The holidays are here and you’re very likely attending yet another neighborhood, work or family gathering. If you’re trying to avoid the 8 – 10 pound holiday weight gain the average American experiences, then avoiding conversation with crazy Uncle Bob isn’t your only challenge. Thanks to Robb Wolf and his 130 holiday recipe challenge, we have a few delectable dishes you can bring to the next party…and spend less time worrying about the anti-paleo cookies staring you in the eye. And for those of you planning to take part in CrossFit Modig’s 30 Day Paleo Challenge that kicks off January 3rd, these are a great way to get you on the right track. The first recipe is “Paleo Poppers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce” and the other is “Tangy Sweet Guacamole with Grilled Shrimp.” Bon appetit!
Paleo Poppers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
12 Jalapeno Peppers (fresh & whole)
The Filling (extra filling leftovers make a great post WOD snack)
12 ounces Sweet Potatoes, roasted & peeled
3 teaspoons adobe sauce (from canned chipotle peppers)
3 tablespoons Pancetta (Italian Bacon), browned & chopped
3 tablespoons shallots, minced & sweated
The Batter & Dredge
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons adobe sauce
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/8 cup organic unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup almond meal**
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb
Plus …2 tablespoons coconut oil
The Dipping Sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed / minced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup washed, stemmed Cilantro leaves
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions: Wash, dry & roast the sweet potatoes in a 375-degree oven until tender. You can also microwave, if you’d prefer.
While the sweet potatoes cook & cool, brown the pancetta in a frying pan, turning once (you want this crispy, but not burnt); remove from pan and set aside. Mince the shallots and sweat them in the pancetta pan until translucent; do not brown. Chop the pancetta and add it to the shallots. Remove the pan from the heat, give it a good toss to combine.
Peel the cooled (yet still warm) sweet potatoes and place in a bowl. Add the shallot / pancetta mixture and 3 teaspoons of adobe sauce. Mash the sweet potatoes and set aside.
Wash & dry the jalapenos. Slice off the top and remove the ribs & seeds from each jalapeno by carefully running a butter knife along the inside, and then dumping the contents. Set the cleaned jalapenos aside.
In three separate bowls mix the following:
Bowl #1: Fork beat two eggs with 1/4 cup coconut milk and 2 teaspoons adobe sauce.
Bowl #2: 1/3 cup coconut flour mixed thoroughly with 1/8 cup unsweetened coconut.
Bowl #3: 1/2 cup almond meal* mixed with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Garlic Herb.
Fill each jalapeno to the top (and just a bit over) with the sweet potato mixture. Once all the jalapenos are filled, take them one at a time and complete the following. It helps during this next step to keep one hand responsible for the dry stuff and the other from the wet stuff:
> Submerge completely in the egg mixture
> Roll until covered in the coconut flour mixture
> Submerge again in the egg mixture
> Roll until covered in the almond meal mixture
Melt the coconut oil in a large fry pan. Once hot (but not smoking) add the battered jalapenos. Turn until each side is golden brown. Remove the jalapenos from the pan and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 375-dgree oven for 6 minutes, or until the peppers are tender. Serve warm with Cliantro Lime Dipping Sauce.
To make the dipping sauce, place garlic, lime juice & cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Slowly add the extra virgin olive oil until the desired consistency is reached. Taste; season. You can serve immediately, but the tastes really come together after a few hours in the ‘fridge.
** You can buy almond meal, but it is super easy to prepare. Simply toss almonds in the food processor and whirr until desired consistency. Or, toss almonds in a freezer bag and slam with the side of a 5# plate until desired consistency.
Tangy Sweet Guacamole with Grilled Shrimp
4 ripe hass avocados, halved; pits removed; flesh scooped out
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
½ jalapeno pepper, seeded; finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4 cherry tomatoes,quartered, for garnish
1 pound 26-30 ct tail-on shrimp, peeled; deveined
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon canola oil
Instructions: Pour lime juice over avocado flesh in a large mixing bowl to prevent oxidation while other ingredients are being prepared.
Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
To finish guacamole, combine avocados with remaining ingredients; adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with quartered cherry tomatoes.
Season shrimp with salt, pepper and paprika. Drizzle with oil.
Cook shrimp on smoking-hot cooking surface for about 1 minute on each side or until the tails almost touch the fat ends as the shrimp curl. Cooked shrimp will be opaque. The grill is great when the weather permits.
Arrange shrimp around guacamole on the platter.