People Making Waves

ChihYu Smith

People Making Waves ChihYu Smith: Paleo Recipes Made for the Microwave

Meet Our Paleo Expert


The Paleo diet, short for the "Paleolithic diet" is a dietary lifestyle designed to mimic the way that hunter gatherers ate during the Stone Age. (Woah.) While that might sound intimidating at first, it's actually pretty straightforward,  emphasizing eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts, and seeds. Similar to Whole30, the Paleo diet recommends avoiding grains, legumes, dairy, added sugar, and anything highly processed. For people who are starting out and looking for a more structured program, Whole30 is a great place to start. Paleo provides a general framework to encourage people to eat whole unprocessed foods that are minimally processed, but Whole30 program provides clear step-by-step guidelines, shopping lists, and day-to-day support.


Our Paleo expert is ChihYu Smith, the author of Asian Paleo and creator of popular food blog I Heart Umami, where she shares healthy Asian recipes that are Paleo, gluten-free, and low carb. Her recipes are full of flavor and easy to prep. (She's also a certified Whole30 coach!) 


How ChihYu's Paleo journey began:


"I first looked into the Paleo diet around 2016. I was browsing recipes and saw that there were some Asian dishes, but not quite the dishes I grew up eating. I was born and raised in Taiwan and moved to the U.S. when I was 21. My tastebuds naturally wanted the dishes my mother used to make for me, and the Paleo recipes I was finding out there didn't taste quite like my family's cooking — so I started creating my own. I started a website, put up my recipes, and it took off from there."


"Paleo taught me how to eat more veggies, fiber, and good quality protein with less of an emphasis on carbohydrates. I personally like it because it's what makes my body feel its best.  Paleo provides a general framework that encourages people to eat whole, unprocessed foods to support our health, while Whole30 provides clear step-by-step guidelines and offers day-to-day support via the Whole30 website, Instagram and Facebook communities, and through certified Whole30 coaches. All of these resources make healthy eating easier. 



On using the microwave and her Anyday dishes: 


"I have a super tiny microwave and mostly only use it to reheat things (like everyone else). One of the barriers to cooking in the microwave is that people don't know how to do it. When you're starting a cooking revolution, you really have to teach people to get past that hesitancy. I use mine to steam vegetables. I used to use food wraps, but wanted to be more environmentally friendly. This bowl is thick, durable, and you can reuse it, and wash it.



Because Paleo emphasizes simple, real ingredients, it's more than possible to cook Paleo-compatible recipes in the microwave. With ChihYu's permission, we adapted three of her popular recipes from I Heart Umami to the Anyday: Black Pepper Chicken, Creamy Paleo Breakfast Grits, and Egg Drop Soup. Check out the original recipes above and the microwave adaptations below!


Please follow ChihYu on Instagram at @iheartumami.ny, buy her cookbook Asian Paleo, and visit her blog linked here!