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In addition to creating a fitness routine (I know, I’m not totally there yet, but there is definitely progress …) I have also fallen into sort of a cooking routine. Or let’s put it this way: I’ve done this for the past two weeks and I intend to go for three. A new record. Calling it a “routine” is just my insufferable optimism bubbling up again.

In between the decadent meals out, cocktails, and pizza porn, there is actual healthy food finding its way into my mouth. I promise. And mostly to disprove the skeptics who think that “Paleo” is just an unhealthy fad focused entirely on eating as much bacon as possible, let me show the world what went down during this particular Friday cookup, which was not only Paleo by just about anyone’s definition, but also Whole30 compliant.

I debated whether or not to post this, because it is the exact sort of thing that would make me cringe when I saw it on my old blog. (“Really, you felt you needed to share that ? Really ?!”) and I also stand by my former statement that there are a ton of REAL “Paleo food blogs” out there written by qualified chefs and/or nutrition experts. I am neither and I am not much of a food photographer (as you’ll see below.) I’m not trying to turn this into yet another Paleo cooking blog – basically, I’m just following instructions from those other, more experienced home chefs. There is nothing shockingly original in the following paragraphs or photos. (Why are you even still reading at this point? What kind of loser are you ?) But, even with those doubts, I went ahead and wrote all over the Internet the story of my scintillating & exciting Friday evening cooking. Partly just to show that anyone can do this, even your average, non-internet-Paleo-celebrity, and partly to showcase how vegetable-heavy good, healthy Paleo cooking can be. Well, and also maybe because I have no blogging restraint. Here we go.

So, I went to Whole Foods (very original, I know) and I came home with bulging bags of groceries: spaghetti squash, snap peas, cauliflower, carrots, onions, garlic, cilantro, scallions, limes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Also chicken thighs, pork ribs, eggs, a few new seasonings, beef broth (I don’t make my own … yet) and avocados. No bacon this week. And I challenge anyone to call that grocery haul “unhealthy.”

spaghetti

For the past two weeks I’ve followed Melissa Joulwan’s guidelines for Whole30 compliant menu planning, and just like last week I started by roasting my spaghetti squash and the chicken thighs together for 30 minutes. Boom: done. Once they were in the oven, I started on the pork baby back ribs, which will eventually become her 5-Spice Slow Cooker Pork Ribs.

ribs

I can hear the Paleo skeptics out there – “A ha ! See ! Look at all that meat ! I knew it ! You are just going to gorge on meat all week, develop colon cancer and heart disease, and die young like a caveman 25,000 years ago.” Calm yourself, Neanderthal. Go back to your TV and keep counting diabetes medication commercials. (There are a lot of them, have you noticed ? We’re doing SOMETHING wrong. Wake up.)

Well, to go with my meat, I have a delicious cauliflower & carrot soup, roasted Brussels spouts, and a not-very-photogenic fake fried rice that is really made from … more cauliflower.

carrots

That is the beginning stages of the soup (carrots ! onions !) and here are the Brussels sprouts, ready to roast:

brussels

They looked gorgeous when they came out, I just didn’t get around to taking a picture. As you can imagine, my kitchen is sort of a disaster right now; there’s a lot going on and pictures don’t always get taken. I still have a breakfast egg casserole to throw together, but I decided to take a break and brag about my Friday evening antics. This week I’ll be enjoying the 5 Spice Ribs, Paleo Pad Thai (yes, again. I will keep eating that every week until I get sick of it), Chinese Fried F’rice (minus the pork, since I’ll be getting mine from those ribs), and a new recipe: Civilized Caveman’s Zucchini Breakfast casserole.

caveman

As for the messy kitchen – it’s not too big of a deal, because once I’m done with this frenzy, I don’t have to do much for the rest of the week. Everything will be cooled, packaged, and in the fridge soon. Sure, I had to expend a bit of effort in terms of planning the meals, shopping, coming home and working in the kitchen for several hours, and finally cleaning up after myself. But that’s just the reality, isn’t it ? Zero effort nets zero results. You decide on priorities and where to spend your time (and money) and I am coming to the realization that THIS is where I choose to spend mine. (Well, and travel, of course.) Perhaps that means I’m getting old …? Well, here’s hoping to postpone the inevitable slide into decrepitude for as long as possible, by eating well !

And who wouldn’t love to look into their fridge and see this: an entire week’s worth of already prepared food, home-cooked and healthy and ready to be eaten. (I win !)

fridge