Homestyle Paleo-Garlic Mashed Potatoes (Cauliflower)

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, thought I’d share a simple substitute for a holiday dinner staple… Mashed Potatoes! My recipe includes Kerrygold unsalted grass-fed butter, so this is classified as a “Primal” dish, however you can easily customize this to fit your Paleo, Whole30, and dairy-free life by substituting the butter with 1/4 cup almond milk. Because sizes vary for heads of cauliflower, pour the almond milk in slowly and mix a little at a time. You might find you don’t need 1/4 cup, or you might need a little more, based on the consistency of the mixture.

Here are the ingredients I used. You’ll also need a large pot, baking dish, tin foil, and some sort of blending device.

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To roast the garlic I use a ramekin (small dish). If you don’t have one place the cloves of garlic on tin foil, drizzle with olive oil and wrap the tin foil sealing it shut. Place the garlic tin foil bundle on an oven safe dish or pan.

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Cut the cauliflower into large chunks, you may have to cut the pieces smaller when you process them.

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Boil the cauliflower till the stalks are fork tender, the stalks take a little longer to soften than the florets. If you prefer to steam your cauliflower in a double boiler, that’s fine too, the resulting tender cauliflower is what we’re looking for here.

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I LOVE green onion! But you can use chives or scallion stems interchangeably here. Fun fact… Green onion, chives, and scallions are not the same. Green onion and scallion are of the same genus but a scallions have a large round white bulb, green onions have a skinny narrow white bulb. Chives, an herb, are altogether different, you typically just buy the green stalks. They are not always interchangeable but as a garnish in this recipe, they are : )

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To mash the cauliflower you will need a blending device. A large-basin food processor works great but you can use an immersion blender or in my case, if your food processor crapped the bed, you can use a Ninja or Magic Bullet or any blender device. You could also use a hand masher to break up the cauliflower then a hand mixer to smooth it all out.

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Once you mix all ingredients into a smooth mash potato-like consistency, you can choose to serve as is or bake. To serve as is simply spoon into a bowl and garnish with green onion. To bake, follow instructions below. If you are dairy tolerant you can mix it up a little and top your cauliflower with cheddar or another cheese of your choosing, then bake.

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Final product… Can’t wait to share this tonight at Friendsgiving : )

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This recipe makes about 9 servings, divide leftovers into tupperware dishes for lunch or freeze for later.

Enjoy!

Have you found a great alternative mashed potatoes recipe? Have you tried mine? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

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Details:
  • Prep time: 25 minutes, Cook time: 20 minutes.
  • Servings: 9
  • Approved for: Primal, Gluten-free; if you substitute butter with almond milk: Whole30, Paleo
  • Macronutrients: Carbs
Ingredients:
1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp grass-fed butter or sub butter with 1/4 cup almond milk
Salt and pepper to taste, about 1/2 tsp of each
Instructions:
1. Roast Garlic: Peel excess skin from cloves, trim a small piece of the head from each clove, place in a ramekin and drizzle with olive oil. Seal ramekin with tin foil and bake at 400 for 25 minutes, then let cool.
2. Boil Cauliflower: Cut off the large stem holding the head together and remove the leaves from cauliflower. Cut head into large chunks. Place chunks in a large pot and cover with water. Cover the pot and boil till stems of cauliflower are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and place cauliflower back in pot to cool.
3. Prep other ingredients: While garlic is roasting and cauliflower is boiling, chop enough green onion to garnish, and cut butter into tablespoons (pour almond milk into measuring cup if using instead of butter).
4. Mash all together: Handling hot cauliflower carefully, place pieces into food processor and process till smooth. Add butter (or almond milk), salt, and pepper to the cauliflower. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the cloves into the mix. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated throughout.
5. Bake: Spoon mixture into a serving dish, bake at 350 until the top starts to brown lightly, 15-20 minutes.

6. Serve: Garnish with green onion and serve.

 

 

Avoid these 3 pitfalls to nail your New Year’s resolution

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This is the year that we make our resolutions stick!

Only have a minute? Here’s the post in a nutshell:

  • Pitfall #1: We put ourselves behind the 8-ball by overindulging and/or abandoning our health and fitness routine during the holiday season. Enjoy the season, but keep your goal in mind and lay the groundwork for success.
  • Pitfall #2: We set unsustainable or overly ambitious goals. Big goals are awesome, but we achieve them by making sustainable changes.
  • Pitfall #3: We’re too hard on ourselves and give up too easily. If you fall off the wagon, it’s ok, just hop back on and keep moving forward.

                     ~Life’s not a game of perfect, it’s a game of progress~

 

We’re moving into the holiday season and 2015 is coming to a close. That means crisp air, family gatherings, and great meals. For many of us, it can also mean lots of shopping, stress, and emails saying, “let’s re-connect on this after the first of the year”. For most of us, it also means it is time to start thinking about a New Year’s Resolution.

I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions because it always seemed to me that we could just start today, rather than waiting for January 1st. However, I’ve decided to can that soapbox tangent (along with my one about “after the first of the year” emails) for another venue. The fact is, the large majority of us will make a resolution, likely focused on health and fitness, and we’d really like to help you make it a successful one.

You might be thinking, “It’s not even Thanksgiving. Isn’t it a little early to start worrying about New Year’s resolutions?” Which brings me to:

Pitfall #1 – We let ourselves go during the holiday season

We’ve all been there. Work is crazy. Family is coming into town. Co-workers are bringing tons of delicious cookies and candy to the office. It’s certainly hard to stay committed to a consistent and healthy routine during the holiday season. Good thing we’re going to clean it all up after New Year’s, right? Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way. By overindulging or completely abandoning our health and fitness routines, we dig ourselves into a hole before we even start. Instead of setting the conditions for success, we’ve put ourselves behind the 8-ball.

