Crunchy paleo coconut shrimp made even more mouth-watering with lime and chili. Serve with lime wedges for another extra punch of flavor. Some heat from a dipping sauce like Chipotle Mayo would make it even better! Use any size shrimp you like.
Fresh tuna is sooooo tasty…I’ve you’ve never tried it, give it a whirl. It’ll make canned tuna pale in comparison. This recipe is based on one from the Barefoot Contessa, and is a perfect way to add some kick to your plate. Wasabi powder can be found in the Asian food section of the store, and can be REALLY potent, so I suggest adding just a little at a time and seeing if it’s too hot. Finding one without sugar or anything weird can be really tough…it took me a lot of searching to find one that was Paleo-friendly (“Hime” brand…horseradish, spirulina and turmeric are the only ingredients). Don’t like wasabi? You can totally leave it out.
I served this tuna salad on fresh romaine lettuce boats wrapped up into nori and served sushi style. If you don’t like tuna, you could substitute cooked chicken breast.
Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 5 min Makes: 2 servings
To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, lime zest, coconut aminos, sesame oil, wasabi powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir together and set aside.
Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Grill or pan-fry on high heat for ~2 minutes per side. *Important: you want the fish to be rare inside. If you cook it until well-done it’ll be tough and dry. Allow to cool on a cutting board. Cut into chunks.
3. Add the avocado, green onion, sesame seeds and tuna to the bowl with the dressing. Fold the ingredients together to combine.4. Serve on lettuce boats / cups or wrap with nori. Or, just serve in a bowl with chopped lettuce
Happy Independence Day! Summer is in full swing, and you’re sure to find an abundance of red, white and blue-themed recipes to put on your table. This fruit-based salsa is festive and easy to throw together for a holiday BBQ or party. Even though fruit is the star, it’s balanced out by a bit of heat from the jalapeño, acidity from the tomato and lime, and freshness from the mint. This would also be fantastic with some cubed avocado, served over grilled chicken or salmon. Eat up!
Prep time: 10-15 min Cook time: 0 min Makes: ~3 cups
Ingredients for Fourth of July Salsa
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup blueberries, sliced in half
1 ripe white peach, peeled and chopped
1/2 a tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 a jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced (or leave seeds in for more heat)
1 Tablespoon thinly sliced mint leaves
2 Tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions for Fourth of July Salsa
Chop all the fruit. Mince the jalapeño pepper. Stack the mint leaves on top of each other and roll lengthwise. Slice thinly.
Combined all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For best results, let the ingredients hang out and get friendly for at least an hour before serving.
Do you remember the sound of the ice cream truck cruising around the neighborhood in summer when you were a kid? If you were like me, you conveniently didn’t hear your mom call for dinner, but you could hear that magical music from a mile away. Growing up, my siblings and I loved “rocket pops” – I looked it up and they’re officially called “Red, White and Blue Turbo Rockets” – a patriotic combination sugar and artificial food coloring in red (cherry), white (lemon) and blue (blue raspberry).
While these Paleo versions have a bit of sweetness from the fruit and coconut water, they’re nothing like the sugar on a stick popsicles sold in stores. I added fruit to each layer and kicked up the flavors with citrus zest. You’ve got raspberry lime (red), coconut white peach (white) and lemon blueberry (blue). Perfect for a hot summer day! Don’t like raspberries? Use strawberries or cherries instead. You can also puree the fruit instead of slicing it.
Be creative and use your own fruit combinations or flavors. Let me know in the comments below what you tried!
[Note: I don’t consider these a Paleo-ified dessert because it’s essentially fruit and coconut water with no extra added sugar, but if you think you’d crack out on them, take that into consideration.]
1 white peach, peeled and chopped [hint: squeeze lemon juice on them to prevent browning]
1-1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
Blue Layer (Lemon Blueberry)
2 cups coconut water*
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup blueberries, halved
12 dixie cups (3 oz. size)
24 plastic straws or 24 popsicle sticks
Directions for Paleo Rocket Popsicles
Place 12 dixie cups on a sheet tray or in a muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tray). Clear a space in the freezer that the tray will fit in.
Mix the different coconut waters (coconut water + lime juice + lime zest and coconut water + lemon juice + lemon zest) in separate containers.
3. Build your red layer first. Equally divide the quartered berries into the cups (about 2 raspberries per cup). Add about 2 Tablespoons of the lime coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid.
4. Build the white layer next. Equally divide the chopped white peach into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk to each cup. *IMPORTANT: Only partially freeze this layer then stick the straws or popsicle sticks in! Return to the freezer until solid.
5. Build the blue layer last. Equally divide the halved blueberries into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of lemon coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid. Peel the paper cups away and trim the straws down to size. I like the double straw or double stick method because it makes them easier to hold.
