Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Plantains--the other Banana

I had looked at plantains for a long time before ever trying them.  Could they actually be eaten when they looked like bruised and beaten, rotting bananas?  Could they be eaten green and under-ripe, looking thick and tough?  Were they really starchy like potatoes and not sweet fruit able to eaten raw like their neighbors in the fruit isle?

The answers I found through some trial and error.  Being terrified of the battered plantains, I tried the green ones first.  They are firm and starchy, meaning they are harder to swallow and need liquid or fat to help them traverse your esophagus.  That is my impression anyway, but my husband LOVES them green.  I finally got up the courage and tried the yellow ones, moving on to the more and more ripe and defaced of the bunch.  They are incredibly complex in flavor: sweet and mushy like a ripe banana, but still preserving what I love about under-ripe bananas, that tanginess.  They have a sweet and sour flavor complexity and are absolutely delicious!

So either way you like them, green or yellow, here is a delicious and relatively quick way to prepare them:

Squashed Plantain Chips
Cooking Time: half an hour or less start to finish

1 plantain per diner
coconut oil

Set a skillet to medium high heat and add the coconut oil.  Cut the ends off the plantains.  Score the plantains lengthwise with a knife so you can peel strips of the skin off.  Cut the plantains into 1 inch disks and add to oil.  Brown the bottoms (be careful not to burn them!), flip, and brown the tops.  Remove to a plate or cutting board and squash them down with the bottom of a glass wet with water to help prevent sticking.  You can also use any object relatively plantain-sized with a flat bottom.  Add more oil to the skillet if it is gone, then add the flattened plantain disks.  Brown again on both sides.  Remove and salt on a plate.  They are ready to serve!

Serving ideas:
Serve with guacamole on top (if you can stand more fat in this meal) and/or top with carnitas.  They make the most delicious mini-sandwiches imaginable!

Fried Plantains on FoodistaFried Plantains

South of the Border Goodness

When I found the website of the Homesick Texan, I was enthralled.  Her food photography is amazing, and her recipes are even more so.  However, I can't eat more than half of them!  Here is my take on one of them that has forever changed my relationship with pork.  I thought bacon was the end all, until I met Carnitas.

My Darling Carnitas 
inspired by Carnitas, Houston Style
Feeds two quite well with leftovers but feel free to double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd
Cooking Time: 3 hours start to finish (or four if you double/triple the batch)

1 3lb boneless pork butt or shoulder (same thing, but I prefer butt since I watched too much Beavis and Butthead as a kid)--make sure you DO NOT remove the fat!
1 C acidic fruit juice (I have tried orange juice, apple juice, lemon juice, and pomegranate juice with success, just make sure you get 100% juice)
1 T cumin
1 T garlic powder
1/2 T salt
1/2 T pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

To prepare the meat, DO NOT REMOVE THE FAT--that is what makes carnitas.  If you don't want a fatty meat, don't try carnitas.  This is not an everyday meat, but a delicacy.  Cut meat into long strips about an inch wide and 3+ inches long.  Add to a big, deep pot--such as a dutch oven (no lid needed).  Best method: season the meat now while dry by adding cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and massage into meat.  Will do method: add seasonings after liquid and try to move the pork around.  Either way, the liquid will mix with the spices and the pork will have its seasoning.

Once the pork is in the pot, seasoned or not, add the juice and then add water to just submerge the pork (the water always varies with how much meat you are using and size/shape of your pot--tap is fine).  Crank the heat up to high and come to a good boil (watch carefully since it could foam up and make a mess).  Really wait until you get a good, clear boil going.  The surface should be a tempest!  Then, turn the heat down to low slowly so you don't lose all of the bubbling (start at medium low or 4 on the dial then reduce to 3 or perhaps even 2 as long as you can keep a simmer) and simmer for 2  hours uncovered (3 for larger batches).  DO NOT TOUCH THE MEAT during this time.  Your fussing will just make it into pulled pork, which although good, is not what we are going for at this stage.

