Paleo Protein: Buffalo Steaks With Mushroom Sauce

A protein-rich, paleo-inspired meal adapted for the modern athlete

Buffalo steaks with mushroom sauce.     Photo: Kate Sears

Since it appeared in 2005, ­Loren Cordain and Joe Friel’s The Paleo Diet for Athletes has sold nearly 100,000 copies—not bad for a brand extension of what many considered nothing more than a fad diet. The reason may have something to do with the less stringent guidelines. In their first book, 2001’s The Paleo Diet, Cordain and Friel forbade carb-heavy grains, dairy, and refined sugars in favor of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. The Paleo Diet for Athletes recognizes that a competitor in training has special nutritional needs. The book outlines five stages of eating in relation to exercise: before, during, after, extended recovery, and long-term recovery. The most important tweaks to the standard paleo diet come during and after a workout and in the extended-recovery phase, when carbs are crucial. Cordain and Friel advise they come in liquid form during ­exercise (sports drinks) and in a four-to-one ratio of protein to carbs just after (a fruit-juice, banana, and whey-protein smoothie, for example). For extended recovery, he suggests this recipe, taken from the book’s revised edition, on shelves in September.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds buffalo tenderloin
3 tablespoons thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
6 teaspoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 tablespoon flaxseed oil

1. Cut the steak into four pieces and cover with the thyme, garlic powder, and pepper.
2. Sear in 2 teaspoons of olive oil for one to two minutes a side (make sure the centers are still pink). Remove to a platter and keep warm.
3. Cook the shallots and mushrooms in the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, turning frequently.
4. Add the red wine and reduce until one-fourth is left.
5. Add the beef stock and reduce until one-half is left. Season with more pepper to taste and cool.
6. Add the parsley, chives, and flaxseed oil, and pour over the steaks before serving. Serves 2 to 3.

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