The Ancestral Diet – Paleo & Vegetarian Recipes

The following provides supplemental information for our main article entitled Paleo Versus Vegetarian Diets: Ancestral Lifestyles In Comparison co-written by Kim Chisholm and friends Clay & Ragan Masterson. It is the result of the research and experience Clay & Ragan have garnered over a decade of living a paleo lifestyle, and that Kim has learned as a vegetarian. It is also based on a foundation of knowledge many in the field of nutrition have developed over the years.

Bone Broth

Bone broth is rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds like collagen, glutamine, glycine and proline. Benefits of bone broth. It’s delicious plain or used as a basis for soups and stews. You can add 1/8 tsp of turmeric, 1/8 tsp of salt and a pinch of black pepper (why pepper is important) to 12 oz. of broth for a morning drink.

There are many recipes online for bone broth, and it can be made in a Crock Pot, on the stove or in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. Because bone broth can take so long to cook, it’s a little scary to make it on the stove in case you have to leave it unattended. A slow cooker or pressure cooker (the Instant Pot can do both) makes it much easier. Also, a pressure cooker both shortens the time of cooking and mitigates the distinctive odor.

Click here for a slow cooker beef bone broth recepe.

Tips for Bone Broth

Don’t purchase carrots, onions, and celery just for broth. As you cook at home, throw any onion ends and papers, carrot ends, and celery tops into a baggie in the freezer instead of discarding them. When you want to make broth, you can just use these.

Roasting bones beforehand makes the broth darker and richer tasting. Roast beef bones in the oven for up to 45 minutes at 350 before adding them to your broth. Use any kinds of bones in your broth including chicken or turkey bones. Collect bones from chicken you’ve cooked, bone-in roasts and steaks or even ribs and just throw them in the freezer instead of discarding them. If you want your broth to gel, make sure you are using a high proportion of bones to water.

What to do if your broth won’t gel.

Use your bones for more than one batch of broth. Once your first batch is done, remove as many of the soggy vegetables as you can and add in fresh ones. Cover with water and start the process all over again complete with cider vinegar and any additional spices you like. Use a fat separator to remove the fat from your broth or just put it into jars in the refrigerator and remove the fat from the top once it hardens.

Vegetable Noodles

Zucchini noodles are a great addition to an ancestral diet since they allow you to make some of the foods you might be missing without using processed, grain-based pastas. You can also ‘Spiralize’ any firm vegetable that will fit in the Spiralizer!

There are some great recipe books and plenty of free recipes online using this amazing tool. That spaghetti you used to make? Just replace the noodles! Zucchini noodle Pho is fantastic and if you’ve already made bone broth, you’re most of the way there.

This pho recipe is great and can be made without the kelp noodles if you prefer.

10 great zoodle recipes.

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower is a power food! It is very nutritious and can be adapted to fit an amazing array of recipes. For any rice-based dishes that you love, try using cauliflower rice instead. You can find ready-made cauli-rice in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s and even at some grocery stores, like Fred Meyer, fresh in the produce department.

To ‘rice’ your cauliflower, you can do it one of two ways:

  1. Cut the fresh head of cauliflower into florets that will fit into the feeder tube of your food processor and run the cauliflower through the shred blade from the top.
  2. Cut the fresh head of cauliflower into smaller florets and place inside the food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower is the texture of rice.

Once you have your cauliflower in the right shape, you can cook it by microwaving in a glass bowl for 8 minutes, sautéing, or roasting in the oven on parchment paper. What Epicurious has to say.

Creative uses for cauliflower.

Because of pesticide use and the fact that cauliflower is difficult to get completely clean, it is important to use organic cauliflower whenever possible. Also, be warned, cauliflower in the microwave can be a bit stinky.


Industrial seed oils are highly inflammatory and contribute to oxid    ative stress and inflammation. Unfortunately, they are in just about every processed food in the supermarket. It is virtually impossible to find a packaged food that does not contain corn, soy, canola or vegetable oils. What’s wrong with industrial oils?

The definitive guide to oils.

Because of this, you have to either shop online for some high-quality mayonnaise or, better yet, make it yourself.

There are many instructional videos and posts online about making your own mayo and different recipes wherever you look.

An easy mayonnaise recipe with one of everything…


  • 1 egg – straight out of the fridge is fine
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar – or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard – organic brown or Dijon works well
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup avocado oil – or other taste-neutral healthy oil



  • Crack egg into the pint jar then add vinegar, mustard and salt. This should bring the height of the ingredients to about the 2oz mark on the pint jar.
  • Next, add the oil. Because you have already reached the 2 oz mark, this would mean filling it up to the 10 oz mark with oil (8 oz).
  • Give it a minute to settle and then place your immersion blender all the way to the bottom of the jar and start to blend. Leave your blender at the bottom of the jar for a full 20-30 seconds. The mayonnaise should be climbing the sides of the jar as you wait and should reach more than halfway up the sides before you start to move the blender.
  • Slowly raise the blender while tipping it slightly to encourage the oil to get sucked down.
  • As you get close to the top of the oil and mayonnaise, wait for the sound of the blade spinning in air. At this point you can start moving the blender up and down to incorporate all of the oil. Be careful not to pull the blender all the way out or you’ll have mayonnaise everywhere!

