Meals for the Week – Paleo Comfort Foods Style #3
You ever have one of those days when the kitchen just wasn’t calling your name and the thought of grabbing take-out Thai, or running out to eat at your local Mexican joint, or indulging a bit at your favorite neighborhood bistro sounded about 435% more tempting than cooking or reheating leftovers? Yeah, we had a lot of those days this past week, and were oh-so-tempted…but I can tell you that we felt about 894% (these are all very precise numbers) better (and saved some cash too) by focusing on what we had on hand and choosing to eat things where we could control every single ingredient that went into the preparation. Not to mention the fact that this way we were certain not to waste food. Here’s an interesting (but old) infographic about food waste. Does your household waste 10+ pounds of meat and fish and 24 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables PER MONTH? I sure hope not (though I suppose if you’re going to waste something, it’s okay with the grains and sugar?).
We know that sometimes life does get a little crazy and it’s really tempting to go get that takeout and steer clear of your kitchen. And sometimes, that is the best you can do. You do all have Robb’s guide on dining out, right? As someone who lived on the road for more weeks than we can count, Robb has been there, done that when it comes to how to eat Paleo on the road. If you are someone who struggles with how to eat Paleo away from home, get this guide!
All that aside, if you do some “big cook-ups” even on just one day, this can and will seriously limit the amount of times or meals you are tempted to eat out. Despite all that was going on in our lives this past week, we did manage to eat almost all of our meals at home (except for one night when friends brought over food).
In our past Meals for the Week posts on Robb’s site (here and here), we gave you some ideas on what to cook to for the week and how to go about planning your meals, based loosely on how we roll in our house. This week, we’re telling you exactly what we cooked, when we cooked it, when we ate it…all while giving you a few recipes of your own. This is not to say that you can’t change things up how you see fit in your household – whether that means cooking EVERYTHING on one day during the week, or doing a lot more cooking throughout the week. Totally up to you!
Let’s change things up a bit and first tell you what all was on the menu this week and how many meals each item yielded. We’ll focus on the protein, since some of our meals were light on the veggies or fruits, but mostly protein and fat. Not out of any desire to be super low carb – it was just because that’s how things went!
– Our Fried Chicken Tenders (6 servings) – recipe will be up on our blog this coming week! And they are nut free!
– Sloppy Joes (4 servings)
– Burgers (8 servings)
– Smoked ribs (6 servings)
– Pot Roast (6 servings)
– Sausage and Sweet Potato hash (6 servings)
– Eggs in a bunch of different ways (8 servings)
As you can see, these protein sources actually amounted to more than 42 meals…and it does not take into consideration any takeout or eating out meals. This means we get a jump start on the following week, and can freeze some of our leftovers and cook even less next week! Sweet.
For our side dishes, here’s what all we made:
– Kale salad (8 servings)
– Garlicky buttered cabbage noodles (6 servings)
– Curry zucchini and squash noodles (6 servings)
– Broccoli salad (6 servings)
– Baked sweet potatoes (6 servings)
– Mashed cauliflower (6 servings)
So here’s our grocery list:
1 ½ – 2 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
2 dozen eggs
3 pounds ground beef (we also had about 8 ounces of liver we’ll tell you about)
3-4 pounds pork ribs
3-4 pound bone-in chuck roast
1 ½ pounds link sausage of your choice (we used a roasted poblano pork sausage)
Bacon – all the bacon!
3 yellow onions
1 small red onion
1 large head green cabbage
2 pounds broccoli
2-3 pounds zucchini and yellow squash
2 red bell peppers
3-4 portobello mushrooms
assorted lettuce greens of your choosing
Bibb or Romaine lettuce
1 bunch kale
fresh mint (1 package or bunch if bought in the store)
fresh Italian parsley
5-6 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 bunch celery
a few carrots
1 large head cauliflower
2 Granny Smith apples
any salad mix-ins you like (tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, etc.)
about 1 cup raisins
some fruit if you’d like to go along with any of your meals!
Ghee or butter
Good quality olive oil
Beef stock or broth
Pork rinds (chicharones)
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes
wine for the pot roast
Seasonings of your liking
Here’s how it went down:
Breakfast – fried eggs, bacon, avocado and some berries.
Lunch – fried chicken tenders over salad greens with some cherry tomatoes from the garden.
Dinner – Pot roast with mashed cauliflower
After eating breakfast, we got to work on prepping things for the meals we would be cooking this week. We:
– Took 2 pounds of ground beef and formed our burgers (with liver “hidden” in these)
– Chopped up some onions, carrots and celery for our pot roast and put it all in the slow cooker
– Fired up the grill and cooked our ribs, burgers, sausages and mushrooms
– Prepped our ingredients for chicken tenders and made those
– Baked our sweet potatoes
– Made our kale salad and cooked our mashed cauliflower
Breakfast – Sausage/sweet potato hash. I shredded some sweet potato and sautéed that in bacon grease with a little diced onion and then mixed in my sausage.
Lunch – Leftover burger served in lettuce wraps with sliced Portobello mushrooms, and some leftover kale salad
Dinner – Ribs with broccoli salad. I whipped up the broccoli salad in no time flat.
Breakfast – Pot roast. That’s right, we eat pot roast for breakfast!
Lunch – Ribs, kale salad and ½ sweet potato
Dinner – Burger with broccoli salad
Breakfast – eggs and bacon with avocado.
Lunch – pot roast and mashed cauliflower.
Dinner – Chicken tenders with curried noodles (recipe is in the new book!).
Breakfast – sausage and sweet potato hash
Lunch – Burger with broccoli salad
Dinner – Take out!
Breakfast – Eggs sautéed with curried noodles
Lunch – ribs and mashed cauliflower
Dinner – sloppy joes with garlic cabbage noodles (recipe for the noodles is in the new book – on store shelves Tuesday, Sept. 24!)
Breakfast – sausage and sweet potato hash
Lunch – sloppy joes and garlic cabbage noodles
Dinner – chicken tenders and curried noodles
A few notes: so the most we ate any single recipe in a week was 3 times. Knowing that there are 21 meals in a week, 3 times of any one dish is very reasonable even for those of us who love variety! With the exception of some side dishes, the only other time we did cooking of protein (aside from quick eggs in the morning) was on day 6.
The sloppy joes were a big hit. Here’s a link to my recipe for them.