One of the more controversial guidelines of the Paleo Diet seems to be whether meat fats are good and to be encouraged, or are intrinsically bad and to be avoided. Since I am trying to lose weight, I feel I have to avoid fats, yet some proponants of the diet say that the added far will eventually help the body to even out its own nutritional balance, and I will lose weight that way.
Chicken is pretty easy to trim of unwanted fat because the fat is in little yellow or white pockets, so it is easy to see. The skin not only is high in fat, the skin will absorb lots of fat from the pan. Boneless, skinless chicken is easy to find in most grocery stores, and often on sale, so this is my greatest source of chicken for my recipes. Nothing need go to waste, and it is so versitile. Strict Paleo Diet followers say to buy only organic, free-range chickens (and other meats) for better nutrition and flavor. I am a practical cook on a limited budget, so my Paleo beliefs are tempered by my budget (and my friends in Georgia and Louisiana who are in the chicken business!) I still haven't bought Omega 3 eggs, but I'm thinking and reading about it. Turkey is still pretty much seasonal, but I love to use it.
Beef and pork are plentiful in my stores, and most of the solid meats I buy are already trimmed. I seldom buy a well-marbled steak anyway so this hasn't been a problem for me, but choosing ground beef is almost a philosophical decision. More fat=less price, but more calories; less fat=higher price, less waste, and somewhat fewer calories. For meatloafs and such, 70% has always been my decision in the past, because I was adding flax seed, oatmeal, bran, and other ingredients that absorb lots of fat, or at least dilute it. For a hamburger steak, I like 90% ground beef, but Bobby Flay says go for 70%. Hmmm. Except for bacon, I have usually avoided pork, but with the Paleo Diet, I am learning to cook and enjoy pork roast, sausage (but I often go for turkey anyway), pork chops and ham.
The Paleo Diet books suggest using bison and other meats that are hard to get in my local stores. I am sure that Whole Foods, Sprouts, and other high end stores carry those, plus goose, duck, quail, etc., but I haven't shopped those yet since they are not in my city, and more expensive. I'll get to them!
I am staying with olive oil (extra virgin and light), canola oil, and now coconut oil. I have generic vegetable oil, but it is soy-based, so I use it for recipes for other people who are not doing Paleo. Spray Pam (and generic) is a mainstay for me, but I have switched to canola oil type instead of butter flavored. No dairy=no butter, and I don't want to be tempted even by flavoring.
Fat, or less fat. I'm trying for low fat because of my weight and other issues, but I am continuing to read and learn about this issue.
A breakfast I really enjoyed recently:
Petite sirloin steak (leftover)
Have you tried any Paleo recipes or meals yet? Let me know your reaction.