Primal and Paleo Recipes

My Primal and Paleo recipes focus on animal protein (including fermented dairy), vegetables, good fats and good carbs (such as root vegetables and fruit), while avoiding grains, beans, legumes and refined sugar.

Low Carb Breaded Shrimp

Crushed pork rinds make a fabulous low-carb substitute for bread crumbs in these delicious, crispy “breaded” shrimp. Click for the recipe

Reverse Sear Steak

Reverse-seared steak is made by reversing the usual order in which one prepares steak. Normally, you would sear the steak in a very hot skillet for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a hot (450 degrees F) oven to roast until done, 3-5 minutes depending on how done you like your steaks.

When reverse searing, you first gently bake the steaks in a slow oven, bringing them to an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. You then rest them, allowing the juices to re-distribute; finally a quick sear, 1 minute per side, and you got yourself big, juicy, reliably medium-rare steaks.

When it comes to searing the steaks, the best tool is a well-seasoned cast iron griddle. It’s superb in terms of heat retention and distribution, and sears steaks perfectly. Cast iron griddles are relatively inexpensive and do not take up a lot of storage space. I use a reversible one by Lodge ($45 on Amazon), that creates beautiful grill marks on my steaks.

The main advantage of reverse-searing is that you get reliably juicy, evenly cooked steaks. In addition, since you rest the steaks before the final searing, you can eat them hot, right off the griddle. The disadvantages are that it takes longer, and that you need a meat thermometer.

These days, whenever I have the extra time, I use reverse searing when cooking steaks. I find that the juicy, evenly cooked result is well worth it.

A final word on the nutritional content of this recipe: I love fatty ribeyes and have no problem having an entire one, especially if I pair it with something light (a sliced tomato is great). Obviously you can split a huge steak between two people, eat half and save the leftovers for another meal, or choose smaller/leaner cuts such as tenderloin or sirloin. Click for the recipe

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is delicious, and surprisingly similar to mashed potatoes, making it an ideal low-carb substitute. Loading the mashed cauliflower with bacon and cheese makes it even better – but hey, bacon and cheese make everything better. :) Click for the recipe

Baked Chicken Thighs

“Mom, these baked chicken thighs are so good, I like them better than fried chicken!”

Need I say more? :)

These chicken thighs delight with a super crispy, seasoned skin, and a juicy, succulent meat. It’s chicken perfection. Chicken thighs – tender, relatively fatty and very flavorful, are my favorite chicken part. They are so good, that these days, when I buy chicken, I almost always choose bone-in, skin-on thighs. And I don’t buy rotisserie chicken anymore – we just end up fighting over the thighs, and stuck with the dry breast. It makes much more sense to just buy chicken thighs and bake a big batch. They keep well in the fridge for a few days, and leftovers are delicious cold, or heated in a low oven. Click for the recipe

Roasted Turkey Legs

Not everyone wants or needs to roast a whole turkey for Thanksgiving. Perhaps you plan on a small Thanksgiving gathering, or maybe your family members have a strong preference for either white or dark meat. Either way, roasting just a couple of turkey breasts, or a few turkey drumsticks, has some clear advantages, inlcluding a shorter roasting time and a better tasting bird – roasting parts of the bird means avoiding the issue of white meat that becomes too dry by the time the dark meat is fully cooked.

I realize that most recipes will tell you to roast turkey legs for an hour and a half at 350 degrees F, but as always when roasting poultry, I find that roasting for a short time at a very high temperature yields the best results – crisp, well-browned skin and juicy, succulent meat. Click for the recipe

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Although my favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts is to roast them in olive oil and maple syrup, this recipe is a close second. The vegetables become nicely tender and caramelized as they roast, and combining them with butter, garlic and Parmesan is delicious. Click for the recipe

Bacon and Eggs Breakfast Cups

Bacon and eggs breakfast cups are fun to make and even more fun to eat. They are pretty and festive, but since making them is relatively involved, they are suitable for a weekend breakfast or brunch. I find that the best way to make them is in 4-oz ramekins, same size as muffin cups but ceramic and so there’s far less risk of them sticking to the pan. Click for the recipe