The Spice & Tea Exchange continues our Guest Blogger Series with a post from The Clothes Make the Girl blogger Melissa Joulwan. We invite you to enjoy a look at paleo eating using our products! ~ Sharity
I like rules, and I love following recipes – mostly because I feel virtuous when I obey them and because occasionally breaking out of them is delicious fun. Which partially explains why I enjoy following the paleo diet.
Sometimes called the primal or caveman diet, paleo eating is based on the idea that we feel our best when we mimic the nutrition of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. I know! It sounds a little groovy or like something from science fiction. But what it boils down to for everyday meals is this: avoid grains – especially the ones that contain gluten – dairy, legumes, and excess sugar. These foods, while often tasty, can make most people feel less than their best. That’s a lot of favorite comfort foods on the “no” list, right?
That’s why it’s important to focus on the “yes” list instead. Think of every kind of meat, seafood, vegetable, and fruit you can. Go on! Imagine your list… keep going. Now imagine yummy fat sources like coconuts and avocados and olives. That’s a lot of wonderful food! And those are the foods that make up the paleo diet.
I’ve been eating this way for two years. I don’t think I would have been able to stick with it if I hadn’t learned how to cook food that’s every bit as delicious as “regular” food. Exotic, fragrant spices are a big part of my cooking. An unassuming piece of chicken and so-good-for-you zucchini can become a “make it again” dinner with the right dusting of seasonings. Which is how I ended up eating Thai Grilled Chicken with Garlic Zucchini Noodles for dinner last night.
We’ve had 68 days of 101+ temperatures here in Austin, Texas, and when it’s that hot outside, the air conditioner struggles to keep us cool inside, so I’ve been relying on the grill. Any day I don’t have to use the stove too much is a good day! A short marinade in Coconut Thai Blend gave my chicken a kick of ginger, a little heat, and the sweetness of coconut. Instead of pasta noodles, I used a julienne peeler to turn the summer bounty of zucchini into gluten-free, veggie noodles. Tossed with fruity extra-virgin olive oil and Vik’s Garlic Fix, they made a luscious bed for the chicken.
Caveman Thai Grilled Chicken
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
2 tablespoons Coconut Thai Blend
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1. In a large bowl, combine the oil and Coconut Thai Blend. Place the chicken in the bowl, toss until coated with marinade, then cover and refrigerate, 20 minutes.
2. Heat a gas grill on high heat, with the lid closed. Grill the chicken about 5 minutes per side, until cooked through and nicely browned.
Garlic Zucchini Noodles
4 small zucchini
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons Vik’s Garlic Fix
1. Use a julienne peeler or mandoline slicer to cut the zucchini into noodles. Place the noodles in a colander or sieve sprinkel generously with salt, and allow to “sweat” for 20 minutes. Rinse the noodles under running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and saute the noodles until just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, push the noodles to the side of the pan, and add the olive oil. Add Vik’s Garlic Fix to the oil and stir until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Turn off the heat and stir the noodles into the oil until well coated.
A garnish of raw vegetables – cucumbers and red peppers are a particularly delicious combo – is a cool contrast to the spicy chicken and garlicky zucchini noodles… and you can never get too many veggies!
Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan is the author of the blog The Clothes Make The Girl and the book Rollergirl: Totally True Tales From The Track. She CrossFits, eats paleo, and loves Prague, Jane Eyre, and lifting heavy things. Her cookbook Well Fed: Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat will be published in December 2011. Find her on twitter and Facebook.