Some things I learned this weekend:
- San Pellegrino with lemons and limes is the way to go when everyone else has fun cocktails. I went out and bought a few bottles to have at home, so I can have a sparkly "fun" drink every now and then (besides plain water, black coffee, and tea).
- Most restaurants, especially nicer ones, are more than willing to accommodate your dietary needs. I was able to order three delicious paleo friendly small plates from one of my favorite restaurants, Ecco. They held the cheese in one, and the others were paleo friendly on their own - braised short ribs stuffed in piquillo peppers, grilled octopus with olives, some spicy peppers and some other veggies, and sauteed broccoli with cheese sauce (but obviously, without the cheese). Sure, the girls' fried goat cheese balls and pizzas looked divine, but whatever.
- Choose restaurants that have these options... it makes dining out a much more pleasant experience.
- Pretend you're pregnant when everyone else orders alcohol (save one truly pregnant friend), and it makes you feel a little better. :)
- It's super easy to eat breakfast out. BLT minus the bread with 2 fried eggs and a side of fruit was a delicious breakfast out with friends yesterday morning.
- I feel good.
On the menu this week:
- Finishing off the leftovers of my "spaghetti" and meatballs for lunch (recipe below).
- Paleo pad thai
- Pecan crusted catfish and steamed broccoli with lemon
- Paleo potluck at the gym Friday... not sure yet what I am bringing... thinking of some sort of fish/crab cakes with paleo tartar sauce (basically, homemade mayo with herbs/spices)
Since this entry is long enough, I'll save discussions about fish oil for another day. In the meantime, Robb Wolf's website is a great place to start learning more about this crazy, makessomuchsense lifestyle.
Paleo "spaghetti" and meatballs
Note: This is a somewhat time consuming meal (about 1.5 hours total), so either prepare it on the weekend, ahead of time, or if you're home from work earlier. There's a good bit of handsoff time, but would still be tough to pull together during the week. I can confirm that it reheats well, as I'm going on serving #4 for lunch today. :)
-1-2 spaghetti squash
-1-1/2 sweet onions, diced and divided
-many cloves of garlic, minced (by hand, garlic presses take a lot of flavor from the garlic, but I'm a garlic snob)
-a few organic carrots, peeled and chopped (adds sweetness w/o using sugar)
-1 small can organic tomato paste
-2 big cans organic San Marzano tomatoes
-1 15 oz can organic tomato sauce
-herbs of choice (parsley, basil and some bouquet garni) for marinara
-about 3 oz prosciutto, diced
-2 lbs grass fed sirloin
-herbs of choice (parsley, basil, red pepper flakes and fennel seeds)
-salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. In a nonstick pan, "saute" diced prosciutto on medium heat until somewhat crisp. Remove from pan to cool in a mixing bowl (large enough to mix your meatballs). Add EVOO to pan and saute about 3/4 c onions and several cloves of minced garlic until tender and add to bowl. Meanwhile, cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds and junk, drizzle with EVOO, and place cut side down on a jelly roll pan (something with an edge so EVOO doesn't drip out). This will cook for 40-45 minutes, so I'd put it in the oven once you get everything into your marinara. In a large pot (enamel cast iron if you have it), saute the remaining onions and garlic and carrots in EVOO on medium heat until tender. Add tomato paste and mix to thin, then add tomatoes (use kitchen shears to cut into pieces) and tomato sauce. Add herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Put squash in oven if you haven't already. Once marinara begins to bubble, turn heat down to low and cover, stir occasionally. By this time, your prosciutto, onions and garlic should be cool enough so add your meat, herbs (just eye ball it... I like a little fennel flavor but not a lot, so I used probably 1/2 -3/4 tsp and at least a tablespoon of parsley and basil... probably 1-2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper). Add your egg as binder, and mix well. Form into meatballs and place in a baking dish. This will go in the oven for about 25-35 minutes, depending on size, with your squash. When the squash is done, you'll use a fork to remove the innards, which will come out like noodles. Top with your meatballs and sauce, and enjoy a grain and sugar free take on spaghetti and meatballs!