10 No Brainer Primal Dinner Ideas

10 No Brainer Primal Dinner Ideas

Awhile ago I wrote a post about 10 on the go primal breakfast ideas. It’s one of my more popular posts which hopefully means it was helpful to you all, so I thought I should do a similar post about 10 No Brainer Primal Dinner Ideas.

The reality is meals can be hard and as you get busier, more tired and add kids in the mix – dinner can often feel like a chore. If you absolutely don’t feel like cooking you should check out my Freshly review which is as easy as it comes, with only a few downsides it’s a great option for the tired and overworked. But if you can muster up some energy to put dinner together but you’re pressed for time or ideas, check out some of my go to options for dinner that not only feeds me but also feeds my family of 5 – myself, my wife and 3 kids.

1. Rotisserie chicken and roasted veggies

This is a staple in our home. Normally I do this the days I go grocery shopping because I can grab a chicken that’s all ready to go. Leaving me with just having to roast some veggies when I get home from the store. Get your oven up to 425. Toss a tray or two full of frozen or fresh veggies (broccoli is my favorite) mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until brown – 25–45 minutes. Then while that’s roasting and gettin near the end, 10 min or so, cut up your chicken. Don’t be intimidated by the whole bird. Once you figure out how to cut it up, it’s no big deal. My dad showed me how to cut up a whole chicken but this video can help too.

2. Spaghetti squash and meat sauce

This sounds more complicated than it really is. All you need is a couple jars of spaghetti sauce, ground beef and a spaghetti squash. Look for a spaghetti sauce with olive oil and no industrial seed oils (ie canola oil, soybean oil, etc…) and no added sugar. This post runs through this idea a little more. Roast the spaghetti squash cut in half on a baking tray with a few tablespoons of water at 375 for 35 minutes. While it’s roasting cook the ground beef and break it up. In another pot warm up the sauce on low heat and mix the two together once the meat’s brown and done cooking. When the spaghetti squash is done just shred the inside with a fork and serve with the meat sauce.

3. Eggs and bacon

Dead simple. Bake your bacon. Cook up some eggs. Scrambled, fried, hardboiled – however you like. Just because it’s dinner doesn’t mean you can’t have a “breakfast” food. It’s all just food.

4. Kalua pork on a potato

I follow Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe for this kalua pork. All you do is slow cook the pork shoulder overnight and during the next day. When it’s ready and you’re ready to eat just microwave a couple potatoes (or steam cauliflower if you keto’ers so wish) and top the potatoes (or cauliflower) with the pork. If you do dairy, throw on some cheese and sour cream – but don’t leave out chopped chives!

5. Pork chop and a salad

Get a couple pork chops. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and then grill over high heat for 5 min on each side, or until the internal temp is 145. While these are grilling toss some mixed greens with blue cheese, walnuts, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. In 10 minutes you’ll have a deliciously primal dinner.

6. Big bag salad

Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be. Grad a bag of salad. This one is my favorite. Toss the salad with your own salad dressing since the included dressing has some bad seed oils. I just toss my salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add meat if you like or go without. Then enjoy!

7. Taco bowl

This one sounds intimidating too, but I promise it’s not. All you really need is ground beef, chopped romaine and precut cauliflower rice. The Domestic Man’s recipe is what I follow for the taco seasoning and everything else. Then you can follow my recipe for cilantro cauliflower rice. Once everything is cooked, assemble your bowl and add your toppings. My favorite are avocado, black olives, cheese and chipotle salad dressing.

8. Burger and fries

Buy premade burger patties or use frozen burger patties. Now I know I’m normally down on seed oils but this Alexia brand tastes great and comes in handy. One batch of fries cooked in this oil won’t kill you. Just toss the fries on a tray for 25 min in a 425 oven. While they’re cooking, grill your burgers. When they’re done assemble your burgers with some romaine, tomatoes, onions and avocados. As an added treat I like to eat my fries with this mayonnaise!

9. Pick up a pizza

Some days you just have to do it. One unhealthy meal won’t make you unhealthy just as one healthy meal won’t make you healthy. And if you must – most places have gluten free options too, making this unhealthy meal slightly more healthy.

10. Your own body fat

I’m echoing my breakfast post with this one: Now I’m not talking about cannibalism, I’m suggesting that you practice intermittent fasting from time to time. You don’t always have to eat dinner. If you’re body is a fat adapted, your body can switch to using stored body fat for energy instead of relying on sugar (carbs). It’s a common misconception that we need to eat 3 meals a day. Eat when you’re hungry, and if you’re not hungry at dinner – don’t eat!


That’s it guys. I hope some of these ideas will work for you and your family – or in the very least maybe sparked some no brainer primal dinner ideas of your own. If you have some no brainer primal dinners that you and your family love to eat, please leave a note in the comments. Take care!

