5 “Paleo” meals that keep me alive

I’ve sent the follow meals to several people over email, so I thought I would share them here as well.

I strongly believe that the food you eat modulates how you think, love, learn, train, and recover. It has taken a long time to figure out what I like to eat that is also easy, healthy, and based on first principles of nutrition highlighted in modern research.

In general, here are some tips if you want to stay motivated about cooking for yourself:

  • Listen to a few of the podcasts (Ben Greenfield or Dave Asprey have written about diet), or read a book that discusses nutritional trends you care about.  I find that consistently exposing myself to these sources of information prevents me from getting lazy about how I eat.
  • Get the right kitchen utensils.  Must haves are:
    • Glass tupperware for hot goods (I use them for everything and even bike to work with them)
    • A cast-iron skillet and stainless steel pans (don’t use PTFE i.e. “Teflon”)
    • A food processor.  Though it is tempting to go with a small cheap guy, you’ll start wishing you had bigger one later.  Make the investment!
    • A blender
  • Try recipes at least 4 or 5 times before you give up.  Each of the items below have taken time for me to get just the way I wanted, and it takes several attempts to figure out which ingredients can be substituted with others. Don’t give up after the first try.
  • Make big enough meals so that you don’t have to cook all the time.

Homemade Cashew Butter:

Made from raw cashews and ghee butter, this stuff is like rocket full. Nuts contain protein, but more obviously fat. Between the mono and poly-unsaturated fats in nuts and saturated fat in ghee butter, you are maintaining a healthy balance of different types of fat.  This is also a good alternative to nut butter from the store which typically contains unnecessary added sugar and and peanut, safflower, or vegetable oils.

Recipe:

Simple: In food processor, blend roughly 1 cup of nuts mixed with 1 tbsp of ghee.

  • I liked to add cinnamon and vanilla for additional flavor, but you can get creative here.
  • For a creamier recipe, try soaking the nuts for an hour before hand, or use a little bit of coconut oil in addition to the Ghee. I go for a pure Ghee/nut combination (without soaking) because I like the cookie-dough consistency afterwords.
  • Store on shelf of in fridge.

Cauliflower Fried Rice:

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Prep:

  1. Pulse one head of cauliflower to large grain size
  2. 4 large mushrooms diced
  3. Chop up 1 large leek or 1 large white onion or green onions
  4. Mince 3 cloves garlic
  5. Dice small peppers (sorano or jalepeno)

Cook:

  1. If doing meat, cook ground lamb or bacon or ground beef in skillet
  2. Add onions/leeks when meat brown at medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  3. As it is cooking, add in garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper
  4. Once softened, add in cauliflower.
  5. Cook another 5-7 minutes on medium-high until softened.

Avocado on top if desired. Makes 3 meals.

Curry Vegetables and Protein

Instructions:
  1. Use a large wok or cast iron pan.
  2. Turn to medium-high heat.
  3. Start with 2 tablespoons of ghee, coconut oil, or other high-temp stable oil.
  4. Add tougher vegetables
    • One or more of (green or white) onions, leeks
    • One ore more of broccoli, broccoli stems (sliced into small circles), chard stems from above, zucchini, pepper
  5. Cook above until they are tender/soft.
  6. Add 1/2 to full can of coconut oil depending on how much liquid you want
  7. Turn down to a low – keep from bubbling or boiling off. Add in 2 large heaping tablespoons of thai curry paste.
    • For more taste, add in 1/2 tsp of chili powder, cumin, curry powder.
  8. Cut up, wash, and add in chard or spinach.
If adding meat (bacon, ground beef, ground lamb, ground pork – buy at the farmers market, antibiotic and grain free), cook before adding in the vegetables on medium.  I typically add in oils/fats and vegetables once meat is starting to brown on outside but still raw on inside (it will keep cooking).

Kale/chard Smoothie

Smoothies in the morning changed my life.  I have a hard time deciding which is better, this or a cup of coffee.

Geoff Lecovin goes into fantastic detail about some of the benefits you can get out of a well-balanced smoothie here http://drgeofflecovin.com/?p=1056.   This gave me some good ideas, but I like to keep things simple.  Below is the recipe I typically follow.  For the protein powder and sunflower butter (when included), I go with brands that have the lowest sugar possible.

Instructions:

  • Blend the following on medium.  I like to under-blend it, so it has a slight chewiness, rather than being completely emulsified.
    • Leaves of red or rainbow chard or green, purple, or lacinato kale.
      • I keep the stems for use in the curry recipe above but I find them too fibrous for the blender and my stomach.
    • 3 tbsp of hemp seed, or 2 tbsp of flax seed or chia seed (or a little of all three)
    • About 1.5 cup rice milk
      • You could use hemp, almond, soy or real milk, but I like that rice milk is hypoallergenic and compared to soy, nuts, etc)
    • One o two ice cubes
    • 1 serving of protein powder
      • Try to mix up the protein powders to avoid food allergies.  Some good options are those from whey, sprouted vegetables, or plant-based varieties.
    • Add a scoop of sunflower butter if you like.
  • Drink!

Chard Power Salad

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Instructions:

  1. Peal and shred 2-3 medium beats , 2-3 medium carrots (2 if larger).
    Cut up 1 a large single head of chard (I typically include most of the head, but not the end of the stems which are a little tough). Wash and dry thoroughly.
  2. In addition I add whatever other vegetables I have, but these seem to go best: diced broccoli, avocado, radicchio.  The latter is a little bit but great.  
  3. Mix equal amounts of mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar,  Sprinkle of salt (not too much!) and pepper to taste.

Storage:

  • Keep both of above in separate tupperware. Use glass whenever possible.
  • On a day you want to consume this for lunch, mix up in a single tupperware, make the dressing (or make it all ahead of time), and bring to work.
  • Typically lasts me 3 meals.

Almond Flour Cookies

Credit for original recipe from my sister-in-law, Deanna Mutzel.  Check her out

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Absolutely delicious and “keto” friendly as there is very little sugar. Be careful substituting other types of flours

  1. Melt 1/2 cup of coconut oil in microwave (this is the only thing in the world I use the microwave for).
  2. Mix above in food processor with 1 egg, 2 cups almond flour (blanched), 1 tbsp vanilla, 3 tbsp coconut sugar, dash of salt and 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  3. Add raisins, chocolate chips, or dried cranberries to your preference.
  4. Make golf ball size cookie dough balls on an aluminum baking sheet.  My sister in law makes them using an ice cream scooper. Flatten in ball slightly with a fork or spoon.
  5. Cook in oven at 350 degrees F  for 8 or so minutes (until edges are golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool and don’t eat too many!

 

4 thoughts on “5 “Paleo” meals that keep me alive

  1. Dylan

    Almond flour cookies are bomb! I put crushed baker’s chocolate in them, makes great chocolate chip cookies while still keeping the sugar low.

    1. chris

      Awesome, that is a good idea. I have never tried. First thing when I get back home!

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