A Little About The Recipe: Paleo Bolognese
This week is the classic bolognese made paleo which just happens to be low in total carbs as well.
I always think of spaghetti bolognese (and it really is bolognese not bolognaise) as one of those recipes. You know those recipes! They are the ones considered easy to make. You can add things in, leave something out, very little can go wrong, and the ingredients are not so expensive. Parents, everywhere, drum these recipes into their kids to prepare for their exit from the family home, be it to their own pad or further education. Finally, alone after around 20 years, Mums and Dads everywhere can sit back. With all their worries, both real and imagined, parents can breathe a sigh of relief that, despite all else, their child can make a few healthy meals for him/herself. The child in question, however, digs around in their pocket to order pizza instead.
Of course, this was all back when we were assured that substances like spaghetti and other kinds of pasta and bread were the epitome of healthy. Now, however, we know better. Does that mean we ditch that ‘healthy’ recipe handed down from parent to child to stave off out-on-their-own hunger? No. Like many made-from-scratch recipes at its core, bolognese is still a healthy meal; we just need to do a bit of tweaking.
Many family bolognese recipes require some alcohol, sometimes white, sometimes red. For paleo, alcohol is out, but the oft used replacement is vinegar, fruit juices or beef stock. For this recipe, I used a combination of vinegar and beef stock. The vinegar gives the same acidity as alcohol, which breaks down the other ingredients and imparts a similar sharp taste, while beef stock gives flavour and juiciness. I used balsamic vinegar here (when using balsamic vinegar, always read the label as manufacturers often add in products containing gluten and sugar), but apple cider vinegar tastes great and, failing that, white vinegar will do the job as well. Each vinegar imparts a mildly different taste which you may or may prefer. The best way is to change it up and see which one you like the best.
Another oft used ingredient is flour. In this recipe, it is directly replaced with almond flour. Adding the almond flour adds just a bit more flavour to the browning of the mince and a bit of thickening to the sauce. It will not be a significant loss to leave it out of the recipe if you wish.
Another substitute, which is absolutely necessary, is the spaghetti. Unless you are a die-hard low-calorie diet follower (are there any left these days?), whichever way you try to look at it, spaghetti just isn’t healthy. Here, I replaced it with courgette noodles (zoodles) for a spaghetti-like texture and appearance.
I Recommend This For: Paleo Bolognese
Paleo bolognese is, as the name suggests, a paleo recipe. At around 18g of total carbs for the full meal, it would also suit those who are a few weeks into the Atkins’ Ongoing diet or the Atkins’ Maintenance phase.
Unfortunately for keto-ians, the net carbs fall at 13.5g. For one meal, I concluded this amount of net carbs was just a little too high to include in I Recommend This’ keto section. However, if you only plan to eat one large meal for the day, or perhaps with a couple of smaller snacks, this would be a good recipe to use and would comply with keto diet guidelines. The decision, as always, is yours.
There are very few recommendations I can make for this recipe. It is a meal in one; putting much else with it would be overdoing it. What I can recommend is alterations to the courgette noodles. Try using Mashed Cauliflower, Simple Fried Cauliflower Rice for other pasta-like recipes or skip them for something completely different. Low Net Carb Chia Bread would dip nicely into the sauce. On the side, a light salad like a Simple Balsamic Salad or Avocado and Red Bell Pepper Salad with Bilberries would be a refreshing addition.
And Here It Is: Paleo Bolognese
- 500 g beef mince (1lb)
- 110 g onion 1 medium
- 65 g carrot 1 medium
- 40 g celery 1 medium stalk
- 400 g tinned tomatoes (15oz can)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 3 rashers bacon (omit the bacon for strict paleo)
- 1 tbsp almond flour
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 450 ml beef mince (2 cups)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp cocoa/cacao powder (raw powder without additives)
- Heat the ghee and the olive oil in a large frying pan at a high heat. (I use number 8)
- Sprinkle the beef mince with the almond flour.
- Add the beef mince to the frying pan. Brown the mince.
- When the mince is ready use a slotted spoon and remove the meat. Stir the balsamic vinegar into the meat, cover and set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium. (I use number 6)
- Finely chop the onion, celery and carrot. (I blitz them altogether through the food processor to save time.) Dice the bacon, if including.
- Add the onion, celery, carrot and bacon to the frying pan.
- Fry for about 15 minutes until the bacon is cooked and the vegetables are soft.
- Add the garlic, beef stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, basil, rosemary and stir in for 10 mins.
- Add the coconut cream and cocoa powder and stir in.
- Cover and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove the cover stir and leave to simmer for a further 30 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve.
A Little About Us: Alex, Carl, Isla and Taran
My birthday came and went with not much changing at all. Another birthday, another lockdown and, unfortunate timing for me, I got hit with a migraine as well. I’ll cross my fingers for a better birthday next year instead.
At least the day before, I completed most of the backyard, the hard part at least, and enough for the kids to play on. The walls were scraped clean, poly-filled, treated and repainted. Had I known it would be such a difficult job, I would have saved for longer and paid for someone else to do it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! Well, now I know, for the next time!
I also had a disaster with the colour we initially chose. It was supposed to be a lovely burnished gold colour. It was called Sienna. Doesn’t this just describe a burnished gold colour? Unfortunately, it turned out to be a bright orange colour. My daughter loved it, my husband and I not so much. Having already bought two large tubs of the stuff, we were left to choose between a bright orange backyard or swallowing the expense and getting more. We swallowed the expense and bought two small tubs of two entirely different colours to trial. I painted small sections with both. I liked them both. Now another dilemma… which one? Not to overly burden myself with more decisions, we have ended up with both and made a two-tone wall instead.
The decking tiles and artificial grass tiles had been purchased from Ikea a few weeks before. Now that they are down in an awesome and spiffy shape, they look fantastic. I really love Ikea stuff. I have heard some rather ‘look-down-the-nose’ opinions from others; everyone has their own likes and dislikes. For our situation, Ikea is a great company to get things from. Their stuff is not too expensive. It’s solid – solid enough to cope with two rambunctious kids. It doesn’t get damaged too easily, and yet it’s cheap enough that we aren’t too devastated if it gets broken. Also, when it is, we know exactly where to go to get more. On top of all that, I really love the Scandinavian boho style Ikea does so well.