Friday, May 11, 2012

Get out of the kitchen no sooner than you get in!!

Well, while that is technically not possible going primal/paleo will certainly save you a lot of kitchen time...think of all the wonderful things you can do in that time: plop some more on the couch, more tv time, more online blog gawking/shopping OR you can exercise, do some squats, pushups, jumping jacks, weights, play with your family/friends/pets, dig in the garden, read for an extra hour etc. So if you are a primal here is an example of time saving meals for 2 days (1 person).

Day 1:
Choco-berry smoothie, topped with 1 tsp cacao nibs.

Salad consisting of 2 cups chopped baby spinach, halved cherry tomatoes 2-3, chopped carrot 1, chopped cucumber 1, chopped boiled egg 1 and few chopped kalamata olives. Dressing was balsamic vinegar drizzled with salt and pepper. Sometimes I add a chopped green chilli if I have it.
Make sure you are using organic/seasonal veggies (all veggies need not be organic, as a rule of thumb the thick skinned ones can be conventional but for the thin skinned and leafy greens go for organic) and the real balsamic vinegar (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale).

Sweet potato "fries":
Pre-heat oven to 425F. Cut 2 sweet potatoes into match sticks (skin on if organic), toss them with 1 tbsp coconut oil/ghee, salt, pepper, rosemary (dried, 1 tsp). Arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet and stick in the oven. Cook for about 15-20 mins on each side. 
While the fries are baking, I made Mirchi ka salan: I used this recipe because its really simple and quick. Some modifications I made are as follows:
I halved the recipe because I only had 6 jalapenos.
Skipped the cinnamon (not a big fan) added 1/2 tsp turmeric.
Skipped peanuts completely and added macadamia nuts instead! Peanuts are legumes, not nuts hence best avoided. Macadamia nuts have a very neutral flavor and replace peanuts wonderfully in this dish, they also have the least omega-6 fatty acids amongst all nuts making them a tad bit healthier than others.

Dinner was half the fries and mirchi ka salan with a bowl of plain yoghurt (sprinkled with powdered cumin and rock salt).

Day 2:
2 boiled eggs (prepped night before) with 6-8 soaked almonds.

Leftover mirchi ka salan, sweet potato fries (were no longer crispy but tasted good) and carrots and cucumber.

Grilled shrimp (about 16 jumbo shrimp arranged on 4 skewers).
I marinated the shrimp for about 30 mins. While the shrimp was being marinated I made Beet  Tzatziki (If there is such a thing).
Take about about 1/2 cup shredded beet, add it to 1 cup whisked yoghurt (I used normal yoghurt, but if you have Greek yogurt that works the best). Add to it 2 cloves of garlic minced, crushed black pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (mint or dill is used in the original recipe) and salt. Mix well and refrigerate it while you grill shrimp.
Methi sabzi: Roughly chopped methi leaves stir fried in ghee with green chillies, garlic, salt and garnished with shredded coconut.
Dinner was half of the shrimp, beet tzatziki and methi subzi, leftovers were next days lunch.

While this may seem little food to many, once you adopt the primal lifestyle you wont feel the need to eat as much as you did on a grain based diet. Do not worry, this is completely healthy because you are eating only as much as your body needs. By removing grains you wont miss out on any nutrients, in fact the above mentioned meals have more and varied nutrients than a grain based meal. If you work out daily you can up the carbohydrate content by adding more starchy tubers or veggies. I will post such meal ideas every once in a while and hopefully you will find them useful!

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