“Low and slow” a good friend once told me. He also happens to be a phenomenal chef. I definitely savor the meals he’s cooked for me. However, one of the highest barriers to entry for anyone interested in paleo is the overwhelming feeling of “oh my goodness, now I have to cook everything I eat?” And the answer is pretty much a hard ‘yes’. There are new options popping up these days but meal options are still hit or miss, especially living outside of a larger city. Everything pre-made is slathered in canola oil and if I don’t have an hour to throw together dinner then I certainly don’t have an hour to drive out and go sit in a decent restaurant.
So here’s what I’ve been doing to give myself a good shot at success because, remember, setting up for success and planning it out is the only way to make sure circumstances work with you rather than against you. Look at it this way: if I work my tail off during the day, get to the kitchen hungry with nothing planned out and only half the ingredients for any given recipe then there’s a good chance I’m going to fail. Whether fail means ordering out or–where I normally end up–having fried eggs for dinner. After a week of fried eggs you really get sick of them.
Planning ahead gets easier with time. You eventually figure out what to buy, what to keep in stock, and you have a few new recipes in mind that you remember to pick up ingredients for. But just starting out is hard, I’ve tried to make it easier with a framework:
First, I keep a couple recipes on hand that I can make in a heartbeat with almost no ingredients and no effort. Hamburgers (on lettuce), Asian-style chicken and broccoli, or stir fry may not be the most thrilling menu options but they are fast and I keep hamburger and chicken breasts on hand at all times thanks to Sam’s Club grass fed beef and humanely raised chicken along with frozen veggies. Keep some veggies and frozen hamburger patties in the freezer. When you pull out the veggie you were planning on using as a side and it’s not slimy, they will be there to save the day.
Here’s the bread toasted with some mixed greens, chicken salad, and balsamic vinegar.
Second, keep some “basics” on hand. The basics you currently use now–rice, bread, pasta–have paleo alternatives–cauliflower, almond flour, zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, and miracle noodles. All of these store well in the fridge to be pulled out during the week. When I cook cauliflower, I cook four heads and then serve everything on top of it for the next few days. When I make bread, I make an extra loaf or two. Then all you have to do is cook a quick meat to pair.
Third, in the same vein, I double or triple recipes. Woohoo leftovers!!! I am thrilled when I have some Thai curry or beef left over and some extra roasted cauliflower rice from the two pans I cooked this weekend. A giant loaf of almond butter bread just requires a little extra cooking time but provides options for sandwiches and breakfasts for an extra few days.
Last, starting out I didn’t have any go-to recipes so I sat down with a trusted “quick and easy” cookbook and picked out three I wanted to try. I made sure I had the ingredients next time I was at the store and I ended up cooking at least two of them with ingredients left for next week. I still do that today, I find easy recipes and send Adam to the store with a list. Planning ahead sets you up for success and only takes 15 minutes with a cookbook or my list of recipes. All of mine aim to be under 30 minutes.
Practice. It’s going to be hard at first, this is a huge lifestyle change. But if you take the time now to set up for success, you’ll win in the long haul.
So in that spirit, here’s the bread recipe I’ve thrown together this week to go with eggs, chicken salad, and whatever else I have time to make.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend almond butter and eggs until smooth (I use my handy dandy immersion blender). Add in remaining ingredients. Pour into a well-buttered loaf pan and smooth the top (wet the back of a spoon helps). Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a knife comes out clean.
12 servings 151 calories 5g protein 14g fat 4g net carbs
Pretty easy, right? Stay tuned, the next bread is microwavable!
Source: Rx Primal Blog