Yay! We’re back from holiday and have a proper Sunday Cook-up planned. Eating out on vacation is a treat…but makes us miss our own food.
We stayed mostly primal while away (I’d say 90% of the time), but some mindful indulgences were part of the fun (especially the smoked gouda polenta at OsoSonoma and cinnamon-vanilla bean crème brule at LaSalatte).
Honestly, though, the dishes we couldn’t stop talking about were within primal parameters. Big favorites:
- “Mammoth Coffee” (Whole Foods Sonoma’s version of Bulletproof—had mine with 2 espresso shots, a bit of hot water, grass-fed butter and coconut oil…powered me through morning yoga; oh, and WFS also has a Paleo hot bar!)
- Beet salad with citrus, smoked beet horseradish puree, fennel, arugula and pistachios
- Petaluma chicken with butternut squash purée, brussels sprouts, root vegetables and cranberry compote
- Morcela-blood sausage
- Tripe stew
- Pig’s ear and parsley salad
Yes—you read that that last one correctly. We had it, along with the blood sausage and tripe, at LaSalette—a dreamy restaurant tucked in an alley and serving “new Portuguese cuisine” made from very fresh, very local ingredients (easily our favorite place to eat in Sonoma).
Randy loved the the pig’s ears so much they brought tears to his eyes (yes, seriously). We tried the pig’s feet terrine there too—but nothing compared to those crazy-good ears. Crazy. Good. Ears.
Because rich foods such as these—as well as indulgences and unknowns—were more likely at dinner, we kept the rest of the day simple and healthy.
For me, this looked the same throughout our trip: a post-yoga breakfast/lunch at the adorable Sunflower Caffé.
Sure, Sunflower features some decidedly un-paleo fare, but they also have a beautiful collection of sides—my meal came from that section of the menu and felt perfect (not only while eating it, but afterward):
- 2 eggs
- Local organic greens with lemon-parsley dressing on the side, garnished with a slice of orange
- Sliced California avocado
- Organic Greek yoghurt (one day I subbed local smoked sausage)
- Black coffee
Was plenty of real food (including essential fat and protein) to keep me sated during a day of writing, walking and yoga. Then, after my evening yoga class, a more exotic dinner awaited.
Pretty fabulous and yet…by the end of our trip, we were missing dinner at home.
We love knowing exactly what goes into our meals—which, for the most part, are very simple but use very healthy, high-quality ingredients.
No canola or other cheap seed oils in our kitchen, that’s for sure. For the most part, we use coconut oil, ghee and butter from from pasture-raised cows for cooking…and extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling.
No hidden sugars sneak in either. If we indulge in a natural sugar or sugary food, we do so super-consciously. Mostly, this looks like fresh berries with a few squares of 85% dark chocolate after dinner, possibly topped with a teaspoon of raw honey, a teaspoon of almond butter and a bit of full-fat Greek yoghurt or coconut milk—sprinkled liberally with cinnamon of course!
Meanwhile, when it comes to meat and eggs, we steer clear of conventional and go for labels like “pasture-raised,” “grass-fed” and “organic.” (Incidentally, pasture-raised—not organic—is the best choice for eggs, and the best egg of all is pasture-raised on a trusted local farm).
For us, sticking to these standards was way easier in Sonoma than is the case when eating out in Palm Beach. But we still returned eager for a Sunday cook-up featuring simple, familiar fare.
So…today’s line-up of cooking and prepping looks like this:
- Bison burgers seasoned with rosemary and thyme served with…
- Spaghetti squash “noodles”;
- Oven-roasted chicken coated in ghee and seasoned with paprika, garlic salt, sea salt and pepper served with…
- Oven-roasted, coconut-oil coated mushrooms, carrots and beets;
- Smoked salmon and avocado lettuce wraps served with a…
- Simple apple-fennel soup;
- Plenty of sliced veggies;
- Ready-to-go snacks: hard-boiled eggs, walnuts and apples;
- Ready-to-go after-dinner dessert: pumpkin custard (to be topped with a scoop of coconut manna, berries, cinnamon, and a square of 85% dark chocolate)
Nothing fancy…but not too bad, hey? Now, if only I could learn how to cook pig’s ears…
Got your own line-up of inspiring paleo-primal dishes? Please share them in the comments!