Eating organic food made from scratch is everyone’s goal, but the reality is that life gets in the way and it’s not always realistic to do so. Even though I love to cook and spend my weekends in the kitchen testing new recipes for fun, I know that isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. Since I’m very busy during the week and can’t always cook from scratch, I’ve developed one super-easy protein mix recipe that can be prepared ONCE and will give you six different dishes: three low-carb meals and three meals with carbs, either for you or your kids!
To be clear, I used the name Paleo to be descriptive of this recipe. I’m not one for fad diets, so I don’t adhere to Paleo or any other way of eating other than with organic, fresh, farmers market-type food. That sounds strict and hard to achieve, but surprisingly, it can also be convenient and affordable like this eternally versatile turkey and buffalo protein mix. It’s lean and high in protein; when mixed together, you get the heartiness of the buffalo (which is so much better for you than beef) and the lower calorie count and deliciousness of turkey. It’s the ideal mix without compromising taste or nutrition.
This protein mix is good for six servings. Once you have it prepared, which takes about 30 minutes, you can make quick, easy, low-carb meals that are adaptable for tots simply by adding the starch their growing bodies need. The six dishes for you and your kids are: Day 1 – protein salad (low-carb), Shepard’s pie (tots); Day 2 – zucchini “pasta” (low-carb), Bolognese pasta (tots); Day 3 – taco salad (low-carb), tacos (tots). They’re designed so that you can use the same protein mix for the low-carb and kids’ meals. The following are for single servings, so multiply what you need for your family. If you have a big family, double up on the protein mix recipe to allow for enough servings.
1/2 cup protein mix, heated
Baby kale or any salad mix
1/2 cup protein mix, heated
1 cup protein mix
2 cloves garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
Simmer for 15 minutes
Scoop over zucchini “pasta” below or over any pasta of your choice
1 large zucchini shaved lengthwise using a mandolin (The mandolin is a must-have for any kitchen; use it to slice ingredients for a salad, a pizza topping, or anything else with zero effort and minimal cleanup.)
Blanch for 30 seconds, steam for five minutes, or microwave for one minute (I never recommend using the microwave for anything, but if you’re in a bind, it’s not the end of the world to nuke the zucch).
Zucchini “Pasta” with Bolognese Sauce
Though this takes a bit more preparation, the protein mix works with a Bolognese sauce with minimal effort. It won’t taste like an Italian grandmother’s Bolognese sauce (I will share that recipe another time), but it’s still pretty good.
1/2 cup protein mix
1/4 tsp of fajita seasoning
Heat in skillet
1/2 cup salsa
Handful cherry tomatoes (or tomato variety of your choice)
Add to field greens salad mix (or your choice of fresh greens)
Add everything in tortilla instead of over greens