1

votes

Do you need to cook more on paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 21, 2012 at 11:18 PM

One of the hardest things for me to do is cook. I don't really like to cook, when I do, I usually make more than I can eat and end up wasting food, and you cant just buy the ingredients you need, (like a teaspoon of baking soda) so you end up with excess ingredients that either sit there taking up space or go bad. And you have to clean up afterwards :-/

Plus, my kitchen is really really awful.

So...for everyone on paleo who doesn't have a personal chef, do you cook a lot? Do you ever encounter any of the problems I've mentioned?

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on June 23, 2012
at 02:20 AM

We do this too...when we're cooking meat, we cook enough for 2 or 3 days worth of meals. If it's not something I want to eat 3 days in a row, I freeze some for later.

F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

(1439)

on June 22, 2012
at 09:56 PM

I do next to no cooking. I am partially raw paleo. Raw salmon is incredibly easy. I put butter and garlic salt on it and am ready to go. There is plenty of good thinking and evidence to support raw paleo. I don't do it as a religion or all of the time, but when I do raw it makes life so much easier and it is probably healthier.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 22, 2012
at 06:32 PM

+1 for leftovers. My housemates throw away UNGODLY amounts of food. Equally heartbreaking and infuriating.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:05 PM

Steak and fries, right? Turns out there was some sort of additive that was in the fries (a crisping agent perhaps) or the oil used (less likely, bad oils don't harm my gut as much as gluten) that absolutely WRECKED my guts.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:16 PM

Totally agree. I get home from the grocery store or farmers market and start washing/chopping and cooking if appropriate. If I do that, I really don't have an excuse not to get a good meal on the table during the week. I usually make a huge batch of bone broth in my slow-cooker weekly and have that in quart jars all set to go as well.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:31 AM

So...looks like I have to buy some pots. I currently have one titanium pan

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 22, 2012
at 02:33 AM

How were you glutened? I want details.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 22, 2012
at 02:32 AM

That would involve chopping...too close to cooking...

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Prepping ahead really is the secret to keeping it all easy. I don't always precook, but getting everything ready to the point it can be tossed in the pan is key. You can make lots of things ahead - salad dressings, all the veg prepped for salad (grated carrots, sliced onion, diced peppers etc), even cook a pile of meats and fish and freeze it for later in the week so you don't have the same thing for the next four meals.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:02 AM

I love my OXO. And it's great fun to watch the cat get hypnotized by watching it spin.

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:52 AM

+1 for using the word gnarly. :) Plus, I agree - anything I can get out, I can make at home that is far more tasty and much less expensive.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:48 AM

+1 for salad spinner! I went through several before I finally found one that actually worked.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:34 PM

That's kind of what I do now. That and wait until after 3 pm cause that's when the hot food bar goes 1/2 price at my health food store.

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12 Answers

5
1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on June 21, 2012
at 11:29 PM

I think cooking is a life skill; something that everyone should have at least some manner of proficiency in. With that said, I know that not everyone enjoys cooking the way many of us do. So no, it's not required to be chef-like in your meal prep, but I think paleo (or any sort of "real food" approach) does necessitate more cooking/food preparation than typical western diet fare. Even quick things like ground beef in a pan and sweet potatoes in the microwave take longer than cereal and toast, but honestly, that shouldn't be a deal breaker.

I'm a college student, so I suggest you adopt a minimalist cooking practice similar to mine. Something to the tune of:

Stick food in oven, walk away, come back when it's done. Eat.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:34 PM

That's kind of what I do now. That and wait until after 3 pm cause that's when the hot food bar goes 1/2 price at my health food store.

5
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:27 PM

I purposefully cook to excess. My family can eat 1# of ground beef for dinner, but I will cook 3# so I have leftovers. This provides us with other meals the rest of the week. When I have a few hours free, I'll cut up and saute cabbage, spinach, mustard and/or collard greens, peppers, etc., with only salt and pepper and stick it in the fridge. On a busy night, I can pull out a few containers, dump what we need in a pan, add whatever spices we want, and a yummy, healthy meal is ready in under 20 minutes.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:29 AM

Prepping ahead really is the secret to keeping it all easy. I don't always precook, but getting everything ready to the point it can be tossed in the pan is key. You can make lots of things ahead - salad dressings, all the veg prepped for salad (grated carrots, sliced onion, diced peppers etc), even cook a pile of meats and fish and freeze it for later in the week so you don't have the same thing for the next four meals.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on June 23, 2012
at 02:20 AM

We do this too...when we're cooking meat, we cook enough for 2 or 3 days worth of meals. If it's not something I want to eat 3 days in a row, I freeze some for later.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:16 PM

Totally agree. I get home from the grocery store or farmers market and start washing/chopping and cooking if appropriate. If I do that, I really don't have an excuse not to get a good meal on the table during the week. I usually make a huge batch of bone broth in my slow-cooker weekly and have that in quart jars all set to go as well.

