Friday, March 2, 2012

Week of March 4

Okay, we're not there yet, but I'm making up my shopping/cooking plans for the coming week. We are there. Forward! Forward! 

But first, maybe you're asking, Why would I want to cook and eat this way?

And to tell you the truth, I don't have the researched, scientific answers at my fingertips. It seems to me that lots of people, whatever their eating paradigm (and how First-World is that, to think in terms of "eating paradigms" that don't just equal "survival"), have researched, scientific answers at their fingertips, which makes me skeptical about any researched, scientific diet claim. And anyway, that's not really why I'm here, doing this now. What I'm seeing, as I cook my way through these paleo recipes and let them inform my food choices, is

*we all stay full a lot longer

*I have more energy

*I've lost, at this writing, about 12 pounds since I started this blog, which was not that long ago

*the food tastes really great, and I don't feel deprived, which is what you're supposed to say about what you're eating. If it tastes rotten and you feel that life is ripping you off at mealtime, then you're not eating right. Or, rather, what you're eating isn't right for you.

*I'm more organized, which means that meals are better and more complete, AND people who leave the house for the day have a really good lunch made for them and don't have to spend money out. I know that most of you out there are probably already organized and sending people with homemade lunches, but at my house this was not happening before.

Things We Might Want This Week:

*Cauliflower rice. Lots of cauliflower rice. I'd like to try a pilaf, maybe for next Friday.

*Zucchini noodles, with maybe some garlicky grilled chicken and drizzled with olive oil

*Pork chops. I think I'll substitute one big econo-pack of pork chops for one package of chicken. We're about to die of poultry around here.

*Hot Plates:  Chinese would be good. I keep putting it on the list and then doing other things. Pork chops with cabbage and apples would be nice, too. We didn't have curry this past week, so maybe that should go on the menu for the coming week.

*Pork fried cauliflower "rice"?

*Leftover soups. In the freezer I have small amounts of cabbage soup and sweet-potato/chicken soup, plus a dab of chocolate chili. All good for a smorgasbord lunch, or lunch at work.

*Chicken salad

*Tuna salad

*Hardboiled eggs

*Veggie/fish food for Friday. Rice pilaf? Eggplant strata? Noodles with seafood? Salmon muffins?

Shopping List: 

coconut oil (2 jars)
coconut milk  (3 cans)
tomato paste (4 cans)
stewed/diced/crushed tomatoes (4 cans)
garlic powder (1)
dried oregano (1)

4 packs boneless, skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
1 large pack pork chops
6 lbs frozen ground turkey
tuna (6 cans)
5 dozen eggs

4  heads cauliflower
10 zucchini
10 sweet potatoes
1 large spaghetti squash
1 eggplant
2 bunches kale
1 bag carrots
1 bag sweet onions
1 bag salad mix or spinach
2 bags apples
1 large bunch bananas

milk (3 gal)
raisins (for cauliflower pilaf)
pine nuts (splurge -- for cauliflower pilaf)
dried apricots (for cauliflower pilaf)
sushi seaweed wraps (snacks)

Saturday Night Dinner
*pork chops marinated in a mix of Moroccan spices melted in coconut oil (I simmered the chops slowly in my big cast-iron skillet)

*cauliflower pilaf:  riced cauliflower (really more like couscous, which was perfect) sauteed in coconut oil with cinnamon and cumin, and tossed with sauteed onion, sliced almonds, minced dried apricots, and raisins. Really, really good. I just had cold leftovers for an early pre-Mass-get-through-Faith-Formation breakfast.

*roasted sweet potatoes

*brunch after Mass:  homemade turkey sausage/egg scramble. Sausage is already browned;  all I have to do when I get home is throw it in the skillet with coconut oil and eggs.

