Paleo incomplete but there are pros
We have had the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Mediterranean diet, and nowwe have the Paleo diet. Most of you have probably heard or come across the Paleo diet, otherwise known as the ‘‘Caveman’’ diet.
The essential belief of those that follow the Paleo diet, is that our genetic blueprint does not match our 21st Century diet and lifestyle. Followers of the diet, as I understand it, believe food has evolved at a far faster rate than our bodies have been able to develop to process it since the end of the Paleolithic era. So dieters on this plan consume only fish, meat, vegetables, some fruit, seeds and healthy oils. There are no grains, legumes nor dairy, however recent scientific evidence suggests that in fact these were consumed.
The human body is an assembly of inherited traits that have been transformed since the beginning of time. These changes did not cease when the Paleo period ceased, thus contradicting some of the core beliefs of the diet. An example of this is our ability to digest dairy, which derived about 7000 years ago due to a gene mutation.
If I amhonest, a diet high in meats and animal fats and low in grain and legumes seems to contradict a lot of what I was taught in nutrition at university. Don’t get me wrong, the diet has numerous pros, which include the removal of processed foods and refined sugars, plus a high consumption of healthy greens. However . . . a diet that cuts out two major food groups (dairy and wholegrains) seems somewhat nutritionally incomplete to me.
The recipe below is derived from a basic Paleo methodology and is delicious. Here rice has been replaced with blended cauliflower, and a faux rice dish has been created. I didn’t tell my husband this and he thought he was eating couscous . . . see how you get on.
Please let it be noted that people the world over are following this diet many with positive outcomes to both weight and health.
Paleo Prawns and Chorizo Paella Ingredients
350g prawns 1 piece of chorizo , skin removed and diced
a cauliflower with florets cut off 1 medium courgette sliced into 1 cm slices
red onion sliced 3 cloves garlic minced 1 tablespoon paprika Good pinch saffron 1 tablespoon tomato paste 125ml water and stock (homemade chicken or vegetarian best, honestly I used packet stuff) 100ml white wine 1 red pepper sliced 1 chilli , seeds removed and chopped finely 3 tablespoons of healthy oil (I used sunflower)
1 good handful of flat leaf parsley chopped 2 sliced spring onions sliced Juice of one lemon
1. Blend the cauliflower in blender until similar size of rice. Or slice finely with a sharp knife. 2. Heat a pan to medium to high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Cook the chorizo for 1-2 min until browned. Remove from the pan leaving the delicious red oils from the chorizo. 3. Cook the prawns in the same pan for round 30 seconds each side. Remove from pan. 4. Add in a couple of tablespoons more oil and add in your onions, chilli, peppers, courgette and garlic and cook for 3-4 mins till softened a little. 5. Deglaze pan by adding the wine to the vege mix. Let it come back to a simmer for 2 mins then add in stock and paste. Cook for a further 2-3 mins until reduced/thickened a little then add in your blended cauliflower, prawns and chorizo. 6. Continue to cook for a further 2-3 mins and serve immediately. Garnish with parsley, spring onions and squeeze over lemon. Serves 2-3
Healthy: Paleo Prawns and Chorizo Paella.