3
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:54 PM

Get a slow cooker. It's relatively cheap and standalone (you just need a power outlet). You can load your meat, potatoes, vegetables, water, spices in there before you go to bed and it's ready in the morning with meals for a few days. Only 1 pot to clean. If you're not super concerned about gourmet cooking, then you don't have to worry about having certain ingredients or spices. Whatever you throw in there turns out reasonably tasty... as long as you don't forget the meat! :)

3
Eea6a68f5a7190d13c60e1c72417a581

(1376)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I love cooking. We do not eat out at all, I can make it better and cheaper at home. Cooking is a transformative process: gnarly looking bones and flesh, roots and veg become delicious life sustenance for my loved ones. I am always learning new things and cooking is a creative process. You get to make the things you like and learn to make them very well.

To hack some of the issues that you brought up:

Leftovers: Plan something that works in the left overs for the next day. Or to containerize the extra and to store/freeze and now you're prepared for lunch for work or school.

Some expensive optional ingredients you can just skip, others have other uses. Even baking soda, which I have no use for in paleo cooking can remove stains, be used a toothpaste, be a volcano in a science fair!

A good household policy is to have a person who did not cook clean up. Then everybody contributes, jobs can rotate and when kids help you are actually teaching them a great deal about being a functional adult.

Get tools you love and you will have a more more satisfying cooking experience. I'll take one good knife and a sharpener any day over a jamboree of gadgets.

In short, I want to inspire you to find your joy in cooking. It's there. Or you could give it up and become you house's designated dishwasher, no share in that game.

4929a87e3f7438f18a0afbdde291ed5e

(752)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:52 AM

+1 for using the word gnarly. :) Plus, I agree - anything I can get out, I can make at home that is far more tasty and much less expensive.

2
724ac8ed9ddc603e87adf6cfb901a8d8

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I recommend Well Fed...it's got a lot of great tips on doing food prep once a week so when it comes down to preparing your nightly meals you can throw things together more easily. Also, her recipes are quite good.

2
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:03 AM

Eat it raw if you don't wanna cook.

Otherwise....learning to cook is really a good idea.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 22, 2012
at 02:32 AM

That would involve chopping...too close to cooking...

2
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:45 AM

Yes, but you can really simplify the process.

My meals usually run something like this:

Breakfast - 3 eggs scrambled (3 minutes tops with heating pan), leftover meat from last night (sometimes a hamburger patty or precooked liver), leftover greens or maybe a pile of lettuce. Half an avocado sometimes.

Lunch - A pile of lettuce with any other veg that sounds interesting, meat or fish, avocado and dressing all in one BIG bowl. Some low carb fruit like berries.

Dinner - Meat or fish or seafood or eggs (omelets). All pretty simple - baked, electric grilled or panfried, with a fat and some onions or garlic or other seasoning. Sauteed greens (minutes), green salad with stuff on it, some other vegetable, usually w some olive oil and lemon or balsamic. Berries if there are good ones about.

Most of the effort is probably in washing and prepping the veg. A salad spinner makes washing all the leaves dead easy.

Added: If you want to make it simpler, you could get greens like prewashed organic spinach and salad greens. A lot of stores sell precut fresh veg like tomatoes and onions, although you'll lose nutrients. A lot of veg like snap peas are now sold ready to microwave (take them out of the "microwavable" plastic bag!), tuna, sardines and salmon in cans can be dumped straight on a salad. I've seen an awful lot of ready to eat hardboiled eggs lately. Some of these aren't ideal compared to home prepped, but they are WAY better than restaurant fare. You'll still need to cook your own meat.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 22, 2012
at 12:48 AM

+1 for salad spinner! I went through several before I finally found one that actually worked.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:02 AM

I love my OXO. And it's great fun to watch the cat get hypnotized by watching it spin.

