I made my first paleo recipe last night — the delicious lamb & cumin burger with a size of sautéed zucchini and bok choy.
Last night I tried my first authentic paleo dish – meaning the I got the recipe from The Paleo Primer. I made wonderful lamb burgers infused with cumin. This is the first time I actually made a burger with ground lamb. Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t think of using ground lamb before this! The burgers were so tender, tasty and filling.
Lamb & Cumin Burgers Net Carbs: 2 Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 8 Servings: Makes 5 burgers
1 pound ground lamb
1 large egg
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp tomato paste
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 F
In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb, egg, garlic, cumin, tomato paste, salt and pepper.
Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients together and shape into 3-ounce patties (should make 5 burgers).
Place on a grill pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the patties reaches 160 degrees.
I served this dish with sides of sautéed zucchini and bok choy. The whole meal took me less than 30 minutes to prepare. Before the lamb came out of the oven, I had enough time to clean, chop and cook the veggies.
So far, my paleo challenge is off to a great start!
February if Paleo month for me. Yep, I’m unleashing my inner cavechick and taking the Paleo Diet Challenge.
Beginning in February I’m going to dig deep to find my inner caveman woman and take the Paleo Challenge. For the month I’m going to follow a Paleo food plan, while staying within my 32 Weight Watchers daily points.
Since I went low carb nearly two years ago, I’ve been Paleo-curious. Not one to follow popular trends, I’d kept my distance. But after reading The Paleo Primer, I’m excited to give it a try.
So What Exactly Is This Paleo Craze?
As best as I can tell, there is no one absolute Paleo diet. Some plans limit fruits where others don’t. Likewise, dairy is banned on some but not others.
But there are a few consistent rules across plans. Grains and legumes are out. So is sugar. You want minimal processed foods. So when it comes to dairy, raw gets the thumbs up. Meat and seafood should be grain-fed or wild-caught. And everything is organic.
So What Can I Eat? The Paleo Primer, by Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore, offers some great recipes that looked easy to prepare. I’m all about easy when starting with a new food regime!
The foods outlined in The Paleo Primer include:
Grass-fed meat and free-range poultry
Eggs fortified with omega-3
Fats & Oils
Cooking: extra virgin coconut oil, coconut butter, organic ghee, grass-fed butter, lard, beef drippings, and goose or duck fat
Dressings: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia oil
Dairy — Organic or raw heavy cream, grass-fed butter or ghee, Greek yogurt with live and active cultures, kefir with live and active cultures, raw milk
Vegetables – locally grown, other wise organic
Fruit – limited; however lemons, limes, avocados, and berries on regular basis
For the most part, it’s not that much different from when I was eating 20g of carbs a day. But I also wasn’t working out as much as I am now. Thanks to my more intense workouts, I’ve added grains — steel-cut oats, barley, quinoa — back into my diet. Something that isn’t allowed on Paleo. At least the Greek yogurt and berries I added back in are OK.
Will Paleo Fuel My Workouts?
I’m worried about whether I’ll have enough energy for my workouts. I needed to up my carb count from 20g to 50-100g a day, depending on the type of workout. Less than 50g and my metabolism plummets.
I’ve scanned a few things on the Paleo blogs related to slowing down on exercises, but I need to do a bit more investigation to figure out what that means.
Clearly, my post-workout protein shake is a no-no. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but I’ll figure out something. I’ll need to closely monitor my energy levels and prepare to tinker with my food options and when I eat.
The Cost Of Healthy Eating
The other difference – the potential hit to my pocketbook. Organic foods, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, raw dairy…when reading the list of foods, I swear I could hear a “cha-ching!” sound, loud and clear.
So part of this little experiment will look at the costs of low carb vs. paleo. I’ve come across lots of articles on the cost difference of eating healthy vs. non-healthy foods. But I haven’t seen much on the cost of healthy vs. organic healthy.
After the first week, it’s possible I’ll make some changes to the types of foods I buy to avoid breaking the bank. Yes I want to get healthy, but you know a banana, organic or not, is still a banana.
As for Weight Watchers, I’ll need to do some research about the points value of some of these foods. I can’t image lard will have a low point count. When eating low carb, I spend a lot of points on non-lean meats. I found I’m much more satisfied with non-lean cuts and lose the desire to binge or graze on food. I’m wondering if Paleo’s grass-fed and organic cuts are more Weight Watchers friendly.
Ingredients 1 Tsp. oil for pan (butter or coconut oil)
8 Oz. chicken breast, skinless, diced
Salt & pepper (for taste)
2 Tsp smoked paprika
1 Avocado, medium
3 Slices of bacon, chopped
1 Roma tomato, sliced into 4 wedges
Directions 1. Heat oil in the pan and add the chicken
2. Stir-fry the chicken and season it with salt, pepper and paprika
3. Cook the bacon in a separate frying pan until crispy
4. While the meat is cooking, slice the avocado in half. Keeping the shells intact, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh; place flesh in a bowl and mash together until creamy, keeping it a little chunky.
5. Place the avocado back into the shells. When chicken and bacon are done, place on top of the mashed avocado.
6. Serve each avocado with 2 wedges of tomatoes
Dot2Trot Modifications I decided to use the left over chicken breasts I cooked last night. The chicken already had a jerk rub on it, so I skipped the cooking and seasoning steps (steps 1 and 2) and just diced the chicken and warmed it in the microwave.
Since the chicken had a jerk rub, I turned the creamy avocado into a guacamole by adding 2 tablespoons of fresh salsa, 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro, fresh juice from 1/2 a lime, and a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
My changes didn’t change the net carbs, but the PointsPlus value dropped to 10. You can probably lower the PointsPlus value further by substituting turkey bacon for the pork and using a cooking spray and not the oil.
The Result Wow! Talk about delish. I’ve been looking for an eggless dish to add to my breakfast routine and I think I found it. It tastes great and really fills you up. My husband couldn’t stop raving about it. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to prepare. Great if you’re squeezed for time in the morning.
I can’t wait to try the recipe with the smoked paprika.
Note about photo:The above photo is a bit deceiving. You actually end up with a lot more chicken than can fit on top of the avocado mash. I just wanted to try to take a pretty image with my crappy camera. Trust me, I ate all of my chicken!