I'm going to be honest here: sometimes, I hate food, I'm tired of cooking, I'm bored of the flavors I'm tasting, and making my weekly menu is like pulling teeth. I've been stuck in that kind of a rut for the last few weeks, but thankfully I found a few recipes that have started to rekindle my love-affair with food.
First of all, can I just say that Julia Childs deserves a medal? One thing she's famous for is her love of butter, and oh man have I learned just how right she was! I was feeling really discouraged about my food, especially my mashed potatoes. They just weren't ever as satisfying as they used to be, without the dairy added in. I realized it was truthfully the butter that I was missing, so I broke down and reluctantly bought the $7 8oz. jar of ghee. Seriously, this nondescript jar of yellow stuff is a game-changer.
For those who don't know, ghee is clarified butter. All the fat, none of the dairy. I had tried making this on my own, but had never managed to get all the dairy out so it still caused my stomach irritation. The store-bought ghee hasn't caused me any issues so far, and has really improved the overall taste and texture of my cooking. So, yes, it's a little pricey; but if you use it moderately it should last a month or two. And, $7 per month for satisfying, rich, creamy food is worth it in my book.
Anyways, on to the recipes. Both of these are definitely dishes that I would serve at the Average [Paleo] American. This first one was shared by @dollyswholelife on the Whole30 Recipe FB page. These meatballs in marinara sauce over mashed potatoes are so easy to make and amazingly delicious! It was really nice to be able to use a jar of pre-made marinara instead of having to do everything from scratch, and finding a sauce with compliant ingredients wasn't too difficult. The mixture of pork, beef, and spices made the meatballs so flavorful, and the garlic mashed potatoes (with ghee!) were the perfect, creamy base.
My next dish, chicken piccata, has been a long-time favorite of mine. I was skeptical about trying a paleo version, because many times they just don't live up to the buttery, gluteny versions you're expecting. But, when in a food rut, I always try to go for an old favorite, and this did not disappoint! I didn't use the nutritional yeast, and I used half ghee, half olive oil to fry the chicken in. The almond flour breading still got a nice crisp, the sauce was still rich and creamy, and the capers added the classic piccata kick. I served this over cauliflower rice, which soaked up the flavor of the sauce, and lent the lovely texture that I used to get by serving this with couscous.
Over all, having a few comforting, satisfying dishes last week really helped to start climbing out of my I-hate-food pit. In fact, I'm off to try cooking another new recipe right now!