Tag Archives: lunch

Recipe: Chili

If you’re making chili, you might as well make a batch you can dip into over several days. It only gets better with time (up to a point!).


  • ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat), raw, 20 oz (570 g)
  • pork Italian sausage, raw, 20 oz (570 g)
  • onion, 1 large, diced
  • tomatoes, diced, canned, 14.5 oz (410 g)
  • tomato paste, 4 oz (115 g)
  • garlic, 5 cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • salt, 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml)
  • allspice, ground, 1/4 tsp (1.2 ml)
  • chili powder, 2 tbsp (30 ml)
  • cinnamon, ground, 1/2 tbsp (7.5 ml)
  • cayenne pepper, ground, 1/4 tsp (1.2 ml)
  • water, 1 cup (240 ml)


Cut the Italian sausage into small pieces. Sauté the sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large pot. Don’t just brown the meat; cook it thoroughly. When done, drain off the fat if desired (but why waste those good calories?). Add the remainder of ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Add additional water if the chili looks too thick.

Servings: 8 servings of 1-cup (240 ml) each

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

  • 70% fat (if not drained off after cooking)
  • 9% carbohydrate
  • 21% protein
  • 475 calories
  • 11.4 g carbohydrate
  • 2.3 g fiber
  • 9.1 g digestible carbohydrate
  • 860 mg sodium
  • 722 mg potassium
  • Prominent features: goodly amounts of protein, B12, iron, niacin, selenium, thiamine, and zinc

A Final Note:

You can make a simple meal out of this by increasing the serving size to one-and-a-half cups (360 ml) and adding a side order of peeled and sliced 7-inch (18 cm or 200 g) cucumber. The new nutritional analysis would be:

  • 68% fat
  • 10% carbohydrate
  • 21% protein
  • 780 calories
  • 23 g carbohydrate
  • 5 g fiber
  • 18 g digestible carbohydrate
  • 1,384 mg sodium
  • 1,429 mg potassium

Recipe: Lemon-Pepper Chicken, Vegetable Medley, and Salad

paleo diet, Steve Parker MD, low-carb meal

Sauteed chicken and vegetables

This meal is a staple at our house. The chicken we use is frozen breast because it’s less expensive but tastes just as good as fresh. Use never-frozen chicken or another part of the chicken if you prefer. Remember the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond”?  Lemon chicken was Debra’s signature meal. Now you can make it!

The ingredients here are for two servings. We buy a large bag of vegetables called “vegetable medley” that has equal parts broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.


  • chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, frozen, 16 oz (450 g)
  • commercial lemon pepper seasoning (choose one with low sodium and the fewest non-paleo ingredients like sugar)
  • broccoli, fresh, raw, 4.5 oz (130 g)
  • cauliflower, fresh, raw, 4.5 oz (130 g)
  • carrots, fresh, raw, 4.5 oz (130 g), peeled and sliced
  • commercial low-sodium vegetable seasoning (e.g., Weber Roasted Garlic and Herb. We tried Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend Garlic and Herb—didn’t work well with this)
  • lettuce, Romaine, 6 oz (170 g), bite-size chunks
  • tomatoes, raw, 6 oz (170 g), bite-size chunks
  • cucumber, raw, 4 oz (115 g), peeled and sliced
  • celery, raw, 4 oz (115 g), sliced
  • sunflower seeds kernels, dry roasted, w/o salt, 1 oz (30 g)
  • bacon bits (aka crumbled bacon), 2 tbsp (15 g)
  • olive oil, extra virgin, 5 tbsp (75 ml)
  • vinegar, 1 tbsp (15 ml) (your choice of red wine, white wine, balsamic, or apple cider vinegar)
  • garlic, raw, 1 clove, sliced very thinly
  • salt and pepper to taste (not counted in the nutritional analysis below)
  • lemon, fresh (optional)


paleo diet, Steve Parker MD, sauteing chicken, cooking chicken

Thick chicken breasts sliced down the middle and opened up like a clam (or butterfly) to reduce cooking time

Start on the chicken first. Sauté the breasts in a pan over medium heat. You don’t need to thaw it beforehand. While cooking, sprinkle with the lemon pepper seasoning. If the breasts are thick, you may want to “butterfly” them with a knife when half done, to speed up the cooking process. If you over-cook, the meat will be tougher. It should be done in roughly 10–15 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, get to work on your other items.

