A Paleo Dinner

by Kim on October 25, 2012

Last night, I thought I’d try my hand at a little caveman cooking!

If you’re not familiar with the paleo diet, it involves eating mainly fish, meat, veggies, fruit, seeds, and nuts, and cutting out things like grains (see ya, bread!), legumes (like beans, peas, and peanuts), dairy products, refined sugar, and processed foods. It’s often called the “caveman diet” because the idea is that you focus on eating wild/natural things that would have been available back in the hunter-gatherer days.

I imagine this joke gets told a lot…

paleo

Anyway, we had a couple of friends over for dinner, and they happen to eat paleo. Although they’re flexible about it in social situations and would probably have wordlessly enjoyed a heavily-processed, high-salt, dairy-loaded meal if I’d put it in front of them, I thought it would be fun to experiment with paleo cooking for the heck of it.

Now that I’ve been dairy-free for awhile, I’m pretty comfortable with that piece of the diet, but the no-grain/no-legume/no-sugar part was a little alarming. (It almost gets to the point where you’re like, ok, what’s left again??)

It also gets confusing because there are so many different interpretations of the diet. Some recipes I looked at seemed to be ok with salt and olive oil, while others would cut or substitute those. Some sites say no cashews, since they can’t be eaten truly raw (did you know this?? I didn’t!). Some say tea is ok, others say water is the only acceptable beverage. And speaking of beverages, alcohol is controversial-according to this site, “Our paleo ancestors would have come upon and eaten fermented fruit. Even spurned male butterflies get drunk on fermented fruit.”

Drunk butterflies?! Sounds like a big thumbs-up on alcohol to me! (But I might be a little quick, generally, with the thumbs-up on alcohol…)

Anyway, here’s the menu I settled on:

Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Pot Roast from PaleOMG

paleomg

Oven Roasted Carrots with Dill from The Paleo Project

carrots

Spinach, Apple, Pecan Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette from The Paleo Effect

salad

To be clear, these are all the pictures from the recipe sites. I 100% intended to take my own pics, but then our friends announced that they were having a baby (!!!) and I completely forgot about the pictures, along with anything else that didn’t relate directly to babies, pregnancy, or parenthood. (We suddenly had a lot of new things to talk about!)

As for the cooking experience, it wasn’t bad at all! The paleo diet is very meat-friendly, which is something I’m not used to since I’ve started following vegan blogs and looking for vegan products in stores (just because it’s the easiest way to identify milk-free foods). So I was all, “wait, I can use bacon?? Well, then, of course this will taste awesome!” (One of the primary ingredients in that salad vinaigrette was bacon grease-I mean…!!)

I was a little skeptical about combining chicken broth and coconut milk for the pot roast, but somehow the gravy came out completely mushroomy, without a hint of chicken or coconut flavor. It wasn’t really a gravy though, just a mushroom-tasting liquid…next time, I’ll thicken it up and actually use it like a gravy.

So, huh, going paleo might not be that terrible! Although I’d miss pasta…and, really, I have enough food rules on my plate right now as it is (HA the puns!). In addition to dairy, I’m no longer eating peanuts, eggs, or tree nuts, thanks to new revelations about Mason’s food allergy situation…I’ll write an update post on that soon!

 

What are your thoughts on the paleo diet? Ever tried it?

If you’re already paleo, how does it make you feel?

 

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway from the last post! I’ll pick a winner next week.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark January 7, 2014 at 8:48 pm

The oven roasted carrots look great. I can not wait to try them.

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Jenna | The Paleo Project October 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

Glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for linking back to me! I am already Paleo and it makes me feel like my body/mind and mood are meant to feel. It’s life changing.

Reply

Kim October 26, 2012 at 8:59 am

Loved it, thanks Jenna!

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