For this week’s guest series post, we’re visited by Arielle, as known as @paleoteen. This sixteen year old foodie is known for her grain, sugar, and dairy free creations, and has developed quite a buzz in the paleo socialsphere. Her Instagram is followed by many, and one look at the food photos and you will understand why.
Today Arielle shares a recipe for all the curry lovers out there with her Thai Vegetable Curry dish – enjoy!
I’m Paleoteen – sweet sixteen, without the sweet, grains or diary.
I discovered the Paleo lifestyle by accident. I was very healthy and active, a competitive ice skater and top student up through the 8th grade, when I fell ill with Dysautonomia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). My symptoms were severe enough that I eventually had to leave school, ice skating, orchestra and many other extracurricular activities behind. I became mostly home-bound.
I didn’t give up learning, though, and spent a lot of time watching The Cooking Channel and Food Network. I started baking (mostly cupcakes) and visiting cupcake bakeries on my numerous trips to doctors. After being sick for over a year I tried a gluten free diet for six months with no obvious results. Then I started seeing an alternative medical provider who suggested a “yeast free diet”. His diet was gluten, sugar, dairy, soy, vinegar and yeast free. While researching recipes for the yeast free diet I stumbled upon Paleo.
I’ve found a love for food and discovered that I really enjoy cooking and experimenting with Paleo recipes. I continue to educate myself on the Paleo lifestyle as well as other natural, nutritious and healthy ways of cooking. I’ve been essentially Paleo for about six months, but I’m not strictly Paleo. I find an occasional “cheat” meal necessary for sanity or just too hard to resist! I enjoy creating a healthy dinner nearly every day, and my family has lost over 60 pounds without even intending to!
So far the diet hasn’t helped any of my Dysautonomia or CFS symptoms specifically, but I know I’m eating healthier and giving my body the nutrition it needs. Cooking and creating healthy meals inspires me to be more active. I believe culinary school will be in my future.
I’m excited to develop Paleo versions of my favorite meals. My philosophy is that there is no need to follow recipes; they are inspirational and a guide. You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. If you don’t like an ingredient, decrease the amount or substitute something else. Be cautious with this advice when it comes to baking, though. Too many changes to a baked recipe might land you with a lump of concrete instead of cake!
My family enjoys ethnic foods, comfort foods, and ethnic comfort foods. One of these is Thai Vegetable Curry. It’s great to experience other cultures through food even if we can’t visit their countries. This one is a real “comfort food” that will leave you with a warm feeling.
This recipe also works well with your favorite meat. Just add cubes of cooked chicken or shrimp during the last 5 minutes.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 3" piece of lemon grass, split
- 2 Thai chili peppers, halved
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, ginger powder, coriander, curry powder, chili powder, garam masala, turmeric
- 3 tsp madras curry
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp cayenne powder
- 2¼ cup water
- 1 head of broccoli florets
- 3 medium carrots, chopped into 1’ pieces
- 1 head of cauliflower florets
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped into 1’ pieces
- 2 14oz cans full fat coconut milk
- 1 lime
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup chopped green onion or chopped cilantro (for garnish)
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven. Add onions and shallot and sauté for two minutes until just soft.
- Add garlic, ginger, lemon grass and Thai chilies; cook for one minute.
- Add all the spices and stir.
- De-glaze with 1 cup water. Add carrots. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add all remaining vegetables and ½ cup water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Continue cooking for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally and slowly adding remaining water as needed to keep the vegetables steaming.
- Add 2 14oz cans of coconut milk. Stir and bring to simmer.
- Cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. (Add salt and pepper to taste.)
- Add juice of 1 lime and stir. Garnish with chopped green onion or cilantro.
My name is Arielle Ducharme, but I wasn’t named after the Little Mermaid. My father named me after a character in a science fiction book. It’s pronounced “R. E. L.” The character was an astronaut, physicist, pilot and gymnast, but unfortunately for Dad, I prefer theater and cooking.
I’m sixteen and live outside of Houston, Texas with my parents and my four legged brothers and sisters, who you’d probably call dogs. They really enjoy Paleo too, due to the many opportunities for meat scraps and leftovers!
You can follow my culinary journey on Instagram @paleoteen and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Paleoteen. I’m also working on getting my website up and running. Visit www.Paleoteen.net. So far there’s not much on the site, but I hope to feel well enough to start sharing more recipes soon.