3 Paleo Recipes That Will Radically Shake up Your Protein-Veggie Rut

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best paleo recipes_paleomeals6Eating Paleo can feel (or look) like the same rotation of steak or chicken and steamed veggies every. single. night. And let’s face it, sometimes you miss your fave Chinese, Mexican, or Indian takeout dishes.

Paleo_Planet_cookbook_Becky_WinklerWhich is where the new cookbook Paleo Planet: Primal Foods from The Global Kitchen comes in. A Calculated Whisk blogger Becky Winkler draw on cuisines from all over the world, so you can mix things up more often in the kitchen.

“So many cultures have food that's conducive to eating Paleo,” says Winkler, whose book includes 125 recipes as proof. “I think people get distracted by the limitations [of the Paleo lifestyle] and they start thinking, ‘I can’t have this. I can’t have that.’ They find what works and stick to that. I hope this book inspires people to get out of that rut.”

So whether you’re full-on Paleo, Paleo-ish, or just want to spice up your healthy cooking, Winkler's recipes (made without gluten, grains, refined sugar, legumes, soy, or dairy—with the exception of ghee), literally bring you a world of dinner options. See them now... —Christine Yu

(Photos: Paleo Planet)


Best Paleo recipes_paleo meals4These Mexican-inspired carnitas lettuce wraps say breakfast, brunch, or dinner. And the explosion of flavors and textures is amazing—think sweet, sour, citrusy, creamy, and crispy. Bonus: your slow cooker  does the bulk of the work for you.

Slow-Cooker Carnitas Lettuce Wraps with Pineapple-Avocado Salsa

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 8 to 10 hours, largely unattended

For the carnitas:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 (2 1/2-pound) bone-in pork shoulder
1 onion, thickly sliced
Juice of 1 orange (reserve the peels)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1 head Boston lettuce, separated into individual leaves

For the salsa:
3/4 cup bite-size fresh pineapple chunks
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice, or more to taste
Pinch of flaky sea salt, or more to taste
1 Hass avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed

1. To make the carnitas: Mix the olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl. Pat the pork dry and rub it all over with the spice mixture. Place the pork in the slow cooker and top with the onion and citrus juices. Add the orange peels to the slow cooker as well. Cover and cook on low until the meat is tender and falls apart easily, 8 to 10 hours.

2. When the pork is done, preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

3. Remove the pork from the slow cooker, discarding the orange halves and onion. Use two forks to separate the meat from the bones and excess fat, then tear the meat into bite-size pieces. Place the meat on the baking sheet, spoon about 1/4 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker evenly over the meat, and broil until browned on top and crispy around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

4. To make the pineapple-avocado salsa: Combine the pineapple, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Gently fold in the avocado. Taste and add more lemon juice and/or salt if desired.

5. To serve, wrap the pork and salsa inside the lettuce leaves.

Recipe © 2015 by Becky Winkler and Used By Permission of The Harvard Common Press


Best Paleo recipes“Imagine your favorite Chinese buffet and your favorite Indian buffet getting married and you’ll get this,” says Winkler. The combination, she swears, is amazingly delish.

Indochinese Chile Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus at least 30 minutes marinating time
Cook time: 20 minutes

For the chicken:
1 large egg
2 tablespoons almond flour
1 teaspoon tapioca flour
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (a spicy chili paste)
Pinch of flaky sea salt
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

For the stir-fry:
Coconut oil or ghee (this one is grass-fed), for frying
2 cayenne chiles or other long red chiles, seeded if desired and thinly sliced into rounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon all-fruit jam (such as peach) or honey
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons coconut aminos
1 teaspoon sambal oelek

1. To make the chicken: Whisk together the egg, almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut aminos, garlic, sambal oelek, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

2. To make the stir-fry: When you are ready to cook the chicken, heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat and add enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of the pan to a depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. When the oil is hot, add as many chicken pieces as will fit in a single layer. After about 2 minutes, turn them over and continue to fry until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel–lined plate. Continue frying chicken in batches until all of it is cooked, adding more oil as necessary.

3. Pour out the oil and wipe out the skillet. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat and fry the chiles and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

4. To make the sauce: While the onions are cooking, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl.

5. Return the fried chicken pieces to the skillet, along with the sauce. Stir to coat the chicken with the sauce, and continue to saute until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe © 2015 by Becky Winkler and Used By Permission of The Harvard Common Press


Best Paleo recipesDid you know you could use nut butter as a substitute for flour? True story. This recipe, inspired by Russian gingerbread cookies filled with jam, combines almond butter, eggs, and honey with fragrant spices. “You can also make this nut-free if you use SunButter,” says Winkler.

Gingerbread Blondies

Yield: 16 blondies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

1 3/4 cups Almond Butter (recipe follows) or sunflower seed butter
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons melted ghee
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of flaky sea salt
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup all-fruit black currant jam or jam of choice

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Beat the almond butter with the honey in a large bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until smooth.

3. Add the melted ghee, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt, and beat until just incorporated. Add the eggs and baking soda, and beat again until smooth.

4. Transfer the batter to the baking pan, using a spatula to spread the batter out so that it evenly covers the bottom of the pan.

5. Use a spoon to place dollops of jam across the top of the batter. Swirl the jam into the batter by dragging a butter knife across the pan, forming stripes in one direction and then the other.

6. Bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes, being careful not to overbake. Cool completely in the pan. Use the parchment paper to lift out the blondies, cut into squares, and serve.

For the Almond Butter:
1 ½ pounds raw almonds (almost 5 cups)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spread the almonds out on two baking sheets, making sure they are in a single layer. Bake until well-toasted and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely.

3. Transfer the almonds to the bowl of an 8-cup food processor and process, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. (If you have a smaller food processor, process the almonds in batches.) First, you’ll see finely ground almond meal, then a coarse, chunky almond butter, and finally the smooth, creamy butter we’re going for here. It can take up to 15 or even 20 minutes to reach that state.

4. Store the almond butter in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Recipe © 2015 by Becky Winkler and Used By Permission of The Harvard Common Press

Need more proof that Paleo isn't all about steak? Check out these 35 Paleo recipes that don't include meat...


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