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…
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if you do not have this cookbook, you need to get it! Also, check out my Recipe Tree.
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!
Salsa is a FAVORITE topping for meats and eggs!
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!
A few tips and tools:
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!