Tomato Asparagus Pine Nut Balsamic Salad

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Confession: This weekend was a complete and utter Paleo failure. Well, the whole week was actually. With our busy work schedules we were “forced” to order takeout from one of our favorite restaurants (I did pay extra for sweet potato fries instead of regular… that counts, right?!) and a wedding on Friday delivered with a beautiful venue, far too much alcohol and four-courses of gluten and dairy heavy (but delicious) meals. We are certainly paying the price having not eaten like this in weeks!!

Now that we are back in Boston, we can’t wait to get ¬†back to our home cooked, Paleo friendly meals and just overall feeling healthier and more energized. Both of us were craving a good dose of veggies and a clean, refreshing meal to¬†kickstart the week. This salad worked perfectly as a light dinner for both of us tonight but is probably better served as a lunch recipe, or even a side dish.

Ingredients:

1 bundle of asparagus

1 pint grape tomatoes

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp ground pepper

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Chop asparagus into one inch pieces.

3. Combine chopped asparagus and pine nuts in a small mixing bowl. Lightly coat with olive oil (this is in addition to the 1 tbsp of olive oil that you will use later) and season with salt and pepper to taste (again, in addition to the salt and pepper that you will use later from the ingredients list).

4. Spread the asparagus and pine nut mixture on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.

5. While the asparagus and pine nuts are baking, chop the grape tomatoes in half.

6. Combine asparagus, pine nuts and grape tomatoes in a medium sized bowl.

7. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper. Mix well.

Pineapple Stuffed Chorizo Burger

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This recipe is a keeper. I devoured every last bite and I know you will too. It’s originally from PaleOMG, a site that has become such a life savior as we venture into Paleo life, with some modifications.

In the effort of full disclosure, I was very, very skeptical at first. My husband – who is actually an excellent cook – had already tried his hand at a Paleo meal and it was a complete disaster. Some kind of crockpot meal with a lot of meat (I know, that doesn’t narrow it down at all) but I could barely get past the first bite and even he couldn’t get it down. So, when a friend at work recommended this recipe and my husband insisted on making it, I hesitated… but I am SO glad he did. This will easily become a staple on our recipe list.

Makes 4 burgers.

Ingredients:

1 lb chorizo (Whole Foods even offered to take it out of the casing for us, saves some time!)

3/4 lb ground beef

1/2 of a whole pinapple

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp coconut oil

8 pieces bacon (save the bacon fat after you cook it!)

Guacamole to top (we bought from Whole Foods)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Save bacon fat in skillet when done. Put bacon aside.

3. Cut pineapple in half, getting rid of the skin. Cut into 1/4 inch slices, removing the hard core. This should result in 4 slices.

4. Coat pineapple slices with coconut oil. Place pineapple on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in oven for 10-12 minutes, flipping half way through.

5. Place the chorizo and ground beef in a bowl and mix well. Make 8 equal size balls of the mixture. Flatten balls out into patties.

6. Remove pineapple slices from the oven when done and let cool. Place one pineapple slice on top of each patty, then place a second patty on top. Use fingers to seal the burger, pinching the edges a few times. Repeat with all burgers.

7. Place large skillet with bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add burgers to the pan and cook for 4 minutes per side.

8. Once cooked on both sides, place burgers in the oven on a baking sheet and cook for 6 minutes.

9. Top each burger with two slices of bacon and a scoop of guacamole. Enjoy!

If you want to side with sweet potato chips…

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes

2 tbsp coconut oil

salt to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel sweet potatoes and slice thing. We used a mandolin.

3. Coat with coconut oil and a sprinkle of salt.

4. Place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping half way through. You can do this at the same time as the pineapple if you want to multitask.

Easy Lemon Garlic Chicken

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One of my biggest struggles eating Paleo is keeping my kitchen clean. My husband and I live in a one-bedroom condo in Boston and, while our small but updated kitchen served us well when we ate a mix of pasta dishes and take out, now it just feels messy, all the time. To help keep the number of dirty dishes down, I have been looking for meals that are quick, easy and don’t require a lot of cookware.

That brings me to my latest – easy lemon garlic chicken. I desperately needed a paleo lunch and didn’t have a ton of ingredients on hand. It’s simple, tastes great and works as a lunch dish or dinner with some added sides. Best of all, the only dirty dishes at the end will be a knife, cutting board and baking dish!

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 chicken breasts

1 lemon

5-6 cloves of garlic, minced (depending on how much of a garlic taste you like)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Clean up chicken breasts. Cut three slits on the top of each.

3. Pour olive oil in a baking dish, place both chicken breasts in the dish, turning to coat.

4. Stuff slits with minced garlic and sprinkle remaining garlic over top of chicken breasts.

5. Squeeze the juice from a half of a lemon on top of chicken breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Use the juice from the remaining half of the lemon when serving, if needed.

 

Introducing Boston Paleo

I was vacationing on the Cape when my husband sent me a text saying, “Hey, have you heard of this paleo diet?”

Not only had I heard of it, but I had been pinning delicious looking meals for months with the hopes of eventually convincing my pizza-and-buffalo-wings-loving husband to give up his cravings. I downloaded “Paleo for Beginners,” for a quick beach read that would get us started and soon I had a number of meals to make and a list of ingredients to buy.

I can’t lie, Paleo IS expensive. And, I feel incredibly fortunate to be in a place where I can afford to eat healthier, natural foods. There are plenty of ways to eat Paleo on a budget BUT when you are just getting started it can be very overwhelming to figure out meals, ingredients needed and then, on top of all of it, where to get the best deal.

What was our motivation to eat Paleo? Reaching an overall healthy lifestyle. Weightloss as a bonus. Both of our families have a history of high cholesterol and, while my levels are fine, my husband’s numbers are already high. (We are only 26.) Knowing that our activity levels will probably decline with age, establishing clean and stable eating habits now is a top priority.

Why Boston Paleo? Well, that’s easy. My husband and I both moved to Boston to attend undergrad and we fell in love with this great city. We eat, breathe and live everything Boston (even though my husband claims he is still a Yankee fan) and living in Boston is a big reason why we live the lifestyles we do. And, Boston is beautiful. Case in point with this awesome sunset shot I took from our roofdeck tonight…

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This blog is just starting, so please stay with us as we get going. We will be posting original Paleo recipes, some of our favorite family recipes modified to fit Paleo guidelines, and our experiences eating out in Boston while trying to stick to this diet. Send comments our way on how we can improve and we are happy to answer any questions that we can.