It is the end of what is, in my opinion, the worst part of the year (winter but not Christmas), and gives me hope and focus. Focus on my spirituality, on my health, on Spring's upcoming arrival. And I think that sacrifice is beneficial to all of the above. It reminds me that worldly things aren't that important (and oh how I struggle with this... much as I struggle with not snacking on Fridays), that this time of year is a time when fasting and detoxing can help cleanse and energize the body, and that no matter what I give up, by the time Easter rolls around it will be Spring.
But wait, there's more. I'm not just giving up grain. I'm going (nearly) paleo. I fully understand that the Paleo diet is meant to be a life choice, but for my causes I am not, at least at the moment, considering it to be a permanent change. I'm also not following it to the letter- I plan to eat psuedo grains like amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa once or twice a week, particularly on days that I am more active, and I plan to eat small amounts of dairy in things (like the buttermilk in quinoa waffles), although I will avoid eating cheese... which is pretty much the only dairy I normally consume. The other compromise- I'm not forcing my family to go paleo with me. Of course they will eat most of what I eat, but I will make rice or potatoes in addition for them most nights.
So far it's been three days and I'm doing alright. My only "compromises" have been a few pieces of dark chocolate, which I am allowing myself on occasion. Yesterday morning, after a smoothie with 2 eggs and a banana in it (which should have kept me full), I did body pump and was STARVING after, likely because I did an hour on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the rowing machine the night before. I was starving and I didn't cheat. And I came up with a new recipe, as, during the drive home, I merged the things I was craving into one. I have to say, it was everything I had hoped for and more- even Oliver LOVED (not liked, like licked the bowl LOVED) this one. Plus it's super simple and quick.
Paleo Sweet Potato Hash
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 T. butter or coconut oil
- 1 small onion, or 1/2 a regular onion, diced
- 1/2 lb. sausage (I used my homemade breakfast sausage, sweetened with a touch of maple syrup, but you could use sweet or spicy, to your taste)
- pinch of thyme
- pinch of garlic salt (real garlic would have been AWESOME, but I didn't realize I was out)
- salt and pepper to taste
As the potato steams, get a cast iron skillet good and hot and melt the butter or coconut oil. Add the onion and saute until soft, then add sausage, breaking up into crumbles. Saute onion and sausage until no pink remains, then add steamed sweet potatoes and seasoning. Allow mixture to cook until it starts to brown (stir as little as possible) to your desired browning level.
PS I took really awesome pictures of this dish with my swanky new camera. However no one told me that DSLR's don't ever have internal memories (why is that???), so the pictures disappeared instantly, unbeknownst to me. Next time!
Check out more real food recipes at Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday!