One GRITS Journey To Convert Beloved Southern Recipes to Paleo Approved, and Darn GOOD too!

This is my story of how I am striving to change my family's life, nutritionally, for the better. Here in the deep South Paleo is a foreign word. No one has heard of it, and gluten free is really almost as unheard of...
After reading Gary Taubes enlightning GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES I was determine to change! Armed with my own two hands, the internet (thank God for, and all those wonderful blogs and podcasts available now, I am beginning my journey.
Please feel free to join me as I try to adapt all of our Southern Favorites into Paleo Appropriate Scrumptiousness!!! (and all Gluten Free) I will try to post all of the good ones, and may even blog about some failures along the way.

01 February 2012

Mise en Place

I have talked about meal planning a lot... Its a concept I am still trying to master.... If I pre-plan and buy lots of stuff, will some of it go bad??? Will I change my mind??? Will something come up that means I don't have the time for all I had planned????
I think I have finally figured out a happy medium.... I don't know why I never tried this....three little works, simple really....
Mise en Place
Three Simple words, but something as a home cook I just never really thought applied to me. Thats for chefs, for restaurants... I am just cooking for my own little family. Right????
Well Fed, my new cookbook obsession I have been talking about, well she made me see it in a new light....
I don't have to totally have all of my meals planned in order pre-shop, and I can cook meals in a flash if I am prepared with ingredients... If I have protein, veggies, herbs and spices, and of course fat to cook them in... well I am set.... 
Now I can decide at the spur of the moment what I feel like eating.... And I have made every meal this week in like 10 minutes... (well except tonight, but oven time doesn't count - prep was still done pretty much)
So what did I do??
Well I thought about how much meat we eat in a week, how many veggies we go through, and 
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well I already have a great spice cabinet... (much better as of today, went a little crazy at Penzy's Online last week!) and then I would go shopping....(can't this week because of my back so I made a list for J)
Then I spent a couple of hours on Sunday preparing my MISE EN PLACE.
I roasted a chicken, I sauteed and prepared ground sirloin, ground lamb, and ground pork, marinated london broil for J to grill later. I prepped all of my veggies- chopped peppers, chopped onions, sliced peppers, roasted 2 heads of garlic, cabbage, snapped beans, cauliflower, carrots, and washed salad greens and dried them. The last thing I did was throw the bones from the roasted chicken, along with appropriate veggies and spices and water in the crock pot to make stock (more on this later).
( BIG HINT, the food processor makes SUCH quick work of almost every single on of these tasks)... Everything was packaged and placed neatly in the fridg... 
----So if you read my post on my preview of WELL FED, and my planning....well I am slow, I didn't remember how I like to make up my mind what to make on the spur of the moment, I never make what I say I will... well it worked anyways...the way I prepped I could make SOOOO many different things!!!!!
who knew???? I guess I finally figured it out! (well, I think)-----
Sun night- Grilled Trigger fish (j did this), and shrimp and salad from the market.... all made in under 10 min, including homeade dressing....
oh yeah - I madeOlive Oil Mayo before I put the food processor up.....
Monday night- Pulled out some ground beef, some veggies, picked a sauce and steamed some cauliflower "rice"- 10 min. to table
Tuesday night- Pulled out some ground beef, ground lamb, veggies, and felt like asian....10 minutes- fed 7 people
Wed night- I threw pre-roasted chicken, veggies, some Gluten Free Cream of Mushroom and Yogurt together with Indian spices in the oven with shredded cheese topping. I baked some sweet potatoes.
 I still have GROUND BEEF left for tomm night, and Fri is dinner out. Will do something with fresh from farmers market Sat, and here we are at next week....
Yes, I will still make more complicated dishes sometimes, some things just take time and attention... But for everyday weekday meals, when there are practices, and church, and late work nights, etc.... Well this is the solution I have been looking for so long for!!!!!!!
(and right now with my bad back- I can still cook for my family!
and the prep would have been faster if not for my back, and all the breaks I had to take)
It even has helped with breakfast and lunches...I could throw so many things together is 5-10 minutes because everything was pre-cooked, or par-cooked, or pre-chopped at least. 
So this is week one....Will I keep it up? Will it work? Is this to good to be true???? 

I have 5 people to feed, but my family is in eat mode these days, so I planned for more like 7.
Here was my weeks food and how I prepped....
we went to the  ALL Local Farmers Market Sat am and we bought:
Ground Pork 1 lb, Ground Sausage 1 , 2 Bacon ( and pork belly--this will be one that takes time)
Lavender Goat Cheese (my kids favorite), Fresh Eggs, Fresh Butter, Green Onions, Cilantro, Parsley, salad greens, Trigger Fish and Shrimp caught that am off SC coast- I love that!!!! 
 - I just want to say, if you ever run into TRIGGER fish anywhere-- get it!!!!!! It is my FAVORITE, and its not always available... I haven't had it in two years!!!!!! I was sooooo excited!!!!! I usually fry it in nuggets, but this time we grilled it.... anyway its great!!!!!-
I sent J to the store with this list--
Ground Sirloin, 2lb
Ground Lamb, 2lb
Whole Chicken
1 large package chicken breast
carrots, bag
3 red peppers
3 green peppers
2 cucumbers
bag of onions
2 heads garlic
2 jicama
cauliflower, 2 heads
broccoli, 2 heads
butter leaf lettuce
Green Snap beans

cheese sticks
cheese, shredded
lunch meats
So then I prepped:
I got out my big food processor... and let it do all of this=
shredded cabbage
sliced carrots
sliced celery
chopped onions
chopped red and green peppers
chopped cucumber by hand
Threw a chicken seasoned and buttered, and on top of some of the carrots and celery that I roughly chopped in the oven to roast. I also threw in two garlic cloves that I chopped the head off and wrapped in foil.
Browned off all of the meats, seasoned only with onion and garlic for now...
Threw a london broil in a freezer bag with some marinade (balsamic, olive oil, onions, spices) for J to grill in couple of days.
Packaged all and put it in the fridge.
Later that night I pulled all of the chicken off the bone and then threw bones in the crock pot with stuff to make chicken stock...

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