POPSUGAR Fitness

38 Perfectly Paleo Recipes

Sep 26 2014 - 9:59am

It seems like everyone's raving about the Paleo diet [1], but once I learned all the foods to avoid [2] on this plan, I asked myself, "What's left?!" If you've experienced a similar sentiment, then look to these 38 recipes that cover every meal of the day. These delicious and creative choices might even inspire you to start eating like a cavewoman!

— Additional reporting by Leta Shy, Jenny Sugar, and Michele Foley

Breakfast: Egg in an Avocado

With just a few ingredients and almost no prep time, start the day with a satisfying egg in an avocado [3]. Between the eggs and avocado, this high-protein Paleo classic also contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Breakfast: Coconut Chia Pudding

Mix together the ingredients together the night before, pop your jar in the fridge, and look forward to coconut chia pudding [4] the next day. High in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, this sweet, chia-filled treat is a make-ahead recipe that will save you time, fill you up on fiber, and help you debloat.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Breakfast: Morning Protein Smoothie

A high-protein, low-calorie smoothie [5] from pro-surfer Erica Hosseini is a quick recipe that provides a healthy start to the day. Just make sure to find a raw protein powder that's Paleo-friendly!

Photo: Leta Shy

Breakfast: Baked Eggs in Ham

Pop in a batch of these protein-heavy eggs in ham shells [6] when you wake up, and enjoy a hot, hearty, and quick breakfast before you leave for work. They're tasty during the workweek but special enough to serve at a healthy weekend brunch where you're in need of a Paleo offering.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Breakfast: Tomato Frittata

Scrambled egg, a sprinkle of diced bacon, and a drop of ghee (clarified butter) all bake right into a tiny tomato ramekin for a savory Paleo tomato frittata [7] with just the right hint of sweetness.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Breakfast: Paleo Pancakes

Luckily, you don't have to pass on a pancake breakfast as long as you whip up wheat-free pancakes [8]. Using almond flour and flaxseed means these dense, filling hotcakes are high in fiber (three grams per serving) as well as protein (six grams per serving).

Photo: Leta Shy

Breakfast: Gluten-Free Egg Muffins

Not quite frittatas, not quite mini quiches, these portable egg muffins [9] are packed with good-for-you greens like kale and get a healthy kick from fresh jalapeño.

Source: POPSUGAR user Gabbysgfree [10]

Lunch and Dinner: Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

Food journalist Mark Bittman's spicy sweet potato salad [11] can serve as a special side or stand alone as a hearty lunch. High-fiber sweet potatoes can regulate blood sugar and help you lose weight [12], while a spicy, antioxidant-rich red pepper and jalapeño dressing ties everything together.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Cauliflower "Rice" Stir-Fry

This grain-free cauliflower "rice" stir-fry [13] has zero cholesterol, is low in sodium, and offers your entire daily recommended intake of vitamin A and vitamin C in just one meal. This nutrient-dense recipe is filling, delicious, and full of fresh bright flavors.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Zucchini Noodles

Instead of a big bowl of garlicky pasta, cook up these zucchini noodles aglio et olio [14] (garlic and oil).

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Paleo Pad Thai

This Paleo-friendly riff on the classic pad thai [15] has over 300 percent of your recommended vitamin C and vitamin A for the day, more than 50 percent of your calcium, and over 30 percent of your iron. Everything about this recipe — especially its tangy and creamy dressing — will make you want to dig in for seconds . . . or thirds.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Shrimp Over Spaghetti Squash

High in protein but low in calories, roasted shrimp over spaghetti squash "noodles" [16] is a healthful option for those craving the comforting flavors of traditional scampi. You'll love the crunchiness of the bed of squash against the texture of the simple roasted shrimp.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Thick and creamy butternut squash soup [17] with curry and coconut milk is warming and subtly sweet. Light coconut milk contains 68 percent less fat than the regular stuff, significantly cutting the calories of this tasty Fall soup! Just be sure to skip the yogurt garnish.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Pumpkin Bisque

Even if you've decided to cut back on dairy for your Paleo plan, it's possible to warm up with a creamy bowl of hot soup that doesn't lay on the cream or calories too heavily. This light pumpkin-coconut bisque [18] will curb your dairy cravings and keep you on track this Fall.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Carrot and Cabbage Detox Salad

Colorful detox rainbow salad [19] will add some brightness and flavor to a day of detox. The water content in romaine works to hydrate your body, while the high fiber content in the red cabbage and carrots aids in healthy digestion. All these veggies are in season throughout Fall and Winter, so you can make this recipe a staple in your clean diet!

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Crockpot Mexican Chicken

For a healthy, protein-rich meal that doesn't rely on dairy for flavor, try this delicious Mexican-style chicken [20] recipe full of fresh ingredients. This preparation results in an absolutely delicious, fall-off-the-bone piece of meat. Instead of the black beans, serve over a bed of fresh cabbage or cauliflower rice [21] for a complete Paleo meal.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Guacamole Wraps

Wrap up your favorite fresh veggies and tasty guacamole in this collard green wrap [22].