Mayonnaise with a squeeze of lemon and some dill mixed in also makes a delicious sauce for fish. Add curry powder to make a dressing for Curried chicken salad.

Some things to do with your mayonnaise

Salad Dressing

Obviously, manufactured salad dressing has all of the same problems as mayonnaise. A bottled salad dressing will inevitably have one of the oils listed above. Fortunately, salad dressing is extremely easy to make yourself and you can control the quality of the ingredients completely. It is also a wonderful opportunity to try out flavored vinegars and special oils.

At its most basic, salad dressing is a mix of equal parts oil and an acid such as vinegar or an acidic citrus juice like lime or lemon. Add an emulsifier to keep the oil and acid mixed along with some seasoning and you’re off! Different recipes call for different proportions of acid to oil, up to a 1-4 ratio but if you start with equal parts, you can always change it from there.

Canning jars (pint or quart) work great for salad dressing because of the measuring marks on the side. A reCap pouring lid works well and comes in standard and wide-mouth sizes.

Simple Salad Dressing Recipe


  • ½ cup olive oil (oil)
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar (acid)
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard (emulsifier)
  • 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash (seasoning)


  • Put everything in a jar, put the lid on and shake it like crazy!
  • For an Asian-inspired dressing, use a ginger or lime flavored vinegar and toasted sesame oil with sesame seeds and a seaweed-based seasoning like Bragg’s Sea Kelp Delight. You can still use a standard mustard for the emulsifier.

Check out this great source for flavored vinegars and oils. Also check out local markets and specialty food stores and have fun experimenting! Of course you can always use the mayonnaise you’ve made to make a creamy dressing, too.

This assortment of salad dressing recipes uses different ratios of oil to acid (more oil, less acid) but has some great ideas. A standard vinaigrette can be kept at room temperature for a couple of weeks or more. It really depends on the ingredients. Oil, Vinegar and mustard do not require refrigeration (French’s answers the mustard refrigeration question) so unless you have used fresh juice or herbs, your dressing contains nothing that could spoil. The freshness of the flavors may degrade and you should protect your dressing from heat and light just as you would protect the separate ingredients.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods such as kimchee, sauerkraut and kombucha have recently joined yogurt in the media limelight for their many health benefits. Traditionally fermented foods are a wonderful way to add gut-healing microbes to your everyday diet. Health benefits of fermented foods.

While there are many naturally fermented foods available on the market now, it is extremely easy to make your own. Sauerkraut is a great place to start as the only critical ingredients are cabbage, salt and time.

Super Easy Traditional Sauerkraut:


  • Cabbage, as fresh as possible and organic. (It must have a high water content in the leaves)
  • Salt (1/2 tbsp per pound of cabbage)
  • Dill (1/4 tbsp per pound of cabbage or half the amount of salt)
  • Caraway seed (1/8 tbsp per pound of cabbage or half the amount of dill)


Chop cabbage to desired texture. Some people like it cut finer than others. Place the cabbage in a large container leaving room to work with it. Add half of the salt and begin massaging the salt into the cabbage until it begins to release its water. Add the remaining salt, the dill and caraway and continue to smash and generally abuse the cabbage mixture until it is very wet.

Pack the cabbage mixture very tightly into a glass canning jar of the appropriate size (1 large head of cabbage will just about fill a Quart jar) smashing it down tightly as you go. The key is to avoid any air touching the cabbage so be sure that the salty water released while you were smashing the cabbage will rise to cover everything once you smash it down.

Weigh the cabbage down with a clean, correctly-sized rock or use a fancy tool such as a Kraut Source fermentation lid or a glass fermentation weight to keep it from the air during fermentation. A Zip-Loc baggie filled with water will work in a pinch. Drape a kitchen towel over the filled jar to keep it in the dark and set it inside a bowl in case the fermentation action causes the juices to overflow. This acidic liquid can etch stone counter tops just as vinegar would. Depending on the ambient temperature, it may take as little as a few days to ferment or, if it’s cooler, up to two weeks.

Press the cabbage down under the water a couple of times a day for the first day or two and then you can just check it daily after that. Taste the kraut after 4 days if it’s warm or a week if it’s cooler and when it tastes right, remove any weights, put a lid on it and pop it into the fridge. At this point, the culture is still alive but the fermentation process has slowed to an almost complete stop. The kraut will keep in the refrigerator for a very long time indeed (months) but the texture will gradually get less and less crisp as time goes on.

10 Fermented foods to make at home.

German style fermentation crock.

Join Clay, Ragan, Kim & Chris at the next Conservation College Paleo & Veggie Lifestyles Workshop

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