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30-Minute Paleo-Friendly Dinners

If you follow a paleo diet, a quick drive-thru dinner isn't an option when you're in a rush. Here are 4 protein-packed meals you can make in under 30 minutes!

It's 5:30 p.m. and you're finally heading out of the office after a long day. The rain is coming down, and the radio says there are two accidents on your route home. Looks like your normal 15-minute commute is about to become 45. This wasn't how you envisioned your night.

On top of that, you still have to make dinner. But since you follow a Paleo-style approach to eating, simply heating up a precooked meal or grabbing a processed bar is out of the question. You may as well take a detour left into the forest and begin hunting your next meal.

Fortunately, there are many Paleo-friendly meals that can be made in the blink of an eye. Here are four protein-packed options to get you (grass) fed in about 30 minutes!

1

Cajun Zucchini Noodle Stew With Shrimp and Sausage




This tastes like your favorite jambalaya, but with all the spicy flavor going on, you won't miss the usual accompanying rice!

Ingredients

Zucchini 2 medium


Andouille chicken sausage, sliced 1 link


Shrimp, peeled and deveined 4 oz.


Olive oil 1 tbsp


Red bell pepper, thinly sliced 1/2 pepper


Yellow onion, chopped 1/2 cup


Celery, thinly sliced 1/4 cup


Diced tomatoes, undrained 1 cup


Reduced-sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup


Tomato paste 1 tbsp


Cajun seasoning 2 tsp


Garlic, minced 2 tsp


Salt to taste


Bay leaves 2


Parsley for garnish


Directions
  1. Spiralize zucchini using a spiralizer with a 3-millimiter blade.
  2. Place your zucchini noodles in a colander (set over a large bowl) and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Toss to coat and let stand so the noodles can release some water.
  3. In a large pan, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add in the Cajun seasoning and garlic and cook until garlic is golden brown and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add in the sliced pepper, onion, and celery, and cook until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Reduce the temperature to medium, and add in the sliced chicken sausage. Cook until the sausage is slightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste, and bay leaves. Stir until the tomato sauce has broken down into the sauce. Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, reduce the heat back to medium and let simmer, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about half, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add in the shrimp, cover the pan, and cook until the shrimp is opaque, about 2-3 minutes.
  9. Squeeze out as much moisture from the zucchini noodles as you can, and then pat dry on a paper towel.
  10. Divide the zucchini noodles between two bowls, then divide the stew on top of them. Garnish with fresh parsley, and devour.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 bowl
Recipe yields: 2 bowls
Amount per serving
Calories 285
Fat15 g
Carbs18 g
Protein22 g

2

Mason Jar Chicken Taco Salad




This is the perfect stress reliever after a long day of work. Prepping bigger batches takes almost no extra time, providing delicious dinners for days to come. Even made days ahead of time, these spicy salads won't get soggy!

Ingredients

Chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces 8 oz.


Olive oil, divided 1 tbsp


Avocado 1 small


Roma tomatoes, chopped 2


Cucumber, chopped 1/2 cucumber


Carrots, sliced 1/2 cucumber


Red bell pepper 1 large


Onion, roughly chopped 1/2 cup


Fresh spinach 2-4 cups


Juice of 1 large lime


Salsa of choice 1 cup


Cilantro, roughly chopped 1/2 cup


Garlic, minced 2 tsp


Whole cumin seed 2 tsp


Salt to taste


Directions
  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken breast until slightly browned and no longer pink on the inside. Set aside in a small bowl.
  2. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil into the pan and heat at medium-high heat. Cook the carrots until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add in the pepper, onion, and garlic. Cook until soft.
  4. While the veggies cook, place the cumin seeds in a small, dry pan over medium-high heat and toast them, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, about two minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and crush. I use the bottom of a glass, which works really well.
  5. Add the crushed seeds into the pan with the veggies and season with salt. Mix well, and turn off the heat.
  6. Scoop avocado into a small food processor, add the lime juice, and blend until smooth and creamy. You can also just mash them together in a bowl.
Assembly Instructions
  1. Place 1/2 cup of salsa in the bottom of each jar, spreading evenly. Gently spread the avocado/lime mixture on top. Then, add in the cumin and roasted veggies, followed by the chicken. You may need to lightly press everything in to get it all to fit.
  2. After the chicken, add the chopped tomatoes, and then the cucumbers. Finish off by dividing the cilantro and then as much spinach as you can stuff in there!
  3. Seal and refrigerate until ready to devour.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 salad
Recipe yields: 2 salads
Amount per serving
Calories 464
Fat23 g
Carbs36 g
Protein34 g

3

Mango Chicken With Coconut Cauliflower Rice




This simple-to-make, is served over coconut cauliflower rice. With a little fresh ginger and habanero, it packs a flavorful punch!