Cook the vegetables thusly. Put the broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in a microwave-safe dish, add about four fl oz (120 ml) of water, and microwave (covered) on high for four minutes. If you don’t have a cover, just use a water-soaked paper towel. While they cook, heat 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat, with the garlic, for a couple minutes to release the garlic flavor. Drain the water off the microwaved vegetables, then sauté them in the olive oil pan for a couple minutes, stirring frequently. Add your commercial vegetable seasoning when you start sautéing or at any point thereafter, even at the table.

Steve Parker MD, paleo diet, vegetables, vegetable medley

Only $3.50 (USD) for this whole bag of Vegetable Medley at Sam’s Club

Finally the salad. In a large bowl, place the lettuce, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, cucumber, celery, bacon bits, 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil, and vinegar. Mix thoroughly.

For a bit of zing, you might enjoy a few squirts of fresh lemon juice on the vegetables or salad just before eating.

Servings: 2

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

  • 55% fat
  • 12% carbohydrate
  • 32% protein
  • 800 calories
  • 27 g carbohydrate
  • 11 g fiber
  • 16 g digestible carb
  • 970 mg sodium (not counting any you add, such as in commercial seasonings)
  • 1830 mg potassium
  • Prominent features: rich in protein, A, B6, C, E, copper, iron, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and selenium

What’s for Dinner? Cabbage Soup and Salad

paleo diet, Steve Parker MD, cabbage soup

This cabbage soup only has 9 grams of digestible carbohydrate per 2-cup serving

I’m putting together some paleo diabetic meals for you. Today’s offering works for lunch or dinner (where I come from, dinner is the evening meal).


  • Hearty Cabbage Soup, 2 cups
  • baby spinach, 2 oz (60 g)
  • lettuce, romaine, 2 oz (60 g)
  • tomatoes, chunked, 3 oz (85 g)
  • cucumbers, peeled and sliced, 2 oz (60 g)
  • olive oil, extra virgin,  2 tbsp (30 ml)
  • vinegar, 2 tsp (10 ml)
  • salt and pepper to taste (not counted in nutritional analysis below)
  • apple, medium (2.75-inch or 7-cm diameter)


See my recipe for Hearty Cabbage Soup.

Salad: In a bowl, place the lettuce, spinach, tomato chunks, sliced cucumber, adn finally, the olive oil and vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste. If you’re avoiding salt, consider substituting a few squirts of fresh lemon juice.

Enjoy the apple for desert.

Servings: 1

Nutritional Analysis:

  • 61% fat
  • 26% carbohydrate
  • 13% protein
  • 550 calories
  • 38.7 g carb
  • 10.3 g fiber
  • 28.4 g digestible carb
  • 1,252 mg sodium (plus any you add)
  • 1,328 mg potassium
  • Prominent features: rich in sodium (not good?), A, B12, C, E, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc

Recipe: Tossed Tuna Salad and Almonds

tuna, fishing, Steve Parker MD, paleo diet, tuna salad

Has anyone even bothered to ask why the tuna are eating mercury? —Jim Gaffigan

This is an easy lunch or dinner. For a different flavor and twice the calcium, you could substitute canned sardines for the tuna, but I’ve never tried it.


  • lettuce, romaine, 3.5 oz (100 g)
  • onion, chopped, 1.5 oz (42 g)
  • tomatoes, chunked, 5.5 oz (150 g)
  • tuna, canned, albacore/white, packed in water (drain and discard the fluid), 5-oz can (140 g)
  • olive oil, extra virgin, 1.5 tbsp (22 ml)
  • vinegar, balsamic, 1/2 tbsp (7.5 ml)
  • salt and pepper to taste (not counted in nutritional analysis below)
  • almonds, 1.5 oz (45 g)


In a 3-quart (3 liter) bowl, put lettuce, onion, tomatoes, and tuna (3.25 oz or 90 g at this point). Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste Mix well with a fork. Enjoy almonds separately, before, during, or after salad.

For extra zing, add a few squirts of fresh lemon juice. This is a neat trick if you’re trying to avoid salt.

Servings: 1

Nutritional Analysis:

  • 58% fat
  • 12% carbohydrate
  • 30% protein
  • 711 calories
  • 22.3 g carb
  • 9.4 g fiber
  • 12.9 digestible carb
  • 670 mg sodium
  • 1,392 mg potassium
  • Prominent features: rich in protein, B12, C, E, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, and selenium