Variety on the Paleo Diet: Nose to tail and things in between

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Personally I found that since going paleo, the amount of variety in my diet has drastically increased. Pre-paleo, I was under the illusion that I was eating a variety of foods because wheat can be processed in so many different ways, but it turns out that on a typical day I could have been eating wheat in one form or another at every meal.

When one goes paleo, one is encouraged to seek out new forms of protein and vegetables to keep from getting bored. It does take a bit of effort and a sense of adventure to commit to a new vegetable, but I say feel the fear and do it anyway.

Foods I ate rarely (or never tried) until going paleo:

  1. Leaf amaranth (a leafy vegie similar to spinach)
  2. Cabbage
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Liver (lamb, calf, chicken and duck)
  5. Roasted pig’s head
  6. Black pudding/morcilla
  7. Berries
  8. Grapefruit
  9. Pig trotter
  10. Brussel Sprouts

A criticism often made against paleo is that it is expensive. Like any diet, it can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. You can eat grass-fed eye fillet every day, or you could enjoy grass-fed mince, at a fraction of the cost. My favourite local chinese BBQ joint sells roast pig’s head for $2 per half a head. It has a bunch of crackling and head meat plus the bones make a delicious bone broth.

For vegetables, I get my asian greens from asian grocers where they go for 70 cents to a dollar per bunch. In addition to the usual suspects, you will see greens that you’ve never eaten before and don’t even know the names of. Wombok is another asian leafy vegetable, a great option as it lasts for ages in the fridge (unlike the other asian greens which go limp after a couple of days) with a nice sweet, mild flavour. This is my go-to recipe for asian greens which we will have at least 3 times a week.

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Easy and Quick Stir-Fried Asian Greens

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 bunch choy sum or bok choy, washed to remove all grit and cut into manageable pieces (halves or thirds) and well drained
2 thin slices of ginger
1 clove garlic, smashed with the back of a knife
salt
Shao Hsing Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry, a wee splash (can be omitted if you are doing the Whole30)

Heat coconut oil in a wok. When oil starts smoking, add the ginger and garlic immediately followed by the choy sum or bok choy. Stir frequently to prevent the greens at the base from burning, add the wine and a little salt and cook until wilted (around 2-3 minutes). I like to cook it so that it retains a bit of crunch left in the stems.

Shao Hsing wine contains wheat so if you are gluten-intolerant, either skip the alcohol or use dry sherry.

What foods do you enjoy now, that you never ate before?

by Lorinda Seto

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