- · A small handful of friends (and a gorgeous puppy for good measure)
- · Some good quality red wine (and a couple of cheeky glasses of Bolly)
- · Delicious whole food cooked to perfection
Combine all ingredients together around a dining table and enjoy!
This was our day yesterday. It was perfection in every way, shape and form – the company, the food and the wine. And the best part? It was all “primal”. That’s right! No grains, legumes or sugar (bar the Bolly)! Rach and Robbo, the hosts with the most set to task early in the week to create a menu that was both delicious and nutritious (and suitable for us special snowflakes) and the result was above and beyond our expectations!
So what did we have?
- Platters of prosciutto and smoked salmon
- Slow-cooked lamb shoulder, along with the juices (I may post the recipe for this one if I can coax it out of Robbo)
- Sweet potato puree
- Roasted carrots, parsnips and eschallots
- Steamed broccoli
- Fresh peas with fetta and mint
- Cabbage slaw with olive oil and parmesan
- Grain-free, sugar-free cherry tart
Now Robbo is quite the cook. This lunch was fancy-pants gourmet. And seriously – all “primal”-friendly!
|Robbo carving up his delicious "experimental" Cherry tart in my dream kitchen|
|Close-up of said Cherry Tart|
OK, so the purpose of this post was not to gloat about how fabulous my Sunday was. The purpose was to show you that eating paleo or primal does not have to equal lack of flavour or pizazz (haven’t used that word in a while!). In fact, when you take out the flours, the sugars and all of the other processed junk, you are able to really experience all the flavours that the food has to offer. You see, flour is simply a dodgy filler with no nutritional value (quite the opposite – it has anti-nutrient properties….dodgy!) – take it out of baked goods and you are left with something more nutritious and more dense (i.e. richer in flavour).
What about for gravy? Use arrowroot powder to thicken or none at all. We simply drizzled some juices over the meat. Alternatively you could serve the juices as a consommé beforehand – it tastes fantastic and is incredibly nutritious, containing minerals, collagen and glycosaminoglycans (great for joint health) that have seeped out of the bones during the cooking process (an acidic medium, such as wine or vinegar, helps to draw the minerals out of bones when slow-cooking).
And sugar? Well the sugar that we add to foods is there to “enhance” flavours, but in reality, what it is doing is dulling our taste-buds to the point where we will need more and more over time to continue to enjoy the foods. Take sugar out of your diet for 30 days and I can guarantee your sense of taste will increase, enabling you to appreciate a greater spectrum of flavours and textures.
Despite the deliciousness (that’s actually a word! Microsoft didn’t try to correct me!), the best part for me was the joy that Robbo got out of taking on the “primal challenge” and creating something new and different that turned out to be a huge success with all attendees, even 13 year old Darcy, who is apparently quite the food critic!
Now, it's no secret that I don’t like the word “diet”. To me, it suggests deprivation. Using symbols:
Diet = Deprivation ≠ Long-term success/happiness
Unfortunately, my future job title is going to contain this very word. And I don’t really want to be known as a “deprivationist” (dietitian/nutritionist). Healthy eating should be something that can be maintained and enjoyed for all people throughout their entire life. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing clients’ body composition change after adopting the paleo/primal lifestyle, but nothing pleases me more than being able to add to, rather than take away, elements of people’s life and then hear these types of statements:
“It’s actually quite easy!”
“I am loving the food!”
“… and I don’t even feel hungry!”
"Are you sure it's OK for me? It tastes SO good!"
To me, THAT is success!
And finally what I would like you to take out of this post is to RELAX! Take time to enjoy the company of good friends over a long lunch and maybe a couple of glasses of good quality wine. All too often we are so busy with being busy that we forget to live. So this weekend (or sometime in the near future), stop being so busy, get a group of friends together and ENJOY LIFE!! Just like Tommy: