You knew it was coming. First breakfast took the hit, then lunch, and now dinner. Good news is that the summer is the best time to dabble in this whole paleo thing. Produce is in season, abundant, cheaper, and can be found anywhere from your nearby Target to your local farmer’s market. Summertime is synonymous with cookouts… and I know that 4th of July is right around the corner. Good news is that most cookouts tend to be centered around the grill; meats, veggies, & fruits grilled alone or together on skewers are popular cookout foods. So are salads. Search Pinterest for “salad + paleo” and you will see a huge variety of beautiful salads that will make even the tastiest version of pasta salad appear lackluster. One of my favorites is Dani’s chili roasted Sweet potato Salad. I made it for my daughter’s birthday party and everyone loved it. And the best part was how easy it was to make.
My favorite thing about summer eating, especially at a cookout, is that I can always find something to eat and I don’t stand out as “the weird girl who doesn’t eat bread.” Nor do I have to volunteer to bring a dish out of fear that I will have nothing to eat. A plate of steak tips, salad, and fruit doesn’t turn into a paleo 101 lecture. If I am at a cookout where all that’s served is burgers & dogs, I grab a hamburger and put it on top of a salad and call it a day. Not once have I ever been asked why I am not eating the bun. If someone were to ask I would just go to the standby line (when I know the person asking doesn’t really want to hear about how gluten is the devil) “ah bread just fills me up too quickly and I want to save room for desert.” Is it a lie? Nope because bread really does fill me up. Will I eat the dessert? No, but they don’t need to know that. They also don’t need to know that the real reason I don’t eat gluten is because I will look like I am 4 months pregnant with my very own gluten baby in about 10 minutes. Looking pregnant, when I am in fact not pregnant, is not the summer look I had in mind thank you.
So speaking of farmer’s markets…Thursday was the opening day of my town’s farmer’s market . I was so excited & looking forward to it all month. It was great to see Potter Hill Farm there so I could say hi to the main farmer Jeff. Jeff and I have been in communication recently because this is the farm where I am buying pasture-raised beef and pork. I’ve always read how you should get to know your farmer and shake his hand, but to actually do that was pretty cool. But to be honest the best part about the farmer’s market was the new vendor called Wheatless Bliss . As soon as I saw the word wheatless, which let’s face it equates to paleo in my eyes, I walked right over and saw my 2 favorite words: gluten-free. Turns out Wheatless Bliss is a local shop in Bellingham, MA (about 25 minutes from me.) A few minutes into me going on about how nice it is to see some gluten-free goodies for my kids, my other favorite word came up: paleo. Come to find out the owner is paleo too. Pretty cool! We got into a quick discussion about paleo and I told her all about my summer paleo challenge. Turns out they even sell paleo muffins! This vendor not only lives paleo, but sells paleo goodies in her shop-heaven! I walked away encouraged knowing that paleo is getting out there and with a chocolate chip cookie for each of my kids! They were thrilled when I brought their treat home and they loved it too!
When I first started out on grain free dinners, I would take recipes that we were used to and make them grain free. Your typical pasta dish can be served without the pasta. I love chicken piccata. When I order it out I ask for them to hold off on the pasta and give me a double order of the vegetable. Most restaurants used grilled chicken & not breaded chicken so that makes my life even easier. Think about your favorite pasta dish; could you still eat it without the pasta? This is a great first step that can last you a while until you are ready to experiment with new versions of old favorites. Paleo lasagna is an awesome recipe that’s easy to make, makes a ton, and freezes well. When I make it, I freeze the leftovers into lunch size portions for work.
Some other dinners I like are:
But really paleo dinners are pretty easy, especially in the summer. We use our grill almost daily for meat and veggies. Don’t over-complicate it
Good Luck & let me know if you have any questions!