Simple Moderate Starch Paleo Meals (Photos)

Here’s just a few things I’ve put together over the last week or so. I’m trying to keep things simple, basic, and quick. For example, to make mashed taters, I toss the whole potato in the microwave for 5-7 minutes, the skin easily slides right off, a bit of butter, heavy cream or sour cream, sal pepper and you’ve got mashed potatoes.

Let it cool a bit, add in an egg, mix it up and you can do some potato pancakes. With bacon. With tomato. With egg. Like this.

All the images can be clicked for the hi-res versions.

Gratuitous Bacon Shot

To the potato and egg mixture I dust it with just a bit of coconut flour which makes for easy to do patties. Alternatively, just drop it in like pancake batter and let it spread out. I cooked the pancakes in the bacon fat.

Potato Pankakes
Potato Pancakes

Then it was a big slice of beefsteak tomato, some mayo, the bacon, all topped with an egg.

Over Easy
Over Easy Version for Beatrice
Sunny Up
Sunny Up Version for Me

There below is an example of a baked potato mashed up. Works great, and it’s fast. No more peeling, boiling, draining. The flank steak is from Marin Sun Farms and I just pan fried it in cast iron. As it was resting, I deglazed the pan with red wine, let it reduce, couple of pats of butter, some beef stock, let reduce and then a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar at the end. Fabulous and you have dinner in about 10 minutes, tops.

Flank Steak Taters
Flank Steak & Taters

I had three pounds of pastured pork, also from Marin Sun Farms, and so yesterday I tossed them all in a big pot with 3 quarts of stock, half beef, half chicken. Then I braised it slowly for a couple of hours or so and once fork tender, added a large chopped onion, three chopped carrots and 2 large potatoes. Takes about a half an hour for the potatoes and carrots to soften up. What’s below is the entirety of what was left after five us us dug in last night. This was my breakfast.

Pork Stew Eggs
Pork Stew & Eggs

Be careful out there.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Dave Edwards on March 17, 2012 at 14:53


    Looks tasty…
    What’s your meal frequency these days and are you randomly adding the starches or trying to get some in most meals?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 17, 2012 at 14:59

      Pretty much getting some in most meals. Not always a lot, though. Sometimes it’ll be one potato split amongst two of us. Meals, 2-3 per day, on average.

  2. Mike deCock on March 17, 2012 at 17:38

    Those are still pretty low carb meals, IMO. According to my Fitbit food tracker, it takes over 24 oz. of raw potato to get to 100 grams of carbs. That’s over 1.5 lbs. You’re not coming anywhere near that much with a big scoop of mashed potatoes or a couple of small potato pancakes.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’ve been incorporating more potatoes and rice into my low carb/paleo routine and I’m shocked at how hard it is to break 100g without wheat or sugar.

    • jake on March 17, 2012 at 20:35

      i do believe that unless you include white rice in your diet, it’s pretty tough to eat high carb utilizing only the ‘safe starches.’ it’s funny, when i’m eating, i save my starch until the end, because pretty much as soon as it goes down, some signal tells me i’m full. like don’t want to eat whatever is untouched a that point.

      maybe an interesting weight loss strategy would actually be to start your meal with the starch component… i think you’d naturally pull back from going hog wild on the fat and protein after that.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on March 18, 2012 at 04:00

        You’re really not trying hard enough. Get some sweet potatoes down your neck. They’re full of fibre, so your bowels will run like clockwork.

        Prunes also give you a good run for your money due to the fructose & sorbitol content 😀

      • rob on March 19, 2012 at 04:27

        If you compare potatoes to wheat products (bread, pasta), the difference is even more stark, I can scarf up 500 calories of pasta in no time at all, but eating that much potato is a job of work.

  3. Andrea Reina on March 17, 2012 at 20:15

    Using, which uses USDA data, russets come to 17g net carbs per 100g. That’s only 600g to reach 100g, which is something I’ve found easy to consume in a meal (plus a hunk of animal).

