Paleo seems to be everywhere at the minute, but what exactly is it? More importantly what can you eat on it? We spoke with Paleo follower and cookbook author, Emily Coupar to find out. We also scooped a recipe for a Paleo Pad Thai to get you started. Delish!
To keep things simple, the Paleo diet focuses on unprocessed, natural foods. Think lean meats, lots of fruit, veg, and healthy fats. A devout Paleo follower since 2012, Emily made the move after a personal trainer recommend she follow the lifestyle to assist with weight loss and strength gains. To help her in the kitchen, Emily also bought a Thermomix to make life that little bit easier. “Cooking is my number one passion, followed by fitness and health. I work full time as a registered nurse and also a qualified personal trainer. But I found there were no Thermomix cookbooks available, and a lack of healthy gluten free, grain free, dairy free recipes.”
Struggling to find recipes she liked, Emily set out to create her own cookbook. “I created all the recipes, tested them, found a friend to help photograph and edit with me and eventually published my own book after 2 years of hard work! We had them printed here in Melbourne and I have been selling them online since. I regularly publish new recipes on my blog.”
When it comes to making the move to Paleo, Emily has some sage advice. “Some people would say start with little changes, but I would suggest go all out and change all at once, cut on the grains, gluten dairy sugar and go strict Paleo, focus on good quality meat and seafood, organic veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds, do your research.” It’s also useful to think about your current diet. Oftentimes people can struggle with the change as they don’t take their current lifestyle into account.
The key is to make changes so you don’t feel like you are missing out. “This depends on your individual vices, love soft drink? You will need to try and replace with plain soda water for awhile, coffee addict? Sometimes best to give this away for a time, sugar fiend? You are going to go through serious withdrawals, its a matter of riding this out and knowing you will come out the other side better!” And don’t worry, you can eat carbs! Most carbs will come from starchy veg such as sweet potato, small amounts of fruit, and other veg like parsnip, carrot, turnips etc. so you won’t be left feeling empty after dinner.
And speaking of dinner, this Pad Thai is sure to whet your appetite. Thanks to Emily for sharing the recipe to this below!
Paleo Pad Thai
- 2 medium courgettes (zucchini)
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 sticks celery, sliced thin
- 1/2 red onion, chopped fine
- 1egg (optional)
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- chopped coriander, for garnish
- lime wedges (optional)
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) fish sauce (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) tomato sauce (homemade if you have it)
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce (options, to taste)
Serve with seafood or chicken – prawns go really well in this dish!
Add all sauce ingredients to Thermomix bowl and mix 20 seconds, speed 2. Set aside. If you don’t have a Thermomix I would place in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Cut the courgette into noodles by using a vegetable spiralizer tool or similar tool. If you don’t have this you could grate the courgette. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of coconut oil.
Then add courgette noodles and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the zucchini noodles are tender. Remove the noodles from the pan and drain the excess water. Carefully wipe the same pan and then re-heat the pan on medium-high heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and garlic. Cook the garlic until soft, about 1 minute.
Add the celery and red onions. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until tender. Add the egg and stir in with the vegetables until the egg is cooked. Add the courgettes noodles back into the same pan, and then add the sauce. Cook for about 1 more minute or until the courgette noodles are heated through. Then stir in the bean sprouts.
Serve, sprinkled with the coriander and a squirt of lime if using. And serve!
Follow or find out more about Emily: PaleoThermie | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram – and if you’re in the UK, Emily will be in London and Windsor from the 24th – 31st March so make sure you get in touch with her if you’d like to meet up! x