Starting a Paleo diet is usually quite the change for the average American. More vegetables = more meal prep, and it can look like your favorite meals are out the window. Not so fast! Here are a few comfort recipes that will have you excited for mealtime! Mexican Paleo and pizza can be done!
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Breakfast – Mexican Breakfast Casserole
I’m becoming a fan of breakfast casseroles. They allow me to make a hearty breakfast with lots of veggies and enough to serve my family two meals! This breakfast is inspired by Paleo Running Momma’s Mexican Breakfast Casserole, but I really changed things up.
I miscounted how many pounds of breakfast sausage I would need this week, so I didn’t have any left to make this dish. Ground beef to the rescue! Cook the ground beef as if you are making tacos: brown the beef then add seasoning and tomato sauce. Taco meat is a perfect substitution to this recipe!
Then I layered my dish with sweet potato rounds, sliced onions, and bell peppers and roasted all of those together in the bottom of the dish before adding the beef, tomatoes, and eggs.
In my egg mixture, I added salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of onion powder. I did this because I was in too much of a hurry to look up the actual recipe! This method turned out delicious (my boys each had 3 helpings!), but I do plan to make it again closer to the original recipe and see how it turns out!
Lunch – Cauliflower Pizza and Broccoli
Pizza was one of our specialties pre-Paleo diet. We had a killer deep dish pizza down-pat, and we were perfecting our thin crust when the diabetes hit.
I have tried a couple Paleo pizza crusts, but most of them use arrowroot powder which is really high in carbs. In the effort to not overload my pancreas (and thereby over-taxing and possibly killing it more) and yet still have pizza, I decided to give a cauliflower crust a try.
I followed this recipe by CheapRecipeBlog.com.
Overall, it was good. The crust is loaded with seasoning and does not taste like cauliflower at all. The texture was a bit soft and spongy. I might not have squeezed enough of the water out of the cauliflower. We’ll have it again, and I’ll try to get the crust more crusty.
I made my own pizza sauce from a recipe from my mom then topped the pizza with crumbled bacon, sliced pepperoni, and chopped onions. I try to have 2 vegetables with every meal so I added steamed broccoli on the side. My other veggie was the cauliflower. Does that count?
Easy Pizza Sauce
Quick and easy, homemade pizza sauce. Just a few ingredients and you'll have a tasty sauce with no unknown ingredients or additives!
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
Combine tomato sauce and spices in small sauce pan. Cook over low heat until sauce reaches desired consistency. The cook time will be depend on how runny the tomato sauce is and how thick you want the sauce to be. I typically cook it for 30-60 minutes.
When sauce reaches desired thickness, remove from heat and spread on prepared pizza dough.
Store in refrigerator for a week or freeze for up to 1 year.
Makes enough for 3 medium sized pizzas, about 8" in diameter.
Dinner – Paleo Mexican Picadillo
My all-time favorite cookbook is The Best Mexican Recipes by America’s Test Kitchen. Much to my heart’s sadness, most of the recipes are not Paleo-friendly. One of the dishes I’ve been able to adapt most easily is the Mexican Picadillo. My version of the recipe, complete with cauliflower rice is below.
This dish is hearty yet won’t leave you with a rock in your stomach! It’s chock full of good vegetables so while tasting like a comfort food, it’s good for you!
Paleo Mexican Picadillo
Ground beef and chopped vegetables in a hearty Mexican-flavored sauce served over cauliflower rice.
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 bell pepper stemmed, seeded, quartered
- 6 oz white sweet potatoes peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 carrots washed thoroughly, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 24 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1 jalapano stemmed, seeded, quartered
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 tbsp chili powder
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 heads cauliflower chopped into florets
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup water
Make the Picadillo.
Chop onion and bell pepper in a blender at low speed until roughly chopped. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Chop potatoes and carrots in blender at low speed until roughly chopped. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Blend tomatoes and jalapeno in blender until smooth. Pour into bowl and set aside.
Heat olive oil in large skillet until hot. Add the onion/bell pepper mixture and cook until soft, stirring frequently. Stir in chili powder and garlic until fragrant then add ground beef. Cook ground beef until all brown and cooked through.
Add potato/carrot mixture and tomato/jalapano mixture to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, on low but simmering until potatoes and carrots are soft, about 30 minutes.
Stir in cilantro. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over cauliflower rice with sliced avocado.
Make Cauliflower Rice
Clean the blender pitcher. Chop the cauliflower florets on low speed in small batches until chopped into rice-sized pieces. Put in bowl. Repeat until all cauliflower is riced.
Heat oil in large skillet or dutch oven until shimmering. Add onion and cook until starting to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add cauliflower to skillet along with salt and pepper. Stir until well mixed. Add water then cover and cook for 8-12 minutes, Stir every 2-3 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately topped with picadillo.
- Store leftovers in the fridge in airtight container.
- Reheat in the microwave for a quick lunch.
- Recipe is adapted from America's Test Kitchen Mexican-Style Picadillo. Adjustments were made to make this recipe Paleo-friendly.
Although these are not typical Mexican and pizza dishes, they are truly delicious! You and your family will enjoy them even if they are not like the real thing. I find myself being more easily satisfied with my food knowing that I am nourishing my body, not just satisfying a craving.
What have you tried that is atypical to the American diet?? Any great recipe hacks to share?