Paleo Lunch Recipes – Caveman Approved

Are you looking for some Paleo lunch recipes that are easy and fun to make?

Well you have come to the right place!

First, what exactly is Paleo?

A paleolitic (paleo) diet uses common modern foods to form a diet that models the wild sources consumed by people prior to the development of agriculture.

Also known as a hunter-gatherer diet, caveman diet, primal diet, or Stone Age diet, the paleo diet includes foods such as grass-fed meats, fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts, and roots while excluding legumes, grains, dairy products, processed oils, salt, and refined sugar.

Like all diets, a paleo diet may often be difficult to adhere to, which is why proper meal planning is a must.

Lunch in particular is generally troublesome because you may be away from home and if you don’t pack a lunch there is the temptation to eat out.

Paleo Lunch Recipes

Recipes featured in this article are:

  • Beef jerky
  • Grilled chicken or beef kabobs
  • Chef Salad
  • Lettuce wraps
  • Gazpacho

Recipe #1 – Beef jerky is a great snack to cure mid-day hunger cravings and it is relatively easy to make. Store bought jerky is also good if it doesn’t contain preservatives such as nitrates.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound round steak, grass fed

note: there are various seasonings and spices to flavor jerky, it often takes a few experimental tries to find your personal preference. Some good spices to try are ground chipotle, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, fresh ground pepper, and freshly grated or powdered ginger.

Directions:

  1. Slice steak into thin strips, the thinner the better.
  2. Rub seasoning into meat strips.
  3. If you have a dehydrator place on screens and dehydrate for about 7-9 hours at 145 degrees.
  4. If you do not have a dehydrator, the oven works just as well. Place meat strips on racks from the oven and cook on the lowest temperature for about 5-7 hours (be sure to place pans or aluminum foil under the meat to catch the drippings.)
  5. Jerky is done when it appears to be cooked through the middle.
  6. Wait 4-6 hours until the meat completely dry before consuming, it will turn brown and white fibers will be visible.

Recipe #2 – Grilled chicken or beef kabobs are tasty leftovers, so when making this dish be sure to have enough for lunch leftovers the next day. They are easy to transport are great even if eaten cold.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound chicken breast or steak, cubed and cooked
  • Vegetables of your choice, chopped coarsely
  • Skewers

(note: if bamboo soak in water for about one hour prior to use to avoid burning during the grilling stage.

Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons or limes, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon spice rub, preservative free

Directions:

  1. Whisk together olive oil, lemon/lime juice, garlic, and spices. Set aside about a small amount of marinade for basting.
  2. Put all chopped vegetables and meat in a bowl and evenly coat with marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 1-3 hours.
  3. Place marinaded meat and vegetables on skewers.
  4. Place the kabobs on an oiled, preheated grill.
  5. During the grilling process continually turn the kabobs and baste the cooked sides lightly with basting marinade to develop a glaze.

Recipe #3 – Chef Salad, like most salads, is a healthy paleo meal.  If taking this dish for later consumption, keep the dressing separate so it doesn’t wilt the lettuce and make the other ingredients soggy.

Ingredients:

    • 1 egg, hard-boiled
    • 1/4 head of romaine or red leaf lettuce
    • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

(note: to completely follow a paleo diet make sure the bacon does not contain preservatives)

  • 1/4 lb ham or grilled chicken, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped finely
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 tsp oil and vinegar dressing

Directions:

  1. Hard-boil egg, remove shell, and cut in half.
  2. Cook bacon and crumble
  3. Grill chicken or ham and dice.
  4. Wash and chop lettuce and other vegetables.
  5. Top lettuce with all other ingredients.
  6. Shake or drizzle with oil and vinegar dressing.

Recipe #4 – Lettuce wraps make a delicious paleo lunch and best of all you can use the basic idea to create different combinations to suit your personal taste and mix it up multiple times a week without getting tired of the same dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed and cooked
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 to 4 large lettuce leaves

Note:  When deciding on a type of lettuce keep in mind that the darker the color generally indicates greater nutritious benefits.

Directions:

  1. Mash avocado until it has a spreadable smooth texture.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to avocado mash and mix well.
  3. Place a dollop of the mixture onto each lettuce leave, wrap like a burrito, and enjoy.

Recipe #5 – Gazpacho is a great dish for lunch away from the home because it travels well in a tupperware container and it is served cold, so no need for reheating.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig fresh mint or parsley
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note:  All other spices selections are based on personal taste, I personally enjoy a touch of cayenne pepper for an added kick.

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until vegetables are very small but not pureed completely.
  2. Voila! Serve cold and top with a mint leaf for presentation.

Photo: Suat Eman

Final Thoughts

There is an abundant amount of  great paleo friendly recipes on the Internet and cookbooks alike. These are simply a few ideas to demonstrate that paleo dieters do not need to exclude favorite dishes, merely substitute them for healthier options. Once you get an idea of what to include in a nutritious paleo diet, you will be creating your own recipes with ease.

Welcome to a new healthier you.

*This article was written by guest author, Libby Berg.

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