This is a recipe from the brand new Primal Blueprint Publishing book Primal Cravings: Your Favorite Foods Made Paleo. Order your copy today and claim a bunch of free gifts while the limited-time offer lasts. See all the details here.
A theme we like to play with a lot is taking flavors you know and love and adding a twist…we want our food to be familiar yet interesting. Gyro Taco Salad is a good example of just that. We took the components of a traditional taco salad, but flavored it like a traditional gyro. Gyro spiced ground lamb (or any ground meat) over lettuce (plus any of your favorite veggies) and topped off with a fresh mint and cucumber guacamole AKA Tzatziki Guacamole. Wouldn’t that just be a real Mediterranean fiesta?
Mention bok choy and the first thing most people think of is stir-fry. Nothing wrong with that, but cooking a vegetable the exact same way every time is a shame. Especially since bok choy is more versatile than you might realize. Why cook it into soggy submission when the crisp and leafy texture, and mild but pleasantly bitter flavor is so delicious raw?
Chopped Bok Choy and Steak Salad with Olive Dressing takes bok choy in a new and exciting direction. The Kalamata olive dressing adds a bold, salty flavor to the raw bok choy and mushrooms, seared steak and roasted red pepper. If the combination sounds odd, don’t worry; it’ll make complete sense when you take your first bite.
If you haven’t eaten lamb in a while, here are a few good reasons to head to the butcher shop: lamb is a complete protein, it’s high in iron, and a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Another reason not to forget about lamb is that a recipe like this one – Lamb and Pomegranate Salad – just isn’t the same with beef, pork or chicken.
Lamb shoulder is marinated in garlic, ginger and a hint of cinnamon then slow-cooked until tender. Instead of salad dressing, the greens are tossed with the warm jus left in the roasting pan, topped with slices of succulent lamb and garnished with sweet-tart pomegranate seeds and fresh basil. The pomegranate and basil add bursts of flavor and color to the rich meat.
Admittedly, Raspberry Butter Sauce walks a fine line between a sauce and a salad dressing. Drizzled over crispy, pan-seared salmon on a bed of greens, it is both of these things at once. The flavor is fruity and slightly sweet, balanced by a tangy zip of acidity from red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Add a few fresh raspberries to the salad and you have a perfect summer meal.
Compared with other types of fruit, raspberries are lower in sugar and they’re also loaded with fiber, vitamin C, manganese and antioxidants. Raspberries add a burst of sweet acidity to salads and are especially good with salmon and pork. In fact, this salad topped with Raspberry Butter Sauce would be equally delicious with slices of crispy grilled pork.
Familiar to some, exotic to others, cactus paddles (or nopales) have a mild but tart flavor and are surprisingly easy to cook. If you’ve been deterred from eating cactus because of the rumor that it has a slimy texture you should know that this rumor’s only half true. When cut into, raw cactus paddles do ooze a clear, tasteless and odorless gel that has a sticky, slimy texture (similar to aloe vera gel). When cooked, however, the gel disappears and the cactus paddles are crisp but tender.
Recipes often suggest boiling the slime away, but skipping this step and throwing the paddles directly onto a hot grill or pan works just as well. The direct heat evaporates the gel pretty quickly. While nopales that haven’t been boiled are a little bit chewier, they have a fresh, vibrant flavor. This flavor, which tastes a little bit like a green bean or tart green pepper, is great when tossed in with other ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers and radishes.
Banh Mi is an increasingly popular Vietnamese sandwich with a sweet, savory, tangy and sometimes spicy blend of meat, raw vegetables and herbs. Freed from the confines of a baguette, the bold flavors and contrasting textures of Banh Mi also make an incredible salad. In this simple Primal version, peppery seared pork is tossed with a crunchy cabbage and carrot slaw and topped with cilantro, mint and a tangy mayonnaise dressing.
Pork is the type of meat that most typically fills Banh Mi sandwiches. This Primal version eliminates the sugar often used to sweeten the pork and instead coats the meat in a pepper-garlic marinade. Although the colorful veggies stuffed into Banh Mi sandwiches are usually pickled in sugary brine, it’s not necessary for this salad. Just throw the raw cabbage, carrots and cucumber into a bowl (plus radish and sliced jalapeno, if you’re inclined) and top with a tangy dressing. The refreshing blend of flavors in this salad taste especially good when the weather is warm; in the summer, consider grilling the meat instead of pan-frying.