I love salads and they really are my first choice for warm weather meals. This was my first attempt at a chicken salad with mayo since I usually don't use it and prefer simpler seasonings. I had gotten a Primal Kitchen avocado mayo to try out so I decided to use it and it really came out perfectly balanced and not overpowering, as I thought it would be with regular mayo.
I chose Boston living lettuce leaves because they are big and sturdy enough to hold the salad, in case you really want to ditch the fork and eat it like a taco! It's a pretty portable meal either way - carry it in a glass container and enjoy a fresh burst of flavors and textures either eating with a fork or getting adventurous and grabbing your lettuce taco by hand!
This was done as a Whole30 meal, hence the brand of marinade I used, but you can always choose another brand or make your own marinade if you're not following this specific food elimination program. Either way this step of marinating the meat you'll make for a super tasty chicken that will, in itself, elevate this simple chicken salad to the next level. There is nothing worse than plain, boring chicken breast meat, right?!
I hope you get to try this because it is delicious, simple and easy to make. It's a perfect meal for summer days and if you choose to carry it out don't forget to pack some ice packs around your container to make sure that everything stays safe on warm weather days.
The textures and falvors go perfectly together and the crunchiness from the celery is the perfect complement for the creamy mayo and the sweet grapes.
What a perfect flavor/texture combo!
Write down your grocery shopping list and get this recipe on this week's menu for the whole family!
Boston living lettuce leaves (trimmed and thoroughly washed)
1 lb chicken breast
1/3 bottle of "The Primal Kitchen" classic marinade or cooking sauce
3 small celery sticks
1 tsp garlic powder
1 + 1/2 cup seedless grapes
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup Primal Kitchen avocado mayo (you can substitute for your favorite brand)
salt, pepper at taste
1 Tbsp olive oil (to cook the chicken)
1 - Start by marinating the chicken in "The New Primal Kitchen" classic marinade and cooking sauce. If you're using whole chicken breasts, like I did, cut them in smaller bite-sized portions and place them in a glass container, covering with the marinade so that the whole chicken gets covered. Close the lid and keep in the fridge for about 2 hours. Alternatively you can buy the chicken strips instead of the whole breast in order to save some time with the prepping.
2 - Grill the chicken in some olive oil, adding the rest of the marinade as you go. Reserve the cooked chicken in a bowl, letting it cool down completely in order to start making the salad. You can also do this two first steps a day ahead so you can have everything ready to go when you want to make your salad.
3 - Peel and shred the carrot, wash and roughly chop the celery, adding them to a big bowl where you're going to build your salad and mix all the ingredients. Add the cooled chicken pieces.
4 - Wash the seedless grapes, pat them dry and cut them in half. Add these to the salad bowl with the walnuts. Add the mayo to the bowl and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and freshly chopped dill. Mix everything together and taste it so you can see if you need to make any adjustments at this time.
5 - Platting - I love serving salads like this over lettuce leaves and I used Boston living lettuce because of its broad and large leaves which are perfect for this! Serve the salad on a plate, over the lettuce leaves.
I also prepared the rest of the salad in glass meal prep containers so I could have extra meals prepared and ready to grab and go. There's nothing like meal prep to make you feel prepared for a healthy and pretty good tasting week of meals!
In this particular case I ended up sharing my chicken salad with some friends.
I mean, it's one of the things that makes me feel better - to share what I cook with others and see their reaction. My love for food is closely tied too my love for sharing my passion for cooking and healthy habits so the best thing to do is to share!
This is an example of a very simple meal and, of course, you can always add some other ingredients that you fancy or use other seasonings. From the basic recipe build up your chicken salad and make a super refreshing meal to your whole family over this next week!
.Breakfast! The first meal of the day and, as many say, the most important one. After having been without food for a considerable number of hours our body needs nutritious biological fuel to start waking up our metabolism and to give us energy to kick start a new day with a positive mindset.
