By now you have probably heard of the Paleo diet but you may be unsure of what exactly you are supposed to eat and why.
According to the diet, you are only supposed to eat whole, natural foods that were available at the time of our Paleolithic ancestors. The theory goes that many of the ailments afflicting modern society, such as obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease just to name a few, stem from processed foods that our bodies are not designed to eat.
Advocates say that our ancestors consumed only meats, nuts and whatever fruits and vegetables they could find. There were no dairy products, grains, sugars or starches during the Paleolithic period. And this went on for a hundred thousand years until grains entered our diets several thousand years ago in primitive civilizations.
However, over the last 50 years, the process has accelerated dramatically due to thetakeover of our food supply by giant food companies. Now the majority of our diets consist of unnatural, processed foods loaded with sugars and preservatives.
As far as diets are concerned, the Paleo meal plan is not really a diet. It is a way of eating for the rest of your life. There are no calories to count, just certain foods to avoid.
The following 10 Paleo recipes offer a variety of options for maintaining your caveman roots and more than likely, your waistline. In some cases, a food processor will come in handy when combining some of the ingredients, but if you do not want to invest in a cheap version, you can get away with dicing up everything and mixing it in a bowl.
Spaghetti Squash and Meatball Sauce
- 2 large spaghetti squash
- 4 oz pancetta, cubed
- 2 medium onions, chopped finely
- 2 lb of meatloaf mix
- 1⁄3 cup tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tspn crushed red pepper flakes
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes, drained and crushed by hand
- 1⁄3 cup basil pesto
Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise then remove the seeds before placing in a glass baking dish face-up. Add water to the dish until the squash is covered. Bake for 35 minutes.
While the squash is baking, heat the pancetta in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the meatloaf mix to a pan and brown about 10 minutes. Drain the excess fat. Season the meat with salt, pepper, tomato paste, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook together 1–2 minutes.
Next, stir in the garlic and add all of the tomatoes and basil. Let simmer for a half hour.
Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool. Using a fork, move it vertically through each squash to shred it into small noodle strips similar to spaghetti.
Finally, mix the spaghetti squash with the sauce and serve immediately.
Chicken, Tomato and Green Bean Curry
- 2½ pounds skinless, boneless free range chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 5 to 6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
- 1½ tbsp ground cumin
- 1½ tbsp mexican chili powder
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tspn turmeric
- ¼ tspn cayenne pepper
- 2 tomatoes diced and crushed
- ½ cup of broth
- 1 lb. of fresh green beans cut into 1″ pieces
Chop the onions and set them aside. Combine the cumin, chili powder, salt, turmeric and cayenne pepper in a separate bowl.
Cut the chicken and the green beans into 1″ strips. Heat a large pot over medium high heat on the stove. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil, chopped onions and garlic and simmer for 2 minutes. Add spices and stir for 60 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes, stir 5 minutes in simmer.
Next, stir in the chicken strips with the broth and bring to a boil. Then cover and lower heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the cover from the pot and stir in the green beans and cook uncovered 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Chinese Pork Fried Rice
- 8 oz. cooked pork cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 head fresh cauliflower
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 1 cup steamed broccoli florets
- 2-3 green scallions cut
Grate the cauliflower in a food processor and place in a bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Scramble the eggs with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and thoroughly cook. Remove from pan and save for later.
Sauté the diced onions in a tablespoon of coconut oil on high heat for about 5 minutes. Add an additional tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and increase heat. Add the pork, chopped broccoli florets , cauliflower, and scrambled egg in the pan. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil.
Continue to stir for about 5 minutes until everything is brown. Remove from the pan and sprinkle the chopped scallions on top and serve.
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Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
- 1 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloin
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 full cups spinach
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
For the glaze:
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. dried rosemary, crushed
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 tbsp. pepper
Open tenderloin by making a slit about three-fourths of the way through so it lies flat.
Heat the coconut oil in a small skillet and add in the onions and garlic until everything is tender.
Stir in the spinach, bacon, one tbsp. of Dijon mustard, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spoon out the spinach sauce over the tenderloin up to 1/2 inch from the edges then roll it over. Tie off the tenderloin with string along the length every 2 inches.
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Coat a backing pan with cooking spray.
Prepare the glaze using the ingredients above and spread it over the tenderloin. Place the tenderloin in the pan and put it in the oven for 45 minutes.
After the appropriate time, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Paleo Chicken Marsala
- 4 large free range chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup baby portabellas, sliced
- 1/2 cup marsala wine
- 1/4 cup sherry
Cook the chicken in a pan and cut the breast in half. Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and pound with a utensil until the chicken breasts are about a ¼ inch thick.
Melt olive oil in an skillet over medium heat.
Season chicken with salt, pepper and oregano and cook in the skillet for 5 minutes on both sides until brown.
