Alternative Paleo Proteins for Your Holiday Meal

Paleo Protein for Your Holiday Meal

Tired of wild turkey?  Gasping at wild goose?  Not to worry!

Just because these two protein options are, in fact, quite Paleo friendly, healthy choices, it doesn’t mean you can’t go with something a bit more off the beaten path when it comes to preparing an unforgettably delicious feast.

In fact, since the holiday season is already a special occasion, it’s quite fitting to make time to try something new. In keeping with a modern day Paleo regime, incorporating a range of humanely raised or wild animals, our options when we think outside the box are bountiful and chock full of health benefits including:

Lower in fat because they eat a natural diet and are very active.

Lower content of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and a higher content of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids because they eat a diet of rich in greens.

Good source of protein and minerals such as iron and zinc.1

And, while it may be hard to stomach eating reindeer at this time of year, for obvious reasons, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Elk tenderloin, ostrich or wild boar are just a few choices to consider.

Pheasant, the star of the featured recipe, contains a high level of iron, protein, vitamin B (6) and selenium, which helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.2

PHEASANT WITH PAN SEARED SPROUTS

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 whole pheasants
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 oz toasted pecans

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Rinse, then thoroughly dry birds
  3. Rub half the coconut oil all over the birds
  4. Place on wire rack, breast side down
  5. Cook for about 75 – 90 minutes, flipping over halfway
  6. Check to see that internal temperature has reached 150F then remove from oven
  7. Let rest under foil tent for 15 minutes
  8. While birds rest, heat remaining coconut oil in cast iron skillet over medium high
  9. Add shallots and sauté until browned, about 4-5 minutes, stirring
  10. Add sprouts, cut side down and sear roughly 2 minutes before stirring
  11. Continue to cook sprouts until softened, 8 – 10 minutes longer
  12. Turn off heat, scatter pecans on top and let sit while birds are carved
  13. Arrange sprouts on platter with sliced pheasant on top, with pan jus drizzled over
  14. Serve with freshly ground black pepper

Wondering where you’re going to procure these interesting protein options, assuming they’re not routinely stocked along side the ground beef and chicken breast at your local market?

Check out Eat Wild for a nationwide list of where to source the best wild meats, game and poultry.

Happy Holiday Eating!

REFERENCES

[1] Wertheim, Margaret. “What Are the Health Benefits of Wild Game?” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 04 Jan. 2011. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

[2] The Countryside Alliance Foundation. “Game to Eat.” Nutritional Facts -. The Countryside Alliance Foundation, 2006. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

About Nell Stephenson, B.S.

Nell Stephenson, B.S.Nell Stephenson is a competitive Ironman athlete, personal trainer, and a health and nutrition consultant. She has an exercise science degree from the University of Southern California, a health/fitness instructor certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, and over a decade in the health, fitness and nutrition industry. To support her training for the Ironman Triathlon, Nell has tried many different nutritional plans and has found that the Paleo Diet is superior to all other ways of eating. She’s found that she’s leaner, faster, and fitter than ever before and uses her own experience to teach clients how to achieve optimal nutrition and health. Visit her website at paleoista.com. Download meal plans tailored to you here.

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