Confused Former Vegan
Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and to the primal lifestyle in general. I've been back and forth between vegetarian/vegan since I was 16-- I'm 20 now and had my first day of paleo eating yesterday. I'm so happy I made this choice and I'm really loving it so far, except for one thing: grocery shopping. I'm totally clueless when it comes to buying meat. I went to Whole Foods today and was so overwhelmed and confused at all the different choices! I don't know what kind of meat is the best, if I should buy it frozen or ready to eat, how to cook meat-- anything meat-related I'm stumped. Any advice or guidelines you can give me? (I should mention I don't really like pork or sausage; I'm thinking beef, turkey, chicken, and salmon) Thanks!
[FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=3]what you buy totally depends on you. are you cooking for one? don't buy 6 pounds of fresh salmon cuz you'll never get through it. do you have access to good fresh seafood? consider the source. i won't eat any farm-raised fish.
chicken is easy to batch cook for the week or use in soups and stews. you can also use small bits in stirfry. i don't find it as satisfying as red meat so don't eat it all that often.
do some web-surfing for primal recipes and see what looks good before you spend buttloads of dough on food.[/SIZE][/FONT]
Our family basically eats three types of beef:
1. Mince/Snitchzel (stir frys)
2. Steaks (fried in a pan)
3. Blade/gravy/chuck/rump steak (sloooow cooked)
They are all pretty easy and scale very well from one person up.
[QUOTE=livkittykat;960795]Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum and to the primal lifestyle in general. I've been back and forth between vegetarian/vegan since I was 16-- I'm 20 now and had my first day of paleo eating yesterday. I'm so happy I made this choice and I'm really loving it so far, except for one thing: grocery shopping. I'm totally clueless when it comes to buying meat. I went to Whole Foods today and was so overwhelmed and confused at all the different choices! I don't know what kind of meat is the best, if I should buy it frozen or ready to eat, how to cook meat-- anything meat-related I'm stumped. Any advice or guidelines you can give me? (I should mention I don't really like pork or sausage; I'm thinking beef, turkey, chicken, and salmon) Thanks!
I totally know how you feel. I started with things I didn't have to ask anybody for. Like whole chickens. I just stick the oven probe in the thigh and cook it at 375 degrees until it's 165 or 170 degrees inside. Then I struggle like hell to cut it up after it's cooked. Then I have all kinds of leftovers. Make sure you get a fresh young chicken! Other chickens are horrible! A half a chicken is even easier to deal with than a whole one.
I just walked by the steaks for the longest time until I had the courage to ask for one. I used these instructions for cooking [url=http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2009/09/oven-to-pan-seared-prime-ribeye-steaks.html]Tiny Urban Kitchen: Oven to Pan Seared Prime Ribeye Steaks[/url] and I bought ribeyes. I was really scared because those ribeyes cost me almost $40. But they came out great. The commentary over dinner was "Wow, this is one hell of a steak! I don't think I've ever had a steak this good in a restaurant." That gave me a lot of confidence to try other steaks. There aren't that many to choose from when I go to the fancy market. Just ribeye, NY strip and T-bone and maybe some other cuts I have no idea what to do with. I just ignore what I don't know what to do with.
Then I research and pay attention around here and if something sounds interesting, I look it up online and read a few recipes and then I ask the butcher for it and give it a whirl. I make sure to find a recipe that specifies how hot the internal meat temperature needs to be and then use the oven probe (you can buy a thermometer for this, too) to make sure it's cooked right. I search for the easiest recipes. I search to see if any recipe suggests how big each piece of meat needs to be for each serving. Then I know what to ask the butcher for. If I get it wrong, there's always leftovers!
I find that most meat is worse if it is overdone(especially salmon), but you don't want poultry that is underdone, either.
Some easy things that don't require too much knowledge about whether it is done or not:
Stew meat is great for chili or soups.
Bacon (beef bacon is available too)
Roast beef is pretty easy if you have a meat thermometer and a half-way decent oven.
Grass fed blade roast in the slow cooker with sweet potatoes, garlic and mushrooms. The vegetables will mix with the juices to form a pleasant topping for the beef, almost like chili in texture.