Try to eat it before it melts!
*You’ll have a bit of extra coconut water left over…drink up and enjoy.
Every once in a while, I buy prepared salsa from the store. A bottle of organic salsa verde (green salsa) made its way into my cart recently and though I’d scanned the label for any non-Whole30 ingredients, I didn’t notice xantham gum last on the list. Xanthan gum is a thickener – it IS okay to eat on your Whole30 – but when I opened the salsa, the texture was weird and a bit slimy.
Immediately I knew that I could do better and just make my own. There are a million variations of salsa verde it seems: raw, roasted, different ratios of tomatillos to jalapeño, etc. but I found this one worked well for my taste buds. It was pretty mild but you could make it hotter by leaving the seeds and membranes of the jalapeño pepper intact.
Prep time: 5 min Cook time: 15 min Makes: 3 cups
Ingredients for Roasted Salsa Verde
1-1/2 lb tomatillos (these look like green tomatoes but are more closely related to gooseberries)
1 jalapeño pepper
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 large handful of cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions for Roasted Salsa Verde
Place the whole tomatillos and whole jalapeño pepper on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil in the oven on high for 5-10 minutes until the veggies start to char a bit. Flip over and broil another 5-10 minutes on the other side. *You can also char them on a grill or in a pan on the stove. Allow them to cool a bit.
2. Slice the jalapeño in half and remove some or all of the white membrane and seeds (if you want a mild salsa verde).
3. Put the tomatillos, jalapeño, garlic cloves, onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt in a blender or food processor. Pulse until the salsa is to the desired consistency. I like mine a little bit chunky but you can puree until smooth if desired.
4. Keep refrigerated. Keeps for several days in the fridge.
It’s not too good to be true, it’s just ceviche – a dish of seafood that’s “cooked” using citrus juices and served up with ingredients like tomato, jalapeño and avocado. YUM. Last year, I posted a recipe for ceviche – along with one of the first videos I ever made…eeeek – and recently, I created a different one with shrimp that came out just as good (if not better).
Since I cook for just one person, I only used 1/2 lb. of shrimp but you can easily double the recipe or more. Plan the day (or morning) ahead so you can give the ceviche enough time to “cook”. If you don’t like shrimp, you can substitute scallops or firm white fish. Rumor has it that the juice from the marinade is a hangover cure though I haven’t tested that theory yet
Prep time: 15-20 min Cook time: 6+ hoursMakes: ~3 cups
Dipping food in a sauce makes it way more fun to eat, am I right?! Recently, I made some lamb / beef skewers and thought they’d pair really well with a raita. Traditionally, raita is a meal accompaniment in Indian cuisine and is made of yogurt, vegetables like cucumber and spices. It’s meant to cool the palate, especially during a spicy meal.
I knew yogurt wasn’t going to work for this Paleo version, so I settled on coconut cream and the result was pretty awesome. It’s got a hint of sweetness which is balanced out by the lime and the cucumber and mint are refreshing. Raita is best served chilled and eaten while fresh, but you can store it covered in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
Definitely plan ahead so you can chill the can of coconut in the fridge for a day before making the recipe!
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 0 min Makes: 1-1/2 cups
Ingredients for Paleo Cucumber Mint Raita
1 (14 oz) can full fat coconut milk
1/2 large English cucumber, finely chopped ( about 1.5 cups)
3 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Directions for Paleo Cucumber Mint Raita
Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours so the cream will solidify.
Carefully open the can and scoop out the solidified coconut cream into a medium-sized bowl. Save the water to adjust the consistency of the raita.
Peel the cucumber and cut it lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Chop it finely. Also chop the mint. Add the cucumber and mint to the coconut cream.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. If needed, add a bit of the coconut water to thin the consistency of the raita. It should be relatively thick like a dip, not watery like soup.
Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour to chill and then serve.
Memorial Day Weekend is almost here. That means it’s time for more BBQs and summer fun, and it also means it’s socially acceptable to wear white. I almost never wear white because I’m the world’s biggest klutz. Truly. Just this morning, I was grading lab reports with a shaker bottle of decaf coffee on my desk. Suddenly, a notebook slid off the top of a stack and – you guessed it – coffee. went. all. over. Luckily, I know myself better than to wear white at any time. My brown shorts perfectly camouflaged the fact that I’d just poured coffee all over my lap. Score!
To make a long story short, with parties and Memorial Day gatherings in the near future, this refreshing slaw is a great side dish to bring with. You could also add shredded cabbage for a more traditional take on slaw.
Homemade olive oil mayo rocks my socks off. Nuf said.
