Wednesday, January 29, 2014

These Pictures Are Not Good. The Potatoes Are.

Ugh, I hate posting sub-par pictures. But it's better than not posting at all, right?

So the clean eating thing just didn't happen for me at the right time. I like the idea of Whole 30 as a system recharge, but I attempted it at totally the wrong time. First half of the month I was frantically job hunting, second half of the month I was moving into a new apartment and adjusting to a new job. Not to mention adopting a dog and suddenly paying for rent and such, I was and continue to be pretty dang broke. Some nights I felt like crying in frustration and the only thing to calm me down for a minute was a glass of wine or piece of chocolate.

The benefits of at least attempting a Whole 30 were that I confirmed my trouble foods: gluten, dairy, possibly peppers. I can hear my mom laughing at me right now--I give her so much crap for her pepper allergy and now I keep finding my stomach feeling ill after I eat them. I also discovered I might have an irritation with corn, and I confirmed that I am way too addicted to sugar. Low-lactose dairy is okay, and gluten in small amounts (think, breading on chicken, not dinner rolls or a baguette). These will continue to be slow fixes for me.

And while I know it's not THAT much more expensive to buy just meat and veggies, I am one part of a family unit now--Fiance, dog, and the cat who will finally join us here March, yay! We need to grocery shop for the both of us, factor in the pets, and I can't be buying huge bags of veggies that will go bad in a week when I'm the only one eating them. Plus we just don't have it in our budget to be making double dinners every night. I need to be able to buy a bag of pasta (GF, thank goodness for HEB's cheap GF options) and sauce and not be checking the label for any source of sugar and shelling out $5 for the organic jar when the store brand is $1. A table spoon or two of sugar in my sauce is a reality I need to deal with right now.

So my plan is to try to keep as paleo as possible during the week, definitely stay gluten and lactose free (sharper cheeses = less lactose = better for me) and keep my sweet intake low. If I opt for a glass of wine, I shouldn't have a bowl of ice cream. Weekends will be freebies, but I'll try to keep my "cheats" to just dinnertime. AND I NEED TO FREAKING EXERCISE. I want to fit into my old pants. I want to be my old size before I get a wedding dress. It's been over a year now, so no more excuses that it was some reaction to medication or whatever. I don't know where this butt/thigh situation came from, my only guess is that the Magical Ass Fairy paid me a visit on the eve of my 25th birthday and cursed me with a booty. Oof.

Random Dog Picture.
Warning: This will happen often.

Aaaanyway. These stuffed sweet potatoes were a great, cheap, nearly-paleo-compliant meal this week. Not to mention they're a serious comfort food for me, my mom used to make them all the time, and then my Dad when we realized it was one of the few recipes he couldn't mess up too badly.. And I had some white potatoes on hand for Cory, who doesn't like sweet potatoes, which he very much enjoyed as well. $1 can of chili + 1/2 cup cheese from a $2.50 bag, dollop of sour cream from a $1 tub, and potatoes that probably came out to under $3 total = a cheap and easy meal, with leftovers. I added some steamed broccoli with a dash of truffle oil (bought back when I HAD money, hah) and parm.

I discovered that sweet potatoes + chili = freaking awesome. I am so doing this again, paleo or not.

For those of you still on the wagon, I've added my subs for making it paleo-ish.

Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 can chili OR leftover chili from your favorite recipe
  • 1/2 cup cheese OR 4 tbs nutritional yeast
  • 4 tbs sour cream OR unsweetened coconut cream OR aioli
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

-Prick each potato all over with a fork and cover with a damp paper towel. Place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave until fork-tender, about 8 minutes.

-Slice in half and carve into boats--scooping out just a little of the middle and leaving much of the potato. Fill with chili, top with cheese, and place in the oven.

-When cheese has melted and chili is hot, remove from oven (10 minutes or so). Serve with dollop of sour cream.


  1. the grocery store is always a miserable dance for me between what is healthy and what is inexpensive -- it's a whole lot cheaper and easier to buy a bulk bag of pizza rolls than it is to buy broccoli, and lettuce, and bread, etc. This meal is kind of a nice in between, because it's easy and inexpensive, but actually pretty okay for you. I have a ton of chili in my freezer that needs to be used up, and this sounds like the best possible way.

  2. This sounds delicious with the bonus that my partner (who also doesn't eat vegetables) might even eat it, too!

  3. sounds like you've had a lot going on lately! looks like a perfect meal to enjoy after a busy day!

  4. 1. Lily is SO adorable.
    2. I ALSO discovered during my Whole30 that I have a problem with peppers! I can eat a little bit, but if I have too much, I really regret it!
    3. Congrats on your new job! It's awesome that you're modifying the paleo template to make it work for you & your real life! :)

  5. stuffed sweet potatoes are SO good! i usually do a taco-stuffed sweet potato with black beans. delish :)