Im 20 myself and was a vego since i was 15 so completely understand how you feel! Ive been living 90-100% primal for about 6months now and feel SO much better! I totally forgot what its like to feel full/satisfied while vegetarian. I started out with white fish - mild in taste and very easy to cook and marinate with herbs and spices! I still haven't got my head around cooking red meat as the thought of a rare steak still makes me a little uneasy lol but i now eat anything - I even tried kangaroo..and enjoyed it! If you are struggling with the texture/flavour of meat, i find that meatballs (using chicken, turkey, etc) are a great idea as they allow you to add a heap or herbs and spices and are great to keep in the fridge for a quick snack
[QUOTE=livkittykat;960795]was so overwhelmed and confused at all the different choices![/QUOTE]
Yep, that's the good thing of being carnivores, the vast choice (I mean, I could have tofu once per month, twice it would be boring already).
Ok, that was to break the ice. Now seriously: don''t run for specific cuts already as your taste may not be ready yet. I am thinking of myself if I had been vegan so long, I would not be able to eat heart, liver or brain yet, even knowing the health benefits. Nor could I eat uncommon meats like horse, deer, rabbit, pheasant... it's psychological, it has nothing do to with your ability to digest them.
If I were you, that's what I would start eating:
- Eggs (enjoy in quantities, I eat 10 per week and all my cholesterol markers are below the minimum!!!)
- ... moreover, you can cook eggs in a number of ways (omelet, fried, hard-boiled, à-la-coque, scrambled...)
- Chicken, not just the breast: legs and wings. I think chicken is the animal that most people would never fall in love with, although there are exceptions. Once again, there are a number of ways to cook chicken: find a good website with recipes and enjoy
- Beef: fillet, the most standard and widely accepted cut. You can also get ragout and prepare a goulash with
- Do not forget that there are more animals in the water than on the ground: go for fish (salmon, and tuna being the easiest and most generally accepted from a taste/consistency point of view), shrimps, shells... Don't listen people saying that your cholesterol is going to skyrocket. That's BS, again, and I think everybody here in MDA can confirm it.
Once you get acquainted with the idea that animals can be eaten, you can include whatever, for example one of my favorites: beef bone marrow tastes great despite what people think (without having tried it first!!!). Use lot of spices and herbs, not just salt and pepper.
One last note: take advantage of your experience in cooking vegetables, just consider them as a side dish to accompany your meat/fish instead of the main course. That's to say: vegetables are as important as meat. Just watch the starchy ones - and the grains - remember that energy comes from fats, not sugars.
Welcome, and enjoy!
find what you like and In my opinion freshesh is bestest! go for the fattier cuts
My advice, for what it's worth, is that you shouldn't go meat-crazy. Treat meat like a dessert and focus on the plant-based portion of the diet first. Primal Blueprint isn't 'vegetarian w/meat'. Most vegetarians I've known don't get it right--they still eat Rice-a-roni, cookies, cake, and anything without animal products. The non-animal portion of Primal Blueprint focuses on non-starchy vegetables and fruit. No grains, flours, processed sugar, or processed vegetable oils allowed. Make sure you get that right first, please!
For meat, go for quality over taste and quantity. Sausages and lunch meat are tasty, but not that great. Seafood is your best bet for quality and nutrients. Grass fed beef, pastured, organic chicken/pork, free range eggs, then the typical store bought meats and bacon. Learn to love liver and how to make bone broth. Eat raw oysters when you can. Eat canned oysters and sardines a couple times a week.
A lot of what you get out of Primal depends on your starting point. If you are at a healthy weight and body comp, you can eat more rice and potatoes. If you are 'broken' you may need to lay off starchy stuff. Get a good set of blood labs done early on so you can compare later.
Read this post that Mark Sisson wrote a couple years ago. [url=http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vegan-island/]My Escape from Vegan Island | Mark's Daily Apple[/url]
Being a Vegan isn't that bad as long as you do it right, adding meat to a good vegan background should be awesome.