If you’ve been eating a Paleo diet for some time, you may find that your usual meal rotations of meat and vegetables can become… well, a little boring.
But there’s a fast and easy way to dress up all of your favorite meals without much extra effort: Paleo Sauces.
As you probably know, most store-bought sauces and dressings should be avoided. These usually contain corn syrup or other hidden sugars, as well as unhealthy fats and oils (ie. Corn, soybean, vegetable oils, etc.). Of course, many folks shy away from making sauces at home. They think sauce-making is complicated, time-consuming and best left to classically-trained chefs.
But the truth is there are many simple Paleo sauces you can whip up in less than five minutes that will add extraordinary flavor, healthy fats and nutrients to all of your favorite standbys.
Today I’m going to share five Paleo-friendly, low-glycemic, no-cook sauces that will transform your everyday meals into restaurant-quality creations:
Paleo Sauce #1 – Pesto and Pistou
Originating from Genoa, this classic sauce is traditionally made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts and either Parmigiano-Reggiano (Parmesan cheese) or hard sheep’s cheese. These ingredients are usually blended with olive oil. The French version (pistou) is made with olive oil, basil, and garlic only.
You can create your own favorite version of pesto (or pistou) using different nuts (Brazil nuts are delicious in pesto and provide a superior source of selenium) and hard cheeses (if tolerated). Fresh pesto is the perfect complement to grilled wild salmon or halibut, shrimp and pastured chicken.
Paleo Sauce #2 – Chermoula
This spice-infused North African herb sauce is a staple of Moroccan cuisine. It is traditionally made with cilantro, garlic, coriander, smoked paprika, chili paste, lemon and olive oil. Chermoula has powerful detoxifying properties thanks to cilantro, which binds to heavy metals and carries them out of the body. Use chermoula as a marinade or spoon liberally over wild fish, grass-fed steaks, grilled lamb and roasted chicken. (Need a recipe? Check out David Lebovitz’s Chermoula.)
Paleo Sauce #3 – Remoulade
Remoulade is a classic French mayonnaise-based condiment that is used worldwide in a variety of cuisines. Similar to tartar sauce, remoulade is often flavored with curry, mustard, horseradish, paprika, capers, diced pickles or shallots, depending on the origin. Create your own version using simple homemade Paleo mayonnaise (made with avocado oil) or Mark Sisson’s newest creation Primal Kitchen Mayo, and whisk in your favorite flavor combinations. For wild salmon and other seafood, I like minced shallot, capers, horseradish and lemon. For grass-fed meats and pastured lamb, try robust-flavored smoked paprika and cayenne.
Paleo Sauce #4 – Harissa
Another North African sauce, harissa is spicy, garlic-infused chile paste that can be used to enliven just about any meat or vegetable. Be sure to opt for organic chile peppers, as this is a crop that is heavily sprayed with pesticides. (Here’s a great harissa recipe from Saveur)
Paleo Sauce #5 – Romesco
Last but not least is the nut and red pepper-based Spanish sauce, romesco, made with roasted red peppers, raw nuts (almonds or hazelnut are traditional), roasted garlic and olive oil. Historically used to accompany fish, romesco is also delicious on pastured chicken and lamb. To make a quick superfood version at home, puree organic roasted red peppers (try Mediterranean Organic, sold in glass jars already roasted) and Brazil nuts with high quality olive or avocado oil and roasted garlic.
Pack more flavor, antioxidants and interest into your Paleo meals with these simple, healthy Paleo sauces. They’re quick to whip up, require only a few basic kitchen tools, and will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
Do you have a favorite Paleo sauce recipe? We’d love for you to share it here!