One-skillet meals are so ideal because they make everyone’s least favorite part about cooking – the cleaning up – that much easier. This is a basic template for a meal that could have several variations: you could change up the type of ground meat and the spices and end up with something that tastes totally different. Save even more time by ricing your cauliflower (pulsing it into small bits in a food processor is by far the easiest way) ahead of time on your big weekly food prep day!
Ingredients for One Skillet Paleo Dinner
1 lb. (500 g) ground beef
1 head of cauliflower, riced
16 oz jar pasta sauce (check labels for weird ingredients)
Cauliflower continues to surprise me with how tasty it can be. This dish came out creamy, with sweetness from the onions and a savory note for good measure. The only way I could adequately describe it was “comfort food”.
The inspiration for this dish came from an episode of 30 Minute Meals…yes, I love me some Food Network shows! I knew I wanted to make a Paleo version but have included options here for using ghee and / or heavy cream if they are foods you eat (they are both devoid of the proteins that make dairy irritating to some folks and are essentially pure fat). If not, it works great with coconut oil and coconut milk. The anchovies end up adding a layer of flavor to the dish that doesn’t taste of fish at all…in fact, it adds a nutty and savory umami undertone.
Makes: about 4 side dish servings
Ingredients for Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous”
1 large cauliflower, pulsed down to cous cous sized pieces
Directions for Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous”
Using a food processor or blender, pulse the cauliflower down into small bits about the size of cous cous. You don’t want big chunks, but you also don’t want it to become mush. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the coconut oil and anchovies. If using fillets, break them up and allow them to basically melt into the oil.
Add the onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat until the onions begin to caramelize but not get brown or burn. This process can take up to 20 minutes, so use that time to do some clean up or prepare some of the other components of your meal.
After the onions are caramelized, stir in the cauliflower and coconut milk, and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is softened but not mushy.
A couple weeks back, I went to an Oscar party with the wonderful folks from Invictus and had to think of an Oscar-themed dish to bring along. Originally, I was joking around with Tiger Burgers (a nod to Life of Pi and Richard Parker) but then I kept thinking Pi-neapple. The idea for Life of Pi-neapple Indian Rice was born.
I modified a recipe by the amazing Melissa Joulwan of Well Fed, and what I brought is the result. It looks a lot like curry rice…so realistic in fact that when I asked my pal Amy if she’d tried it, she said no because she’d thought it was real rice. The currants and cinnamon give a hint of sweet and spicy while the cilantro adds a nice fresh flavor. The batch easily doubles to serve more hungry bellies or just to have for leftovers. Pairs really well with chicken and shrimp.
Prep time: 10-15 min Cook time: 15 min Makes: 3-4 side dish servings
Ingredients for Indian Pineapple Cauliflower Rice
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 of a fresh pineapple (or 1/2 cup unsweetened canned pineapple)
1/2 of an onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried currants
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 large handful of cilantro
Coconut oil or fat of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Indian Pineapple Cauliflower Rice
Rice the cauliflower in a food processor. Set aside.
Dice the pineapple into small pieces (hint: big chunks are fine but cutting it to a smaller size is a bit more appealing visually).
Dice the onion and garlic finely. Chop the cilantro.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt a large spoonful of coconut oil. Saute the onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, almonds, currants, curry powder and cinnamon. Stir until combined well.
Increase the heat to medium-high, add another spoonful of coconut oil and dump in the cauliflower. Cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until it’s softened but not mushy.
Remove from the heat and stir in the pineapple and cilantro. Check flavor and add salt / pepper to taste.