Are we the only ones who have this problem? You get home at the end of the day, exhausted from work, housework, child care, etcetera, and it’s suddenly impossible to conceive of planning or cooking a meal — especially one that involves any amount of time or effort.
With that, I present a list of our “go-to” quick and easy Paleo meal options. None of these meals are gourmet masterpieces, nor are they remotely original ideas; this is merely a list of suggestions for those days when your decision making skills are fried (no pun intended) and you just need to get supper prepared as quickly and efficiently as possible, or risk falling prey to non-Paleo takeout.
1. Roasted chicken legs.
– Line a baking sheet with tinfoil (for easy clean-up).
– Brush chicken legs (bone-in, skin on) with a mixture of oil (olive and/or hazelnut works nicely), salt and pepper. If you want to get fancy, a little bit of Mrs. Dash Italian spice (sugar/salt-free!) is a nice accent.
– Bake for about 35 minutes at 385 degrees, then turn the broiler on high and broil for about five minutes to crisp the skin.
– While the chicken is cooking, dump a bag of pre-washed, chopped broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mixture into a steamer basket (or if you’re super lazy, these can even be microwave steamed right in their bag). Steam for five to eight minutes, then drizzle with olive oil.
2. Spaghetti squash and meatballs.
– Use any combination of ground beef/pork/lamb — about a half pound per person. The fattier the meat, the better.
– In a large bowl, mix the meat, with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re feeling really inspired, you can add an egg and/or a few tablespoons of almond meal to help keep the meat together, but this is by no means essential.
– Roll into bite-sized balls.
– Simmer in a pot of store-bought Paleo friendly tomato sauce (Safeway’s “Eating Right” brand contains no sugar, soy or canola!) until the meatballs are cooked through.
– While the meatballs are cooking, cut a small spaghetti squash in half and remove all the seeds. Microwave in a shallow dish with about half an inch of water, cut side down, for 12 to 14 minutes, or until you can easily scrape the “spaghetti” out with a fork.
– Serve the squash topped with the meatballs and sauce.
– As above, you can do this with any combination of ground meats. Mix the ground meat in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste.
– Form into one centimetre thick patties (thinner ones may fall apart when you flip them; thicker ones will take too long to cook, and will become even thicker during cooking).
– Pan-fry on medium-high, flipping frequently, until the juices run clear.
– Top with mock-guac (mashed avocado mixed with spices such as onion/garlic powder, chipotle and cilantro).
– Serve with chopped cruciferous vegetables (rainbow bell peppers, carrot sticks, celery sticks).
4. Breakfast for dinner.
– Pretty self-explanatory, and always a popular choice. Eggs any style, breakfast meat (optional) and some cut-up fruits and/or veggies. If we don’t have any fatty breakfast meat handy, I’ll usually add some avocado slices to boost the fat content.
5. Steak and salad.
– Ribeye or strip loin (New York) steaks tend to be our favourites for the best results in the shortest amount of time and with the least effort
– Use pre-washed mixed greens to save on prep time, and add cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of nuts or seeds (e.g. hazelnuts, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds). Top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
So there you have it: five of our quickest, easiest — and most unoriginal 🙂 — Paleo dinners!
What is your “go-to” Paleo meal for those nights when you just don’t feel like cooking?