Category: Sides

A Primal Thanksgiving Menu (plus a Contest)

It’s two days away from Thanksgiving here in the United States, and that means a significant portion of my readership is scrambling to put together a Primal menu. Things are easier now with the rise of the ancestral health community and the growing preponderance of related recipe blogs, but a lot of you are still wasting precious time combing through their volumes or converting standard Thanksgiving recipes into Primal-friendly recipes. You have better things to do. You have family and friends to visit, footballs to toss (or kick, as the case may be), piles of polychromatic leaves to roll around in, and thanks to give. Even if you’re an international reader, don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or know quite what it’s all about, you still like to eat great food.

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Grilled Okra with Spicy Sumac Seasoning Salt

Okra lovers and haters, rejoice. Grilled okra with spicy sumac seasoning salt is an untraditional and finger lickin’ good recipe that will make you fall in love with okra all over again, or, for the very first time.

Okra is rarely described as addictive. All it takes, though, is a few minutes on a hot grill and a tart and spicy seasoning salt to transform okra into finger food that will fly off the table. Crispy, salty, spicy veggies hot off the grill are better than a bowl of chips, any day. Set them out as an appetizer or snack and eat as many as you like without worrying about spoiling your dinner or your waistline.

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Pickled Shrimp

If you’ve grabbed one too many handfuls of nuts or jerky when the munchies strike and you’re craving something new to snack on, here’s an idea: ice-cold, pickled shrimp. Firm and fresh with a tangy kick of lemon and vinegar plus subtle spices, this Southern specialty tastes especially good when the weather is hot.

Pickled shrimp aren’t only an answer to snacking boredom. You’ll also get a decent amount of protein, selenium, calcium and iodine. Dip deeper into the vinegary marinade for crisp slices of sweet red pepper or spicy jalapeño and a dose of lycopene and vitamins C and B.

Beyond snacking, pour pickled shrimp over salad greens or shredded cabbage for a full meal.

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Gyro Taco Salad & Tzatziki Guacamole

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?

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Mushroom and Bacon “Risotto”

The rich flavors of bacon and mushrooms dominate this dish, turning riced cauliflower into a super-flavorful side. Cauliflower risotto is fantastic served with a main course of roasted chicken, salmon, or thick, juicy pork chops.

The recipe below is great without any additional ingredients, but if you’re really craving comfort food then fatten the risotto up a bit. Generous amounts of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or butter (or both) will do the trick. A garnish of fresh herbs like basil, parsley and chives add color and flavor.

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Edible Veggie Tops

It can be easy to forget that the green tops of many vegetables are not only edible, but truly delicious. Beets, carrots, radishes and turnips often show up in supermarkets with no greens attached at all, and that’s a shame. When cooked and served with their greens, these veggies become side dishes with an amazing array of earthy, sweet, pleasantly bitter and peppery flavors.

Beet greens are probably the most familiar within this bunch. Turnip greens are a little more delicate but have a similar flavor. Radish greens are milder than the radish itself but still a bit peppery. Carrot tops are slightly pungent and herbal. All of these greens can be cooked in a variety of ways: sautéed or stir-fried with oil or animal fat (bacon is always delicious with greens), thrown into soups, chopped up raw and served in salads or thrown into smoothies.

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