Book Review: Paleo Vegan: Plant-Based Primal Recipes, by Ellen Jaffe Jones

“Paleo Vegan”  cover of paleo vegan cookbook by jaffeis a book that makes the paleo diet realistic and accessible to vegans.

Since the regular paleo diet piles on the meat, eggs and bacon and forbids beans and grains, it’s not realistic for vegans. But if you’re willing to be flexible — and there’s no real reason not to be, as long as you’re eating a healthy diet that you can live with — this book is for you.

The book starts with 23 pages of information on the paleo diet and how to adapt it to veganism, followed by 104 pages of recipes.

The author, a certified personal trainer, running coach, consultant, author, speaker, and long-time vegan, says “Vegans may think there’s no place for them in the paleo universe, but take heart – there is a way to fit in!  When the paleo craze first kicked in, I have to admit, it annoyed me … until I discovered how much the paleo and vegan philosophies actually have in common.”

She downplays the scientific basis of the paleo diet, since it’s open to interpretation and dispute, and she advocates the inclusion of grains and legumes as a necessary part of the paleo vegan diet.

Jaffe Jones tells readers how to build an optimally nutritious paleo-style vegan diet, starting with finding the common ground – foods both vegans and paleos can enjoy. She also explains how vegans can get around the paleo grain and legume issues through sprouting, soaking and cooking techniques.

The original paleo diet was a plant-based diet, after all, so there is no reason to be discouraged by the rigid paleo dogma. You can and should adapt the paleo diet to meet your needs. The inclusion of beans and grains is healthier than the arbitrary inclusion of bacon.

Paleo-ized Spinach Pancakes

paleo spinach frittersThese paleo spinach pancakes (or fritters) from Vereed DeLeeuw really hit the spot. And they’re quite easy to make, which is always a bonus in my book! Chopped frozen spinach (thawed and then drained very well!) is mixed with eggs, onion, parsley and garlic, and then browned in skillet.  I left out the parmesan cheese…but I will admit to spreading some Chere’ (goat cheese) on top after they were cooked, and I highly recommend it! It elevated them to a whole new level. If you’re not completely opposed to goat cheese (which is considered primal and not paleo) or to cheating just a little bit every now and then, go for it. You can also make this dish with cauliflower or broccoli instead of spinach, if you prefer.

Paleo Rainbow Slaw with Sweet Tahini Dressing

paleo rainbow slaw with sweet tahini dressing I’m eating this delicious paleo-friendly rainbow slaw with sweet tahini dressing as I write this. Thanks to Kathy Patalsky of the vegan blog — AKA Happy Healthy Life — for this great recipe! Two thumbs up! Shredded cabbage, carrots and cucumbers along with chopped onion and parsley are simply perfect combined with the sweet tahini dressing, which is made with sesame tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and garlic.

I saved a lot of time and effort by using bagged shredded cabbage and shredded carrots, and I substituted honey for maple syrup and sesame seeds in place of hemp seeds, and it’s still crunchy, creamy, sweet and wonderful.


Paleo Mashed Potatoes

mashed cauliflower sprinkled with green chivesWhat side dish is better than mashed potatoes? Nothing, except paleo mashed potatoes made from cauliflower! They look like the real deal, but are far lower in carbs and calories (yet still creamy and delicious). Try this mashed cauliflower recipe from Melissa Joulwan, the author of Well Fed, and you’ll be a Cauliflower Convert™®! Melissa knows food and cooking, and consistently turns out excellent recipes. Frozen cauliflower combines with coconut oil, coconut milk, garlic, salt and pepper to work its magic. Melissa uses a food processor to puree the cauliflower, but I use a stick blender to make it even easier, if that’s possible.

Paleo Whipped Cream

A dollop of paleo coconut whipped cream on top of an apple-upside-down cakeNo dairy? No problem…as long as I can still have whipped cream! And I can, thanks to this recipe for Coconut Whipped Cream from Danielle Walker of Against All Grain. Just two ingredients — coconut milk and honey — combine to create a rich and delicious whipped cream. Danielle recently became a New York Time’s best selling author with her cookbook Against All Grain: Delectable Paleo Recipes to Eat Well & Feel Great. That’s because she rigorously tests every recipe and doesn’t publish them until they’re perfect. For paleo-vegetarian friendly recipes, search her website for the vegan and paleo sections of the recipe index.

