Subscribing to a Paleo diet means only eating foods that are similar to what might have been eaten in the Paleolithic era. These include meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, while eliminating dairy, legumes, and grains. The diet can help with weight loss, lowering blood pressure, and controlling blood sugar in the short term because it discourages eating refined packaged foods high in simple carbohydrates, trans fats, additives and sugar, and instead encourages a diet high in whole foods that are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.
In 2018, of the 36% Americans who said they were on a diet, 7% of them adopted the Paleo diet. In 2020, it was still in the top three popular diets, with 3.8 million searches on Google. The Whole30 diet also focuses on “clean” eating of natural foods, but the difference between Whole30 and Paleo diets is that Whole30 only lasts for 30 days, while the Paleo diet is an ongoing lifestyle.
However, we are not genetically identical to our ancestors in the Paleolithic age, and plants and animals have evolved since then. Thus, eliminating entire food groups such as dairy, legumes, and grains could be harmful to one’s health in the long-term.
But, the simplicity of this diet provides an ideal start for people who want to begin eating healthier. Here are 3 Paleo recipes you can try:
Instant Pot Cheater Pork Stew
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 McLean Meats organic pork kielbasa (casing removed & cut in circles)
- 1 tbsp. magic mushroom powder
- 1 tsp. fish sauce
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 3 carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
- 1 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Optional: ¼ cup finely chopped Italian parsley
Simply pack all of your ingredients into a pressure cooker, making sure to season everything well, and leave to cook! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, don’t fret, as your rice cooker may be good enough to do the job for you. Some of today’s Cuckoo rice cookers come equipped with pressure cooker settings and even make the job easier by having self-cleaning options too. Of course, failing that, you can still braise this dish slowly over any pot on the stove – it’ll just take a bit longer, but will still be just as good!
- 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- 2 pieces McLean Meats pork breakfast sausages
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (Note: breadcrumbs are not considered as Paleo, so you can opt to use crushed almonds or flax meal as a substitute if you want to go all in)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 400F. Mix the breadcrumbs with sausage and cheese. Fill each mushroom with 1/4 of the filling, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs before putting them on the tray. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes. You can make these in just about any oven, or even a toaster oven if you don’t have a full-sized oven at home! Today’s toaster ovens aren’t just for making toast, as Breville compact smart ovens, for instance, have been proven to be able to bake cakes and roast tender potatoes and chicken too!
Cinnamon French Toast Panna Cotta
- 14 oz. full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp. gelatin (if possible, grass-fed)
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 crumbled strips of McLean Meats turkey bacon
- Optional: 2 tsp. ghee
Combine a quarter cup of coconut milk and gelatin in one bowl. Whisk the rest of the coconut milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, cinnamon and ghee in a pot, then warm over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the coconut milk-gelatin mixture as well as vanilla extract. Pour the panna cotta mixture into small ramekins and refrigerate for a few hours or until firm. Serve it as is or with a garnish of crushed bacon and maple syrup.
There are many other simple paleo recipes out there that you can try, and you can also make your own. The basic guideline is simple: if it’s something you can harvest, hunt, or make somehow in the wild, then it fits the diet.
Written by Patrice Shelton for mcleanmeats.com