After 2hrs (3 for larger batches), crank the heat up to medium high and let her go for a good half hour before checking for browning at the bottom.  During this last hour, the liquid will reduce down to fat and fry the meat on the bottom.  Reaching this stage happens fast--you can have bubbling liquid reducing and no brownage one minute and burnt meat the next, so after a half an hour, check back OFTEN to look for frying.  Once frying, now you get to SCRAPE the bottom (be careful if using non-stick--I destroyed too many non-stick pans and now use a big stainless steel pot that I can take the metal spatula to--but it is tough work!) and turn the meat to brown it as much as you feel comfortable with.  All the small bits will blacken, but they aren't carbon--they are caramelized meat from the fruit juice and pretty damn tasty--but you don't want your whole batch of carnitas to be black.  The scraping can get labor-intensive if you have a sticky pot, but your work is definitely worth the effort!

Once you have a desired degree of browning, remove from the heat and strain the meat from the fat (a wire mesh strainer works well--but don't go crazy straining all the juices out too, use a light squeezing with the back of a spoon). And DON'T throw away that fat!  Store it in another container for cooking eggs and plantains (see picture below).  It is delicious!  The cooled meat will store for a week in the refrigerator in a covered, air-tight container (and the fat can last even longer).  But there won't be leftovers for long!

Pork Carnitas on FoodistaPork Carnitas

Five Dollar Muffins

UPDATE 9/30/09: Tried a batch today using hazelnut oil and 1T vanilla instead of 1tsp and made 12 regular sized instead of 6 huge ones, taking between 15-20min to bake.  They are delicious!  So I am changing the recipe below to account for this new tweak.  Enjoy!

When I think of these muffins, I think of the $5 hamburger commercials.  Something has to be a big deal to be worth $5, and these muffins are worth that or more.  Depending upon how you like them, they can be oooey-gooey on the inside and actually improve with refrigeration.  Good luck saving them for long!

The Ultimate Banana Walnut Muffins
Makes 6 huge muffins or 12 regular sized
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes start to finish
Zone Blocks: 6 blocks of Fat for each muffin when making a batch of 12, 1.5-2 blocks of Carb and 1/4 block of Protein--so basically call each of these a 6 block Fat.  

Dry Ingredients:
2 C almond flour/meal (NOTE: I use Trader Joe's Just Almond Meal brand since it is cheapest.  Other almond flours might turn out differently, so feel free to experiment!)
1/3 C coconut flour (sifted gives the best results since it clumps easily)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg (grated fresh)
1 C walnuts

Wet Ingredients:
2 bananas, the riper the better
1 T vanilla
3 eggs warmed to room temperature
1/3 C honey
3 T oil (olive oil is fine, coconut oil when liquid is excellent, and hazelnut oil or walnut oil hits it out of the park!)
2 T almond butter (unsalted, but if salted, just add 3/4 tsp salt instead of 1 tsp)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place walnuts in preheating oven on a sheet rack to roast.  Watch them carefully--too many times have I let them burn and ruined a whole batch!  Meanwhile, peel bananas and mash them to a liquid (can be chunky) in a medium-sized bowl.

To the bananas, add honey and almond butter and mix well.  Next, prepare the eggs.  I usually crack them in another bowl to avoid stray shells, then mix them there before adding to the other wet ingredients, for better mixing.  Add those eggs, the oil, and vanilla to the banana bowl; mix to incorporate.  (Check walnuts!)

In a separate bowl, add almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.  Mix to incorporate.  (Check walnuts!) Prepare your muffin tin.  You'll notice that I have a non-stick muffin tin, but the non-stick quality only lasted a few batches before stickage ruined the bottom of enough muffins that I gave up on it.  I need to buy muffin cups! In the meantime, I use homemade (read: lazy) parchment paper "cups" that only stay put once batter is scooped in them.  Not ideal, but they work.  If using a naked muffin tin, grease it with the same oil you used in the batter (or try mixing and matching, what the heck!).

