Food For Thought: Resolutions and Recipes

In a fit of unbridled optimism, I had hoped to get this post, as well as a recipe for Paleo latkes up last week, but it seems that family and travel demands intervened.  I still may try for a post-Chanukah stab at the latkes, but now that the family and house guests are gone it puts a lot of responsibility on me as solo recipe-taster.  More on that situation as it develops.

Well, it’s the first week of January, that most dreaded of seasons for the devoted gym rats of the world.  I am bracing myself for the annual overcrowding of the parking lot at the Y and having to fight newbies for treadmills.  Those are minor inconveniences, but unfortunately, it’s also the season of listening to cell phone conversations held at a volume sufficient to overcome the noise of the elliptical machine workout that the speaker is, appropriately enough, also phoning in.  I’m all for New Year’s resolutions, and I applaud anyone making an effort at self-improvement.  I just ask that you read the gym rules (I guarantee they’re posted somewhere), and wipe off the machines when you’re done. 

To business.  Let’s assume you’ve decided to take the plunge into Paleo and you’ve even read a book or two on the subject.  In my last Food for Thought post I recommending going through your cookbooks and finding the recipes that are either already Paleo, or good contenders for strategic substitution.  I think this is a good starting strategy for a couple of reasons.  First, it demonstrates that going Paleo doesn’t mean that you have to completely abandon the food culture you enjoy.  Many traditional dishes are just fine, or can be made so with a few tweaks.  Second, if you enjoy cooking (and let’s hope you do, because you’re going to have to start doing a lot of it), you might find some of the Paleo recipe sources a little austere.  Don’t despair, though.  You are not confined to a life of nothing but grilled bison and baked fish with—hold onto your hat—lemon squeezed over it.

There are a number of great Paleo cookbooks available, but as before I’m going to recommend starting with what is most readily available—online resources.  Happily, there are a great many out there, but a few stand out to me.   Health Bent has my favorite tagline—“Paleo-friendly recipes that don’t look or taste like dog food,” and they more than deliver on that premise.  They have a foodie take on Paleo and their recipes are pretty and tasty enough to serve to company (even Normals).  The Foodee Project is also a great resource for primal recipes of a sophisticated bent.  I also really like The Food Lovers Primal Palate, despite their missing apostrophe. 

I was thrilled when Elana of Elana’s Pantry went Paleo this year.  It started out as a gluten-free blog with really wonderful recipes for wheat-free baked goods, many of which can easily be made more primal. I love baking and when I first went Paleo I found her recipes to be a helpful transition to a less flour-laden life.  Lately I’ve been putting more energy into cooking and less time into baking, but I still indulge in the occasional gingersnap or Paleo dessert courtesy of Elana.  There are, of course, many more wonderful websites devoted to primal recipes, but these are the ones I find myself going back to most often.  I hope they will convince you that Paleo can be delicious!


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