Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Menu

So, Darlin' Man and I have decided to eat healthier. Mostly because it's just a good idea.

Thanks to the fact that the basic premise (once you get past the hype) makes the most sense to us, we went Paleo. Or, mostly.

The idea behind the hype basically is to eat the stuff your body can process best. Some of the proponents get into some real fairy tale type stuff, but some of them just break it down into sheer biochemistry.

It's the second bunch we tend to prefer. Stripping naked and chasing rabbits through the underbrush with a stone knife doesn't really appeal to either of us. Plus, practicality sort of demands a certain level of tossing the fantasy out the window.

For instance, we can't come up with almond flour in the local stores. Which, believe me, has been a source of aggravation for me, since I'm trying to come up with healthy stuff that we can keep on hand for grab-and-go breakfasts... which pretty much means baked goods. Since modern cereal grains are "bad" because of the combination of sugars and carbs that have been bred into them, all purpose flour is supposedly a no no. Since I have access to neither a ready source of almond flour nor a food processor or blender to make my own (well, almond meal) I don't have much choice until I can get some ordered off the internet.

Another fun bit is the ban on potatoes. Sure, they're a veg, and meat and veg are pretty much the base of the paleo thing, but they apparently contain the wrong kind of starch to be "good" veg. Since, as a part Irish FarmGirl, who grew up on the lower end of the income spectrum, my recipe reservoir consists mainly of many ways to combine meat and potatoes in pleasing ways this has been something of a challenge to me.

In fact, until I got the recipe books that Darlin' Man kindly ordered, I pretty much hid from the whole concept. Turnips? I had no idea what to do with turnips. Or spaghetti squash. Or eggplant. Well, I still have no idea what to do with eggplant.

I'm figuring out the other stuff though. And while meals for the most part don't seem complete without potatoes, I'm figuring out how to deal with that, too.

On a side note: spaghetti squash does all right piled with spaghetti sauce, but the squash itself is sort of a pain to prepare, since it's hard as a rock to start with, and once cooked is nearly impossible to hold on to to scrape out the insides. I'm sure the technique comes with time but holding steaming hot, collapsing squash in one hand (with tongs) while trying to scrape the "spaghetti" out of the skin with a fork with the other is one of the bigger challenges I've faced in the kitchen.


Randy said...

Maybe an oven mitt is the solution?

Anonymous said...

What did the cavemen (or Paleo-Persons for the PC crowd) use on their spaghetti squash?

Anonymous said...

I slice the squash in two, pierce the halves and microwave for about ten minutes. Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a skillet and saute some chopped onion and a diced plum tomato. When the squash is done, you can pull out the seeds and strings relatively easily. Then use a fork to strip the flesh, and put it in the skillet with the soft onion and tomato. Sprinkle with salt and saute the whole thing enough to combine the flavors. It's not pasta, but it's good.

Lise in NJ

George said...

add some butter to that at the table (a lot if you're me) and some salt to taste, and it's real good.

Lise's husband.

tweell said...

If you're looking for ancient grain-like food, would chia do? You can get chia flour and it's pretty good stuff. Buckwheat also qualifies, kasha or buckwheat pancakes are yummy.

Matt G said...

We've found that we actually like salads, given lots of interesting ingredients and the lettuce is pre-prepared. We buy heads or bunches of lettuce, cut and clean it, dry it, and put it into a big gallon or more ziplock bag with a dry paper towell. Suddenly, making a quick salad looks like a great idea, more often.

Last one was a chicken chef salad.

Previous one included a bit of thin-sliced pan-fried FarmFam beef, with toasted soy nuts for extra texture.