By now your walnuts are either burnt to a crisp or you rescued them once golden brown and fragrant (I always think of the host of Good Eats, Alton Brown, saying "I smell nuts!").  Chop them up into tiny bits, but not dust.  I have found that knives pale in comparison to crunching them with a metal spatula or even a bench scraper.  The bottom of a bowl or cup will also do.  Measure out a cup or so of roasted, chopped walnuts.

If your oven is preheated, you are good to go: add the wet to the dry and scrape the bowl.  Mix well and add walnuts.  Don't worry about mixing so much that you make rocks of your muffins since we don't have to deal with temperamental gluten here, but I still stop when just incorporated evenly, just in case.  Dollop into muffin cups (see pre-muffins pic above) and bake for about 20 minutes if making 6 huge muffins or between 10-15 if smaller.  Check for golden brown color and mostly set tops.  I love oooey-gooey ones, so I never bother with the toothpick test or completely set tops.  Cool on a rack.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge once cooled.  They won't last long due to extreme deliciousness, not spoilage!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pasta Sans Pasta

Nothing beats a heaping bowl of spaghetti when you want something filling, simple, and comforting.  I have the perfect substitution for pasta that is BETTER than pasta.

Here are just a few of the problems with wheat pasta (Disclaimer: this is MY take on the information out there I have gathered through my CrossFit Nutrition Certification by Robb Wolf, my biology and physical anthropology degrees, books on diet and health, and my internet searches.  I am NOT a biochemist, but I want to try to explain things as I understand them hopefully in a way YOU understand and can benefit from):

1.  It contains wheat, which is a grain, which has lectins and gluten that screw up your digestive system making it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients.  Grains put your digestive system in a state of battle with the food you are ingesting.  Gluten is sticky and lines your gut, promoting harmful bacteria growth and decreasing your ability to absorb useful vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into your bloodstream.  Plus, now your immune system has to fight that bacteria.  Lectins are mild toxins found in grains that inhibit the repair processes in your gut and leave the door open for particles from your gut to leak into the bloodstream.  These foreign particles illicit an immune response from your body to search out and destroy them.  Autoimmune disorders can result from an overtaxed immune system.  It is no wonder most of us are gluten sensitive to some degree and even if you think you are "fine," try going without them for two weeks and then reintroducing them.  They will likely make you sick in a not so pleasant way.

2.  Grains have a very high glycemic load.  They are sugar in disguise and release a ton of glucose (a simple sugar that all carbohydrate is broken down into) into your bloodstream, which forces your body to release insulin, a hormone whose job it is to get glucose out of your blood and into your muscle and liver cells as an energy source.  Once they are full, the overflow of sugar going to those cells must be stored  instead.  So excess carbohydrate becomes FAT.  Your body tries desperately to get glucose out of your bloodstream and into cells because it is toxic there--it binds to proteins and clogs arteries.  The cycle of fat storage is made worse by the fact that insult inhibits a fat-burning enzyme, lipase, so you can't use your fat for energy as efficiently.

A constant overflow of sugar also makes you insulin resistant, which means it takes more and more insulin to get the same response as if you had a lower glycemic diet.  This is because your body is trying to squish more glucose into cells that say "no vacancy," so more insulin is released to find other places to stick it, which are fat cells.  Your body learns that to get the glucose out of your blood it takes more and more insulin, so it releases more each time.  The production of insulin by your pancreas isn't cheap and high levels of it in your bloodstream are toxic, leading to more problems such as arterial clogging plague and cancer cell proliferation.   The disastrous cascade goes on and on...

Thus, by ingesting foods with high glycemic loads like grains, you are essentially breaking your digestive system and making its use of nutrients for energy less efficient.  And guess what happens when you crash after eating too much sugar--you get tired and hungry again.

3.  It isn't very nutritious.  The nutrients are bound up inside it and isn't a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared to going to the source: veggies.  Even meat has more available vitamins and far outweighs grains as a protein source.