Once the chicken is brown on both sides, mix in mushrooms, marsala wine and sherry into the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
- 1 lb mild or hot Italian sausage
- 1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- (1) 28-oz can peeled tomatoes and sauce
- (1) 15-oz can of tomato sauce
- (1) 6-oz can of tomato paste
- (2) 8-oz pkgs of sliced mushrooms
- (2) 10-oz pkgs of frozen spinach
- 4-5 medium-sized zucchini
- 1 1/2 cup of cashews
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
Seasonings Needed for Lasagna Sauce
- 1 tsp of dried basil
- 1 tsp or dried thyme
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/4 ground black pepper
- 1-2 tbsp of fresh parsley
Seasonings Needed for Cashew Cheese
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp dried onion
- 1/4 tsp dried garlic
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
On the day before you are preparing this recipe, soak the cashews in water.
In a large pot, sauté onions and garlic over medium heat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Next, add the Italian sausage and beef in the pot, cook until the meat is thoroughly brown. Drain the fat from the pot.
Next, add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste, then add the remaining lasagna sauce spices.
Allow the sauce to simmer in the pot for 30 minutes. While this is happening, do the following.
Place a spoonful of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms. Next, put the spinach in a bowl making sure there is no water left in the spinach.
Drain the water from the cashews you left soaking the day before and put them in a food processor. Add almond milk and spices before blending. The entire contents should be creamy.
Add 2 cups of the cashew creamy mixture in with the spinach and blend. Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
While you are waiting for the oven to heat up, slice each zucchini long ways. These will be your zucchini noodles.
Smooth some of the lasagna sauce along the bottom of a 9x12 oven pan. Place one layer of zucchini noodles lengthwise across the bottom of the pan and add half the cashew creamy mixture on top of the zucchini noodles
Next, add half of the sautéed mushrooms on top of everything. Now top everything with plenty of lasagna sauce.
Repeat the above steps for a second layer using the exact same order.
Place the pan in the oven and bake uncovered for about an hour, checking it frequently to make sure it is not bubbling too much toward the end of the time period. Remove from the oven and let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Thai Chicken, Mango and Pineapple Salad
- 1 (14-ounce) can of regular coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. of Thai red curry paste
- 2 tsp. of freshly grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 cups salad greens
Whisk the coconut milk, red curry paste, orange zest, and orange juice.
Place chicken in a ziplock bag, and mix half of the marinade sauce that you just made.
In a separate ziplock bag, add the fruit and the other half of the marinade. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill them over a gas stove for 3 to 4 minutes turning once so the chicken is cooked throughout.
Thread the fruit onto skewers and grill them over a gas stove for 2 minutes per side.
Remove the meat and fruit from the skewers and add them to a large bowl of greens.
Add the remaining marinade you prepared earlier.
Fire Roasted Bacon Meatloaf
- 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1 lb bacon, minced
- 14 ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 red onion, minced
- 1 bell pepper, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt
- Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 dgrees. As the oven heats, mince the bacon and combine it with the ground beef in a large bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and mix everything.
Form the meat into a loaf and place in a glass oven dish. Bake for 1 hour or until the meat is cooked. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
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Chicken Veggie Meatballs with Pesto Zucchini
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- ½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup blanched almond flour
- 1 egg
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tspn sea salt
- ½ tspn ground pepper
- ¼ tspn chili powder
Preheat oven to 350. While waiting for the oven to heat, combine the zucchini, carrots, garlic and parsley into a food processor.
Add almond flour, egg and chicken to the food processor and mix.
Add salt, pepper and chili powder to the processor and blend.
Drop tablespoon size balls of the ingredient mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, checking frequently at the 20 minute mark, depending on the size of your oven.
Honey Mustard Cuban Pork Burgers
- 1 pound ground pork breakfast sausage
- 1 cup plantain chips
- 1 egg white, whisked
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tspn. garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 tbsp. raw honey
- 1 tspn. dijon mustard
- 1 tspn. yellow mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place plantain chips in a food processor and pulse until everything is broken down.
Form the meat into 4 burger patties. Next, place 1 egg white in a bowl and whisk for 30 seconds, then place plantain bread crumbs in another bowl.
Dip each meat patty in the egg whites then the plantain mixture and coat them completely. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to the patties.
Heat up a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Place 3 tablespoons of bacon fat in the skillet and add the minced garlic cloves.
After 2 minutes, add the burger patties to the pan and sear both sides for several minutes.
Place the burger in oven and cook for 10 minutes.
While the burgers are in the oven, mix the honey, mustards and sliced avocado. After 10 minutes in the oven, remove the burgers and let them cool for about 3 minutes.
Spoon the mustard and honey mixture on top of each burger and they are ready to eat.
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