How to avoid it:

  • Recognize that the holiday season is going to present some challenges, and make peace with it. It is fine to have a big Thanksgiving meal and the occasional (or regular) Christmas cookie. Give yourself some grace and enjoy the season. Trying to be too strict is not a good strategy. You don’t need to be perfect, but let’s try to keep it on the rails. Do your best, even if it isn’t perfect.
  • Think about your resolution/goal now, and set the conditions for success. Finish the year strong and put yourself in a position to accomplish your goal when the calendar turns. As an added bonus, eating well and exercising will help to reduce some of that holiday stress.

 

Pitfall #2 – We make unsustainable resolutions

I’ve learned this one from (numerous) personal experiences. If you’re anything like me, you see the New Year as a world of possibilities and you’re ready to attack it. We’re going to have a super-clean diet, run 40 miles a week, do yoga every morning, add 100 pounds to our deadlift, and write a novel…all while being an awesome dad, a loving husband, a caring friend, and an asset to the community. Sound familiar? Here’s the thing, BIG goals are wonderful and they should be nurtured. However, BIG goals are best achieved by consistently reaching a series of sustainable goals.

How to avoid it:

  • Make an honest assessment of where you’re at and what you’re likely to stick with. If you’re currently working out once a week, or not at all, it probably makes sense to set a goal of 3 days per week. One of my favorite goals is to “get out and move” everyday. You’d be surprised how often that walk around the block turns into a few miles or that easy 2-mile jog turns into a brisk 4-mile run.
  • Don’t put a finish line on your resolution. This is a big one. Here’s an example of what I’d consider a bad resolution: “lose 20 pounds by April 1st”. This kind of goal presents a couple of issues, and this might seem a bit counterintuitive. First, we don’t know what happens after April 1st. The real goal is not to be 20 pounds lighter in April, it is to STILL be 20 pounds lighter in 2 years! Second, the resolution isn’t based in behavior. I know that results matter, but you’ll likely realize better results if you simply focus on the behaviors (moving more, eating better, etc.) as opposed to just the result.

 

Pitfall #3 – We are too hard on ourselves and we give up too easily

Let’s say you heeded the first two warnings. You made it through the holidays in good shape, you set sustainable/reasonable goals for the New Year, and now you’re ready to make it happen. Everything is going really well until…BOOM. The national sales meeting is in Orlando and it is a weeklong bonanza of coffee, catering, cocktails, and more coffee. You’re officially off the wagon. Everything you’ve done up to this point is lost, and your New Year’s resolution is toast, right? Better luck next year? Wrong.

How to avoid it:

  • Think about golf. Seriously, golf provides a great analogy for achieving our health and fitness goals. Even if you don’t play, this should make sense. When we hit our tee-shot into the woods, what should we do? Lament the fact that we always slice the driver, and try to pull off a miracle shot through the trees, of course. No, the best play is to punch it back out into the fairway, take our lumps and continue playing from a good position. You’re going to hit a few into woods during your journey. We all do. Relax, minimize the damage, and do better tomorrow.
  • Confess your sins and repent. Gotcha. But seriously, setting up an accountability mechanism can be really helpful if you do it right. “Punishing” yourself (just a little) is a good way to get past the obligatory guilt and move on. Try this: whenever you stumble, commit to paying yourself 40 pushups. This will allow you to quickly get back in gear and re-focus on your goal, rather than your transgression. You definitely should NOT torture yourself with hours of cardio or overdo it. Just take the slap on the wrist and move forward.

 

Managing your health and fitness goals is tough during the holidays, and can be even tougher once the realities of the New Year set in. Life’s not a game of perfect, it’s a game of progress. Avoid these three pitfalls, and you’ll do just fine.

We’d love to hear about your New Year’s resolutions…and if you’d like a little help getting started, we’ve built a Resolution Success Template to make sure you avoid the three pitfalls and achieve your goals.  Just send us an email at FitSmithsInfo@gmail.com and we’ll send it right over!

Homestyle Paleo – Shepherd’s Pie

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Growing up, we ate classic dishes of casseroles and “meat and potatoes”. My mother is an amazing cook and although my eating habits have drastically changed, I still crave these Mama-made comfort foods. As it turns out, even when I eliminate the white potato, corn, and unnecessary fillers… I can still make a mean casserole! In this case, Shepherd’s Pie : )

This recipe makes about 6 servings, divide leftovers into tupperware dishes for lunch or freeze for later.

Enjoy!

Have you found a great alternative Shepherd’s Pie recipe? Have you tried mine? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

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Details:
  • Prep time: 20 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes.
  • Servings: 6
  • Approved for: Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free, Whole30
  • Macronutrients: Carbs, Protein
Ingredients:
3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1.5 in cubes
Tbsp milk (almond, coconut, or any other kind)
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp coriander (optional)
1/2 tsp cumin
half white onion diced
2 celery stalks sliced
2 carrots diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
Instructions:
1. Boil potatoes till fork tender, drain, mash with hand masher or fork. Add milk, chili powder, coriander, and cumin, whip with hand mixer.
2. Saute onions, celery, carrots with olive oil on medium till tender
3. Add beef or turkey, pepper, and thyme to veggies until cooked through
4. Spoon veggies and meat into casserole dish and spread mash potatoes evenly on top
5. Bake 350 for 30 mins
Meat and veggie mix
Meat and veggies mix
Potato spread on meat and veggies
Potato spread on meat and veggies