The Culinary Architect: Start off the New Year the Paleo way

Most people start off the new year with the resolution to eat more healthy and lose weight.  The Paleo Diet might be a great place for you to start…the Paleo Diet, also know as the Caveman Diet, refers to eating like our Paleolithic ancestors ate.  Our stone age predecessors were skilled at hunting with stone tools and gathering.  They had not yet domesticated animals, so their meals consisted of meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  They did not eat grains, dairy, legumes and, obviously, additives and processed foods.

Many of my clients have us cook Paleo for them.  They experience moderate weight loss (one client lost over 50 lbs. during 2 years), increased energy, better digestion, better moods and more restful sleep.  If you are interested in learning more about this intriguing diet, there are many books available.  However, the first and foremost authoritative tome is Loren Cordain’s Ph.D, The Paleo Diet.  In the meantime, the following recipes are an excellent place to start.  Try them and see if the Paleo Diet may be for you and Happy and Healthy New Year Wishes to You.


Serves 4

Broccoli Fritatta

Stuffed Acorn Squash


The Paleo Way,

with Mushrooms

Steamed Spinach*

Ginger Sea Bass Over

Wilted Spinach

Steamed Baby Carrots*

Paleo Broccoli Fritatta

This dish may be enjoyed at Breakfast or Lunch or cut into quarters as a dinner side dish.  It is attractive, delicious and loaded with fiber and Vitamin C.

1 tblsp. olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1  head broccoli, separated

into  florets & peel the stem

4 large eggs

2 tblsps. almond meal

2 tblsps. fresh, chopped


1 tblsp. fresh pepper

1 tblsp. fresh thyme

Olive oil in a spray bottle

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add onion and garlic.  Cook over medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.

2.  In a large pot, boil water, add broccoli and cook 2 minutes until bright greenDrain and set aside 8 nice looking florets.

3.  Place remaining broccoli in a food processor and process.  Add remaining ingredients and process again.

4.  Lightly oil an aluminum round pan.  Pour broccoli mixture in pan and decorate with “8 nice florets”.  Bake in oven until cooked though.  Approximately 20 minutes.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This recipe is very versatile.  The squash can be a delicious make-ahead lunch or dinner.  If you are feeling creative, you can substitute any lean ground meat.  You can also add any vegetable or herb as well. Let your creativity soar.

2 acorn squash

1 tblsp. olive or coconut oil

1 onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 lb. ground turkey or

ground turkey

sausage, casing removed

1/2 cup tomatoes,

finely chopped

1/4 cup almond meal

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, removing the pulp.  Place face down on a baking pan in 1/4 inch of water.

3.  Bake for 30-45 minutes or until squash are soft.

4.  While squash is baking, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil, onions and garlic.  Cook until onions are translucent, but be careful not to burn garlic.

5.  Stir in pepper and cook 3-4 minutes longer.

6.  Add turkey and brown until turkey is cooked.

7.  Strain off any excess liquid from the turkey and stir in tomatoes and almond meal.  

8.  Pour out any of the water in the pan with the squash.  Place squash open side up.  Fill with turkey mixture and bake 20 minutes more.

Chicken Picata, The Paleo Way with Mushrooms

Chicken Piccata is usually dredged in flour.  I promise that you will not miss the flour one bit in this recipe.  The addition of mushrooms, a vegetable high in fiber and low in calories, makes this dish super delicious.

4 skinless, boneless

chicken breasts

1 tblsp. + 1 tblsp. olive oil

Sea Salt and black pepper

to taste

4 cloves, garlic, minced

2 green onions, diced

6 oz. sliced mushrooms,

any kind you like. (I love

King Oyster Mushrooms,

available at Asian markets)

1/4  cup white wine

1/2  cup chicken stock

Juice from one lemon

3 tblsps. capers, chopped

1.  Butterfly the chicken breasts.

2.  Place the butterflied chicken pieces in between 2 pieces of Saran Wrap and, with a flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound the chicken until the meat is approximately 1/4-inch thick or pound with a heavy skillet.

3. In a large saute pan, heat the 1 tblsp. oil over medium-high heat.  While your pan is heating, lightly sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the sea salt and black pepper.

4.  Saute the chicken in the hot skillet on both sides for 3-5 minutes, until the chicken is barely cooked through.

5.  Remove the chicken from the pan and add to the same pan another 1 tblsp. olive oil, garlic and onions.

6.  Using a wooden spoon, quickly saute the garlic and onions for 2 minutes, scraping any of the chicken drippings off the bottom of the pan.  Add the mushrooms and continue sauteing.

7.  Add the wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and capers and bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes.

8.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

9.  Serve with steamed spinach to add additional “bulk” with very few calories.

Ginger Sea Bass

over Wilted Spinach

6 cups fresh baby

spinach leaves

4 5-oz. Sea Bass filets

4 tsps. peeled and

minced fresh ginger

2  tsps. minced garlic

1/2  cup dry Marsala wine

8 tsps. soy sauce

2 tsps. sesame oil

1 lime, quartered

1.  Cut 4 (12-inch square pieces) of aluminum foil.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Using 1 foil at a time, place the foil sheets on the work surface.  Place 1 1/2 cups of spinach in the center of each foil sheet.  Top with Sea Bass filet.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sesame oil over the fish and spinach.  Gather the foil sheets over the fish.  Fold in the foil edges and pinch tightly to seal.  Place the foil packages on a baking sheet.

3.  Bake until the spinach wilts, and the fish is just cooked though, about 10 minutes.  Transfer the packages to wide shallow bowls.  Cool 5 minutes.  Open package and fold down to reveal fish, being careful of hot steam.  Squeeze the lime over the fish.

4.  Serve with peeled, steamed baby carrots.

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 32-year old Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties.  She lives in Manhasset with her husband and son.


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