Every year at Christmas my husband and I host a dinner with our siblings and their significant others.  After 3 massive turkey dinners, we wanted to do something completely different so we opted for an Asian theme.  I wanted to use this as an opportunity to try out a few new primal recipes and get some non-primal testimonials from our siblings.  On the menu:

– Sushi and Sashimi – Not primal.  Hence the title of this post being “Mostly Primal.”  You could easily omit this part of the meal if you wanted to keep it Primal.
– Primal Sesame Grilled Salmon & Chicken
– Grilled Steak
– Primal Asian Style Green Beans
– Primal Ginger Spinach and Water Chestnuts
– Primal Banana-Coconut Mini Cakes
– Primal Lemon-Blueberry Custard Tarts

 

Sesame Asian Chicken

 

Sesame Asian Salmon

Primal Sesame Asian Chicken & Salmon
Ingredients (serves 7-8)
Approx 3 lbs Salmon (boneless, skin-on)
– Approx 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
– 4 Tbsp dijon mustard
– 5 Tbsp tamari sauce (gluten-free soy)
– 10 Tbsp Sesame Oil
– 1 tsp minced garlic and ginger

Directions

  1. Whisk together sesame oil, garlic, ginger, tamari and dijon.
  2. Pour 1/2 of the marinade onto the meat and marinate in the fridge for ~30 minutes
  3. Grill chicken and salmon on the BBQ or indoor grill (350-400 temp).  About 5 min each side.
  4. Pour remaining marinade onto the meat before serving
 

Primal Asian Green Beans

Primal Asian Style Green Beans
Some may argue that Green Beans are not Paleo because they are a legume and legumes are excluded from the Paleo diet because of their Lectin load which could be toxic. Here is a link from Robb Wolf’s website explaining why in more detail. Mark from Mark’s Daily Apple (Primal Blueprint) has recipes that include green beans, so I suppose you can argue it both ways. Personally,  I eat green beans and avoid other legumes.

Ingredients (serves 7-8)
– 1 1/2 Pound green beans – washed and ends trimmed
– 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
– 1 tsp minced ginger
– 1/2 tsp chili pepper
– 1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
– 3 Tbsp tamari sauce
– 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar

Directions

  1. Cook green beans until they are 90% cooked and soak in cold water to stop cooking them. I cooked mine in the microwave – in a casserole dish with a bit of water. Set aside
  2. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil and add garlic, ginger and chili pepper
  3. Add green beans and stir-fry for 2 minutes
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir-fry for another 2 minutes
 

Primal Ginger Spinach and Water Chestnuts

Primal Ginger Spinach and Water Chestnuts

Ingredients (serves 7-8)
–  3 Large bunches of fresh spinach (about 1.5 lb) – washed and ends chopped off
– 1 small tin of water chestnuts (about 2/3 cup)
–  2 Tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy)
– 1 tsp rice vinegar
– 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
– 1/2 tsp fresh minced ginger
– 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
– 3 – 4 Tbsp slivered almonds

Directions

  1. Heat sesame oil in skillet
  2. Add ginger, garlic and spinach.  Stir-fry for 3 minutes
  3. Add water chestnuts, rice vinegar and tamari.  Stir -fry for another 1-2 minutes.  Place in a serving dish
  4. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top and serve.
 

Primal Banana-Coconut Mini Cake and Lemon-Blueberry Custard Tart

Lemon-Blueberry Custard Tart (8 Tarts)

Eat these in moderation!  Although they are gluten-free/dairy-free, they still contain sugar and should not be part of your regular Paleo/Primal diet.

Ingredients
Tart Shell
– 1 Cup almond flour
– 3 Tbsp lemon juice
– 6 large Medjool dates

Filling
– 2 lemon rinds – finely grated/minced
– 16 Tbsp lemon juice (approx the juice of 2 lemons)
– 2 Tbsp raw honey
–  1/2 Cup coconut milk
– 6 eggs
– 1/2 cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Put the dates through your food processor until they form a paste.  You can use your hands to break them down if you don’t have a good food processor (that’s what I usually have to do)
  3. Combine dates with remaining tart shell ingredients and mix together until it forms a dough
  4. Put the dough in between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll it out until it forms into a thin layer of dough
  5. Take pieces of the dough and mould them to fit into your muffin liners / muffin baking sheet.
  6. Bake the tart shells for about 10 minutes until they are brown and crisp.  Remove and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk and eggs.  Whisk together and set aside.
  8. In a small pot, heat the lemon rind, lemon juice and honey.  Allow it to simmer at med-heat – about 2 minutes.
  9. Slowly add the egg/coconut milk mixture to the pot stirring constantly.
  10. Continue stirring and add the blueberries
  11. Keep stirring until the custard starts to get thicker and the consistency becomes like custard
  12. Pour into the tart shells and refrigerate.
  13. You might have leftover custard (I had quite a bit).  You can put them into small bowls and eat the custard without the tart shell.  It’s quite delicious this way too.

    Our Non-Primal siblings and significant others provided the following testimonials:
    “This chicken is so good – i need to get this marinade recipe from you.” The chicken was a big hit.
    “Can I have that second dessert?” Said twice.
    “This is all really good”
    “The spinach could probably use something else to spice it up.”
    I think I will add chili pepper next time.

     

     


Yesterday was my Semi-Primal Husband’s birthday so I wanted to make his favourite Paleo treat.  This is the Gorilla Cake from Son of Grok, but I’ve slightly modified it based on the ingredients I had available and to bake 2 mini-cakes.  This is also one of my favourite desserts to make because it’s super easy and you can modify the ingredients to suit your tastes if you prefer more banana or more coconut flavour.  If you want the whole cake recipe, here is the link.

Ingredients (for 2 Mini-Cakes)
Crust
– 1/4 Cup Almond Flour
– 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
– Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Filling
1 really ripe banana (i buy a bunch, let them get brown and then freeze them for future baking)
– 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
– 3 Tbsp Coconut Milk
– 1/2 of 1 Egg 
– Sprinkle of Cinnamon 

Directions
1.  Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. Melt coconut oil and mix with almond flour and cinnamon (this is your crust)
3. Press the crust thinly into 2 muffin wrappers in the muffin baking pan – cover the bottom and at least 1/2 way up the sides
4. Bake the crust for ~7 minutes or until it’s turned darker
5. While the crust bakes, mash up the banana (i run it through the food processor to get the best consistency) 
6. Add in the coconut, egg and mix thoroughly
7. Remove the crust from the oven and pour the filling in.  Sprinkle some cinnamon on top
8. Bake for another 10-15 minutes – until the filling has baked through (use a toothpick to poke through the filling and if it comes out clean, you’re good to go) 
9.  We like these best cold, so I usually put them in the fridge.  You can eat them warm if you like. 

My Semi-Primal Husband provided the following testimonial: “This is my favourite dessert!”  

Happy Birthday Mike!  I love you!!