Introduction: Paleo Packets
Runner Up in the
Paleo Recipe Challenge
Quick and Easy Paleo entrees are cooked in foil packets.
You eat Paleo. They eat non-Paleo. Or maybe you eat alone, after a long workday. This recipe is adaptable, individualized, non-messy, and fast!
Step 1: Assemble Your Ingredients.
This is not your typical recipe. This foil wrapped dinner instruction is more of a guideline, than an actual recipe. Your foil packet will be different than mine, and different than your dining partners.
For this recipe, you will need, per person:
· A piece of meat: 3-6 ounces, as desired, of lean chicken, fish, pork, or beef
· 1-2 cups of vegetables, cut in one inch chunks
· Fruit, nuts, beans, bacon bits, cheese, as desired
· Various oils and seasonings
· A piece of aluminum foil, about 12 inches by 18 inches
· An indoor stove oven (preheated to 375 degrees), or an outdoor gas grill
· A metal cooking sheet (if using an oven)
I allow about a ¼ pound of meat per person, but adjust depending on your hunger. Vegetables are entirely your choice. I have successfully used: broccoli, yellow crook-neck squash, zucchini squash, onions, bell peppers, carrots, butternut squash, and mushrooms. Fruit will also work well. Seasonings vary with individual taste. If you are going Paleo, try olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
If you are feeding a crowd, line up the raw ingredients on the counter, buffet (or Mongolian Barbecue) style. Let each person choose their unique combination of ingredients. Start by placing a piece of raw meat on a piece of tinfoil. I might choose chicken, a diner partner might choose beef, the kids may choose shrimp, and Grandma might go vegetarian and skip the meat entirely.
Add 1-2 cups of vegetables to each foil packet. The kids decide that they hate onions. It is ok! Just don’t put onions in their packets. Grandma loads up on the broccoli, and I decide to be adventurous and toss on a little bit of everything.
Add seasonings to each packet. If you are eating Paleo, try limiting your seasonings to fresh lemon juice and olive oil, with a few chopped hot peppers for an added kick. Does your spouse hate the Paleo diet? This is not a problem. Let your significant other glob on cheese, potato cubes, and a generous amount of salt. The kids add a little honey, and way too much fruit, while Grandma is hunting for a can opener to add a few garbanzo beans. All your picky eaters are happy!
Step 2: Seal the Foil Packets.
These foil packets are very adaptable. Invite a big crowd for a healthy outdoor grilling party. Assembling your foil packets is a great conversation starter. Are you eating alone? Make the foil packets late at night. When you arrive home, just turn on the oven, and toss in a packet.
Seal the packets carefully. Move the ingredients to the center of the foil. Bring the opposite sides of the foil together, and fold twice. Now, roll each open end of the foil packet toward the center. All the seams should be on the top. Write names on the packets with a permanent marker, if you are cooking several different types of packets.
Step 3: Cook the Foil Packets.
Here are some of our favorite combinations (both Paleo and non-Paleo):
· Salmon with broccoli, lemon, and garlic.
· Chicken with peppers, onion, pineapple, soy sauce, snow peas, and a hint of honey
· Round steak with potatoes, onions, mushrooms, steak sauce, and asiago cheese
· Chicken with broccoli, carrots, yellow squash, onions, and parmesan cheese
· Chicken with broccoli, pecans, and cauliflower, and lemon pepper seasoning
· Butternut squash, pecans, onions, garbanzo beans, yellow squash, and a drizzle of maple syrup
Place the sealed foil packets on a baking sheet, or upper grill rack. Cook for about 30 minutes. Carefully, unroll a corner of one packet. If steam whooshes out, dinner is ready! If in doubt, stick a cooking thermometer into the center of the meat.
Step 4: Easy Cleanup.
To serve, place a foil packet on a sturdy paper plate. Open the packet (careful of the steam!), and enjoy. Clean up is easy. The cooking pan was protected by the aluminum foil, so just put it back in the cabinet. Throw the aluminum foil and paper plate away, and cleanup is done!
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