Tag Archives: Vegan

Indian Sweet Potato Soup

Sometimes I feel paleo food blogs rely too much on sweet potatoes – but really, they are such an ancient and ubiquitous crop, and they are a s0-called superfood, and they’re pretty delicious,  so I’m guessing we’ll continue to see lots of ideas for preparing sweet potatoes.

This one I stole (ahem, adapted) from Vindalho, a Portland Indian restaurant after a friend’s birthday celebration.

Easy Indian sweet potato soup:

Three medium sweet potatoes, boiled, peeled and quartered (hint, peel them after they are cooked)

Two cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 sweet onion, chopped and softly sauteed in butter or coconut oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

A dash of garam masala

One cup coconut milk

Put all of the above (cooked) ingredients into the blender in batches, and blend until smooth.  Heat and serve with a bit of fresh cilantro.

Easy, pretty, yummy!

Sweet potato soup


Grilled Sweet Potato Salad


I know it is right after Thanksgiving here in the States, and you probably are sick of sweet potatoes.   You think you could go the rest of the season without eating another one – but, oh boy, you are wrong.   Just wait until you try this recipe.

Thanks to my husband, Michael, for finding this gem at:





–         2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces

–         2 sweet onions, peeled, trimmed, and cut into ½ inch wedges

–         2 mangos, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾ inch pieces

–         1 red bell pepper, stem, rib, and seeds removed, cut into ¾ inch pieces

–         ¼ cup olive oil

–         2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

–         ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

–         ½ teaspoon ground cumin

–         ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

–         ¼ teaspoon salt

–         Pinch cayenne

–         ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

–         1/3 cup chopped toasted peanuts (we left these off)


–         Either preheat a grill, OR preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

–         In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onions, mangos, and bell peppers.  Add the oil, lime juice, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, salt, and cayenne.  Toss well to coat evenly.

–         Lay 2 large pieces of heavy aluminum foil in a stack on a work surface.  Mound the sweet potato mixture into the middle and wrap in the foil, turning up the edges to make a tight, well-sealed package.  Place directly on the grill and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes – OR plate the package in the middle of the oven and roast until the potatoes begin to soften, about 45 to 50 minutes.  Uncover and roast until tender and starting to caramelize, 15 to 20 minutes.

–         Remove from grill or oven and let cool slightly.  Transfer mixture to a large bowl, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve~

–         Enjoy!

Red, White, and Blue Salad

Peace, everyone, and I hope you had a happy Independence day.  I ate some amazing barbeque ribs and lots of other amazing food prepared by some amazing friends, and I brought this to the party:

Red White & Blue Salad

  • Spinach
  • Blueberries
  • Sliced Strawberries
  • Toasted Pecans
  • Gorgonzola Cheese
  • Strawberry Vinaigrette


It’s my own recipe.  Okay, it isn’t much of a recipe, but it beautiful and gives me a chance to introduce you to one of my favorite things:  flavored vinegar.

I go to a local oil and vinegar shop (yes, there are such things) called Navidi’s Olive Oil and Vinegars.  Most of my relatives are familiar with Navidi’s, because they get vinegar for Christmas.  Navidi’s and similar specialty shops sell a variety of olive and nut oils, and about thirty flavors of balsamic vinegar – from Sicilian Lemon to Blackberry Ginger.  A word of caution:  Some balsamic vinegars have added sugar (Navidi’s purportedly does not), so read your labels.

I grew up in East Tennessee, and like most Appalachians, I absolutely love greens and vinegar.  Old-timers used to boil greens, strain the juice, add red wine vinegar, and drink the “pot liquor.”  I’m not quite that bad, but I love cooked greens, and I love salads with vinaigrette.

I made this vinaigrette dressing with Navidi’s Strawberry Vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  It was tangy and delicious.  I encourage you to try flavored vinegars yourself this summer – they are so good with peaches, strawberries, or as a marinade for chicken or pork.

Omit the cheese from this recipe to make it paleo and vegan!

Fruit Cake! The good kind – not that heavy brick-like thing filled with green cherries they sell at the gas station each December.


Okay, so this one is more of a craft than a recipe.  It is a bit fiddly to make, but totally worth it!   My sister Rachel and I, with the help of a six year old chef, made this for our mom’s Mother’s Day dessert.  I am going to be making this all summer, so heads up if you invite me to a cook-out – you know what I’ll be bringing!




–         Watermelon – get a big one, not those little personal size ones.  You are going to need a lot of triangular slices for the cake foundation.

