Paleo Diet Recipes:

Delicious Recipes for the Paleo Diet

by Josh Day

The paleo diet, or the caveman diet, can be daunting at first when you see all the restricted foods. No grains, no sugar, no salt, no dairy. So what does that leave?

Well, it leaves a whole lot, actually.

You got practically every kind of meat imaginable, including seafood. All manner of vegetables and fruit. You have your nuts and herbs. Though dairy is excluded, eggs are acceptable.

When you compare the paleo diet with most strict raw vegan diets, you're in culinary paradise. Since meat's allowed and is a significant food staple, you're able to make a wide range of fantastic soups and stews.

If you're coming off a radical vegan diet, you'll be overwhelmed by the flavors the paleo plan has to offer.

To recap, here's what's off limits on the paleo diet:

  • All grains (barley, wheat, oat, corn, rice, etc)
  • Dairy (milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc)
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes (yep, sorry, all beans)
  • Processed food of any kind

A good rule of thumb is if a caveman or primitive hunter-gatherer didn't have access to it, then it's off the menu. So it goes without saying that soft drinks, coffee, and frozen prepared meals are not allowed.

Before I scare you away, let's get to these delicious, quasi-restaurant quality recipes!

Let's begin with... seafood.


Choice of live crab, lobster, or frozen shellfish (king crab legs, lobster claws, snowcrab clusters, jumbo shelled full body shrimp, etc)
Crawfish, live or frozen (about 2 LB per person)
1 artichoke per person, trimmed
2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
3 lemons, quartered and squeezed
1 cabbage, quartered
2 turnips, quartered
2 bulbs garlic, unpeeled and horizontally halved
2 bags crab boil
3 Tbs cayenne pepper
3 Tbs Mrs. Dash seasoning (contains no salt)
10+ bay leaves
Handful of whole peppercorns, preferably mixed (black, red, pink, white)
Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped -- optional
Button mushrooms, whole -- optional
Chicken breast, chopped in bite size pieces -- optional

Note: if you have an outside grill with a gas burner, it's best to make the boil outside because of all the seasoning (it seems like too much but trust me, a lot of stuff's going into the boil). When the spices are brought to a boil it can be overpowering in the house.

Fill 3 or 4 gallon pot (biggest you have) 1/3 of the way with water. Season with bags of crab boil, cayenne pepper, Mrs. Dash, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a rolling boil.

Let boil five minutes. Taste small amount of water to test seasoning. If not spicy enough, add another bag of crab boil or more cayenne.

Add artichokes to boil. If using chicken, add with artichokes. Cover and bring back to boil, letting cook for ten minutes under heavy boil.

Add garlic, lemons (remember to squeeze first!), and remaining vegetables.

When water comes back to boil, add frozen shellfish first, then your live critters, if using. Cover and allow to come back to boil. Once boiling, kill heat and let boil steep for 15-20 minutes.

The longer you let the boil steep, the spicier it is!

How to eat crawfish: Hold behind head and snap downward. Ideally the meat will come out with the tail section. Pinch the tail with your fingers and pull out the meat with your mouth; unlike crab or lobster, crawfish meat easily comes out of the shell.

You'll be amazed at how well the artichokes turn out. The spice gets stuck under the leaves, making them even more delicious.

Corn and potatoes are traditionally thrown into a crab boil, but we're substituting them with turnips and cabbage, or carrots and mushrooms.


Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 zucchini, sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 squash, sliced in 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, sliced in 2x2 inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, "
1 red onion, eighthed*
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste
Wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes as not to burn

Peel shrimp and drizzle with lime juice then season with pepper and Mrs. Dash. Set aside for five minutes to allow the acidic lime juice to infuse the seasoning into shrimp.

Soak wooden skewers and prepare vegetables. * With red onion, chop into quarters and then chop quarters in half, cutting from what was core of onion (cut with the red skin on the cutting board). Do not break apart layers of onion.

Add veggies, shrimp, and garlic in a mixing bowel. Liberally drizzle with olive oil and then season. Stir well, making sure every surface is covered in oil and seasoning.

Impale veggies and shrimp onto skewers and mix the colors as best as you can.

Set grill to 350 degrees. Cook until shrimp turns pink, then turn skewers with tongs to cook the other side.


Catfish fillets, scaled
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mrs. Dash seasoning, to taste
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Heat olive oil in pan under medium low heat. On a plate or cutting board sprinkle lemon and lime juice over filets. Season. Flip filets and repeat for opposite side. Let sit for five minutes for acid to flavor fish.

Cook filets in pan until white halfway through, and then flip. The filets will start to curve upwards. Fish is done when white all the way through.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon and lime wedges.

For me, seafood is the culinary foundation of the paleodiet. You just have so many options, so many different tastes: scallops, mussels, shellfish, tuna, salmon, flounder. Don't forget the veggies of the sea as well like kelp. You also have exotic seafood, like sea urchin, which is a personal favorite of mine.

Finally, seafood is great to mix with other foods, especially on a limited diet like this. To make up for the absense of salt, potatoes, and grains, try serving multiple course, simple "feasts," with one or two seafood dishes.

For example...

  1. Appetizer: raw oysters on the halfshell, with lemon wedges.
  2. First course: Romaine and spinach salad with garden ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, chopped carrots, and radishes, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Second course: Homemade beef broth with yellow and green onion and thinly sliced mushrooms.
  4. Third course: Peel and eat boiled shrimp, marinated with lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, ground black pepper, and fresh thyme.
  5. Main course: roast beef with beef broth, thickened to gravy with 2 cups of mushrooms.

Next, we're onto land meats.

Click here for more great paleodiet recipes.

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