Source: POPSUGAR user gastrawnomica [23]

Lunch and Dinner: Carrot Fettucine

Satisfy your pasta cravings with carrot fettucine [24]. The "pasta" ribbons are made using a simple vegetable peeler and sautéed with mushrooms, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil for a Paleo-approved bowl of comfort.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Lunch and Dinner: Czech-Spiced Meatballs

A creative blend of traditional Czech spices and fresh herbs gives these nutritious, protein-packed pork meatballs [25] their delicious flavor, while just one egg and a little mustard act as the binder that holds these balls together.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup

This fresh and spicy tortilla-less soup [26] is full of fresh produce and weighs in at fewer than 200 calories per satisfying serving. It's high in vitamin C and protein, so anyone who loves Mexican-inspired flavors will find a new favorite healthy dinner in this oh-so-easy recipe — perfect for Spring entertaining!

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Almond Chicken Fingers

You can easily enjoy chicken fingers on a Paleo plan. Dig into a plate of these almond chicken fingers [27] that use almond meal and a number of spices to create a flavorful and crunchy crust.

Source: POPSUGAR user Dara8182 [28]

Lunch and Dinner: Meatloaf Muffins

High in iron and protein, these meaty Paleo muffins [29] are perfect for any low-carb eater looking for tons of energy in a small serving — each 139-calorie muffin has over 18 grams of protein!

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Lunch and Dinner: Stuffed Peppers

With just a few ingredients and less than 30 minutes, you can enjoy a fresh, clean meal with more than 30 grams of protein. You'll be glad to know these satisfying Paleo stuffed peppers [30] are under 300 calories per serving, making it a perfect light supper after an evening workout.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Snack: Brussels Sprouts Chips

Looking for a seasonal, high-fiber, and low-calorie salty snack? It's time to whip up a batch of crispy brussels sprouts chips [31] made from the roasted veggie's leaves. In less than 10 minutes, you'll be snacking on a vitamin-rich Paleo recipe you'll want to grab by the handful.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Snack: Babaganoush

This lightened-up version of the traditional eggplant dip babaganoush [32] eliminates olive oil from traditional recipes but not at the price of flavor or texture. This Middle Eastern recipe is a great alternative when you're craving hummus on a Paleo plan.
Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Snack: Kabocha Squash Hummus

For a more literal alternative to traditional hummus (which, unfortunately, isn't allowed on a Paleo plan), look to seasonal kabocha squash hummus [33] for inspiration. It's high in vitamin A from the squash and brings healthy fats from the tahini and olive oil to your table.

Photo: Leta Shy

Snack: Seaweed Chips

Craving the crunch of potato chips but on a Paleo diet? Welcome these seaweed chips [34] to your snack-time rotation. They're cholesterol-free and high in vitamin A, and seven of these spicy seaweed chips are only 42 calories.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Snack: Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather

With a food processor, an oven, and a lazy afternoon, it's easy to whip up a batch of fresh-tasting fruit leathers [35], made with only pureed fruit.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Snack: Almond Butter Apricot Bites

This Paleo treat is also vegan [36] and is perfect for a sweet snack to enjoy before a workout.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Snack: Avocado With Sunflower Seeds

Avocados are a creamy snack that are good on their own, but a sprinkling of sunflower seeds gives them an even healthier boost. The combination of avocado and sunflower seeds [37] brings the body a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins E and K, and potassium.

Source: Flickr user suzettesuzette [38]

Dessert: Raw Fudge Brownies

Completely grain-free, whip up a batch of these fudge brownies [39] — just be sure to use raw, unfiltered, local honey.

Source: POPSUGAR user Lauren Murphy [40]

Dessert: Tahini-Orange Cookies

For a fruity and sweet treat, bake up a batch of these nutty and tropical tahini-orange cookies [41]. You can also enjoy this batter raw.

Source: POPSUGAR user gastrawnomica [42]

Dessert: Cocoa Cherry Cake

Make the most of sweet Summer cherries with a simple single-serving chocolate cake [43]. This grain-free recipe doesn't add unnecessary sugar, allowing naturally sweet flavors to speak for themselves.

Source: POPSUGAR user pure2raw [44]

Dessert: Banana Nut Butter Ice Cream

Made with only two ingredients — frozen bananas and nut butter — this two-ingredient ice cream [45] will taste more like a dessert than a snack. Make it Paleo-friendly by swapping out the peanut butter for your favorite nut butter.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Dessert: Blueberry Crumble

Make the most of end-of-Summer fruit with a fresh blueberry crumble [46]. You can easily incorporate your favorite fresh variety of berries or produce into this recipe.

Source: POPSUGAR user AllieNic [47]

Dessert: Pecan Pie Bars

Who says pecan pie is just for Thanksgiving? With all-natural ingredients and no added sugar, this reinvented Paleo pecan pie recipe [48] is a tasty treat all year round. This dessert's gooey filling, moist texture, and crumbly crust will satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Dessert: Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's hard to believe, but these chocolate chip cookies [49] are Paleo and vegan! It's tough for these two dietary needs to meet in the middle for a decadent dessert, but these rich-tasting cookies make it happen.

Photo: Lizzie Fuhr

Dessert: Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters

With just a handful of ingredients, you can enjoy a quick and easy chocolate fix: dark chocolate nut clusters [50]. This recipe avoids almost every type of diet limitation, since it's gluten-free and vegan-friendly.

Photo: Jaime Young


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