Paleo/Primal Chicken Eggplant Parm

I had a glut of eggplants in the fridge, and I really needed to use them up seeing that grocery shopping day was approaching.

So I made eggplant parm.

Normally, this dish is not at all paleo or even particually healthy for that matter.  The eggplant slices are breaded and fried, it contains cheese in large quantities…

But it can easily be made paleo.

I baked the eggplant in the oven to remove the need to bread and fry them.  I layered them with a home-made marinara sauce that I added some leftover chopped cooked chicken (to provide protein).  And I didn’t add cheese.  I simply put a block of parmesan on the table so that anyone who wanted it could grate it over their food.

Because this recipe contains eggplants, which are a nightshade, it is an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Paleo Chicken Eggplant Parm

serves 6


For the Marinara Sauce

1 tbsp fat of your choice (I used bacon fat)

1 onion – very finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic – crushed

1 carrot – chopped

1 stick of celery – chopped

1 796ml/28oz can of crushed tomatoes

4 slices of bacon

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

a few fresh sage leaves – chopped

1 small handful of parsley – chopped

For the Parm

2 cups cooked chicken – chopped finely

4 small eggplants

olive oil

dried mixed herbs (I used basil, thyme and oregano)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the marinara sauce – melt the fat in a heavy bottomed pan and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrot and cook slowly over a medium heat until the vegetables are tender.


Add the bacon and cook for a few minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes.

Season well with salt and pepper and stir in the sage.

Simmer until thick and delicious while you prepare the eggplants.


While the sauce is cooking, prepare the eggplant.


Cut the eggplant into 1/4″ thick slices – I find this easiest to do using a serrated knife – and as I don’t use it for anything else now, this is what I use my bread knife for…


Lay the slices out on a couple of baking sheets and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and some dried mixed herbs (I used a mixture of basil, thyme and oregano).  Drizzle over a little olive oil then pop them in a preheated oven (200C/400F) and cook until tender.

By this time, your marinara sauce will be cooked, so get your leftover chicken (other meat could be substituted or you could leave it out entirely if you wanted) and chop it finely.


Stir the chicken into your marinara sauce.

Now we are ready to assemble the bake.

Take the biggest shallow dish you have (mine measures 9″x13″).   Place an overlapping layer of eggplant in the base of the dish, trying not to use more than half.  Pour over half the marinara sauce.  Then repeat with the remaining eggplant and sauce.


Pop the bake in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and delicious.


I served this over spaghetti squash with parmesan on the side for those who wanted it.


This is the brand of parmesan I buy from Costco:


It is a little pricey because it is such a huge wedge, but it is well worth it.


Because the wedge is so huge, this is usually how I serve it – a wedge of parmesan on a plate with the grater so that those who want it can serve themselves easily:


Eggs – One Of The Healthiest Foods You Can Eat

Eggs have got a bit of a bad reputation in the past – not only because industrially produced eggs are infected with bacteria, including salmonella.  But also because they are high in fat and cholesterol.  We are told to limit our consumption of eggs, or to eat only the protein rich egg-whites in order to not gain weight and to keep the cholesterol levels in our blood to within acceptable levels.

The thing is, we don’t need to do this.  While 1 egg contains a large amount of cholesterol compared to other foods (212mg in 1 large egg), dietary cholesterol does not affect our blood cholesterol levels – if we don’t consume enough in our diet, our livers will simply make more.

And consuming eggs will actually improve your blood cholesterol profile.  They will increase the levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol while limiting the “bad” LDL cholesterol to a large “fluffy” subtype that is not associated with heart disease (1, 2, 3, 4).

Not only that, eggs are simply packed with nutrients that our bodies need.

They are full of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.  They also contain choline which is vital for healthy brain function (5).

