Paleo Spring Rolls, Lettuce Wraps, and Shepherd’s Pie

Editor’s Note: Becky shared a post with us a few weeks ago about the basics of paleo, and here is a little more info from her about her own experiences after starting to adapt the paleo lifestyle. She even included some great recipes that are very budget friendly, which is hard to find with paleo! You can check out more from her blog here.

Right off the bat I’m going to tell you I don’t eat strictly paleo. I eat mostly paleo though. I don’t eat gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, and barley), dairy, and processed or fried foods. This is basically paleo with a slight twist on the grains and one alcoholic drink every other day if I choose to drink. Also, I give myself two “rest meals” if I want them. These are two meals where I can eat dairy or gluten grains.

There have been pluses and minuses to being on this lifestyle diet, as I like to call it. I really love the fact that I have lost around 5 pounds of pure fat, which has been pretty hard for me because of my body type already. I feel so much better on a daily basis due to no gluten, no dairy, and the addition of probiotics. I generally don’t have a 2pm dragging feeling, and I know my metabolism is working because I can feel when I am hungry. I do like that this lifestyle diet allows for two meals to eat the items I avoid
all week, because sometimes you just need a piece of bread no matter how bloated it’s going to make you feel in two hours.

However, this change has not been easy. I started this lifestyle diet in February of this year and I am still struggling to perfect it. Honestly, the “rest meals” are a blessing and a curse. Once you taste what you don’t have you want more or at least that is the way I feel. This lifestyle diet does take a good amount of discipline. When you go out to eat with friends you can either choose to have your “rest meal” or you have to order with a ton of alterations. New recipes haven’t been too hard to find and alter, but you
have to do a good amount of work to get your recipe list built up to where you aren’t eating the same thing every week. Also, grocery bills have shot up quite a bit. I recently graduated college and $120.00 grocery bills are a little hefty when you aren’t making a good amount.

But honestly the pluses have outweighed the minuses by far. I feel better, look better (in my opinion), and I’m happy almost all the time. What could be better?! I have included a couple of my favorite recipes in order to help ya’ll (I’m from Texas so no laughing) on your roads to healthier eating and overall wellness.

Summer Spring Rolls

This recipe is on her blog as well, Click Here for some more pictures and other recipes she has posted.

I adapted this from a recipe I found at http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/cucumber-and-avocado-summer-rolls-with-mustard-soy-sauce.html. I added meat to get some protein in there and I actually put the mint in there at first, but it over powered every other flavor, so I took it out. Also, the sauce is wonderful without the brown sugar, so why add extra sugar to your meal? The rice papers are gluten free and everything is pretty low calorie. It definitely was an adventure to wrap up the rice papers, but if I can do it you can do it. They don’t have to look perfect and from my pictures you can tell I didn’t care too much how they looked. This is a great, cool recipe for summer lunch, so add it to your list to try.

Ingredients:

• Juice from 1/2 lemon

• 2 Tbs. coconut oil (melted)

• 1 Tbs. rice vinegar

• 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 1/2 tsp. soy sauce (can use coconut aminos if you are a real paleo purist)

• 1 Haas avocados

• 4 rice paper rounds, 6 or 8 inches in diameter

• 4 green lettuce leaves

• 1/2 lb chicken breast

• 1 carrots, coarsely shredded

• 1/2 English cucumber, cut into thin strips

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, and soy sauce; set aside.

2. Halve, pit and peel the avocado, and then cut it into 1/2-inch dice.

3. Cook chicken fully and spice with your favorite spice.

4. Place a wide, shallow bowl of warm water on a work surface. Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the bowl. (The rice papers do stick to the towel a little bit, but I assume this is the best surface to use). Dip 1 rice paper round into the water for a few seconds to soften, then lay it flat on the towel. Using another towel, pat the top of the rice paper dry.

5. Center a lettuce leaf on top of the stacked rice papers. Starting about one-third in from the edge closest to you top with a small row each of the chicken, carrot, cucumber and avocado; be careful not to overstuff the roll. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper up and over the filling and then roll once to form a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and continue to roll the paper and filling into a tight cylinder. Set aside, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients to make 4 rolls.

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

I adapted this one from http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-shepherds-pie/. I absolutely love this and it took the calorie laden, starchy potatoes out of the mix. The flavor is awesome and I wouldn’t do Shepherd’s pie any other way. I tweak almost every recipe I find. I don’t like having to buy a ton of ingredients for one recipe, so if I don’t have it I usually take it out.

• 2 tablespoons coconut oil

• 1 large onion, diced

• 1 pound turkey

• 2 cups diced carrots

• 1 pound organic grass fed ground beef

• ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 cup chicken broth

• 2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft

1. Heat coconut oil in a very large frying pan

2. Saute onion for 15 minutes until soft

3. Add carrots to pan and sauté for 10 minutes until soft

4. Add ground beef to pan and sauté until brown, just a few minutes

5. Season with salt and pepper

6. Add chicken broth and cook down broth until 60% evaporated

7. Place cauliflower in food processor and puree with coconut oil (or coconut milk) until smooth

8. Pour ground beef mixture into a 9×13 inch Pyrex baking dish

9. Pour mashed cauliflower over beef mixture

10. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes

11. Serve

Serves 4

Wanna-be PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps Recipe

I adapted this one from a recipe found here http://www.theculinarylife.com/2009/wanna-be-pf-changs-lettuce-wraps-recipe/.  This is one of our new favorites. I eat mine like a salad and rip up the lettuce, add the mixture to the bowl, and pour the sauce over it like a dressing. They really do taste like PF Chang’s!

Ingredients for pouring sauce:
Mix all together

• 1-2 Tbsp cup honey

• 1/2 cup warm water

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

• 2 tablespoons ketchup

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

• 1 tablespoon mustard

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

Ingredients for stir-fry sauce:
Mix all together

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 1 tablespoons honey (local if you can get it)

• 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Ingredients for chicken stir-fry:

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

• 2 tablespoons sesame oil

• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″

• 1 – 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, minced to the size of corn kernals

• 1/2 cup mushrooms, minced to the size of corn kernals

• 1/2 onion, chopped fine

• 3 cloves garlic, minced fine

• 6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce

To make the chicken stir-fry:

1. Combine oils and add to large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.

2. Turn the heat under the pan down to medium-high. Then add garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked through, about 4 minutes, and remove to a serving dish.

3. Serve stir-fry on iceberg lettuce and top with pouring sauce.

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