This is a story of a half Hispanic girl who went Paleo.
This story is about ME! I am that half Hispanic Cavechick. People often get confused when I say this but it’s true! My Mothers side of the family is Hispanic and from New Mexico. My Mom and Grandma make some of the best New Mexican cuisine known to man- carne adovada, homemade salsa, homemade tamales, and homemade tortillas. These foods all remind me of the majority of the holidays throughout my life.
My diet is very restrictive- it is what it is. I have made many concessions with no complaining or dwelling but from time to time I want to participate! It is a longing for nostalgia.
A feast like this is still just a treat- a cheat day if you will in my world and that is why I reserve this kind of indulgence for a special occasion. Too many of any kind of tortilla can quickly make one gorda quickly! BUT this is ONE OF THOSE special occasions! Yippee!
First things first how do we enjoy a proper Margarita? I will give the recipe for the famous NorCal Margarita. A biochemists recipe!
I miss tacos bigtime, they were my favorite thing to eat. I make lettuce cup tacos and they are always great but it’s Cinco De Mayo!!! I wanted to try a recipe for coconut flour, grain free tortillas yea!
Tamales made by my Mom and Grandma are insanely delicious but corn is off limits so masa as a base is off the list. I substituted a recipe using Plantain to make spicy chicken tamales! We traditionally fry an egg over easy and put it on the tamale. Ohhhh yes…
Let’s get this fiesta started with a Margarita!
This is a recipe developed by a biochemist who I have mentioned many times in my posts, Robb Wolf who wrote The Paleo Solution. While it is advised against we are only human and from time to time a little tequila is in order! On Page 138 he discusses the taboo subject of alcohol and the Paleo world and gives a recipe:
“Much of the problem with drinking is not the booze itself but the crap, usually sugar, that comes along with it. Ditch your froufrou drinks with the umbrellas and go for clear liquour. My favorite is Tequila (gold), prepared withe the following ingredients:
- 2 shots of gold tequila
- Juice of one or more limes
- Splash of soda/sparkling water
Drink one or two of these on an empty stomach early in your evening. Wrap up the night with some protein and fat, and you are all set. You socialized, got your head change, and did not do too much damage to yourself. There is also some chemistry behind the recommendations. The lime juice blunts insulin release and the carbon dioxide bubbles in the soda water act as what’s called a “nonpolar solvent.” This actually extracts the alcohol from the drink and delivers it to your system faster. Better living through chemistry!”
SALUD! Tasty Margarita in hand!
Grain Free Coconut Flour Tortillas:
This was my first time really trying anything like this. I watched my Mom and Grandma make them when I was growing up but they were made quite differently. The process for these was more like making crepes. I think if you want it a little thicker to make a variation of Indian Fry Bread you could add more coconut flour. You could actually add honey to the recipe and use them for a breakfast crepe too. Either way I got my tortillas for a tacos and they are delicious. YIPPEE!
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon grain free baking powder (potato not corn meal based)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cup eggs (or egg whites)
- 3/4 cup almond milk
Mix all of the ingredients together in one bowl. I used a Pyrex measuring glass cup with a spout so it would be easier to pour in the pan. Let sit for 10 minutes so the coconut flour can soak up some of the moisture. The batter should be runnier than pancakes would be.
Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and coat the bottom of the pan with coconut or olive oil. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, swirling the pan while you pour to ensure the bottom is coated and the tortilla is thin.
I didn’t have a traditional crepe pan. This worked fine- would have been easier with a true crepe pan but I survived quite well with this. It took some practice and patience!
They cooked up great! Had I just used egg whites they would not have the yellow tint to them. I would have taken them a little bit thinner but for a first try they came out awesome. I will get my Cinco De Mayo tacos!
PLANTAIN SPICY CHICKEN TAMALES:
This was a recipe I have been wanting to try for a couple months, plantains are useful in so many recipes and seemed like a great options rather than corn. I have seen some of the secrets of making tamales when watching my Mom, Grandma and Aunts making them around the holidays. They are laborious! They would make a full assembly line and whip these puppies out like a factory!
- 4 Green Plantain
- 1 cup Lard/Butter/Ghee/Bacon Fat
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- Bone Broth
- Banana Leaves or Parchment Paper
You can use whatever filling you like- pulled pork carnitas, spicy chicken, brisket, even fish. I had some garlic pepper chicken that was marinated and ready to go. I put some extra seasoning on it to make it extra spicy including hatch green chili powder. I also put some of the bone broth in there along with some bacon slices. I boiled the chicken for almost 2 hours until it was falling apart and shredded. You will use the bone broth for the plantain tamale shell also.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Wash the plantain thoroughly, cut into sections with skin on and then place in the boiling water for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Peel and place the plantain into a food processor.
- Add the fat, baking powder and salt and begin grinding it into a dough.
- You will need to add in some broth to thin out the dough a little bit as it is blending.
The finish dough should be between the constancy of peanut butter and cookie dough.
Spread about 3 tbsp of dough thinly on a 5 or 6 inch square of banana leaf or parchment paper. Add the filling then roll the dough over the filling folding up the bottom leaving the top open.
Steam the tamales standing up if you can for 1 hour, checking frequently to see that there is water still left to boil. Remove promptly from steaming pan and place on plate or foil IF you can wait until they cool slightly before trying!
They are DELICIOUS. The parchment paper came right off. The meat inside was perfectly tender and the plantain coating was also REALLY good. They aren’t my family’s traditional recipe but they are dang good! I also get to enjoy one of my favorite Holiday pastimes- fried egg on top of two tamales.
Happy Cinco De Mayo! May you drink your margarita’s early and eat your protein and fat late. Happy recovering!
I am not a dietitian, nutritionist, or certified trainer. I am a normal, smart, professional Woman who is also an athlete. I was diagnosed with a very serious case of diverticulitis and within moments almost lost 60% of my G.I. tract due to it. Once in recovery to avoid surgery going forward I did a tremendous amount of research and adopted a Paleo lifestyle. The results I have personally seen and felt are worth sharing. I am fortunate to have a network of professional athletes from many walks of life, nutritionists, trainers and other medical professionals to learn from. I am sharing my personal journey for those of you who experience similar types of health issues or are simply interested in the information I gather. I hope it encourages you and points you in the right direction to research further for your own personal well being. For those of you who are looking to share in my relentless hiking passion, or those who simply enjoy learning about the things I come across I am happy to have you all along on this incredible ride!