Besides the health and nutrition benefits of eating Paleo, it also makes grocery shopping and cooking actually pretty simple! If you keep a general list of ingredients and spices stocked, you can throw together a variety of dishes with a little creativity.
My kitchen counter may resemble a small produce stand most days, but here’s a list of items I usually keep on hand:
- Sweet potatoes and yams
- Onions (usually more yellow than white/red)
- Plantains (it takes about a week to ripen, so I like to pick a couple up every time I go grocery shopping)
- Regular bananas
- Apples (Green for cooking/shakes, honeycrisp just to eat)
- Brussel sprouts
- Peppers (Jalapenos, poblanos)
This of course isn’t a complete list of paleo-friendly produce, but this is what I usually keep in stock because it provides a ton of variety. I will use other vegis if I have random ideas throughout the week or find a delicious recipe to try.
I tend to think ahead on what I want to make during the week so meat doesn’t go bad, but I usually end up buying breakfast sausage, chicken sausage, chicken, and grass-fed beef every week.
By now, I have quite the cupboard full of spices. I like to keep a few different flavor groups in stock.
- Pepper and pink Himalayan salt
- Spiciness: Cayenne, red pepper flakes, chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Minced garlic (It’s soo much easier to have this in your fridge rather than peel garlic)
- Almond butter
- Nuts and seeds- a great snack, or topping
- Paleo granola (For cereal cravings and toppings)
- Coconut and almond flour
- Baking powder
- Arrowroot powder
- Shredded coconut (a great topping, also used in a lot of recipes)
- Plantain chips- for salt cravings and to add texture to simple meals
- Maple syrup- used in a ton of recipes (and I love pancakes!)
- Coconut/almond milk
- Chia seeds
Now, for some recipes! Here’s a few throw-together weeknight meals that are super easy to make (especially if you keep the ingredients on hand) They can easily be varied according to specific taste buds.
Taco Salad with Plantain Guacamole
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 diced white onion
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1/4 cup homemade taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
Toppings such as tomatoes, diced green onions
Sweet potato and/or plantain chips
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large brown plantain, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons water
3 large avocados, cut in half, pits removed
¼ medium white onion, finely chopped
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno
juice of ½ lime
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add coconut oil. Once heated, add garlic and onions. Cook until onions are slightly translucent.
- Add beef and cook until browned.
- Combine taco seasoning and 3/4 cup water, stir into browned meat and simmer,covered, on low while you make the guacamole.
- Place the meat into a bowl and top with tomatoes, diced green onions and guacamole. Serve with plantain and/or sweet potato chips.
- Place a small skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil.
- Once the coconut oil is hot, add half of the garlic to the pan along with diced plantain.
- When the plantain dice begin to brown, salt them, and then flip to brown on other side.
- Add the water to the pan and cover to steam the plantain. Once the plantain dice are soft, remove from the heat and let cool.
- While the plantain finishes cooking, scoop out the insides of the avocados and add to a large bowl to mash.
- Add the onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Mix well, then fold in the plantains.
Apple and Arugula Bison Bowl
3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
salt, to taste
1 pound ground bison or beef
1 small green apple, finely chopped
½ cup chopped arugula
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon sea salt
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
extra coconut oil or butter, to coat pan
- In a medium pan, add coconut oil along with onion and a bit of salt and let cook for 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and brown.
- When onions are almost done cooking, place beef, apple, arugula, garlic cloves, salt and pepper, and garlic powder in pan and cook until meat is browned, breaking into smaller pieces as you go.
- Serve with or over roasted smoky sweet potatoes.
Brussel Sprouts, Bacon and Chicken Sausage
3 cup brussel sprouts, cut into fourths
2 Chicken Apple Sausage, sliced
3-4 pieces of bacon, sliced
2 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup Tessamae’s Zesty Ranch (I buy it at Whole Foods)
salt and pepper, to taste
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add ranch to the pan along with the minced garlic clove Then toss in your brussel sprouts.
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the brussel sprouts and let them sit for a couple minutes until they begin to brown/crisp.
- Flip brussel sprouts over, add in a tablespoon of water and cover the pan with a lid. Turn heat down and keep an eye on them, stirring every once and a while.
- Add a medium skillet over medium-high heat and throw in your pieces of bacon. As soon as the fat begins to render out into the pan, add the sliced chicken sausage.
- Continue to stir occasionally until bacon is cooked through and sausage begins to brown.
- When your brussel sprouts are soft enough to stick a fork through, remove from heat, salt and pepper once more, then place in bowl.
- Top with your cooked bacon and sausage, and enjoy!