Making main dishes isn’t complicated, and the only limit is your imagination! There’s a secret. Start out with fresh, nourishing ingredients that you can mix and match to make delicious main dishes. Use the tips below or follow the recipes for risotto, split pea soup, summer sausage wreath and chickpea flour pizza with a side salad.
Don’t be afraid to improvise. The image to the right is of a lovely baked salmon dish prepared with simple ingredients: basil, blueberries, Brussels sprouts and lemons. As long as you have nutrient-dense fresh food on hand, you can put together a lovely meal.
I once threw together a dish of sausages and sautéed garlic and stinging nettle. We were running low on vegetables on the day I made this dish, and I went to the garden and gathered a basket full of the green leaves, which are packed with minerals such as magnesium and iron, as well as vitamin K.
looking for a great veggie side dish idea? Try my easy and delicious recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with bacon. You’ll win over even non-believers!
Whatever you put on the table, do strive for balance. Aim to include plentiful non-starchy vegetables, some starchy vegetables or grains, animal protein in the form of meat, seafood, eggs, bone broth, cheese, etc. and healthy fats.
Easy grain and rice dishes
Replace ½ or more of the cooking liquid in rice, quinoa, legumes, polenta and other dishes with bone broth. My famous risotto recipe also uses bone broth as a base!
Here’s a tip you can use with all your rice and grain dishes. In Italian cuisine, flavoring a dish begins with the sauté prepared with onions, carrots, celery and other seasonal vegetables such as zucchini. Use high-quality fat to impart vitamins such as A, D, E and K. Let the fragrance of the sautéd vegetables permeate the dish through and through. Add fresh or dried culinary herbs such as thyme, rosemary marjoram, parsley, tarragon or saffron near the end. This adds antioxidants as well as enriching the flavor profile.
How to improvise
The secret to enjoying great meals with virtually no stress is keeping fresh, nutrient-dense foods that are properly sourced. This means that you can easily put together a good meal anytime without much advance planning. Choose your vegetables, you animal protein, your healthy fats and your starchy foods, and you’re good to go! For example, I threw together these skewers with a side of sauerkraut last-minute for lunch on a super-busy day. We then had a slice of gluten-free sourdough topped with extra-virgin olive oil and a thin layer of homemade lentil miso.
Using bone broth as a base for easy main dishes
Melt some ghee, butter, lard, or red palm oil in your pot. Add chopped onion, carrot and celery. Sauté until onions begin to become translucent. Then pour bone broth over the sautéed vegetables, bring to a boil, add unrefined sea salt and chopped seasonal vegetables. Cook until vegetables are ready. Once the soup is warm, add to the individual bowls, in any combination, crème fraiche, sauerkraut/sauerkraut juice/other cultured vegetables, miso paste, etc.
Variation: After bringing bone broth to a boil and salting it, add properly soaked and rinsed lentils, cook for 15 minutes, then add the vegetables.