2
D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on June 21, 2012
at 11:56 PM

YES .

2
8496289baf18c2d3e210740614dc9082

on June 21, 2012
at 11:28 PM

Cooking is sort of a must (or at the very least food prep is a must, for those who eat relatively raw). Whether you love to cook or hate it, however, the easiest way to do this lifestyle is to cook in bulk and store the remainder for easy meals later.

1
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on June 22, 2012
at 06:52 AM

Given my free choice of things to do, cooking is not on the list. I like good food, but I'm an indifferent cook. Plus, I have a small, sort-of-crappy kitchen that doesn't make cooking any easier or more pleasurable.

But that doesn't stop me from cooking virtually all of my own meals these days. I also make a lot of things that I used to buy ready-made, especially salad dressings, mayonnaise, pickled/fermented vegetables, salsa, and yogurt/creme fraiche.

And I do all this because I've given it a lot of thought and decided the effort is worth it. I've made peace with cooking, because I can't ignore the fact that there are certain foods that I thrive on, and others that screw me up to one degree or another. And I've already spent far too many years eating things that screw me up (many of which are commonly considered "healthy"). I know what will happen if I keep eating them, so I'm done with them. And since I feel so much better these days, now that I'm cooking the foods I thrive on, I think that having to do the work of cooking and cleaning up is a fair trade-off.

I eat a lot less than I used to, so I've had to learn not to over-buy groceries, or cook the same enormous quantities I used to make. I shop more often, and buy much smaller quantities when I go. I keep my cooking techniques simple, and most of my meals only involve one pan and half a dozen ingredients at most (including spices). Tonight's dinner was rockfish quickly pan-fried, with some hot salsa and an avocado--easy, filling, tasty, and barely any prep or cleanup.

Cooking's not that big a deal for me anymore because I've decided that it's not a big deal. I could complain about it, or come up with excuses not to do it, but instead I've made the choice to accept it as part of taking better care of myself. And while I can't say I love to cook, I don't really see it as a burden anymore.

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 22, 2012
at 01:54 AM

After eating out for dinner on Father's day and just being pissed off after the poor quality food set me back what a meter of prime rib would have cost from a butcher (not to mention "I GOT GLUTENED!), I don't know if there is a way to go without cooking.

Don't get hung up on ingredients going bad. Buy stuff that's in season, and cook/eat plenty of it at once. Also, eat your leftovers. My wife doesn't "do" leftovers often, until she saw just how infuriated it made me to see perfectly edible food go to waste by spoilage (maybe I'm a little holier than thou about it, but wasting food is just a dick move, especially if you grew up hungry and reliant on handouts for your food).

Now she eats the leftovers.

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on June 22, 2012
at 02:33 AM

How were you glutened? I want details.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 22, 2012
at 04:05 PM

Steak and fries, right? Turns out there was some sort of additive that was in the fries (a crisping agent perhaps) or the oil used (less likely, bad oils don't harm my gut as much as gluten) that absolutely WRECKED my guts.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 22, 2012
at 06:32 PM

+1 for leftovers. My housemates throw away UNGODLY amounts of food. Equally heartbreaking and infuriating.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on June 22, 2012
at 04:28 AM

I never cooked much before but if I want to know what's in my food then the only way I can be absolutely certain is if I prepare it myself. However, I try to make it easy. For breakfast I usually have either an omelette or chicken sausages--easy peasy to cook. Also some nuts and maybe an avocado. For lunch usually yogurt with fruit, turkey slices, nothing that I actually cook.

For dinner usually a tossed salad (from a bag of prewashed greens) with sardines or precooked chicken strips and feta cheese, maybe a nuked sweet potato or you could do some other veggie. Or, it's really easy (and fast) to make tuna steaks. I just heat a little coconut oil in a pan and season the steaks with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot I cook for 3 minutes on a side. Beginning to end is less than 10 minutes!

I've also used a slow cooker. Just line the bottom of the pot with whatever vegetables you wish and layer your seasoned meat on top. Put the lid on and turn it on. In three or four hours you have a nice dinner. If I have leftovers I eat them the next day for lunch or dinner (then I really don't have to cook). You could also freeze the leftovers if you don't think you'll eat them in the next couple of days. Portion them in ziplock bags and then just reheat the number of servings you want.

I used to obsess over this when I first started out but it's really not that complicated or time consuming. Hope this helps!

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