The key is to be flexible. To be quick on your feet and willing to make a few changes. If you’re feeling lazy, you can’t just run and get your favorite Thai food take out. You have to think a little be more. I know that can be daunting at the end of a long day, but if you’ve stocked your pantry, fridge and freezer well, there should always be the ingredients on hand for a quick, tasty meal.
I subscribe to four different food-related magazines and, since going paleo, I’ve gotten used to flipping past recipes for quinoa salads, cheesy polenta, and creamy pastas. I dog-ear recipes for tasty vegetable side dishes and meat-based mains. I peruse ingredient lists, note the non-paleo ingredients (because there is almost always at least one), and ponder how I can switch them out for paleo ones. But sometimes you get lucky. My Rachael Ray magazine came in the mail the other day and there was a recipe for Mole-Topped Sweet Potatoes– entirely paleo-friendly! And I had all the ingredients in my house! Obviously I used almond butter and not peanut butter as suggested, and didn’t top mine with cheese at the end, but oh man was this good! So hearty and filling, and it made enough to feed me for three meals…
…which brings me to my next tip! Cook LOTS OF FOOD at once. It doesn’t matter if the recipe serves 6 and you’re cooking for just 1 or 2. Leftovers are a lifesaver. You’re already heating up the pots and pans, you’re already taking the time to cook, so cook enough to feed you for a few days. Roasting sweet potatoes for the recipe above? Go ahead and make a couple extra. They’re an easy snack or side, and any extra veggies are great in a morning scramble. Having paleo-friendly food on hand is the easiest way to prevent yourself from slipping up.
Last night, my boyfriend and I only had about 40 minutes between work and heading out for a concert downtown. I suggested I pick up burgers to-go from a great place just a few blocks from home. On my way out from work, I tried to call twice to place my order. No answer. So now what? Well, the grocery store is just a few minutes drive away. They have grass-fed beef burgers. I popped in, bought four patties, a bun and some cheddar for the boyfriend, and came home all in less than 15 minutes. And it cost me $12. I cooked up all four patties (for later!), caramelized some onions, and pulled out some guacamole, roasted red peppers, and pickles from the fridge. Ta-da! Dinner.
It’s not as hard as it sounds in your head. And cooking at home saves you money. If I’d bought those burgers to go, I would have shelled out nearly $30. Making them at home cost half as much. Besides, guess what I has for breakfast this morning?
See? Anything can be breakfast if you add and egg 🙂