All-Natural Lean: 5 Paleo-Inspired Recipes

Connect with your inner caveman and whittle away the pounds. This Paleo-inspired meal plan does the calorie counting for you. All you have to do is enjoy!

Unless you have literally been living in a cave for the last few years, you've probably heardsomething about the paleo diet, even if you're not quite sure what it is. The paleo plan is pretty simple: Eat only foods that our paleolithic ancestors could have hunted, gathered, or fished. Most people who "eat paleo" consume meat, seafood, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and nuts while avoiding processed foods like sugar, dairy, grain, and legumes.

Though it has been hyped up as the weight loss solution, it's not exactly a diet. At first glance it seems like a straightforward weight-loss solution: Eliminate all the bad foods from your diet. But it doesn't exactly work like that, because paleois more of a lifestyle than a diet. You have to plan your calories and macronutrients yourself. There's no paleo overlord to tell you exactly how many calories you should consume. So, even if you're eating nothing but "paleo-approved" foods, too much can be a bad thing.

To aid you in your quest to get lean via paleo, here's an entire day's worth of paleo-inspired recipes. They're not strict paleo; rather, they're based on the lifestyle's high-protein, low-carb tenets. We've provided the macronutrients for each recipe, so if you need to adjust the portions, ingredients, or flavors, feel free to do so.

Paleo Weight-Loss Recipes

Loaded Sweet Potato

Tired of your egg whites and oatmeal? Go all-American with a couple strips of bacon and a fried egg. The sweet potato adds a unique flavor and provides vitamin A, C, manganese, fiber, potassium, B vitamins, and iron.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Bake potato for 1 hour or until soft then let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli and cook for 3 minutes or until broccoli appears bright green and tender. Separate broccoli.
  4. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pan and fry egg to personal preference.
  5. Slice the top of each potato lengthwise and scoop out the insides with a spoon into a bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch thick shell. Mash the sweet potato and mix in the cooked broccoli, bacon, salt and pepper.
  6. Scoop the sweet potato mixture back into the potato shell and top with the fried egg.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Serves 1
Amount per serving
Calories 531
Total Fat 40.6g
Total Carbs 27.7g
Protein 15.1g

Loaded Sweet Potato PDF (102 KB)

Jerky Power

Plain sliced apples are kids' stuff. Add some crushed red pepper for a metabolic boost and that delicious sweet 'n' spicy combo. Trade in that Happy Meal for a few strips of jerky. You'll get all the benefits of red meat with less fat.

Make sure you stick with homemade or all-natural jerky to make your cave brothers and sisters proud.

  1. Season apple slices with crushed red pepper and enjoy with beef jerky.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Recipe serves 1
Amount per serving
Calories 196
Total Fat 7.6g
Total Carbs 24.2g
Protein 9.8g

Jerky Power PDF (101 KB)

"Double Cluck" Portabella Burger

Sandwich your meats between some veggies and, voila! You've got the lunch of champions. The chicken breast and Portabella mushroom combination is a tasty, protein-packed bite. You'll also get a fantastic helping of potassium and selenium.

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Pat dry chicken breast with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place on top rack of the broiler, uncovered, and cook each side for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked through. There should be no appearance of pink in the meat.
  4. Heat coconut oil in a skillet and sauté mushrooms for 3-5 minutes on each side or until the mushrooms turn golden brown on the top and become tender. Remove and set aside.
  5. Fry the egg in the skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Arrange the burger with fresh lettuce, tomato slices, chicken breast and fried egg.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Recipe serves 1
Amount per serving
Calories 442
Total Fat 30.5g
Total Carbs 2.9g
Protein 31.4g

"Double Cluck" Portabella Burger PDF (102 KB)

Blueberry and Cucumber Quinoa Salad

Keep it colorful with a fruit and veggie salad. Enjoy as an afternoon snack or add a little meat for a great meal. Although quinoa breaks from strict paleo, this staple food of the Inca contains more protein than rice or wheat, so it's probably worth the rule-breaking.

You'll also benefit from the rainbow of color on your plate. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber, and the cucumber will help keep you hydrated. You'll also get essential vitamins and minerals from that delicious fresh spinach.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, cucumber, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
  2. On a plate, arrange the fresh spinach leaves, quinoa mixture and top with fresh blueberries. (Serve with grilled chicken or lean fish for a complete meal.)
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Recipe serves 1
Amount per serving
Calories 289
Total Fat 33.9g
Total Carbs 16.4g
Protein 5.5g

Blueberry and Cucumber Quinoa Salad PDF (102 KB)

Esto es La Pera

Dinner fit for a matador. The recipe is great for days when that 12-ounce T-bone steak just seems like a bit much. Pears are the quiet stepsister to the spotlight-hogging apple, so give her a dance and don't retreat to the comfortable arms of the applesauce-glazed chops just yet. Round out a successful paleo-inspired day with vitamins C and A, folic acid, and potassium on top of your meat.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  3. Season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides and place in skillet. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side. Let stand.
  4. Then sauté the pear and onion slices in the skillet for 2 minutes, or until the pear slices are slightly browned.
  5. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the pear and onion, and arrange the pork chops and fresh rosemary on top.
  6. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size Recipe serves 2
Amount per serving
Calories 635
Total Fat 16.6g
Total Carbs 34.4g
Protein 71.7g

Esto es La Pera PDF (102 KB)

Recommended For You

Grounds For Debate: The Truths About Coffee

Here's some conversation fodder to make you seem smart the next time you're by the office's communal coffee pot.

Ask The Protein Powder Chef: Low Carb Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

Savor the flavor of a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth cookie full of peanut buttery goodness. Choosy moms might choose Jif, but protein lovers choose these low-carb cookies!

How To Choose Your Best Diet

Stop blindly following someone else's nutrition protocol with middling results. Start making a nutrition strategy that works specifically for you!