Friday, June 29, 2012

Paleo Genius

I keep forgetting to talk about my new found love: Instagram. I have no idea why I like it so much, but it has definitely replaced Facebook in my time-suckage. Pretty sure FB hit its peak 2 years ago, and is about to go the way of the famous others. As it should. Anyway...Instagram! AWESOME. If you want to follow me, find me at: vbarnard. I mostly post pictures of my best paleo meals, my dog, and trains. I know, riviting.

Speaking of paleo meals, and since the majority of you don't see my Instagram feed (yet?), I'm going to share this little genius thing I did the other night. I can't take credit for it, because I saw it on one of my favorite Paleo sites (Everyday Paleo), and she got it from a different paleo site that I can't recall at the moment (sooo much sharing and LOVE). First off, on my last shopping trip I scored some major deals. I didn't even realize how amazingly nutrient packed and tasty my selections were until I saw them lined up on the belt headed towards the grocery clerk, I was so proud. Organic greens, chicken sausages, organic bananas, organic salsa, green onions, 3 packages of high quality mortadella on sale- marked down from $6.99/pack to $0.75 per pack! Yes they were a managers special, yes they had reached the expiration date on the package, but um, its mortadella, I'm Italian, and they were $0.75!!!! I got a few other items as well, can't remember, but the whole bill was under $25, and I had food for me for close to a week. Eating well=not expensive. Find the deals, eat less, LIVE YOUR LIFE. Anyway...

Back to the stolen genius idea. Probably one of the biggest things I missed when beginning my journey into Paleo was sandwiches. I LOVE SANDWICHES. I love the flavor combinations of seasoned meat and tangy pickeled things, the crunch of veggies, all wrapped up in a handheld package. To me, they are the perfect answer to any situation. They can be fancy, or simple, really, the possibilites are endless. Just like anything else, in the beginning of my new way of eating, I had limited ideas. I used lettuce for my bread substitute on things like burgers, tacos, BLT's etc. Eventually, I ended up ditching the lettuce thing and just eating the meat because lettuce didn't provide the same feeling I missed. Sure, it conveniently held the innards, but SOMETHING was missing.

Enter the bell pepper. I saw a photo on Everyday Paleo's site when she and her family were on vacation in Maui. There was a line up of sandwiches made with bell pepper "bread" on the counter. I was blown away and knew immediately that I need to try it. I love green bell peppers on my sandwiches (hopefully a salami, or other cured meat) olive oil, balsamic, S&P...OMG. My instant thought was "how come I never thought of that?" Seriously, the pepper has way more to it than a lettuce leaf, and more flavor! Then I remembered how great the internet is, and how sharing of ideas and creativity is endless with an open mind. I laugh now when people say "but what do you EAT if you are paleo?" LOL. I eat better now than I ever have. I'm fine with keeping that part a secret though. People are going to think what they think.

I happened to have a green bell pepper in my veggie drawer, I sliced it on either side of the stem, trimmed it up a bit so it was flat and "breadish" then layered my awesomely priced fancy mortadella, 1/4 an avocado, thin sliced onion, spread some dijon, and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and S&P. I snapped a quick photo, and then dove in. It completely lived up to all my expectations and more. It held the meat nicely. It tasted fantastic. It filled me up (thanks avocado!). Oh, and the best part? Both slices of "bread" added up to a whopping 25 calories. I'm pretty sure that the bell pepper contained more nutrients than 2 slices of bread too, AND didn't cause my stomach to freak out, bloat, and make me sneezy. Honestly, I could eat that sandwich every night. The mortadella added 220 calories, the avocado 75ish, and the mustard 10? Whole sandwich= roughly 330 calories. My dinner, 330 nutrient packed satisfying calories. Oh, and since I didn't eat any bread, I won't be hungry 2 hours later.

My masterpiece:


  1. I just added peppers to the grocery list. I am having a chicken and avocado sandwich tonight. What a great idea.

  2. I'm pretty excited about seeing this. I'm currently in Hawaii for the summer and every weekend we've been doing a beach bbq. Can't wait to try this with a lightly grilled green pepper for my burger!!!

  3. It sounds great!!! I'll have to try it. I had the good fortune of going to a half day workshop with Sarah Fragoso. I loved it. She's all about making recipes that are tasty, down to earth, and quick and easy.

    Thanks for the recommendation. Putting peppers on the list this weekend. Karen P

  4. I'm so happy other people are as excited about this idea as I am. I plan to try different meat combinations with different pepper colors, and I love the lightly grilled for a burger idea.

  5. That's a very cool idea! Maybe I should get Instagram. Stay tuned. You know you can freeze the mortadella, right?