When fellow Paleo/Primal eater Primal Toad posed the question to the blogosphere,"If you could only live on 9 foods, what would they be?" it got me thinking, which nine foods can I not live without?
The first six came easily; the last three were tougher (there are so many to choose from). After careful consideration, here's my list:
Is there anything salmon can't do? Not only is it a great source of protein and omega-3 fat, it's also delicious, filling and easy-to-cook (I like to grill it). If you ever have one of those days when you look in the mirror and think, "What happened?" have a big piece of salmon and you'll look better the next day. I learned that trick from Dr. Perricone.
Health & Beauty via fish
2. Roasted Chicken
I've never met a roasted chicken I didn't like. It's probably the most minimalist Paleo food in my repertoire. You can add all kinds of flavorings and herbs to make it uniquely yours, but all you really need is a little salt and a hot oven. If you're new to Paleo, this is a good place to start.
Spinach is a very versatile green. I usually eat it raw in salads, but it's great in omelets or cooked in a little bacon fat (bacon is coming up).
Try this: Top raw spinach with chopped roasted chicken, hard-boiled egg, bacon and avocado for the world's most exciting salad.
Blueberries are my favorite fruit. I use frozen berries for smoothies and fresh berries for making berries and cream with chopped nuts.
My favorite fat, hands down. Adding avocado to anything makes it better. Avocado is still a little misunderstood by the masses, but it is oh-so-healthy and tastes oh-so-fabulous.
A little misunderstood
Nuts, especially almonds, are always in reach. They're a good back-up food because they travel well, don't need to be refrigerated and won't spoil.
Truly the perfect food. I eat about 6 organic, omega-3 eggs a week. Hard-boiled eggs are good for snacks.
Bacon is a very special food. I don't eat a lot of it, but I do think it's a great staple food because it's so flexible. It's a meat, a fat and a flavoring. If you want to make cooked greens that everyone will love, just add a little bacon. This might surprise you, but the fat in bacon is healthy. Really! If you don't believe me, read page 189 of Gary Taubes' book Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. Read the whole book for good measure; you'll like it, especially if you're currently suffering through a low-fat diet or counting calories.
Paleo simplicity: roasted chicken & spinach with bacon
Coconut, in all its forms, has found its way into my heart. Coconut milk is the perfect substitute for dairy.
So that's my list of Top 9 Paleo Staples. Even though I usually eat a wide variety of foods, it's possible to eat a very satisfying, high-quality Paleo diet with just a few basics.
I'm loving all this Paleo simplicity, but there are a couple other flavorings and luxury items I would have a difficult time giving up.
1. Sea Salt
Cooking without salt is asking for trouble. A little salt will bring out the natural flavors of foods; without tasting salty.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Acid makes savory food come alive and balances the flavors. Apple cider vinegar is also one of the best (and cheapest) supplements ever. A splash in a glass of water once a day will give you the glow. I call it The Lean Drink.
A friend of mine who has traveled all over the world says that the one thing you can always find, no matter where you are in the world, is a good cup of coffee. I find that very comforting. Luckily, my kitchen serves pretty good coffee too.
Try this: mix coffee with coconut milk and pour over ice.
2. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is an occasional treat for me. Green & Black 85% Organic Dark Chocolate is my favorite. Antioxidants never tasted so good!
Try this: Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. Combine chocolate and ripe avocado in a food processor for raw chocolate pudding (you might want to add a touch of honey for sweetness). Or, make dark chocolate-covered almond clusters (store them in the refrigerator).
What's on your list of top nine Paleo staples?
Thanks to Primal Toad for inspiring this brainstorm. Check out the comments section in his post to see what other Paleo/Primal eaters have on their lists (and add your own).
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