When you are on the Paleo diet, especially in the beginning, the main challenge is making sure each meal and snack is Paleo-approved. This can be a big change if you are going directly from the standard American diet, directly to this very clean, reduced carb, dairy-free and gluten-free diet. The best thing you can do is start making freezer meals and learn how to use your leftovers wisely.
Don’t Waste Your Leftovers!
Make Stir-Fry with Your Preferred Meat
If you have either sliced chicken or some veggies lying around, you can easily put them together and make a stir-fry. There is no right or wrong way to stir-fry these ingredients. Even though the traditional stir-fry might call for certain veggies, you can add absolutely any of them you like. You can make a stir-fry similar to fajitas with onions and bell peppers, or you can add veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots to the pan. You can go with any veggies that you happen to have leftover and aren’t sure what to do with.
Wrap it in Lettuce
Some of your leftovers might also go good in a lettuce wrap. Just about any type of meat or seafood leftovers can go in a wrap, including tuna for tuna salad, any type of fish or shrimp, beef, chicken, even pork chops that you have sliced up. You can have just the meat inside the leaf lettuce if you’re looking for a quick meal, or you can add some veggies to it. You can also make up some cauliflower rice if you have extra cauliflower by the end of the week. This makes a wrap burrito that is tasty and prevents you from wasting any food.
Prepare a Salad
This is by far one of the best ways to use up your leftover ingredients. If by the end of the week, you have made your primary meals, but you have some veggies, eggs, or a little meat left, combine everything into a salad. If you have leftover eggs, boil them and slice to add to a chef’s salad. You can include any meat leftover, such as ham luncheon meat or sliced chicken and steak, then add in whatever veggies you have on hand. Add a paleo-friendly dressing, such as oil and vinegar, and your salad is done.
Soup is Easy to Make
Soup is very easy to make and all you really need is water or broth and some vegetables. You can make a vegetable soup by combining the veggies with your broth, or you can add a little meat to it as well. This can be similar to a minestrone or vegetable soup, but you aren’t adding any noodles.
Paleo Freezer Meal Ideas
If you want to have some freezer meals ready, these ideas are great to start with:
This is a freezer meal you can have for any meal of the day, not necessarily breakfast. What you are going to do is choose all your favorite breakfast ingredients and add it to a big pan. The same pan will also be used to freeze them, so it couldn’t be any easier. You will first start with your eggs, beating them first, then pouring in the pan. Just make sure they don’t go too high, since you’re adding other ingredients.
You can now add your breakfast meats, such as bacon, sausage, ham, or chorizo. Follow that up with any veggies you like with your eggs, such as spinach, asparagus, tomato, onions, or mushrooms. Now bake the casserole until the eggs are cooked through and you’re all done!
Being on the paleo diet might keep you from having flour or corn tortillas, but it can’t keep you from having enchiladas! For this freezer meal, you are going to make or buy cauliflower tortillas first. These are easy to find a recipe for, but many health food stores also carry them now. You will then layer your ingredients just like a normal enchilada casserole. Many people on paleo don’t have cheese, so you can omit it or use your favorite cheese substitute.
Enchilada sauce should be just fine for the paleo diet, but definitely check the ingredients. Add lots of veggies to the layers and some chicken if you have any on hand. Bake the enchiladas, then let them cool when they are done. You can keep them in the same pan, cover, and freeze.
These meatballs are both easy to cook and save for later. Start with your preferred meat, such as turkey or ground beef. Roll the balls of meat and don’t add anything extra. Many people add breadcrumbs to their meatballs to get them to stick together and have a crispy texture when they’re done, but you are going to omit this entirely.
You will then put them in a slow cooker with some homemade tomato sauce that is paleo-friendly. Most tomato sauce is fine as long as it doesn’t contain vegetable oil and sugar to cook it. When the meatballs are done, transfer them to a freezer container.