Paleo Pan Pals – tomatillos!

Whenever a recipe or meal includes some form of tomato sauce, it is guaranteed that, before the end of the cooking/cleaning/eating, I will splatter tomato on myself or the wall. Every time. I didn’t take photo proof of this, because the tomato splash scar is embarrassing.

Have you heard of Paleo Pen Pals? You sign up and get paired with another paleo person somewhere around the country, send each other a box of paleo ingredients (<$10), and then share results/recipes. I was a little nervous to sign up at first – I mean, sharing your name and address with a stranger who will send you some paleo food or ingredient? But I jumped in because it seems like a great way to force myself to use ingredients I might not otherwise use.

My paleo pal for April sent me a bunch of tomatillos. What is a tomatillo? It’s a nightshade that looks like a small green tomato, surrounded by this husk (that reminded me of corn). When I peeled off the husks, the tomatillos all felt a little sticky, and, at the time, I had no idea that was normal! (I was thinking maybe I need to wash them more, maybe they got sticky in the box, who knows.)


The inside of a tomatillo looks a lot like a tomato. (The inside of one tomatillo I used was a little more styrofoam-like, but the rest were more tomato-texture.)


I actually struggled to find a recipe using tomatillos (so if you have any, please share!) – most I found were for salsas. Then, I found this recipe for Chicken Chili Verde , except I was missing a few ingredients, so my version is probably a little less delicious.

Chicken Tomatillo Chili

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 pound of tomatillos, diced
  • 1 medium butternut squash, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

Really complicated directions:

  • Cook/brown ground beef in pan/skillet
  • Put cooked beef in slow cooker
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Cook on low for 5-6 hours



Conclusion: I’m going to leave recipe-making up to the experts for now, but trying a new ingredient was fun! The tomatillos tasted like a more tart, more intense version of a tomato.

Thanks to my paleo pal for allowing me to try this ingredient! (I probably would have never bought it on my own, and I either haven’t seen them or haven’t noticed them in stores before.)


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