While I was on the whole30 I had to rethink my idea of "breakfast". It was no longer the meal filled with cereal, bread or milk to what I had been accustomed to. For me it was relatively easy to change my perspective and try to face this meal as any meal out of the other two I would have during the day - it was a meal that, according to the whole30 plate template, would necessarily have to include protein, vegetables, a plated healthy fat and the occasional piece of fruit.
The first instinct is to choose eggs and, believe me, I LOVE eggs!
Having a couple of beautiful, organic, deep orange yolked eggs in my plate seems like the perfect start to any weekday! But the idea of having the same thing everyday, over and over again, can become really old and give room to "food boredom" which is one of my worst enemies! It makes me feel like I no longer enjoy food and while I do eat healthy and try to always make good choices I love a filled plate of gorgeous food for breakfast as you've probably noticed if you have read any of my food journals, like this one: whole30-week-2-food-journal.html.
A lot of people who I talk to come to me with the same question:
What can I have for breakfast that doesn't include eggs? I can't stand eggs anymore!
Well, the quick answer is to tell you that you can have ANYTHING for breakfast, it doesn't have to be eggs!
I used to have leftovers from dinner or lunch from the previous day but I know that ii's also good to have some "recipes" that you can get into your Sunday meal prep and feel more organized during the week, just in case you end up with no leftovers from your meals.
The last thing you want if you're doing a whole30 round is find yourself unprepared and with no compliant options. Having to grab something quick that may not be satiating enough might lead to mindless snacking or poor choices which is precisely what we want to avoid during this reset program.
So, I came up with a bunch of links to delicious and mouth watering breakfast options that don't include eggs. Enjoy and take a look at these delicious and colorful suggestions to start your day right and full of nutritious food!
1. Sweet potato skillet, by "Confessions of a Clean Foodie"
Credit: Confessions of a Clean Foodie
I've been following this blog for a while as well as the author's Instagram account and I am a confessed huge fan!
I so identify myself with her values and her looks on healthy food and eating clean. You will need a spiralizer for this recipe but if you haven't bought one already it's the perfect time to do it! It's one of the kitchen tools I use the most and makes including veggies into your meals even more easy and practical. Zoodles are a favorite of mine and I'm getting the kids on board too, sometimes I'm switching pasta by zoodles and everyone loves it.
It's a super easy recipe that gets everything in the same pan which is perfect - one utensil to clean up and I'm pretty happy about it! You can prepare this over the weekend and even double the recipe, depending on the number of people who you're cooking to and then keep it refrigerated to use as you go.
2. Spinach, mushroom and cherry tomato fry up, by "Eat Drink Paleo"
Credit: Eat Drink Paleo
This is a combo that I love! Spinach and mushrooms really do belong together and I'll try to add the tomatoes next time I do something like this because it looks absolutely stunning! You can always add some more veggies, if you like, and add a piece of fruit like an apple with almond butter for the platted fat.
3. Kale, sausage and pepper skillet, by "Primal Gourmet"
Credit: Primal Gourmet
Just take a look at those sausages? Doesn't that make you want to have a full plate of wholesome food for breakfast?! Sausage and peppers are a great combo and pairing them up with some leafy greens is perfect to get part of your daily dose of vegetables in the first part of the day.
I would definitely add some chopped avocado on top for extra creaminess!
4. Whole30 breakfast hash, by "Tasty Thin"
Credit: Tasy Thin
This kind of breakfast hash is the most common option and useful one if you have a lot of veggies and root vegetables that you want to cook up in just one skillet. Add your protein, choose your favorite healthy fat and finish with a small piece of fruit.
Adding different colored veggies makes it fun to the kids to get involved in the cooking process and in trying new flavors!
5. Breakfast Pot Pie, by "The Castaway Kitchen"
Credit: The Castaway Kitchen
I did not know about this recipe when I was still on my round but now that I've found it I will absolutely make it because it looks absolutely delicious and comforting! This is another blog that I follow, mainly through Instagram, and it's always a source of inspiration and excellent healthy recipes and ideas.
