Paleo meatballs, Asian-style! These are super easy, have just five ingredients and are Whole30-friendly. Feel free to dress these up with your favorite dipping sauce or serve alongside a salad—like my Green Papaya Salad—for a complete meal. To feed a really hungry crowd or for leftovers throughout the week, double or triple the batch.
Ingredients for Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style
1 pound (500 grams) lean ground pork
2 green onions, very thinly sliced (dark green tops excluded)
Combine the pork, green onions, coconut aminos, sesame oil and fish sauce in a medium bowl. Mix until everything is combined but not over-mixed because that will make the meat tough.
Rolls the meat into balls. I used roughly a heaping Tablespoon of meat per ball. Before cooking all the meat, I like to heat a tiny amount and check for flavor. If it needs more salt, add sea salt to suit your tastes before you proceed.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the meatballs in a single layer, being careful not to crowd them. Brown on all sides. Repeat with the remainder of the batch. Hint: If your balls are bigger (no jokes please!), you may want to quickly brown the outsides, then place them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a 350°F (175°C) oven for approximately 10 minutes to cook the insides through.
I’ve really tried to like eating you. After all, you’re a superfood. Even Chris Kresser called you “Nature’s Most Potent Superfood.” I mean, how can I argue with that?! That’s like someone offering to give me the “World’s Best Car” to drive and me saying, “Yeah, thanks but I’ve got my Corolla. I’m good.”
You’re full of a veritable alphabet of vitamins and contrary to popular belief (this is the reason I avoided you for so long), you don’t store toxins even though your role is to filter them out of the blood. Folks sing your praises: How much they love liverwurst or fried chicken livers (Mel Joulwan‘s recipe in Well Fed 2 was the closest to liking the taste I’ve ever experienced) or sneaking it into meatballs. (I even have a recipe for those here.)
But still. No matter how you’re cloaked or hidden, I can always taste you, and it triggers my gag reflex if I chew too much or really think about it. You’re dank and muddy and too strong for me. I thought all was lost. And then, I found a way.
Let’s be friends,
So, how did I finally learn to eat liver without the torment? I stumbled across a this post for frozen raw liver “pills” from Primally Inspired and knew I had to do it. If I wasn’t going to eat cooked liver, I had to make this happen. Yes, pre-encapsulated, dehydrated liver pills exist but honestly, they’re a bit outside my budget. (I’ll let you know when my first diamond helicopter arrives at Stupid Easy Paleo Headquarters!) Kelly’s method is friendly on my wallet: The raw liver cost me about $3. Just be sure your source is from grass-fed, free range, and / or high quality animals. Even better? I prepped 250 grams (8 ounces) worth of “pills” in about 7 minutes. Done and done.
If you’re a bit more adventurous and want to hide liver in your favorite recipes, check out this post from Thank Your Body.
Say hi to my guest blogger, Laura! I first stumbled upon Laura’s recipes via her Instagram account (@paleo_in_comparison) and quickly came to admire her creativity when it came to food and her genuine nature. She’s a wife, homeschool mom of two rambunctious boys, and the Paleo blogger behind Paleo In Comparison and a growing Facebook community of the same name. In November of 2011, after years of yo-yo dieting and eating disorders, she stumbled into the Paleo lifestyle. With a total weight loss of 60 pounds (27 kg), and a complete change in her physical and emotional health, she’s never looked back. Paleo gave her life and health back, and helped her form a healthy relationship with food (I can relate!). She’s passionate about sharing her story, and believes that clean eating and living are essential to lifelong health and wellness. I know you’ll love her approach to food and her sense of humor.
If you’re looking for a tasty salad for your holiday table, I think this is perfect and the thought of the hot, sweet dressing makes my mouth water! With no further adieu, here’s Laura and her Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing…
“But salads aren’t sexy.”
That’s what I said to my husband when I told him I was considering making a salad for this guest post.
Salads are often neglected in the Paleo / Primal community for the glitz and glory of a rare steak, “Paleo” cookies, and bacon-wrapped…well…anything! But there are a lot of benefits to eating salads.
First, while I don’t subscribe to a raw food only diet, there most certainly are huge benefits to consuming our fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible. It’s just science – cooking can destroy and break down some of the vital nutrients and fiber in our foods. Cooking is a process – albeit a harmless one – but eating foods raw is the closest to unprocessed that we can get. Salads are a great way to get a lot of different veggies into our diets in their purest form.
