Shopping low carb – at least the way that I do it, can be a pain in the ass. The reasons for this are:
The conventional supermarket has the most variety and the best prices generally, but the specific items I’m looking for are either unavailable or at a higher price
The specialty markets (ie: Whole Foods) have more of the items I am looking for and the prices are comparable or better than they would be at the conventional supermarket – the problems is that the rest of their stuff is immorally overpriced
The ‘value specialty markets’ (ie: Trader Joe’s) provide an eclectic selection that ranges from treasures to junk
Some things are only available mail order – or only economical mail order
What this means is that I have become used to buying food at 5 different stores.
A fridge clean-out inspired me to swing for the fences in terms of mixing together leftovers and forgottens to make an edible and low carb meal for myself one evening. I needed to cook up some ground beef I had bought last weekend – but how? I decided to make ‘Whatevs’ – whatever I found in the fridge with ground beef. Because of what I found, I decided to do a scary experiment: just how far can I go out-of-bounds of what foods go with what? My ingredients were as follows:
1 pound ground beef, browned in 3 tablespoons of olive oil
1.5 cups of chopped tomatoes loitering in the fridge
1 can of black olives
1 cup of bok choy
2 jalapeno peppers with seeds left in for heat
1 slice chopped Virginia ham
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 cup fresh Asian-style mushrooms, chopped
4 ageing cherry tomatoes
1 large onion
Despite the odd inclusion of bok choy and jalapeno, I seasoned it with oregano, parsley and basil. I let this simmer for a half hour after browning the beef then putting in the rest of the ingredients.
The verdict? Pretty damn good if you ask me. I had a quarter-pan of the stuff. I used the Loseit! calorie-counting app on my iPhone to determine the calories for the entire pot, called it ‘1 serving’, then had a 1/4 of the pot, for a total of 543 calories. I added freshly grated parm cheese and enjoyed every bite. There are 3 servings left that I assure you I will eat, though I might not detail to coworkers and causal acquaintances just what is in my lunch.
While I ate it I was reminded of how our food prejudices prevent low carbers from eating perfectly acceptable foods simply because the combinations are unusual. Why!?! Is it really all that bad to put bok choy, asian-style mushrooms, ham, bacon and jalapeno peppers in a dish together with Italian seasonings? Somebody had to be the first to think that a lemon – a tropical fruit, went well with sea creatures. We don’t question this just because we’re used to it.
Fact of the matter is: if you enjoy the combination, you can eat anything paired with anything else, and if you are willing to experiment, you can come up with plenty of variety for health and enjoyment that might fall out of the mainstream, but can make your life more enjoyable while on low carb.
I omitted a detailed nutrient profile for this stuff – forgive me:
Net carbs: 10g