This Paleo Nights theme was Ethnic foods….we had yummy recipes from all over the world including: Caribbean, Chinese, Thai, Indian, French and Italian.  Before I post the recipes, I want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who came out for the night!  There were lots of new people and some returning friends.

Massive appreciation to Sio for organizing and being the best hostess!!!

Big thank you to Crossfit Quantum for hosting these events!!

Many thanks to the Healthy Butcher for supplying the delicious organic and humanely raised meats!

And a big thank you to Semi-Primal Husband for all the help…without you, I not be able to pull this off!

Thanks again to everyone for coming out and I hope to see you at the next Paleo Nights event!

Here are all the recipes:
Appetizers:

Caribbean Jerk Steak
Asian Slaw

Mains:
Indian No-Butter Chicken
Paleo Shrimp Pad Thai

Desserts:
Hazelnut Biscotti
Almond Orange Cake 

This is a super easy rub that spices up your boring steak.  I grilled up a big piece and ate it for breakfast all week…so yummy!  You end up with a sweet taste, but there is no sugar as per a typical jerk rub.

Ingredients (makes about 10 strips):
– 1 Lb flank steak
-½ Tbsp of: onion powder, garlic powder, allspice, coriander.
-1 Tbsp thyme
-1 tsp of: nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper 
-3 Tbsp fresh lime juice 
-1 Tbsp olive oil 
-1 Tbsp tamari (wheat-free soy) 
-fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except steak in a bowl and mix thoroughly 
  2. Rub onto flank steak and marinate in a sealed bag in the fridge for a few hours or overnight 
  3. Bring flank steak out of the fridge for 30  minutes before grilling 
  4. Grill on high heat for 2-3 min per side (depending on thickness and how rare you want it.  Recommended: Medium-Rare) 
  5. Remove from grill – Tent the meat under foil and let it rest for 5 minutes 
  6. Slice into thin pieces (slice against the grain of the meat) and serve.

This was my first time using Kelp noodles and I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to try them.  They are very easy to prepare and give you the same satisfaction as a rice noodle.  I used Shrimp only in this version because we had chicken in the Butter Chicken dish.  Pad Thai normally calls for Sugar, often Ketchup (gross!) and Fish Sauce so I knew I had a challenge ahead of me to try and “paleo-ize” it.  It turned out amazing and everyone at Paleo Nights seemed to enjoy it.  The other nice thing about this dish is that it tastes great heated up the next day so you can make a big batch and have leftovers.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
– 20 jumbo shrimp, peeled
– 1 Pack of Kelp Noodles (you can get these at The Big Carrot in Toronto or order them online from Upaya Naturals
– 2 Tbsp Tamari (wheat-free soy)
– 2 Tbsp 100% Tamarind paste – you will most likely need to get this from an Indian grocer (there are some in Toronto just East of Carlaw on Gerrard.  google it).  They sell Tamarind paste at normal grocers but it contains other ingredients.
–  3 Tbsp sesame oil
– juice of 1 lime
– 1 Tbsp almond butter
– 1 tsp sambal oelek (red chili paste)
– 1/4 C chicken stock 
– 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
– 1/2 chopped red onion
– 1 large bunch of green onions – chopped
– 1 C bean sprouts
– small handful of crushed cashews (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Rinse kelp noodles thoroughly in cold water while separating strands.  Drain and set aside
  2. In a small bowl, combine tamari, lime juice, tamarind, sambal oelek, chicken stock, almond butter and 1 Tbsp of sesame oil.  Whisk together and set aside.
  3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp of sesame oil in a wok.  Add red onion and garlic and saute until softened.  
  4. Add shrimp and saute for 2 minutes
  5. Add Kelp noodles and pour sauce on.  Mix together thoroughly.  
  6. Add green onions and sprouts and stir fry for about 5-7 minutes or until Kelp noodles have cooked (bite into it and you’ll know when they are cooked, much like normal pasta)
  7. Serve with some chopped cashews on top
  8. Enjoy!

For the Ethnic themed Paleo Nights event I wanted to take a couple ‘popular’ ethnic dishes and see if I could “paleo-ize” them. A friend at Crossfit Quantum said that he makes a nice slow-cooker butter chicken, so i thought I’d try a Butter Chicken recipe to represent India on the menu…some people said it tasted more like Tikka Masala.  You can decide for yourself – either way it’s delicious.  I haven’t had real Butter Chicken in so long, so it was hard for me to remember what the real deal tastes like.   You can find all the necessary spices in the ethnic aisle at any Real Canadian Superstore.  

