Whether you’ve gone fully paleo or are just checking out what your dietary options are, these grain-free, refined sugar-free recipes deliver on flavor and protein. There are no special techniques required, just ingredients that are as close to nature as possible. Translation? They’re minimally processed. Making recipes grain-free is easy, thanks to the transformative characteristics of cauliflower as a healthy swap in for white rice. Almond flour takes the place of all-purpose flour for a moist texture in chocolate muffins, and sweet potatoes take the place of your basic white potato. Unrefined sugars like coconut and maple take center stage as preferred paleo sweeteners.
Turkey Chili Sweet Potato Fries (pictured at top)
2 large sweet potatoes — peeled and cut into fries, soaked in water for 30 minutes and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 to 2 red or yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
1 ½ tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup water or chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with oil to coat; season with salt and pepper. Bake until crispy, turning once, about 25 minutes total.
In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and stir in the chicken; cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cocoa powder and salt to the pot; stir to coat. Add the tomatoes and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. To serve, arrange the sweet potato fries on 4 plates and top with the chili.
Per serving: Calories 280.5; Fat 10.5 g (Saturated 2.0 g); Cholesterol 65 mg; Sodium 180 mg; Carbohydrate 18 g; Fiber 2.5 g; Sugars 1.5 g; Protein 27.5 g
Shrimp Fried “Rice”
One head cauliflower (stem removed), pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and black pepper
1 pound medium shrimp — peeled, deveined and tails discarded
1 teaspoon tapioca flour
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
2 teaspoons gluten-free hoisin sauce or mirin
2 ¼ teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 cup chopped green cabbage
3 scallions, chopped crosswise
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water, cover and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the eggs; season with salt and pepper. Scramble until fluffy and just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
In a small bowl, toss together the shrimpand tapioca. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet over high heat. Addthe shrimp; season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, for 2 minutes total, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, hoisin sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil inthe skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and scallions; cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Fold in the cauliflower and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and egg to the skillet, along with the peas and tamari mixture. Toss everything together to heat through, about 3 minutes.
Per serving: Calories 360.3; Fat 19.1 g (Saturated 3.3 g); Cholesterol 328.5 mg; Sodium 869 mg; Carbohydrate 16.8 g; Fiber 6.1 g; Sugars 1.8 g; Protein 32.4 g
Chocolate Chunk Protein Muffins
½ cup grass-fed milk or almond milk
1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup almond flour
¼ cup collagen peptides
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup maple sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grass-fed butter or coconut oil, melted
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vinegar.
In a large bowl, almond flour, collagen peptides, cocoa, sugar, baking powder (if using), baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, vanilla and milk mixture. Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined; stir in the chocolate. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan until each cup is about two-thirds full; bake until springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan set on a wire rack.
Per serving: Calories 271.7; Fat 19.7 g (Saturated 9.1 g); Cholesterol 52.2 mg; Sodium 25.3 mg; Carbohydrate 21 g; Fiber 2.8 g; Sugars 15.8 g; Protein 7.6 g
Silvana Nardone is the author of Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed. Read more posts by Silvana.
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