If you’ve ever visited my FAQ page, you may have read my number one tip for shifting your diet to paleo or gluten free:
I think it’s helpful to eat easy to make meals that you enjoy and keep them as similar as possible to what you’re already eating by making simple substitutions. For example, if you want tacos, ditch the shells and serve over lettuce, salad-style. If you enjoy spaghetti, swap out the noodles for some julienned or spiralized zucchini. Or how about some steak with a side of steamed veggies? I think it can sometimes hurt to attempt to meal plan using nothing but blog recipes and cookbooks. I can’t speak for all recipe-creators out there but many of us, myself included, like to make fun recipes that we would never expect somebody to make every day. You would get burnt out cooking and ingredient hunting if you did nothing but try new recipes. Keeping meals similar to your current diet will make the switch to your new diet feel smaller and more intuitive.
When I cook for myself, I typically make something very simple with enough vegetables to forgo making any side dishes. That means lots of variations of this recipe, lunchmeat salads, grilled meat with steamed veggies, and zucchini noodle spaghetti. I occasionally cook off of my own blog and other blogs for fun, but not every day.
I want to provide recipes that people can meal plan from and realistically eat every day but I feel like I’m cheating by giving you a recipe you may already know how to make. Like bunless burgers. But what if I posted a bunless burger recipe as more of a dinner suggestion than a recipe? What if I had a whole collection of basic, simple recipes you could draw inspiration from and say “Oh I could make that real quick!”
I want to start a “recipe” series called “I’m Only Human Recipes”. These recipes would be simple, low mess, large portion recipes that you can cook and reheat for the next few days. Many ingredients could be easily substituted so you can use whatever you have on hand or what’s in season. I’m planning on posting these on occasion. The majority of my recipes will still be my creative, fun recreations of your old favorites.
So this big skillet dinner is the first in the series. Here’s how it works: It has enough vegetables that you won’t need to make a side dish. If you don’t have ground beef but have ground pork in your freezer, use that. If butternut squash is in season and you can’t get enough of it, use that as your starchy vegetable. Try to not make unnecessary trips to the store if you’re missing an ingredient. Take a look at what you have on-hand and see if it might work. Easy, right?
I hope you guys are as excited about these I’m Only Human Recipes as I am. Definitely let me know your thoughts in the comments section! Also, I’d love to hear what ingredients you use in this dish so please share :)
- 2-3 Tbsp fat
- 10 oz starchy vegetables, diced small
- 1 lb non-starchy vegetables, frozen or fresh and cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 lbs ground meat
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot sauce for topping, optional
- red pepper flakes for topping, optional
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of fat then add the starchy vegetable. Salt to taste. Occasionally turn the vegetables until they have cooked through then remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Add more fat to the skillet, if needed, and dump in the non-starchy vegetables. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Allow those to cook until soft, then remove those from the skillet as well.
- Turn up the stovetop to medium-high heat and start cooking the ground meat. Sprinkle on plenty of salt and pepper and chop up the meat into pieces with a spatula as it cooks.
- Once the meat is thoroughly cooked, add the vegetables back to the skillet and mix everything together (or serve in "layers" like I did in the photo).
- Serve as-is or top with some hot sauce and/or red pepper flakes.
Different vegetables may take more or less time to cook.
Here are the ingredients I used for the photographed recipe:
fat: bacon fat
starchy vegetables: plantains (ok, so that's technically a fruit...)
non-starchy vegetables: frozen broccoli and red bell pepper strips
ground meat: beef