It is a bit elaborate and you have to make the cashew or the cauliflower cream (see notes by the author) but I bet it's absolutely worth it!
Once again, you can always prep ahead and have this done for the week.
It's just a matter of organization and meal prep!
6. Paleo Bison Plantain Breakfast Bowl, by "Fed+Fit"
I love breakfast bowls!
In fact, I tend to prefer eating from a bowl than from a plate...since finishing my whole30 round I notice that I eat less and the size of a regular bowl is perfect for a meal, at least for myself. My husband would take two bowls, for sure!
As for the meat you can use whatever compliant ground meat you have available and substitute the bison.
It really looks yummy and makes you feel hungry just by looking at the picture, right?!
7. Zucchini and sweet potato latkes, by "I Breath I'm Hungry"
Credit: "I Breath I'm Hungry"
I know, I know! When you click on the link and start reading through the recipe you see an EGG on top of the latkes! Forget about the egg, since we're on a egg-free recipe journey and substitute it with another protein of your choice. Smoked salmon would work perfectly here alongside with some fresh and peppery arugula.
Doesn't that sound better?
Usually we think sausage, bacon, ground meat but forget about the smoked salmon and it is such a perfect protein source.
Just give it a try and you might be surprised!
8. Butternut squash breakfast sausage, by "Real Food with Dana"
Credit: "Real Food with Dana"
I love combining fruit with meat and this combo just looks perfect for a breakfast dish!
Add some grilled or sauteed veggies from your Sunday meal prep (yes, I'll keep insisting on meal prep because that is ESSENTIAL to make you stay on track and always have healthy options available!).
Particularly apples work great with turkey or chicken and give that sweet/sour contrast that goes perfectly with the meat flavors.
I love Dana's recipes and views on whole30 and she is also another blogger that I follow and admire.
9. Collard green wraps, by "The Castaway Kitchen"
Credit: The Castaway Kitchen
Wraps are a great option, either for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
They are also very versatile because you can really utilize whatever ingredients you have on hand and it's also the perfect use for those "cleaning fridge" days - whatever vegetables you have left, grilled chicken or salmon, just throw everything together and make it a wrap!
Also, I've seen a lot of collard greens wraps made with the raw leaves and it always seemed kind of hard to assemble that way: getting them in boiling water and cooling them sown afterwards seems like the perfect solution.
10. Egg-free paleo breakfast bowls, by "Simone Miller's Zenbelly"
Credit: Simone Miller's Zenbelly
This bowls are so easy to put together and it's one of those recipes that you can make them your own by replacing some of the veggies by the ones you have sitting in the fridge before they go bad!
Use different proteins and seasonings to have variety do you don't get stuck with the same breakfast every day for a week.
Stay away from food boredom!
11. Yam, celery root and bacon hash, by "Rubies and Radishes"
Credit: Rubies and Radishes
I love skillet meals!
I don't know what it is that fascinates me but a round pan filled with good veggies and tasty bacon sounds like the perfect breakfast option right now!
Just make sure to choose a whole30 compliant no-sugar bacon to stay on program.
I love green veggies so I would definitely add some chopped kale or Swiss chard to this beautiful root vegetable skillet!
12. Mango chicken breakfast sausage, by "HeartBeetKitchen"
Making your own breakfast sausages is a great Sunday meal prep idea!
Aside from the fact that you can add your own seasonings and add-ons, you can also double batch and freeze the patties so you can use them as you need them!
This sound absolutely delicious with the diced mango and simple ingredients.
Have them in the morning with a salad and 1/2 avocado for the healthy plated fat portion.
13. Sausage and sweet potato Paleo egg-free breakfast, by "Paleo Bailey"
Credit: Paleo Bailey
Another great skillet meal and this comes with the suggested plated fat, avocado!
That creaminess from the avocado with the richness of the sausage and the freshness of the green onions seems like the perfect combo!
