Category Archives: Recipes

Paleo Meal Planning: A How-To

Paleo Meal Planning: A How-To | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo meal planning doesn’t have to be intimidating, and you’re going to learn the essentials of putting together a one week menu in this post. Cool, right?

Paleo Meal Planning, Step 1: The Weekly Cook-Up

When you eat Paleo, you tend to cook at home (a LOT) but one thing that can slow you down is cooking every single meal fresh, from scratch. By eating leftovers, you’ll be able to reach into the fridge, grab and reheat a meal without having to start the process from step one.

Instituting a weekly cook-up day is the an important part of meal planning. You’ll need to set aside one day a week to do a big shopping trip and a large amount of batch cooking. (Two or three hours usually does it.) Pick a day where you preferably don’t have to work. If you’re off on the weekend, pick Sunday as your big cook-up day.

With enough planning you’ll be able to create meals for Monday through Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, a small trip to the market and a little cook-up will get you through to the weekend. (Adjust according to your days off.)

My must-have tools for weekly cook-up day: a programmable slow cooker, baking sheets for roasting off tons of veggies, a high-speed blender for sauces and soups, and lots of glass-lock containers to store all your tasty eats.

Paleo Meal Planning, Step 2: Create a Template

This is probably the key to a successful meal plan: Create a template that you can pop recipes into by type. That way, you keep the template and vary the recipes week to week so that you’re taking some of the guesswork out.

Here’s what I mean:

Monday

Breakfast: Reheated frittata, blueberries, cherry tomatoes

Lunch: Slow cooker beef, roasted veggies, avocado

Dinner: Huge salad with grilled or pan-fried chicken, homemade dressing, nuts

Tuesday

Breakfast: Hardboiled eggs, leftover slow cooker meat, roasted sweet potato

Lunch: One-skillet stir fry, raw veggies, olives or coconut flakes

Dinner: Soup or stew, roasted squash, avocado

Wednesday

Breakfast: Leftover pan-fried chicken, veggie hash, homemade ranch

Lunch: Mixed salad with shredded pork, berries and avocado

Dinner: Tacos or enchiladas, fresh salsa and all the fixings

Thursday

Breakfast: Egg muffins, fresh fruit, coconut flakes

Lunch: Leftover enchiladas from the previous day

Dinner: Out to eat

Friday

Breakfast: Hardboiled eggs, smoked salmon, olives

Lunch: Big salad with slow cooker chicken, homemade dressing

Dinner: Oven-baked meatballs and sauce with spaghetti squash, sautéed greens

Saturday

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, bacon and eggs

Lunch: Collard wraps, avocado and fruit

Dinner: Baked fish with homemade sauce, fresh slaw

Sunday

Breakfast: Forage for leftovers

Lunch: Lettuce-wrapped burgers and sweet potato fries

Dinner: Slow cooker curry with cauli rice

and so on…

Individual preferences and how many leftovers you have will vary.

Paleo Meal Planning, Step 3: Browse for Recipes but KISS

Now that your cook-up days are scheduled, it’s time to decide what you’ll make. For a majority of meals, KISS. Don’t try to get involved in fancy schmancy techniques and complicated recipes for everything. Stick to recipes with ingredients that are easy to find in your local market. Running all over tarnation for random ingredients is not a great way to maximize your time.

If you need inspiration, check out sites like Pinterest. You can browse boards quickly and save pins to your own boards for later. Dig into your favorite cookbooks or visit your favorite blogs. My favorite for simple recipe ideas are Nom Nom Paleo, The Clothes Make the Girl, Paleo Cupboard, Popular Paleo and Meatified. These five are my go-to sites besides my own. *wink*

I recommend doing this a day or two before your weekly big cook-up, plugging it into your template (see step 2) and making a list of ingredients.

Of course, there is no one right or wrong way to do this. Experiment and find out what works for you!

Other Paleo Meal Planning Tips

Get creative

You don’t have to slave over a soup pot for hours and hours to create every meal. By including a variety of techniques, you can actually minimize cooking time. Eating a mix of raw and cooked veggies will help.

Every week I like to include:

Soups or stews

Slow cooker meals

One-skillet meals

Baked egg dishes

Hardboiled eggs

Vegetables hashes

Roasted vegetables

Sautéed vegetables

Raw salads or slaws

Grilled, pan-fried or baked meats / fish

Easy sauces or dressings

Meals that can be frozen for later

Be flexible

You can eat breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast. The first meal of the day does NOT have to be a Paleo version of a traditionally carb-heavy dish. You can really eat anything for breakfast. In fact, mine is usually eggs with leftover meat and raw veggies or fruit. Simple.

Try a meal exchange

Rope a couple other Paleo friends into creating a meal exchange. Basically how it works is this: Cook and prepare a main dish, side dish and sauce for your friends and yourself. Swap meals and you’ll have instant variety!

Plan one meal out to eat

Fill a gap in your template by going out to eat. Many restaurants are Paleo-friendly if you ask for substitutions.

Have fun with it

Learning to meal plan and balance your time with other demands in your life takes practice, but the more you do it, the more innate it’ll get it. Pretty soon, you’ll be planning meals like a pro!

Or…if all else fails, let someone do the planning for you!

The Paleo meal plans from Holistic Squid are great. You can even get a free sample to try before you buy!

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Paleo Meal Planning: A How-To | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave them in the comments below!

Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken by Beyoutifully Delicious

Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Please welcome Candace from Beyoutifully Delicious to the blog again. A couple weeks ago, I featured her PeaNOT Pineapple Slaw, and it’s gotten rave reviews. Candace is all about good food with big flavor, and this recipe will not disappoint. Without further adieu, take it away Candace!

Last Easter I came up with a fresh strawberry dressing that gave a subtle sweetness to a spring green salad. For the protein to compliment the slaw, I updated it as a marinade with some heat. There’s nothing like salty, sweet AND spicy. Now we’re talking game-changer.

I love this marinade on mahi-mahi, it’s a flakey fish that has a really clean taste to it. None of that “fishy” business that tends to draw people away from ocean proteins. If seafood is not your thing, this is perfect for chicken too.

You can easily flavor swap blackberry or apricot for the strawberry as they work well with chili peppers. I would use fresh apricots rather than dried just because I want to keep my sugar in check. It’s very easy for that to get crazy if I’m not intentional about food preparation.

Ingredients for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade

This is enough for two (6 ounce or 340 grams) filets of mahi-mahi or chicken breasts.

  • 1-1/4 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freeze-dried strawberries, crushed into a powder (sub: 1 Tbsp apple juice)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried Thai chilis or 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Directions for the Strawberry Chili Dressing / Marinade

  1. In a blender, add all the ingredients except coconut oil and blend on high.
  2. Turn down the speed a little and slowly drizzle in coconut oil.
  3. Marinate the meat or fish for at least 2 hours and grill it until it’s no longer pink inside, about 4 minutes per side. Discard the leftover marinade. Or, bring the leftover marinade to a boil and cook it for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria.

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Strawberry Chili Grilled Chicken | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions? Leave them in the comment box below!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Steph’s note: Give a hearty welcome to my guest blogger, Cassy from Fed & Fit. Cassy is a quadruple threat: She has mad kitchen skills, is an ace behind the camera, gets her sweat on at CrossFit and is one of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet. On her blog Fed & Fit, Cassy brings approachable yet flavor-packed recipes with her signature step-wise photography that always leaves me drooling on my keyboard. I’m super excited to introduce you to her today! Make sure to make these Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers and go follow her on social media…you won’t be disappointed. Take it away, Cassy!

Oh my word…I’m on Stupid Easy Paleo! I just adore Steph, and you know what? I adore you, too. I adore you because you’re here, you’re a part of the Real Food movement, and you probably have a thing for crispy chicken fingers. All reasons we can be great friends.

Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and I go way back. Once upon a time, I was a student at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX and I LIVED off of buffalo chicken fingers from a lovely little dining establishment called Wings ‘n More. While my health was rapidly declining, I was rapidly falling in love with comfort foods. Since going Paleo about 4 years ago, I gave up those delicious little strips of perfectly spicy, salty, gooey, but still miraculously crunchy chicken wonders. I gave them up plus the fries and ranch dressing that went with them.

Like a message was sent to me from above, I woke up one morning with the conviction a Paleo version MUST exist in this world. It needs to happen for you, for me, and for all those 20-something college students who think the gluten-coated, MSG-dusted, filler-fed restaurant chicken is their only option.

This Paleo-friendly crispy buffalo chicken finger is made possible by my good friend, the pork rind. Sometimes called chicharrones, sometimes called cracklin’s, pork skins are a crunchy, light, fluffy chip made by frying pork skin in it’s own rendered fat. They make for an occasional crunchy treat or can substitute as breading!

In an effort to create that reminiscent thick buffalo breading, I crafted a hybrid between my famous Paleo buffalo sauce and an egg wash.

Keep scrolling for my step-by-step photo instructions, tips and tricks.

I also recommend you check out my Paleo-friendly ranch dressing! Crispy buffalo chicken fingers and ranch dressing are a match made in heaven. Just saying.

Our recipe starts with about one pound of (ideally, pastured) chicken strips.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Next up, the buffalo egg wash! Crack two eggs into a bowl.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now add 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Then the juice of one lemon.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now add 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

2 teaspoons of onion powder.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

And then 2 teaspoons of paprika.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Now you get to choose your level of spice! For HOT add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper, add 1 teaspoon for medium, or add ½ teaspoon for mild. I opted for medium.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Lastly, add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Got all your ingredients loaded up?

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Whisk until well combined and set aside while we focus on our crunchy breading.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

The most important thing to remember when you’re buying pork skins is to read the label. You want to make sure the ingredients only read, “pork and salt.” Avoid bags with anything else listed.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Measure out about 5 cups of pork skins into a gallon-sized plastic bag.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Smash ‘em up! You’re also welcome to pulse the pork rinds in a food processor for a few minutes but A) I like to avoid washing more dishes than necessary and B) think smashing things is fun and therapeutic.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Once they’re mostly broken up, pour them in a bowl.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Make sure your oven is set to 400°F (200°C) and grab all your components!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Dip each chicken strip in the buffalo sauce.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Make sure it’s well coated.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Then lay it in the breading.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Pull it out when the crunchy pork goodness has it all covered up.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Lay the strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pop them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Ta-da!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

I recommend you plate with some crunchy vegetables and a side of Paleo-friendly ranch dressing.

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Enjoy!