Sauce ingredients

Coconut oil, divided 2-1/2 tsp


Fresh ginger, minced 1-1/2 tsp


Garlic, minced 1 tsp


Habanero pepper, minced 1/2 tsp (optional)


100% orange mango juice 3/4 cup


Coconut aminos 1/2 tbsp


Tapioca flour 1 tsp


Chicken ingredients

Tapioca flour 3 tbsp


Chicken breast 8 oz.


Coconut oil, divided 2 tbsp


Salt to taste


Pepper to taste


Cauliflower rice ingredients

Cauliflower 3 cups


Coconut oil, divided 2 tsp


Unsweetened coconut flakes 2 tbsp


Garnish ingredients

Large mango, cubed 1/2 mango


Cilantro to taste, roughly chopped


Green onion to taste, roughly chopped


Sesame seeds 1 tsp


Sauce Directions
  1. Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add in the ginger, garlic, and habanero pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the juice and coconut aminos. Raise the temperature to high heat, and bring to a boil. While liquid is boiling, place the tapioca flour in a small bowl.
  3. Once the liquid comes to a boil, add 2 teaspoons of it to the bowl with the tapioca flour and whisk until smooth. While stirring constantly, pour the tapioca mixture into the sauce and boil for 2 minutes.
  4. After the sauce has boiled, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduces by about 1/4 and becomes shiny, about 6-7 minutes.
  5. Transfer sauce to a large bowl to let it cool and thicken while you make the chicken.
Chicken Instructions
  1. Place the tapioca flour in a large Ziploc bag. Cut the chicken into cubes, season it with salt and pepper and add it into the bag, shaking until evenly coated in the flour.
  2. In a medium pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Place half of the chicken into the pan, being careful not to crowd it, and cook until golden and browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a paper-towel-lined plate, and blot off any excess oil. Repeat with the remaining chicken. If the chicken starts cooking too quickly, turn the heat down slightly.
  4. While the chicken cooks, place the cauliflower in a large food processor and process until broken down and rice-like.
  5. Heat the 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the cauliflower and coconut flakes. Cook until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 2-4 minutes.
  7. Transfer the chicken and mango cubes into the bowl with the sauce and toss until evenly coated.
  8. Divide the chicken and cauliflower between two plates and garnish with cilantro, green onion and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 bowl
Recipe yields: 2 bowls
Amount per serving
Calories 591
Fat31 g
Carbs43 g
Protein36 g

4

Orange Beef Stir-Fry Sweet Potato Noodles and Kale




This is packed with healthy carbs, green, and protein. And it can all be on your plate in under 30 minutes!

Stir-fry ingredients

Sweet potato 1 large


Coconut oil 2-1/2 tsp


Fresh ginger, minced 1 tsp


Top sirloin steak cut into bite-size pieces 1/2 lb.


Sauce ingredients

100% orange juice 1 cup


Fresh ginger, minced 2 tsp


Coconut aminos 1 tbsp 1 tsp


Honey 1 tbsp 1 tsp


Kale 6-8 cups


Salt and pepper to taste


Directions
  1. Spiralize the sweet potato using the 3-millimeter-blade spiralizer.
  2. Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons of the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in the potato noodles and cook until they just begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Place into a bowl and cover to keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in the pan over medium heat, and add in 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger. Cook until the ginger is lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the steak and cook until it reaches desired doneness. Drain the fat and place into a bowl. Cover it to keep warm, and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients except the kale and toss into the pan. Turn the heat up to high, and boil the sauce until it just begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium and toss in the kale. Cook until the kale begins to wilt.
  7. Divide the noodles and steak between two dishes and top with the sauce and kale mixture. Devour!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/2 recipe
Recipe yields: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 546
Fat12 g
Carbs65 g
Protein38 g