I base my recipe on this one from Melissa Joulwan of The Clothes Make the Girl and add my own twist. I only used one chipotle…feel free to add another one but beware: chipotles are HOT. Taste after you add one and decide if it needs another. That being said, one gives my taste buds the perfect amount of smoky heat. YUM.
You can also omit the lime for straight up chipotle mayo.
Thai Coconut Soup is one of my favorite Asian dishes.
Usually I have recipe writer’s block. The harder I try to think of something to make, the more I can’t. It’s those times when I buy random ingredients and get home to my pantry and fridge that inspiration strikes.
My local market had wild-caught shrimp on sale, which I couldn’t resist, and when I got home I suddenly thought: tom kha! This is a common Thai soup that is really easy to make but has so many layers of complex flavor.
That’s the flavor hitting your tongue.
The only problem is that I didn’t have lemongrass or Thai chili paste that most of the recipes I looked at called for, so I thought, “I’m going to solutionize this scenario.”
I omitted the lemongrass but doubled the lime juice and used sriracha instead of red chili paste. In 5 minutes – plus the time it took me to peel and devein the shrimp – I had a hot, yummy bowl of tom kha in my hands! It might not be 100% authentic but it is 1) easy, 2) fast and 3) a damn good recreation.
Living in San Diego, you could say that Cinco de Mayo is a pretty big deal around these parts. All over the city – and pretty much the rest of the US – folks will be gladly using this holiday to eat vast quantities of guacamole and drink lots of tequila. I hate tequila. It all stems back to a Jimmy Buffet concert in October 2008, but I digress. Safe to say, no NorCal margaritas for me!
I made a version of this salad the other day, and it was so punchy with flavor that I had to make it again. And then it hit me! The colors are red, white and green and most of the ingredients are common to Mexican cuisine. In celebration of the Fifth of May, the Battle of Puebla and the love of drinking fermented agave, I bring you this festive salad. Substitute any cooked meat you’d like if you don’t like steak. I topped mine with a pan-fried grassfed New York strip steak sliced thin.
Prep time: 5 min Cook time: 10 min Makes: 2-3 cups of salad (plus meat)
It’s rare that I drink these days…it’s pretty counterproductive to my training and makes me sleep like crap. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it sometimes – and occasionally it’s a bit longingly. The other day, I thought of one of my BFF Greg and our Thelma and Louise inspired road trip last summer (well, there wasn’t any Brad Pitt and clearly we didn’t die) but we sipped on lots of wine and sunbathed our way across Palm Springs, LA and Santa Barbara. It was pretty awesome. In any case, whenever I think of Greg, I also think of booze for some reason. Hi Greg! Love you! To make a long story short, I decided to make a mojito-esque—but clearly non-alcoholic—dish that would capture the flavors of this iconic Cuban drink. Plus watermelon. I love watermelon.
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 0 min Makes: 5 cups
Ingredients for the Watermelon Mojito Salad
3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
1-1/2 cups seedless cucumber, cubed
2 Tablespoons fresh mint leaves, sliced thin (“chiffonade” if we’re being fancy about it)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
Zest from two limes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
Directions for Watermelon Mojito Salad
Cut the rind off the watermelon and cut into medium-sized cubes (about 1/2-inch).
Peel the cucumber, if you prefer, and cut into similar sized cubes.
Slice the mint leaves thinly. To chiffonade, stack the leaves on top of each other. Roll them up lengthwise into a bundle, then thinly slice.
Combine these ingredients in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl or a small jar, combine the lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir (or shake) well to combine. Pour over the watermelon and cucumber and stir well.
Milestone alert: this is Stupid Easy Paleo’s 100th post! Looking forward to the next 100 because I seriously love making all these recipes and sharing them.
There are about a million different ways to make guacamole, but I fancy mine plain and simple: avocado with a healthy dose of lime and salt [fun fact: the word “guacamole” comes from an Azetc word that basically means “testicle”]. I like my guacamole really tangy, so start with one lime and go up from there if you want more punch. When I was thinking of what to serve alongside to dip into it, I thought back to a few of the trips I’d taken down to Baja to race my bike several years back – immediately the memory of eating pepino con chile y limon (cucumber with chile and lime) from a vendor’s cart after a race – hit me. Crunchy and tart with a bit of smoky chile flavor, cucumbers with lime and chile make the perfect dipping platform though you can try any other veggies you like. I made my own chile powder by grinding down 3 dried ancho chiles and 3 dried guajillo chiles (seeds removed) in the Vitamix – you could use a spice grinder instead. I happen to live in Southern California where many markets have vast assortments of the dried chile pods, but feel free to use any store-bought chile powder you can find.
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 0 min Makes: 1-1/2 cups
Ingredients for Simple Guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp chile powder
Directions for Simple Guacamole
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop the green yumminess into a glass bowl.