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers

Serves 4-6

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients for Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers:

Directions for Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Whisk the eggs, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne and salt together in a medium bowl.
  3. Dip each chicken strip into the buffalo egg wash then lay in the pork rind breading, coating both sides.
  4. Place breaded strips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until cooked through.

Follow Cassy on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter

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Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers—Fed & Fit | stupideasypaleo.com

Questions for Cassy? Leave them in the comments below.

The Perfect Burger

The Perfect Burger | stupideasypaleo.com

Okay y’all…the perfect burger. It’s not every day you hear a burger claim to be “the one”, but this may very well be it. Perfectly flavored beef, parsnip crisps fried in coconut oil and a decadent avocado mousse…have I convinced you yet?

The Perfect Burger is just one of the awesome meaty recipes you’ll find in The Paleo Kitchen, a brand new cookbook coming out this June from none other than George Bryant and Juli Bauer. If you like the looks of The Perfect Burger, head over and pre-order their cookbook. And, if you do it before April 10, you can enter into a pretty sweet giveaway…a 3-day, all-expenses paid trip for 2 to San Diego. (Trust me, it’s an awesome city!)

Ingredients for The Perfect Burger:

Serves 3.

For the burgers

For the shoestring parsnip fries

  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) coconut oil, melted

Garnish with

  • Sliced red onions
  • Avocado mousse (also from the cookbook)
  • Romaine hearts
  • Shoestring parsnip fries (from above)

Directions for The Perfect Burger:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the burgers without overworking the meat.
  2. Divide meat into 3 equal portions and form into ½-inch (12-mm)-thick patties. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each burger. Set aside.
  3. Using a spiral slicer or julienne slicer, cut the parsnips into strings.
  4. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat, and preheat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  5. Once grill is hot, place the burgers on the grill and close the lid. Cook 6 minutes.
  6. While the burgers are cooking, add the coconut oil to the saucepan. Test the oil by placing one parsnip shoestring in the oil to ensure the oil bubbles. Add the parsnips to the oil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown. When the parsnips finish cooking, place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  7. Flip the burgers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare, or until desired doneness. Remove the burgers from grill and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. To assemble the burgers, place each on a bed of lettuce and top with sliced red onions, ¼ cup (60 mL) avocado mousse, and parsnip fries.

Click here to pre-order The Paleo Kitchen!

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole from The Paleo Foodie & A Chance to Win

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole | stupideasypaleo.com

Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole is the perfect blend of two worlds: simple cooking and huge flavor! When my friend Arsy Vartanian, author of the brand new book The Paleo Foodie Cookbook, asked me to share one of her recipes with you, I jumped at the chance. I know you all love chicken recipes, and slow cooker food definitely fits my criteria of stupid-easy. While it may seem like there are a lot of ingredients, they’re integral in creating a savory, complex mole sauce with a richness and depth of flavor.

If you love the sound of this recipe, go check out Arsy’s cookbook. She’s also got two awesome bonuses for you: We are giving away a copy of her book (sorry, contest is now closed) and you can get a free copy of her ebook, The Paleo Dinner Party, if you pre-order (details also at the bottom).

Ingredients for Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole:

  • 2 pounds (900 grams) chicken pieces (breasts and legs work well), bone in, skins removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) ghee
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 6–7 whole tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 5 dried New Mexico chili peppers, rehydrated and chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) almond butter
  • 2-1/2 ounces (70 grams) dark chocolate (70% or above)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon guajillo chili powder
  • Avocado, cilantro and jalapeño, all chopped (garnish)

Directions for Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole:

  1. Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
  2. Place a pan over medium heat and add ghee. Once the ghee has warmed, add the chicken and brown on all sides. This may need to be done in batches. Move chicken to the slow cooker.
  3. Add onion to the same pan and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer onion and garlic to slow cooker.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chili peppers, almond butter, dark chocolate, salt and spices (cumin, cinnamon, chili powder) to the slow cooker.
  5. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until the chicken is tender and pulls apart easily. If you are home when making the dish, lift the lid once and give it a stir to make sure all the ingredients are well combined. Remove chicken bones. Top mole with avocado, cilantro and jalapeño and serve!

To enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Paleo Foodie Cookbook:

The winner is… lynn.s****@e*******l.com. Thank you to all who entered!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to complete your entry! (This is how the winner will be drawn, so don’t skip this step!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest ends March 23, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. PST, and the winner will be announced here on the blog by March 25, 2014. Be sure to check back to see if you won!

The winner will be emailed and will have 48 hours to confirm back with his or her full name, address, and phone number to claim the prize. Open to US residents only.

To get your free copy of The Paleo Foodie Dinner Party eBook:

Head over to Amazon and pre-order The Paleo Foodie Cookbook (pictured below). Then, email your receipt to paleodinnerparty@gmail.com.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole | stupideasypaleo.com

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Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole | stupideasypaleo.com

Paleo Zucchini Frittata Guest Post

Paleo Zucchini Frittata is one of my favorite make-ahead breakfasts, perfect for busy folks and athletes. You can make up a batch ahead of time, slice it when it cools and take it with you for post-workout or just along for the ride to work.

Paleo Zucchini Frittata | stupideasypaleo.com

I created this recipe specifically for Breaking Muscle, sohead on over there to check out the ingredients and how to get one of these beauties baking in your oven today!

Click here for the recipe → Paleo Zucchini Frittata!

