Recipes | Seriously Stoneage

Recipes

Stoneage suggestions

There are SO many recipe suggestions on the internet (albeit with an American bias) that I am not even going to start trying to compete with what’s out there. But I do know what I like and what’s worked for me, so here are just a few paleo-pointers to get you started:-

Most people seem to rely heavily on grains to provide the basis for most of their meals, especially breakfast (i.e. cereal, toast etc.) and believe that this is the only way to fill you up and sustain you through the morning. In fact, our love affair with carbohydrates causes most to declare “I couldn’t live without bread/ porridge/pasta/rice” but I have found that plenty of protein along with some veg does the trick, and the body and brain soon adjusts to the new regime. Good old egg and bacon (treat yourself to good bacon, not that thin stuff that ‘leaks’), kippers and poached eggs, scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, an omelette or a piece of fish are my usual fare, combined with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions or even leftover veg from the night before (e.g. sweet potato and broccoli make a nice ‘bubble and squeak’).

If you’re not quite up to cooked food first thing, then another option is the fruit route – a lovely fresh fruit salad of whatever you’ve got in the bowl perhaps with a few berries and nuts and seeds sprinkled over will put a spring in your step. You could even make this the night before and pour some apple juice over it so that it goes all slurpy. Or whizz it all up to make a smoothie.

Lunch on the run seems to consist of one option these days – a sandwich. It can seem quite daunting at first to be opting out of this convenient routine, and I grant that being organised and planning ahead is the best way of coping. But honestly, if I can do it, anyone can. So rather than focus on what we will have to live without (MOST of what appears on supermarket or cafe shelves), it’s time to start a whole new mindset. Or perhaps it’s more like re-visiting an old one – preparing a lunchbox, into which can go all sorts of delights (or leftovers, you might have noticed my fondness for recycling!)

Salad is a great thing to always have on standby to have with your chosen protein, except perhaps stews and the like. You can save yourself shedloads of time by having a marathon chopping session and then keeping supplies in tubs in the fridge. Lettuce, rocket, spinach leaves or a mixture can be used as a base, and a rainbow of additional veg of your choice added – grated beetroot, carrot, apple, tomatoes, chopped peppers, the list goes on. If you want to make a ‘one bowl’ meal of the salad, then you can add your protein – prawns, cooked chicken, smoked mackerel, boiled egg, tuna, etc.

Another handy accompaniment to meat or fish is a good salsa - chopped tomato, white onion, chillies (typically jalapeños or serranos). Other ingredients may also be added, such as lime juice and/or apple cider vinegar, fresh chopped coriander, cucumber, radish or a firm fruit, such as mango or avocado. My default dressing is olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Again, lots of different things can be added to this – garlic, ginger, fresh herbs, lemon juice etc.

Seasoning is very important generally when on this diet, so apart from sea salt and pepper, make sure you’ve got plenty of herbs and spices to hand to add flavour – cumin, coriander and chilli flakes rule!

If you fancy something hot at lunchtime, I recommend making vats of vegetable soup that you can put in a flask, freeze for later, or have waiting for you when you get home. Use whatever is in season or that you have a surfeit of, if you made too much roasted veg the night before, you can always whizz that up as a base for soup.

When it comes to meals at home, steaming is the cooking method I most favour – it’s quick, easy, economical and healthy, so if you don’t already own a steamer I thoroughly recommend investing in one. That way you can, for example, put your sweet potatoes in water in the pan, your greens in the layer above and a nice piece of salmon above that, simmer for 10 minutes and Bob’s your uncle. Or swap layers around, try different combinations, experiment with cooking times etc. to work out what suits your taste.

The other piece of kitchen equipment I would thoroughly recommend you consider buying is a slow cooker which is also good for your health and your wallet. The name of the game, as you may have already spotted, is making an excess of any dish and slow cooking is perfect for this. It also lends itself to much cheaper cuts of meat - whether it’s pot roast beef, diced venison casserole, pork shoulder vindaloo or lamb neck hotpot you’ll be glad you got it going in the morning when you get home after a hard day’s work and can tuck straight in. Frying onions and garlic in coconut oil forms the basis of most of these dishes, then add the meat to brown before transferring it to the slow cooker along with plenty of veg, seasoning and stock.

Snacking is an area where many people struggle to stay in stoneage and healthy territory. People often worry about getting caught short without a snack when they get peckish, so these are some of the things I make sure I always have a supply of in my cupboard or in my pocket if I’m out and about – almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, apples, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, hard-boiled eggs, carrot/celery sticks, tins of fish (tuna, mackerel, sardine or salmon).

Once I am at work, I keep a little tin at hand which I top up regularly with a small amount nuts and seeds. Also, thinking ahead again, you could make up a dip such as tapenade (olive-based), baba ghanoush (aubergine) or guacamole (avocado) to take with you to dip your veggies into. But in truth, it didn’t take too long before I lost the habitual cravings for snacks almost altogether as the ‘full’ feeling I started to experience at mealtimes would then sustain me until the next meal.


Savoury Paleo Biscuits - like oatcakes

Thanks to Claire Milne for this simple recipe for a tasty replacement for oatcakes. They taste better too.


Mayonnaise

Make your own mayo - handy for dipping your leftovers in!


Three Salsas

A colourful and tasty trio of accompaniments to any fish or meat dish


Meat Stock

How to make a basic stock which can be used as a base for all your dishes


Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

A hearty and warming vegetarian curry


Making Stocks - 8 Lessons

This is from Tim Hayward on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme.


Chimchurri Sauce

A fresh and zingy dressing to pep up almost anything.
Recipe from Tom at Poco, Bristol here


Spicy Indonesian Nibble Mix

A tangy, spicy and moreish nutty nibble to serve with drinks. Incredibly addictive!

Recipe adapted from Melissa Joulwan here


Choca Chili

A bean free chili that’s full of flavour…
Recipe adapted from Melissa Joulwan here


Coconut Baked Prawns

Great flavour and texture. A paleo version of scampi!