My week of hospital night shifts is coming to an end, and the anticipation is driving me batty. Fortunately for me – but not so much for the patients, I suppose – the medication orders have been coming in at a steady clip, so my nights are speeding by.

While doling out drugs in the middle of the night, I took a breather to down some leftover sous vide sirloin roast, cauliflower purée, heirloom tomato salad, and roasted broccoli.

At daybreak, I made like a banana and split. Wakka-wakka-wakka! Thank YOU, thank YOU, and thank YYYYOU!! I’ll be here all week, folks.

When I walked through the door, all three of my guys were mopey and complaining of congestion and sore throats. “It feels like there’s a knife in here,” Lil-O croaked, pointing to his neck.

Uh, oh.

The Double-Os were issued a staycation from school, and I immediately rummaged through our freezer for chicken skeletons to make a speedy pressure cooker bone broth.

I’d planned to go to the Women’s Class at CrossFit Palo Alto this morning (seriously: I was even wearing my workout clothes under my hospital scrubs like I was some sort of secret superhero), but this put a wrinkle in my plans. Being Dr. Mom meant getting less sleep, so I was doubly glad that I’d slow-cooked  Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs overnight. 

While I waited for the short ribs to cool and the cooked bone broth to de-pressurize, the little guys and I cuddled under blankets on the couch – all of us dressed in pajamas.

By the time my in-laws arrived to watch the kids, the ribs were cool enough to store in the fridge and the chicken broth was ready to be strained. I ladled two bowls for the Double-Os…

…and filled a thermos for Henry to nurse at work.

It was definitely waaay past my bedtime by the time I finally hit the sheets, and I only managed a few winks. Again, I was thankful that dinner preparation would be quick and easy. All I had to do was reheat the short ribs in a pot on the stove…

…garnish the stew with minced Italian parsley…

…sauté baby kale in butter with Red Boat Fish Sauce and bone broth

…and fry some pressure cooker crispy potatoes.

No, your eyes don’t deceive you. I cooked a bag of spuds that came in my CSA box and served them to my family. I. MADE. POTATOES.

“But…but…but…potatoes aren’t Paleo!”

Well, it depends on what you’re talking about when you say “Paleo.” There is, after all, no such thing as one definitive Paleo diet. Potatoes may not have been available to cavemen, but I really don’t care. (Besides, it’s not like our prehistoric ancestors snacked on dark chocolate bars, either.)

My personal template for Paleo eating focuses on nutrient-packed whole foods that don’t hurt me, and for me, potatoes fall into that category. After checking out Bill and Hayley’s post on the Paleosity of potatoes and listening to the safe starch debate and Mat Lalonde’s talk about nutrient density at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium (at which Mat pointed out that peeled potatoes are actually more nutrient dense than sweet potatoes, save for the beta-carotene in the latter), I’ve decided that an occasional portion of peeled potatoes are a-OK on my plate.

It’s not like I’ll be gorging on spuds, and I’m not giving you license to inhale endless bags of potato chips or French fries. But I do have a soft spot for starchy spuds. Even though my late (curmudgeonly) grandpa and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye, he and I always bonded over our shared love for meat and potatoes.

(Don’t hate. If you’re on a Whole30® program (or something similar), trying to shed body fat on a super-low-carb kind of deal, or if you just don’t like potatoes, feel free to do your own thing. Do what works for you. If potatoes are verboten, make some cauliflower mashed fauxtatoes or a big plate of bacon or something.)


And then it was time to get ready for another graveyard shift in the ICU. After all, drugs don’t deal themselves.

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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