Friday’s Food For Thought

So I have to admit I have a passion for food and cooking and food blogs and cookbooks! For me, what I eat is a big part of my treatment plan that I’ve worked out with my doctor. She has me following a Paleo diet, and when I’m careful and follow the plan, my inflammation and pain is practically nil. It’s stunning how what we eat can so drastically influence how we feel. For me, this is the best plan. I’ve tried vegetarianism, and even veganism, but the grains kept me inflamed. I would love to go grain free ovo-vegetarian, using eggs laid by chickens I raise myself, but that dream will take some time to come to fruition. So for now it’s Paleo.

For those of you who don’t know, Paleo is basically a diet that is grain free, legume free, dairy free, sugar free, and alcohol free. (Sounds fun, huh?) Basically you eat pasture raised meats and poultry, and wild caught fish, along with LOTS of veggies, some fruits, and some nuts and seeds. It sounds very restrictive, and it can be if you like to eat out a lot. But considering the improvement I make when I eat right, it’s worth it.

So my first recipe will be my Bolognese sauce. I’ve given it to a number of friends already, and it’s very versatile. If you don’t have a problem with grains or gluten, it’s wonderful over pasta. It’s also just as wonderful over spaghetti squash, or in a halved lengthwise zucchini with its seeds scooped out as a zucchini boat. Now, you’ll notice there is wine in my recipe (I’m Italian, we add wine to almost every recipe!), but the alcohol burns off in the cooking process, and adds a ton of flavor.

Enjoy! And let me know how it works for you!

sacue ingredien pic

Bella’s Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients:

I use one pound of grass fed ground beef

Almost 2 cartons (canned is no good) of Hunt’s sauce (the cartons are the 33 ounce variety and can be resealed and stuck in the fridge if I don’t use the full two cartons. If I was using the full 2 cartons, I’d go with at least 1.5 pound of ground beef.)

1 vidalia (sweet) onion

Minced garlic (2-5 cloves, depending on personal taste and how much sauce you’re making)

Dried basil, up to 2 tsp (fresh is always nicer if you have it)

Fennel  seed, 1-2 tsp, and if you can grind it up a bit with a mortar and pestle, it will release the oils and be even more flavorful.

Up to ¼ cup red wine

Salt to taste, olive oil for browning onions

Method:

Brown your onions in a few tablespoons of olive oil until they just begin to caramelize. Add your minced garlic and cook for a few extra minutes. Throw in your ground beef and brown, cutting it up with your spatula as you go, like you would for taco filling. When it’s just about done, throw in your sauce. Add your basil, fennel seed, wine and salt to taste. Simmer on medium low heat for 30-45 minutes.  Let cool completely before freezing. Note:  you can add the salt at the end, and it tastes best the second day, after the flavors have settled.

This sauce easily freezes, but if you plan to do that, it’s best to use ground beef that hasn’t already been frozen. I’ve done it, but it comes out better if I can avoid it.

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