On the more practical side, raw foods like salads are super convenient and easy to take with us anywhere. Cold travels better than hot, and you don’t need a microwave or oven to reheat it.
Whenever someone wants “a light lunch,” they go for a salad, but I would argue that nothing will fill your belly faster than raw veggies! Because all of that fiber hasn’t been broken down in the cooking process, you’re going to feel fuller longer – just be sure to drink plenty of water to help your tum-tum digest all that fibrous goodness!
Salads? Not sexy? Boy, did I change my mind fast! Healthy is sexy. So, if A=B and B=C, then A=C. It’s Logic 101. Salads are healthy, healthy is sexy. Therefore, salads are sexy!
The result of my salad revelation was this chicken thigh salad inspired by the colors of the Holiday season. Don’t worry, I was a good Paleo / Primal cook, and threw a little bacon grease in there for good measure. I hope you enjoy this sexy salad as much as my family did!
Collard and Brussels Salad with Seasonal Fruit, Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing & Crispy Chicken Skin Crumbles
Ingredients For the Salad
8 cups raw collards, shredded or finely chopped
4 cups raw brussels, quartered
1-1/3 cups raw cranberries
1 large green pear, sliced (or two small)
4 chicken thighs, bone-in with skin on (if you have a hungry set, make double for 2 thighs per serving)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove skins from raw chicken thighs. This should be very easy. You may need to use a small paring knife in some spots, but the skins should come off easily just by hand. Once removed, cut the square-like pieces of skin in half. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper – this will help absorb the grease as the skins bake, making them crispier. Place on the cookie sheet and bake until deep golden brown and crispy, approximately 15 minutes. When finished remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool completely, uncovered.
Remove parchment paper from cookie sheet, use the grease from the skins to coat the bottom of the cookie sheet. Place chicken thighs onto cookie sheet and coat with remaining grease (if you don’t have enough grease, you can coat the thighs with a little fat of choice – duck fat or ghee is always great with chicken). Season simply with a little salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F (190°C) until internal temp reaches 160°F (80°C), approximately 20-30 minutes depending on how many you cook. Allow to cool. Remove meat from bones & shred with your fingers.
Melt bacon grease in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic. Reduce liquid until it starts to thicken and the fat and vinegar are incorporated. Stir mixture occasionally with a rubber or wooden spatula while cooking. Once it has thickened, remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Keep in mind the dressing should be served warm. Refrigerate leftovers and simply reheat to serve. The fat in the dressing will cause the dressing to harden when cold, so don’t be alarmed. Reheating will bring it back to proper consistency.
Plating the Salad
On each full-sized dinner plate, make a base with 2 cups of raw collards and 1 cup of raw Brussels sprouts. Place 1/4 of the pear slices on greens. Top with meat from 1 chicken thigh (2 if you doubled the chicken). Top with 1/3 cup of cranberries and some crumbled crispy chicken skins. Serve dressing on the side, or simply drizzle over the salad before serving.
Change it Up
You can use any leftover white meat you have for this salad.
If you want to make it with leftover meat, and do not have the crispy chicken skins, simply replace them with crispy bacon crumbles.
You can also make a quick and cold sweet dressing with honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, and a little salt and pepper.
Do you have any questions for Laura? Let her know in the comments below!
Last week, Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo posted Food 52’s version of a Thanksgivukkah sandwich (without actual bread of course) on her Facebook page and needless to say, I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard. This recipe’s very much inspired by that photo, but I resolved to make one of my own in my signature stupid-easy style. The result is stripped down a bit in terms of complexity but still huge on flavor.
What we’ve got here are sweet potato “buns” serving as the bread of the sandwich, layered with super yummy cranberry apple sauce, roasted peppered turkey breast and some shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon. I served it with the pan juices on the side…fancy gravy not necessary.
You could certainly make the components separately and use for any application you’d like or put it all together and make your own “sandwich” to savor the flavors of Thanksgiving before the holiday actually hits.
The sweet potato buns were inspired by Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl‘s BBQ Beef “Waffle” Sandwich (p 116) in her killer new book, Well Fed 2. Sadly, I’ve got no waffle iron, so I tweaked the ingredients a bit and made them in potato pancake / bun form.