4.  It is more processed.  We are trying to mimic a more natural diet of our ancestors.  Think outside the box.

5.  Finally, does it actually have a taste?  Is it something people can eat alone (without fat)?  Not really.  It is mostly just cheap, bulking filler to satiate you.

Vegetable pastas have taste, are grown and not processed, are nutritious, are low glycemic foods, and are natural back-to-the-earth foods.  You can support your local farmers by buying them fresh and local.

Here are two vegetable pasta varieties that will blow your mind and forever change your pasta perceptions.  Both are superb served with a meat sauce, but I encourage you to experiment with them and other sauce varieties.

Basic Meat Sauce
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes 

1 lb ground beef (preferably grassfed)
1 16oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 T each of oregano, basil, onion powder/dehydrated onions, garlic, kosher salt
1/2-1 tsp each of red pepper flakes and black pepper
(NOTE: You can get fancier, but this sauce is quick and easy for a weekday meal)

Brown beef over medium high heat in a skillet.  Once browned, add sauce and spices and simmer to mix flavors and reduce sauce to desired consistency (minimum of 10min).  Combine with pasta choice and enjoy!

Zucchini Pasta
Zucchini has a neutral, fresh veggie taste with a lovely crunch
Cooking Time: prep time is 5 minutes, cooking is ZERO (just warm)

1 med-large zucchini per diner
specialty equipment: serrated veggie peeler to make noodles when instead of peels (between $5-20 at a cookware store, looks just like a regular peeler just with teeth along the blade)

Wash the zucchini.  Cut off the ends.  Peel into noodles with the peeler.  NOTE: gets tricky at the end with the nubs that don't want to peel.  You can chop those and add them to the sauce.  Warm noodles in the sauce before serving.  They have a delightful crunch!

Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Spaghetti squash pasta has a nutty, buttery taste with a pleasing crunch
Cooking Time: less than 30 minutes

1 med-large spaghetti squash (oval, bright yellow squash)
(NOTE: one large one can easily feed the whole family!)

Punch holes in the squash with a fork or chef's knife (the skin is thick!).  Place in microwave with moistened paper towels circling it (one layer).   Microwave on high for 2-5 minutes, flip, and repeat for as long as it takes to be able to compress the top of the squash easily--about 20 minutes for really large ones.  Remove and place on cutting board.  Rest 5 minutes.  Then, using a chef's knife, carefully cut in half lengthwise being careful not to burn yourself on the steam.  Use a large spoon to remove the seeds and stringy seed casing.  Then use a fork or spoon to scrape the sides of the squash into noodles and separate them into another bowl, separating the noodles into strands once there.  Continue until you remove all of the noodles you can and add them to the meat sauce, coating them evenly.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash on FoodistaSpaghetti Squash
Zucchini Noodles on FoodistaZucchini Noodles

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pancake Heaven

On my kick of trying to make paleo substitutions to appease my flour-bred brain, I found these DELICIOUS gems at Elana's Pantry--a gluten-free cooking site.  I absolutely LOVE Elana's recipes, and SO wish I found her while I was living in her city of Boulder, CO.  However, gluten-free is a slippery slope when searching for paleo-style recipes.  On searches through other sites you have to weed through all the recipes using alternative grains, chemically derrived artificial sweeteners, and processed to oblivion fats that make gluten-free frankenfoods just as harmful or even more so than their flour cousins.  So finding these pancakes and other delicious recipes on Elana's site was a god-send.  She gets it.

