With our trip to the snow-capped Rockies already receding into memory, I find myself reminiscing about it with the same fondness I feel for the one and only season of Freaks and Geeks. (I’d be such a proud mama if the Double-Os grew up to be Asian Sam Weirs.) Oh, well. Back to reality.

Since returning from Colorado, I’ve been making up for lost time in the kitchen. I hadn’t veered off-course too badly on this trip, but I’d experienced a bit of GI upset that I wanted to remedy with some clean eats. No, I’m not embarking on a full-blown Whole30 like Mel or a coffee-free protocol like Holly, but I did dial in my chow for a few days. I simmered steaming pots of meaty bone broth and chocolate chili, roasted a tray of sweet potatoes, and filled up my defrost bowl with meaty surprises from the freezer.

The payoff? I was Well Fed (punny!) on my first night back at the hospital after diving into a LunchBots Thermal filled with chocolate chili-topped microwaved spaghetti squash.

In the morning,  I put on my chauffeur cap and shuttled Big-O to school and Lil-O to gymnastics before coming home to pass out ‘til dinnertime.

Like a vampire, I skulked out of the bedroom after the sun dipped below the horizon, and headed to the kitchen to suck blood make dinner. When I’m groggy, I have to keep my dinner plans simple. I roasted a tray of green beans…

…coated with coconut oil, Red Boat Fish Sauce, and freshly ground pepper…

…and threw together some Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice using chopped-up dregs from my fridge. 

For the “rice,” I sliced the florets off a head of cauliflower…

…pulsed them in batches in the trusty Cuisinart

…and set the bowl of “rice” aside.

As I waited for the coconut oil to melt in my cast iron skillet, I diced half an onion….

…and sliced a handful of mushrooms.

I whisked four eggs with pepper and fish sauce…

…and ladled it into my cast iron griddle to make thin omelets.

Then, I dumped the onions…


…and garlic into the skillet to soften.

I added the mushrooms…

…and dumped in the cauliflower once the ‘shrooms were cooked through.

I seasoned the rice liberally with coconut aminos and (more!) fish sauce before covering the skillet with a lid to allow the veggies to steam.

Once the cauliflower was cooked al dente, I added some thawed leftover carnitas (emergency protein from the freezer!)…


…minced cilantro and scallions…

…and the egg omelets, cut into ribbons.

When the rice was ready, I plated the roasted green beans…

…and liberally dressed ’em with balsamic vinegar.

Not too shabby for a garbage meal.*

After putting the kids to bed, I rifled through mail and found a shiny gift addressed to moi from Sarah at Fashletics:

I’m gonna wear this necklace proudly all the time. Like a boss. That way, if I get lost at the mall, someone will be able to Google “Nom Nom Paleo” and figure out how to contact my mommy.

*Garbage Meal: gar·bage meal ˈgär-bij·ˈmēl a portion of food made from ingredients that would otherwise be discarded

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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