Preparation Reduces Stress: 4 Paleo Recipes for the Holiday

Cooking can be fun, but more frequently I descend into panic over a forgotten ingredient or trying to time everything perfectly. The best way to keep cooking fun is to be as prepared as you can.

I’m following a paleo diet for the month of December and realized I’ll need to bring some food I can eat to our holiday dinner since likely the spread at my family’s place will include ingredients like gluten and dairy that are not paleo friendly.

Thank you Pinterest for making it so easy to find endless recipes compliant with whatever diet you happen to be following at the time (if you’re on Pinterest follow me here). I found 4 recipes that looked pretty tasty, figured out what ingredients I didn’t already have and then went to the store. For once I actually remembered to grab everything I needed!

Once I had all my ingredients I opened my Google Chromebook and reviewed the steps for all 4 recipes and left a tab open for each for quick reference. Before I got started I grabbed all of the equipment I needed so I had it easily accessible. Then I determined the order in which I was going to prepare them. I cannot stress how important this part of the process is for me, it really sets you up for success as you move into cooking.

Now for the recipe’s and my review:

  1. Salisbury Steak Meatballs are DELICIOUS! I followed the recipe exactly as it was written (without the optional liquid smoke) and it was hands down the best meatballs I have ever made. I’m having them for lunch today and cannot wait.
  2. Whole30 Mashed Potatoes could be better, but that might be my fault. I substituted coconut milk for almond milk and this is definitely something I prefer to be more savory than sweet. In general I found it to be bland, but once I mixed in the leftover sauce from the meatballs it was fine.
  3.  Roasted Brussels Sprouts Cinnamon Butternut Squash Pecans and Cranberries I didn’t have brussels sprouts, but I had everything else so I went ahead and made it anyways. I did not use the maple syrup because at the time I was attempting to follow Whole30 and it was still pretty good without it. I think with the maple syrup it will be the perfect ‘sweet’ for me to bring to holiday dinners so I’m not tempted by pies and cookies.
  4. Banana Pancakes will be a regular recipe that I use on the weekends. I never really made pancakes much when I did eat gluten, but having spent the past few weeks eating a lot of the same foods this was a welcome pop of fun flavor.

Initially I wanted to follow the Whole30 for December and for the most part I still am, but there are some aspects of the program that don’t work for me. I am attempting to make this more of a lifestyle change than a ‘cleanse’ and for that reason excluding things like pancakes, even if they’re made of compliant ingredients, doesn’t sit right.

Eating paleo so far has been really rewarding. I feel like I’ve adopted a healthy routine with eating (aside from drinking a lot of apple cider before bed) and the benefits are spilling over. My face has mostly cleared up, my mood is more stable, I’ve lost a few pounds, and most importantly my stomach isn’t constantly in pain.

If it’s a diet you’ve considered trying it’s something I would recommend, however, I am not a nutritionist or a doctor so you should probably ask them first.

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