Simple Sesame Seed Butter Cookies

Simple Sesame Seed Butter Cookies

When I’m at work the first meal I eat during the day is around 11:30 am and normally it’s a pretty huge salad with some side of meat like canned sardines or canned tuna. Then I’ll eat dinner with my family around 6:00 pm. So somewhere in between there I snack on jerky, macadamia nuts or my favorite – some sort of nut/coconut butter. I prefer coconut butter or my own macadamia coconut butter where I just enjoy it by the spoonful. Nut butters or coconut butter is a good high fat snack to eat and will fill you up quick. I do like almond butter but it’s not my favorite.

Simple Sesame Seed Butter Cookies

So one day I was at this new grocery store by my work and I saw some sesame seed butter. I bought it thinking I would switch up the kind of butter I would snack on in the afternoon. Well when I took my first spoonful of it, it tasted absolutely terrible by itself. I’ve used Tahini (sesame seed butter) before on a faux hummus recipe with eggplant, but never by itself. So I had to do something with this huge jar of sesame seed butter I was left with. So what better thing to make than cookies. I turned to my favorite cookie recipe and just took out the chocolate and added the sesame seed butter instead of the almond butter. I think they turned out great and my kids thought so as well.

Simple Sesame Seed Butter Cookies

Simple Sesame Seed Butter Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup sesame seed butter
  2. ¾ cup coconut sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 egg yolk
  5. 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. ¼ teaspoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  9. additional sesame seeds for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix the sesame seed butter with the coconut sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt and sesame seeds.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg and egg yolk. After the eggs are whisked, mix them together with the other ingredients until thoroughly mixed together.
  4. Line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper and form about 6 balls of dough per baking sheet (12 total cookies). Smash down slightly with a fork. Then bake 6 at a time for about 10–12 minutes. When they’re done sprinkle some additional sesame seeds on top and let cool. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

Dad’s Smoked Ribs

Dad's Smoked Ribs

Ok now these aren’t actually my Dad’s Smoked Ribs. My Dad makes great ribs, he always has, I’ve written about them here. What I wanted to do though was tweak my Dad’s recipe a bit and try to get his ribs a little more smokier. So for the past few months I’ve been testing out this method and it works great. Ask my family, they’ll tell you how much they love these ribs. I make two racks and they all get eaten that night pretty much.

Dad's Smoked Ribs

Now I know this method is sorta cheating if you ask someone who’s really into smoking meats. They would never dare boil or put the ribs in the oven – right – but not everyone has a smoker and this is the next best method, in my opinion, if all you have is a Weber and an oven. You can get some great fall off the bone ribs that have a wonderful smokey taste to them if you follow this recipe. So this recipe is really a combination of my Dad’s ribs and my coworker’s Dad’s ribs where his dad finishes his ribs off in the Weber to get the smokey flavor. This step where you finish them off in the Weber basically replaces the last two steps of my Dad’s recipe where you return the ribs to the oven uncovered for 30 minute, then throw them on the grill. I’ll explain it all in the details below.

Just know this: If all you have is an oven and a Weber this is the easiest way to make fall off the bone great tasting smokey ribs.

Dry Rub
Dry Rub

Butter knife to remove membrane
Butter knife to remove membrane

Get your hand under there and start pulling
Get your hand under there and start pulling

Pull the whole membrane off
Pull the whole membrane off

Dry rub and put in the oven for 2.5 hours
Dry rub, fill dish with some water and put in the oven covered with aluminum foil for 2.5 hours

30 minutes before they come out of the oven get the chimney going
30 minutes before they come out of the oven get the chimney going

These are the coals I use
These are the coals I use

Soak the chips also for at least 30 min
Soak the chips also for at least 30 min

After 2.5 hours pull the ribs out of the oven and brush with BBQ sauce
After 2.5 hours pull the ribs out of the oven and brush with BBQ sauce

Pour the coals to one side of the Weber and place the wood chips on top of the coal
Pour the coals to one side of the Weber and place the wood chips on top of the coal

Dad's Smoked Ribs
Load the brushed ribs in the Weber on the opposite side of the coals. It’s ok to stack them a bit.

Leave them to smoke for 1 hour
Leave them to smoke for 1 hour

After 1 hour pull them off the Weber
After 1 hour pull them off the Weber

Then slice em and eat em all up!
Then slice em and eat em all up!

Dad's Smoked Ribs
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Ingredients
  1. Rub
  2. 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  3. 2 tablespoons paprika
  4. 4 teaspoons granulated garlic
  5. 4 teaspoons chili powder
  6. 2 teaspoons black pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. Sauce
  9. BBQ Sauce of your choice (I like this KC Masterpiece)
  10. Meat
  11. 2 Racks of Pork Ribs (Baby or Spare, I prefer Baby Back for this because they fit easier in my Weber)
  12. Tools
  13. Weber
  14. 2 Pyrex Dishes
  15. Basting Brush
  16. Hickory Wood Chips
  17. Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  18. Chimney Starter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Remove the back membrane of the ribs with a butter knife. You MUST do this step or else the ribs will all stick together and not fall off the bone. You’ll most likely need to cut down the rack of ribs into smaller sections to fit in the glass dish.
  3. Apply the dry rub to both sides of the ribs. Place ribs in the glass dish and line the bottom with around a half inch of water. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 2.5 hours.
  4. 30 minutes before you take the ribs out of the oven start the chimney with the lump charcoal. Once you get the chimney going soak a couple handfuls the wood chips in water.
  5. Right before you take the ribs out of the oven, load the charcoal to one side of the Weber. Then place the wood chips on top of the charcoal.
  6. When the ribs come out of oven cover with sauce and put in the Weber on the opposite side of the coals for 1 hour. Put the lid on with the bottom and top vent open all the way. Don’t open at all for 1 hour.
  7. After the 1 hour, take the ribs out and brush again with a light coat of BBQ sauce while they’re still hot.
  8. Then… Enjoy!
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

