12 Favorite Paleo Recipes


I have finally come to the realization that making up original and interesting Paleo recipes from scratch is a lot harder than it sounds. Since meat + vegetable = paleo, I am not regularly inspired to get super creative about it. This limits my ability to share exciting recipes with you guys, because I feel like I shouldn’t be sharing recipes on my blog that are not my own creations.

So today I am going to share with you the links for my (in no particular order) 12 favorite Paleo recipes! Click the photos to be taken to the recipes.

1. Butternut Squash + Bison Shepherd’s Pie from Healthful Pursuit

2. Blueberry Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie from PaleOMG

3. Sweet Potato Hash from Amazing Paleo

4. Coconut Shrimp (ok I did actually make this one up)

5. Double Chocolate Energy Bites from PaleOMG

6. Venison Sausage from Cavewoman Cafe

7. Fried Green Tomatoes made with Almond Flour from Jan’s Sushi Bar

8. Zucchini Pesto Roll-Ups from PaleOMG

9. Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash from Smitten Kitchen

10. Stir Fried Kale + Bacon from Nom Nom Paleo

 

11. Paleo Morning Glory Muffins from Carrots n Cake

12. Paleo Granola from Paleo Table

I’m sure a lot of you do your weekly grocery shopping on Sunday evenings like we do, so hopefully this will give you some new ideas for the week’s menu! And I’d love to know: What great Paleo recipes have I been missing out on?

 

 

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Busy Recipes and a Giveaway

Let’s just cut to the chase because I know that very few of you are really as interested in the fact that I did a Hero WOD yesterday morning on an empty stomach and more interested in the fact that you can win free stuff just by being a creative fitness person, which I know that you all already are.

Starting tomorrow I am teaming up with Slim Kicker to give away a slow cooker! Slim Kicker is a super fun free fitness app/site that I’ve been using that helps me keep track of what I eat, because I always have my phone with me but definitely do not always have all of my colorful sharpies with me (sad but true).

The site also has fitness challenges, message boards, groups, and other ways to connect with people who have similar goals. Even though I am not a big calorie counter, I can put in the foods I eat and it will help me track my carbs/grains, sodium, sugar, etc, and I can work towards gaining points, which then can be turned into challenges where I can win prizes!

Check back tomorrow for more details, but here’s a hint: Go to their site, sign up and take a look at the “Challenges” section if you want to get a head start!

Slow cookers are the best. You spend 10 minutes the night before chopping up veggies and the next morning you dump everything in the pot without having to think about it, then you come home to your house smelling like grandma’s chicken and dumplings, regardless of what is actually in the slow cooker. I have had a crazy, crazy busy week so we dusted off our slow cooker this week and made a beef shoulder. The recipe goes something like this: Turn on the slow cooker on Low. Put the beef shoulder in. Add enough beef broth to mostly cover the shoulder, add about 1/2 of a cut-up onion and some garlic. Walk away and don’t come back for 6-8 hours.

Why have I been so busy, you ask? I got a new job (woo!) and this is my last week at my current job, which means I have been sweeping up all the old projects I’ve been putting off–like sending out long-forgotten newsletters, registering for far-off trade shows, and trying to organize my crap in a way that might be useful to some future version of me.

We have also gotten three WODs in so far this week, including Bull, a Hero WOD that we did yesterday morning. The WOD is 200 double unders, 50 OH squats (prescribed weight is 135-whaaaat? I can barely deadlift 135!), 50 pull-ups, and then 1 mile run. And then do it again. Yep, two rounds. I finished in 53:21 using 35 lbs, Brandon finished in 43:32 using 65 lbs. Only two guys from our gym finished the prescribed WOD, and they are the type with lats that might as well be a separate appendage on their bodies. It was hard.

Needless to say, I am psyched that Friday is on the horizon. And you should be psyched too, since the real giveaway starts tomorrow! What is your favorite slow cooker recipe? Mine is: Meat, some form of liquid, any vegetables, leave and don’t come back until it’s time to eat. Yum.

Paleo Spring Rolls, Lettuce Wraps, and Shepherd’s Pie

Editor’s Note: Becky shared a post with us a few weeks ago about the basics of paleo, and here is a little more info from her about her own experiences after starting to adapt the paleo lifestyle. She even included some great recipes that are very budget friendly, which is hard to find with paleo! You can check out more from her blog here.

Right off the bat I’m going to tell you I don’t eat strictly paleo. I eat mostly paleo though. I don’t eat gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, and barley), dairy, and processed or fried foods. This is basically paleo with a slight twist on the grains and one alcoholic drink every other day if I choose to drink. Also, I give myself two “rest meals” if I want them. These are two meals where I can eat dairy or gluten grains.