Roll the limes on the countertop to mobilize the juice inside. Squeeze the juice of two limes into the bowl (save the 3rd lime for the cucumbers). Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Mash the guacamole with your hands or with a fork. Hands are more fun, just be sure to wash them first.
Peel and slice the cucumbers on the bias (diagonal cuts give a longer piece). Squeeze the juice of one lime on top and sprinkle with chile powder and a bit of salt.
I’ll admit it: I love the Food Network. While I’m more drawn to shows like Chopped! and Iron Chef America, I decided to watch an old episode of Barefoot Contessa yesterday. Normally, Ina’s food isn’t really up my alley but her recipe for Guacamole Salad spoke to me right away. Only bummer…it wasn’t Paleo. A couple of tweaks later, and I had a bowl of amazing flavors and colors sitting in front of me…perfect for a summer cook-out (or just a quiet weeknight at home).
The creaminess of the avocado, tang from the lime and crunch from the Persian cucumbers are the stars of the show! (Persian cucumbers have thinner skin and hardly any seeds…their crunchiness is the reason I used them. If you can’t find them, regular cucumber–peeled and seeded–would be a good replacement).
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 0 min Makes: 4-5 cups
Ingredients for Guacamole Salad
For the Salad
1 pint grape tomatoes
3 Persian cucumbers
1 yellow or orange bell pepper
1/2 red onion
2 large, ripe avocados (I used 3 small)
1 jalapeño pepper (2 if you like spicy)
1 clove garlic
1 handful fresh cilantro
For the Dressing
Zest from 1 lime
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Directions for Guacamole Salad
1. Prepare the veggies and add to a large mixing bowl:
Halve the grape tomatoes.
Chop the cucumbers and bell pepper into medium chunks…we are making salad here, not salsa!
Chop the red onion into small dice (big chunks of onion = not so bueno).
Cut the avocados in half, and remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop out the entire flesh. Then chop into medium chunks.
Chop the garlic and jalapeño finely. Remove the white inner membrane and seeds to control the spiciness.
Run your knife through the cilantro a few times to cut the leaves down a bit.
2. Mix all the veggies together and then prepare the dressing.
3. Zest one lime into the bowl.
4. In a measuring cup, combine the fresh lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix and pour over the veggies. Toss to coat.
I fell in love with Green Papaya Salad on my trip to Bali in 2011. We took a side trip to Nusa Lembongan, a tiny island off the coast of Bali and spent a couple days snorkeling and enjoying maximum relaxation time. While there, we dined outside at a Thai restaurant and I had my first taste of this dish…flavors of savory, spicy, sour and a little sweet all duked it out on my tongue.
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to make Green Papaya Salad (or som tam as it’s called in Thai) myself and make it Paleo-friendly. I’ll admit, this recipe may fit under the “special” category because you may have to do a little searching outside a conventional grocery store to find some of the ingredients, but any Asian food market should have these basic ingredients. Our local health food market actually has everything you’d need except the fish sauce and dried shrimp!
Most of the recipes I searched on-line use peanuts, bean sprouts and sugar to develop the complex flavor profile of som tam. With a few swaps, I figured out a couple ingredients that did the trick. I substituted cucumber for the bean sprouts (similar in color and texture) and roasted unsalted cashews for the peanuts.
Ingredients for the Green Papaya Salad
1 medium-sized green papaya, about 4 cups shredded
1. Peel the papaya with a sharp knife. Julienne the flesh using a julienne peeler (as I did) or use a box grater to achieve a similar effect.
2. Prep the remaining veggies:
Peel and slice the cucumber lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and slice flesh into match-stick sized pieces.
Quarter the cherry tomatoes.
Slice the green onion into match-stick sized pieces (discard upper dark green parts).
Slice the green beans on the bias (diagonal) into long pieces.
*Mince the Thai chilis. CAUTION: Thai chili peppers, though tiny is size, pack a whallop of heat. Take care not to touch your eyes, etc when prepping them. I scooped out all the seeds prior to mincing and it was still a medium-spicy. I recommend starting with ONE and upping to two or three if it’s not hot enough for you.
Roughly chop the basil leaves. Add all veggies and papaya to a large mixing bowl.
3. Juice the limes and pour over the veggies. Hint: Roll your limes on the counter prior to squeezing to help release the juice.
4. Add fish sauce, coconut aminos and (optional) a drizzle of honey.
5. If you prefer, add the dried shrimp and then let sit for 30 min for all the flavors to meld. Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro prior to serving. Serve straight up or as a delicious side dish to grilled chicken or fish.
Enjoy the taste-circus that’s about to happen in your mouth!