What is the paleodiet?

Paleolithic–commonly shortened to paleo–translates into “older” or “ancient,” relating to the geological past. The paleo diet is based on the premise that if our paleolithic ancestors did not consume a particular food in the past, then we should not be consuming it today. This is based on the concept that the optimal diet is one to which we are genetically adapted to. And so, paleo adherents believe that humans should stick to foods that mimic the food and food groups that our pre-agriculture, hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.

Although there is no one-size fits all “paleo diet,” the basics are here to stay: According to Google Zeitgeist, paleo was the most searched diet term in 2013.

If you’re following the diet, you likely consume a whole lot of unprocessed foods like fats, vegetables, and proteins and steer clear of grains, legumes, dairy, and sugar.

Merguez with Cauli Couscous

Okay, so now imagine that you’re a host, and one of your dinner party guests has recently turned paleo. We’re here to talk about what that menu might look like. For appealing answers, we posed our questions to the Blue Apron Culinary Team.

Q: If you had to put together a dinner party menu for friends or family members who follow the paleo diet, what would your menu look like?

A: A menu to please everyone, whether paleo or not! For instance, as a starter we would have the Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Eggplant Caponata – made with homemade ketchup. As a main, we would have the Steak with Salsa Rossa and Broccoli Rabe. As for the sides, include a Rosemary Fingerling Potato & Green Bean Salad, some Grilled Vegetables with Olives, Tomatoes & Romesco Sauce (with homemade mayo), as well as a Chopped Napa Cabbage Salad (omitting the cheese in this recipe).

Q: What about dessert?

A: Who could resist a watermelon granita? It’s perfect for this summer weather and one of the delicious recipes that is coming out in our summer cookbook.

Q: That menu sounds delicious. Why does it work so well for paleo diets?

A: Since the paleo diet avoids grains, dairy and legumes, all these recipes steer clear of those foods but don’t compromise on flavor!

Q: Could you offer our readers five simple tips to adapt a recipe to make it paleo?

A: For the recipes that include milk, omit the dairy and substitute in coconut milk or almond milk. For recipes that call for rice, omit the rice and substitute it for cauliflower rice like we did for this recipe. For those pasta recipes, omit the pasta and swap it for spiralized zucchini! Replace bread crumbs with almond meal. Last but not least, instead of serving tortillas, buns, or wraps, you can substitute this for leafy greens like we did for this recipe.

That’s it! Though you might not be the diet’s newest adherent yourself, you’re now perfectly equipped to cater to friends and family members who are