Give this a try and you'll be surprised at how easy this recipe is and how tasty your mornings can become.
Get this all prepped on Sunday and reheat during the week.
14. Sausage and cabbage, by "Life Made Full"
Credit: "Life Made Full"
Is there anyone who doesn't like sausage and cabbage?
t's such a comforting dish!
Just make sure to use compliant sausage and serve this up with some cheery tomatoes and olives!
A different but truly indulgent way to start any day!
15. Pumpkin breakfast apple bake, by "Wholesomelicious"
This recipe is last on the list for a specific reason.
We all know that whole30 discourages the recreation of baked goods and I can see that this looks just like one of those cases. I also know that, sometimes, we just really need something different to get through another day and it's just not about giving into the sugar dragon, it's about needing to have something different that day or something that it's more convenient to eat on the go.
It's funny how I've discovered this recipe. Actually I didn't!
Through my whole30 I met someone on the Facebook group and we went on helping each other out and supporting each other through our journey.
When I went through my first gum surgery I was really demoralized during my post-op weeks and was so fed up with soups, smoothies (I had to take them because of my restricted soft food diet - even though discouraged if they are compliant it's still a whole30) and scrambled eggs that I really didn't feel like eating...at all!
So, my friend sent me the link to this recipe and I did it with shredded apples and no nuts because of my post-op restrictions. I can only tell you that this was a life saver for my 8 weeks of restricted soft food diet and I think it might help other people that are also looking for alternatives for whatever reason that may be.
I hope everyone finds these suggestions helpful and I would love to know if you tried to cook some of them at home.
Don't forget that whether you are doing a whole30 or not, MEAL PREP is essential for a healthy diet and allows you to make the right choices for yourself and for your whole family.
Spending a couple of hours on Sunday cooking up for the majority of the rest of the week may also free you up from that daily stress of figuring out what to cook!
If you are struggling with this issue go back to my blog post about meal prep, here, and read it thoroughly so you can get into the right mindset.
Also, the post about whole30 essentials is a must for anyone starting a whole30, just to get the basics of the program. You can look it up here.
Let me know if there's anything you would like to see posted here on the blog and keep me on your saved links because sharing is caring and we can all use some advice from one another.
Any questions you may have just drop me an email or comment on this post!
I've been wanting to try the Virgin Bay Seafood Co. salmon burger since the moment I got it! With the gum surgeries recovery time it got hard to try new recipes with the products I had but now that I can eat everything again I'm getting to try some new and delicious recipes and sharing them with all of you once more!
I had two 1 lb packages of salmon meat to use and I decided to make salmon cakes.
A very simple and easy recipe that you can whip up with wholesome ingredients that only bring out the natural flavor of the salmon, which is the star of the dish. It was done as a Whole30 meal because I've become accustomed to using only natural foods and condiments - it really makes cooking such an easy and fun activity!
Just choose some tasty seasonings, add some fresh herbs and I assure you you'll have a pretty tasty and nutritious meal for yourself and for your family!
I cooked the cakes in some avocado oil on a ceramic pan and I got them with a nice golden crunchy crust! I first cooked the plain salmon cakes which I did for the kids, since they don't fancy peppers, and then I cooked the pepper salmon cakes which got so yummy with that brown and tasty outside coating!
This is the perfect recipe for a relaxed weekday dinner - you can prep everything ahead of time and then freeze the cakes/patties to have them on hand and cook them whenever you need to!
I used my Tupperware accessory that I bought when I was still living in Portugal. It's funny because I bought it to make homemade hamburgers but just used them once for that specific purpose!
Now that I remembered to pick it up for this salmon recipe I'll use it again for sure.
It is super practical and it allows me to freeze up to 5 individual portions; I can then take and cook portions as I go and leave the others in the freezer.
Convenience at its best!
As I've mentioned before, I did two variations of the salmon cakes: one plain (just with the salmon meat, almond flour and seasonings such as salt, pepper and garlic powder) and the other with peppers which turned out really flavorful and aromatic.
