Over the past week, I’ve been transitioning into my autoimmune paleo experiment/elimination phase. So far it actually hasn’t been that bad, although for me it does take some getting used to planning to have a meat-based protein at every freakin’ meal.
For the past 30 years, my meat intake has been somewhat limited. At home, my primary protein sources have always been beans, dairy and eggs, with the occasional chicken breast or ground turkey, chicken or fish (and even less frequent ground beef) thrown in. I stopped eating most “big meat” in my late teens, and I really have never made it for myself. For me, “big meat” is reserved for the holidays or for eating out—Thanksgiving turkey or tenderloins or Beef Bourguignon or somesuch for Christmas—and always something that I don’t cook on my own—I usually leave a lot of the big meat cooking to my brother and sister-in-law.
Although I’ve been cooking for years, and I’m pretty good at it if I do say so myself, I’m a novice when it comes to cooking most meat, so this paleo stuff is going to be something new to me and something that pushes my culinary repertoire…
Here is one of the things I’ve experimented with over the past week that turned out pretty well, I think. To get ideas for the Fauxlognese Sauce, I checked out some “No-mato” sauce recipes online. The one below owes much of its inspiration to this recipe that I found on the blog “Shockingly Delicious.” Of course, since I very rarely follow any recipe without making my own tweaks, my version is a bit different. I took the opportunity to make the sauce more of a Bolognese than just a no-mato sauce, adding bacon. I also thought that since this recipe would not contain any actual tomatoes (no nightshades on the autoimmune paleo protocol!), that roasted carrots would add a much deeper flavor than just boiling them. Although it takes a bit of prep to roast the carrots and beet beforehand, I think it’s worth it in the end. And this sauce tastes surprisingly like tomatoes!
1 medium-large beet
½ can pumpkin
3-4 slices bacon, diced
1 large shallot, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
Italian spices (basil, oregano, rosemary)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 ½ -2 cups broth (chicken or beef, bone broth preferred)
- One day prior, roast carrots and beet in 400° degree oven. (For carrots, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on sheet pan—20-30 min. For beet, wrap in tin foil and place on oven rack—approximately 1 hour. Can be done at the same time.).
- Puree carrots, beet and pumpkin in blender. If necessary, add broth to help loosen the puree.
- In sauté pan, fry bacon to desired consistency. Once done, add a 1-2 tbsp. olive oil to the bacon grease, then sauté shallot and celery with the bacon.
- Add spices to onion, celery and bacon mixture and a ¼ cup of broth.
- After onion and celery are soft, add the vegetable puree, balsamic, salt, pepper and as much broth as you want, loosening the sauce to the consistency you desire.
- Warm through. (You may want to avoid boiling the sauce, so that it doesn’t bubble all over!)
Serve over spaghetti squash, with meatballs, sausage or add browned, ground meat to the sauce.
I think you could use this as a base for a lot of different types of fauxmato sauce—pizza sauce, etc. If you wanted to make it an arrabiata, add crushed red pepper. Or if you wanted to make a puttanesca, you could add capers, anchovies or anchovy paste and kalamata olives, maybe leave out the bacon.
There’s a lot you could play with here!