For the Peppered Roasted Turkey Breast
Use any leftover turkey or chicken OR
Roast a turkey breast in the oven. I added a lot of black pepper and a sprinkle of salt but feel free to season as you’d like. I roasted a small 2 lb (1 kg) turkey breast in the oven on 350°F (175°C) for about 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F (75°C) for the internal temp.
In a pot over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Use a microplane grater to remove the orange zest and add that. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat until the cranberries pop and the apples soften.
This keeps for several days so you can make it ahead!
Peel and grate the sweet potatoes (by hand using a box grater or using a food processor with a grating disk). I grated them by hand…great way to work on your biceps! Put in a large colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Squeeze the moisture out of the sweet potatoes. Now is not the time to be wimpy…really squeeze hard!
Put the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add a large spoonful of fat (I used ghee because it tastes yummy). To make a bun: fill a 1/3 cup measure with the sweet potato mixture…you want it sort of packed down. Turn this out into the pan and flatten a bit with the back of a fork. [If you flatten it too much the bun will be pretty fragile.] Cook 3-4 minutes on one side, until nicely browned, then flip and do the same on the other.
Tip: cool these on a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy on the bottom.
Thinly slice the raw Brussels sprouts. This takes a few minutes so put on your favorite song and sing along! I usually slice them in half and then in half again. If they’re too thick, they will never ever cook, and that’s super annoying!
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the chopped bacon and render it down until it’s brown and crispy. Do not get rid of the bacon fat.
Instead, add the onion to the bacon / bacon fat and cook until it’s translucent, a few minutes.
Add the raw sliced Brussels sprouts and cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until they soften. You’ll have to stir them frequently so they all get happy and soft.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Assemble your sandwich and pat yourself on the back because you just leveled up.
Do you think you’ll make something like this with your leftovers?
One-skillet meals are so ideal because they make everyone’s least favorite part about cooking – the cleaning up – that much easier. This is a basic template for a meal that could have several variations: you could change up the type of ground meat and the spices and end up with something that tastes totally different. Save even more time by ricing your cauliflower (pulsing it into small bits in a food processor is by far the easiest way) ahead of time on your big weekly food prep day!
Ingredients for One Skillet Paleo Dinner
1 lb. (500 g) ground beef
1 head of cauliflower, riced
16 oz jar pasta sauce (check labels for weird ingredients)
Last week on Facebook, I asked which you – fantastic fan – would like more recipes for: veggies, meat or crock pot, and the slow cooker was the winning vote by far. Here’s my guess on why: crock pots do everything for you…except clean up. Yup. It’s true. Put it in and walk away…it’s like the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Oven for the busy Paleo eater (I know you remember those “Set it and forget it!” Saturday morning infomercials).
I took one of my most adored recipes from my Slow Cooker Recipe Guide and gave it a slight makeover. What resulted was a warm, filling, and savory curry that’s not at all spicy hot. Best part, it’s free from the weird ingredients found in most premixed curry pastes. and you don’t have to worry about that lonesome jar of rarely used curry powder getting stale because you’ve made it fresh. Makes about four servings.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken Yellow Curry Soup
1-1/2 lb. (~700 g) boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks
6 cups of veggies, chopped (I used one cup each of onion, carrots, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes and red bell pepper. Use what you like or have on hand.)
1 cup water (for a thicker, curry-like sauce, omit the water)
Salt, to taste
Directions for Slow Cooker Chicken Yellow Curry Soup
Cut the chicken and veggie into medium-large chunks. Put everything into the crock pot.
Stir in the coconut milk, and crushed tomatoes. Then add the spices: cumin, ground coriander, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add the water. Stir to combine everything.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours. [I cooked mine for 8 hours overnight since my current crock pot does not have an automatic shut off function, though, at it came out perfect nonetheless.]
If the you want it more like a curry and less like a soup, omit the 1 cup of water above. You can also remove the lid from the crock pot for the last hour of cooking so some of the moisture evaporates.
Season to taste with salt.
Serve. Would be great over cauliflower rice, but it’s tasty on its own, too.