It's a very costumizable recipe too because you can really add any ingredient, seasoning or fresh herb you prefer!
In cooking these kind of dishes there are no rights or wrongs!
Just pick your flavors and start making your own salmon cakes recipe!
Also, I used a package of frozen rainbow peppers because I had it in the freezer but it's perfectly fine to use fresh peppers, just use whatever you've got available.
I always try to make sure that I have, at least, four different varieties of frozen vegetables in the freezer to make sure that I don't run out of veggie options. Some Whole30 habits remain forever and I consider them a plus!
2 lbs salmon meat (I used the Virgin Bay Seafood Co. which you can find here)
juice of 1 lime
fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley)
6 Tbsp almond flour
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 small package of rainbow peppers
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp olive oil
Avocado oil to cook the salmon cakes (about 1 Tbsp should be enough)
1 - Start by defrosting the salmon meat and the pepper mix overnight in the fridge.
2 - Prepare the pepper mix for the pepper salmon cakes. Cook the sliced onion in a pan with olive oil and when it gets softened add the strained rainbow peppers trying to remove as much of the water as possible to prevent the mix to become soggy in the pan. I did this by pressing the peppers though a mesh sieve and pressing a bit to remove all the excess liquid. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and let the vegetables cook for about 10-15 minutes or until they start to get a brownish color which means that their flavor is really coming out and they're ready.
3 - Reserve the pepper mix on a plate and let it cool to start making the salmon cakes.
4 - Place the salmon meat on a bowl and season with salt, garlic powder and the freshly chopped herbs. Separate into two smaller bowls, one for the plain cakes and one for the pepper ones.
5 - Add 3 Tbsp of almond flour to the salmon meat and form balls using your hands. If you see that the mix is too wet add a bit more of almond flour until you can form the balls and they retain the shape. Place them on a plate and flatten them a bit. Reserve.
6 - Place the pepper mix on a chopping board and using a sharp knife cut them pretty finely or at your desired size. Don't over chop to prevent excess liquid. Add the peppers and the lime juice to the salmon meat and add 3 Tbsp of almond flour adjusting this amount, if needed. I also added some extra red pepper flakes to this ones because I just love a bit of heat on my salmon!
7 - First I filled my Tupperware containers with these salmon mix and pressed down on each compartment to make sure that I would have well defined patties. I used a small spoon to make sure that I was able to press down every single bit of salmon mix. With the rest of the salmon mix I formed small balls and did exactly like I had done with the plain salmon patties.
After having these perfectly shaped and pressed down I pilled them up on top of each other and finished with the plastic lid to seal them up. Ready for the freezer!
8 - To cook the salmon cakes heat up some olive oil in a non-stick pan and place them on medium heat until they're cooked on one side which takes about 3 minutes and flip them over to finish cooking on the other side. The cooking time will also depend on the thickness of the patties, the thinner they are the faster they'll cook up. Don't overfill the pan to make sure that the temperature stays pretty constant.
9 - Remove the cooked salmon cakes from the pan, add some more olive oil, if needed, and continue cooking all your salmon cakes.
10 - Serve the salmon cakes with grilled veggies or a fresh and colorful salad and enjoy! A bit of lime juice on top is also perfect for a final touch of freshness.
This delicious meal pictured below was amazingly refreshing on a warm spring day! Coleslaw with roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, roasted garlic sauerkraut and an amazing and quite spicy pepper salmon cake!
And you know what the best part of all this is?
I have four more delicious salmon cakes in the freezer for a lazy day when I don't feel like cooking but still want to have a healthy and satisfying meal.
What about you? Do you like salmon?
What are your favorite ways to cook it up and serve it at your house?
I've got this thing with butternut squash - I love it when it's cooked by me but whenever I ask for it when I'm eating out it seems to never come out quiet as good! I do love to play with different flavors and textures and I think that's what so amazing about cooking - you can always try something out of the ordinary, think outside the box: in most cases it works out pretty darn well!