  4. SteveV on March 18, 2012 at 01:35

    Man.. the potato pancakes and egg… Perfect. I do sweet potato versions. Today I tried breaking the sweet potato into bits and frying it in bacon grease with onion. So I end up with a sort of sweet potato/bacon/onion hash. Quite good. Add a couple of eggs and that’s a good bfast for me. The tomato slices in there… intriguing.. Yes I think I know what tomorrow morning looks like…

  5. leo desforges on March 18, 2012 at 14:05

    richard: getting leaner?

  6. Erika on March 18, 2012 at 16:29

    Looks yummy! And way more ‘paleo’ than all the stevia-sweetened, almond-flour concoctions so many low carbers gorge themselves on (and wonder why they don’t lose any weight).

  7. j on March 18, 2012 at 19:16

    I love the potato pancakes. Looks great. Do you have a recommendation for egg to potato amounts to use for best consistency?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 19, 2012 at 00:10

      About one egg per big potato.

  8. BabyGirl on March 18, 2012 at 20:35

    Best home fries ever?

    Nuke the potato first, about 4-5 minutes and then slice it and fry it in bacon grease. About half way through add some onions.

  9. Chaohinon on March 18, 2012 at 21:46

    lately I’ve been eating a lot of Alton Brown’s chipotle mashed sweet potatoes. Just use about half as much butter, and they’re still great.

  10. Screen name (required) on March 19, 2012 at 04:22

    Steak, eggs, potatoes, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. What more could one want in a meal.

  11. Invisible Caveman on March 19, 2012 at 12:35

    This is great, it’s nice to see some potato-specific concoctions, thanks Richard!

    By the way, how’s the progress coming? As of 3/15 I lost 4 pounds for March so far, compared to 4 pounds total for the month of February. The only thing I’ve done different is added in more potatoes, which of course have been filling me up and keeping me away from other things I suppose.

    I’m curious to know not just about your weight loss, but how do you FEEL eating more potatoes?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2012 at 08:08

      Everything going just fine. No problems at all.

  12. Pauline on March 20, 2012 at 04:15

    This video on bacon egg in muffin tray with cheese on top looks fab:

  13. Jay Jay on March 20, 2012 at 19:51

    One thing that just donned on me is that on the SAD, from about age 25, I gained the typical +/- 2 pounds per year.

    Until I found myself at age 45 to be about 30 lbs overweight, went low carb (then paleo), and dropped 25 lb in a year.

    I’m feeling a lot better on 100-150 grams of carbs per day versus 30-50 during my major weight loss phase. But I’m also being vigilant for that slow weight gain. Only time will tell.

  14. Nada on March 21, 2012 at 20:05
    • Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2012 at 20:58

      Saw that yesterday. Still debating as to whether ai want to submit. Of course, if I do, I’ll blog it.

      • Mike deCock on March 21, 2012 at 22:36

        Does nobody recognize the fact that innumerable creatures suffer gruesome fates like being poisoned by pesticides and ground up alive by plows for the sake of agriculture? Those animals suffer far more horrifying deaths than those who are intentionally raised and slaughtered in ways that cause the least amount of trauma. A diet based on pastured animal products is by far the most humane in terms of animal suffering.

      • Jay Jay on March 22, 2012 at 19:36

        And who’s to say an animal’s life is more valuable than a plant’s life?

        IMO, that’s the weakest link in this line of thought.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2012 at 23:15

        Jay Jay:

        Worth it to _whom_ and for _what_?

  15. Trilobyte o' Ram on March 22, 2012 at 13:34

    Richard, awesome pictorials with some really great recipe ideas. Do you keep your own chickens? I keep a flock of mixed breeds on 1/2 acre of grass. They get about 6 cups of the factory grade soy/corn shit once a day, but that’s more of a supplement to their natural diet of insects, seeds, and whatever scraps I toss them after dinner.

    The shells are hard, the yolks are bright orange and almost psychedelic, and the taste will blow you away. I’ve made Meatsza with both storebought and pastured eggs. That’s a pepsi challenge no one would fail. Made the meatsa so much richer.

