Week 3 : meat and veggies easy mealplanning

If you want to go (soft) paleo, dinner is the easiest to handle. Especially when you are used to cooking the traditional (at least over here in Belgium) trio of meat, potatoes and veggies, there are hardly any changes to be made. The traditional trio is already paleo!

If you are watching your carbs (that is, your weight) or want to avoid insulin spikes, cut down on or eliminate potatoes, rice, pasta, legumes, and breads. Add more fat and / or fill your plate with more than one vegetable instead.

There’s no need for bread, potatoes, rice or pasta everyday, when you can make so many combinations of vegetables, cheese, fish and meat.

No need to complicate things either, especially when you are just starting out. The easier the dish, the better. If you use quality ingredients, they will speak for themselves.

Instead of thinking of vegetables as a side dish, you can let them take centre stage as well.

This week, for example, I’ll be making a simplified version of “chicon gratin”, a classic Belgian oven dish with endives, ham and cheese.

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Endives are a traditional product, at their best in winter. Mechelen, where I live, is located right in the heart of the endives region. These white vegetables are still cultivated on small farms and harvested by hand. A lot of care goes into planting and harvesting them.

Unfortunately, endives have a bitterness to them that is not so easy on children’s palates. It is a bit of an acquired, adult taste.

Chicon gratin, therefore, is not a Monday dish. Mondays are for broccoli or spinach, beans or carrots and peas, red peppers and other favourites of my sister’s children.

Mealplan for week 3 of 2015

  • Today I’ll make them pork chops with a combination of carrots and broccoli, and blue cheese cream sauce for the adults.
  • Tomorrow, we’re having a beautiful grass fed steak with garlic butter and a side of white cabbage, carrots and raisins slaw.
  • Wednesday, I’ll fire up the oven for the chicons gratin (or Belgian endives with cheese and ham, browned under the grill).
  • On thursday, I’ll be meeting up with a business associate who is taking me out for dinner, which means the paleo spaghetti bolognese I had planned will move over to Friday.

This is my shopping list to cover for these four dinners and more:

  • White cabbage (I still have some in the fridge from last week)
  • Carrots, 2 kilo
  • Raisins
  • Broccoli, 2 heads
  • Zucchini, 3 medium ones
  • Endives, 4 of them
  • Muhrooms, half a kilo
  • Full fat cream
  • Gouda cheese, 4 slices
  • Shredded emmenthaler or gruyere cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • Steak, grass-fed, two of them
  • Quality ham, 4 slices
  • Pork chops, 1 kilo for 3 children and 3 adults
  • Minced beef and pork for the bolognese, I will pick up after work on Friday
  • Red wine

I also bought herring, apples, yellow peppers and red beets as a start for this week’s lunches. My better half asked me to provide boxed lunches to take with him to work, and I promised that I would see what I can do….

For breakfasts, I took home 800 ml of yoghurt, a mango, clementines, 12 eggs and a lot of bacon. And coffee. I spent around 70 euros in all.

I will also use some ingredients that are practically always in my fridge or pantry:

Onions or shallots – garlic – butter – olive oil – chicken stock – salt and pepper – parsley – avocado oil – walnut oil – white vinegar – mustard – walnuts – arrowroot

Let’s cook and eat!

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