A new year means a renewed focus on doing what’s right for our bodies in the wake of indulgent holiday meals and late-night libations. If you’re looking for a new diet to wrap your healthy ambitions around, you could do a lot worse than taking on paleo.
To put it simply, the paleo diet is designed to resemble the basic elements of a prehistoric diet. This means an emphasis on meat, berries, nuts, fruits, and vegetables, while avoiding processed foods, legumes, and most grains. Not only has it been proven to promote weight-loss, it cuts down on things that cause inflammation, which improves all aspects of your general health.
These 5 recipes are 100% paleo and dishes that are traditionally found in Latin America. They are as tasty as they are good for you, and will allow your options to expand even in the face of one of the more restrictive diets on the market.
1 | Stuffed Avocado
Avocados are every paleo follower’s crown jewel. They go with just about any dish, are high in vitamins, healthy fats, and nutrients, and taste great, to boot. This dish takes the world’s most incredible stone fruit to new heights with a spicy chicken filling and cool, creamy coconut topping.
Pre-cooked shredded tuna is mixed with lime juice, tomato, red onion, cumin, salt, pepper, and a bit of fresh oregano before being stuffed into halved avocados.
2 | Easy Pork Carnitas
Few foods achieve and equal level of salty perfection and satisfaction as pork carnitas. There are dozens of ways to cook carnitas, but the easiest is throwing a pork shoulder in a slow-cooker with orange juice, cumin, tomato, chili powder, oregano, garlic, and onion and cook for 8-10 hours.
Shred the pork shoulder then spread out on a baking sheet and bake until the ends are crispy. This stuff is good enough to just eat with a fork, but they go great in burrito bowls, taco salads, and any number of Latin soups and stews.
3 | Guacamole
We welcome back the avocado for this Latin American favorite, add in a few choice vegetables and spices. Everybody does their guac just a little bit differently, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you’ve whipped something up that is the perfect mix of hearty and spicy.
These elements should remain universal: tomato, red onion, garlic, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt to taste.
4 | Albondigas (Meatball soup)
This traditional Mexican soup is typically served with warm flour tortillas, but we’re willing to set those aside to make this dish bonafide paleo. It consists of lean pork beef, or chicken meatballs that have been spiced with cumin, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder, and cooked in no fat chicken-based broth for 30-40 minutes.
This is the perfect dish for the remaining cold days of winter ahead. Make it better by taking the time to brew your own broth with leftover chicken bones and a little bit of patience.
5 | Cauliflower Tortillas
If you can upend your food life in such a dramatic way and still have access to tacos, sign me up. These cauliflower tortillas might require a dedicated labor of love, but the result is something tasty and satisfying that won’t steer you away from your dietary goals.
Grind cauliflower into a fine grain then mix with olive oil, eggs, salt, parsley and spices. Flatten them out with a tortilla press and bake them until golden brown. You can load them up with your filling of choice and enjoy all the triumphs of a taco without the guilt.