Ahhh, the holidays. A time of twinkling lights and loaded dinner tables. Caught up in all the festivities, it's especially easy to make excuses for poor eating habits during this holiday season. That's why it's important to have lots of easy Paleo recipes on hand.
It's been four months since I completed my first 30 Days of Paleo, and I haven't looked back! Still, between Christmas parties and my partner's sweet tooth, there are chances to cheat all around me.
If you're trying to limit the gluten, sugar, grain, and dairy in your diet, the autoimmune benefits of the Paleo diet are many. But this type of clean eating doesn't mean you have to spend the holidays eating celery sticks and chicken breasts while your friends gorge on savory sides and sweet treats.
Whether you're keeping to a strict Paleo diet plan to address chronic health issues, or, like me, would rather not start 2014 10 pounds heavier, here are 13 easy Paleo recipes that are essential to your holiday survival. All are free from grain, legumes, gluten, refined sugars, dairy, and in many case, nightshades, so they're perfect for just about any type of restricted diet. Despite the lack of naughty ingredients, each one is absolutely delicious. Serve these easy Paleo recipes to your non-Paleo friends, and I doubt they'll even know the difference!
13 Easy Paleo Recipes for the Holidays
1. Bacon Wrapped Spinach Egg Muffins - Bacon and eggs are a Paleo breakfast staple, but it's not exactly a meal you can take on the go. If you're short on time, or would rather just not create a pile of dishes, this super easy Paleo recipe will knock your socks off.
2. Apple Streusel Egg Muffins - This recipe comes from Practical Paleo, my Bible during the initial Paleo detox. Made from only whole ingredients, you'll never be jealous of your friend's Starbucks muffin again.
3. Pancakes - Nothing says holiday vacation like starting the day with a big stack of pancakes. The traditional variety is all flour and sugar, but we've got 3 Paleo Pancake Recipes that are sure to please.
4. Paleo Breakfast Casserole with Chorizo - Spend less time at the stove and more time on the couch with your loved ones with this easy one-dish meal.
5. Spinach and Salmon Salad with Arugula Pesto - This one has a few extra steps - making the pesto and steaming the green beans - but the result is so delicious, you won't mind.
6. Ceviche - This is one of those easy paleo recipes that's perfect for a holiday brunch, or as an appetizer for a dinner party. The best part is, you make it the night before!
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7. Lemon-Basil Chicken Salad in Radicchio Wraps - Chicken salad you find at the corner deli is riddled with unhealthy oils and low-quality chicken. Make a batch of this flavorful Paleo alternative at the beginning of the week, and serve as wraps or on a bed of lettuce whenever hunger strikes!
8. Honey-Mustard Glazed Ham - At my house, ham is the centerpiece of Christmas dinner. Skip the sugar-filled glazes that come with most grocery store hams with this easy Paleo alternative.
9. Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Jicama Hash - As a Paleo eater, I've become obsessed with Brussels sprouts. This modern side dish features the tiny cabbages, along with a plethora of other seasonal fruits and veggies, in what will soon become family tradition.
10. Garlic Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes" - I know, I know. It wouldn't feel like a holiday dinner without a big pile of white starch on your plate. But I guarantee you won't miss potatoes when feasting on this Paleo-friendly alternative.
11. Paleo Dinner Rolls - Love sopping up the gravy with a crusty roll? This six-ingredient alternative will soothe your bread craving.
12. Peppermint Chocolate Macaroons - Created by best-selling Paleo author Danielle Walker, these macaroons have a rich chocolate taste and leave just a hint of festive peppermint lingering on the tongue.
13. Holiday Bundt Cake - This is the work of the Paleo Parents, rockstars in the Paleo world. Riddled with white chocolate, pistachio nuts and apples, you'll be in dessert heaven.
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Image: Paleo Parents