Friday, January 24, 2014

Surviving family dinners when no one else is paleo {festinade & raclette}

When it comes to following a paleo lifestyle, I'm pretty much a lone ranger. 

My Aunt Debbie is making her first, tentative steps into this marvelous world of real food... but she lives on a different continent. Then there's my cousin Manon (follow her on Instagram for some amazing, primal meal ideas @manonthyssen), but she's not present at all my family gatherings. 

My husband accepts to eat what I cook, and does so because it's friggin delicious, but he eats like everyone else when the occasion presents itself.

What does this mean for me? This means finding easy ways to adapt what my family is serving to sit my dietary needs and preferences - without changing too much for them.

Today I'm going to cover the festinade. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click over and watch this short commercial clip. Judging by the people eating in that clip, I could do just fine. You haven't seen how my in-laws like to eat when using a festinade...

First, they start out by frying up some bacon (yum!) or some boudin blanc (essentially a milk sausage, which would be the death of me).

Next, they add some cubed potatoes (hello major indigestion) and top that off with cubed cheeses (the smellier the better - but still a no-go for me).

They continue this pattern, adding a couple slices of tomato here and there, a bite of salad just so they can say they had a veggie, until they can no longer eat another bit.

Then comes dessert. They finish off the meal by making mini crepes. Yup, you read that correctly. Mini. Crepes. They are freaking adorable, and, because it's my mother-in-laws' recipe, freaking delicious. Buuuut, another big no-go for me.

So what's a paleo eater to do? Use the festinade as it is meant to be used: as a personal-sized frying pan! My most recent festinade experience included the following, yummy ingredients:
  • sliced salmon fillet
  • jumbo shrimp
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced zuchinni
  • sliced mushrooms
  • sliced dry-cured ham
  • lots of green salad
  • Spices, spices and more spices! 
Another great idea for anyone not avoiding sugar would be to make banana pancakes at the end of the meal :)

Now if you're really paying attention, you're probably wondering why I wrote {festinade & raclette} in the title... yet I haven't spoke of a raclette at all. Well, that's because the same sort of meal can be (and has been) made with a raclette! (Again, if you have no idea what I'm talking about when I say raclette, check this out.)

If your raclette is a raclette-grill, it's even easier - load up on those cuts of meat!

The bottom line is, there's always a way to enjoy meals with those you love, even "traditional" meals that seem impossible to adapt. Sometimes you have to do a bit of planning ahead of time, but in the end, it's worth it.

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