Ground meat – paleo the easy way

Today has been one of those days.

If you’ve ever stayed at home with a kid (or kids) then you know the day I’m talking about.  It’s the kind of day where at 12pm you are still in your pajamas, you hair is in a messy ponytail with bobby pins in about five places, and you have eye shadow on one eye because you thought you’d get up and get dressed as usual but then the plumber actually showed up early and therefore you are unable to get into your bathroom for the next several hours because he’s fixing your leaky bathtub and shower.  It’s drizzly outside, I had a ton of paperwork to do for a little part time gig I’ve picked up in order to attempt to make some cash, and Poppyseed has cried/whined literally EVERY single time I have put her down in an attempt to do said paperwork.

Anyway, it’s days like today where, despite the fact that I really haven’t done anything all that productive, I’m already tired.  And I know I still have to cook dinner tonight.

Something healthy.  Something paleo.  Something tasty.

Not to mention, something cheap.  When you get laid off, purchase a new (used, very used) car to replace your company car, and have to write a $300 check to your plumber, you sort of lose your ability to go perusing through the grocery store for a long list of items in order to cook an elaborate meal.

In our family, this is absolutely where ground meat comes into play.

We eat a LOT of meat.  A whole lot.  For that reason, we pretty much buy all of our meat in bulk.  We buy a half of a grassfed cow and a half of a pasture raised hog about every 6 months.  A lot of that beef and pork turns into just plain ground beef and ground pork.  Oatmeal also shot a deer this year and had it all made into ground venison.   So lately we have three types of ground meat in our deep freezer at all times.

This makes grocery shopping pretty easy.  I really just hit the produce section for lots of fruits and vegetables and pick up a few canned foods such as canned coconut milk and canned tomatoes.

So about every other day you’ll find me leaving the grocery store with something like this in my cart.

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Don’t ya know that the cashiers love when I come through their line?  You know those guys never have the produce codes memorized for kale, red beets, turnips or swiss chard.  I couldn’t help but laugh the other day when the guy at the register asked me, “Do you and your family actually EAT all of this produce?”

Um, yeah.  Yeah we do.

That was almost as funny as the time I was asked if I am a vegetarian.  Almost.

Anyway, it’s always awkward when other moms ask me for recipe ideas, because clearly they think I am making something interesting over here. But I am happy to help, so here is a basic meal that I like to make at least once a week or every other week.

Ground Meat and Veggie Curry

All you need is:

  • 1 pound of ground meat (more if you’re feeding more than 2 adults or want leftovers)
  • 2-4 vegetables (half of an onion, bell pepper, carrots, zucchini, squash, broccoli, bok choy, kale, sweet potato, celery, the list goes on)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • spices such as ginger, garlic, salt, pepper
  • curry paste (green or red)
  • you can even top with nuts such as cashews if you want a little something extra

This is what I used last night.  My veggies were onion, half of a head of broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, and bell peppers.  I also used garlic from a jar, fresh ginger and red curry paste.

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Steps

  • Again, this is so easy… simply brown the meat in a skillet or pot, using a good cooking oil such as coconut oil if necessary.  You’ll also want to add in any veggies that take longer to cook at this point, such as onions, carrots, or sweet potatoes.  You’ll see I went ahead and cooked the onion and carrots early on.  I also grated some fresh ginger and added a spoonful of garlic.  (I don’t ever measure anything, but my guess is that I added roughly a tablespoon of each.)

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  • While it cooks you can slice the vegetables that won’t need as much time to cook.  Once your meat is almost browned, throw them in there too.  Let it all cook together for several minutes and then add your coconut milk.  You’ll want to keep the heat on medium or low, but not high because if you let the coconut milk begin to boil then it may separate and get sort of grainy.
  • Finally, add your curry paste.  I used red last night, and I just added a small spoonful at a time  until I liked the flavor.  And that’s it!  Tada!  No biggie, right?

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Another simple meal I love is paleo spaghetti.  I simply brown 2lbs of ground meat with a half or whole chopped onion, add a can of tomatoes and season it with oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.  Sometimes I even add some fresh basil at the end.  I serve this over spaghetti squash.  Have you ever had spaghetti squash?  Spaghetti squash is one of those foods that I never would have discovered had I not gone paleo.  That’s for another post entirely.

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And finally, my third favorite easy paleo meal is what my father in law likes to call Goulash.  I think that Goulash is traditionally a soup or stew made with rice or pasta, but we just omit the grains.  For us it’s simply ground meat (or stew meat), vegetables, water/broth, and a basic everyday seasoning such as Tony’s or Lawry’s.  I’ve even begun to add coconut flour as a way of thickening up the broth so that I have a nice gravy.

I told you, we aren’t fancy here!  But all of these are cheap, easy meals that are very healthy.  And they all make great leftovers!

Does anyone have good ideas for ground meat?  If so, email me at lola@lolaandoatmeal.com.  I’d love to mix it up.

Does anyone have good kid lunch ideas that are paleo?  I’d love to see those in my email, too.  Now that P is getting older, I’m starting to watch for good kid ideas.

Happy Tuesday.  🙂

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Comments

  1. Hey I think I found a recipe for P’s birthday cake. No grains no processed sugar.

    http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/flourless_honey_almond_cake.html

  2. Thanks for sharing these yummy recipes! I made the spagetti tonight but put in ground chicken and lots of fresh spinach at the end. It was delish and the kids loved it!

    • Hi Amie! That sounds good. Last time I made it I grated an entire zucchini in there! It’s fun to throw in random veggies, I really never even taste it and it makes me feel like I’m eating better.

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