1 egg will provide you with the following (6):

  • Protein – 6g
  • Fat – 5g
  • Vitamin A – 6% RDA
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)  – 2%RDA
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) – 15% RDA
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) – 7% RDA
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – 3% RDA
  • Vitamin B12 – 9% RDA
  • Choline 113mg
  • Vitamin E – 3% RDA
  • Folic acid  – 5% RDA
  • Calcium – 2% RDA
  • Iron – 3% RDA
  • Magnesium – 1% RDA
  • Phosphorus – 9% RDA
  • Potassium – 2% RDA
  • Zinc – 4% RDA
  • Selenium – 22% RDA

And all with only 77 calories and minimal amounts of carbs.  Most of the nutrients with the exception of protein are found in the yolks, meaning that if you are eating only the egg whites you are missing out on most of the nutritional benefits of all these vitamins and minerals.

Eggs also measure highly on the satiety index.  This means that they are very effective at satisfying hunger, make you feel full and stay full for longer.  And as a result, you will eat less.  There have been numerous studies that have shown that eating eggs for breakfast leads to weight loss (7, 8).

One thing to remember is that not all eggs are the same.  The vast majority of egg-laying hens are confined in small cages and lead incredibly unhealthy lives.  They are fed a grain based feed that alters the EFA (essential fatty acid) profile in an unfavorable way. And because they are caged with such a high stocking density, a large proportion of the birds will be infected with salmonella and other bacteria.  This can lead to salmonella-tainted eggs

Even eggs that claim to be free-range may not be as free-range as you think – in order to receive the designation of “free-range”, the hens just have to have access to the outdoors for part of the day.  Access is the key – they usually are raised in huge barns, with a tiny little opening to the outside.  The food and water is all in the barn, so guess where the hens stay.  And they are fed the same kind of diet as the caged birds…  one that is too high in omega 6 and too low in omega 3.

If at all possible, buy omega 3 enriched or pastured eggs as they will be laid by healthier birds and have a better omega 3 : omega 6 ratio.

So there you have it – eggs, cheap, nutritious and very tasty.  What is not to like about them?

Slimband – Why?

Last night I was watching TV and there was a commercial for Slimband.

This got me thinking.

Instead of making the effort to loose weight, people are paying for costly and potentially risky surgery.  And all so they don’t have to change their eating habits in order to loose weight.


They will carry on eating the same crappy, nutritionally deficient food, but because the size of their stomachs has been reduced they will just eat less of it.  And because the food they are eating is deficient in nutrients, they will end up even more nutritionally deprived than they were before and as a result their health will suffer.

When did it become the norm to undergo elective surgery instead of eating healthy food in order to loose excess weight?

Slimband claims that you can loose up to half your excess weight in a year while still “eating the foods you love, just in smaller portions”.  And they were promoting one woman who claimed to have lost 50lb and who said that “She was never going back”.

Yes you may be able to loose that excess weight, but at what cost?

I effortlessly managed to loose 50lb in half a year on the Paleo diet with no surgery risk, no scarring and at a cost considerably less than getting Slimband.   I am never going back either!

Paleo Coffee Creamer

I may have mentioned it before – C is addicted to coffee.  But she likes it sweet and milky.

We tried adding butter and coconut oil as an alternative as seen in this post on Bulletproof Coffee but she didn’t like it.  We then tried adding an egg based on this post from Marks Daily Apple.  Again, she did not like the taste even with sugar added.

So I came up with a paleo, sugar-free version of a coffee creamer for her to use as I was not happy with all the sugar that she was consuming.  Dates provide a small amount of sweetness and coconut milk makes it creamy and provides some healthy fats.  The other wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is simple enough for C to make by herself whenever she needs to….

Paleo Coffee Creamer

C's third cup of the day....  coffee with paleo coffee creamer

C’s third cup of the day…. coffee with paleo coffee creamer

2 oz date puree or stoneless whole dates

1/2 cup boiling water

1 can coconut milk

1 pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp  pure vanilla extract

You can use either whole stoneless dates or a date puree to make this.  I used a date puree because that is what I have.  Make sure that your date puree is not sweetened with extra sugar – dates are sweet enough as they are!


Put the date puree, along with 1/2 cup of boiling water into your blender and blend until it is fairly smooth.  A few bits of dates is OK.


Add the remaining ingredients and blend until it is smooth and uniform in texture


Finally transfer to your jar and use in your coffee.


I store this in a small mason jar in the fridge.  This amount easily fills the jar and leaves just enough over to make a cup of coffee.  It will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, but in our house it never lasts that long before it is all used up.

