Olympics Opening Ceremonies: The Paleo Menu


On Friday evening, at 6:30 p.m. Central time, I will be parked in front of the TV — with Dave, Smudge, a handful of tissues for the inevitable tears of Olympics love, and our British feast — to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.

OMG. THE OLYMPICS ARE COMING! (In case you missed my previous exclamation-filled posts, you can read all my Olympics stuff here.)

You know I love theme dinners, so I’ve planned a paleo, British-inspired menu for our Olympics party so we can pretend we’re in a pub in London. I’ve shared the recipes below, in case you want to play along.

Bonus fun: Don’t miss this list of 10 Things to Know About British Food from my pal Addie Broyles at the Austin-American Statesman.


Faux-Pub, Viewing-Party Menu

Crudité with Curry Mayo

Serves 2-4 | Prep 5 min | Cook 5 min

  • carrots

  • cucumbers

  • red bell peppers

  • celery

  • jicama

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1 medium apricot, finely diced

  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar

  • 1/4 cup homemade mayo


Wash all the veggies, cut into appropriate shapes, and arrange on a platter.


Heat the coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the apricot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and garam masala and cook 3-4 minutes more, mashing the apricot with the back of a wooden spoon to make “jam.” Place the apricots in a medium bowl and set aside until cool.


When the apricots have cooled, add the mayo to the bowl and fold gently until combined. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. If you find it’s too thick for proper dipping, you can thin it with a little water or vinegar.

Scotch Eggs

Serves 4-8 | Prep 15 min | Cook 30 min

  • 2 pounds ground pork

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • pinch cinnamon

  • pinch cloves

  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1 tablespoon dried chives

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 8 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

  • 1 bag (2 ounces) fried pork rinds (optional)

  • 2 large eggs, raw (optional)


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.


Place the ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, tarragon, parsley, chives, and garlic. Knead with your hands until well mixed.


Divide the pork mixture into 8 equal servings. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten it in your palm into a pancake shape. Wrap the meat around a hard-boiled egg, rolling it between your palms until the egg is evenly covered. This is much easier than it sounds. If the meat sticks to your hands, moisten them with a little water. Place the meat wrapped eggs on the baking sheet.


If using the pork rinds, place them in the bowl of the food processor and process until they resemble bread crumbs; pour them onto a plate or in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, beat the raw eggs. Gently roll each meatball in pork rind crumbs; you want just a thin dusting. Then roll each meatball in the raw egg and roll a second time in the crushed pork rinds to evenly coat. Place on the baking sheet.


Bake for 25 minutes, then increase the temperature to 400 F and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until the eggs are golden brown and crisp.

Note: You would not be wrong to dollop a little chutney mayo on your Scotch Egg… just sayin’…

Mashed Cauliflower

Serves 2-4 | Prep 5 min | Cook 10 min

  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen cauliflower florets

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dried chopped chives


Cook the cauliflower according to the package directions until it’s very soft, but not waterlogged.


In a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan, heat the garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, and pepper, about 1 minute.


Meanwhile, purée the cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor, scraping down the sides. Add the coconut milk to the processor, along with 1 tablespoon of chives. Process about 10 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with remaining chives before serving.

Cumin-Roasted Carrots

Serves 2-4 | Prep 5 min | Cook 20 min

  • 1 pound fresh carrots (about 10)

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1/2 fresh lemon (optional)

  • a few leaves of fresh parsley and mint, minced, for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.


Wash and peel the carrots, then cut them lengthwise into thin strips, about 1/4-inch wide. Toss them into a large bowl.


With a fork, mix the cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add the coconut oil and microwave until melted, about 15-20 seconds.


Pour the seasoned coconut oil over the carrots and toss with two wooden spoons until the carrots are evenly coated. Sing a verse of your favorite song so you don’t skimp on tossing time. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings.


Spread the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs.

Berries and Cream

Serves 4 | Prep 15 min. plus 3-4 hours or overnight to chill the coconut milk

This is based on a raspberry brulée recipe which is basically berries and cream with caramelized sugar on top. As you can probably guess, we’re skipping the sugar.

  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) coconut milk

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


This requires a bit of forethought: place a can of coconut milk in the refrigerator, ideally overnight, but 3-4 hours will do.


When you’re ready to eat, put the can, a metal mixing bowl, and beaters from the mixer in the freezer for 15 minutes. While the coconut milk is chilling out in the freezer, gently wash the raspberries and pat dry with paper towels.


When the coconut milk is cold, turn the can upside down, open it with a can opener, and pour off the watery liquid. Scoop the thickened coconut milk that remains into the chilled mixing bowl and add the almond extract. Whip on your mixer’s highest setting until the milk is fluffy and has taken on the texture of whipped cream, about 5-7 minutes.


Place the raspberries in a large bowl, then add half the the whipped cream and gently fold until combined. Add more whipped cream, if you need want it. The idea is to encase the berries in the cream but not make it gloopy. (Leftover whipped cream can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for about 3 days.)


Divide the berries into four bowls. Eat with a spoon, lick bowl, as necessary.

