My in-laws were in Louisiana a few months ago and they brought me this jar of chili seasoning from Avery Island (the home of Tabasco Sauce). It has been sitting on my shelf for some time. As part of getting back to eating a paleo diet, my wife and I were recently cleaning out our pantry of non-paleo junk and almost tossed it. I decided to give the ingredients a look and was actually surprised by what I found:
click to enlarge
Not a single non-paleo looking ingredient! No preservatives or anything artificial. While some may not consider it 100% paleo, I decided to use it. However one little jar wasn’t going to be enough to make enough chili for my family of six so I had to do some improvising. So here is another one of my “not-really-a-recipe” recipes:
- 2 lbs chuck roast cut into 1/4″ sized pieces
- 1 whole white onion, chopped
- 1 jar of Tabasco 7 Spice Chili Recipe
- 1 15 oz can of organic diced tomatoes
- 1 8 oz can of tomato paste
- 1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
- ground cumin to taste
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- In a 10 or 12 inch skillet, heat one tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat.
- Add the meat and onions and cook until the meat is browned.
- Add the Tabasco jar, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and cumin to the pan.
- Stir everything together until well mixed then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Put in a bowl and enjoy!
Everybody loved it. Even the little ones who aren’t crazy about “spicy” food. It really helped for them that we added all the extra ingredients so it was more on the mild side. (and then I can still add all the extra hotness to my own bowl that I want!)
If you decide to try it out leave me a comment and let me know what you think.
Diet … what do you think of when you hear the word “diet”? Here’s what comes to my mind:
- bathroom scales
- being hungry
- counting calories
- being hungry
- hungry … so hungry
- losing weight
- did I mention that I’m hungry?
Does the “paleo diet” fit in here? Should we even call it the “paleo diet”?
No and no!
What? you want a better explanation than just “no”? Fine … 🙂
The big keys to why paleo is NOT a diet are the following:
- It is not supposed to be “temporary”.
Paleo is a lifestyle and should be a permanent one. Paleo isn’t supposed to be something you do for two weeks to drop 10 pounds before your high school reunion.
- You should never really feel hungry eating paleo.
Now I’m not saying that you will never ever ever feel any hunger at all. What I mean is that if you are eating healthy paleo meals, you will easily last until your next meal without getting hunger pangs or the feeling that if you don’t have a snack that your stomach might start eating you from the inside out. Once you have been eating a healthy paleo diet for a month or so (maybe even less) you will find that it’s not too hard to skip a meal (whether intentional or not) without feeling like you’re going to pass out or being able to think about nothing but food.
- Eating paleo food is not about losing weight.
Wait … what? Not about losing weight? Huh?
Don’t worry, if you’re overweight and eating paleo to lose weight then you absolutely can! But what if you don’t need to lose weight? What if you need to gain weight? Paleo is about being healthy. Losing weight if you’re overweight is just a “side effect” of being healthy! 🙂
- Paleo isn’t full of “rules”.
Granted there are some big do’s and don’ts if you want to follow a paleo way of eating, but most of the “rules” are more like guides than what you find in other “diets”. (you can check out the basics on my page What is the paleo diet?)
So am I going to keep referring to paleo as a “diet”?
Hey! You just gave us a whole page about why it’s not a diet! What gives?
What gives is that I want people to find my blog! I want as many people as possible to learn about paleo and improve their health. That means using the word “diet”. Using Google’s keyword tool I found that globally, people search for “paleo diet” over 300,000 times a month, but only about 27,000 times for “paleo food”. So even though I will continue using the term “diet”, keep in mind that it is really a “lifestyle”.
This was an awesome dish we had for dinner last night. I’m eating the leftovers as I write this. Even the kiddos scarfed it down! (Well except for the three year old who suddenly decided he doesn’t like cooked carrots. Give him three days and he’ll remember that he actually likes them!)
We didn’t really use a “recipe” to make this, but here is what we did:
- 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 pounds mild, Italian sausage cut into bite size pieces
- baby carrots*
- small, sweet peppers, stem and seeds removed*
- one large onion, coarsely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
- Montreal Steak Seasoning (or whatever you like)
* we didn’t measure these. we just put in what we wanted
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Add all the veggies, sausage and garlic to a large sheet cake pan (ours is 13×19)
- Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil
- Stir to ensure that all the pieces are coated
- Stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes
When it’s done, most of the sausage should be browned and the sweet potatoes should be soft. This served our family of six plus there was enough left for my lunch today.
A dish like this has lots of options for variety as well. You could …
- Replace the sausage with chicken or beef.
- Change up the sweet potatoes for other paleo friendly tubers / root veggies like turnips or beets.
- Add some cayenne pepper or chili flakes for a kick
Use your imagination! This was soooooo easy to make. I think I spent 20 minutes tops cutting everything up and putting it in the pan. Plus I only had one pan, one cutting board and one knife to clean up (not counting the plates we served it on).
I started my current run on this diet two weeks ago … ish. So far it has been just about the food. I haven’t done any exercise yet but already I’m down from 225 to 211. Fourteen pounds in two weeks ain’t too shabby! (I know … 10 of it was just water … but still!) For the back-story on how I got started, read my page, My paleo story so far….
So far I’m feeling really good. My sleep has improved, I’m not falling asleep at my desk at 2 in the afternoon and just in general I feel better. In the next few days I plan on starting some body weight exercises (as outlined by Robb Wolf in his book) and will begin tracking more than just my weight. I’m probably going to start a page with my starting info including a picture that I hate, and below that put my current info along with a current picture. Pictures say a thousand words! I’ll probably update the current info monthly or quarterly.
I plan on sharing recipes that we try out and anything else that I think might help anybody else that wants to ride the paleo train. 🙂
Please feel free to leave me constructive comments or suggestions.
Thanks for reading!