Getting started and what’s for dinner tonight?

31 Jan

We had a reader who found that her particular rut on the hamster wheel of life was food, and decided to start her primal food journey last week! She requested some real life tips for getting started and some meal ideas to help transition herself and her family. YAY!

The first thing you have to ask yourself is are you an “all or nothing-cold turkey” or “a little bit at a time” type of person?  I was an “all or nothing” type of gal so my steps went something like this:

1- Purge the pantry, fridge and freezer of:
-processed, packaged, or preserved foods
-grains and grain products (i.e. pasta, rice, breads,frozen pancakes, flour)
-sugar and artificial sweeteners
-chemically altered fats and oils

2- Make a trip to the Salvation Army or  to families in need with donatable food. I, for one, had Costco style bulk whole wheat spaghetti, Goldfish crackers, graham crackers, and pretzels (to name a few!) that were happily received.

3-
Immediately (if not sooner!) stock up on:
-our shopping list staples

4- Make meal plans for the first couple of weeks to help the transition.

5- Have no-prep snacks ready like hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit, trail mix with unsweetened dried fruit, nitrate-free beef jerky, nitrate-free sliced deli meat, cut up veggies, Larabars, and canned tuna/salmon.

6- If you are “a little bit at a time” kind of person then start with one meal a day. How about making the family dinner primal every evening?

7- Talk to your loved ones about the science behind why these types of foods are better for our bodies, understand it, and then finally–own it!

l will go into more detail about transitioning with kiddos in a future post, but for now I challenge you to wow them with some primal dinners. I promise you will be amazed by their reaction. They will be fighting over the last roasted brussels sprout in no time!

I leave you today with an easy, go-to dinner choice in my normal rotation that gets a thumbs up from this family of five. When it comes to week night meals I don’t generally follow a recipe. I pick a meat, pick some vegetables, throw in some spices and go with it. Bear with my recipe translation and feel free to sub and experiment with spices as you wish!

Primal Stuffed Pepper Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

-5 large bell peppers
-2lbs of ground beef, pork or a combination
-2 cloves garlic
-1 onion finely chopped
-1 8oz. can tomato sauce (check label for strange additives–Hunts is a good brand)
-a bunch of dried basil and oregano
(or perhaps chili powder and cumin the next time!)
-a pinch or so of red pepper flakes
-salt and pepper

1. Prep your peppers by cutting off the tops like a lid and gutting them clean
2. Sauté onion and garlic in some olive oil in a large pan
3. Add ground meat and cook until near done
4. Add in your spices and tomato sauce, stir.
5. Spoon meat mixture into pepper bowls
6. Top the pepper bowls with their lids
7. Brush some olive oil on the outsides and lids of peppers, maybe sprinkle some extra garlic
8. Bake at 375 for 30min or until desired pepper doneness
9. Serve individual pepper bowls! (My kids LOVE eating meat from these colorful and edible bowls!)

Cauliflower Rice

-large head of cauliflower
-olive oil or butter
-1/2 onion finely chopped
-garlic or other spices of your choice
-1/2 to 1 cup water or chicken broth
-salt and pepper to taste

1. In a sauce pan, sauté onion and other spices in some olive oil or butter until slightly caramelized
2. Chop cauliflower into large chunks
3. Pulse in food processor until a rice like consistency is achieved
4.  Add “riced” cauliflower to pot mixture and continue to cook on medium heat
5. Add water or chicken broth slowly as you stir, but just enough to keep  moist
6. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, adding salt, pepper, or a  bit of butter to taste
7. Serve along side pepper bowls. Alternatively, you could combine the rice and meat mixture inside the pepper bowls before baking. My family prefers them served separately. The “rice”serves as a great side to the meat mixture that falls out of the bowl or with any pepper left at the end!

Happy Tuesday,

Heather

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8 Responses to “Getting started and what’s for dinner tonight?”

  1. Suzanne January 31, 2012 at 10:45 am #

    Yummie, I am going to make the Peppers for a Super Bowl treat:):) Thanks for sharing these 2 great recipes:):)

    • Amanda Villiers January 31, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Thanks for some easy tips and good starters :)

  2. joniimstar January 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    The peppers sound great! I will have to try those soon. Thanks for the shopping list!

  3. Jenny Hartsock February 1, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    Thanks Heather! I am reading these everyday and am excited to start this journey too!

  4. Igal July 7, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    This went so delicious! Fairly easy to make, and not too time consuming.
    Will definitely try more of your recipes!

  5. Carolynn G October 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Made the stuffed peppers tonight. Absolutely delicious! Also, I tried adding a little bit of swiss cheese inside that melted as they cooked and I really like it. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

    • the PRIME pursuit October 8, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

      Awesome! I’m so glad you liked them! I really miss cooking for you gals on Friday nights!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Easy Homemade Beef Jerky « the PRIME pursuit - August 1, 2012

    [...] used that day and we already had dinner plans.  I could have made-ahead a meal like meatballs or stuffed peppers, but decided to get creative [...]

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