Do you want to…
- Lose weight?
- Feel better?
- Have more energy?
- Reduce inflammation and pain?
- Reverse diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, autism, diabetes, and obesity?
- Look, feel, and perform at your best ever?
So lately I have posted several recipes that require a pressure cooker (Fall Beef Stew, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Butternut Squash, and Spicy Beef Stew). Several people have mentioned that they have never even seen a pressure cooker. Take a look at this video to learn how to use one of these fabulous contraptions! I LOVE MINE!!
The person in this video happens to be Robb Wolf, author of one of the best, most informative Paleo books that I have ever read. Note: He is cooking a butternut squash, but he calls it an acorn squash. He realized after recording this video that he’d been calling it by the wrong name. Haha!
Dinner-time is one of my favorite parts of the day. It’s a time to gather around the table, talk about the day, and enjoy some delicious food with the person (or people) you love. Do you need some ideas on how to create a plate of Paleo deliciousness? Well, here you go…
Dinner does not have to be difficult. In fact, when we first started eating Paleo-style, I was making it more difficult than necessary. You do not have to follow an intricate meal plan, or use a different recipe every single night. I recommend that you look through a cookbook (like the one I mentioned above) or some recipe websites (like the ones listed on the left side of this page, or in my Recipe Tree), get some ideas, and then do your own thing. This method is much less stressful than making a grocery list that includes ingredients for 7 different recipes!
Here is my basic recipe each night…
note: my cooking oils consist of coconut oil (for high heat cooking) and extra-virgin olive oil (for low-medium heat cooking).
1. Choose a meat. For us, it is usually grass-fed beef (in the form of steak, roast, or ground beef) or boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
2. Choose a few vegetables. We get seasonal vegetables from the farmer’s market every week. Just cook up whatever you have in your kitchen. Steamed broccoli, baked sweet potato fries, a big salad, stir-fried peppers and onions, zucchini… the possibilites are endless!
3. Choose your spice(s). This is where dinner takes on it’s identity. Do you feel like mexican food? Season your diced chicken, peppers, and onions with chili powder and cumin. Make some fresh salsa and guacamole, and you have an amazing fiesta plate! Want a more savory, comfort-food sort of meal? Season a sirloin roast with black pepper and herbs like oregano, sage, and thyme, then serve with sauteed yellow squash and a salad. Do you need an italian night? Season your ground beef with basil and oregano, and serve over stir-fried zucchini topped with tomato sauce.
4. Decide how to cook your food. If you have a busy day, plan ahead and throw your combination in a crock pot before you leave for work. You can also stir-fry, bake, broil, pan-fry, grill, pressure-cook, etc. Get creative!
5. Eat it, and enjoy!
Here are a few of our favorite dinner-time combinations:
*Paleo Spaghetti: Do you have a julienne slicer? If not, you need one! This one is fabulous. Use this recipe for your noodles. Then top with grass-fed ground beef, or meatballs, and a good tomato sauce (I like this one).
*Paleo Fajitas: I mentioned this one above, but I’ll mention it again… it’s that good. Pan-fry chicken strips in coconut oil. Season with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add a little cayenne if you like it spicy! Saute red and yellow peppers and onions in the same pan. Serve on a bed of lettuce with salsa, guacamole, and mangos. SO good!
*Spice-Rubbed Sirloin Tip Roast: We made this recipe a few nights ago, and it is definitely a favorite recipe. I re-named it because it is very spicy! Note: I would only use 1/2 the salt… it was way too salty. Serve with your favorite vegetables.
*Coconut-Almond Baked Chicken: Dip chicken breasts in melted coconut oil, then in a mixture of crushed almonds and coconut flakes. Pan-fry in coconut oil until chicken is cooked. Serve with your favorite vegetables.
*Steak Skewers: Load up some skewers with steak, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and squash. Grill, or bake in the oven.
*Meatloaf: Use this recipe as a guide, but feel free to substitute the ingredients in your kitchen! Again, serve with your favorite vegetables (are you seeing the pattern?).
Hope that helps!
1. Robb Wolf has an excellent “Food Matrix” that will help you come up with great combinations. You do have to sign up to receive it via e-mail, but it’s FREE!
