I committed to the Whole30 program yesterday. It’s basically 30 days of extreme Paleo – you can only eat meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, vinegars, and unprocessed oils. Everything else is just not allowed. I’ve been feeling kind of gross after the big Asia trip and I guess January is as good a time as any to get back on track.
But my other concern with the Paleo diet (or really, just high protein, high fat, low carb) was whether or not it would affordable. Nuts and oils are expensive, and don’t even get me started on free range, grass fed meat.
So I decided I’m not just doing Paleo, I’m doing Paleo on a Budget. Over the next 30 days, I will be posting my meals, recipes, and a complete breakdown of the cost per serving. Keep in mind, these are NYC prices, so a same meal for you could be much less expensive. I shop at my local store, Fresh Direct (free range meat and eggs are much cheaper than my grocery store!), and Vitacost (for nuts, nut butters, oils, vinegars, etc.).
First up, red cabbage chicken stirfry with cauliflower rice! Total costs:
Stuff to buy:
- Red cabbage (I used about 1/3 of a head)
- Cauliflower (I riced the whole damn thing, it was so fun!)
- Chicken breast (I used half a package, the package was about 1.3 pounds)
- Garlic (lots – about 3 cloves for the stirfry and 5-6 more for the cauliflower rice!)
- Some kind of oil (I used coconut oil)
- Some kind of vinegar (I used balsamic and apple cider)
- Spices (I used garlic powder, oregano, and ground ginger liberally and touched it up with paprika and cayenne pepper)
- Spinach (optional)
Stuff to cut:
- Rice the cauliflower!! Cut it up, throw in the food processor! Magic! (more details here)
- Cabbage into strips
- Garlic into tiny, tiny pieces
- Chicken into bite sized pieces
Stuff to cook with:
- One (stirfry if available) pan for the cabbage chicken situation
- One pan to make the garlic cauliflower rice
- A spatula or two (I just used one spatula for both pans)
How to cook the cabbage stirfry:
- Heat up the pan with about a spoonful of oil and throw in about 1/3 of the garlic you cut.
- Once the garlic looks lightly fried, put in the chicken, spice it, and stir it around.
- Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar and two capfuls of apple cider vinegar. Keep stirring until the chicken turns white-ish on the outside.
- Add the cabbage. Add more spices, a few more splashes of the vinegars, and keep stirring it around until it looks wilty.
How to cook the garlic cauliflower rice (it’s even easier!):
- Heat up the pan with about 2 spoonfuls of oil and throw in the rest of the garlic.
- Make sure the garlic is fried until it starts to turn a light brown color.
- Add the riced cauliflower and stir it around until the cauliflower looks a bit see-through. Taste it at that point to see if it’s cooked through, but still has a little bite.
Then I put some raw spinach in a bowl, because why not, and put the rice and stirfry on top of it, and that’s it!