Paleo English Muffins


There’s nothing like a real English muffin…and these aren’t exactly the same, but they’re a great substitute! These quick paleo English muffins are fast and easy easy to make, and the secret to their goodness is to “toast” them to a golden brown in a frying pan with a little butter or coconut oil after baking or nuking them. Eat them however you would a regular English muffin. You can even make them in advance, freeze them, and then just thaw and toast later. Ingredients include eggs, coconut flour, and grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Thanks to Beauty and the Foodie for this great recipe. Oh, almost forgot — they’re low carb, too!

Paleo Almond Rosemary Biscuits

Paleo Almond Rosemary Biscuits

Sometimes you’ve just got to have a biscuit, even if you’re following a paleo diet. Some paleo puritans turn up their noses at  foods that mimic forbidden items like bread and biscuits, but the rest of us get to eat these delicious, grain-free  almond rosemary biscuits  from Heather at the Multiply Delicious blog. These paleo biscuits aren’t like the fluffy, flaky biscuits of your memories. They’re dense but not overly dense, and they will satisfy that bread craving that you might be noticing right now as you look at the photo. The best part is that they’re very easy to make using paleo ingredients you probably have on hand — almond flour, salt, baking soda, eggs, coconut oil, rosemary and honey. If you start now, you can eat one (or maybe two) hot from the oven in about a half hour. They’re absolutely perfect with a bowl of creamy butternut squash soup.

Best Stir Fry Sauce EVER, seriously

shrimp stir fry with best stir fry sauce ever

After trying for years to find a really good bottled stir-fry sauce or recipe, I was ready to give up. Luckily, I decided to give my search one more try, and am I glad I did — I hit the stir-fry-sauce jackpot! You can, too, with this recipe from Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan of  The Clothes Make The Girl. She wasn’t kidding when she named it The Best  Stir-Fry Sauce EVER.  Ingredients include coconut aminos, OJ, Chinese 5 Spice Powder, crushed garlic, honey and garlic-chili paste (I must confess I didn’t have garlic-chili paste, but it was still delicious).

This goes with endless combos of vegetables and proteins. For vegetarians who eat fish, shrimp or scallops are the perfect accompaniment. One more thing — don’t forget to whip up a batch of Melissa’s super easy carmelized coconut chips to sprinkle on top; you’ll be twice as happy, if that’s even possible.

Paleo Cold Sesame Noodles

paleo sesame noodles

These paleo cold sesame noodles are so amazingly good that I’m writing this as I eat them! (and giving more attention to eating than to writing).  Instead of cucumber, I used zucchini (because it’s firmer and drier. When made with cucumbers, it’s not nearly as good in my opinion), which is turned into “noodles” with a a nifty $10 device called a julienne peeler. Then, the cucumber “noodles” are tossed with a sauce made from sesame tahini, sunflower butter, coconut aminos, rice vinegar, ginger, sesame oil and garlic. Pure deliciousness! I substituted a zucchini for the cucumber, used almond butter in place of sunbutter and left out the garlic, and it was still crave-worthy. Highly recommended. Thanks to Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl for this paleo cold sesame noodle recipe!

Paleo Asian Salmon

Paleo Asian SalmonThanks to Cindy’s Table for this simple and delicious paleo Asian salmon recipe. Salmon is marinated in a mixture of coconut aminos (similar to soy sauce), dijon mustard, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, scallions and sea salt prior to grilling or baking. Be sure to use wild-caught salmon, which is more nutritious than farm-raised. Salmon raised on farms has less omega-3 fatty acids and is doused with antibiotics and pesticides. Farmed salmon would be gray if the fish weren’t fed synthetic dye, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods. When you buy Salmon, make sure it’s labeled “wild.” Atlantic salmon is farm-raised; the name refers to the type of salmon, not where it’s from.

