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!

Simplifying Paleo So it Sticks in the New Year

Simplifying Paleo So it Sticks in the New Year

It’s a new year and the internets are rampant with new diets and exercise regimes to jump into in hopes of losing weight and getting healthier. Depending on where you’re at in your health journey you can start a whole30 today, or you can start a 21 day challenge or if you’re already a veteran Paleo check out these 10 lessons learned from Russ Crandall. Whatever you do starting this new year you have to start somewhere and that’s where I think it can be overwhelming for some. There is just so much out there and it can be difficult determining where to start so here is a template for simplifying Paleo so it sticks in the new year.

So I want to propose something easy to swallow. A foundation for eating. Basically providing a template on where you can base your meals for breakfast, lunch & dinner. The reason for this is because so many people start diets and sign up for gyms at the beginning of the new year and end up falling off the wagon shortly after. So my goal is to simplify Paleo so that it sticks. I don’t want to provide specific recipes because if you’re just starting Paleo or already a veteran; recipes can be overwhelming or not needed.

Why start with food and not a template for exercise? Well, while exercise is necessary for health, all health starts first with what you eat. Weight loss and health doesn’t start with exercise. Weight loss and health starts with what we eat and put in your body. So if you’re looking to lose weight or just be overall healthier – start here with what you should eat for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Remember this is just a starting point not an end point. You can start here for your meals and expand on them for what works best for you and your family. Starting out here is great for losing weight and seeing how you do then when you reach your ideal weight you can add in more starches like white potatoes and white rice.

Though it’s already the new year maybe plan your grocery trip before the start of the week and begin this template Monday. Review the basics of Primal here if this is all new to you and you’re trying to figure out what’s Paleo/Primal. But for now let’s check out a simple and easy template for your daily meals:

Breakfast – Bacon & Eggs

 

A photo posted by Kristi Creasey (@hikristi) on

Breakfast couldn’t be easier to figure out. It’s dead simple and it’s exactly what we need for the morning – protein. Get yourself some eggs and bacon from the store. Cook the bacon first then use the bacon fat for your eggs and boom – Primal breakfast done. Note: I started out this way on Primal a few years ago but now I normally fast for breakfast throughout the week and just eat lunch around 11:30am. So depending on if you’re hungry in the morning, you can always fast and just go straight to lunch.


Lunch – Salad

 

#lunch

A photo posted by That’s So Primal (@thatssoprimal) on

Get yourself some organic mixed greens or whatever salad mix you like and throw it in a bowl with olive oil and vinegar or some Tessemae’s dressing. Add in whatever veggies, seeds or nuts you like. Then add in some protein in the form of leftovers from the night before or cans of fish i.e. tuna, sardines or salmon.


Dinner – Meat & Roasted Veggies

 

I love this Cacao-Rubbed Steak recipe by @thedomesticman. Link to it in the profile. #dinner

A photo posted by That’s So Primal (@thatssoprimal) on

Dinner doesn’t have to be hard. Throw some protein on the grill or in a crockpot and use your oven and some baking trays to roast some veggies in the fat of your choice: lard, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, duck fat, tallow, etc… You don’t even need to follow a recipe for this really. Just make sure to use seasonings and fat to make the veggies tasty. This is a good post to check out if you’ve never roasted veggies before or check out my roasted broccoli that has become a staple in our house.

Remember these meals are just a template and a base to start from. Some days may look completely different. Don’t expect perfection. Expect that some days you might eat a doughnut or nachos but know that your foundation for eating 80% of the time should be based around these types of meals listed above. Then leave the 20% of things you eat for times that planning meals may be out of your control: office parties, birthdays, Disneyland or just because you’re craving ice cream. As Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo says think of Paleo as the main highway and expect to take slight detours every so often.