There have been pluses and minuses to being on this lifestyle diet, as I like to call it. I really love the fact that I have lost around 5 pounds of pure fat, which has been pretty hard for me because of my body type already. I feel so much better on a daily basis due to no gluten, no dairy, and the addition of probiotics. I generally don’t have a 2pm dragging feeling, and I know my metabolism is working because I can feel when I am hungry. I do like that this lifestyle diet allows for two meals to eat the items I avoid
all week, because sometimes you just need a piece of bread no matter how bloated it’s going to make you feel in two hours.

However, this change has not been easy. I started this lifestyle diet in February of this year and I am still struggling to perfect it. Honestly, the “rest meals” are a blessing and a curse. Once you taste what you don’t have you want more or at least that is the way I feel. This lifestyle diet does take a good amount of discipline. When you go out to eat with friends you can either choose to have your “rest meal” or you have to order with a ton of alterations. New recipes haven’t been too hard to find and alter, but you
have to do a good amount of work to get your recipe list built up to where you aren’t eating the same thing every week. Also, grocery bills have shot up quite a bit. I recently graduated college and $120.00 grocery bills are a little hefty when you aren’t making a good amount.

But honestly the pluses have outweighed the minuses by far. I feel better, look better (in my opinion), and I’m happy almost all the time. What could be better?! I have included a couple of my favorite recipes in order to help ya’ll (I’m from Texas so no laughing) on your roads to healthier eating and overall wellness.

Summer Spring Rolls

This recipe is on her blog as well, Click Here for some more pictures and other recipes she has posted.

I adapted this from a recipe I found at http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/cucumber-and-avocado-summer-rolls-with-mustard-soy-sauce.html. I added meat to get some protein in there and I actually put the mint in there at first, but it over powered every other flavor, so I took it out. Also, the sauce is wonderful without the brown sugar, so why add extra sugar to your meal? The rice papers are gluten free and everything is pretty low calorie. It definitely was an adventure to wrap up the rice papers, but if I can do it you can do it. They don’t have to look perfect and from my pictures you can tell I didn’t care too much how they looked. This is a great, cool recipe for summer lunch, so add it to your list to try.

Ingredients:

• Juice from 1/2 lemon

• 2 Tbs. coconut oil (melted)

• 1 Tbs. rice vinegar

• 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

• 1/2 tsp. soy sauce (can use coconut aminos if you are a real paleo purist)

• 1 Haas avocados

• 4 rice paper rounds, 6 or 8 inches in diameter

• 4 green lettuce leaves

• 1/2 lb chicken breast

• 1 carrots, coarsely shredded

• 1/2 English cucumber, cut into thin strips

Directions:

1. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, and soy sauce; set aside.

2. Halve, pit and peel the avocado, and then cut it into 1/2-inch dice.

3. Cook chicken fully and spice with your favorite spice.

4. Place a wide, shallow bowl of warm water on a work surface. Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the bowl. (The rice papers do stick to the towel a little bit, but I assume this is the best surface to use). Dip 1 rice paper round into the water for a few seconds to soften, then lay it flat on the towel. Using another towel, pat the top of the rice paper dry.

5. Center a lettuce leaf on top of the stacked rice papers. Starting about one-third in from the edge closest to you top with a small row each of the chicken, carrot, cucumber and avocado; be careful not to overstuff the roll. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper up and over the filling and then roll once to form a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and continue to roll the paper and filling into a tight cylinder. Set aside, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients to make 4 rolls.

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

I adapted this one from http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-shepherds-pie/. I absolutely love this and it took the calorie laden, starchy potatoes out of the mix. The flavor is awesome and I wouldn’t do Shepherd’s pie any other way. I tweak almost every recipe I find. I don’t like having to buy a ton of ingredients for one recipe, so if I don’t have it I usually take it out.

• 2 tablespoons coconut oil

• 1 large onion, diced

• 1 pound turkey

• 2 cups diced carrots

• 1 pound organic grass fed ground beef

• ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1 cup chicken broth

• 2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft

1. Heat coconut oil in a very large frying pan

2. Saute onion for 15 minutes until soft

3. Add carrots to pan and sauté for 10 minutes until soft

4. Add ground beef to pan and sauté until brown, just a few minutes

5. Season with salt and pepper

6. Add chicken broth and cook down broth until 60% evaporated

7. Place cauliflower in food processor and puree with coconut oil (or coconut milk) until smooth

8. Pour ground beef mixture into a 9×13 inch Pyrex baking dish

9. Pour mashed cauliflower over beef mixture

10. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes

11. Serve

Serves 4

Wanna-be PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps Recipe

I adapted this one from a recipe found here http://www.theculinarylife.com/2009/wanna-be-pf-changs-lettuce-wraps-recipe/.  This is one of our new favorites. I eat mine like a salad and rip up the lettuce, add the mixture to the bowl, and pour the sauce over it like a dressing. They really do taste like PF Chang’s!

