One of the things that I enjoyed the most about my Paleo/Whole 30 challenge in January was the simplicity of it. No processed foods, no heavy or starchy carbohyrdates, no gluten or wheat. Just plenty of lean and organic protein, fresh seasonal vegetables and lots of fruit. It’s not rocket science and it’s pretty obvious that you are going to feel a million times better and start to shrink. I got to day 26, having also had no alcohol, cakes or chocolate and had lost eight pounds. I also felt clearer headed, had lots more energy and had more ‘even’ moods. Unfortunately, a (stressful) overnight stay in hospital with my little one and then an over-indulgent family party weekend knocked me off my healthy eating pedestal. However, I was able to get back on track and I’d say that I’ve kept to my new rules about 80% of the time, which I think, and hope, is sensible in the long run. So, before I really get going with some February treats, I’m sharing one of my favourite Paleo-friendly dinner ideas, these are my Courgette or Zucchini Boats with Bolognese sauce.
I hope you also managed to catch Cucina Ceri’s really helpful Paleo-themed guest post in January here on Fabulicious Food, which offered plenty of tips on how to swap processed carbs for vegetables. Ceri mentioned many ideas, including using courgette as spaghetti or noodles (check out Ceri’s super-healthy Paleo Prawn Pad Thai, too), stuffing veg with sauces (as per my courgettes here or Ceri’s Stuffed Acorn Squash with tomato and bacon sauce), using cauliflower as rice (I tried that, too and it was really tasty), using aubergine or courgette as lasagna sheets and subbing grain-free flour in dishes, such as gnocchi.
The bolognese sauce recipe I used pretty much followed Ceri’s recipe here for Faux Lasagna. Instead of slicing the courgettes thinly, I halved them, scoped out the middle bits with a teaspoon, sprinkled them with avocado oil, salt and pepper and then baked the courgettes for 15 minutes in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius before filling the ‘boats’ with the Bolognese sauce and baking them again for twenty minutes until piping hot. I added the scooped out courgette bits back into the sauce so there was no waste. I also sprinkled some chopped hazelnuts over the top, too, since you are allowed plenty of healthy nuts and seeds if you’re eating Paleo.
I’m sending this recipes across to Fuss Free Helen’s and Camilla’s Credit Crunch Munch as you can make one really big batch of bolognese sauce and then make it stretch further by stuffing seasonal vegetables.
I’ll be back tomorrow with some less healthier treats – a Polish baked cheesecake (wheat/gluten free though sadly not calorie free) followed by Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day treats and Valentine’s Day Cupcakes.
I knew the baking ban wouldn’t last!