By T.J. Murphy
Charles and Julie Mayfield never set out to write cookbooks. Rather, to use an appropriate adverb, the recipes came organically as they tried to solve two problems at once. One, how do you eat real, quality foods in combinations that taste great and use ingredients sourced in ways that you want ingredients to be sourced (e.g. not bombarded by chemicals, not produced with the hands of child labor) and two, how do you plan, shop, cook, with the bits of time you barely have available as it is with work, chasing kids around, and train?
So the Mayfields, friends of bestseller author and evolutionary biology expert Robb Wolf (newest book, Wired To Eat), would solve these problems in their own kitchen, discovering a knack for making stuff that tasted great and fit into the real-food guidelines that Wolf espoused. They’d send Wolf recipes that he’d publish. Wolf was so impressed by the work that, over a Paleofriendly tequila drink with the Mayfields, he said, “You guys should write a book.”
They have since written a series of books, their latest, Weeknight Paleo: 100+ Easy and Delicious Family Recipes (William Morrow Cookbooks; 272 pages) a book that builds a tactical strategy around the recipes so that time strain is mitigated as best as possible.
Chapters include an introduction to the Paleo-friendly diet, Fix and Forget, One Dish Meals and Quickfire Meals.
Speed is one of the reasons that the Paleo approach to eating worked for the parents of two. Compared to the Zone Diet, for example, that requires a considerable amount of weighing, measuring and calculation to arrive at a well-formulated version, eating Paleo, the Mayfields found, was considerably easier and more time friendly.
Per Wolf’s recommendations for anyone who might suspect their current diet is harming energy flow and overall health and well-being, start off by adhering to a super clean diet for 30 days and register how you feel. Super-clean in the Paleo world means eating lean beef, fish, fowl, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and a little bit of fruit. No processed foods, avoid dairy and beans. No cereal or grains. Then after that period, after registering any changes in your health and how you feel, experiment with reintroducing foods you might want to keep eating, like dairy, or oatmeal, and pay attention to how you respond. (Wolf details a step-by-step way to do this in Wired to Eat.)
So there’s no measuring and weighing after you’ve dialed in the foods that are good by you and the ones that are messing you up. Weeknight Paleo is a book that will assist you in making the diet not just tasty but doable. A sample recipe follows.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH FRITTERS
– BY Julie and Charles Mayfield
Prep time (not counting time to cook spaghetti squash): 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- 1 to 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or cooking fat of your choice)
- 3 large eggs
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup arrowroot starch/flour
- 3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
- Place the squash in a large bowl. If it’s too moist, wrap it in some paper towels and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Add the arrowroot starch/flour, salt, green onion, and bacon and stir to combine well.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then add them to the squash mixture and stir to combine.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan, and when it’s hot, spoon the squash mixture to form fritters of your desired size; ¼ cup per fritter works well.
- When the fritters are crispy and browned on one side, about 5 minutes, use a spatula to flip them and continue cooking on the other side until crisped, about 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.
NO TIME AT ALL TO COOK HEALTH Y FOOD? THERE IS AN OPTION TO TAKEOUT.
Grass-fed, anti-biotic free, organic produce and heirloom grains, delivered to your door, and available on a national basis. Pre-made meals that you can microwave up in 3 minutes and dinner is served. Recommended by the Mayfields, The Good Kitchen is a great alternative to the local take-out scene (at least what’s near me, anyway). You can customize a meal plan or go with 10, 14 or 21 meals per week. You can choose the meals you want them to send or let The Good Kitchen pick them out. You put in your order and FedEx brings the meals to your doorstep. Check their site for pricing in your area. https://www.thegoodkitchen.com
For more recipes, visit https://paleocomfortfoods.com. Check out the Serious Triathlon podcast at lavamagazine.com for recent interview with both the Mayfield and Carter and Amber Lewis of The Good Kitchen this May.