Tasty Taco Salad by Living Loving Paleo

Tasty Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing | stupideasypaleo.com

Please welcome Kristen, my guest blogger and a special friend of mine, to the blog. I’ve come to know Kristen through her Instagram, and her story of sickness to wellness so touched my heart that I knew I had to share it on the blog. (Click here to read it, then come right back!) Kristen’s passion for food is clear in her super awesome blog, Living Loving Paleo, and her recipes are simple, approachable and nourishing. Take it away, Kristen!

One thing I super, duper missed when I first changed my diet to a Paleo diet was definitely sauces and dressings, especially creamy ones. I honestly thought I’d never see them again. I drew a blank when it came to making my own, as I never had before. Honestly, making my own dressings intimidated me, and I figured it would be difficult and time consuming (neither of which I’m a fan of). Then, I discovered just how easy and fast it is to make your own, and I knew I could never go back!

My life was completely turned around by changing the food that I put on my plate, and for the first time in a really long time I was healthy. I was determined to make recipes for my own sauces and dressings that fit my new lifestyle, and that were completely delicious! I love a great salad, and to me, a salad is completely made by the dressing. I must say, the dressing that I created for this taco salad makes it extra special. Store bought dressings don’t even compare! I hope you all love it as much as my family did. Happy cooking!

Ingredients for Tasty Taco Salad:

For the base of the salad, I used romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes & avocado. Feel free to use any veggies you like.

Ingredients for Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing:

  • 2/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1.5 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons cilantro, minced

Directions for Tasty Taco Salad:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink. Add the taco seasoning to the meat and mix well.
  3. While the meat is cooking, make the simple dressing. Place the oil, egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt in a tall container. (I use a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup). Place an immersion blender at the bottom and turn on. Once the mixture starts to blend together and become thick, move the immersion blender towards the top, until it is well blended. This should take less than a minute! Stir in the cilantro. [Steph's note: No immersion blender? Place the egg, mustard powder, lemon juice, lime juice, garlic and salt into a blender and let these come to room temperature. Run the blender for about 30 seconds, then with the blender on medium speed, very slowly (in a thin stream) drizzle in the avocado oil until the mayo has thickened.]
  4. Top your salad with the meat and dressing! Enjoy!

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taco salad 2

 

Paleo Chicken Piccata by Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine

Paleo Chicken Piccata | stupideasypaleo.com

Please welcome my guest blogger Ashley from Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine to the blog. Ashley’s pretty special to me for two reasons: 1) She was my science student more than a dozen years ago and 2) she taught me what a blog was. True story! I’ve had the pleasure of watching Ashley transform into a bright, sharp-witted young woman and a passionate food blogger. She’s been exploring gluten-free / Paleo foods more recently, and though that aspect of her blog is developing, I knew I had to introduce her to you. In this post, Ashley’s got a super yummy Paleo Chicken Piccata recipe. Take it away, Ashley!

Before age 25, I just didn’t care about what I ate. Anything and everything, with a few bouts of meat-eater-guilt that resulted in short term vegetarianism (dating two vegans in a row didn’t help that), and a lot of bouts of “the drunchies” aka drunken munchies. As long as it was delicious, I ate it.

Little did I know, the “full” feeling you feel after a meal shouldn’t actually hurt. Bloat, tightness, pain, it was all because I just ate too much, right? Whatever, my waist stayed slim and my eating habits stayed…terrible.

Then I turned 25 and, as I like to say, the Butt Fairy paid me a visit. Suddenly, none of my pants fit me anymore (even my “that time of the month” pants—yikes!) and for the first time in my life I realized that every action has a reaction, and every double bacon cheeseburger has to GO somewhere. I also noticed the telltale signs of a gluten allergy and lactose intolerance, and though my first introduction to paleo was from a jerk coworker who scoffed at my sandwich lunch and bragged about his new diet that was “totally going to get him RIPPED”—I was a bit more intrigued when Steph saw my Facebook plea for gluten / dairy free recipes and suggested I try out Paleo.

Honestly, my first true experiments in Paleo were simply a way to lose weight. And, even more honestly, I did not lose weight. However, I noticed that after a meal comprised mostly of meat and veggies, I felt happily full, without the pain. After a week devoid of wheat and starchy carbs I felt more awake, less moody, and my head felt more clear. It was an eye opening experience in a lot of ways, and has influenced my cooking ever since.

I’m a food blogger and a food lover. I know that I’m never going to totally give up that cheeseburger, but the “clean” feeling I get from clean eating is hard to pass up. These days, I go by the 75 : 25 principle: during the week, I eat as paleo as I can, and on the weekends I cheat a bit. However, I still try to balance the 25. If I know I’m going out for drinks with friends on Saturday night, I’ll try to pass up the plate of nachos at lunch and go for a more paleo option on Saturday afternoon. If you look at my blog, from the past year it, too follows the 75 : 25, with most of my recipes being Paleo, nearly-Paleo, or at the very least gluten-free, with a few extras thrown in.

