Just because you’re eating differently than your peers, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy Super Bowl snacks too.
Why We’ve Gone Paleo/AIP
Due to some health problems my husband and I have recently switched to a paleo diet. If you think of it, would you pray for my husband? He’s been mysteriously ill for several months. We’re searching for answers and confident that we’ll look back on this as a time of learning and growing. Thanks!
**Update: After struggling for the better part of a year, his health has improved greatly. We’re thankful for having gone through the experience, but I don’t ever want to repeat those difficulties.
Good Quality Food Costs More
We’ve discovered two things while on this paleo (AIP for my husband) eating adventure. The first is that eating lots of good quality meat and seafood has driven up our grocery bill. We’re spending 20% more on our grocery budget each month.
We could get more creative and lower that amount, but with illness in the family I don’t have the energy to search for shortcuts.
The second realization about eating paleo/AIP is that it’s nearly impossible to eat out. Also, our dietary choices make us weirdos to friends and family.
We’re ok with weird, but our lifestyle makes it difficult to find common ground when family gatherings involve food. Even with a super sweet mother-in-law who bends over backwards to accommodate us.
There are few things in life more enjoyable than gathering with friends and family. Our solution to the food conundrum is to host some of these gatherings. This year we’ll be hosting the family super bowl party. Go Broncos!
Paleo / AIP Super Bowl Recipes, Yum!
Here’s what we’ll be serving at our AIP Super Bowl Party. I’ve included tips for how to create these recipes cheaper, and without the hostess (me or you!) being stuck in the kitchen on gameday. I hate being stuck in the kitchen while everyone’s partying, and I bet you do too!
Plantain Nachos from Melissa Joulwan
Melissa Joulwan is the author of Well Fed and Well Fed 2, the absolute most amazing, drool worthy paleo cookbooks that you’ll ever read. Go get it, now! This is the gal who made me realize that there’s a whole wide world of spices out there, and when used correctly, those spices will change your life (or at least your food!)
Make it cheaper: buy your spices and oils from Amazon.com (in our neck of the woods they are consistently cheaper than at the supermarket). Don’t forget to buy this sea salt. It will rock your world, I promise. Need scallions? Try this trick. Or, just leave the scallions out (that’s what I’ll likely do).
Make it easier: bake the plantains the day before and then re-crisp for a minute in a hot oven on gameday. We’ll be making plantain chips for hubby and I, and put out a bag of corn chips for the rest of the family. The taco meat will also be made up the day before and then reheated for all of the non-AIP folk. Maybe even two days before, I’m all for easy.
Kale Chips from Me, ‘Cause They’re so Stinkin’ Easy There’s No Recipe Needed
Make it cheaper: Grow the Kale yourself! Kale is a hardy plant (it practically grows itself) that will produce through the winter in many areas.
Make it easier: Unlike the plantain chips, these crunchy bits of goodness just can’t be made ahead. They’ll lose their crunch, and who wants uncrunchy chips? The good news is that they are ridiculously easy to make.
The one step you could do ahead of time would be to wash the kale and chop off the woody ends of the stems, leaving just the crinkly leaves. On gameday simply toss the leaves with some olive oil and throw onto a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees. No turning necessary if you’ve tossed them well. When they’re nice and crunchy (10 min. maybe?) pull them out of the oven and sprinkle liberally with salt.
*Warning! Watch them closely as they’re beginning to crisp, as they’ll go from “almost amazing” to brittle burnt bits in no time. I’ve over-toasted my share of kale chips, as my kids (and the smoke alarm) will attest.
Paleo Shrimp Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms from The Paleo Cajun Lady
We’ll be eating this as spinach artichoke stuffed mushrooms with a separate dish of shrimp. I’m sure it tastes great with the shrimp included, but for the sake of cooking one less dish I’ll do a separate plate of the shrimp. See, two dishes instead of one! I told you that I love easy.
Make it cheaper: skip the bacon, if you must, (but add more salt to make up for the loss) and go with canned artichokes over frozen. Buy the nutritional yeast from Amazon, where you’re likely to find a better deal than at your local supermarket.
Make it easier: Make the stuffing mixture up a day in advance, then scoop it into the mushrooms on gameday and bake ’till hot and bubbly. Oh yum.
Prosciutto e Melone from Allrecipes
Make it cheaper: if it doesn’t have to be AIP, use a good quality ham deli meat instead of prosciutto.
Make it easier: cut the melon the day before. I don’t think I’d try wrapping them early, I’d be nervous it would cause a mushy recipe fail. If you try pre-wrapping with success, let me know!
Muffaletta Salad from Melissa Joulwan
Make it cheaper: use black olives instead of green. If you’re sticking with AIP, leave out the peppers.
Make it easier: Believe it or not, this salad is actually better if made a day or two ahead of time. In my book, that makes it doubly awesome. Create it on Friday and set it out on Sunday. Done!
Guacamole from The Paleo Cajun Lady
This guacamole is fantastic. Simple, but still flavorful. Sometime you’ll have to try these fish tacos too, they’re ‘da bomb. Seriously. When my hubby first ate the fish tacos with guacamole he said, “with food like this, I can eat AIP no problem.”
Make it cheaper: Skip the cilantro, we do (did you know that to some people, like my hubby, cilantro tastes like a mouthful of soap?)
Make it easier: Prep everything except the avocado a day or two before. On gameday scoop out the avocado, mash into the vinegar/onion mix and enjoy! We’ll be serving this with cut veggies (also chopped the day before) and chips for the non-paleo.
A New Way of Thinking About Food (and its cost)
I hope you try some of these recipes. They are amazingly yummy and they’ve really helped my husband through a difficult time in his life.
We’ve come to realize that good, healthy food just plain costs more than unhealthy food. We’re also realizing, that’s a good thing. It causes us to focus more on enjoying one another over a meal rather than searching out expensive entertainment. It also keeps family medical costs in check, as “food becomes medicine” and healthy lifestyles ease many ailments common with typical American nutrition.
There are still some things that we can do to keep the grocery spending from overtaking our budget, and we’ll make sure to share those with you as we discover ways to eat well while journeying towards our financial goals.
Now get out there and cook, eat, and enjoy!
What are your favorite Super Bowl traditions? Have you found that paleo food costs more than “regular” food? Have any AIP Super Bowl recipes to share?