Fast Food for Grown Ups: Great Paleolithic Side Dishes

Paleo is not just about the meat dishes. There are plenty of great paleolithic side dishes to choose from.  Here’s a short compilation of my favorite side dishes. Vegetables are one of the things that are incorporated in nearly every diet including, but not limited to, the typical American diet, the Paleo Diet, the Atkins Diet and even very specific diets like the Cabbage Soup Diet which is essentially a seven-day meal plan with the bulk of “acceptable” foods being vegetables and fruits, centered around an all-you-can-eat cabbage soup that is presented with a variety of garnishes.

At the end of the day, no matter which diet one chooses to eat or what kind of dietary guidelines is planned for one’s daily consumption, vegetables will inevitably be a significant source of food intake. If a person decides to eat Paleo, or is interested in incorporating some Paleo dishes into their repertoire, here are some of my favorite sides. Most of them are vegetable based and also have spices and flavorings to make them a very enjoyable addition to any meal.

Sweet Potato Fries

You can cut these the long way or make circles or chunks or any shape you like. This is such a good side dish.

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, depending on the size
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (to coat)
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Cut in whichever way you prefer and place onto a cookie sheet.  Add the olive oil and seasonings (you can mix and match these as well to your own preference) and make sure they are all well coated. Space equally in the pan and bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Roasted Cauliflower

This cauliflower is so good roasted in the oven, it takes on a buttery, nutty taste and is a little brown and crunchy if you cut it small enough and give it a little extra time in the oven.

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (to coat)

For this you can cut it into little florets or slice it so that you have larger flat pieces. You lay it onto a cookie sheet and cover with the olive oil and seasonings. Space it out evenly and in one layer on a metal cookie sheet. Cook the cauliflower until it begins to brown on the outsides or until it is no longer raw. Cook for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Bacon and Green Beans

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables and adding bacon boosts the protein, which makes this a great combination.

  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon pepper

Fry the bacon  until browned. While the bacon is cooking, cut the ends off of the green beans and cut the beans into bite sized pieces. Remove the bacon and drain a bit of the grease so that there is only a bit left in the pan. Then add the green beans. Cook about 10 minutes. Crumble the bacon by hand and return it to the pan and finish cooking the dish through, a matter of two or three minutes.

Asparagus with Garlic and Pine Nuts

This side is delicious and could be done in the stove top or in the oven. Either way it comes out garlicy and nutty and tastes so good.

  • 20-25 spears of asparagus, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • ⅛ cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

In a small skillet on medium heat, add the coconut oil and asparagus. Let cook for about 10 minutes and add the minced garlic. (Garlic can burn very easily so I usually add it right on top of the asparagus without stirring it in and cover for about 5 minutes.) I then uncover it and add the pine nuts, salt and pepper, and stir all together. I cook the mixture for an additional five minutes. At the end I sometimes add a splash of olive oil for flavor.

These recipes are sure to please and have always been a big hit for me. Enjoy.

See Also:

Back to Basics: The Paleolithic Diet Benefits
The Paleo Diet Dinner Table: Three Recipes


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