Best Summer Cookout Recipes

Summer is quickly approaching, as are the tempting fried foods, bags of potato chips and immense amounts of ice-cream to cool off on a hot day in the sun. A lot of these foods have empty calories and ingredients that cause disruptions in our metabolic and digestive systems rather than benefiting our lifestyle. Take the time to plan out special occasion meals, like Memorial Day with our Paleo-Friendly Guide. This guide will compare common recipes that you see at cookouts, parties, etc. with a Paleo-Friendly alternative everyone can enjoy with delicious nutrition and taste!

The Loaded Potato Salad vs. Better-for-You Broccoli Slaw

Why? Most of the traditional BBQ side dishes are high in fat from the mayonnaise or creamy dressing, while this Broccoli Slaw has healthy fat from almonds, olive oil and sesame oil. The vegetable ingredients are non-starchy vegetables, which are lower in carbs and calories, yet still a nutrient-dense side dish. One serving of broccoli slaw provides more than 50% of the vitamins A and C.


Salad Ingredients:

  • 3 cups broccoli slaw
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (i.e. Trader Joe’s or Dole 10 oz. bag)
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro
  • ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup Paleo Asian Sesame Dressing (see recipe)

Asian Sesame Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger or a pinch of ground ginger


  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a container with a lid, such as a mason jar or other salad dressing bottle. Shake for 15 – 20 seconds and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine broccoli slaw, carrots, cucumber, green onions, cilantro and almonds. Stir to combine.
  3. Drizzle dressing over vegetables and toss to coat, then serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Classic Cheeseburger & Fries vs. Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Why? A typical homemade burger can have up to 870 calories, depending on what toppings are chosen. White or wheat flour-based buns can have excess amounts of preservatives for shelf-life stability and are not gluten-free friendly. Switch your buns for a nutrient dense choice like a sweet potato. Nutrient dense means that the food you choose has the maximum amount of nutritional value for the calories. Win-win. Another great reason for switching to sweet potato is it replaces the craving for fries.



  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 lbs. Boneless Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. pepper



  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Wash and clean your sweet potatoes. Cut your sweet potatoes almost half way down the middle but not completely splitting your potato.
  3. Take a tablespoon of oil and gently rub it in your sweet potatoes. Place your sweet potatoes in the oven. Let them cook for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your crockpot or slow cooker. Fill it with water.
  5. Add paprika, cumin, garlic powder, chili flakes, pepper and onion to your slow cooker.
  6. Add your pork tenderloin and cook on high for up to 4 hours.
  7. Once the pork tenderloin is finished split into servings to stuff on top of sweet potatoes. Add Tessemae’s BBQ sauce as desired and add any other toppings.

*Rarely does this recipe need a full sweet potato, try serving half of a sweet potato face open and add your pork tenderloin on top for a lower carb index.

Makes 8 servings.

Hot Dogs & Corn Dogs vs. Spicy Shrimp Skewers

Why? Hot Dogs and Corndogs are easy finger food at a BBQ, but not nearly as healthy as Shrimp Skewers. The processed bun and corn breading, along with highly processed meat and nitrates often leads to an unhappy gut afterwards. Unlike shrimp, which is a lean, clean protein that will leave your belly feeling good at the end of the day.



  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. large shrimp* (16/20 count), shelled and deveined
  • 4-5 wooden skewers


  1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all ingredients except shrimp.
  2. Add shrimp and toss until well coated. Cover and marinate for 1-2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, soak wooden skewers in water for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Thread 3-4 shrimp on each skewer.
  5. Arrange skewers on oiled grill and cook for 3 minutes or until under side is beginning to turn pink. Flip skewers and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

* Shrimp should be avoided if any type of reaction has been detected when eating shrimp or shellfish in the past. Substitute cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast if allergy is a concern. 

A ready-made finger food are Caveman Chicken Bites and Jerky. Choose from a variety of delicious flavors free of nitrates and preservatives. It’s Certified Paleo, high-protein food everyone can snack on.

Old-Fashioned Ice-cream vs Berry Paleo Sorbet

Why? The average amount of sugar in ice cream pints can range from 20-30g of sugar for ½ cup of dessert. This regularly indulgent dessert is commonly over-consumed leading to an easy 40-60g of sugar per serving. A great substitute for ice-cream socials during hot weather is a fruity sorbet. Natural sugars from fruit can curb, “sweet tooth’s” and also provide relief to individuals with lactose or soy sensitivities. This recipe only has 7g of sugar for ½ cup of sorbet, and also provides an extra way of staying hydrated with ingredients like water, strawberries and lime.



  • 1 Small handful Mint, fresh
  • 3 cups Strawberries, organic
  • 2 cups Blackberries, organic
  • 1-3 tbsp Honey*
  • 3 tbsp Lime juice
  • 3/4 cup Water


  1. In a saucepan warm honey with the water until boiling.
  2. Turn off heat and add mint to mix with the diluted honey (let mixture completely cool off)
  3. Add frozen or fresh strawberries and blackberries to a blender
  4. Add honey-mint water and blend all ingredients
  5. Pour the mixture into a freezer-friendly container that is made to insulate ice-cream
  6. Place container in freezer for 7-8 hours

 *nutritional analysis reflects if 1 tbsp of honey added.

A ready-made dessert can be simple with Caveman Dark Chocolate Paleo-Friendly Bars. Whether you want a bite-size or full-size dark chocolate bar, you’ll find these bars as an easy substitute for candy bars. Enjoy flavors like Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut and Caramel Cashew made with gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free ingredients. Try our Dark Chocolate Paleo-Friendly Bars with our taste-satisfaction promise.

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