This was a side dish that I tried while I was still on my Whole30. It goes perfectly well with meat, either grilled or roasted and, as a plus, the kids had the apples and walnuts as a dessert and it was a hit! They are not fans of squash but they tried it, as I always make sure they do every time I cook up something new and different. It's extremely important to expose them to all kinds of foods and ingredients and they will only know if they like it by trying it, right?
1 butternut squash
5 medium apples
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
1 - Preheat the oven to 450 F.
2 - Start by preparing the butternut squash: cut it in half with a well sharped knife. Peel the squash and hollow the inside of each half and discard the seeds. Put the squash in a baking tray and cut some deep cuts (not going all the way through) like seen in the pictures. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and finish with the freshly chopped parsley.
3 - Evenly distribute the olive oil between the two squash halves. I use the spray bottle which makes it a lot easier to control the amount of fat I'm using in my cooking. It''s my usual way of getting the fat in my roasted veggies too, the spray is wonderful and you won't get too much fat in your cooking.
4 - Prepare the apple mix: wash the apples and cut them in quarters. Take off the seeds and stems and cut in big chunks or slices, whichever you prefer. Place the apples in a bowl and drizzle the lemon juice to help prevent the oxidation on the apple. Add the cinnamon and the chopped pecans and mix everything really well.
5 - Place the apple mix on the baking tray alongside the squash and bake for about 35 minutes or until the butternut squash gets golden as well as the apples. Don't cut the apples in small pieces or you'll end up with burnt apples! Not good!
As you can see, this recipe is extremely simple and can serve as a side for so many dishes or as an add-on to a simple salad and turn it into something completely different! If you're not doing a Whole30 round you can also drizzle some honey right at the end of the cooking time to give it a sweet natural touch and it'll turn out perfect too!
Next time I'll add some more nuts and apples to make sure that I have enough to eat this as a side and to have enough dessert for my kids! They went through this like crazy - better have the sweet tooth satisfied with some fruit and nuts than with some high sugar candy, right?
Since wrapping up my first Whole30 I found out several things about the effect that different foods have on me. I found out, among other things, that gluten IS the trigger to my migraines: I used to have 2-3 each week and I'm down to one a month which is amazing! This discovery allowed me to change the way I eat in order to control something that was really disturbing and disruptive to my daily life.
Coincidentally, I was contacted by Cappello's brand to whip up some recipes with their gluten-free products! They offer a great range of product, from pizza to pasta and cookie dough. Guess I won't be missing anything on my gluten-free diet! I decided to start with the gluten-free gnocchi because I've always wanted to try them but ended up never doing it. I can only say one thing: PERFECT!
This little golden clouds of puffiness were an absolute delightful meal, paired with roasted veggies that have now a precious place in my daily food routine. Getting them cooked and then crispy by sauteing them in garlic ghee was the perfect choice and resulted in a crunchy outside and a soft and creamy inside - I'm serious, you must try these gnocchi!
Ingredients (3 servings):
1 package of Capello’s gluten-free gnocchi
1 acorn squash
½ butternut squash
4 leaves of Lacinato kale
15 fresh wild-caught shrimp
Salt, pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp new bae seasoning (I used the Primal Palate one)
1 tbsp garlic ghee (I used the 4th and Heart one)
1 – The first thing to do is to start on roasting the veggies. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2 - Wash the acorn squash and cut it in half, remove the seeds and cut thin slices. Peel the butternut squash and dice it finely.
3 – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spray some olive oil on it and place the veggies on top. Season with a bit more olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and the fresh thyme leaves. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the veggies are cooked (time may vary according to the oven). Midway through the cooking time toss the veggies around so they get evenly cooked on both sides.
4 – Now, start working on those beautiful gnocchi. Get a big pan, fill it with filtered water and take it to a boil. When the water is boiling add the gnocchi and keep moving them around every 30 seconds or so, just like recommended in the package. When the gnocchi float that’s when you know they’re cooked through!