My favorite thing to do is find a recipe that is nearly Paleo, and tweak it just a little. This way, I don’t feel like I’m eating an impostor, and I still get the flavors and textures I’ve always loved. Chicken Piccata was my favorite dish when I worked at an Italian restaurant, and I think I like this version even better! Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Piccata

  • 4 chicken cutlets or two breasts butterflied and pounded thin
  • 1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
  • ~5 Tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil or your oil of choice (coconut leaves a bit of a taste I am not fond of, but some advise against cooking with olive oil in high heat)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ an onion
  • ½ cup (120 mL) chicken stock
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) white wine (use chicken stock if you don’t cook with wine)
  • 3 lemons, two juiced & one sliced
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

 Directions for Paleo Chicken Piccata

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tablespoons of the the butter / ghee and 2 Tablespoons of the oil.
  2. Season chicken cutlets on each side with salt* and pepper. Dip into almond flour and cover well.**
  3. Two at a time, cook the chicken in the skillet until browned on each side and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, depending on how thin you sliced them.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, covered with foil or put in the oven on 200°F (100°C) to keep warm. Add a bit more oil to the skillet and scrape browned bits well to deglaze the pan. Or, if you’re me and you want a nice, clear sauce, scoop out any toasty almond bits that were left behind.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
  6. Pour in wine, chicken stock and lemon juice. Turn the heat to high and let liquid reduce by half. Add remaining ingredients, and reduce heat to low.
  7. Add the chicken to the pan and let it warm back up or, if chicken is to your liking, simply spoon sauce over the chicken on a plate. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of crushed red pepper. Serve with veggies***.

Ashley’s notes: *I used vanilla salt that I received as a gift and it tasted lovely. Experiment with flavored salts here if you desire. **For a thicker, crispier crust, dip your chicken in egg before coating in almond flour. ***Pictured is broccoli tossed with a bit of truffle oil.

Connect with Ashley and Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine on her blogFacebook pageTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

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Paleo Chicken Piccata | stupideasypaleo.com

Bacon Love Fest: 35 Porktastic Paleo Recipes

Bacon Love Fest: 35 Portktastic Paleo Recipes

This Valentine’s Day, show a little love with everyone’s favorite Paleo treat-meat, bacon. Instead of putting together a collection of traditional chocolatey desserts, I thought I’d compile some of the most nom-worthy bacon recipes from some of my favorite Paleo bloggers.

Here’s my personal take on bacon: I think of it as a condiment, a topping, a savory-salty flavoring agent meant to enhance the flavor of a dish. Personally, I can’t sit down and eat a pound of bacon in one sitting. Perhaps there’s a button broken in my brain somewhere? No matter what your personal bacon tolerance limit is, ensure you pick a high-quality brand with minimal ingredients. (I suggest looking for a brand that contains ingredients such as pork, salt, brown sugar, celery salt and not much more than that.) Why? Pastured animals have healthier fat profiles than factory-raised animals.

But isn’t pastured meat more expensive? Absolutely, but you’re getting what you pay for. Since I only eat a couple strips at a time, I make my high-quality bacon last much longer…*wink wink*.

Now, on to the food!

Bacon Love Fest: Breakfast

Bacon Pancakes from The Paleo Mama

Chocolate Bacon Smoothie from The Paleo Mama

Bacon Guacamole Deviled Eggs from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Frisee Salad with Bacon and Eggs from Stupid Easy Paleo

Apple Cinnamon Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash from Stupid Easy Paleo

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche from Stupid Easy Paleo

Bacon Love Fest: Appetizers & Snacks

BLT Bites from Meatified

Bacon and Guacamole Sammies from Nom Nom Paleo

Bacon Berry Bites from Meatified

Pear and Bacon Bites from The Clothes Make the Girl

Bacon Gremolata from Stupid Easy Paleo

BLT Bites with Chipotle Mayo from Stupid Easy Paleo

Bacon Love Fest: Main Dishes

Stuffed Bacon Guacamole Burger from Meatified

Twice-Baked Cheeseburger Spaghetti Squash from Popular Paleo

Chicken Club Avocado Boats from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Super Porktastic Bacon-Topped Spinach and Mushroom Meatloaf from Nom Nom Paleo

Smoky Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Thighs from Stupid Easy Paleo

Spicy Bacon, Lettuce and Roasted Tomato Zucchini Pasta from Ditch the Wheat

Bacon Wrapped Crab Stuffed Prawns by Popular Paleo

Bacon Tuna Boats (Mayo-Free) by Popular Paleo

Zucchini Noodles with Scallops and Bacon from Meatified

Bacon Love Fest: Veggies and Sides

Paleo Alfredo from Meatified

Quick and Simple Stir Fried Kale with Bacon from Nom Nom Paleo

Poblano Bacon Chicken Chowder from Paleo Cupboard

Salty Sweet Broccoli Salad from The Clothes Make the Girl

Easy Collard Greens with Bacon from Meatified

Paleo Sweet Potato Soup from The Clothes Make the Girl

Cantaloupe Bacon Salad from Meatified

Cashew Green Beans with Bacon from Peace, Love and Low Carb

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus from Paleo Cupboard

Bacon Love Fest: Treats

Chocolate Covered Bacon from Healthy Living How To

Salted Caramel Bacon Bark from The Spunky Coconut

Bacon Love Fest: Cooking Tips

How to Bake Bacon from Stupid Easy Paleo

20 Recipes Using Bacon Fat from The Paleo Mama

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Bacon Love Fest: 35 Portktastic Paleo Recipes

What’s your favorite bacon recipe?

Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style

Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style | stupideasypaleo.comPaleo 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

Directions for Paleo Meatballs, Asian-Style

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

Change It Up

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How I Learned to Eat Liver (and Stopped Gagging On It)

How I Learned to Eat Liver | stupideasypaleo.comDear Liver,

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,

Steph

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.