Pancakes from Heaven
slightly adapted from Flapjacks
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

2 eggs, room temperature (warm using a warm water bath or leave out prior to cooking)
1/8-1/4 C honey
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 C water
1 and 1/2 C almond flour/meal
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
coconut oil (for cooking)

Using a blender, combine the wet ingredients: eggs, vanilla, honey, and water.  Blend until smooth.  Then, add the dry ingredients: almond flour, salt, and baking soda.  Blend until smooth.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat (I had to crank mine up to med-high to get it going, then back down to med-low or lower by the time I reached the last batches--but that could be my stove).  Add coconut oil and swirl to melt and distribute.  Pour pancake batter onto the skillet to get your desired size of pancakes (I found that smaller is better and was able to fit 4-5 sand-dollar sized pancakes in my large skillet).  Wait until you see bubbles bursting from the center of the pancake before turning (I had some trial and error with this--the bottoms cooked fast and the tops stayed liquid, making for a messy flip).  The upright side should be golden brown (not burned) and crusty/crunchy.  Yum!  Wait until the underside is browned before removing and continuing the process with the remaining batter.

I got a slew from this recipe, around 12 depending upon the size.  Keep the removed pancakes warm using a warming burner or oven set to warm.  It helps to put a moistened paper towel on top to keep them from drying out.

Once done, you don't need any syrup.  Let me say that again since it came as a surprise to me too: You don't need any syrup!  They are delicious as is and a great accompaniment to eggs (in background of next picture)!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bread Worth Craving

As a paleo dieter, bread is out.  Grains are the enemy, and "eat meat, not wheat" is our battle cry.  However, I have found a bread to fill the void.  It is one that I actually prefer over all but the most crusty and homemade of breads.  Rival to naan in its simplicity, versatility, and delectability.  I give you Flaxbread!

Italian Flaxbread
inspired by Paleo Focaccia, Sandwiches and Cakes by Nikki Young.   
Cooking Time: less than 30 minutes

2 cups ground flaxseeds (store these in the freezer since they go rancid easily)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar (see NOTE)
4 eggs (room temperature is best, so put out early or warm in a warm water bath)
1/2 C water or chicken broth
1/3 C olive oil with Italian Seasoning Mix mixture leftover from Roasted Turkey Breast

Italian Seasoning Mix:

3 sun dried tomatoes (chopped), 1T each of rosemary (crushed), oregano, basil, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder/chopped dried onion, 1tsp each of pepper, red pepper flakes
(NOTE: make more of this seasoning than you need, add olive oil, and store in the refrigerator for other uses like salad dressing and Roasted Turkey Breast seasoning)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and combine the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry in the other.  Mix each well.  Add the wet to the dry and mix to evenly incorporate the ingredients.  Using a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, scoop out the batter and distribute over the sheet.  Using a spatula, try to make a nice even layer without holes.  This is difficult since the batter is sticky!  Wack it in the oven for about 20 minutes and see where it is around 15 minutes in.  You are looking for browning on the bottom of the edges and a more golden look to the surface of the bread.  Once finished, cut into slices, cool on a rack, and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.


Sandwich bread--this flavorful bread beats wheat bread hands down

Bread to accompany spaghetti night or curry night (try using an Indian spice mix instead of Italian)


Open-faced sandwiches

Since this is nearly ALL fat, try to use it with meals that don't have any other fat or when you are splurging paleo style.  Making your meat without using fat such as on the grill or searing in a pan will allow you more leeway with fats in other parts of the meal, such as this bread.  This is definitely worth the indulgence!

NOTE: The original recipe from the paleo cookbook called for baking powder.  Baking powder is not technically paleo since it is made from corn.  Another alternative to using baking soda and cream of tartar is to whip the eggs into stiff peaks and fold them into the batter, or add baking soda and an acid to make it work, perhaps a honey bread, cocoa bread, or lemon bread.  The first picture is from an experiment in that realm using coconut milk.  I think this would make a great sweet application, so more experimentation is needed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sick of lettuce? Try Kale Salad!

This salad packs well and is an easy meal prep on a weekend for salads during the week.  Make a bigger batch for more leftovers.

Why kale?

Kale is a delicious, hearty green with loads of nutrients.  Notably, it is chocked full of Vitamin A (important in vision and bone growth), Vitamin K (important in blood clotting and bone metabolism), and Vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant, important component for chemical reactions in your body, and vital part of maintenance and synthesis within the body).  It has a glycemic load of 3, therefore it doesn't spike your blood sugar.  It is a strong anti-inflammatory based upon its fatty acids, glycemic load, and antioxidant content.

