Eating the Same Paleo Lunch Every Day…With Constant Variation?

As you know I am not a Paleo fanatic, but I am happy when something I like anyway just happens to be Paleo and tasty at the same time.  I also know that if you read books by Tim Ferriss, Rich Roll, and Loren Cordain, they advocate eating some of the same things every day as a strategy for good nutrition. 

I’ve had great experience eating lunch based on the same basic recipe almost every day, but with local, seasonally differing ingredients that introduce constant variation every week.  I call it “dog food.”  I never measure the ingredients – I just throw a bunch of stuff in the pot and it comes out great, but a little different, every time.  The basic formula is:

  • Some type of leafy greens (chard, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, bok choy…)
  • Some type of oniony thing (onions, shallots, leeks…)
  • A few mushrooms (optional – any type)
  • Something chunky other than potatoes (turnips, rutabagas, carrots, celery root, kohlrabi…)
  • A ground/shredded protein (ground turkey, chicken, etc)
  • Coconut oil or butter
  • Water, sea salt, and spices
  • Use lentils or quinoa to thicken, if desired

One of the best ways to embrace this constant variation is to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  I belong to the Purple Dragon CSA in New Jersey, and this means I get a big box of local, seasonal produce every two weeks.  There are usually a bunch of things that only Dad will eat – mutant leafy greens, strange vegetables such as celery root and rutabagas, and this time of year tons of oniony, cabbagy winter vegetables that it’s tough to eat in quantity.  The other key to this approach is to be fortunate enough to live near Trader Joes!  TJ’s frozen section is a gold mine of organic produce, and the selection changes all the time.

So Dad becomes the human composter.  For example, today’s batch consisted of:

  • 3 huge bunches of chard
  • 2 onions
  • A big, ugly, hairy mystery thing that turned out to be celery root
  • A leftover handful of raw cranberries from Thanksgiving
  • Organic ground turkey and chicken
  • Sea salt (Trader Joe’s is from NorCal, I also like Celtic and La Baleine)
  • Organic raw coconut oil from TJ’s (maybe 3 Tbsp?  I just wing it).
  • A little garlic
  • A few shakes of Cayenne pepper and Turmeric
  • Some water or chicken broth

I threw it in the big pot and let it all cook for 30 minutes.  It came out great and will last for 3-4 days.  It’s Paleo (some may debate the lentils and quinoa) packed with protein and leafy greens, and tastes fabulous.

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