Struggling with cooking
Hi everyone. I am new to the forums and have been primal for a few short months. I am an awful cook and just started cooking for myself in order to find substitute foods for everything that I am accustomed to eating. Our lovely grains. Can anyone offer any simple recipes for a beginner and also, a better substitute for pasta other than spaghetti squash? I have made it twice and the squash is just too "squishy" for me (gee, what do you know).
I have lost 25 lbs in just under 3 months and i'm only 10 away from where I wanted to be!
Any suggestions? Thanks everyone!
There are several cookbooks out there. Plenty of paleo recipies on here and other sites too.
It's easy to make your own salsa or tomato sauce, that would be a good practice one. Soups and chilis are similarly easy.
It sounds like you're trying to recreate non-Primal foods. It's ok to do that every now and then, but for the majority of your meals, it's best to just change your mentality and eat real food. Sear some steaks, fry or scramble some eggs, roast some veggies.
If those things are too "boring" there are tons of great paleo/primal recipes and webiste. I really like the Everyday Paleo cookbooks. Lots of simple fast recipes in those.
Get a slow cooker. Chuck ingredients in, go to work, get back from work and dinner's ready. Job done!
Eh, ditch the pasta - it's entirely unnecessary. Make the sauces you want anyway and don't bother trying to mimic noodles. I mean, let's look at some of the favorite pastas I used to make pre-primal:
1) Spaghetti. These days, I make the same, chunky meat sauce I always used to, and I eat it with a fork.
2) Pesto. I always used to put grilled chicken in my pesto pasta. So now I just have grilled chicken with homemade pesto sauce. Easy, tasty, never miss the noodles. Also pesto = awesome veggie dip.
3) Carbonara. Lots of people put peas in their carbonara. So make some creamy, baconey carbonara sauce and pour it over a bowl of peas or other veg and have it as a side.
It's the sauce that's the good stuff. Noodles are merely a vehicle - and not even the best one, at that.
I haven't tried this yet, but was thinking about it while going to bed last week.
Slice zucchini noodles thin, cook (boil maybe, I've not made these lol), and then toss with butter, oil and garlic (and whatever other seasonings). Sounds delicious to me lol
I'd take those recipes from Well Fed and find them a challenge. You say you are normally a good cook. Can you not adjust any recipe or way you have of cooking for this plan? I sure did. Use any spices and double them if you need to to make them be acceptable for you. Riced cauliflower becomes your rice. If you want this, you'll make it work.
I also would drop the "picky eater" label and see if in reality you have just nurtured that in some way.
Here is one recipe using zucchini in the long thin slice method as noodles: [url=http://www.health-bent.com/sides/paleo-pad-thai]Health-Bent | Paleo Pad Thai[/url]
good site btw, I like a lot of their recipes and find them inspiring. Just in the last month I bought and cooked my first spaghetti squash myself, and I like it quite a bit, it doesn't have a strong flavor so like traditional pasta, it goes with a lot of things. However, I did notice that it released a lot of water over time, which is unappetizing to be sure. Another way to reduce the squishiness and excess water content of it might be to saute it after cooking to evaporate off some of the water. Another method to remove water from high-water content vegetables is to mix them with salt and let them drain for awhile, then rinse and use after excess water has been pulled out of them by the osmotic pressure of the external salt (this is done in some recipes with cucumbers which are very watery, to help them be more firm, and to not release water later and dilute your sauce).
Very well done on your progress so far. That you are now developing an interest in cooking is a positive sign.
Everyone has offered some very good suggestions. As you try them out, I'm sure you will begin to find that food you've prepared yourself tastes far superior to anything else.
I sometimes find that what I do with my primal ingredients can barely be called cooking. Just take primal ingredients, assemble in different combinations, and eat them. Yum. This works for salads, soups, casseroles, smoothies, icecreams etc. There are lots of examples in my journal.
Something I have taught my 12yo dd to make, so it's pretty easy, is chocolate waffles. Blend 1/2 banana, 1 egg, 1 T cocoa and 1t vanilla essence. Pour into a buttered, hot waffle maker and cook through. Serve with berries and cream. Or with mushrooms and bacon. Whatever takes your fancy at the time.