Recently, my daughter has been asking me to make her only paleo dishes. Really? Paleo? What's that? I only heard about "the Paleo diet" a while back on an episode of Doctor Oz. I found out Paleo means eating the same way during cave times. What? Basically, you can only eat meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, veggies, seasonal fruits and seeds. That's it.
That means, saying NO to pastas, breads, rice, all dairy products, and her favorite things like granola bars, potato chips and chocolate. I said, realistically, I don't think that's going to sit well with your father. Then, she just looked at me with those bright blue puppy-like eyes. OK, so I told her I will try a dish.
Surprisingly, because this is a very simple vegetable casserole, and nothing fancy, it really turned out to be fantastic! Not to mention, relatively easy because all the vegetables are roasted together. NO cream or any cheese added. The Italian bacon added, known as pancetta, slowly bakes into a crispy salty bacon, giving the veggies a ton of flavor.
IF you don't have pancetta, don't worry. You can substitute with prosciutto or any lean bacon; either one will add smoky flavors to the vegetables. Since my daughter loved it, she now calls it her favorite "new" veggie dish.
We'd like to think this is our version of a Paleo casserole dish, maybe because it's non-dairy and gluten-free? I'm not sure. Regardless, it's definitely big on flavor.
Whether this is really paleo or not, it doesn't matter to me, as long as my daughter enjoys this, and knowing she's eating her vegetables- makes me happy!
Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Broccoli and Italian Bacon
- 1 basket Brussels sprouts- stems removed, sliced in halves
- 1 small head of broccoli- peeled skins, cut into chunks
- 2 yellow onions -chopped
- 6 carrots -peeled, chopped
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil - divided
- 4 slices of pancetta- chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large baking or roasting pan. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom of the pan. As you chopped each vegetable, scatter them in the prepared baking pan.
Drizzle on top with the remaining extra-virgin olive oil and scatter with the seasonings. Scatter pieces of pancetta over the top and place into the preheated oven.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn veggies over once. Return to oven and continue to bake for additional 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt, if needed. Remove and serve.