Note: Yesterday, I titled this blog post ‘eating primal/paleo”, but I realized that this is inaccurate, as I have a gigantic potato pictured down below there. Lol! (Potatoes aren’t paleo.) So, I changed the title, as I haven’t fully adapted the Primal label yet, and it’s rather an “in progress” goal.
I have been attempting to eat more primally, which means cutting out grains and sugar. It also means cutting out legumes, but I haven’t done that yet, nor do I feel compelled to at this time. The hardest part is menu planning. I used to have a pretty good grip on menu planning. A well rounded dinner would look like : meat main dish, veggie side, starch. That was for a simple dinner, the kind we usually have around here. So, I knew that if I could make a formula out of a grain free meal, it would make meal planning much easier for me. I have been checking The Garden of Eating out of the library constantly for almost a year now (I think I’ll have to give it back soon, boo hoo, I can’t afford my own copy, it runs about $35! ) However, it is TOTALLY worth the price! It has menu plans, suggested menus, shopping and prep tips, and the “why” behind going grain and dairy free (we also aren’t dairy free, one thing at a time, please). After careful rereading of the first section with all the “how-to”s it actually has formulas for the meals in the book, but I’ve kind of invented my own as I do my menu planning. I only menu plan for dinners at this time. Lunches, snacks, and breakfasts kind of elude me, even before my diet change. But I hope to get skilled enough that I can menu plan them too.
Anyway, on to the dinners. Instead of meat, veggie, starch, I do: meat, green vegetable, starchy vegetable (like squash or yams, not white potatoes or corn, which is actually a grain and not a vegetable). My non primal husband would appreciate a grain as well, and I may add in a side of kasha, rice, or quinoa when I get this basic system down more. It would mean more meat and veggies for me, as well as more carbs for him as he processes them better than I do, and needs more energy than I do. He’s a runner.
Since we’ve had a rash of really delicious and satisfying dinners around here, I thought I’d list some of them.
Turkey Florentine: leftover Thanksgiving turkey breast, cooked in tomato sauce with spinach (green veggie) and topped with cheese (raw cheddar) and baked til melty. I could have added another veggie to this, and probably should have, but I didn’t get the zuchhini thawed in time. If I’d thought of it, I might have added some of our lactofermented green beans.
Pot roast with roasted shallots, potatoes, and carrots. This is a one pot meal, and it’s really delicious too. Leftovers turned into pot roast soup for dinner the next day, with plenty of nourishing bone broth to drink.
Meatless meals also work this way. I recently had a zucchini frittata and a starchy dish (I can’t remember what it was, sorry!) (Egg instead of meat, green veggie, starchy veg).
And I don’t’ normally do raw salads, but I had a refreshing and warming salad from Garden of Eating with leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, and some salad greens and radishes. In the summer, this formula will change to a large raw salad like this, with the protein on top (especially good for lunches), or a grilled meat, with a starchy veg side and a green salad. But in the winter, I don’t do raw salad, they’re too cooling for me.
Breakfasts are kind of grab your own around here. Hubby eats the same thing every day: bowl of oatmeal, egg, and bowl of yogurt and berries. Wildflower eats a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and honey. A big bowl of grain is a big nono for me. I eat eggs, greens, and fruit usually. Sometimes I skip the fruit.
A typical breakfast for me would be scrambled eggs and spinach, topped with raw cheese or feta cheese. The other day I had two eggs poached in bone broth, over some steamed broccoli. My fruit lately has been a citrus of some kind- clementine or tangerine, or a hot cup of apple cider. And often a cup of hot herbal tea as well.
I think I’ll post a roundup later of some grain/sugar free Christmas treats. In the interest of full disclosure, I have fallen off the grain/sugar free wagon with the Christmas cookies. Tradition runs strong. But I’m making some changes. I’ll post about that later. Hope this helps you simplify your menu planning if you’re trying to go primal, or gluten free, or just trying to eat more veggies.