The "caveman diet" is getting a real workout across Colorado. The creation of Loren Cordain, a Colorado State University professor who wrote The Paleo Diet and numerous follow-up books, the diet has been picked up by the Crossfit community and many other fans of healthy eating. But while it promises weight loss, lower blood pressure, less risk of cardiovascular disease and increased athletic performance, the diet doesn't promise that it's easy to follow outside of your own kitchen. The high-protein diet focuses on consuming foods that could be hunted and gathered during the Paleolithic era: grass-fed meat, fish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables and fruit. Since dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, potatoes and processed oils are no-nos, dining out can be challenging even if a chef is willing to accommodate a gluten-free, veggies-instead-of-rice and no-cheese, please, order.
Because there is a little caveman in all of us, here's a list of list of ten perfectly paleo dishes that don't require any substitutes or swaps.
See also: - Comedian/restaurateur Will White on his paleo-diet truck, Kickstarter and standup - Paleo diet study wins a Centennial teen $2,000 - A food critic cuts out the trash in her diet to right junk in the trunk
10. House-Smoked Trout Shine One of the more popular items on Shine's brunch menu, house-smoked trout (pictured above) is the work of executive chef Jessica Emich, a paleo eater herself. A filet of Idaho trout joins a crispy yam mash, seared greens and housemade avocado Hollandaise: Emich swaps out eggs and butter for lemon juice and olive oil with a touch of Tabasco sauce. And Shine has more than one paleo dish to offer: 75 percent of the menu is hunter- and gatherer-friendly.
Photo courtesy of Slotted Spoon.
9. Wicked Salad Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery Pork meatballs top a bed of mixed greens, peppers, pesto sauce and slaw. The meatballs are made fresh daily with ground pork, gluten-free breadcrumbs, onion, fennel, basil and salt and pepper. The homemade slaw combines cabbage, cucumber, lemon juice and ranch seasoning for a tangy kick. The Wicked is also available with salmon meatballs.
Photo courtesy of Colt & Gray.
8. Hudson Valley Foie Gras Colt & Gray Colt & Gray flies in its duck foie gras from the Hudson Valley, sears it with an XO sauce of smoked oysters and ginger, watercress and almonds, and serves it with sliced rhubarb. While foie gras is always on the menu here, this version was updated a few weeks ago with a menu revamp.
Photo courtesy of Old Major's Facebook page.
7. Nose to Tail Plate Old Major The Butcher section of the Old Major menu includes the nose to tail plate, a caveman's delight with confit pork rib, pork chop, crispy belly, city ham and a crispy ear marinated in guanciale vinaigrette and rhubarb jus. This is the full animal experience.
Photo courtesy of Choppers Custom Salad's Facebook page.
6. The Big Shrimp Choppers Custom Salad Choppers its known for it custom salads, and has a plethora of paleo ingredients that you can mix and match. But the chef's choice Big Shrimp works with the diet, too. A bed of romaine lettuce is topped with shrimp, cucumber, tomatoes and avocado, then chopped and tossed with housemade cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
Photo by Lori Hellstrom.
5 .Paleo Granola mmm...coffee! Jami Fynboh started making paleo granola at home as a treat for her daughter, but noticed that once her husband, Derek, got home it always disappeared. So she decided to introduce it at mmm...coffee! Raw almonds, pecans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds are mixed, then sweetened with honey and shredded coconut; the granola is now the all- paleo bistro's best-selling item. The Fynbohs suggest putting it on a smoothie or coconut ice cream, or eating it by the handful right out of the container.
4. Bistro Steak Caveman Cafeteria The Caveman Cafeteria stand is now a fixture on the 16th Street Mall, where Will White, owner and comedian, serves up paleo dishes on the go. His favorite is the bistro steak-New Zealand Wagyu steak, sautéed with organic baby portobello mushrooms in a veal bone-marrow demiglaze. It's served in recycled paper bowls, so you can take the steak to go or eat it at one of the two picnic tables White places on the malls every morning.
Photo courtesy of Modmarket's Facebook page.
3. Curry Split Pea Soup Modmarket The team behind metro Denver's four Modmarkets whips up onion, carrot, celery, garlic, tomato, yellow split peas, curry, coconut milk, vegetable stock, sea salt, pepper, fresh basil, bay leaf and olive oil to make this soup offered on the lunch and dinner menu. And as a bonus for those who prefer to gather rather than hunt, it's vegan, too.
2. Grilled Avocado Salad Corner House Chef/co-owner Matt Selby offers this salad morning, noon and night. He quarters, then grills the avocado to capture heat and smoke, and beds it on a plate of arugula, adding raw red onion, orange slices, pickled chiles and fresh apples and drizzling it with a housemade citrus vinaigrette.
Photo courtesy of Eden.
1. Grass Fed Grilled Steak Eden The two-year-old Eden added paleo dishes to its menu last February. There are ten caveman-friendly items on the dinner menu alone, each marked with a paleo symbol. Our favorite: the six-ounce, grass-fed grilled sirloin served with mashed sweet potatoes and seasonal roasted vegetables.
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