Paleo is one of the most popular diet crazes going around and I somehow got thrown onto the bandwagon. Before I go any further, here’s full disclosure. I am looking to win a challenge. My gym presented a “Paleo Challenge” and, while I was skeptical of the diet, I am never one to back down from a challenge. Three weeks of no wine, no sweets and no bread sounded dreadful. Exactly what was I supposed to eat for three weeks while maintaining my workout schedule? I quickly found out that there are a lot of Paleo options available.
Paleo curry chicken? Yep
It was simple to make and required nothing more than swapping out white potatoes for sweet potatoes. In some paleo circles, rice is on the “approved” list. However, that was not the case with our challenge so I could not pair the curry chicken with rice, but because it was so flavorful, I did not miss it at all.
Two weeks into the challenge and my gym-mates and I had a paleo social, which is just another way of saying we had a potluck with paleo-only food. Everyone brought a dish they loved and it turned out really well. First up, zesty lime shrimp and avocado salad. It was a super simple dish that packed a punch. Of course, with my allergies I could not partake. But, everyone raved about it so much that I wanted to include the recipe for the non-allergic to try for their next get together.
Paleo Approved Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 limes, juice of
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt, black pepper to taste
- 1 lb jumbo cooked, peeled shrimp, chopped*
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 medium hass avocado, diced (about 5 oz)
- 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Only thing you need to do to make this is mix the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. Well…there may be a few more steps. You can find them here. There was a ton of food at the social. Everything from honey glazed salmon, which was amazing, to a no-bake chocolate tart with almond crust and toasted coconut. The tart was so good that I didn’t get to take a picture because they were gone almost as soon as they were brought out.
All isn’t lost though. The one sweet treat that I cannot get out of my head is the paleo banana chocolate infused muffins. If you think muffins made without the traditional ingredients would be dry, flavorless or outright unappetizing, think again. These muffins were light, fluffy, moist delicious bites of banana chocolate heaven. This godsend was actually the first paleo food shared at the gym as incentive to get us to the 7am workout. I have to say I was extremely glad I made it to that class. Here’s what was in store after a brutal workout.
I definitely will not leave you without the recipe for these tasty muffins.
Paelo Approved Muffins
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- 2 eggs, whisked
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 1 or 2 tbs raw honey, depending on how ripe your bananas are and how sweet you like your muffins
- 1/2 cup dark mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life brand)
- In a small bowl, mash the bananas
- Then add the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and honey to the bananas and stir until combined
- In a larger bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture bowl – stir into a batter
- Next add the chocolate chips and chopped nuts and stir well (save a couple of tablespoons of the nuts to top the muffins)
- Pour batter into a muffin tin lined with baking cups – fill each cup about 3/4 full
- Sprinkle remaining nuts on top of muffins and place in oven
- Bake at 350º F for about 22-25 minutes (oven times and temperatures will vary – test doneness by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, they’re done)
- Store covered in fridge, or you can freeze these to enjoy later
Do you have a kick-ass paleo recipes to share? Leave your recipe in the comments below.