The funny thing about cooking sous vide is that once you start, you pretty much also start embarking on a Paleo diet… not exactly, but pretty much.
The reason is that pretty much anyone who gets their first sous vide device is going to go ballistic trying to cook steaks, fish, seafood, chicken and eggs. Which coincidentally, are all foods of the Paleo diet.
SO WHAT IS THE PALEO DIET?
For those who haven’t heard of it, the Paleo diet is all about trying to eat like a caveman from the Paleolithic era, hence the name. The idea here is that we are not physically equipped to consume all the processed foodstuff and grains that make up a large part of modern man’s diet and that these foods are the cause of obesity and a myriad of other health problems.
For those on the Paleo diet, there are foodstuffs that should be consumed and some that are prohibited. Foods to be avoided include legumes, grains and dairy items. Well, as it turns out, pastas, rice, beans and milk are just not ideal to be cooked sous vide.
And the reverse is true. Sous vide favourites like beef, chicken, fish, seafood and eggs are foods that are Paleo approved! So there are lots of overlaps between sous vide favourites and the Paleo diet, but how is sous vide the perfect tool for the Paleo diet?
PERFECT FOR LESS MARBLED STEAKS
Beef is one the foodstuff on the approved list for the Paleo diet, specifically grass-fed beef. And there are two characteristics of grass-fed beef that make it perfect for sous vide. The first is that grass-fed beef tends to be less marbled than regular grain-fed beef.
Having less fat spread throughout the meat means that you need to be much more precise with your cooking. The fats act as insulation and also help to make your steak taste good even when you overcook it a bit. Without these fats, you’ll need to have perfect feel and timing when cooking your steak. Which as home cooks, our human thermostats are often not as accurate as we’d like to be.
With sous vide cooking, the precise temperature control ensures you get a perfectly cooked steak, every single time. Whatever doneness you prefer, you just dial it up and the steak will be perfectly cooked to your preference, always.
PERFECT FOR EXPENSIVE STEAKS
The other characteristic of grass-fed beef is that it is usually a fair bit more expensive than regular grain-fed beef. Which means that if you overcook your grass-fed steak, well, you just paid a tidy sum to eat steak with the texture of beef jerky.
PERFECT FOR FISH AND SEAFOOD
Seafood and fish are other key components of the Paleo diet. If you’ve ever tasted sous vide salmon, you’ll never want to eat pan fried salmon again. Like grass-fed beef, fish and indeed most seafood are often expensive and easily ruined by overcooking. Traditional cooking methods like pan frying can turn the delicate texture of fork tender fish into dry and chewy chunks.
PERFECT FOR EGGS
If you are on the Paleo diet, you’ll likely be eating a lot of eggs. And the perfect restaurant-standard poached egg is easily achievable through sous vide. You just need to set the temperature to your desired level of consistency and you’ll get beautifully poached eggs, every time! Serve your sous vide egg on a bed of salad and you’ve got yourself a light, tasty lunch.
PERFECT SOUS VIDE
There’s certainly much debate about the Paleo diet with enough critics and fans on both sides. However with sous vide, those who have tried it are often instant converts. So whether you are already on the Paleo diet or thinking of trying it, I would suggest you try sous vide. You’ll be glad to move out of the dark ages.
So sous vide soon and bon appétit!