Today, I’ll share some of our favorite Paleo recipes that any family can incorporate into their weekly meal plan for delicious, healthy, grain and sugar free alternatives to your favorite meals.
In my last Paleo post I talked about how I learned that cooking Paleo did not require a HUGE new selection of foods – it just required some basic new staples for our pantry and fridge, along with the ample amounts of fresh produce and proteins that we were already accustomed to purchasing at the grocery store.
I learned that the biggest transition in the Paleo lifestyle was for me to change my thought process in the kitchen. We could still have “spaghetti and meatballs” and “fried rice” and other family favorites, but we’d enjoy those flavors and textures with different ingredients.
Once my thought process and grocery list changed, the Paleo meal planning and cooking became fairly easy.
Here are some of my family’s favorite dinners – served the Paleo way:
Paleo Spaghetti and Meatballs:
Instead of pasta made from wheat, use spaghetti squash or zucchini cut into long skinny strips for your “spaghetti.” Both of these options are so delicious I wish i could invite each of you over to try it. DE-lectible. (Budget tip: use the zucchini noodles during the summer and spaghetti squash in the Fall.)
The zucchini works best when sprinkled liberally with salt and left to sit for half an hour, then rinsed and thrown in a pan with olive oil, S&P, for a minute or two before serving with your favorite meat and sauce.
Spaghetti squash can be roasted in the oven, steamed in a pressure cooker, or cooked in the microwave on the baked potato setting if your micro happens to have one.
When you make your favorite Italian meatballs, substitute almond meal for breadcrumbs. Serve with your favorite marinara.
Paleo Beef Stew with Veggies
Omit any flour used to thicken the sauce. Substitute sweet potato chunks for the usual white or red potato often found in hearty beef stews. Add tons of veggies, meat, and fresh herbs.
Paleo Chicken, Shrimp, and Beef “Tacos”
Pile your favorite Mexican ingredients into a “taco shell” made of Bib lettuce instead of a normal taco shell or tortilla.
We make these Bib lettuce tacos with chicken, shrimp, and beef. We omit the beans and rice and replace with extra veggies.
My boys love piling ingredients into their “boats” as they call them.
(Full disclosure – we don’t omit a sprinkling of cheese and/or sour cream for our taco nights.)
Substitute almond meal for breadcrumbs or panko. Add some tomato paste with your ketchup to cut down on the amount of sugar used in your recipe.
Paleo Burgers and Fries
Omit the wheat buns and replace with bib lettuce, mushrooms, or nothing. (We eat our burgers without any buns or bun substitutes).
Instead of white potato fries use sweet potatoes. (Sprinkle sweet potato wedges with olive oil, S&P, and cinnamon and bake at high heat. Sooo good.)
Paleo Meat and Mashed Potatoes
For a delicious side with any meat and veggies dish, Paleo “faux mashed potatoes” (mashed cauliflower) is a fantastic substitute.
I’ve served cauliflower mashed faux-tatoes to company and even for family gatherings at Thanksgiving, Either people can’t tell the difference or love them just as much as potatoes.
There are tons of recipes for this but my go-to is: a head of chopped cauliflower steamed in one cup of chicken stock with 2 garlic cloves, S&P. When the cauliflower is soft (about 20 mins), add fresh herbs (we like rosemary) and some butter and mash with an immersion blender. Yumm-mo.
Instead of using bread for BLTs (“bacon, lettuce and tomato”) sandwiches, use a cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast sliced in half and piled high with the BLT ingredients. A little mustard and avocado makes this an out-of-this-world sammy. Your family will never miss the bread.
Paleo BBQ Pulled Pork or Beef
Skip the buns, use a low sugar BBQ sauce, and serve with homemade cole slaw and sweet potato fries.
Skip the beans. Instead add extra veggies for a super chunky chili. (Our favorite paleo chili uses a combo of beef chunks and ground beef. I add carrots, celery, and peppers for that added “chunk” factor.)
Paleo Fried Rice
Throw a head of cauliflower into the food processor. Saute 5-7 minutes with all the fried rice veggies and seasonings. It tastes so close to the real thing you’ll have to try it to believe it.
For more family-friendly Paleo recipes….
Bon Appetit! ;o)