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They won't know it's Paleo: Forsyth resident writes cookbook from family diet

 
POSTED: January 11, 2017 1:16 p.m.
Micah Green/

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FORSYTH COUNTY -- After receiving diagnoses of Hashimoto’s thyroid disease and celiac disease years ago, Bre’anna Emmitt was severely limited in what she could cook and eat. These days, she is helping others with simi­lar conditions to prepare great food.

Emmitt runs her own blog and has published a cookbook, both called “He Won’t Know It’s Paleo,” coming from Emmitt’s experience of changing up her cooking style without her husband knowing.

“I knew my husband would not be on board, because going gluten free … he’s from south Texas and thought it was, like, un-American,” Emmitt said.

“After about six months we were standing in the kitchen, and he goes, ‘Man, the 30s have been good to me. I’ve lost weight and I’m feeling better and feeling good.’”

At that point, she said, he couldn’t be mad about six months of dinners he had enjoyed and found it funny.

As the name implies, the Paleo, or ketogenic, diet is meant to mimic the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, meaning yes to meats, veggies, nuts and pretty much anything that can be caught or picked and no to grains, starches, dairy and things processed or farmed.

While Emmitt had to work around her husband, their four children have come around easier.

“They have gotten used to it,” she said. “I have found that if you cook food your kids will like, they’re going to eat it. If you cook good food, your family is going to eat it. It’s when you start cooking things that are not good that they complain.”

Emmitt said there is always a way to make some­thing Paleo, the ingredients just need to be switched to alternatives, like coconut and almond flour. And practice makes it come easier.

For her part, Emmitt will continue showing others how to make healthier meals, especially given the comments she has received.

“That’s why I keep doing it,” Emmitt said. “Just when I think I’ll stop and not worry about it anymore is when I get emails and Facebook comments of people just saying, ‘This changed my life.’"

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One of the most intimidating parts of starting a new diet is finding meals that both fall into the diet and taste great. Luckily, Bre’anna Emmitt has provided some easy and delicious recipes for those wanting to give the Paleo diet a try.

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ROASTED CHICKEN OVER HEARTY VEGETABLES

* Prep Time: 15 minutes

* Cooking Time: 90 minutes

* Yield: 6 servings

* Ingredients
1 large yellow onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
2-3 sweet potatoes, cut into 2-inch piec­es
5 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 large head green cabbage, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 whole chicken, innards removed, rinsed and patted dry
1 head garlic, cut in half
1 lemon, cut in half
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1 table­spoon avocado oil; sea salt

* Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Place the onion, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage in the bot­tom of a 9 by13-inch or larger casserole dish.
3. Stuff the garlic, lemon, and thyme into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs, if desired, for presentation.
4. Lay the chicken on top of the bed of vegetables, breast-side up.
5. Rub the oil onto the chicken skin and season with salt to taste.
6. Roast, uncovered, for 90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

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HONEY-SEARED PORK TENDERLOIN

* Prep Time: 5 minutes

* Cooking Time: 25 minutes

* Yield: 4 servings

* Ingredients
1 1/2-pound whole pork tenderloin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic pow­der
1/4 teaspoon onion pow­der
1/8 dried oregano
1/8 dried thyme
1/8 ground cloves
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup coconut oil

* Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. In a small bowl, mix the herbs and se a sonings together. Rub them into the pork tenderloin, and set the tenderloin aside.
3. In a large oven-proof skil­let or pot, stir the honey and coconut oil over medium heat until melted.
4. Brown the tenderloin in the oil mixture for 1-2 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn honey.
5. With the tenderloin inside, place the uncovered oven-proof skillet in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches145°F. Watch carefully to avoid burn­ing the honey mixture. If it begins to turn dark brown, move the skillet down to a lower oven rack. Remove the skillet from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let sit for 5 minutes before carving.
6. Slice the pork diagonally and drizzle the pan drippings over the top to serve.

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THE HEALTHY MINT SHAKE

* Prep time: 5 minutes

* Yield: 1 serving

* Ingredients
2/3 cup coconut milk or almond milk
1/4 large avoca­do
2 handfuls spinach
1/4 tea­spoon vanilla extract
1/4 tea­spoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice
2 tablespoons colla­gen, optional, for added protein

* Steps
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.

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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

* Prep Time: 5 minutes

* Yield: 4-6 servings

* Ingredients
3 large avo­cados
3/4 cup coconut milk
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
pinch sea salt

* Steps
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until completely smooth and creamy.
This keeps well for 3-4 days in the refrigera­tor when covered with plastic wrap.

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MASHED FAUXTATOES

* Prep Time: 5 minutes

* Cooking Time: 20 minutes

* Yield: 4-6 servings

* Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, stemmed and cut into large florets
1 medium white-fleshed sweet potato or parsnip, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

* Steps
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower, sweet potato or pars­nip, and garlic and boil 20 minutes, until the vegetables are fork tender.
2. Drain the vegetables and discard the water, shaking off as much liquid as possi­ble. Return cooked vegetables to the pot.
3. Add the olive oil and salt. Blend with a hand mixer or immersion blender until smooth.

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WORLD'S EASIEST BANANA BREAD

* Ingredients 4 eggs, room temp (soak in hot water while gathering ingredients to warm them quickly)
1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 large)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 table­spoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups almond flour (A finely-ground almond flour works best. Emmitt recommends Honeyville or Anthony’s brand available on Amazon. com)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinna­mon
2/3 cups pecan pieces (optional)

* Steps
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Blend the wet ingredients on high for 30 seconds or until smooth and frothy. Add the dry ingredients, and blend again on high for 30 seconds until completely smooth with no lumps. Scrape down as needed.
3. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes, until the top is light-brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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