One Week Family Friendly Menu

family paleo meal plan
photo courtesy of photobucket

Sometimes we have guest for dinner that are not on AIP/Wahls and we want to please them or show them that we aren’t “so different”. Sometimes we have our own picky kids.  Sometimes we just want some comfort foods like “mom” used to make. Regardless of the situation you are most likely to deal with, I wanted to help you out with a kid and family friendly, crowd pleasing menu for some quick, easy, delicious and home cooked meals that you can make for your family and guests that will keep you on track without them even knowing that you are cooking “special” or “different”.  Here is a menu for an entire week of AIP/Wahl’s compliant meals. I have added some alterations for you vs them in how they are served, but this type of menu will keep you from cooking multiple meals for one dinner. We have enough dishes already, don’t we?

Monday: Salisbury Steak with Onions and Gravy, Mashed Cauliflower and Steamed Carrots. Add a handful of spinach or some sautéed greens for you!

Tuesday: Steak (or steak “fingers”) and Salad With Baked Sweet Potatoes.  Marinate inexpensive steaks overnight for tenderness and cook them on a grill or grill plate.  If you want, you can make steak fingers for the kids (or kids at heart) by dredging them in arrowroot and frying them in a compliant oil.  ( If you are limiting your arrowroot, you may want to leave this option for the kids while you have a steak so that you can have fried fish tomorrow!).  Top the steaks with some sautéed onions and mushrooms or

WednesdayFried Fish and Chips,  Replace the potatoes with Yuca or Parsnips  and season with herbs or plain sea salt.  Dredge the Fish in Arrowroot or Cassava and sea salt.  You can add some herbs if you wish and fry it in a compliant oil, and serve it with some salad.  This is a great time to make some homemade cole slaw.  I suggest either a dessert made of fresh fruit and whipped cream for the others and some whipped coconut cream for you!

Thursday: Baked Chicken with Butternut squash, roasted garlic and salad.  It doesn’t get any simpler than Chicken and Veggies.  Season with sea salt and fresh herbs and no one will notice that there isn’t any black pepper on the bird. Top the squash with some honey and cinnamon, and a big salad.. if you wish, you can serve some rolls for the bread eaters or just make some extra vegetables or roasted potatoes to fill up their starch craving bellies! (note: potatoes are not compliant to AIP or Wahls. This is a suggestion for your guests or other family members or as a reintroduction on AIP)  For extra picky kids, replace the extra veggies with some fruit salad or apple slices and cinnamon.

Friday: Taco night – leave the nightshades “on the side” and saute your meat separate from everyone else’s so they can have taco seasoning like they are used to having (yours can have garlic, onion and cilantro but leave some extra cilantro in case they are jealous!).  Make some nightshade free guacamole and some mango salsa that is made of mango, red onion, cilantro and lime juice.  Have your tacos in lettuce leaves or on top of a bed of romaine. Or have it in a “rice bowl” filled with Lime Cauliflower Rice folded in with the mango salsa! Other options is to take your meat, lettuce and 2 dips and top a plate of plantain chips to make some AIP nachos! party on a plate!

To help you get started, I’ve included the recipe I use for Salisbury Steak.  This is an adaptation of my grandmother’s recipe and includes a low-carb option or alternative to arrowroot based gravy.  If you are on Wahl’s Protocol, arrowroot is limited to once a week and I suggest you pick Wednesday’s Fish night as your arrowroot night as that is the one time where I feel the arrowroot is the best utilized.  The other meals are good without it and you won’t miss out by choosing the alternatives.

MCJ SALISBURY STEAK MAKE-OVER RECIPE

1 LB HAMBURGER.

2 TO 4 TABLESPOONS OF ARROWROOT STARCH OR ¼ to 1/2 CUP STEAMED CAULIFLOWER (either of these options will be used to thicken the gravy. You can also puree onions)

WHITE OR YELLOW ONION. (any type of onion is useable here including leeks or green onions if that is what you have on hand)

1 PINT OR 2 CUPS OF BONE BROTH. Homemade is great or EPIC brand bone broth may also be used.

2 TABLESPOONS COOKING FAT.  You may use grass-fed beef tallow, coconut oil, ghee or SPECTRUM brand palm shortening.  You may use olive oil if the temperature is kept at medium or below, but this is not suggested.

NEEDED TOOLS: A WHISK if using the arrowroot. A HAND-STICK BLENDER for the cauliflower option, or you can puree it before adding using a FOOD PROCESSOR and then whisk it into the gravy.

DIRECTIONS:

In a skillet, melt your cooking fat to keep your beef from sticking.  While it is melting, form your beef into burger patties.  It is ok if they don’t all fit into your skillet but easier on you if they do.  If you would like to add additional seasoning to your burgers you may and should. Minced onion, salt and pepper are great additions as are fresh herbs like parsley.  These are all optional and are only if you would like to do this. Plain is fine.

Brown the patties on both sides and then remove them to a separate plate.  It is unnecessary to cook them all the way through at this point as they will cook more after the gravy is made and that will make them super juicy!

In the skillet, pour the bone broth and let it warm over medium low to low.  After it is warm, add either the arrowroot or the cauliflower.  IF USING ARROWROOT: add gradually using a whisk to blend thoroughly with the broth.  Once you see that it is thickening, stop adding as you don’t want it to get too thick.  IF USING THE CAULIFLOWER:  Add the cauliflower gradually, stirring with a handstick blender to create a puree mixed with the bone broth.  The cauliflower puree will thicken and mix with the broth to thicken it like a gravy but will not add much of a taste.  The added benefit is that it adds a ton of nutrition and helps your body to detox. And you get to sneak in a vegetable without thinking about it.

Next add salt and pepper to taste until your gravy is just how you like it.  After it is to taste, place the burger patties back into the gravy and slice onions into the skillet.  Cover and simmer until the onions are the consistency you like them to be and the patties will also be cooked through.  I suggest leaving it on medium low and if the gravy gets thicker than you like, simply add some water to thin it out.

This is a great comfort meal and both nutritious and economical.  It is fabulous served with mashed cauliflower, some sautéed cabbage, steamed carrots, green beans or any of your favorite comfort food vegetables.  A true family meal that you can feel good about serving your family as it will nourish them body and soul!

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