Meal Ideas: The Evolution of a Paleo Breakfast
This post is part of the Meal Ideas series. Finding something to eat that is simultaneously affordable, quick to prepare, healthy, AND delicious can be next-to-impossible sometimes. In this section I post pictures of the food I make, links to recipes I love, and some tips for saving time and money while still cooking great-tasting healthy food.
The Evolution of a Paleo Breakfast In Four Stages (Stages 1 & 2)
Stage 1: The Paleo Template
I call this breakfast my “paleo template” breakfast because it meets all of the basic criteria of paleo but still isn’t very far from standard breakfast food (an omelet and home fries), so it is a great place to start. Despite the mess of colours that ends up on the plate, this breakfast is actually very easy to put together. This breakfast is useful for an on-the-go lifestyle because the dishes can be made in large batches ahead of time, frozen or refrigerated, and then reheated when you want to eat them.
The Kitchen Sink Frittata is really just a combination of whatever veggies and meat you happen to have around (or whatever was on sale at the grocery store that week) and eggs (which are probably the least expensive protein source around, even if you’re buying pastured eggs). Sautée the meat and veggies till they’re cooked, fold in twelve eggs, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a couple of minutes until the eggs start to get more solid. Pour the mixture into an oven safe dish (I used a 9×13 lasagna pan) and broil for 3-5 minutes until the top is golden brown. Usually I would make this with a bunch of kale, a large onion, 8 oz of cremini mushrooms, a sweet red pepper, and a pound of bacon or sausage.
The Roasted Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes are a great alternative to home fries if you prefer sweet potatoes to white potatoes like I do. (If you prefer white potatoes, try roasting them instead). Just chop or dice up a few sweet potatoes (however many will fill the container you have – I used a large roasting pan, which fit four large sweet potatoes) and through them in the pan. Then coat the potatoes with cinnamon and melted coconut oil (butter or animal fat would also be good). Roast them at 400F for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
If Roasted Sweet Potatoes seem like too much work to you, try just microwaving a whole sweet potato (make sure to puncture the skin with a fork) for 4-5 minutes and eating that alongside your frittata instead.
Stage 2: Egg Sensitivity
This new breakfast came about because I realized, after completing my first Whole30, that I have a sensitivity to eggs. After being pretty-much paleo for four months and 100% paleo for one month, I was feeling much better in some ways, but in other ways things were getting worse: the more eggs I ate, the worse my digestion got. I stopped eating eggs, and in less than 24 hours I was feeling MUCH better.
Because I eliminated eggs so quickly and then didn’t go back, I had to quickly find an egg-free breakfast alternative that wasn’t going to take any longer to prepare than the old breakfast. What I ended up with was basically the “paleo template” breakfast without the eggs. I continued to make the roasted sweet potatoes, and I sautéed the other veggies together to eat on their own. For protein I made bacon-braised kale, which I adapted from The Paleo Mom’s recipe for Bacon-Braised Cabbage. Instead of cabbage, I used kale, but other than that the instructions are the same.
This version of breakfast didn’t really end up having enough protein for me, so I eventually moved on to a new egg-free breakfast. To see that one or the next (my current breakfast) take a look at Part Two of this post.