:03 am

      Yes! I think many of these recipes seem very affordable!

  1. DarlinRae May 13, 2016 / 9:52 am

    I’m stuck in a cooking rut; Ben and I rotate the same meals every week. It makes shopping and prep easy, but sometimes I just want to mix it up! These all look pretty tasty 🙂

    • allisonfiorini May 13, 2016 / 11:02 am

      The chicken was my favorite so far! I was in such a rut and this little cooking project of mine has definitely helped break my routine! I bet you will find some inspiration after your marathon!

  2. suzysuzyheather May 13, 2016 / 10:31 am

    See, I did have this magazine in my hands and then put it back because I HATE COOKING. I would love to try these recipes but the chopping and sautéing and cooking and broiling…. KILL ME NOW, GOD.

    • allisonfiorini May 13, 2016 / 11:00 am

      Ha!!! It is kind of high maintenance cooking with all of the chopping. But SO WORTH IT! And, I made butter chicken that was freaking phenomenal thanks to you so you do have some skills, my friend!

  3. sarahdudek80 May 13, 2016 / 10:51 am

    That shrimp looks so good. I can’t wait to be back home in a few weeks, with a decent kitchen and try this. I also really want to do cauliflower rice. I love the idea of it. Rock hates cauliflower. But I’m hoping to trick him 🙂 He liked when I made pizza crust with cauliflower. So there is hope!

    • allisonfiorini May 13, 2016 / 11:01 am

      Make it for him anyway – I know a bunch of people who also hate cauliflower but when you rice it and season it anyway, they love it!!! Let me know how it goes!

  4. Katrina May 13, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    LOL, I’m pretty sure you cooked more in this past week than I have in the past month! I don’t really love to cook and really dislike the clean-up part after 🙂 We just got a spiralizer attachment for our Kitchen Aid Mixer though and I’m in love with it. It literally makes me feel happy to watch it work and we’ve been having a lot of zoodles (zucchini noodles) and oven baked sweet potato curly fries.

    • allisonfiorini May 17, 2016 / 9:38 am

      LOL! I had no idea that you could get a spiralizer attachment for the Kitchen Aid! What?! I have a spiralizer, but that would take things to a whole new level!

      • Katrina May 17, 2016 / 3:22 pm

        It is amazing!! We had a hand crank one, but the Kitchen Aid one is in a totally different league!

      • allisonfiorini May 18, 2016 / 7:55 am

        I used my spiralizer (hand crank) last night to make sweet potato fries and I thought of you and the Kitchen Aid one…I think I need it!

      • Katrina May 18, 2016 / 2:40 pm

        Making sweet potato fries is what convinced us to get the Kitchen Aid one. My husband used the hand crank one and it took forever (and he’s pretty strong) to do just one potato. Now we can zip through 2 potatoes in a minute. LOL, I actually took a video of it to send my mom because I was so enthralled with it 🙂

  5. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running May 13, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    When you posted the frittata on Instagram I immediately started craving eggs!! I totally want that recipe!

    • allisonfiorini May 17, 2016 / 9:39 am

      I will have to take a picture of it and send it to you, it was really good! I ate the leftovers all week long!

  6. Laura @ try & TRI again May 14, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Mmmmm, that frittata looks right up my alley! I like to bake more than I like to cook. Sometimes I get in a bit of a rut with making the same things over and over, but this week I’m doing a spring ragout over polenta for my packed lunches. Fingers are crossed!

    • allisonfiorini May 17, 2016 / 10:16 am

      It was so good! I was in such a rut with making the same stuff over and over. This is helping me!

  7. Hollie May 15, 2016 / 12:55 pm

    That frittata looks great. I’ve actually been wanting to cook more. So far I have…but we will see how long that lasts.

  8. Brittany May 15, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    I love cooking, and am finally getting back into it. I was much too lazy for farrr toooooo loonnnggg.

    • allisonfiorini May 17, 2016 / 10:31 am

      I was just so boring because I was so busy – it was the same things over and over. I needed to spice things up!

  9. Elaine May 17, 2016 / 10:01 am

    I’ve never cooked shrimp before and the dish you made looks good! I love try out new recipes. I roasted a whole chicken in a cast iron pan with bokchoy and shiitake mushrooms based on a recipe I saw in a Rachel Ray everyday magazine. It looked delish on the cover page that I just had to try it.

    • allisonfiorini May 17, 2016 / 10:55 am

      YUM! My friend just gave me shiitake’s from his yard so I might look that recipe up. I actually have logs he gave me with the fungus to grow shiitakes, but I don’t think I will get any until the fall. I just checked them and they are just starting now. It’s a cool process to watch!

      • Elaine May 17, 2016 / 12:32 pm

        Wow that’s so cool! I see mushrooms out in our front yard but don’t think they’re the edible kind.

      • allisonfiorini May 17, 2016 / 2:23 pm

        No don’t eat those! The guy I know is a science teacher and he grows all kinds of edible varieties, but says never to eat the ones in your yard! LOL!

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