Long week, great weekend, and a yummy Sunday dinner.

Last week was a doozy.  My knee was really needing downtime after my knee scope on the 7th, but my work schedule wasn’t allowing for much of a break.  I stayed swollen and uncomfortable for the majority of the week.  Oatmeal’s 91 year old grandmother went into the hospital and we found out on Monday how serious it was.  On Tuesday at noon, her children, grandchildren, and spouses of grandchildren (including me) gathered in her ICU room and kept her company until she left this world and went to heaven to be with her late husband, son, and various other friends and relatives.  On Friday we attended the funeral, burial and reception and celebrated the life that she led and enjoyed the time spent with the amazing family that she created.  It was both sad and precious. 

After the funeral on Friday, Oatmeal and I hit the road for Dallas.  I rarely get to see my old college friends, but we had planned a trip to reunite, show off husbands and kids, drink margaritas, and just catch up.  Last time Oatmeal and I went out of town for the weekend, sticking to our Paleo lifestyle was much harder for me than for him, and I ended up indulging in some dessert and beer.  Neither were gluten free, and I spent the next day feeling really tired, bloated, and just all around yucky.  So, this weekend, I vowed to avoid gluten and I actually did it!  I did cheat by having corn chips and queso dip, but I avoided all of the bread, beer and pizza that certainly tempted me.  But, I was able to remember how bad I felt the weekend before when I ate those things, and I stayed strong!  Sure enough, even after drinking about 6 frozen blueberry margaritas, eating 6 hamburger patties, corn chips, queso, and various other snacks I woke up this morning feeling awesome.  Oatmeal went through a bottle and a half of red wine (yes, red wine, in 104 degree weather) and he nonetheless felt stupendous this morning.  We’ve decided that gluten is not only a pro-inflammatory, but it must be pro-hangover as well!  (Note: we drank that much over the course of the day, not in one sitting.  I knew what you were thinking!)

We drove home this evening and I have to admit, my knee was still really stiff and uncomfortable.  That made me less than enthused about cooking dinner, but I knew if I went to my Everyday Paleo cookbook I could find something easy and basic.  And I did!

The recipe above is basically the same recipe found in Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo cookbook.  As usual, however, I did not have the exact ingredients that she called for on hand, so I improvised.  Check out her website for her version, but this was mine. 

Ingredients:

1lb organic ground beef (I wish I’d had grassfed, but I didn’t…)

3 bell peppers, chopped (picked from our very own garden)

1/2 of a white onion, chopped

big handful of raw baby spinach, chopped

1/2 cup of green olives, chopped

1/2 tbsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tbsp tumeric powder

1 tbsp ground oregano (I get all my spices from the bulk section at HEB.  Find a grocery that sells spices in bulk and enjoy buying them in low quantities so that you pay mere cents for them, rather than having to buy an entire bottle of a single spice that you may rarely use!)

2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch slices and boiled until soft

So this was REALLY easy.  I browned the beef, and then I added the onion and bell peppers.  I put a drop or two of oil (I used grapeseed oil, only because I was out of olive oil) in there and tossed it around until the peppers and onions were soft.  Then I added the spinach, spices and olives. 

Meanwhile, my sweet potatoes boiled for about a half hour, until Oatmeal came in from trimming the horse’s feet and drained them for me.  The minute he walked in the door he was hovering over me, enthusiastically talking about how amazing the kitchen smelled, and told me he was absolutely positive he was going to love this meal.  I felt a lot of pressure!  And if you look at the photo above, you’ll notice it’s blurry.  This is because he was so hungry and anxious to eat that he swiped his plate away as I took the picture.

We served the beef concoction on top of the sweet potatoes, and by Everyday Paleo’s recommendation we ate a side of fresh avocado.  I let Oatmeal have about 3/4 of the sweet potatoes and the same of the avocado, mainly because he is WAY more active than I am, especially lately since I have a gimp knee.  He can use the extra carbs from the potatoes and good fat that the avocado provides. 

Oatmeal LOVED the meal.  He did comment that the beef would be even better with chopped jalapenos in it.  Have I mentioned how obsessed we are with jalapenos?  We put them in EVERYTHING.  Scrambled eggs, guacamole, salads, etc. But, I laughed because the name of the dinner was supposed to be “Puerto Rican Beef” and I feel like adding jalapenos to it may skew that flavor. 

Here is a picture of Oatmeal going back for seconds.  I promise I do not make him eat standing up.

Cost:  My guess is that this meal was about $12.  The ground meat was the most expensive, close to $5 for the pound. 

Enjoy!

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