You might have heard about the paleo diet by now — a way to eat based on how our hunter-gatherer ancestors (read: cavemen) did it back in the day. While going paleo eliminates some tasty modern options like breads, pastas, and other grains, along with legumes, dairy, and soy, it emphasizes other delectable, whole foods that provide various health benefits.
I don't know about you, but I rely on blogs and cookbooks for advice when I'm trying to cook healthier—in fact, this recipe a friend sent me for a Paleo breakfast casserole basically got me through my Whole 30 (I never even got sick of it). Having meal inspo at the ready is key to sticking to your goals, and we just so happen to have found the best Paleo cookbooks out there. In case you aren't familiar with the Paleo diet, people associate it with eating like a caveman—you basically consume a lot of protein, fresh veggies, and good fat while saying goodbye to processed foods and most sugars.
I think liver and onions are secretly best friends and the combination even has the potential to make someone love liver. The caramelized onions are very simple to prepare and this recipe doesn’t need anything else to be a complete meal. Liver by itself is so full of nutrients that it could be considered Mother Nature’s multi-vitamin. I enjoyed liver and onions for ages before I learned that the combination is actually a classic in many European countries and is enjoyed all over the world. The ingredient list really couldn’t be shorter.
We're not entirely certain about the history of this classic recipe's name, but perhaps it has something to do with the spicy kick of the sauce. Our version is a shakshuka-like dish in which fiery harissa paste and heady spices slowly infused a rich tomato sauce where eggs gently poach. Look for jars of harissa with the Middle Eastern foods in your supermarket; you can substitute a half to full teaspoon of crushed red pepper in a pinch. The cook time for the eggs depends on the specific heat of your slow cooker. We offer a range of 15 to 20 minutes, so start checking at 15 minutes (or a couple minutes earlier) to ensure the eggs get done to your liking.
1. Crispy Plantains With Garlic Sauce: A staple of Caribbean cuisine, plantains are delicious fried or mashed. Ripe ones look similar to bananas and can be used in sweet dishes, while green ones mash and crisp up nicely. In this recipe, green plantains are parboiled, smashed and pan-fried, so the center remains soft while the edges provide crunch. The accompanying garlic-lime dipping sauce is sinfully delicious. (via Wellfed)
With this crock pot recipe you can create a cashew chicken dish that will rival anything that you can buy from your local Chinese restaurant. The great thing is that because it is using the slow cooker it is going to be a really easy as far as preparation goes. You won’t have to babysit this, all that’s needed is to place the ingredients into the pot and let it cook itself for 3 to 4 hours. The great thing is they’ve used things like arrowroot starch instead of a breading made from wheat. It’s simple and subtle changes like this that can turn a Paleo no-no into a Paleo yum-yum.
Chicken parmesan is not something that you would typically be having on Paleo because it is coated in bread crumbs. But this chicken parm is coated with Parmesan cheese and almond flour, which replaces the bread crumbs. You’ll still get that classic crunchy outer covering on the chicken, and of course the Parmesan will be baked right onto the chicken, so it’s just a matter of getting the other ingredients right. For the tomato sauce they are using garlic, oregano, and olive oil, and you can top it off with basil leaves and optional mozzarella cheese.
Fruit is a popular choice for a dessert when eating the Paleo way because it’s naturally sweet, and will provide you with a serving of fruit that you should be getting each day. It’s easy enough to doctor up the fruit with some naturally sweet things like honey or coconut sugar, and in this recipe they’ve taken peaches, grilled them to unlock the flavor, and then topped them with coconut cream. This means you’re getting a sweet, flavorful, creamy dessert without any dairy, or any refined sugar. Walnuts are added to the top for a crunchy addition that also adds healthy fat.
Most commercial goods will be off limits while you’re on the Paleo diet because they are filled with processed ingredients, grains, chemicals, and other foods that just aren’t able to make the cut while eating the Paleo way. These spiced scones do a good job of replacing the pumpkin spiced scones you find at your local Starbucks when the season is right. The trick is they don’t use any ingredients that aren’t on the Paleo list of approved foods, so you’re totally in the clear. Isn’t it great that Paleo minded chefs are hard at work to bring you guilt-free recipes like these?
This is an easy way to musakhan, and if you don’t know how to make this traditional dish, this is a great place to start. It uses plenty of chicken thighs, so you’ll be all set in the protein department. It also contains plenty of spices like allspice, cloves, and saffron. You’ll be getting a few onions in this, but you may want to eat a salad with it because there are not a lot of vegetables being used, and you want to create a nice balance between all that chicken and your vegetable intake. Don’t be afraid to try new recipes on Paleo, trial and error is how our species made it this far.
Hi Monica! I love your site! I’m 22 years old and also from Mandeville, LA! I’m looking into healthier eating ideas so I can help my parents and myself lose some unwanted pounds! They are very hard to motivate to eat healthier and I think the best way to help them would be to cook for them. (I’m in nursing school at LSU and living at home so I think this is the best time to help them with a much needed change)! I’m not a big fan of mayo but I was wondering if this Paleo version was healthier/tastier than regular store bought mayo? Or if you had any other ideas for things I could replace mayo with for this recipe? I’m going to have to go to Vive soon! I’ve seen it a million times and have never stopped in! Thanks so much!!
Sweet potatoes will likely become one of the foods you find yourself using a lot of when eating Paleo. That’s because they can be cooked up in so many different ways, and they also serve as a great replacement to white potatoes. In this soup they’ll add a creamy texture, as well as lots of flavor. They go great with bell peppers, and their choice of lemon and thyme can’t be beat. The great part is that they used leftover mashed sweet potatoes for this soup, which takes out a lot of the prep work and lets you get to the cooking and the eating faster.
For some reason, putting things into burger form makes them taste better. These apple-basil chicken burgers are made with boneless chicken thighs, eggs, garlic powder and chili powder, as well as red bell peppers and apple. All of the ingredients get mixed in with each other, and formed into patties. They show this being served with broccoli and pumpkin, showcasing the way a Paleo meal should book. And of course there’s no bun on this burger because bread isn’t part of the Paleo way of eating. Trust us, when you’re done eating all those vegetables you won’t be missing the bun.
Tacos can be tricky to make Paleo, but they’ve figured out a good way here by using portobello mushroom caps for the shells. These caps do a good job of holding all of the yummy taco-inspired ingredients, and by the time you finish one of these you’ll feel satisfied, and like you just had Taco Night. The thick texture of the mushrooms means you can pile on the taco toppings and you won’t have to worry about breaking the shell.
5. Cassava Pizza Crust: Speaking of Italian comfort foods, you can still have pizza Fridays. This pizza crust is made of mashed cassava (also called yuca), which crisps up nicely (as our Caribbean friends who traditionally cook with yuca already know). Top it with your favorite veggies and nut cheese and you’re good to go. (via Predominantly Paleo)
BUT! Paleo dinners really can be quick – I promise! Plus incredibly delicious, kid friendly, comforting, and anything and everything else good home cooked meals can be! Once you get the hang of timing the cook times of different foods and cooking methods, it becomes a whole lot easier to throw together complete Paleo meals in the time it would take to call for delivery.
This book features over 100 different Paleo recipes and if you don’t like a stuffy cookbook, this is the one to go with. It has a humorous style that will keep you smiling while you cook, and makes the process that much more fun. There is a whopping 288 pages for you to explore, so chances are you won’t be short on recipes for any type of meal you’d want to cook up. If you’ve ever wondered how to make your Paleo meals taste as good as possible, or how to maximize the effectiveness of the time you spend in the kitchen, you’ll be happy with the tips, tricks, and ideology of this Paleo chef.