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How I Learned to Eat Liver | stupideasypaleo.com

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Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens from Gutsy By Nature (AIP-Friendly)

Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips & Greens from Gutsy By Nature | stupideasypaleo.comPaleo Beef Stew…I hope you’re already drooling! Today’s post is from my guest blogger Jaime, the powerhouse behind Gutsy By Nature. I was really excited to have Jaime on the blog because not only does she make some amazing Paleo food, she’s living proof of the power of food to heal. She’s been on a journey to heal herself from Crohn’s disease—which she was diagnosed with in 1995, and she’s passionate about helping others reclaim gut health. Jaime’s recipe is suitable for folks eating an autoimmune Paleo protocol (read more about that below). Besides curating her blog, Jaime is a wife and mom to two dogs, works in literacy education and teaches yoga. Take it away, Jaime!

The Paleo diet has tremendous healing properties for people with autoimmune diseases, especially with modifications to further eliminate foods like nuts, eggs and nightshades (because they can provoke immune responses) and with the addition of nutrient-dense foods. This dish combines both aspects because it’s made without nightshades and packs a nutrient-dense punch with the inclusion of coconut oil, bone broth (click here for her bone broth recipe), grass-fed beef and a bunch of vegetables.

Nightshades are a diverse group of plants including some we wouldn’t dream of eating, like tobacco and morning glories, and others that produce fruits and vegetables that are common parts of healthy diets. Specifically, the nightshade family includes tomatoes, white potatoes, both sweet and hot peppers, and eggplants. I’ve personally been able to add some of these foods back into my diet, but I wanted this dish to work even for people who are still in the elimination phase of an autoimmune protocol (AIP), so I decided to use turnips instead of white potatoes and used another source of acidity and flavor than the tomato paste I might normally add.

I also really wanted this stew to have a thick consistency and not just be a chunky soup. In my pre-Paleo days, I would’ve tossed the stew meat in some flour prior to cooking to thicken the resulting sauce. I’ve experimented with alternative thickeners like arrowroot powder and coconut flour, but haven’t been impressed with the result. Instead, I adapted a technique I used to make gluten-free turkey gravy (click for the recipe) and pureed the aromatics prior to cooking. Success! The final result was a thick stew with amazing rich flavor.

(Note: While alcohol is generally eliminated on AIP, most people are fine with it in well-cooked dishes because the alcohol cooks off. If you choose to omit the wine, make sure you add another 2 Tablespoons of vinegar because the acidity helps to tenderize the meat as well as impart flavor. In recipes that contain tomatoes, the acid of the tomato helps this to happen naturally.)

Ingredients for Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens:

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) coconut oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound (500 grams) beef stew meat (preferably grass-fed), cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry red wine
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cups (1000 ml) beef broth (preferably homemade)
  • 8-10 baby turnips, peeled
  • 1 cup of leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens, ribs removed and chopped

Directions for Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips and Greens:

  1. In a large heavy pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add meat, toss to coat in oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook meat until browned on all sides (about 7-10 minutes total).
  2. While meat is cooking, puree onions, carrots, and celery in a food processor.
  3. Remove meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl to catch any drippings.
  4. Add pureed vegetables to the pot you just cooked the meat in and cook until soft, slightly browned and very fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
  5. Return meat to the pot. Carefully pour the wine into the pot to deglaze, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until wine has nearly all evaporated.
  6. Add balsamic vinegar and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to lowest setting. Cover pot and cook for 2 hours.
  7. Add turnips and cook for 15 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife but are not falling apart. Add greens and cook for 2 minutes, or until they are wilted and softened.

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Paleo Beef Stew with Turnips & Greens from Gutsy By Nature | stupideasypaleo.com

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Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche

Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche | stupideasypaleo.comThis Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche is incredibly easy to make and uses up leftover meat you may have in your fridge. What makes this Paleo? First, it’s crustless. You *could* make a gluten-free crust but that takes time, and I wanted this to be as quick as possible. Second, unlike regular quiche, this has no dairy (no milk, cream or cheese). Rest assured, it’s still ultra-tasty!

Wondering what makes a quiche different from a frittata? Technically it’s the amount of liquid you add: A frittata has very little while a quiche has more, resulting in a more custard-like texture to the eggs. I did cut the amount of liquid down to 1 cup so if you’re a quiche purist, go easy on me! You can change up this Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche in a variety of ways…check the bottom of the post for some suggestions! Bon appetit!

Ingredients for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche:

Directions for Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche:

  1. If using dried mushrooms, soften them by covering them with boiling water in a heat-proof bowl for about 30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190ºC). Grease a casserole dish or glass baking dish with coconut oil. I used a 10″ round casserole. If you use a smaller one, you may have to bump up the baking time a few minutes since the quiche will be thicker.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, render and brown the bacon. Add the leftover chicken, mushrooms and sage to the pan and cook for a few minutes, making sure there is no moisture left from the mushrooms (if not, your quiche will be soggy…no bueno). Dump this mixture into the greased casserole dish, and set aside.
  4. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Add the coconut milk, sea salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the casserole dish.
  5. Bake the quiche for about 30 minutes or until the center is set and not jiggly.

