For most of us, switching to the Paleo Diet® has made us feel healthier and more energetic. This is one of the main reasons the diet has become so popular. Unfortunately, as popular as the Paleo diet is, it doesn’t always eliminate the craving for hearty, hot, comfort foods. The good news is that you can have your comfort food and eat it to. That is there are some comfort foods that fit within the Paleo meal plan. Here are two popular comfort foods that have been modified to make them truly Paleo and guilt-free foods.
Stuffed peppers are a classic American dinner, and a popular recipe. Unfortunately, most stuffed pepper recipes contain both rice and cheese, which are not Paleo-friendly. Eliminating the cheese is simple enough, since it’s typically used just as a topping on the peppers. The rice, however, is a bit of a challenge. Rice is used as a key filler. To make the recipe compliant, you’ll have to replace the rice with something else.
Cauliflower rice is a viable option if you want something similar to rice. But for something with a little more substance and nutrient density, you can actually create a stuffed pepper filling that is made with cooked ground meat and a variety of vegetables. In addition to the pound of meat, dice some fresh tomatoes, then mix them into the seasoned meat. Dice one carrot and a stalk of celery to add to the meat as well.
Add a half-cup each of finely diced zucchini, chopped spinach, and mushrooms. Season it with pepper, oregano, Italian seasoning, and a bit of garlic.
Parboil the pepper shells before you bake them and put a small amount of olive oil at the bottom of the pan before you place the peppers in the pan. Fill each one as you traditionally would, then cover the pan with aluminum foil before baking them for 35 minutes at around 350 degrees, or until the peppers are fully softened.
Zucchini by itself is a great vegetable to add to your diet, but when you fill it, it makes a fantastic focal point for a meal. Zucchini boats are both light and satiating, making for a great quick dinner option.
Much like stuffed peppers, many zucchini boat recipes often include cheese as a topping to hold everything together. You can skip the cheese layer to keep them Paleo. Split three or four zucchinis in half lengthwise. Hollow out the seeds to create a cavity that you can fill.
Cook some ground meat (pork, beef, turkey, or even bison works well), mixed with sautéed diced onion and peppers. Dice one zucchini and a carrot into small cubes. Cook them with some coconut oil just until they begin to soften.
Combine the meat, cooked vegetables and diced tomatoes. Add some dried rosemary and Italian seasoning, then fill the zucchini halves. Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees to cook the zucchini. Squeeze a little bit of fresh lemon juice over the top of each one before you serve it to add a bit of acidity and sharpness to the dish.
The Paleo focus on things that grow and walk the earth makes this diet a healthy one. As you can see, though, it does not mean giving up on all of your comfort foods. If you are looking for something to satisfy your comfort food craving without ruining your diet plan, these recipes can give you what you are looking for.