5 Ways to Eat More Greens

5 Ways to Eat More Greens

Everyone knows that we should be eating more leafy greens, but sometimes it just seems so hard to fit them in our day. That’s why I’ve assembled this list of 5 ways to eat more greens so that we can all make some sort of attempt to get something green in our diet on a daily basis.

1. Shakes

This one’s pretty easy and it’s nice because when you make a shake with some berries, protein and fat – you can always throw in some frozen or fresh leafy greens.There’s really no thought to this one, throw as much in the blender as you like and you won’t even notice it in your shake. I normally prefer kale or spinach but when I had swiss chard in my garden, that was a nice addition too to a shake mixed with some Primal Fuel.

2. Big salads with primal dressing

This is my preferred way to get a bunch of greens. Every day for lunch I just throw a whole bunch of greens in a bowl and toss with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When I get tired of that dressing I normally make my own Caesar with avocado oil and anchovies or I really like Primal Kitchen’s dressings or Tessemaes. All you have to go is find a dressing you love without industrial seed oils and you’ll have no problem eating a whole bowl of greens with seeds, cheese and meat.

3. Frozen bags of greens

This one is quick and dirty. Just cook some frozen greens with some butter/olive oil and garlic in a large pot or skillet and make it a quick side for your dinner (or breakfast). You can throw in a ham hock or something like that and make some traditional southern collard greens. If you’re looking for another side for your dinner, this is always a great choice.

4. Kale chips

Its so easy to eat a whole bag of potato chips but we should try to replace that habit of eating a whole bag of kale chips. The problem with that is a bag of potato chips is less than a dollar and those really good kale chips are like $5 for a small bag. So you should make your own. It’s a great way to eat a whole bunch of kale and they taste great. I normally follow a recipe similar to this but throw some dill, onion powder and garlic powder on them to give it a little “ranch” feel.

5. Omelets

Now I’m still perfecting my omelet technique but really all you have to do is cook a bunch of leafy greens on the side with some butter or lard and then toss them inside an omelet with a bunch of cheese or something. Whenever my wife and I are on vacation I love it when the places we stay have those build your own omelet bars because I ask if they can cook my omelet in butter, then I hand them the little cubes of butter normally by the rolls – then I just have them throw everything else in there making it a leafy veggie stuffed omelet.


There ya go, some very quick idea starters on how you can incorporate some more leafy greens into your day!

Baked Bacon

I hate cooking bacon in a skillet. It gets bacon grease everywhere and your stove is left a mess. We cook bacon so much in our house that we had to find a different way to cook it, otherwise our stovetop would be a permanent greaseball.

Mmm

After googling other ways to make bacon, the one trend I saw the most was to bake it. Now there’s a bunch of different ways to do this and a million posts on google about how to bake bacon, but I wanted to share my way of how we’ve been doing it for literally the past few years.

Ready to eat

This is the greatest way to cook bacon because you can literally set it and forget it (until the timer goes off). You don’t have to flip it or anything. Sure your oven will get really dirty overtime, but who cares at least it’s not the stovetop!

Load up the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet
Load up the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet

Pull it out after 18 min or so
Pull it out after 18 min or so

Place the bacon on some paper towels to dry, crisp up and drain
Place the bacon on some paper towels to dry, crisp up and drain

Baked Bacon
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Ingredients
  1. 10–12 slices of bacon
Instructions
  1. DO NOT PREHEAT YOUR OVEN. I’m not sure why this works so well but this is the way we do it and this works the best: don’t preheat your oven. You will turn it on when you put the bacon in the oven.
  2. But first line a baking sheet with a big piece of foil so you can keep or dispose of the bacon fat once you’re done very easily. Once the baking sheet is lined, load it up with bacon. We pretty much fit as much as we can on there but 10–12 pieces is a good number to go by.
  3. Then put it in the oven and turn the oven to 400°. Then set a timer for 15 min. After 15 min look at the bacon and see if you need to keep it in there longer. This time will totally depend on your oven because all ovens are different. My oven normally takes about 18–20 minutes. But I suggest checking first at 15 minutes if you’ve never done this before. Then just keep checking on it every 2 min until it’s golden brown or your desired doneness.
  4. Once it’s done to your liking, pull it out of the oven and use some tongs to put the bacon on a couple pieces of paper towels to dry, crisp up and drain.. Give it a couple minutes, then dig in!
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/