GOING NATIVE a.k.a. MY BROTHER’S PALEO DIET

My brother from L.A. was in town this past weekend for a whirlwind tour to catch up with friends, family and business associates. He managed to squeeze me and mine in for one evening. I suggested that we do dinner in, which would be less expensive and allow us more time to talk. I like having people over for dinner when my kids are included, since they can leave and go do other things when they are done. Which they can’t do when we are out.

When he first called to tell me he would be in town, I jokingly said that I would come up with “something reasonable” and then asked if he had any dietary things I needed to know about. Then he informed me that he was on the Paleo Diet. It immediately went from reasonable to unreasonable – LOL! Actually, it wasn’t that bad. The friend I had over the week before said that she was starting this diet and made it sound like it was nearly impossible to get something to eat that was on the diet. In the days leading up to our dinner I decided to do a little research just to see what I could come up with.

My husband immediately said “It has to be raw. I am certain no caveman ever cooked his food.” My younger sister suggested road kill and grass pulled from the yard – she cracks me up! I admit, I was intrigued by what I could do that would be interesting and still meet the requirements of an ancient diet.

I opened with an heirloom tomato gazpacho with avocado and crab salad in the center. I like to make my gazpacho with cucumber, avocado, roasted red and pablano peppers. It is creamy and so tasty! I used a ring mold to build the avocado slices topped with crab salad, which also had a bit of jalapeno in it. I normally would top this with a cold soup variety of things, including hardboiled egg, but just went with diced cucumber and sliced radishes since I was using egg in my next course.

So sticking with my husband’s suggestion, we went with raw meat for the main course. Steak tartare to be exact. I bought a beautiful piece of tenderloin that he expertly chopped into fine pieces. I did have a moment or two where I thought of slicing it up and throwing it on the BBQ. The weather was yucky that day and, while at the butcher, I nearly scrapped the whole plan and went with braised short ribs. I followed the recipe from Emeril Lagasse, except that instead of shallot, I added minced jalapeno pepper. I had a batch of eggs from my friend’s urban egg farm, so I decided to coddle an egg to serve on top of each serving. This was SUPER rich, but yummy. I couldn’t finish mine. You are supposed to serve this with toast points, which I didn’t because of the diet, but I think it really needed it.

I served the salad course with this, which turned out to be a good thing. Without the toast, there was no way to really eat this. I made a salad of grated raw beets, blanched edamame, and cooked quinoa served over a bed of watercress. I made a tahini-ginger dressing that was creamy, but non-dairy. I really enjoyed the salad myself.

I ended the meal with what I called a pure fruit trifle. Not really a good name for it, since it was literally just fruit, but I couldn’t think of what else it looked like to me. I layered the glass bowl with sliced cantaloupe, blueberries, kiwi slices, sliced strawberries, pitted/halved Rainier cherries and fresh-from-the-garden raspberries. It was a very nice way to end the meal. I was very full, but didn’t feel heavy like I normally do when we eat a lot of meat and cheese.

As always these days, I failed to get any photos. My brother had taken this one with his phone and had sent it to me the next day. I am really a loser on the food blogging front – LOL! Anyway, I had a nice time with him and am looking forward to his next visit.

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