To use, you simply add the required amount to your coffee.  Depending on the temperature your fridge is set at it may become solid…. if this happens, just spoon the creamer on top of your coffee and stir in – it won’t affect the taste.

This is a pale creamy brown colour, with a subtle taste of cinnamon and vanilla.  You don’t taste the dates or the coconut.  They just add creaminess and a little sweetness.

Sweet Potato Soup – a quick, healthy lunch

I make a lot of soups for lunch.  The kids like them, they are cheap and easy to make, and they are easy for me to take to work for my lunch.

Typically for lunch at work I pack them in a wide-mouthed mason jar.  That way, I can reheat them in the microwave (or even simply eat them cold) and I eat them straight out of the jar.  The kids help themselves to the soup from the fridge when they are hungry and reheat it in a mug in the microwave.


Today I made a sweet potato soup.

Sweet Potato Soup


1 onion – chopped

2 cloves of garlic – crushed (if I will be taking soup to work, I try to keep garlic to a minimum…  nothing worse than garlic breath!)

2 sticks of celery – finely chopped

1 tbsp fat of choice (I used bacon fat)

2 rashers of bacon

1 small sweet potato – cut in small dice

1.5 jars bone broth (this was a chicken broth made from chicken carcasses in the slow cooker)

sea salt to taste

1/2 can coconut milk

1 small bunch of cilantro

Chop all your veg and crush the garlic.

Heat the fat in a large, heavy based pan and add the onion, celery and garlic.


Cook slowly over a medium heat until the onion is tender and starting to turn translucent.


Add in the bacon and sweet potatoes and allow to cook for a few minutes.


Pour in the stock, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and allow to cook for 20 minutes or so until all the veg is tender.


Check the seasoning, and add more if necessary, then add the coconut milk and cilantro (no need to chop it).

Puree with a stick blender until it is smooth and silky.

Either serve at once to your hungry hoarde or transfer to storage containers and put in the fridge.


Here is mine, packed in a small, wide-mouthed mason jar ready for me to take to work for my lunch.

Meet the Family

I thought it was time you met the family….

This is me – Salixisme, also known as Charlotte


I am 44 years old, I work as a massage therapist working out of a chiropractic clinic based in downtown Calgary.  I eat a paleo diet, which I started partly to loose excess weight (I reached 195lb and decided something had to be done…  now my weight seems to have stabilized at 135lb).  But the other reason I became Paleo was to help with some health issues.  I had been diagnosed with both chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia and I was also having gut issues.  Paleo helped all that, and now I feel fantastic.

And this is my husband I.  He is 40 years old and you would not believe how much stick I got for taking that picture of him as he hates his picture taken!  Hubby works in IT.


Like me, I is also eating Paleo, aiming to keep his total daily carb intake around the 50g area as he wants to loose a significant amount of weight.  He has managed to loose at least 50lb so far on the diet and is feeling (and looking!) fantastic although he still has a way to go.  We have been together for over 20 years and married for 10 of those, and we have 4 beautiful daughters…

A is the oldest.  She is currently 15.  And hates her photo taken.  The only way I managed to get this one is because she didn’t know I was taking it (she was reading her favourite book – Redwall).  A loves to draw and often will spend most of her time doodling on pieces of paper.  She is also a gamer, and plays Everquest2, Lord of the Rings Online, Skyrim (on the PS3) and Fallout/Fallout New Vegas (also on the PS3).  A eats a mostly primal diet as she can’t give up cheese, but she does like the way she feels healthier by eating a low carb diet.  You met A before in my post about the stuffed pork chops where she was cooking.

My eldest daughter A.

My eldest daughter A.

Next in line comes C.  You have met C before making a raita in the pork vindaloo post.  C is currently 13.  She plays the flute in both her school concert band and the jazz band and is also a member of the  Calgary Roundup Band.  She is a very talented young lady 🙂 .  C is much like A in that she eats a mostly primal diet (Paleo with added dairy).  She is addicted to coffee and likes to put milk in it.  She also moans about the lack of potatoes in what she eats.

