Paleo Mexican Seven Layer Dip
If you eat a diet that doesn’t contain a lot of refined foods, or have purposeful limitations in what you allow on your plate, it can be easy to only see what you can’t have. Other people can feed that envy by making comments such as, “I couldn’t live without ____ fill in the blank.” But whether you are taking simple steps to reach a more whole foods diet, taking out allergens, or embracing a certain food philosophy, I’ve always felt that it’s really important to concentrate on all of the beautiful foods that you can eat, instead of the ones that you can’t.

One popular health diet is the paleo diet, which follows the basic philosophy that we should eat closer to how our ancient ancestors did before agriculture was largely developed. This typically means embracing animal protein and fats, produce, and taking out grains and legumes. But just because you can’t eat typical bread on this diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy really delicious food! Here are 12 “must try” recipes that you can enjoy whether you just want to eat a nourishing and delicious diet, or you are paleo!

Paleo Mexican Seven Layer Dip (shown above): My family loves Mexican food, so this is a favorite. Now obviously you can serve it with chips for the non-paleo, but it’s delicious scooped into lettuce leaves or eaten as is.

Primal Cobb Salad: The first salad I ever enjoyed was a Cobb salad, so it has a special place in my heart. This version is primal with the addition of cheese, but can easily be made paleo by leaving that one ingredient out. Dressed with an avocado dressing, it will be satisfying and delicious. 

Paleo Chocolate-Chip Cookies: With the use of almond flour, a wide variety of beautiful baked goods can be made for special treats. These protein-rich snacks taste so delicious, you won’t feel deprived in the least. 

Cinnamon Coconut Chips: I've made this recipe so many times for my family! It's very easy and simple, but really delicious. It's a perfect snack to send along in lunches as well. Those trying to keep carbs lower will especially appreciate it. 

Paleo ketchup
Healthy Ketchup: This lightly sweetened, all-natural ketchup is full of healthy antioxidants. This is a great example of an American favorite made paleo. 

Mini Paleo Meatloaf: One way that you can use your healthy ketchup is making these simple meatloaf. Because they are mini in size, they cook up quickly and make a fast dinner. They are a favorite in my house.  

Paleo Cauliflower Pizza: You do know that throwing out grains doesn’t mean leaving pizza behind, right? There are a variety of grain-free, paleo-friendly pizza crust methods out there. By far one of the most popular is a cauliflower-based crust (sounds weird, but works really well!). This recipe is a lovely example of this must-try method. 

Paleo raspberry cream soda
Paleo Raspberry Cream Soda:  For those of us who grew up eating pizza and soda together, it's nice to have a healthier fizzy drink to go along with our healthier pizza recipes. This one fits the bill! It reminds me of an Italian soda. If you'd rather buy something, these kombucha sodas are delicious too. 

Paleo Pasta: Did you know that you can make a variety of paleo-approved noodles? I review four of them here. If you don’t like one, try another! But to make it really delicious make sure you use a lovely pasta sauce. Here is a satisfying paleo sauce that will make your noodles great! 

Paleo Dumpling and Chicken Soup: There are so many comfort foods you can enjoy on the paleo diet. One lovely comfort food is dumplings, and here a perfect recipe that is paleo-friendly. 

4 Ingredient Paleo Pancake: With bananas, nut butter, cinnamon, and eggs you can have delicious and easy pancakes to enjoy that are also full of protein and nutrition. That’s a win-in in my book. 

Mile High Breakfast Hamburgers: I've fallen in love with gluten-free hamburgers (generally I’ve used lettuce wraps instead of a bun). This recipe is special in that it takes the grain-free burger to higher heights ... literally. 

As this short list shows, those on even a strict grain-free diet can eat incredibly delicious food. Enjoy! 

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Related on MNN:

12 paleo recipes you need to try
Does a paleo diet seem unsatisfying? These recipes will make you reconsider how you view a grain-free diet.