10 Items That Make Being Paleo Easier – Dehydrator

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This is a continuation of our 10 Items That Make Being Paleo Easier series.  Click here to check out the other posts and recommendations.

ITEM #3 – A GOOD DEHYDRATOR

Paleo Dehydtrator, Paleo Dehydrator Recipes, Paleo Snacks, 10 Things That Make Being Paleo Easier
If you want something to help with making tasty Paleo snacks, this is a great gadget to have!

One of the tougher things about going Paleo is having snacks handy, especially when you’re on the go.  Sure, carrying around a bunch of nuts is great, but that gets kind of old eventually.  Plus, what do you do if you want something sweet or you want some jerky that doesn’t have soy or added sugar?

Thankfully, a good dehydrator can solve a lot of these problems.  And, like the Crock Pot, this kitchen gadget is a “set it and forget it” dream.

We did some research, and ended up setting on the Nesco Snackmaster, which was both incredibly highly rated on Amazon (4.5 out of 5 stars with over 2,200 reviews) as well as very reasonably priced at $69.99.

The first thing we did was make a batch of apple cinnamon chips and, compared to what we were able to do in the oven, we were able to make a lot more chips and, in general, they were a lot better.  (Making a lot more came in handy since all our son did for the next three days was ask us for apple chips.)

All things considered, I would probably put this toward the bottom of the list if I were ranking the top-10 in order, but if you’ve already got a lot of the other things on the list or you’re just someone who likes to have a lot of dried fruits and jerky, this is definitely something you should consider.

What’s your favorite dehydrator recipe?  Have you ever tried making your own kale chips in a dehydrator?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.

10 Items That Make Being Paleo Easier – Crock Pot

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This is a continuation of our 10 Items That Make Being Paleo Easier series.  Click here to check out the other posts and recommendations.

ITEM #2 – A GOOD CROCK POT

Paleo Crock Pot, Paleo Crock Pot Recipes, Paleo Slow Cooker, 10 Things That Make Being Paleo Easier
If I had to offer one thing that will make your Paleo life easier, it would be a Crock Pot.

Long before I went Paleo, I had a Crock Pot in my kitchen. That isn’t to say I used it much — if ever — but I still had one.

It wasn’t until going Paleo, though, that I fully recognized the power this inexpensive gadget (you can get a good one for between $20 and $50) had over my ability to easily make great tasting meals and help keep me on the straight and narrow.

Think about it: the whole premise of a Crock Pot is to throw in a bunch of ingredients, turn it on, and come back a few hours later to a hot and delicious meal.  Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Plus, you’re typically cooking enough that not only do you get a delicious dinner out of it, you have enough leftovers to have for lunch the following day!

During our Whole30 Challenge, my wife and I did at least half of our meals in our Crock Pot, which made meal planning and meal making much, much easier.

If for some reason you don’t have a Crock Pot or are just looking to upgrade, I recommend that you get something a little on the larger side (about 7-quarts).  This way when you do something like cook a whole chicken or just want to make a lot of broth, it’s going to be a lot easier to pull off.

Here are some great Crock Pot recipes to help you get started:

What are your favorite Crock Pot recipes?  Do you feel that using your Crock Pot made your Paleo life easier?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community!

Paleo (or Primal) Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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I’m not going to get into the debate as to which is better, Paleo or Primal.  Given that the focus of both is on cutting out processed junk and eating foods in their natural forms, I don’t think you can go wrong with either.

I just want to be clear that this recipe can go either way, and the tipping point is just one key ingredient.

And, no, it’s not the potatoes you see in the picture below.

Given that white potatoes are now allowed during a Whole30 Challenge, I’m of the mind that they are classified as Paleo.  So, really, what makes this recipe either Paleo or Primal is your use of bone broth vs. red wine.

Paleo (Or Primal) Beef Stew

Paleo Beef Stew, Primal Beef Stew, Paleo Beef Stew Recipe, Primal Beef Stew Recipe
Depending on whether or not you add wine makes this either Paleo or Primal.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Chuck Roast
  • 3 large White Potatoes
  • 5 large Carrots
  • 1 large White Onion
  • 1 cup of either Red Wine or Beef Stock/Bone Broth

Instructions

  1. Chop up the potatoes, carrots, and onion into medium-sized pieces.
  2. Place the chuck roast at the bottom of a Crock Pot/slow cooker, cover with the veggies, and pour the wine or broth over everything.
  3. Cook on low heat for approximately 8 hours.

Do you consider yourself Paleo or Primal?  Does it really matter to you?  Are you just focused on eating good, clean foods?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community!

