Foodie Friday: Top 10 Paleo Staples

Ian & I on a recent trip to Roblar Winery in Santa Barbara.
Whether you are just starting out on your paleo journey, or are a seasoned veteran, these are the 10 things you should not be without in your pantry/fridge;

  1. Canned Coconut Milk - there are so many uses for this, add it to a soup to make it "creamy", make your favorite curry, combine with frozen fruit for a quick blender ice cream, or add it to your morning coffee.  Keep in mind when most paleo recipes call for coconut milk, they mean canned.  And make sure it's the full fat version, how awesome is that?!
  2. Canned Tomatoes - I would have a meltdown if someone told me tomatoes are not paleo.  Keep tomatoes on hand for chili, soup, homemade tomato sauce, or stir-fries.  My tip is to buy the big cans of whole tomatoes.  If you need diced, you can dice.  If you need sauce, get out your blender.  Crushed?  Use your two best kitchen tools, your hands!  I also buy fire-roasted diced  as well, I really like the flavor that adds to chili's and soups.
  3. White Onions - I buy them by the bag full.  I use at least 1 onion every single day.  It's that background flavor you need and will miss if it's not there.  I add these to my morning eggs, lunch salads, and almost every dinner I prepare, in some form.  Luckily they are cheap.  
  4. Cauliflower - Keep at least one head on hand at all times.  Best thing about cauliflower is that it has no flavor at all, you can make it work with any cuisine.  Mix with diced tomatoes for a "Spanish Rice", add turmeric and cinnamon for a moroccan theme, add artichoke hearts, black olives and olive oil for a nicoise style salad, or mash it up with chicken stock, parsley and S&P to go along side your holiday turkey!  
  5. Spaghetti Squash - This has been my spaghetti craving saver, I love it.  Along with the standard recipes, spaghetti with meat sauce, paleo carbonara, fried noodles, I have also added this to paleo pancakes, topped with apple sauce, delish!
  6. Maple Syrup - This could be controversial.  Maple syrup is my go to sweetener for paleo treats.  We buy it by the half gallon from a family operation in Vermont.  That's where maple syrup should come from!  I put it in cookies, bars and whoopie pies.  According to Mark's Daily Apple, you should go for grade B, as it contains more minerals.  It's still sugar though remember.  
  7. Sweet Potatoes - They make a great hash in the morning, wonderful oven fries, or the old standby, mashed potatoes.  I try to limit my intake of sweet potatoes because I don't think I do enough rigorous exercise to warrant eating them, but Ian has been doing 2 a days and needs the extra carbs.  
  8. Avocado - High atop my good fat list and luckily a staple in our CSA basket.  Avocados are one of natures perfect foods, with 20 essential nutrients including fiber and potassium.  Add to your morning scramble, top your salad, make an avocado/strawberry salsa, and of course guacamole!
  9. Spice Cabinet - I have probably 30 jars on hand at all times, and the spice aisle is one of the places I frequent for inspiration.  I recently found a Thai seasoning blend that is just delicious.  I could write a whole post just on this but these are my go to spices: cumin, coriander, chili powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, curry powder, thyme, 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joe's), and of course, salt & pepper!
  10. Almond Butter - Since peanuts are no-no due to their legume status, almond butter is our new staple.  I have learned to limit my intake of nuts, but this I can't do without.  It can be the base of a cookie, added to a smoothie, made into satay sauce, or the base of your blender ice cream.  And don't forget ants on a log!
The list goes on, but there's my top 10.  Hope that helps you stock your paleo pantry!