*dinner:  leftover pilaf if there is any left by dinner time. baked chicken breasts (garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, coconut oil), zucchini noodles with almond-flour bread crumbs (olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes), and kale chips (olive oil, sea salt). Mm-mm-mm. Followed by old episodes of the Beverly Hillbillies on YouTube. "Possum innards is just as good the second day . . . "

breakfast:  oatmeal/eggs. One kid had seaweed
lunch:  various leftovers;
possibly a frittata using the sausage scramble and zucchini noodles from yesterday
dinner: Chinese pork-and-veggie stir-fry over cauliflower rice

breakfast:  oatmeal/eggs
lunch:  chicken breasts to go;  hardboiled eggs;  fruit (we're going to Old Salem for the day!)
dinner:  Eastern European hot plate with ground turkey, cabbage, apple, caraway seed, etc.

breakfast:  oatmeal/eggs
lunch:  leftovers, hardboiled eggs, tuna salad?
dinner:  Rogan Josh, cauliflower rice chocolate chili in the crockpot

breakfast:  omelettes
lunch:  leftover chili and soups
dinner:  chicken Rogan Josh w/cauliflower rice

breakfast:  oatmeal/eggs
lunch:  tuna salad
dinner:  sweet potato casserole or soup


  1. Sally, I take it you would continue to highly recommend this book? I'm more or less on board with eating this way and I'm probably 90% there when I'm trying and 50% there when I'm not. But I need a serious fresh shot of inspiration in the food department. This book gets rave reviews on Amazon but I don't trust rave reviews for a new book. And I've never spent $30 on a cookbook in my life.

  2. I really, really like it. And I'd never spent that much for a cookbook, either, but then I don't buy them that often. I don't have time to go through multiple cookbooks looking for things to try -- my idea of a winner is something like Julia Child's The Way To Cook, which gives you paradigms and ideas for variation and is therefore useful pretty much every day forever.

    What I like about this cookbook (having been using it almost exclusively, and doing variations on its themes, for . . . what? six weeks now? not exactly a lifetime . . . is that the central ideas are almost infinitely adaptable, and meanwhile, the actual recipes are really good and varied. Mostly I just riff on the "hot plate" idea, but at least once a week I'll make something more elaborate and time-consuming. So far every recipe I've tried has been a hit. I could hunt down recipes like these -- if I thought about them and had the time. It's nice to have them all collected in a book, and nice to have some paleo tricks like using cauliflower for rice and zucchini for noodles (and recipes that use them) at my fingertips.

    If you want more of an idea, she does have a blog (linked in my sidebar) -- I don't read it that often, because it's a lot about working out at the gym, clothes, and other aspects of a lifestyle that doesn't interest me all that much, but she does have recipes there as well.

    I bought the book because, like you, I needed the inspiration. I hated my husband's version of a low-carb diet (hot dogs and bacon), but I didn't like how my carby food was making me feel, either, and I was in a serious rut, hating cooking, loathing even to think about feeding everyone. Being the cook felt like a huge burden, which made me sad because I've always liked to cook. So for me, $30 was worth it just to break that down-spiral. I don't know whether it would be worth it to you, but I certainly have found this to be a useful and inspiring purchase.

  3. One more note: for a $30 book, this one isn't bound all that well. It's a paperback, and some of my pages are already starting to come loose. Having bought the book, however, I can also get a .pdf version for $1 (donated to charity -- I'm not sure which charity, but will check), which could be printed out and spiral-bound, which I think would be helpful.

  4. I finally took the plunge and bought the book with the Christmas money that had been burning a hole in my pocket. I've only had it a few days but I really, really like it so far. I jumped right in and made a hot plate the first night (I had thought that morning that we had "nothing" to eat in the house) and made meatza last night. Really good food. And I think the cook up method is going to be a time and money saver for me. Thanks for the advice!

  5. Wow, I'm really glad. That's been the appeal for me: the recipes are really unusually tasty (ie it's not a "diet" kind of cookbook), and the whole "method" is very useful. When I don't do a weekly cookup, I can really tell the difference in my making-dinner stress levels.

  6. And yes, the "hot plate" idea is brilliant. It's a way around that mental block of putting together what we'd think of as a "complete" meal, with the gratifying result of . . . a complete meal. This week I'm really scraping bottom with resources and pantry supplies, and while I haven't followed many of her recipes religiously, that unorthodox way of putting stuff together has been helpful, and has saved me from that depressing feeling of just dragging supplies out of the back of the cupboard and the fridge and doing something weird with them.