My second daughter C

My second daughter C

And finally we have J and B.  again, you met this pair (also referred to as the gruesome twosome) before at the Stampede Parade.  J is 11 and B is 9.  J is the one on the left, B is the one on the right.  This pair are both partners in crime and share a very (VERY) messy bedroom.  J is learning to play the electric guitar through a Coursera course.   Both J and B eat a mostly primal diet with some carbs added as they need the energy and I worry about them ending up underweight.  Mostly the carbs are in the form of potatoes, sweet potatoes or rice but I also encourage them to snack freely on fruit as well.  They are both very active, spending a large part of each day running around outside in the playing-field near our house, and swinging on the monkey-bars at the park.

J is the only one of my children who is fussy about any food item – she HATES mushrooms with a passion.  It is the texture apparently.

Daughters 3 and 4 - J & B

Daughters 3 and 4 – J & B

So that is it…  that is my family.

Simple Pork Chops – AIP/Paleo/Primal

Hubby was working late last night, so I cooked for the girls much earlier than he and I ate.

What I made them was a nice easy to make dinner of pork chops that I briefly seared in a pan, then finished in the oven, served along side oven roasted carrots and beets and sauteed greens.

Quick, easy to make, very tasty and very healthy.  Both carrots and beets are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, as are the greens.

Simple Pork Chops

serves 4


4 pastured pork chops (we get ours from Spraggs Meat Shop)

sea salt

dried basil

dried oregano

1 tbsp fat of your choice (I used coconut oil)


This is the wonderful pork chops I used….


Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.  Heat up a large cast iron skillet on the stove top and add the fat.

While this is happening, season your pork with salt, and some dried basil and oregano.


Add them into the pan in a single layer and allow the bottom to brown.  Don’t try to flip them until they release from the surface of the pan.  This will take approximately 5 minutes.


Turn them over and give them an additional 5 minutes on the second side.


Then transfer the entire skillet to the oven.


Cook in the preheated oven for 5-10 minutes until the pork is cooked through.


I served these with roasted carrots and beets and some stirfried greens (Chinese Broccoli)


The general consensus from the girls was that it was delicious.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs

This recipe is primal rather than paleo, although I don’t doubt that you could make it paleo if you used a nut cheese

Hubby wanted to try fresh figs because he has developed a love of the dried ones… and they had a pack of fresh figs at Costco – I can’t tell you what they cost but it was less than $10 for 24 figs….

So we bought a pack.  We also bought goat cheese and honey… and I made this recipe which is the most amazing cheese course/desert imaginable.

Sadly most of the kids did not like it but Hubby and I did

Cheese, even goat cheese, is an AIP stage 4 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs

serves 12


)The picture only shows 12 stuffed figs because I only made half the pack…  a full pack of 24 figs would feed 12 people, 12 figs makes 6 portions if you figure 2 figs per person.  I still need to workout what to do with the other 12 figs that are in the fridge seeing as the girls won’t eat them!)

1 pack of 24 fresh figs (Costco)

1 pack of soft goat cheese (I used a 300g pack of Celebrity goat cheese purchased from Costco)

Runny honey

This is so simple that it is almost embarrassing to call it a recipe…


Take your figs and cut them in 4 crosswise from the stem to almost down to the base without cutting all the way through – basically you want a fig with the base intact and cross-wise cuts but it still intact and holding together.  Then take a big table spoonful of goat cheese  and stuff it in the middle of those crosswise cuts.  Use the rest of  the figs and put them on a serving platter and drizzle the whole thing with some runny honey.  Don’t use too much figs are sweet and fresh figs have an ethereal sweetness that dried ones do not…

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve and impress your dinner guests…

This is another recipe that is primal rather than paleo…  I liked it, hubby liked it, the kids did not….  I guess it won’t be featuring on our Christmas buffet cheeseboard!

Green Eggs and Ham for Breakfast

Most kids love the Dr Seuss books….

