Monday, March 28, 2011

30 Day Challenge, Day 13 (Bolognese)

There's a bit of a learning curve when switching to the Paleo eating style.   Much of what I've learned and done regarding cooking over the course of 30 years is now less than helpful to me.  I can't rely on old favorites, because I need to modify or look up new recipes for everything.  It's okay, because I love looking up new recipes.  It's just that it takes a little more time right now while I'm new at this.

This also affects how I approach lunch and snacks.  Before going Paleo, a standard snack would be nonfat yogurt and fruit, or reduced fat wheat crackers with reduced fat mozzarella or swiss cheese with shredded lunchmeat, and lunch was very often a sandwich or a can of soup with salad.  These were fast and tasty meals, which I deemed healthy food.  When I adopted the Body for Life plan, I left behind drive thru "fast food" for better choices.  Now, I need to learn yet another new kind of fast food.  With three daughters living at my house, there aren't always leftovers, which means I have to actually think of something to eat.  That fits the Paleo guidelines. When I'm hungry.  Sometimes this is challenging.

I know Ballerina's main caveat is time, so I've tried to keep easy-to-grab foods in the fridge:  boiled eggs, paleo pancakes, mini sweet peppers, cooked shredded chicken, a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Even so, it can be difficult to come up with new and exciting ways to combine food -- and boredom with your food is a surefire way to fail at a new nutrition plan.

When Ballerina and Superman and I started this 30 day challenge, I made one promise:  "I promise it will be delicious."  I knew it would be a real task to banish our previous staples from our diet, but I was determined to do everything I could. 

So, tomorrow I'm hitting the internet again, searching for new favorites that fit into my budget.  And if any of you dear readers have favorite lunch and snack ideas, feel free to share them!

Today's meals:

Meal #1
Paleo Pancakes (I'm developing a new recipe.  It isn't perfected yet, but I'll share it once it is.)
Plum applesauce
Coconut milk

Meal #2
Boiled egg
Cucumber spears

Meal #3
Celery sticks with almond butter
plum applesauce

Meal #4
Spaghetti Squash
Blue Collar Bolognese (my modifications recorded below)
Romaine and Spinach salad with olive oil and red wine vinegar

Meal #5
leftovers from dinner because it was so tasty, I had to eat it again.

Tonight's dinner was wonderful!  I sliced a spaghetti squash in half, laid it cut side down in a 9x13 glass baking dish with a little water.  I baked it at 375 for about 40 minutes, while the Bolognese simmered.

Blue Collar Bolognese
2 Tbs. bacon fat OR several pieces of bacon
2-3 medium carrots, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 lb ground turkey
1 can tomato paste
2 cans diced tomatoes plus ½ can water
Italian spice mix, chili powder, fennel seeds

Cook the bacon until the fat is rendered out (or just start with the bacon fat). Put the cooked bacon away for use in another recipe (I'm thinking Egg Cupcakes tomorrow).  Add the carrot, onion, celery and garlic and lightly fry.

After a few minutes veggies should be soft. Dump thawed ground turkey in a large pot and add a little water.  Stir and cook on high until the turkey is broken up and cooked.  Add the vegetables.

Add the spices, tomato paste and tomatoes and combine, cooking the whole time. Let the entire mix simmer while the spaghetti squash bakes.  (If making independent of spaghetti squash, simmer at least 15 minutes.)

1 comment:

  1. My favorite carry-anywhere snack is an "antipasto"...

    choose 1-2 proteins:
    cold grilled chicken, cut into slices
    cold grilled chicken sausage, cut into coins
    canned sardines
    tuna mixed with homemade mayo

    choose 2-3 raw veggies:
    snap peas
    sliced jicama
    cucumber coins
    carrot and celery sticks
    bell pepper strips

    choose 1-2 fat sources:
    dipping sauce made from homemade mayo or olive oil and herbs
    a few nuts
    chunks of avocado

    I make sure I have all the raw materials in the fridge and then I compose an antipasto in a tupperware container to grab and go. If I know I won't have a fridge handy, I opt for sardines in the can or chicken/sausage/hard-boiled egg because those hold up well without a fridge for a few hours.