Modifying non-Paleo recipes

I typically find my Paleo recipes on Paleo-specific blogs, but I’ve been encouraged lately by the increasing number of recipes I’ve seen on Pinterest that are very, very close to Paleo-friendly. The entree that I made tonight came from this Gingery Chicken with Peaches recipe, pinned by someone I follow on Pinterest. (Sorry…I didn’t take a picture, but there are some really pretty ones of this dish on the Iowa Girl Eats blog).

Here’s how I modified the recipe:

  • In lieu of the soy sauce, vegetable oil, and sesame oil, I used olive oil, coconut oil, and balsamic vinegar.
  • I omitted the brown sugar.
  • I added chopped garlic and coconut flakes.
  • I replaced the rice with quinoa (not entirely Paleo, but some say it’s alright)

In addition to the chicken dish, which my boyfriend gave a 3.3 out of 5 stars, I roasted cinnamon carrot sticks and made braised celery.

It was a very cheap meal. Bought the chicken at Walmart for $4.41 (it was on special because it expires tomorrow, and before you give me any crap for buying meat at Wally World, just know that the brand of chicken I get there is hormone-, preservative- and antibiotic-free), the quinoa for $2.50, the peaches for $2.48, the onion for $0.79 (I only used half), and the rest I had on hand. The meal fed two tonight, and I have enough for a hearty lunch tomorrow.

Modifying recipes so that they’re Paleo is a matter of common sense. Is there dairy in the recipe? Leave it out — or use a Paleo replacement (almond or coconut milk for standard milk, for example). Is there grain in the recipe? Same thing. Note: I rarely make recipes that use large quantities of flour because the best Paleo alternative is almond flour, and I need to be making six figures to justify that purchase. Does the recipe call for sauce? Make your own. If you can’t go 100% Paleo (and really, who can?), then make minor tweaks to your recipes. Every little modification toward better health helps!

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