Ingredients (serves 4)
– 1 head of cauliflower (for rice substitute) – ground up to a rice like consistency
– 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
– 3/4 – 1 C coconut cream – use the thick cream that resides on the top of coconut milk or you can buy coconut cream and add water to make it less dense.
– 1/4 C lemon juice
– 4 tsp of each: ground cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper
– 2 tsp garam masala 
– 1 tsp ground tumeric
– 2 Tbsp minced garlic
–  1 Tbsp minced ginger
– 3 Tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 C cashew nut butter
– 1 medium onion – minced
– 1/2 C crushed tomatoes (use the kind w/out any other ingredients)
– 1/2  – 1 C chicken stock (you might need 1 full Cup if the sauce is too thick)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine coconut cream, lemon juice, 1/2 of the spices: 2 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of coriander, 2 tsp of cayenne, 1 tsp of garam masala, 1/2 tsp turmeric.  And garlic and ginger.
  2. In a re-sealable bag, add chicken and cover with marinade.  Marinate overnight or for at least 4 hours
  3. Pre-heat oven to 400
  4. Pour chicken and marinade into a baking dish and cook chicken until it’s 90% cooked through.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Once cooled enough, cut into bite size pieces.
  5. In a large skillet, heat olive oil.  Add onions (and some more garlic if you like) and saute until softened.
  6. Add the other 1/2 of spices (2 tsp of cumin, 2 tsp of coriander, 2 tsp of cayenne, 1 tsp of garam masala, 1/2 tsp turmeric).  Add crushed tomatoes and cashew nut butter.  Stir for about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the chicken pieces.  Start to add chicken stock while stirring.  Start with 1/2 a Cup and continue adding until you get your desired consistency.  I had to use about 1 Cup in total.
  8. Let it simmer on low-heat for about 20 minutes
  9. Enjoy!

Eat these desserts in moderation!  They are not Paleo/Primal.

For dessert I chose to experiment with a french recipe that I found on The Food Network which actually calls for almond flour…shocking!  I removed the sugar, used a smaller quantity of coconut sap and didn’t use any grand marnier or sweetener in the glaze.  I think you definitely need a hand-mixer for this one because you have to beat the egg whites until they are white peaks….i suppose you could use a whisk if you wanted a hardcore wrist WOD.  Personally all the zesting was enough of a wrist WOD for me.

Ingredients (makes a 9 x 9 cake – about 9 pieces)
– 6 eggs
– 1/3 C coconut sugar or 2-3 Tbsps of maple syrup or raw honey (you can buy coconut sugar at The Big Carrot in Toronto)
– zest of 3 oranges
– juice of 3 oranges (set this aside for after you have baked the cake)
– 1 1/2 C almond flour (ground almonds)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.  Grease the baking pan (use some coconut oil or olive oil spritz)
  2. Separate the eggs into 2 bowls (whites in one, yolks in another).
  3. Beat the yolks with the zest, coconut sugar and almond flour
  4. Using a hand-mixer, beat the whites until they are white, foamy and forming peaks
  5. Slowly start to fold in the whites into the bowl with the zest mixture.  Gently (because otherwise you lose some of the fluff) continue folding and mixing until it’s thoroughly combined.
  6. Pour into baking pan and bake until a fork comes out dry (about 40 min).
  7. Poke small holes in the top of the cake and pour in the orange juice.
  8. C’est bon!

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.

I am voting this one my best innovations of 2010! SO GOOD!  In case you couldn’t tell, I was really pleased with the way these turned out.  This Italian dessert rounded out the Ethnic Paleo Nights.

Ingredients (makes 20 pieces of biscotti)
– 1 1/2 C almond flour (ground almonds)
– 1/3 C coconut sugar
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp espresso powder
– just under 1/4 C grapeseed oil (i think any baking oil would work)
– 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 C hazelnuts – roughly chopped
– 3 Tbsp Hazelnut butter
– 2 Tbsp raw cocoa nibs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. You’ll need a large baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment paper and greased
  3. In a large bowl, mix together almond flour, baking soda, espresso powder and hazelnuts.
  4. Add the coconut sugar, grapeseed oil, vanilla, raw cocoa and hazelnut butter (you might need to melt this to make it mix-able). Mix together
  5. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.
  6. Pour the dough into 2 length-wise shapes on the baking sheet about 3 inches apart from one another.  You will need to use your hands to shape the dough – try to make each piece of dough about 12 inches long and 5 inches wide. A bit cylinder-like.
  7. Bake for ~30 minutes or until it’s fairly firm.  Carefully loosen the dough from the baking sheet using a large spatula and move the cylinders off the baking pan and onto a cutting board.  Carefully slice cross-wise on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices.
  8. Put the slices back on the baking sheet and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the dough is firm and crispy.
  9. Good luck trying not to eat them all.  Enjoy!

The 2 main dishes for this Paleo Night were pretty heavy, so I wanted to include something lighter for an appetizer.  This salad is very colourful and refreshing.  It uses a Daikon radish (often called a Chinese radish), which is something I had never used before but will definitely use again in other salads.  

Ingredients (serves 4)
Dressing:

– 1/4 C rice wine vinegar
– 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
– 1 Tbsp sesame oil
– 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 1/2 Tbsp minced ginger

Salad:
– 1/3 red cabbage – shredded
– 1/3 Daikon radish – grated
– 1/2 carrot – grated 
– 1/2 red pepper – thinly sliced
– 1/2 orange pepper – thinly sliced
– 1/2 C fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:

  1. Prep veggies and combine in a large bowl.
  2. Prep dressing by mixing together ingredients.  
  3. Pour onto veggies and mix.   
  4. Enjoy!

This will keep in the fridge for a couple days so you can make a big batch and munch on it all week.