Tag Archives: paleo diet
- 1 large plantain
- coconut oil, lard, or beef tallow
Melt coconut oil, lard, or tallow in a heavy skillet over medium heat. The oil should be about 1/2-inch deep.
Peel and slice a plantain in half. Slice each piece in half lengthwise, to make four quarters. Carefully slide the four pieces of plantain into the hot oil or fat, and fry for four minutes. Use tongs or a spatula to flip the plantain pieces and cook the other side for four minutes, until golden brown. Remove the pieces to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool for a few minutes.
When the plantain pieces are cool enough to handle, smash them between two plates, cookie sheets, or cutting boards to flatten them into ovals about 1/4-inch thick. To prevent sticking and reduce clean-up time, you may wish to line the plates, sheets, or cutting boards with greased aluminum foil or waxed paper first.
Use a spatula to carefully transfer the flattened plantains back into the hot oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the patacones are a deep, uniform golden brown. Remove the patacones to a plate lined with fresh paper towels to drain and cool.
When they are cool enough to handle, use the patacones in place of sandwich bread and enjoy a delicious, exotic gluten-free sandwich. Unlike many nut breads, patacones are tough enough to hold together even with juicy sandwich filling. Because the plantains lend a delicate, banana-like flavor, choose bold sandwich ingredients that won’t be overwhelmed.
- Pork and caramelized onion
- Bacon, lettuce, and tomato
- Citrus-marinated shrimp and avocado
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbsp honey OR 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup OR 1 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 cup high-quality chocolate, grated or in small chunks
Berries or chocolate curls for garnish
Place an inch or two of water in a large pan or the bottom of a double boiler and bring it to a boil. In the top of the double boiler, or in a heat-proof bowl large enough to sit on top of the pan of water, combine the coconut milk, the sweetener of your choice, and the vanilla extract, if using. Whisk until smooth.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk until smooth and lemon-colored. Allow the coconut milk mixture to heat over the boiling water for a few minutes until hot. Ladle some of the hot coconut mixture from the bowl or double boiler and drizzle it slowly into the bowl of eggs, whisking the eggs continuously. Repeat two more times. (This tempers the eggs, preventing them from congealing immediately when introduced to the hot coconut milk.)
Slowly pour the tempered egg mixture into the hot coconut milk mixture over the boiling water, whisking continuously. Continue to whisk the pudding mixture until it thickens to the consistency of pancake batter, which may take between two and five minutes.
Stop thinking about pancakes. They’re bad for you. Focus on your pudding.
Once the pudding has thickened, pour roughly half of it into a bowl and set it aside to cool. Return the remainder to the double boiler or the top of the pan of boiling water. Add the chocolate to the pudding on the stove top and whisk until melted and smooth. Remove the chocolate pudding mixture from the heat.
Divide the chocolate pudding between four wine glasses, champagne flutes, or other clear serving containers. Pour the plain coconut pudding on top of the chocolate layer, dividing it evenly between the four glasses. Chill the pudding glasses in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, until set.
Garnish with berries or chocolate curls, and serve cold.
Serves four, and by “four”, I mean “me when I’m having a bad chocolate craving”.
After almost two million years spent as nomadic hunter-gatherers, our ancestors learned about ten thousand years ago that they could grow certain types of plants under cultivation to feed themselves, and agriculture was born. Most schoolchildren know that agriculture allowed humans to congregate in cities, paving the way for the vast civilizations that span the globe today.
What very few lay people know is that the advent of agriculture saw an almost instantaneous decline in human health, as measured by the average height, bone density, and dental health of skeletons from that era. What changed?
The answer is diet. Early farmers replaced the hunter gatherer diet of meat, wild-growing vegetables, fruit and nuts with the agricultural diet of grains, legumes, and later, dairy. Unfortunately, while human culture can change on a dime, historically speaking, human physiology and genetics cannot. The beans, wheat, and dairy produced by farmers all contain chemical components that are difficult for the human digestive tract to process, causing irritation, chronic inflammation, and even allergic reactions in many individuals, which today is familiar to us as IBS, lactose intolerance, and wheat intolerance. In addition, grains are not nutrient dense foods– ever wondered why most bread and flour is “enriched”?– so the intake of several important vitamins and minerals was drastically reduced when people switched from hunting and gathering to sowing and reaping.
Today, there is a movement to improve individual health by returning to a diet that more closely resembles what our paleolithic ancestors ate. Called the Paleo or Primal Diet by various practitioners, it involves cutting out all grain, sugar, dairy, and legumes in a bid to heal the digestive tract and provide a rich variety of nutrients from meat, seafood, vegetables, nuts, and fruits to help the body rebuild itself.
I have been on this diet for about two months now, and I am convinced that, for me, this is the way forward to lifelong health after more than a decade of illness and misery. After starting this diet and stopping the birth control pill, I have completely eliminated all digestive discomfort and now consider myself symptom-free and “normal” after more than ten years of IBS.
If you would like to join me on this journey, here are a few resources to help you get started:
- Wheat Intolerance: Why the Food We Eat Is Ruining Our Health (A quick and easy read that gives an overview of the Paleo Diet and the health problems associated with common food intolerance issues.)
- The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat by Dr. Loren Cordain (This is the book I read when I started the diet.)
- Mark’s Daily Apple (The blog of Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy)
I hope that everyone who tries this diet has the same level of success with it that I have had. I can honestly say that right now, I can’t imagine ever eating any other way again.