Paleo Egg Muffins

Paleo Egg Muffins -- omelets made in a muffin pan

Don’t let busy mornings sidetrack your paleo diet. Instead, plan ahead and make a big batch of these paleo egg mufins in advance, so they’re ready to grab and go. This egg muffin recipe comes from Heather and her Multiply Delicious blog, where she posts plenty of paleo recipes. Not all of her paleo recipes are vegetarian, including this one (just leave the meat out) but there are plenty to choose from.  Continue reading

Paleo Salmon Eggs Benedict

Paleo salmon eggs benedict -- salmon cakes topped with lox, avocado and poached eggs

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” – John Gunther 

If that’s true, then I think this is the ideal breakfast to eat leisurely! This paleo salmon eggs benedict looks so delicious that I can hardly wait to try it. Paleo salmon lovers, take note that this recipe calls for both smoked salmon and salmon cakes. Continue reading

Velvety Paleo Butternut Squash

Velvety Paleo Butternust Squash

Creamy, smooth and velvety paleo butternut squash is the perfect side dish for an autumn, winter or holdiay meal. This recipe is grain-free, dairy-free, legume-free and sugar-free. Thanks to Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl for this delicious recipe! So what’s the secret that makes it so special? A Middle Eastern spice mix called Ras el Hanout (you may even have all the spices on hand to mix up a batch, like I did: cumin, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cayenne pepper, ginger, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg). When pureed butternut squash is mixed with this spice mix and coconut oil, coconut milk, and an egg, it turns into a “smooth, spicy-sweet” mixture that’s simply delicious. Click here for the recipe: Velvety Paleo Butternut Squash

Easy Paleo Lemon Poppyseed Cake

paleo lemon poppyseed cakeThe picture does it NO justice — this paleo lemon poppy seed cake is both easy to make and very delicious! It’s also grain-free and dairy free. I just baked it and my house is filled with the wonderful aroma of this satisfying paleo treat made with coconut flour, honey, lemon juice, vanilla and eggs. I highly recommend it! Thanks to Fast Paleo for the recipe.

Simple Paleo Vegetarian Quiche

Crustless paleo quiche made with eggs and spinach; paleo vegetarian quiche

Easy, quick and simply delicious paleo vegetarian quiche made with eggs, spinach, broccoli and coconut milk.Thanks to the Kohlers for sharing this delicious paleo vegetarian quiche recipe on their blog, and even telling us how to get the edges crispy! This works for a paleo breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. The almond flour dusting in place of a crust is the perfect touch. This recipe is a keeper!

Simple Paleo Pancakes

paleo banana pancakesSimple and delicious banana paleo pancakes made from just two whole and wholesome ingredients, ripe bananas and eggs. A perfect combination of protein and carbs for a grab-and-go breakfast or snack.I made these this morning, and they were delicious. These paleo pancakes were different from “regular” pancakes — they definitely taste of bananas, and the texture is moister, lighter, fluffier. I had no need to put anything on them because they were already sweet and moist, so I ate them as-is, straight from the hot pan, confident that I was getting the protein and healthy carbs I needed. Thanks to Cassey Ho of Blogilates for this delicious recipe!

Fresh, Simple and Delicious Paleo Guacamole

Paleo GuacamoleThis is an easy, fresh and simply delicious guacamole recipe perfect for paleo vegetarian diets. This paleo guacamole is made with ripe avocado, lime juice, garlic, salt, and onion, all that’s needed for the perfect guacamole. What to have with your guacamole, since chips aren’t included on the paleo diet? Continue reading

Paleo Fruit and Vegetable Salad with Citrus Dressing

 paleo salad recipe, vegetarian paleo diet, paleo diet, vegetarian paleo recipes, low-carb recipes, low carb vegetarian recipes In this case, a picture truly is worth a thousand words — this  paleo fruit and vegetable salad is just as delicious and nutritious as it looks. This is my very favorite paleo salad recipe. The combination of fruit and vegetables — lettuce, radicchio, and fennel with avocado, raspberries and pineapple — is wonderful. Or better yet, create a mix of your own favorite fruits and veggies. Continue reading

Paleo Roasted Harvest Fruits And Vegetables Recipe


Paleo roasted vegetable recipeThis paleo roasted vegetable recipe is both delicious and very easy to prepare. If you want to make a few days’ worth of veggies in advance and do it quickly and easily (and economically, too), try this. The nuts, apples, dried fruit and cinnamon really make it scrumptious. Continue reading

Creamy Paleo Butternut Squash Soup

creamy delicious butternut squash soup A hot bowl of colorful, delicious butternut squash  soup is the perfect way to warm up on a cold, gray day. As a bonus, it’s super-easy to make with frozen pureed squash, which saves time and eliminates the need to grapple with a whole squash or to puree the soup.  This freezes well, so you might want to make a double batch to enjoy later. The perfect accompaniment for this soup are savory and satisfying paleo almond rosemary biscuits from the Multiply Delicious blog.

