Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Practicing Paleo Part II

"Before anything else, the key to success is preparation"
                                    -- Alexander Graham Bell
(AGB was a pretty smart guy as it turns out)

Step 2: Preparation

Every day my family of 4 eats breakfast, lunch and dinner with food from home.

That means at least 21 meals a week need to be prepared.

Who wants to spend that much time in the kitchen?  I certainly don't!

The way I avoid this is by spending just a few hours prepping everything for the week in one day.

Here is my weekly routine....

- Shop for food at Costco/Commissary
- Wash/Cut all fruits and veggies and store in fridge
- Cook a Breakfast Casserole
- Cook breakfast meats (bacon, sausage links) for grab and go
- Cook 3 main course meat dishes (I will provide recipes for Lime Cilantro Chicken, Meatloaf, and Turkey Meatballs next time)
- Make Mango Salsa
- Shred veggies for Coleslaw in food processor
- Make Dressing for Coleslaw (will provide recipe next time)

That entire process takes me about 5 hours.  That includes shopping and cooking times since many things can cook at the same time.  That 5 hours ensures I only have to prepare a few fish dinners during the week and breakfast on the weekends.  All other food is from prepared meals already in the fridge.

Here is what is consumed in an average day at my house...

Breakfast casserole (Sam and I )
Turkey Bacon (Girls)

Lime Cilantro Chicken
Coleslaw & Dressing

    Beau has separate packed school lunch-
      Veggie Slices
      Fruit Slices
      Greek Yogurt and Honey

Mixed fruit

By cooking a lot of food and eating the left overs this Paleo lifestyle has actually made my job as the main food provider EASIER.

I should mention that we do eat out, but very rarely.  Sitting at a restaurant with my 2 little monsters is rather unpleasant and usually ends with one person crying because she only wants the ice cream that the table next to us ordered (Alex), another person complaining that she is still hungry after eating all the food at the table and because she sat down for 15 whole minutes is now incapable of sitting still and needs to literally jump up and down or she might implode (Beau), someone else is frustrated from having to refrain from yelling at the crying and jumping monsters for 2 hours because we are in public (Sam), and of course another someone who vows never to do that again and cant believe she forgot she said the same thing last time (me).


Here are 2 recipes that are so easy I know them off the top of my head.  I will post more next time.

Sausage and Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole

1 Sweet Potato, chopped (or bag of chopped frozen/hash brown sweet potatoes)
1 onion, chopped
1 green, yellow, and red bell pepper, chopped
(or cheat and get 1 bag of frozen chopped onions and bell pepper mix, totally Paleo!)
2 lb. sausage (I like a combination of chicken and pork)
12 eggs
5.5 oz can coconut milk

Preheat oven to 350℉.  Brown sausage in skillet and transfer to 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Layer mixed veggies and sweet potatoes on sausage.  Beat dozen eggs and coconut milk in bowl and season with salt, pepper, and any desired seasonings.  I like to use Italian seasonings, basil, oregano, etc.  Poor egg mixture over meat/veggie mix.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the center seems set.  Eat and enjoy :)

Most of the ingredients for the casserole, someone forgot the eggs in the picture

Mango Salsa
all measurements are approximate

1 Mango, chopped
15 Cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 Tbs Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

Combine all ingredients and enjoy.  (I promise you will enjoy this!  And that is coming from someone who flat out does not like raw tomatoes, but the mango and vinegar do wonderful magical things together so you cant even taste the tomatoes)

You really cant screw this recipe up, I haven't actually ever measured anything in this recipe so this is all a guess.  The more olive oil/vinegar you use the more juice you will end up with and more is better here.  Diced jalapeños are delicious but I have little ones with sensitive tongues so I usually omit them.

The Mango Salsa is FABULOUS tossed with chicken, raw broccoli, and walnuts!

Next: Practicing Paleo Part III

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