Change it Up:

  • Instead of dried mushrooms, use about 2 cups of sliced fresh mushrooms, any kind. Be sure to fry them down before you use them so they don’t add a lot of moisture to the quiche.
  • Don’t have any chicken? Use any leftover meat you’d like or just go meatless. If you don’t add meat, I recommend adding a veggie in its place.
  • Don’t like coconut milk? Use another nut milk of choice (homemade almond milk is great…I would make it extra thick by cutting the water down to 3 cups instead of 4).
  • Double the ingredients and make a mega-sized quiche for the week ahead.

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Paleo Chicken Bacon Mushroom Quiche | stupideasypaleo.com

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Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings with Paleo Ranch Dressing from Meatified

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings - Meatified | stupideasypaleo.com

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings (with Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip) is coming at you today from my guest blogger Rach from Meatified! Wings—I mean, c’mon—what’s not to love? I first learned of Rach from her screen-lickable photos of Paleo food, and with a name like Meatified, I knew she was onto something good. A former vegetarian, she originally found the Paleo lifestyle while looking for a way to improve her health after years of thyroid-related issues. She creates original recipes that are grain- and sugar-free while trying to finally figure out how to work the camera she shamelessly “borrowed” from her husband. When she’s not in the kitchen, she can usually be found planning her perfect future mini farmstead in gloriously overly-exaggerated detail. Take it away, Rach!

Ingredients for the Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings:

  • 2 pounds (1000 grams) chicken wings
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Directions for the Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings:

  1. Add all of the marinade ingredients (not the chicken!) to a blender. Process until smooth. If the marinade is a little thick, add a splash of water and re-process.
  2. Put the chicken wings into a container or large freezer bag. Pour over the marinade and toss the wings through it so that they are evenly coated.
  3. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
  4. When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking tray with foil and place a cooling rack onto the foil-lined tray.
  5. Place the wings onto the metal rack, and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven up to 425°F (210°C). Turn the chicken wings over and return them to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until browned.
  7. While the chicken is cooking, make the Ranch Dressing Dip!

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings - Meatified | stupideasypaleo.com

Ingredients for the Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip:

Directions for the Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip:

  1. In a mini food processor or blender, process the soaked and drained cashews until you have a paste. You may need to scrape down the sides of your processor or blender a few times to do this.
  2. Once your cashews are a spreadable texture, add the coconut milk a little at a time and process until smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice, the rest of the coconut milk, the seasonings and herbs. Process until combined and the dressing is smooth. If it is still a little thick, add a splash of water and re-process.
  4. Once the Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings are cooked, serve with the Paleo Ranch Dressing Dip.

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Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Wings - Meatified | stupideasypaleo.com

[Steph's note: Brilliant, right? These wings are so easy, and the dip is a snap to make. Like what you see from Rach? Connect with her on her siteFacebookPinterest and Twitter.]

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Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs

Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.comThese Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs have become one of my favorite dinners during the week  because it’s so simple. I’m really excited to share this one with you because it’s one of the brand-spanking-new-shiny-out-of-the-box recipes from my upcoming ebook, The Paleo Athlete.

To get the skin really crispy, make sure it’s really dry before you put the chicken in the oven. If you’re lucky enough to have a convection oven, you’ll want to use that setting. Can’t find bone-in chicken thighs? You can use boneless, but cut the baking time down by about 5 minutes.

Make this a complete meal by throwing on some veggies as a side dish, and you’re good to go. I like the skin-on thighs because they stay moist in the oven. If you can only find skinless, you can wrap the thighs in bacon before you bake them…winning. As an extra bonus, I save the chicken bones to make stock in the crock pot.

Ingredients for Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs:

Directions for Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Mix the garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Place the chicken thighs on the baking sheet and dry the skin well with a paper towel. Flip the thighs over so the skin side is down.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with half of the seasonings – garlic powder, red pepper flakes, oregano and salt. Flip over and season the other side.
  5. Bake about 25-30 minutes (in a convection oven) or 35-40 minutes (in a regular oven) until the thighs are cooked through completely.

Change it Up:

  • Use curry powder or your favorite spices instead of those listed.
  • For skinless thighs, sprinkle with smoked paprika, salt and pepper, then wrap in thinly sliced bacon (recipe is here).
  • For double crispy goodness, these can be reheated by: adding a spoonful of your fat of choice to a cast iron skillet and crisping both sides until golden over medium heat.

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Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs - The Paleo Athlete | stupideasypaleo.com

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6 Easy Paleo Recipe Ingredient Swaps

6 Easy Paleo Recipe Ingredient Swaps | stupideasypaleo.comToday I’m featuring six easy Paleo ingredients to transform almost any recipe! 

If you’re new to Paleo and wondering how the heck you’re going to keep from reinventing the wheel and finding brand new recipes for everything, this is the post for you. The easiest version of Paleo is to stick to meat and eggs, veggies and some fruit and healthy fats but with a few basic swaps, you’ll recreate flavors and textures that you thought were off limits (minus the gut irritation and inflammation). 

Easy Paleo Recipe Substitute #1: Instead of cream or milk, use full-fat coconut milk.

If you’re not eating dairy anymore, that means staying away from milk and cream in recipes. Certain dishes will lack the creamy, unctuous mouthfeel that you’re familiar with and wind up tasting, well, watery. Full-fat coconut milk makes a darn good sub for whole milk or cream and while it does have a slightly coconutty flavor, I don’t find it overpowering. The best part? If you use coconut milk instead of milk, it’s almost always a 1 to 1 substitution.