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup frozen or fresh chopped onion

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

2 cups of vegetable broth

One 12-oz package of Bird’s Eye Cooked Winter Squash (or a package of frozen, cut-up squash or even sweet potatoes, if you don’t mind pureeing the soup before serving. A combination of the two is also delicious.)

Salt to taste

Continue reading

Paleo Chocolate Pudding…Made with avocado!

creamy paleo chocolate pudding made with ripe avocadoYou’d never know that this creamy, delicious chocolate pudding is made from ripe avocado! Yes, you read that right; paleo chocolate pudding made from avocado. Have no fear even if you aren’t an avocado fan — their bland flavor and smooth, silky texture make them the perfect base for this pudding.  This paleo chocolate pudding is vegetarian, dairy-free and sugar-free. It’s sweetened with honey which makes the flavor a bit different from regular pudding, but that doesn’t distract from it’s silky, chocolaty deliciousness at all. Now you can enjoy chocolate pudding and get all the nutrients, healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber of avocado at the same time. Amazing!

Crispy Golden-baked Sweet Potato Chips

crispy golden baked sweet potato chipsThese deliciously golden-baked, spice-dusted, crispy-yet-chewy sweet potato chips are so easy to make and are chock full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Simply peel the sweet potatoes (peeling isn’t mandatory but it is recommended), slice them nice and thin either by hand or with a mandoline slicer, brush them with melted coconut oil, sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon or your favorite spice, and bake until golden. These sweet potato chips will become one of your new favorite foods.

Moist, Delicious Paleo Banana Bread

Freshly baked grain-free paleo banana breadOn a cold, cloudy fall day there’s nothing like a warm house filled the heavenly aroma of homemade banana bread baking in the oven. This paleo banana bread from Slim Palate is grain-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free — it’s sweetened with ripe bananas and all-natural stevia.  Ingredients include almond flour,ripe bananas, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs. This is an unfussy, quick and easy healthy recipe that everyone will love, especially on a chilly autumn day.

Mediterranean Tuna Paleo Antipasto Platter

Mediterranean Tuna Paleo Antipasto Platter If you’re feeling uninspired by salad, have a plate of delicious, colorful and nutritious nibbles instead. This colorful and crunchy mediterranean tuna paleo antipasto platter makes a perfect paleo lunch or light dinner. Include both crisp and colorful fresh veggies and little pickled tidbits for variety in taste and texture, along with a homemade creamy Italian dressing for dipping. To increase the protein, serve hard boiled eggs alongside the tuna salad. Have this mediterranean tuna paleo antipasto platter ready in a jiffy. Chop and slice all the vegetables, make the dressing in advance, and have the pickled tidbits in your pantry or refrigerator ready to go.

Rich and Creamy Golden Cauliflower Soup

This rich and creamy golden cauliflower soup is absolutely delicious. Fresh cauliflower, carrots, coconut oil, onion, garlic, coconut milk and broth (I made mine with vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian, and it was absolutely delish) combine to create a luscious, subtlety flavored creamy soup. Top with your choice of dried or fresh herbs, chives, cinnamon or nutmeg, ghee, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, or any nuts you like, chopped. Enjoy it for lunch or even dinner…or breakfast, like I did!

Delicious paleo grain-free sandwich bread, at last!

Delicious paleo grain-free sandwich bread If you’re a paleo vegetarian craving bread, this recipe is for you. Danielle at “Against All Grain” invented the recipe for this delicious dairy-free,  grain-free sandwich bread made with raw cashew butter, almond milk, coconut flour and eggs. This recipe is a little tricky and quite a bit of work, but well worth your effort. Be sure to follow the recipe exactly for a perfect loaf! This will keep for a week in the fridge if wrapped tightly. Important Tip: You must use cashew butter made from RAW nuts for this recipe to turn out as intended. Roasted nuts will create a brown loaf that tastes like nuts instead of bread.