So what could be better to make them for breakfast than green eggs and ham?  And this breakfast is a great way to get your kids to eat some green veggies as well…. (Actually, this was what I made hubby for his breakfast this morning, I didn’t make it for the kids but they love it as well)

Whole eggs are an AIP stage 2 reintroduction.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

Green Eggs and Ham

serves 1


2 slices of thick cut ham (I used some leftover ham from one I had cooked using my boiled ham recipe)

2 eggs

1 big handful of spinach leaves

a pinch of ground nutmeg

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp fat of your choice (I usually use either butter or bacon fat for this)


Put a small skillet on over a medium-high heat and put the ham slices in it.  The aim is to heat it through and slightly brown the outside.  It will only take a couple of minutes on each side.

Get your blender out and put the eggs, spinach, nutmeg  and salt and pepper in it.  Blend until it is smooth.

Melt the fat in a small pan, tip in the eggs and stir until it is scrambled but still slightly creamy.  Don’t overcook it.

Serve the eggs along side the ham.

And there you have it – Green eggs and ham!

Burgers with Feta and Roasted Beet Salad and a Tzatziki Recipe

Tonight I needed a quick dinner, so I made burgers.


When you are Paleo/Primal, burgers can be a bit problematic as you can’t put them in a bun.   Some people suggest using Portobello mushrooms in place of a bun, but J has a hatred of mushrooms – if I even suggest serving mushrooms she gets a really disgusted look on her face.  So what I usually do is to sit the burgers on a really good salad.  You can’t pick them up and eat them with your hands (well you can, but your fingers get messy and then you need a napkin), but they do taste good….

I had some wonderful grassfed burgers in the freezer (not made by me, I bought them as recommended by a Greek man who told me they would be the best I ever tasted and they are!), and I found this recipe for a Roasted Beet and Goats Cheese Salad.  As I had beets that I wanted to use, it seemed perfect only I didn’t have any goats cheese.  What I had instead is some absolutely incredible Macedonian feta.

If you have never had Macedonian feta you need to seek some out (I buy it from a Middle Eastern grocery store called Basha Foods).  It is salty and tangy, yet creamy and not at all dry.  The way A described it was that if normal feta and Philadelphia cream cheese had a love child, this would be the result…


Anyhow, I made the salad, cooked the burgers, placed them on top of the salad and decided that I needed something to top them with.  In honour that Greek guy I decided that Tzatziki might be good.  So I went to my cookbook shelf and found a Greek cookbook that I have – 300 Traditional Recipes Greek Cookery.  And so I made the Tzatziki using some greek yoghurt .  That cook book is very good – I bought it in a second hand bookshop that I frequent a few months ago…  while it is not Paleo/Primal, a lot of the recipes can be adapted – and in this case it provided just what I needed.

So what I did – I made the Roasted Beet salad exactly as in the recipe I linked to earlier, just substituting the feta for the goats cheese.

I cooked the  burgers as instructed on the box (cook from frozen and grill for 5 minutes per side).

Then I made the tzatziki…


(based on the recipe for Tzatziki (Yoghurt, Cucumber and Garlic Dip) on page 26 of 300 Traditional Recipes, Greek Cookery edited by Stelios Condaratos)

serves 6


This is a really nice sauce or dip containing Greek yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and herbs.  My kids love it piled on top of burgers (or pretty much any kind of meat), but it also makes a really good dip for veggies.  I know that this is not a paleo recipe, but it is primal…


2 cups Greek yoghurt (you cold also use strained homemade yoghurt)

1 medium cucumber – peeled and seeded

4 cloves of garlic – crushed

2 tbsp olive oil

unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

a little apple cider vinegar

fresh mint – chopped

fresh dill – chopped


Grate the cucumber and press out as much liquid as you possibly can (I used my nut-milk bag to do this, but a clean teacloth would work just as well.)  You want to get as much out as you can because any juice you leave behind will dilute the sauce and make it runny.  I saved my cucumber juice and made a drink out of it by adding some fizzy water…  you don’t have to do that.  Just toss it down the sink if you want.

Place the squeezed and grated cucumber in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well and chill until it is time to serve.

And finally I plated it all – I sat the burgers on top of the salad and spooned a big dollop of Tzatziki on top.


I appreciate that this meal contained a fair amount of dairy… but hey, my girls are Primal, not Paleo and both I and me tolerate this kind fairly well.  Besides, 80/20…..