Ingredients for pouring sauce:
Mix all together

• 1-2 Tbsp cup honey

• 1/2 cup warm water

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

• 2 tablespoons ketchup

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil

• 1 tablespoon mustard

• 2 cloves garlic, minced

Ingredients for stir-fry sauce:
Mix all together

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 1 tablespoons honey (local if you can get it)

• 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Ingredients for chicken stir-fry:

• 2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

• 2 tablespoons sesame oil

• 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed to 1/2″

• 1 – 8oz can sliced water chestnuts, minced to the size of corn kernals

• 1/2 cup mushrooms, minced to the size of corn kernals

• 1/2 onion, chopped fine

• 3 cloves garlic, minced fine

• 6 large leaves of iceberg lettuce

To make the chicken stir-fry:

1. Combine oils and add to large frying pan. Heat oil over high heat until it glistens, about one minute. Add chicken and saute until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.

2. Turn the heat under the pan down to medium-high. Then add garlic, onions, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and the stir-fry sauce you prepared earlier. Stir-fry everything until the mushrooms have cooked through, about 4 minutes, and remove to a serving dish.

3. Serve stir-fry on iceberg lettuce and top with pouring sauce.

Super Fluffy Paleo Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Day 2 of Paleo August, and I am proud to report that not only did I not eat a single bite of Ben & Jerry’s (!), I also accompanied a co-worker to Good Times and didn’t even sneak a fry. Man I am good. Unfortunately I did mess up on accident, as last night I was about 90% of the way through a delicious, juicy, salty ear of grilled corn when I remembered, “Ah crap, corn is a grain.” But I’m still counting Day 1 as a success because despite that semi-major gaffe, it wasn’t on purpose… so somehow I think it’s less bad.

Also, last night we made Paleo Zucchini Bread Pancakes! This was inspired by a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which is my very favorite food blog but is not even remotely Paleo. So I looked at her recipe, realized it was essentially a normal pancake recipe with a little extra thickener, some nutmeg, and shredded zucchini, and went to town trying to convert it using a basic almond flour pancake base. It took a little trial and error but here ya go!

Ingredients:

1.5 cups almond flour

3 whole eggs

3 egg whites

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp nutmeg

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp raw honey

pinch of salt

1 medium zucchini, shredded

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except egg whites together in a large bowl.

In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whip egg whites until white, stiff peaks form. (This is where the fluffy comes in. I did this using my own two hands and a fork, so no excuses!)

Slowly fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.

Cook pancakes over medium heat in a greased skillet–we used coconut oil but I bet butter would be better…

Notes: Zucchini is pretty watery, so you might find that you want to add a little more flour. I used 2 tbsp of honey because I wasn’t planning on serving the pancakes with syrup, but if you are using syrup you might only need 1 tbsp of honey. Also, the batter can be refrigerated for later use but the egg whites won’t stay fluffy so that will change the consistency of the pancake a little bit.

Menu Week of 7/2

So I am starting a new thing. I am going to be writing out our menu for the week up here, and hopefully that will help me stick to it. I am also assuming that reading another person’s meal plan is SUPER exciting for you people… I might be taking some liberties with that assumption but what can you do. Do you guys like this idea? Be honest!

We have a big problem with eating out–a very, very hungry boyfriend coupled with a tiny kitchen and no dishwasher equals going out to eat at least twice a week. It’s easier than cleaning the kitchen, then making a huge meal, then cleaning the kitchen again because if I so much as fry an egg it looks like I’ve just catered a wedding, but it’s hard to eat as healthy as I’d like when we go out and it’s expensive.

SO, in an effort to remain a little bit accountable and also maybe give you guys some ideas of how to eat healthy/paleo with a busy life and a small budget, here comes our menu for the week of July 2nd.

Editor’s Note: Even though there are only 2 of us, we generally cook enough food for 3-4 regular size portions.