Other Options

It’s tricky. Much of the traditional British comfort food — cheese and onion tart, pasties, all manner of sweet desserts — is almost impossible to make truly paleo. But in addition to the recipes above, you might also like to try these…

Dave is not a fan of sardines or paté so they’re not on our menu, but if you like them, both would make lovely starters when added to the crudité plate.

Roast Lamb with Currant Sauce from Lava Lake Lamb
Paleo Shepherd’s Pie (my recipe!)

Or try a classic Fry Up and have breakfast-for-dinner! The traditional Fry Up includes a fried eggs, bacon, sausage, a fried tomato, and fried mushrooms (and toast and baked beans, which you’ll be skipping, of course.)

Happy Olympics and British dining to you!

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  • Melissa says:

    totally making the scotch eggs. Dan saw them on a menu a few weeks ago in Fredericksburg and I told him we’d try them sometime.

    I think now is the sometime!

  • Thanks for the great theme meal ideas! How could you look at all those totally fit people and want to eat junk anyway?

  • A quick pork rinds question…are there any preferred kinds that you can get in the store? I’ve never had them before, been dying to try them, but since no one else I know eats them either, it’s hard to get a recommendation! Please and thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Here’s the deal: pork rinds are borderline crappy food. They’re one of those things that are “technically” paleo, but unless you’re making your own crispy pork rinds from wild boar or a pig from a good local farmer, pork rinds are pretty junkie. So… it really doesn’t matter which brand you buy. Just make sure the ingredients are only be pork rinds and salt.

      I eat them once or twice a year on my Scotch Eggs; the rest of the time, I make the Scotch Eggs “naked” and they’re still really good.

  • sounds like my kind of party! thanks for the ideas, Mel! I can’t wait for the Olympics. It’s kind of like Christmas (except you’re Jewish, right? so Hanukkah?). You get my drift. 😉

  • Cheryl Miller says:

    Only thing is Rooibos tea is South African – but Earl Grey is British. Being a South African Brit, I love your combo. Will be watching the Opening Ceremony with you at 10pm tonight.

  • UKPaleo says:

    What about fish and chips? And curry? Both quite easy to do ‘paleo’! Love the look of those scotch eggs though…

  • Robyn F says:

    this is slightly off topic, but its food related.
    Have you ever made jicama slaw? I am just wondering what I would put in it? I would like that with the turkey tacos.

  • barb says:

    I have a good addition to your list…. The Ploughman’s Lunch. If you google the term you come up with a ton of descriptions and images to give you ideas. Such a great idea that is so easy to make paleo friendly.

  • Vanessa says:

    This is a cute post. I live in London, originally American though, and am excited for the events to start tonight. Admittedly the Olympics have been stressful already for people in London with all the traffic, tube problems, etc, but trying to be positive!

    I think this meal is a pretty good attempt at being English, though there are other things they eat which I think could be paleo-adapted. Every Sunday they eat a Sunday Roast — could be roast chicken with carrots and roast potatoes (could sub in parsnips) or mash, or roast beef with gravy and veg. They also love fish and chips, which could be fun to do with a nut breading and sweet potato fries. Shepherds pie is also quite English, though not necessarily in summer. Or sausage and mash with gravy. Basically all English dishes are a good piece of meat, with two veg.. and then some evil bready pudding, topping or crust 🙂

    Overall I think your ideas are a creative take on british cuisine!

  • Amy says:

    Oh wow, when I saw the Scotch Egg I did a little dance in my desk chair! Love them! Love pork rinds, too. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Rhonda says:

    Sounds wonderful!!! I haven’t made Scotch eggs in forever. Time to break out the sausage!

  • Marie says:

    I decided to go with Indian food (chicken tikka masala is the national dish of the UK!) and am actually making your Rogan Josh recipe tonight.

    …and I’m having a Pimm’s Cup. The British have so many delicious drinks and I’m not made of stone. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      LOVE it! I seriously considered a Pimm’s Cup because I’ve never had one. Then I decided that if I was going to have a cocktail, it should be something I know I like… Dave and I will be enjoying a bit of Becherovka to celebrate. Na zdravi to the Czech Olmpic team!

  • Just made a batch of Scotch Eggs and waiting for Husband to come home to sample them. They look and smell wonderful. Plus I polished off the unused pork rinds – some people have a sweet tooth; mine prefers salt;-) Great recipe – plan to make for my Son when he visits as his doc advised a paleo diet.

    • Mel says:

      I have a salt tooth, too, and I might also have polished off a handful of pork rinds while making our Scotch Eggs. Ooops!

  • rachel says:

    i tried to make the scotch eggs with “soft boiled” eggs…YIKES! i think it would have worked had i not used farm fresh–they tore a bit in the meat-wrapping process so there’s a minor explosion of egg yolk in my oven. still delicious, though!!!

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  • SandiRows says:

    The scotch eggs are terrific! I just made them for the 1st time today for lunch. I did use the pork rind coating and it turned out crispy delicious. Thanks for another great recipe!