What makes Kale Salad special?

Raw kale is nutrient dense.  Vitamins like Vitamin C degrade through cooking and the application of heat.  Raw kale has more available Vitamin C.  Studies looking at the nutrient properties of plants in the same genus as kale (Brassica vegetables or cabbages) also has more of the anti-inflammatory molecule called sulforaphane when raw.  Sulforaphane is important for reducing inflammation, such as in the respiratory system to alleviate asthma and other respiratory ailments, and has been found to inhibit cancer cell growth.  When raw, the absorption of this important molecule is faster than when cooked.

Vitamin K and Vitamin A are fat soluble, meaning if you have fat along with a food source rich with these vitamins, you get more of that vitamin out of the food.   Kale Salad incorporates olive oil which frees up these vitamins.

Olive oil itself is beneficial in many ways.  As a monounsaturated fat it can reduce the total and low-density (LDL) cholesterol levels in your blood.  Extra virgin olive oils are less processed and have the highest levels of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant.  There is also evidence that olive oil plays a role in blood sugar and blood pressure reduction, omega fat balance, and protection against heart attack and stroke.

Nuts are fat and nutrient powerhouses.  As a food storage system for a growing plant embryo, nuts are nutrient dense.  As omega 3 sources, they help balance your fatty acids and can lower LDL concentration.  They have a low glycemic index and possess vitamins E, F, and G as well as many important minerals.  However, they aren't a viable protein source, but we'll get into that in another post.

So let's put it all together.

Kale Salad
(inspired by Caveman Food's Relaxed Kale)
Makes enough for 2 with some leftovers (depending upon gluttony)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes, then let sit to meld flavors

1 bunch of kale, greens cut from the stem and torn into pieces
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard

After preparing and washing the kale, add the olive oil and salt and massage the kale for 5-7 minutes (yes, with your hands, yes the salt hurts cuts, and yes, it takes a little time) until it reduces in size and feels more pliable.  In another bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together to incorporate.  Add dressing and toss to coat the kale.  At this point, you can place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for a week (actually improves over time).

To serve:
(NOTE: don't add these items until you are ready to eat because they will deteriorate with time)

Add a handful of chopped nuts like walnuts or almonds, preferably roasted (place on a baking sheet while you preheat the oven for another meal and toss every once and a while to brown or place in a skillet and roast stovetop until brown--just be careful not to burn them!).

Add a meat choice.  Ours is usually seared steak (see recipe to follow), but you can add any type of meat.  Bite-sized is the most easily eaten.

Add a tart apple for the sweet-sour approach that works well with the strong flavors of the kale, vinegar, and mustard.

To make this Zone, you will probably need more carbohydrate choices since kale is 3.2 cups raw per block of carbohydrate.  The honey adds 2 blocks for the whole salad.  An apple also adds 2 blocks of carbohydrate.  The olive oil and nuts make this a fat heavy meal, but delicious and healthy nonetheless.  Cooking your meat on the grill or seared without fat on the stove will allow you more fat leeway for this portion of your meal.

Image copyright:
© 2006 Classroom Clipart/Photocatalogs. All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lunch Time!

Now that school is back in session, parents and students alike need nutritious lunch ideas.  Here are some tips to keep you and your kids eating healthy lunches while not making you slave in the kitchen for their preparation.  The key is making sure each meal has healthy carb, protein, and fat.  The balance will create longer lasting satiety and won't leave you with highs and lows in energy.

Healthy carb choices: carrots, berries, apples, grapes, kiwis, salad greens, virtually any fruit and veggie you can think of except for beans/legumes of any kind, starchy potatoes (save those for an occasional dinner or post workout dish), and use high glycemic fruits rarely like bananas, melons, mangos, and the like.  High glycemic fruits will just leave you hungry a couple of hours later anyway, so keep them to a rare treat.

