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Gourmet Paleo Diet Recipes For The Caveman Connoisseur

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Photography: William and Susan Brinson

Paleo nutrition – as you’ll know unless you’ve been, er, living in a cave – means eating only foods available in the Paleolithic era (meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds and unprocessed oils). Although the plan is as popular as ever, the relative plainness of “prehistoric” fare can make eating like early Homo sapiens a challenge. But with a little creativity, you can turn all your favourite foods into flavour-packed Paleo treats. Here’s how to modernise the most old-school diet ever.

Turkey Burger With Mango Salsa

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

For the burgers

  • 900g organic turkey breast mince
  • 2tbsp diced onion
  • 1tbsp sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 2tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • Black pepper
  • 2tsp olive oil

For the salsa

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 5 coriander leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2tbsp avocado oil
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium. In a bowl, combine all the burger ingredients except the olive oil, and mix thoroughly. Form into six patties, place on baking parchment and drizzle olive oil over the burgers.
  2. Oil the grill rack and place the burgers on it. Cook for four to five minutes each side.
  3. Mix all the salsa ingredients in a small bowl and serve the burgers topped with the salsa. If you don’t want to make your own, buy plain tomato salsa.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • 352 calories
  • 29g protein
  • 6g carbs
  • 21g fat

Spicy Cashew Pork Kebabs

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(Image credit: Unknown)

Ingredients (makes 5–6 servings)

  • 680g pork loin, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 4tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3tbsp coconut milk
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 1½tsp sesame oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2tbsp natural cashew butter
  • ½tsp chilli flakes
  • 1tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2tsp garlic, minced
  • 1tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Zest of 1 lime

Directions

  1. Combine the vinegar, coconut milk and oil, sesame oil, lime juice and cashew butter in a bowl and whisk. When smooth, add all the remaining ingredients except for the pork.
  2. Add the pork cubes to the mixture and turn until coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for fix to eight hours. Remove the pork and thread on metal skewers. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high, spray with oil, then grill the kebabs for 15 minutes or until the pork is cooked through.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • 274 calories
  • 27g protein
  • 27g carbs
  • 16g fat

Paleo Fajitas

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(Image credit: Unknown)

Ingredients (makes 3 servings)

For the meat

  • 350g organic skirt steak

For the rub

  • 2 chipotles (dried chillies), soaked in water for 30 minutes, or 2 fresh chillies
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 4tbsp lime juice
  • 1 bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 1tbsp black pepper
  • 2tsp ground cumin

For the wraps

  • 6 large cabbage leaves
  • Tomato salsa

For the salad

  • 1 red onion, whole
  • ¼ pineapple, peeled and cored
  • ½ green pepper, julienned
  • ½ red pepper, julienned
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2tbsp avocado oil
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat grill to high. Place the onion under the grill, allowing the outside to char. Remove when onion feels soft and refrigerate. Place the pineapple on grill and cook for five minutes on one side and then the other. Remove pineapple.
  2. Cut away the top and bottom of the onion and remove the skin. Slice the onion and pineapple into strips and place in a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the salad ingredients and toss.
  3. Chop the chillies, then place them in a bowl with the other rub ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add the steak and turn until it’s coated. Put the steak under the grill and cook for three minutes each side. Remove and allow to rest, then slice thinly.
  4. Arrange the cabbage leaves on a plate and add steak slices to each. Top with the salad and salsa.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • 609 calories
  • 33g ­protein
  • 26g carbs
  • 28g fat

Flank Steak With Grilled Vegetables

Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings)

  • 1 flank steak, 900g-1.15kg
  • 2tbsp chimichurri (spicy Argentine steak sauce similar to pesto, optional)

For the rub

  • 125g olive oil
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2tbsp black pepper, coarsely ground

For the vegetables

  • 2 red onions, unpeeled
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 4tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Handful of basil leaves, cut into fine ribbons
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Mix the rub ingredients, add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the onions on the edge (the least hot part) and cook until the outside is slightly charred and the onions are somewhat soft (about an hour). Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then remove and discard the charred outer layers.
  3. While the onions are cooking, place the tomatoes under the middle of the grill. Rotate them frequently, and remove when the skins are slightly charred. Set aside and allow to cool, then peel the skin under running water. Halve them and remove the stems, seeds and cores.
  4. Place the oil and garlic in a small pan and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden brown. Set aside to cool. Cut the courgette and aubergine lengthwise into 6mm-thick slices, rub with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. When all the vegetables have cooled, cut them into strips. Combine them in a bowl and add the garlic and oil, vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Remove the meat from the marinade and grill (four minutes each side for medium rare). Remove and rest for five minutes. Cut into thin strips. Serve with the vegetables and topped with chimichurri, if liked, at room temperature.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • 428 calories
  • 32.5g protein
  • 4g carbs
  • 27.5g fat