Menu:

Monday: Hard boiled eggs**|Caesar Salad with avocado|Almonds|Grilled brats, corn on the cob (not Paleo)**

Tuesday: Scrambled eggs with sweet potato**|Spinach salad with berries|Cherries & almonds| This and probably a banana-almond butter-protein smoothie** (dessert for dinner? yes.)

Wednesday (4th of July!): Kale smoothie with spinach and berries|Lunch TBD?|Apricots & cherries|Grilled salmon, beets, sweet potatoes, and peaches

Thursday: Scrambled eggs (plain)**|Banana**|Leftover brats from Monday and grilled veggies**|Apricots|Veggie stir fry from our CSA (spinach, garlic scapes, beets, snow peas), plus carrots, broccoli, and celery**

Friday: Kale smoothie with spinach and berries|Leftover stir fry**|Almonds & apricots| Spinach fritters**

**Especially budget-friendly

Shopping List (also: 12 organic buffalo bratwurst, coconut flakes, honey, whey protein powder, 1 bunch bananas, and some peaches):

From CSA:
2 dozen eggs, spinach, 1 small bunch lettuce,  garlic scapes, radishes, cilantro, beets, cherries, apricots, other various things (like extreme amounts of rhubarb) that we may or may not use this week

We already have:
Almonds, walnuts, 1 bunch bananas

Total cost: $137. A little pricey, a big culprit was getting all those berries… but I’m not going to NOT make dessert for dinner tomorrow night, so…


Spinach + Garlic Scape Fritters

The switch back to Paleo the past 2 weeks has been a little bumpy in the home-cooked department. Eggs for breakfast? Check. Salad with chicken for lunch? No problem. Get home and am ravenously hungry and down almost an entire bag of chips? …Yeah. That happens a lot, actually.

And then on Thursday morning at about 4AM I woke up with something that REALLY needed to get out of my body RIGHT NOW, if you know what I mean. I spent the next several hours running back and forth from the bathroom (I miraculously managed to make it to a WOD in the middle of all this, thinking Surely this is out of my system by now, how much more could there be?) and ended up staying home from work because, well, that just wasn’t a process I wanted to continue in a public bathroom.

So Thursday night I was a little weary when it came to what we should have for dinner. Our CSA box the past 2 weeks has been filled to the brim with spinach, and punctuated with a handful of funky little garlic scape twists. So I thought I would try to make some fritters–no crazy ingredients, but still hopefully enough gumption to help replenish my defeated system.

Fritters are so easy to make, and you can pretty much make them out of anything. I have made kale fritters, onion and red pepper fritters, and basil fritters before, all with great success. To make a fritter, you coarsely chop whatever you’re using, lightly cook it, then add it to a bowl with egg, flour (or, in our case, almond flour), and spices. Then you deep fry it, which we used coconut oil for. So here is the recipe for spinach + garlic scape fritters, but really you can get creative and use whatever you want. These were surprisingly filling–2 fritters made for a great light meal, even for The BF who is the hungriest person I’ve ever known. They would also be great topped with a fried egg.

Spinach + Garlic Scape Fritters (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)

Ingredients:

(Note* ~1 cup of raw, lightly packed spinach will yield 1 fritter, so you can scale this however you want)

4 cups raw spinach, with stems removed, coarsely chopped

1 garlic scape, finely chopped

1 egg

1/2 cup almond flour

Salt & pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tablespoon salt and a few shakes of pepper)

2 cups coconut oil for frying

1. Lightly steam the spinach for about 1 minute. It should be wilted but not too mushy.

2. Immediately move spinach from the hot pan and into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the raw garlic scape, salt, and pepper.

3. Add the egg and gently mix until all ingredients are combined.

4. Slowly begin to add the almond flour. The exact amount you need will vary slightly–you want to add enough that the ingredients stick together firmly but not so much that they crumble. If you add too much flour, just add a little bit of water to get back to the right consistency.

5. Pour the coconut oil into a small pan and turn the heat to High. We use a small cast iron skillet but anything will work. The smaller the pan, the less oil you will have to use to fill it up. You want at least 1/2 inch of oil covering the bottom.

6. As the oil is heating, use your hands to form the spinach mixture into small patties.

7. Test the oil by dropping in a tiny bit of batter. If the oil is ready, the batter will fizzle and sputter.

8. Using tongs or a spatula, very carefully place the fritters into the oil. When the bottom side is golden brown (this will take 1-2 minutes), flip onto the other side for another couple of minutes.

9. Carefully remove from oil and place on a paper towel to catch the extra oil. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

PS–I made this again last night but accidentally used falafel mix instead of almond flour (we don’t really label things at our house) and it turned out AMAZING… so, you could try that too if you want!