1

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Spice ideas for paleo dinners

Answered on October 20, 2014
Created November 09, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Hi everyone,

I am a new englander and my husband is from Chicago. This is relevant because I could eat boiled dinner for the rest of my life and be happy (must be leftover from my Irish roots, haha) but he likes his flavors big and bold. For example, last week he marinated chicken in 1/2 cup of ghost chili sauce. I was like, "are you freaking kidding me?!" It was waaaaay too spicy.

Paleo hackers - what are your favorite ways to spice up a paleo meal without going straight for the heat of spicy peppers?

Thanks in advance.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 10, 2012
at 09:04 PM

I mis-read this as "pretty much would like to eat your husband every day". I guess they do things differently in Chicago?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 10, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Yes I am not celiac or allergic to gluten so a little soy sauce has never bothered me, and the quantity is usually small, such as 1 tbsp in a marinade for 2-4 pounds of meat. If you're really allergic and can't have one drop of soy sauce, a combination of balsamic vinegar and salt can provide similar flavors in a marinade.

1d5dd4c93883ba18a130855830f4dadc

(136)

on November 09, 2012
at 09:19 PM

So you're okay with soy sauce, I take it?

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9 Answers

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on November 09, 2012
at 07:13 PM

I have a few pounds of lamb marinading right now in the fridge in a mixture of garlic (lots), olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and fresh lemon juice. This is my standard marinade for lamb and pork. I put it all in a mini-blender and put it and the meat in a zip lock bag for 6-24 hours before cooking. Sometimes for lamb I'll add chopped fresh rosemary.

Another option for pork is "mojo" which is lots of garlic, sour orange juice (or a mixture of orange and lime juice if you can't find sour oranges), cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.

On steaks, if they are pretty good steaks, I coat them in a mixture of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper (generous with everything). This adds a great "crust" to the meat, and the sugars in the vinegar caramelize and give a sweet flavor.

Try "beer butt chicken" where you coat a chicken generously with salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice, and butter, and then stand it upright on a half-empty can of beer, which has in it garlic, herbs, pepper, and lemon peel, and cook it on your grill for 45-60 minutes. Best chicken you ever had.

EDIT: last night a friend of mine told me about this, which looks very interesting, I mixed up a batch and am going to cook with it tonight (not sure what yet!).

https://www.evernote.com/shard/s46//sh/c33795e7-d268-4082-9f0c-9b042f5660b5/96d1a9f24950928c68506c561b2a5e35

1d5dd4c93883ba18a130855830f4dadc

(136)

on November 09, 2012
at 09:19 PM

So you're okay with soy sauce, I take it?

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 10, 2012
at 09:01 PM

Yes I am not celiac or allergic to gluten so a little soy sauce has never bothered me, and the quantity is usually small, such as 1 tbsp in a marinade for 2-4 pounds of meat. If you're really allergic and can't have one drop of soy sauce, a combination of balsamic vinegar and salt can provide similar flavors in a marinade.

0
2b294e366b1be564bed0fb9e38903b01

on October 20, 2014
at 04:06 AM

Spices are really great Paleo food because they can have medicinal properties & prevent disease.  Some people like their food plain but I think they are essential :)  As others have said, one of the most reaserached-for-health ones is Turmeric.  Paprika is one that's quite underrated, as is mustard.  In Chinese cooking you always use green onion, ginger, and garlic.  This combo is so nice with sesame oil or tahini.  Herbs can also get you there.  Basil, parsley, oregano, cilantro, dill, thyme, rosemary and sage... I think many of the flavors that these tend to have are often carried better by oil/fat than water, so keep that in mind when you cook.  And don't forget about simple seasoning elements like vinegar/lemon juice.

I'm a big fan of curry blends but I recommend being careful with them because you can sometimes get hidden MSG - I had this happen with a can of curry spice blend I bought that had 'spice extract' in it.  Some other ones to watch out for are 'yeast extract' or 'autolyzed/hydrolyzed yeast'.  This stuff usually makes me feel like I'm still hungry after downing a huge amount of food, and sometimes gives me a headache.  For this reason I would avoid 'Seasoning Salt' and its ilk like the plague. This goes for the mustard, too, brownish kind with actual ground mustard seeds is better than the bright yellow gloppy stuff. 

0
4d8fd4160293afaeab0b8b2b11315269

on November 10, 2012
at 10:27 AM

My husband is already complaining, but I can't get enough of the Starwood's Mild Curry Powder :D That Paleo recipe book ( timreviews.com/paleo-recipe-book ) I got started with also had a descent spice-book as an free add-on. Also a delicious combination is cumin with rosemary! Especially if your stomach doesn't feel right.

Eloise

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on November 09, 2012
at 11:19 PM

As other posters indication, there's no consistent answer to your question. You'll have to decide what type of flavor you want to experiment with and go from there. Have you taken a look at the many paleo recipes online or a paleo cookbook? Even if the recipe seems spicy, you can reduce the amount of pepper to your liking. To start, pick just one new set of flavors/week. That way, you can get used to it and decide whether to put it in your repertoire.

0
3228f776e86815bf674a672fc312c4ff

on November 09, 2012
at 08:42 PM

I seem to burn through cumin and coriander.

0
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on November 09, 2012
at 06:55 PM

I'm from Chicago and pretty much would eat like your husband every day if I could, but I also cook for small children.

Cumin is awesome. Makes every night taste like taco night!

Turmeric is fantastic. I am Lebanese and pretty much would dip chicken in it if people wouldn't give me weird looks.

Small amounts of ground red pepper. Gradually increase as you go to get up to ghost pepper capacity :)

Cardamom is another favorite. I use to make Indian or Arabic flavors.

I haven't checked the sugar content (because I'm afraid to) but I regularly use Cavender's Greek seasoning, Tony Cachere's and Old Bay. All great mixes. Could probably make your own more Paleo version if they aren't optimally Paleo.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 10, 2012
at 09:04 PM

I mis-read this as "pretty much would like to eat your husband every day". I guess they do things differently in Chicago?

0
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10480)

on November 09, 2012
at 06:53 PM

Blacken all the things! Louisiana really has that going for it. My favorite spice combo, ever.

Here's a pretty good recipe for it.

http://paleoparents.com/2012/guest-post-blackened-burgers/

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on November 09, 2012
at 06:48 PM

Penzey's Spices has some really good blends. Get a handful of them and start experimenting. I love their Turkish blend in sauteed onions and cabbage.

0
235b077872243d4ee5796c6ace3c0970

on November 09, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Turmeric, turmeric, turmeric. Great for anti-inflammation. I use it plenty with eggs, lamb, and shrimp.

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