Cooking Paleo “for Dummies” (and something Eggs-tra)

Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 in Nutrition | 211 comments

Cooking Paleo “for Dummies” (and something Eggs-tra)

1. Do Not Read Nutrition Labels

What’s that? You thought you were supposed to read all labels, to police for things like gluten, high fructose corn syrup, and soybean oil?


Real food does not have nutrition labels, and cooking paleo does not require them.

2. Crack an Egg

They aren’t just for breakfast, but dang- do they make a good breakfast! Eggs are an amazing source of all things paleo; including an awesome dose of vitamins and omega-3s. Eggs are uber-easy, and work for protein; planned or in a pinch. Hard-Boil a batch on Sunday night and you will have something on hand when time sneaks up on you during the week.

Find a source for local, free range eggs if you can (check out a farmer’s market- you won’t go home empty handed!).

If you can not, then here is a short egg-carton 101  lesson:

      • The following words on your egg carton are trying to FOOL YOU:

        • 100% Vegetarian Fed ( chickens are not vegetarians, so these eggs may be depleted of the essential micronutrients that make them such powerhouses in the first place. Birds also love bugs!)
        • Natural (this word is supposed to make you think of rolling hills dotted with the little cluckers, but means absolutely nothing. By default, a chicken and it’s egg  is a ‘natural’ entity.)
        • No Hormones (no eggs have hormones, even if they cost $1 at the corner Highs. USDA does not permit use of  any hormones in any eggs.)

      • Look instead for these things to assure a better egg:

        • USDA Certified Organic These eggs are guaranteed to come from chickens fed all organic feed (NO GMO!!) without antibiotics or pesticide. Chickens must be kept uncaged, with outside access. Yay, BUG access!!
        • Pasture-raised An unregulated term, but nonetheless means that the chicken recieved at least some time roaming in a pasture. This allows access to both vegetation and BUGS…a more natural diet…leading to a better egg for you.
        • Cage-Free/Free-Range Listed in order of favor, this only means that chickens literally aren’t caged, not that there is outside access. (Ahem…no BUGS.) Still, this is far better than the conditions in which chickens are generally raised. (Google it, if you dare.)

3. Learn to Sautee an Onion

They make boring taste delicious, in no time flat. I prefer sweet onions, but stock up on whatever you’d like.

If you always have:

♦an oven stove-top, ♦an onion, and ♦a pound (or six) of ground meat on hand

…then there is no ‘I didn’t have time to cook” excuse on hand. In less than 15 minutes, you can:

♦dice the onion, ♦throw onion in a skillet on medium heat with butter, ghee, or coconut oil and saute until soft, and then ♦add and cook meat until browned. ♦Season with whatever tickles your fancy and♦ throw on top of a bagged organic salad, or next to some cut up tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers you grabbed from the roadside stand or your backyard garden (Or from Giant, for goodness sake!)

 K.I.S.S theory applies to cooking paleo ALWAYS. Keep it simple, son!!!

4. Roast Your Vegetables

  • Can you preheat your oven to 400 degrees?
  • Can you cut up a vegetable into thumb-sized pieces and throw on a cookie sheet? (avoid all actual-fingers, please)
  • Can you drizzle oil and sprinkle sea salt?
  • Can you cook until said thumb-sized pieces are soft and on the verge of turning brown? (30-50 mins depending on your veggie choice)


Then YOU, TOO,  can roast a vegetable! And it will be a DELICIOUS experience, I promise you. Try it with cauliflower (approx 40 mins), or brussels sprouts (approx 45 mins). You will NOT be disappointed with the melt in your mouth experience. (You can even throw a load of laundry in, fold another, or watch a whole episode of Real Housewives of ___some random place___ while they roast. Or teach someone short and under your power how to do it. 10 sounds like a pretty good age to learn to roast stuff… yeah?)

5. Turn on Your Wife

Easy, now. By wife I mean crock pot. She will be your BFF because when you come home…THERE IS DINNER. And IT IS PALEO. No matter that you are the one who prepped this dinner…you will have already have forgiven and forgotten when you walk in the door with post-WOD-brain (technical term) and instead will have to focus on not kissing the crock pot before anyone else in your family.

Easiest recipe ever?

•Dice one sweet onion and add to bottom of crock pot. •Place 2-3 lbs boneless chicken breast or thighs on top. •Cover with big jar of (sugarless) salsa. •Cook 8 hours on low. •Shred with forks (or a pastry blender from your glutenous-days; that thing shreds chicken like a boss.) •Eat directly from wife. •Or add to soups, salads, lettuce wraps, lunches the next day…you get the idea.

Your wife can even make dairy-free fudge: this is how.

Or lasagna: wow!

What a woman.

6. Buy a Food Processor

Why? Because, you are smart. And you don’t have the dollars or desire to eat out all of the time. Or to spend every.single.second in your kitchen.

Buy a food processor.

With the ‘slice’ feature on your food processor, you can have a heaping pile of sliced zucchini, cucumber, mushroom, carrot…or ‘you name it’,  in the amount of time it normally takes you to decide which knife to use. (“Is that the one I always cut myself with…or is it that one?”)

Shred attachment? Suddenly, sweet potato hash tastes even more amazing, because you don’t have a sore tricep from using your ancient, rusting, cheese grater. And cauliflower ‘rice’ is an actual option, one that takes less than 2 minutes to come to fruition. Cole slaw? Coming right up!!!

Pair that slice and shred with the ease of making mayonnaise, salsa, pesto, tomato sauce, pureeing cooked veggies…I could go on and on.

Buy a food processor.

Start small…I have this SUPER inexpensive Hamilton Beach model. One day, I may have something different. But for today, I can’t think of a single thing this $40 model leaves me wanting, other than more time to cook.


P.S. Have you registered for CFR’s BAR WARS yet? Good fuel means good lifts…Just sayin’.

Until Next Time…



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