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4 Flavor-Packed Paleo Diet Recipes for Weight Loss

Wish you could drop fat, sculpt six-pack abs, yet still enjoy what you eat? (Grunt once for “yes.”) Then go the mega-protein route—but with these tasty gourmet twists.
William and Susan Brinson

Paleo nutrition—in case you’ve been living in a cave—involves eating only foods available in the Paleolithic Era (meats, seafood, fruits, veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds, unprocessed oil). Still, the plan is as popular as ever. The relative plainness of “prehistoric” fare can make eating like early Homo sapiens a challenge.

But with a little creativity, you can turn all your favorite foods—from hot wings to fajitas to burgers—into equally tasty Paleo treats. Here’s how to modernize the most “old-school” diet ever.

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Paleo Fajitas

Makes: 3 Servings

For Meat

1 lb organic skirt steak (To be as Paleo as possible, buy grass-fed steak. It’ll be leaner, and what fat it does have will be healthier.)
tomatillo salsa

For Rub
2 chipotles, soaked in water 30 minutes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tsp cumin

For Wraps
6 large cabbage leaves

For Salad
1 red onion, whole
1/4 pineapple, peeled and cored
1/2 green pepper, julienned
1/2 red pepper, julienned 
Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp avocado oil 
Black pepper to taste
10 whole cilantro leaves

1) Preheat grill to high. Place onion on the back of the grill, allowing the outside to char. Remove when onion feels soft and refrigerate. Place pineapple on grill and cook 5 minutes on one side and then the other. Remove pineapple.
2) Cut away the top and bottom of onion to remove skin. Slice onion and pineapple into strips and place in a mixing bowl. Add rest of salad ingredients and toss.
3) Remove chipotles from water and chop, then place in a mixing bowl. Add remaining rub ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add steak and mix until meat is coated. Add steak to grill and cook 3 minutes. Turn steak and cook 3 minutes. Remove and let rest, then slice thinly.
4) Arrange cabbage leaves on a plate and add steak slices to each. Top with salad and salsa.

609 calories, 33g protein, 26g carbs, 28g fat

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Spicy Cashew Pork Kabobs

Makes 5-6 Servings

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
3 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp coconut oil
11/2 tsp sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp natural cashew butter
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lime
11/2 lb pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes

1) Combine first six ingredients in a bowl and whisk. When smooth, add remaining ingredients, except pork.
2) Add pork to mixture and turn until coated. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours. Take pork out and drain thoroughly. Thread pork onto metal skewers. Let sit 20 minutes while you preheat grill to medium-high.
3) Spray grill, then place kebabs on it. Turn often. Grill 15 minutes or until pork is cooked through.

274 calories, 27g protein, 27g carbs, 16g fat

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Turkey Burger with Mango Salsa

Makes: 6 Servings


2 lbs organic ground turkey breast
1/8 cup yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tsp smoked paprika 1 tsp ground cumin
Black pepper
2 tsp olive oil

1 avocado, diced
1 mango, diced
5 leaves of cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp avocado oil
Black pepper to taste

1) Preheat the grill to medium. In a bowl, combine all burger ingredients, except olive oil, and mix thoroughly. Form into six patties and place on a pan lined with parchment. Drizzle olive oil over the burgers.
2) Place burgers on an oiled grill. Grill 4 to 5 minutes and flip. Repeat. Mix all salsa ingredients in a small bowl and serve burgers topped with salsa. If you don’t want to make your own, buy plain tomato salsa (fruit-free to keep out added sugars).

352 calories, 29g protein, 6g carbs, 21g fat

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Flank Steak with Escalivada (Grilled Veggies)

Makes 6-8 Servings 

1 2–21/2 lbs flank steak
2 tbsp chimichurri (optional)

For Rub
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp black pepper, coarsely ground

For Escalvida
2 Red onions, unpeeled
2 large tomatoes
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large zucchini
1 large eggplant
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/8 cup basil, cut into fine ribbons
Salt and pepper, to taste


For Steak
1) Mix rub ingredients in a glass baking dish. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, turning occasionally.
2) Once the escalivada is made, remove meat from marinade and grill until done (about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare). Transfer steak to work surface and let stand 5 minutes. Cut into thin strips. Arrange on a platter and serve over escalivada. Top with Chimichurri.

For Escalvida  
1) Preheat grill to medium-high. Place onions on the outside of grill, indirectly over flames. Allow to cook until the outside is slightly charred and onions are some-what soft (about an hour). When onions are done, remove from heat; let cool. Once cooled, remove and discard outer charred layers.
2) While onions are cooking, place tomatoes directly over flames; rotate frequently. Remove when skins are slightly charred. Set aside and allow to cool, then peel skin under running water. Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds, core, and stem. Place garlic and oil in a small pan and cook over medium-low heat until garlic is golden brown. Set aside to cool. Cut zucchini and eggplant lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch thick planks, rub with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill until cooked through. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4) When all vegetables have cooled, cut them into strips. Combine them in a bowl and add garlic oil (with garlic), vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Serve escalivada—with steak—at room temperature or slightly warm.

428 calories, 32.5g protein, 4g carbs, 27.5g fat

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