    If municipal ordinance is an issue, try silkie chickens. They’re a bantam breed and no one would really notice them. They look so bizarre and un-chicken-like you could always claim them as an Indonesian fuzzy ground parrot if some asshole neighbor narcs you out. Their tiny eggs are unique too–the yolk tastes the same as the whites.

  16. Canadian Eh on March 22, 2012 at 13:38

    hey for those that eat starches do you find your hunger is affected differently than on low-zero carb Paleo?

    I’ve switched to more starches and find I don’t need as much protein. So a meal would be 1-2 potatoes, 1 chicken thigh or 1/2 lb ground beef, and sour cream or cheese on the side.

    Ratio wise it’s about 33% carbs, 33% protein, 33% fat.

    I found if I went too high protein I felt quite heavy, and didn’t perform best for sports.

    haven’t gained weight at all, been eating like this for a few months.

    • Craig on March 23, 2012 at 14:51

      33% is an awful lot of protein!

  17. Jay Jay on March 22, 2012 at 19:39

    It seems these “moderate carbs” are negatively impacting your posting frequency.

    That can’t be good!

    Well, for the rest of us, at least….

    • Craig on March 23, 2012 at 14:53

      He’s in a corner glycating. 😛 (I kid)

  18. AustinGirl on March 23, 2012 at 08:59

    I made your potato/egg/tomato/bacon stack last night for dinner (and leftovers for breakfast today). It was AWESOME. I used a bit of avocado as a sub for the mayo. That combo is going into heavy rotation in our house, for sure. Thanks for sharing that.

  19. rob on March 24, 2012 at 06:42
  20. MC on March 24, 2012 at 21:16

    Hey Richard, I’d like to know your thoughts on potatoes/sweet potatoes for someone who is pre-diabetic.

    A co-worker who I basically spent the longest time trying to convince her that saturated fat wasn’t bad for her, finally started a low-carb diet after her sister was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. She’s been paleo low-carb for about a month now and hasn’t lost much weight, so I told her that she should maybe try ditching her salads for sweet potatoes.

    She doesn’t want to start eating sweet potatoes or potatoes though if her sister who is pre-diabetic can’t have them since they live together and she does all the cooking.

    So my question is if these starches would at all be safe for someone who is pre-diabetic. She was pre-diabetic from consuming tons of sugar and pasta, and has a decent enough amount of weight to lose.

    Should they be included? 50 grams? 100 grams? 200 grams?

    I know you’re not a doctor, but I’d appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2012 at 11:10


      Well, sorry, but my first thought is that if someone’s premise is they can’t eat something because of someone else’s issues then there’s really nothing to be done about that.

      That said, if the sister is pre-diabetic and not full blown, it would be interesting to see what a daily intake of ~150g would do, primarily from starchy sweet potatoes and the rest fruit and veggies. But, with zero grains or legumes.

      I’d say just give it a try, but for long enough as to be able to really know what it does.

      I seriously bout that a 2-week stint of eating 150g starch from sweet potatoes is going to turn a pre-diabetic into a diabetic and there’s always the possibility it might help.

      • MC on March 25, 2012 at 12:10

        Thanks Richard. 3 or 4 sweet potatoes a day for 2-3 weeks I have a feeling is going to make them lose weight. Low carb hasn’t worked that good for the girl I work with in terms of losing weight, though her energy levels and such are much better and she looks like she lost some weight, not by the scales though.

        Her doctor told her sister to avoid carbs AND fat, and just focus on lean protein. I told them he was an idiot and didn’t know what he was talking about, and now I’ve wound up playing their nutritionist 😀

        You should consider releasing a cookbook someday. Other paleo cookbooks have way too many ingredients and too much of an emphasis on salads. Your meals always seem so simple.

  21. Noel on March 24, 2012 at 23:02

    OMG – potato pancakes with bacon and eggs?? LOVE!!

    I am just exploring Primal, if I can eat my taters & lots of meat, I’ll be one happy girl.

  22. starving reader (marie) on March 25, 2012 at 19:00

    Richard, the brain sure seems happier on moderate starch but I think my mind’s not alone in beginning to ‘starve’ anyway, despite the sugar – please, please post something, Anything, soon? 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2012 at 19:57

      Trying to work out what that will be. But yea, probably not too long.