Paleo Spaghetti Zoodles and Spicy Italian Meatballs

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I really miss regular spaghetti.  For some reason, it was always my favorite Italian dish.  Thankfully, I don’t have to miss it any longer!

While this recipe might not have as many “natural” ingredients as you might like, it’s still super healthy and very easy to make.

Remember: don’t let perfect be the enemy of good!

Paleo Spaghetti Zoodles and Spicy Italian Meatballs

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I can’t get enough of this Paleo Spaghetti!

Ingredients

  • 2 large Zucchini
  • 1 large Spicy Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 jar of no sugar added Marinara Sauce
  • 1 TBS of Butter

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. While water is warming, take the sausage and carefully create a small slice in the casing, then slowly remove.  Cut sausage link into individual slices and then roll into meatballs.
  3. Use a good spiral slicer to spiral slice the zucchini into spaghetti-like strands.  I prefer to use a thicker cut, otherwise the zoodles get pretty soggy.
  4. Put the butter in a large saucepan and melt over medium heat.  Once melted, add the meatballs and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.  Stir frequently.  When close to being finished, add the marinara sauce to the  pan for 30 to 60 seconds, and then remove from heat.
  5. Once water has reached a boil, add all of the zoodles and cook for between 90 and 120 seconds.  Once cooked, make sure to drain thoroughly!

What’s your favorite Paleo “pasta” recipe?  Do you love zoodles?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community!

 

10 Items That Make Being Paleo Easier – A Good Vegetable Slicer

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A week or so ago, I posted that I was going to start a series on the site about 10 reasonably priced kitchen gadgets worth investing in that’ll make your life so much easier if you’re serious about going Paleo, eating real food, or just trying to be a little healthier. The response was overwhelmingly positive, so here I am kicking off the series.  Before I get started, I just want to point out a few things:

  1. The items will not be listed in order of importance.  I don’t know what stuff you currently have and what you want to invest in (more on that in a minute) so I’m just listing the ten items as they come to mind.
  2. I’m trying my best to not list really expensive stuff like a Vitamix.  I know a lot of us are on tight budgets.  Besides, there are a lot of quality, less expensive work arounds.
  3. MOST IMPORTANTLY, you need to think of buying these items as an investment in yourself.  What if you buy, say, $500 worth of these products?  Yes, that’s a lot of money, but what if that investment allows you to be happier, healthier, and more productive?  What if that allows you to save money by eating out less and making better use of the food you buy at the grocery store?

I hope you enjoy and, please, feel free to spread these posts far and wide across the internet to help ease other people’s transitions to healthier lifestyles!

ITEM #1 - A GOOD VEGETABLE SLICER

Sprial Slicer, Paleo Spiral Slicer, Paleo Zoodles, Paleo Chips
A good spiral slicer has opened up a lot of Paleo possibilities in our house!

Before our recent Whole30 Challenge, we had been using a cheaper spiral slicer that really only allowed you to do thick or thin veggie noodles. It certainly did the trick, but it was very limited in its capabilities: all it really allowed us to do was make zoodles and Paleo spaghetti.

And if that’s all you know you want from a spiral slicer, that’s totally fine.  Something like a Vegetti Spiral Slicer ($11 to $15 depending on where you buy) will work great for you.

But given that my wife and I knew that we both wanted something with a little more functionality, we decided to take the leap and purchase a Paderno Tri-Blade Vegetable Slicer.

What we liked about this model is that it allowed us not only to have varying girth on things like zoodles, but it also allowed us to “ribbon cut” things like sweet potatoes and apples so that we could make sweet potato chips and apple chips.  Basically, it allowed us to make healthier versions of snacks we use to take with us on the go.  (Not sure this sentence reads very well, so I hope you catch my drift.)

PARENTS – READ BELOW

Where I think we saw the greatest benefit is with our almost two year old son.  His go-to snack had previously been Annie’s Organic Cheddar Bunnies.  Not that they’re horrible for him, but I really wanted him to eat something healthier, which meant we needed to have stuff on hand that was healthier.

Enter the previously mentioned sweet potato chips and apple chips.  While they’re still carb heavy, at least they’re natural, two ingredient snacks that he absolutely loves.  Without the Paderno, we wouldn’t have been able to make these for him.

THE TAKEAWAY

I would say we use our vegetable slicer at least three times per week, and that might be a little bit of an understatement.  And I know that we’re going to get a lot more out of this in value than what we paid for it.

Considering a good spiral slicer like the Paderno Tri-Blade is only $33 — just $15 to $20 more than the less effective one — it’s really something you should consider investing in.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have a spiral slicer like this?  How has it helped?  Is there a particular brand you’d recommend?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with the community.