–         Any fruit that floats your boat.  We used cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries, and blueberries.  It would be fabulous to use honeydew or kiwi fruit to get some green color too.  Raspberries, pineapple, mango… you get the idea.


–         Cut your watermelon into triangular slices and arrange in a circular fashion on a plate, staking up the layers as you go.  Take the time to fiddle with it a bit so that the cake layers are as even as you can get them.

–         Slice your fruit up how you like it.  We thinly cut the cantaloupe and then had the six year old cut out flower patters with a fondant cutter (so glad to have a use for those again.  Palo diets aren’t big on fondant).

–         Stick your fruit on toothpicks and decorate the cake any which way your little heart desires!

–         Enjoy!

Broiled Zucchini

Happy Weekend!  Here is an easy and versatile side-dish to get you started:

Broiled Zucchini from Nom Nom Paleo

It uses minimal ingredients and is perfect now, when zucchini is coming into season.

This smells *wonderful* while it is broiling. (Like cookies!  Well, sort of.)  It cooks super-fast and is very tasty.  I used coconut oil and salt and pepper.  You do need a mandolin slicer to make this.  I cut the *tar* out of myself with my mandolin slicer at least once a year, so heed my advice – do not ever take your eyes off the mandolin slicer!

So be careful, but try these this weekend.


Cauliflower Rice

I had wanted to try this for sometime.  I had needed a base for several of my dishes and I missed being able to use rice.  I don’t miss all the mineral sucking phytate that is in brown rice, but I do miss the cozy bed that it used to make to tuck my tender main dishes into.  So, I had heard about this cauliflower “rice” mentioned frequently on Mark Sisson’s site (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz1suYnluSM) and have wanted to try it.  The original recipe hails from his Primal Blueprint Cookbook.   I served a tasty little pan-fried cod with sautéed red peppers over it and this rice held up really well.  It absorbed some of the pan drippin’s from the fish and was pretty darn convincing as “rice” goes.  The down side to this recipe is that it takes some work.  I ended up using a hand grater instead of a food processor to grate the cauliflower.  I didn’t think the processor was doing much more than pulverizing the cauliflower and making more of a mess than just doing it by hand.  So, it took a little while to get the job done, but I ended up with a more attractive “rice” than just a pile of mush.


1 head of cauliflower, grated for 1 or 2 cups (however much you will need)

Lots of Oil (i.e. organic butter, olive oil, or coconut oil depending upon your preference.

Lots of salt and pepper to taste.

Steam the riced cauliflower for just a few minutes until tender.  (I grated it directly into a glass bowl, covered it with a soaking wet paper towel, and microwaved it for 2-3 minutes.  Add lots of oil, salt, and pepper to taste.  I found it took lots as it is pretty bland just by itself.  Of course, these amount may vary depending upon what you plan to serve over it.

In the picture above, I served cod that had been gently pan-fried in olive oil and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper.  The helpful chef that owns the natural food store close to us suggested just to fry it in a little butter so as to not overwhelm the subtle sweet taste of the meat.  But I love garlic (as I’ve mentioned before!) and prefer the strong overwhelming garlic taste on the cod!  It turned out great and I am looking forward to experimenting with this rice again.

Scary Rosemary Squash

OK, I have a confession to make.   I have a fear of butternut squash.  Not of eating it, no.  I am scared of cutting it.

The skin is so thick, and the shape is so awkward, plus the squash is so big, I’m afraid of really cutting myself with my big chef’s knife while I try to cut up the squash.  So I’ve resorted to other options.

Option 1 (credit my friend Maggie):  Put your whole squash into a grocery bag, tie or staple it shut, then go out to your concrete patio and slam the bagged squash into the concrete.  The squash will break apart into pieces, which you then can clean out and bake in a water bath.  No cutting whatsoever.

Option 2:  Go ahead and use your chef knife to make four slow steady cuts vertically and horizontally through the squash, then clean and bake in water bath.  Minimal cutting.

When I have seen recipes involving cubed squash, or butternut squash fries, my response has always been “dream on.”  I keep my fingers safe.

But it would be nice to be able to enjoy butternut squash other in some other ways, so finally, I screwed up my courage and made this:

Rosemary Thyme Butternut Squash by Purely Primal

But first I googled “how to cut up a butternut squash” and reviewed this.  That helped.

Then I got to it.  The prep was surprisingly easy.  And of course it was delicious.

So it seems I have overcome my fear of squash!