Wednesday, July 09, 2014

CLCA Day 8: If it's not Scottish, it's CRRRRRAAAAPPPPP!

"Cyd's Low-Carb Adventure," Day 8
Breakfast: Scotch Eggs--pictured
Lunch: Tuna and Chickpea Salad
Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with Slow Cooker Bolognese--pictured

Carb count: 71 grams

Everyone eating Paleo/Primal or just trying to reduce carbs knows the value of including eggs in your diet. The problem is that my roommate gets up before 5am, is at work before 7, and she's not ready for breakfast until after she's been at work for a couple of hours. So an omelette with lots of veggies would be a perfect choice for breakfast, but it doesn't travel or hold up very well.

So I had to try to figure out a more portable egg solution, preferably one that didn't have to be reheated once she is ready to eat breakfast. The solution: SCOTCH EGGS! Traditionally, Scotch eggs are wrapped in ground meat, rolled in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. But it works just fine to skip the breadcrumbs and bake them instead.

Scotch Eggs:
I used half a pound each of ground beef and sausage mixed with a scant tablespoon of Cajun seasoning for six hard-cooked (and peeled) eggs. Divide the meat mixture into six parts (about 1/3 cup), then form a patty in your hand, pressing a divot in the middle. Place an egg there, and then use both of your hands to gently cover the whole egg and even out the thickness of the meat coating. Place on a rack sprayed with nonstick cooking spray set on top of a lined sheet pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned all over. Then cool, pop two each into a baggie and store in the fridge for breakfast or lunch the next day. They are delicious hot or cold!

In addition to eating a lot of eggs, another mainstay of a Paleo/Primal/Low Carb diet is swapping out pasta with vegetable "noodles." For dinner tonight, I steamed a spaghetti squash in the microwave. But another option is to cut a zucchini into very thin ribbons (with a sharp knife, a julienne peeler, or a spiralizer) to make "zoodles." You can eat them raw or saute for a few minutes until they have a softer, "noodlier" texture. Whether spaghetti squash or zoodles, dump enough of a tasty sauce like this on top of it, and you won't even miss real pasta...well, not as much anyway. ;-)

Slow Cooker Bolognese

1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 cup sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms (I already had these left over in the fridge)
1 cup sweet potato salad with bacon (optional--I had this left over in the fridge and threw it in the mix)
1/4 cup smoky bacon ends (or regular bacon), chopped
2 large carrots, grated
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red wine
1 small can tomato paste
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
1 teaspoon black pepper
good pinch of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon beef, vegetable, or mushroom "Better Than Bouillion"

Brown the sausage, ground beef, and onion until the meat is browned and the onion is tender. Add to the crock pot, along with the sauteed peppers, onions, and mushrooms and the sweet potato salad (obviously, the leftovers are optional). 

Fry the bacon until crisp, then strain and remove the pieces. Add those to the crock pot. In the remaining bacon fat, saute the carrots, celery, and garlic for a few minutes until tender. Deglaze the pan with red wine. Scrape this veggie mixture into the crock pot. Also add the romato paste, crushed tomatoes, Italian herbs, black pepper, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, and bouillion. Stir everything to combine.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4. 

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