Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Quick Primal Meal - Bacon, Fried Veggies, and Cheese

Okay, the cheese is cheating a little bit, but not bad considering I'm lactose tolerant and it's good cheese.

So I was doing what I often do when left to my own devices for food (and my mother will remember this one) which is squatting in front of the fridge with the door wide open and staring at the shelves when I realized I have bacon!! I love bacon.  Funny thing, and I'll get to this in a second, a few months ago this meal would have had me ready to vomit (and yet I still love bacon!).

I've been eating a lot of bacon since I started eating Primal, partly to interrupt the ground beef, partly because it's just yummy, and partly because I can't eat an omelet for breakfast.  When I went to the store the first time on my hunt for bacon, I spent a good fifteen minutes checking ingredients.  Meijer has a lot of bacon.  The one I settled on was Wright Brand, originally I bought the Hickory Smoked, now I'm more a fan of the Applewood, and they have nice thick cuts.  All personal preference, really.  But let's look at what's in it, or rather what's it's cured with because really the only thing in it should be pork.  Water, salt, sugar, sodium phosphate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.  All but a couple of other brands that were more expensive had several more chemical ingredientes in the cure that 1) I didn't understand and 2) ironically now I can't find them online to reference them because they "ingredient" in bacon is always, well, bacon.  For the one I bought I wasn't big on the sugar, but then I looked at the nutrition facts.

In two slices there are no sugars, no carbs, 5 grams of protein, and 90 calories.  So I'm wondering how much what it's cured in actually effects the meat content... and I honestly have no idea.  So I looked it up.  Salt has been used to preserve meats for, well, forever basically.  Sugar is apparently added to counter the salt's saltiness, and the other chemicals are found in salt (are we surprised?).  This was an interesting article talking about nitrites, nitrates, and the curing process.  The long and short of it is that the ingredients used to cure bacon are basically safe.  They're in the vegetables we eat, and in moderate amounts they don't do anything harmful.  Here's another article if you have access to JSTOR that has more detail.  Of course, Mark Sisson has also done a post regarding bacon.  Long and short, bacon = good.

So, back to my story.  I wanted bacon, so I took two slices, cut them in half, and stuck them in a fry pan.  As they were frying I had the thought that I should put something green in with it, and lo and behold, my roommate left a half chopped up green pepper and an onion wedge in a baggie, so I cut up a few slices of pepper, sliced the onion wedge up, and threw them in.  I got a plate and pushed the junk off the table so I could eat and saw a bag full of fresh tomatos... so I sliced one up and threw it in too.  By this time the bacon was done.  Of course I had to season the tomato, so enter a little bit of sea salt, paprika, and a few red pepper flakes.  Then I thought of cheese, because I love cheese, and we haven't had it in my apartment for over a week.  While getting the cheese I saw the fresh salad greens and picked out bits of baby spinach and threw them in the fry pan.  By the time I'd cut up the cheese slices, the veggies were done.  Poured a glass of water, and voila, meal done.

I have to say I'm getting pretty good at throwing together random foods that I find on the table or in the fridge.  Emily is better because she knows what spices to use to make them just perfect, but I'm getting there.

Nutrient breakdown:
Two slices of bacon
Calories: 90
Carbs: 0
Protein: 5

Baby spinach (1/2 cup ish?)
Calories: 5
Carbs: less than 1

Onion (small wedge)
Calories: 8
Carbs: 4
Protein: less than 1

Green Pepper (a few small slices)
Calories: 4
Carbs: less than 1

Tomato (a whole one)
Calories: 16
Carbs: 4
Protein: 1

Natural Sharp-Cheddar Cheese
1 inch (ish, actually a little smaller) wedge
Calories: 110
Carbs: 0
Protein: 6

Calories: 233
Carbs: 9
Protein: 13

Not bad in my book, though I could have done better on the protein... by adding another slice of bacon, of course, but the price of a pack of bacon just went from $5 to $7, so I'm being a bit more conservative with it.  Plus, really, I'm not at all hungry.  I'm not stuffed, I don't feel uncomfortable, if I wanted to I could go run around outside and I'd probably feel just fine (this assuming from experience of having run around outside like an idiot after eating a meal quite similar), but I'm not hungry.

What amazes me the most with this meal is that I don't feel nauseous.  Ever since I was in high school my gallbladder has been trying to kill me.  Anything I ate made me feel sick, to the point where I didn't realize my egg allergy was as bad as it was because I could eat a piece of dry toast and want to throw up.  Of course my family has a history of gallbladders going bad (it's that organ that pumps out digestive enzymes after you've eaten, on the right side of your abdomen), so it was pretty easy for the doctor to pinpoint what was wrong.  The tests came out that it was only functioning at (my memory might be off a little with the second number) around 36%, which was what was causing me pain after eating and making me nauseous.  Yeah, that test sucked, and the worst part was the only "fix" available, other than getting it removed, meant eating bland, non-leafy, non-green foods until it decided to settle down. I like spicy stuff!!  And greasy stuff.... and sour stuff, and leafy stuff!  I've spent most of my adult life being nauseous after meals, needless to say.  You get used to it.  This meal wasn't overly spicy, at least to my tastes (I could barely notice the paprika or red pepper, but it wasn't bland, so I imagine someone not used to eating Korean spices and curry might notice it), but it was certainly greasy.  The veggies were fried in the grease from the two slices of bacon, and cheese is just greasy because it's cheese.  Not to mention, I never was able to eat onion or pepper.  I'm eating it all the time now!  If I eat a lot of it, yeah, my gallbladder gets unhappy, but that I can eat it at all, and that I can eat a veggie plate that's basically onion and pepper with a few other veggies thrown in just amazes me.

And hey, headache free today!  I like that best of all (and I even cheated and had a Pepsi Throwback... I know, that was really cheating....). 

I hope that gives some of my readers ideas for easy/lazy meals.  I know how frustrating and, frankly, exhausting it can be to be hungry and staring at a fridge full of food with no idea how to put it all together so it tastes good.  I can only eat so many salads before I get bored, plus, I'm always low on the protein side of things, and by the time you get a salad together with meat, well that's just entirely too involved for me most days.  This probably took all of 5 minutes, definitely no more than 10.

And now it's time for a walk with the pooch before it gets dark.  Until next time. 

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