    • 100% Vegan on March 25, 2012 at 20:49

      Me too. For a few days there I was thinking Richard finally caught the old M.I. from that bacon and egg habit. …lol

      • Richard Nikoley on March 25, 2012 at 20:56

        Here’s where you vegans got it wrong. It’s not the bacon & eggs that give you an MI, it’s the Bacon & Eggs Hot Pocket that gives you and MI, eventually.

      • Ajr on March 26, 2012 at 14:39

        I forgot about Hot Pockets…..such a shitty food.

        “Yeah,waiter, I want a grade D meat pastry, and could you microwave that in a sleeve for me? Also, make sure the outside is hot enough to melt the flesh off my face but keep the inside frozen solid. Ok, that sounds terrific.”

      • Bee on August 7, 2012 at 00:14

        can i PLEASE quote you on my facebook? know so many kids who love hotpockets – mine included lol this might change their minds!

      • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2012 at 08:39

        Quote me anywhere you like.

  23. rob on March 26, 2012 at 15:00

    Something I’ve found useful with tubers is a kitchen scale. The variety in sizes is so great that otherwise you have no idea how much you are eating. Microwaving seems to work best if they are all approximately the same size, so you can pick out some that are similar and weigh them.

  24. Mark on March 26, 2012 at 22:37

    Made the potato pancakes tonight. So easy and simple. Really good stuff. Can top them with whatever and I even had a ‘dessert’ version with a bit of fruit preserves and rice syrup (PHD FTW).

  25. brian mikesell on March 28, 2012 at 11:09

    I have hit a plateau after going low carb for last 3 months – weight staying at 205. I like what Richard is doing in adding in more starches. I just got this facebook message from Jimmy Moore’s latest guest on how to start introducing some carbs. Richard – what impact has it had on your weight and are you following a method similar to this?

    ProfDr Andro:
    wrt to the carbs, I would strongly advise to reintroduce some (make sure you eat as much vegetables as you want and NEVER count the carbs in them). Start out with either starchy carbs like rice or potato or fruit (e.g. one banana) on a workout day – with the meal you eat post workout. 20-30g of carbs total for 1 week, see how that affects your performance and well being and ignore any potential intermediate weight gain – check the mirror and measure your waist as a measure of progress. Next week you increase the carb intake by 10g and ignore 10g of carbs on your rest days. In other words 40g of carbs on workout days, 10g on off days. You go from there until you get to 50g of carbs on non-workout days and 100-120g of carbs on workout days. Make sure you do not ingest >40g of carbs in one sitting

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2012 at 11:13


      Sounds like a reasonable approach, though in my case I just went for the 100-200g range right off the bat. Having no problems, and lots of upside. I’ll be blogging about it soon.

  26. brian on August 7, 2012 at 10:00

    Hi Richard,
    Did you post a new blog on this updating us how it’s going adding potatoes back in? Also – do you only eat potatoes on days you work out as a post workout thing or are you incorpating daily? Loving the hang gliding stuff! You got balls.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2012 at 10:13


      No, not really because I just consider them food. I actually don’t eat them an awful lot, but when I do, then I do and usually keep it real. I try to stick with simple preparations like baked and mashed.

      Glad you like the HG stuff. I really like to discourage the notion that this is extreme or takes superhuman courage. There is a learning curve and overcoming irrational fear but with the proper mindfulness, most people can do it.

  27. Brian Mikesell on August 7, 2012 at 10:17

    thanks Richard. I am excited to start incorporating some potatoes and rice as I think they will give me some more energy. Going to take the leangains approach and incorporate in a timely fashion – after a sprint HIT workout or after lifting. I think / hope it will get me into a new cycle of dropping some more fat and giving me more energy. I dropped 20 lbs on paleo and then flatlined at 205. I think I’ve be come paleo adapted and need to start bringing some back in. Thanks for HG tips – I’ll use it on my wife to see if I can convince her to ‘let’ me do it. I jumped out of a plane in my 20s havent done anything like this since. love your spirit.

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