You guys! I've had this post about my dad's visit to Vermont—and the subsequent Middle Eastern feast—in my drafts since November 3, 2015. That was...Read More
Five Paleo Dinners To Cook Next Week #67
I had a pretty big adventure last week!
The headline is: I’m fine, and dehydration is really bad.
I caught some kind of stomach virus last Sunday night/Monday morning, and by midday Monday, I was down for the count. I had an elevated temperature (102.2F), nausea, headache, body aches… the whole schlemiel. I couldn’t even keep water in my tummy, and that leads to Very Bad Things. Like crying and rapid breathing and tingling in the legs and hands. This has happened to me twice before over the last 20 years—and both other times were the same deal: virus, inability to drink anything, trip to the ER for IV fluids.
By about 8:30 p.m., Dave and I accepted that I was not getting any better on my own and that we were going to have an unplanned Adventure Day: Our first trip to the hospital here in Prague. How weird could that be?!
First, we had to get me dressed. I have only hazy memories of picking out a comfy dress (because it was the closest thing to pajamas) and screeching that I wanted my slippers, not my Converse. I also insisted on my pink fleece blanket.
Dave ordered up an Uber, and I managed my way down the stairs of our apartment building. Once we got in the car, I felt massive relief: Soon someone else would be responsible for figuring out how to get some fluids into me.
Our driver spoke no English and dropped us off at the main hospital entrance, not the ER. The hospital is really not like the ones I’d been to in the U.S. Everything was dark and closed up. Where were the floodlights? And the swarm of nurses ready to whisk me away in a wheelchair?
We eventually found an older man in a security booth who spoke no English, but had very pure intentions. He lead us across the dark hospital campus to a blessedly lit-up department. The nurses there spoke English well enough to tell us we were in the wrong place. It was the surgery ward—apparently the guard saw me clutching my stomach and a pink blanket and thought I was having a baby (!?). Anyway, they pointed us in the right direction to get to the ER. Unfortunately, it meant walking back across the campus. Imagine the slowest gait you can—I was shuffling slower than that, whining that I wanted to lie down, clutching my pink blankie.
Out the gate, turn left, down the street, turn right, look for the blue sign… we found it! And another Czech-only security guard who pantomimed to us that we had to ring the bell for service. I laid down on two hard wooden chairs with my blanket under my head while Dave negotiated with a very kind-looking female doctor. I understood every word she was saying! Fluent English. I kept murmuring to myself, “It’s OK. It’s OK. It’s OK.” while literally living the nightmare of finding oneself in a hospital where nothing really makes sense.
Of course, I’m being over-dramatic. The doctor and nurse were very nice, and as soon as I was lying on the exam table, I relaxed. Their hands and questions were so authoratative and kind. I closed my eyes and… WHAT THE HELL?! The nice nurse lifted up my dress and spritzed my torso and arms with cold water. I gotta admit: It was shocking, but it cooled me down almost immediately and I just kinda closed my eyes and drifted while they took care of me.
Three hours later, I’d had medicines to reduce my temperature and nausea, a full bag of luscious IV fluids, and a battery of blood tests to determine that there was nothing more wrong with me than a nasty bug and lack of electrolytes. Pretty much the happiest ending there could be.
And now, a little more than a week later, I’m back to eating normally and feeling great. I went for a run yesteryda! And also, I’m very grateful for food with lots of flavor and color—hence the rainbow foods in this week’s collection of recipes. Wishing you delicious meals and good health.
Dinner Ideas (Whole30 compliant)
Cookup Tips: This tastes even better after a few days in the fridge, so you can make it up to 5 days in advance. It also freezes very well, so think about a double batch. It tastes really great on a bed of Cauliflower Rice; you can turn the head of cauli into rice in advance, then store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it.
Recommended Sides: Mint Chutney!
Cookup Tips: This is the perfect meal for a weeknight if you prep the (super easy) components during your Weekly Cookup. You can make everything in advance and do a quick reheat on the lamb and eggplant when it’s time to eat—or skip the lamb and eat all the elements cold and chopped like a salad.
Recommended Sides: No sides needed!
Cookup Tips: The downside of Breakfast for Dinner is also part of its appeal: you can’t really make eggs in advance, but this dish is ready in a flash! This is super delicious and comforting as all get-out. So save time, you could prep all the ingredients during you Cookup, then cook them just before eating.
Recommended Sides: This tastes really great with Classic Diner-Style Home Fries, Crispy (green) Plantains, and Pan-Fried (yellow) Plantains. You can boil the potatoes and plantains in advance, so when you’re ready to eat, all you need to do is fry ’em up.
Cookup Tips: Meat “dough” can be made 1 day in advance then cooked—or you can cook the meatballs during your Cookup and re-heat just before eating. They’ll stay fresh and tasty for 5-6 days after cooking. They also freeze like champs!
Recommended Sides: Cauliflower Rice is always a good choice—or sauté snow peas in ghee and sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. A salad of butter lettuce, radishes, and cucumbers with Zingy Ginger Dressing would be tasty, too.
Cookup Tips: This taste best when it’s tossed just before eating, but if you wanted to get a jump on it, you could pre-julienne the deli meats. To make this Whole30 compliant, replace the pepperoni and salami with prosciutto and cooked chicken.
Recommended Sides: It’s everything you need in one delicious bowl!
Cookup Tips: Make this during your Cookup and add zing to your meals for weeks! It’s great on the Sabich, of course, but also on a bunless burger, grilled/roasted chicken, and even dolloped on hard-boiled eggs.
Cookup Tips: This can bake in the background while you’re prepping the rest of your Cookup, and you can keep it whole, as pictured, or crush it in a food processor to make “Magic Dust.” I like to sprinkle a little of this on salads to add crunch—or on top of soups like this Sweet Potato or Golden Cauliflower.
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