Healthy meat choices: fish, lean meats (including eggs, beef, poultry, game, pork, etc.), shellfish, sausages that don't have sugar (note: evaporated cane juice is still sugar), grains, or dairy in their ingredients.  Use fatty meats rarely rather than regularly (ex. bacon).  Soy products are out since they are soybean derived and highly processed.  Avoid deli meats for excessive salt and processing.

Healthy fat choices: nuts, seeds, olive oil, olives, avocado.  Avoid overly processed oils like canola or vegetable oil or oils from foods we avoid like soybean or peanut oil (peanuts are legumes).

Another key to eating paleo-style is eating minimally processed, whole foods.  If you buy a processed item in a bag, can, or jar--check the ingredients closely!  Don't allow soy products, grains, or sugar to creep into your diet.  Try to buy products with short ingredient lists and ingredients you can understand.  You and your family's health and performance will benefit from the effort you take to eat right.  

Here is a quick, easy lunch recipe that will give you meals for the week:

Roasted Turkey Breast
Great cold or warm and less than an hour to make start to finish!

1 split turkey breast, bone in, skin on (the bigger, the better) (NOTE: the picture shows two smaller ones I made for a double batch)
1-2 part olive oil
1 part seasoning mix (see choices or create your own!)

Potluck Seasoning Mix:
1T each of garlic powder, oregano, rosemary (crushed), thyme, basil, paprika, kosher salt
1tsp each pepper, crushed red pepper flakes

Italian Seasoning Mix:
3 sun dried tomatoes (chopped), 1T each of rosemary (crushed), oregano, basil, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder, 1tsp each of pepper, red pepper flakes
(NOTE: make more of this seasoning than you need, add olive oil, and store in the refrigerator for other uses like salad dressing and flaxbread seasoning 

UPDATE 4/13/2010
Spicy Garlic Mix: 
(for one huge turkey breast or 2 small)
1T garlic powder (be generous)
20 grinds of black pepper (who really measures ground black pepper easily?)
1/2T kosher salt
1/2tsp or more of red pepper flakes/crushed red pepper
2-4T extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 or 450 degrees (depends on how accurate your oven is and trial and error results).  Mix seasoning with olive oil to create a paste.  Start with 1 to 1 ratio of seasoning to oil and increase oil if necessary to make it wet enough to spread.  To avoid contamination, if you are keeping any of the seasoning for another use, set aside in another container; don't keep any extra from turkey application!  Loosen the skin of the turkey by gently pulling it up and running your hand underneath to create a pocket.  Try not to tear more holes in it than the hand opening.  Also, open the cavity between the breast and tender with your hand to expose more surface area for the rub.  Get underneath or cut that layer of skin/connective tissue? on top of the tender.  For large breasts, I like to cut another layer in the thickest parts so that more seasoning can be distributed.  Rub oil mixture on turkey under skin, over skin, and in cavity between breast and tender--all over.  Roast uncovered in a baking dish for 45min (start checking at 35min for 150 degree internal temp or sooner if turkey is small) at 425/450 degrees.  I pull  mine at 150 degrees to allow for carry-over and juiciness, but most references say 165 minimum for safety.  For me that is dry as toast, but I strongly caution you to follow my lead only at your own risk.  I assume no responsibility.  I am pretty confident my turkey comes from a good source; I don't buy mine at Costco or Safeway.  Let the turkey rest before slicing/serving.  Refrigerate once cooled in an airtight container and it will last a week.

Turkey Breast Salad--heap a ton of greens into a bowl/container, measure turkey and add to salad, add dressing (olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice is simple and delicious), and any other veggies, berries, or fruit or serve on the side.

Turkey Breast Sandwich--serve between flaxbread with some veggies and/or fruit on the side.

Turkey Breast a la carte--serve with cut up veggies and/or fruit and nuts/seeds/avocado to create a balanced meal

Turkey Breast omelet or frittatta--add as another protein source to an omelet or frittatta