Friday, December 23, 2011

a mostly paleo christmas

My family is coming to our house on Christmas Day.  For me that's usually a good thing. I like to plan big meals. I like to cook big meals. I love to play with food in general. What's worried me a bit this year is how to do this without their feeling unsatisfied or my feeling like I'm serving them all poison. Most of my family do not follow a Paleo lifestyle; some are vegetarians; some would be happy with all desserts. I want to please everyone, yet that is quite simply not going to happen.

As I try to simplify the menu, partially due to my still-malfunctioning oven, it's looking less like a holiday dinner than a meat buffet. Every form of vegetable that captures my imagination these days relies on oven preparation. And desserts? I'm hopelessly at a loss. This is not going to work.

As of today, our menu is looking like this:
  • grilled wild salmon
  • grilled lamb chops
  • grilled chicken legs
  • lamb stew
  • meat-free "meatballs" in mushroom gravy for the unconverted vegetarians
  • sweet potatoes
  • my paleo-ish version of a green bean casserole made with coconut cream and sauteed onions
  • steamed cauliflower
  • winter fruit salad 
 You may notice a definite lack of anything approximating a dessert. That's cause for flogging with some of my family, I'm afraid. Clearly, this menu needs work. I'm thinking maybe I should spend a little more time pouring over my current obsession, Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed. She has several sauces that may be just what I need here. Of course, what I really have to do is get past my frustration over the oven. That's just the way it is right now, and Christmas is coming oven or not.


  1. Wow, it sounds like a HUGE feast to me!!

  2. It's a lot of meat for sure. I'm afraid the other categories are lacking. I would be content but I'm not so sure about everyone else.

  3. Perhaps it didn't sound like much of a feast since we normally over do it. What I do know is that everything was wonderful and despite my failed attempts to convince everyone the lamb was bad, so I could have it all, the meal was a success. By the way, I love the comment about the unconverted vegetarians!

  4. Thanks, Kristen. We enjoyed the lamb, too, though as usual on a holiday, I didn't really eat much. Since then I've braised lamb shanks and made another green bean "casserole" with mushrooms this time. This green bean dish is not made with highly processed food. It's whole green beans (fresh or frozen), simmered in coconut milk. The dish is thickened slightly with almond flour and topped with caramelized onions and lightly toasted sliced almonds. Sauteed mushrooms can be stirred into the bean mixture if you enjoy mushrooms as we do. Kristen most decidedly does not.


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