2. Be sure you cook enough to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!
3. Keep a few bags of frozen vegetables in your freezer… just in case you’re ever caught without enough fresh stuff.
See? Paleo cooking is easy-peasy!
Here is a question that I’ve been asking… I was thrilled to see it answered on Robb Wolf’s blog. Check out the original post here.
Question #1 – Answered by – Stephanie Greunke, RD
If saturated fat is supposed to clog your arteries when you consume it, then how exactly does it do this? And if it doesn’t, then why has that message been so heavily hammered down our throats for the past decade?
“Artery-clogging saturated fat.” You see those words smoothly strung together throughout almost every piece of health literature and yet, what evidence does that truly play upon? Those words get to me almost as much as the “healthy whole grains” that is stamped all over food packages and advertisements.
This book has been the most helpful and informative book I have read so far on the Paleo topic. It is a must-read for everyone who eats food of any kind. It is not a bunch of scare tactics or subjective information. This stuff has been proven scientifically, and personally (in my own life). Check it out!
And here is the author’s description of the book…
Over the last three months, I have learned alot about Paleo. I don’t like to call it a diet, because, when you hear that word, you assume that it is just a tool for weight loss (that must be accompanied by shakes, bars, books, and pills). And while it is effective for weight-loss, I have learned that it is actually a tool for good health. It’s a way of eating that resembles the way our ancestors would have eaten before the rise of agriculture.
Honestly, I wish it were called something else. The term “paleo” comes from the word “paleolithic,” which refers to a prehistoric era also known as “the stone age.” Most Paleo-supporters are evolutionists who believe that our ancestors came from monkeys, and lived millions of years ago.
I am a creationist. I believe that God created the World in seven days, and that He supplied humankind with plants and animals for food.
Therefore, my motivation for eating this way is not to replicate “our ancestors.” I would rather look at it as going back to how Adam and Eve probably ate in the Garden of Eden, and to how all humans ate before so many new foods, and new preparation processes, were developed.
The way I see it, things were just fine, and people were healthier, before humans decided to tamper with the foods our bodies were wired to eat in an effort to make everything more convenient for themselves. In today’s fast-paced world, almost everything is processed, and foods are very far from their original state. It’s a fact that the health of humans has continued to decrease as we get farther and farther from the original menu.
Beyond the historical aspect of eating Paleo, the health aspect of this diet just makes sense. Before we get into that, let me give you a picture of what the diet actually looks like.
Paleo foods are meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, good fats, nuts, and seeds (can you picture the Garden of Eden?). These foods are full of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy carbohydrates. There are millions of choices for delicious food combinations here!
Here is a look at which foods are not Paleo foods: grains, sugar, legumes, processed foods, and dairy products are all no-no’s. It may sound like I’m saying that the standard American diet is an unhealthy diet. That is exactly what I’m saying (though you can basically just look at the people around you to know that).
It is probably obvious that sugar and processed foods are bad for you. But why the “no grains or legumes” rule? Well, aside from the fact that they are very low in vitamins, grains are also known as gut irritants. When your gut is irritated, you cannot properly digest your food, and you are therefore unable to absorb the vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables, etc. This means that grains are basically empty calories, and that they cancel out the healthy calories that you may also be eating. Gut irritation also leads to inflammation in our bodies. This inflammation can present itself in various forms, from bloating to autoimmune diseases. Also, both grains and legumes are insulin-spiking, dense carbohydrates. Constant insulin-spikes are a great way to get on a path toward diabetes. Need I say more?
Dairy is not always bad, but more often than not it delivers adverse effects rather than healthy benefits. If you do have any dairy, I recommend trying it after your first 30 days. Then add it in slowly and see what happens (when I tried this I discovered why I’d always had problems with facial blemishes… no more dairy for me!) Then make sure you purchase organic (free of hormones and antibiotics), and preferably grass-fed dairy products.
Beyond all the science-speak, the results of eating a Paleo diet speak for themselves. To have a look at my personal results after my initial 30-Day Challenge, click here.
In future posts, I am planning to go more in-depth on why to avoid grains, legumes, sugar, etc. I also want to explain how grains got the biggest section of the American Food Pyramid. But for now, I hope you have a clearer picture of what a Paleo diet actually looks like.
If you need more information right away, check out Robb Wolf’s FAQ page.