When people decide to stop eating wheat and/or other grains or just decide for whatever reason to “go paleo” their first reaction is often one of confusion about the specifics; what do I eat? I thought it might be nice to talk about how we address that question, especially since it seems like many people don’t cook from scratch. To this end, I’m going to get Mrs. Tyrannocaster describe a couple of our meals and I’ll also offer up one of my favorite recipes.
I have side dishes on the brain (as opposed to dishes made with brains). They are incredibly useful when you make enough to get a few meals’ worth out of them, and the variety is endless, just as it is with entrées. One of my personal favorites is bell peppers (although I don’t really like the green ones that much) and I thought I’d give them a mention here.
Assuming you don’t have a problem with peppers of this sort, which are members of the nightshade family and thus a potential issue for some people, peppers are a very good way to get some color onto your table and some micronutrients into your body. I hate all those posts that enthuse about antioxidant-packed powerhouses and all the other buzz words the web loves so much, so I won’t dump a lot of background information on you. I’m just going to assume you’re interested in learning another way to fix these things.
My favorite dish of peppers is also quite easy to prepare so Mrs. Tyrannocaster makes it reasonably often, and I’m going to get her to comment on this whole thing later on. If you haven’t tried roasting these, you have to do it at least once; they are delicious – sweet, juicy and crunchy at the same time, and they are also gorgeous on the plate.
Mrs. Tyrannocaster’s Roasted Peppers
(That would be Poivrons à la Tyrannocasteuse, LOL)
3 bell peppers, sliced (Trader Joe’s sells bags of red/yellow/orange organic peppers, which is what we used here)
1 pepper-sized onion, sliced
3 tablespoons avocado oil (This is an expensive oil, but you can find it a Costco at a pretty good price. It has an extremely high smoke point, so it is good for roasting and frying.) If you don’t have avocado oil, coconut oil works well too and adds a sweeter taste, or use what sounds best to you.
Slice the vegetables and
place each slice into the roasting pan individually, balancing them delicately dump them in:
Add the oil and toss them around so they are reasonably evenly coated. Roast at 400F for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally. Could something be more simple? Here’s how they will look then:
That’s it! Serve them along with whatever you have, but the great thing about this is that if you make enough to last for a few meals you are set for a bit; cooking from scratch takes more effort than using prepared food-like substances, but it’s worth it…if you make enough so that you don’t have to do it constantly. This quantity will give us enough for 4-6 individual servings, depending on how hungry you are. We always try to have three vegetable dishes on the plate in addition to the main entrée; this is really something of a necessity when you don’t eat starchy carbs like potatoes, rice or (of course) bread.
Now, here are the peppers being used for the first time at dinner, and I am going to let Mrs. Tyrannocaster (in italics) talk about the meal itself:
Clockwise, from the meat: Thrifty steak strips! Round steak and sliced onions sauteed in bacon drippings, then simmered in the remaining gravy from the pot roast we’d just finished up; the peppers; sliced kohlrabi sauteed in home-rendered lard with cherry tomatoes and oregano; fresh spinach wilted into butter-sauteed slivers of carrots and diced celery.
And here they are making their second appearance at lunch the next day:
Clockwise, from the meat: Pork belly with an Italian lemon, aniseed and salt rub, slow-roasted in white wine (leftover); spicy pear chutney made with pears from our tree; shredded cabbage sauteed in butter with lots of black pepper and some salt; same spinach as above; and the peppers.
You can see how the vegetable dishes get rotated, so it’s nice to try to have enough of them around to make that possible. This is one reason why we like roasted vegetables; they are so easy to fix and eat immediately but you can have them again later and they reheat nicely – a gift that keeps on giving. Is steaming some broccoli easier? Maybe, but while I love steamed broccoli with good butter on it I need some variety, and roasting seems to provide that.
I like having better descriptions of these dishes than I am able to provide from memory, so I’m going to see if I can’t get Mrs. T to do this more often. And I have another side dish recipe in the wings, just waiting to take a bow. Oh, and an important point: while cooking your food from scratch like this takes time, Mrs. T has a full time job, so it can be done. I think the “secret” lies in making enough so that there are always leftovers.
Stay young and monstrous.