There are lots of methods for making hardboiled eggs, but I’ve always found good luck with this one. Some readers on Facebook asked for tips on peeling the eggs once they’re cooked, and here were some of the most common replies:
Don’t use eggs you just purchased. Keep them for a few days before you boil them. As the egg gets older, the white shrinks a bit and makes it easier to peel.
I’ve just returned from a week-long trip to London and Paris, hence how quiet I’ve been on the site here. If you’ve left a comment or sent an email, it will take a bit longer than usual but rest assured I’ll get back to you. I love traveling and discovering new foods, but I also really like getting back to my kitchen so I can make my favorite recipes and think of new ones.
This simple marinated steak was great over a fresh garden salad – use any veggies you’d like – served with some guacamole on the side. Or it’d make an awesome filling for my Simple Paleo Tortillas! If you don’t like beef, you could use chicken or pork. I bought some inexpensive steaks and cut them into strips for quick cooking. Alternatively, you could keep the meat whole, marinate it, grill it and then slice into strips once it’s cooked.
Trying to use up more of my pantry before I go on my big trip, and I was staring at the bottom of a bag of coconut flour and a ripe plantain so I decided to mix it together with an egg and a bit of leavening agent to see what I could make. The coconut flour gives it the density it needed to stand up to eating a grass-fed beef slider with my hands.
It’d be easy to double or triple this recipe. It yielded about 4 small / medium “bun” halves, enough for two sliders. It’s really important to use a blender or food processor to break this down so you don’t end up with a chunky batter. No pastry bag? Me neither. I used a ziplock bag with the corner cut off to pipe the buns into perfect(ish) circles.
Makes: 4 bun halves, enough for two sliders or small burgers
Cut the chicken breast into large chunks, and put it in a ziptop plastic bag. Pour the pickle juice into the bag. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. (I kept it in overnight).
After it’s done marinating, pour the pickle juice out of the bag.
In a small bowl, mix the beaten egg and coconut milk. Pour that into the bag and let it sit for about 10 minutes while you prepare the spice mix.
In another small bowl, mix the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, onion power and garlic powder.
Open the bag and drain out as much egg / coconut milk as you can. It doesn’t have to be completely dry because you want something for the spice mix to stick to.
Pour the spice mix into the bag, close the top, and really massage it into the chicken. This may take a minute or two but you want all the pieces to be evenly coated.
In a large skillet over medium-high, heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil until the oil is very hot. Add a single layer of chicken (being careful not to crowd it) to the pan and fry on each side for about 3 minutes or until it’s completely cooked through. It took me two batches to cook one pound of chicken.
Use a basic salt water brine solution instead of pickle juice (2 tbsp salt to 2 cups of water). Serve with Paleo Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce or honey mustard dipping sauce.
Frittatas are one of those classic one-skillet meals that are more delicious the next day. This one is based off a spinach frittata from the book It Starts with Food, I’ve taken the basic idea and jazzed it up just a bit. I recommend using a cast iron skillet since it goes right from stovetop to oven. As long as your skillet is properly seasoned, the eggs won’t stick and the frittata should come out cleanly.
You can use any type of ground meat you’d like. Since ground meat can be fattier than other cuts, I try to stick to higher quality when I can. Experiment with different types of veggies, too!
Want to knock people’s socks off at your next brunch? Serve this.
Want to make yourself feel extra special? Make this.
Want a dish that’ll make every part of your palate sing glorious hymns? This is the dish for you.
This recipe was inspired by a dish my friend Claudette ordered when we went to the closing night of The Linkery in San Diego. I took one look and was so impressed I went home and tried to replicate it just a couple days later. The frisee (a curly, slightly bitter vegetable related to endive) makes the perfect mop for the yolk and the lemon basil dressing.
*If the bacon is raw, get that cooking first. I like to bake my bacon but use whatever method you prefer. For baking bacon: line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Bake for ~15-20 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you’d like. Remove from oven and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing using the hot, melted bacon fat that collects in the baking sheet. You can also use olive oil if your bacon is precooked and there’s no melted fat.
Arrange the frisee on a plate. Drizzle the dressing over the frisee.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt bacon fat or another fat of choice until it’s shimmering. Fry the eggs until the yolks are as firm as you’d like. I went for sunnyside up with a runny yolk because I wanted yummy yolk all over the salad.
Place the eggs on top and the bacon on the side. Try not to eat it so fast that you don’t enjoy it because it’s goooooooood!