We’ve been on a Paleo diet for 2 years now. Basically, no gluten, no wheat (yes, no bread), no sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) and very little to no corn or corn-based products. In the beginning we also had no dairy (yes, no cheese either), no beans (green or otherwise) or rice (made sushi a tough one). We eat grass fed beef, pork, chicken, fish, bacon (lots of it!), eggs and wine. We don’t eat the normal oils like canola, safflower, etc. but do use lots of olive, coconut, walnut, avocado and other healthy oils. We use alternative flours like almond or coconut to bake. You can use butter but only the grass fed, unsalted version. In other words, low carb, high protein diet. In the beginning it meant shopping at Whole Foods but now our local Safeway carries everything we need.
We love eating Paleo and will never go back to a “regular” diet again. We got our start by reading Robb Wolf’s book Paleo Solutions. You can buy it at Amazon at Paleo Solutions. Last year another great book came out called Practical Paleo which not only describes what Paleo is but also has great recipes with beautiful color pictures. Highly recommended to start with Paleo by buying this book at Practical Paleo. If you want to lose 10-30 pounds in a couple months, buy one of these books and get going! Both of us lost 30 pounds in about 90 days and have kept the weight off.
One of the keys for Dale is the Morning Glory muffin recipe that Margaret has refined over the last year. Dale has one for breakfast every day before he goes to work out and loves them. They take a bit of work to make so make a big batch and freeze the ones that don’t fit in the sealed top muffin pan like we put in the refrigerator. Dale takes one, puts it in a bowl, adds 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, a tablespoon of organic olive oil and microwaves it for 50 seconds. We’ve included the recipe for those muffins along with Cinnamon/Apple (or Blueberry) muffins that make a great Paleo dessert, Paleo Ketchup and Paleo BBQ sauce.
After the first year we added our morning lattes back but now use whole milk. There’s a whole story about low fat foods but thats for another day. Basically, with Paleo, fat is good. That means whole milk, bacon (save the fat and cook with it) and other high animal fat foods. You’d think it would kill you but we get our blood tested regularly and everything is better than before we switched. We also have added rice (turns out white rice is healthier than brown), rice crackers, some cheese and love to have our thinly sliced salami from Luca’s.
Paleo/Gluten Free Morning Glory Muffins (Great for breakfast)
2 ½ cups Almond Flour
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups carrots, grated in food processor – as small as possible
2 apples, peeled, cored and grated
1 cup shredded coconut
2 cups golden raisins (or chopped dates or cranberries and/or any combination)
1 ½ cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup walnut oil (Can use slightly heated coconut oil but ALL ingredients MUST be at room temperature!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease or use muffin paper cups for 12-muffin pan
- Combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly and then add carrot, apple, coconut, raisins and walnuts. Combine well.
- In separate bowl, whisk eggs, oil and vanilla extract together.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry and combine well. The batter will be thick.
- Spoon into muffin pan (muffins won’t rise much so fill the cups to the top). Place pan in center of oven for 30 minutes. Check muffins by sticking with a toothpick. The muffins are done when the toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool muffins in pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack until cool. Store in airtight container. Freeze extras.
The smaller you can grate the carrots and apple the better (I use a food processor). The batter will be a bit moister if you let the batter sit for ½ hour or so before you bake.
If you want to have a quick, longer lasting breakfast, take one muffin, put it in a bowl with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1 tablespoon organic virgin olive oil. Microwave for about 50 seconds and mix up the muffin a bit to soak up the liquid. You can also add 1 tablespoon of grass fed butter (important to be grass fed!) to your morning coffee/latte. With those two you’ll be good for a couple hours.
Paleo Cinnamon Apple (or Blueberry) Muffins (Paleo & Gluten Free)
2 cups blanched almond flour (Whole Foods has this in bulk or use Bob’s Red Mill at Safeway, etc.)
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup arrowroot powder (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup grapeseed oil (or light olive oil)
¼ cup agave nectar (If you like your muffins sweeter you can do ½ cup agave nectar
and eliminate the ¼ cup water. We like to use the ¼ agave with the water.)
¼ cup water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced into ¼ inch cubes OR 1 pint frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, agave nectar, water, egg and vanilla extract. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined, then fold in the apples (or blueberries). Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Try both types…they are both very yummy and very healthy.
Paleo & Gluten Free Ketchup
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 2 tbsp apple vinegar
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground allspice;
- Put all ingredients in pot and simmer on stovetop for 20 minutes.
Paleo & Gluten Free BBQ Sauce
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup homemade ketchup
- 3 tbsp mustard (check ingredients to make sure no sugar or other “unwanted” ingredients)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (check ingredients, low sodium version looks much better)
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Smoked paprika to taste
- Hot sauce to taste, optional (check the ingredients and chose a high-quality sauce)
- In a large frying pan, with a bit of cooking fat, brown the onion for about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add all the other ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste the sauce and adjust with more smoked paprika, vinegar or hot sauce to the desired taste.
- Cool and store in the refrigerator
Paleo BBQ Baby Back Ribs
4lbs Pork “Baby” Back Ribs
All ingredients for the rub (see below):
- 1 tablespoon Salt,
- 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
- 2 tablespoons Onion Powder
- 1 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin,
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Clove
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Prep your ribs. It’s best to have your ribs out at room temp for 30 minutes prior to cooking.
Take off the fat membrane from the backside of the rib racks. Run a knife along the edge and work your finger to get under the fat, and pull it off the ribs, usually it comes off in one piece.
Combine and mix all spice rub ingredients in a bowl and liberally apply to the ribs on both sides. Work it in, massage the meat with the rub!
In a large enough baking pan or large cookie sheet, place a wire rack on the baking pan or cookie sheet and lay your ribs on the rack. You want them off the bottom of the pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan or cookie sheet. You can cover the pan with aluminum foil for easier clean up – ribs will drip lots of grease!
Bake for 2 hours at 275 degrees and then turn the pan around, and bake another hour at 275 degrees.
At 3 hour mark remove ribs from oven, increase oven temp to 375 and coat one side with BBQ sauce. Put the ribs back in the oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Take out and turn ribs over to cover the other side with BBQ sauce and return to 375 oven for 15 more minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!