If you’re allergic to coconut or don’t care for the taste, another great option is homemade almond milk. To make it extra rich, I cut the water in the recipe down from 4 cups to 3. Sure you can buy pre-made nut milks in your market’s refrigerated section but most of them have preservatives and other pointless ingredients. 

Here are a few of my favorite recipes using coconut milk:

Coconut Milk Latte, Crock Pot Chicken Yellow Curry Soup, and Creamy Leek Soup

Easy Paleo Recipe Substitute #2: Instead of butter, use ghee or coconut oil.

If you’re not down with butter, alternatives exist to mimic both the texture and / or flavor. (Note: grass-fed butter finds its way into some Paleo kitchens but some folks who are ultra sensitive to dairy proteins avoid it). The good news is that ghee (essentially clarified butter that’s been cooked a bit longer to have a caramelly, almost butterscotch flavor) gives the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and vitamin K2 in butter without the potentially problematic proteins. It’s basically butterfat. You can make your own or find jars in your market’s butter section. Bonus: it has a really high smoke point, making it ideal for high temperature cooking.

Avoiding all dairy? Coconut oil, which is mostly saturated fat, is a great butter stand-in because it’s solid below 77°F and has a moderately high smoke point. Sure, it tastes nothing like butter, but it’s really versatile (even great as a moisturizer, a body butter, a hair mask, a make up remover, etc.). Read more about coconut oil – which to use and which to avoid – in my article here

Bonus: ghee is part of the Whole30, so if you’re planning to do one in January with me, stock up now!

Easy Paleo Recipe Substitute #3: Instead of soy sauce, use coconut aminos.

So no…cavemen didn’t use coconut aminos, but they didn’t use soy sauce either. Remember, Paleo’s not a historical re-enactment of exactly what our ancestors ate. Soy sauce is responsible for that savory umami flavor that forms the background of so many dishes, Asian-inspired or otherwise, but soy sucks for so many reasons and is one of those “health” foods to avoid. What’s a savory-seeking saveur to do? 

Use coconut aminos instead. Made from the fermented sap of the coconut tree, this savory liquid isn’t an *exact* doppelganger for your beloved bottle of soy sauce, but it’s the next best thing. 

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that use coconut aminos:

Sweet & Savory Blueberry Tortilla, Paleo “Noodle” Bowl and Umami Mayo

Easy Paleo Recipe Substitute #4: Instead of rice, use cauliflower “rice”.

6 Easy Paleo Recipe Ingredient Swaps | stupideasypaleo.com

If rice is off the menu because you’re eating strict Paleo, consider using “riced” cauliflower instead. Simply put, cauliflower rice is created by grating, blending or processing the white veggies down into rice-sized bits. Anything you put rice in, you can switch out for cauliflower instead. It becomes a blank canvas upon which you’ll create layers of flavor by adding spices, meats and other veggies.

My favorite way to rice cauliflower is putting it in the food processor though some folks swear by putting large cauli chunks in a blender full of water, blitzing it, then straining the “riced” pieces out. A cooking tip: small pieces cook faster and won’t get water-logged. Also, don’t overload the pan.

Great recipes to try with cauliflower “rice”:

Indian Pineapple Cauliflower RiceCabbage Rolls and Paleo Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Cous Cous”

Easy Paleo Recipe Substitute #5: Instead of white flour, use coconut flour.

This one’s tricky because coconut flour is mega absorbent so you can’t use it in a 1 to 1 ratio in recipes that call for white (wheat) flour. You can bake with it, use it as a “breading” for chicken or fish and use it as a thickener, but remember this ratio:

1 cup white flour = 1/4 cup coconut flour

Sometimes, it’s more like 1/3 cup coconut flour, but this general range works. 

A word to the wise: if you’re planning to do a lot of Paleo baking (which I don’t recommend) coconut flour is expensive. It’s also made from dried, very finely ground coconut meat so it’s pretty dense in calories. I use it sparingly, mostly as a thickening agent.

Here’s my favorite way to use coconut flour as a breading: Paleo Chick-fil-A

Easy Paleo Recipe Substitute #6: Instead of wine (for flavor), use homemade broth.

Many recipes call for red or white wine in soups, stews and sauces because it adds a layer of flavor. And whether you side with Julia Child or not (she famously said, “I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.”) there is a way to substitute for the alcohol in your recipes: use homemade broth. Sure, you could do store-bought broth if you’re in a pinch, but you’ll want to find a brand that’s pretty squeaky clean. 

My favorite way to make homemade broth: save the bones from chicken thighs or a whole chicken (or you can buy grass-fed beef bones, lamb neck bones, etc….whatever you fancy), put them in a crock pot and cover them with water (sometimes I add a halved leek or other veggie trimmings like the nubby tops of carrots or leftover celery) for flavor. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar (bonus if you add a bit of fish sauce like Nom Nom Paleo does). Keep on low for 24 hours, strain and use. Can be frozen or used fresh. As an added bonus, it’ll be rich in minerals and gelatin. Bone juice, for the win!

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6 Easy Paleo Recipe Ingredient Swaps | stupideasypaleo.com

Have you used any of these easy Paleo recipe subs before? What’s your favorite that I left off the list? Leave me a comment below.