5 – Melt the garlic ghee on a pan and add the strained gnocchi. Let them brown and get the taste from the garlic ghee which is amazing! This process takes about 6-8 minutes but make sure to keep shaking the gnocchi around the pan, so they get brown all over – this step will give a wonderful crispiness that goes amazingly well with the creaminess of the inside of the gnocchi!
6 – When the gnocchi are golden remove them from the pan and cook the shredded kale for about 4 minutes, just enough time to get it flavored but not soggy. Add the gnocchi back to the pan. Turn the heat off.
7 – The last thing to do is to cook the shrimp. Season them with new bae seasoning and just grilled them on a bit of olive oil for just a couple of minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and reserve to drain any liquid that may come off.
8 – Assemble your dish: add the butternut squash to the pan where you have the gnocchi with the kale and plate each serving on a single serve dish. Add the acorn squash and the shrimp and that’s it! A feast for the yes and for the taste buds!
I can't wait to try the other products by this brand! As I'm writing this blog post I'm having another 6 weeks of soft food diet due to a second gum surgery that I had done. It's always boring to be limited to soups, smoothies, scrambled eggs, mashed banana, apple sauce and steamed fish but...it's necessary! Can't wait too get back to solid food and start creating delicious meals again!
In the meantime I have some tasty suggestions that I've cooked these past few weeks and that I want to share with all of you. Stay tuned for another great recipe on Thursday!
If you follow my Instagram account you know that a lot has happened between my last blog post and now!
I had laser gum surgery done on my left side gums (upper and lower) which has limited my meal options a lot in these last 4 weeks. I was on a restricted soft food diet until last week, when I got the OK from my periodontist to get on with "regular" food, but only chewing on the right side of my mouth. Well, I'll take an upgrade from a bad situation any chance I get and this was the perfect opportunity to start trying out new recipes at home and share them on the blog, again!
At the same time, I'm still on my Whole30 journey and I'm now on the reintroduction phase. I've tried dairy, legumes and non-gluten grains and, as soon as I finish that phase, I'll write everything down on a detailed blog post with all my conclusions including if I got to find out about the foods that trigger my migraines which was, after all, the reason to start the whole process!
The recipe I'm sharing today was the last one I got to cook before I got my surgery. As some of you know I got some amazing wild caught Alaskan fish from Virgin Bay Seafood Co. and I've been thinking about it all through this period when I couldn't eat proper food, as I call it! I chose some amazing halibut portions and I cooked them in the oven with some rainbow carrots and broccoli...what can I say? When you have prime ingredients the best thing to do is keep it simple and let the fish shine on its own...and did it shine!
The texture of the halibut was firm and the taste was surprisingly fresh and delicate. I didn't want to overpower it with other flavors and it turned out perfect. If you get a chance, take a look at the company's website and check out the offers in terms of package so you can get your hands on some marvelous wild caught fish from Alaska. I can't wait to try their salmon!
One thing is certain: there really is a huge difference in taste and texture between farmed fish and wild caught fish. Of course the price you pay to get it is higher, as it should, because the superior quality has costs and they are really well known by all of us. The real question is: would you rather pay more for healthier and tastier fish or for healthcare and medicines when the quality of what you eat shows up in some sick and unpleasant way? I choose healthy for me and for my family and I've been trying to improve our food choices in order to improve our health and general well being as well as paying attention to sustainable options that lower the impact that we have on our planet. It is ours to keep safe and protected.
1 - Preheat the oven on 400 F. Peel the onion and slice it in thick slices. Saute them in olive oil and add the garlic and the bay leaf. Season with the jerk seasoning and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to get brownish. Arrange the onion on the bottom of the baking sheet, in the center so it can be shielded from the heat of the oven, by the fish.
2 - Place the halibut portions in the center of the baking sheet and arrange the carrots around it. Wash the broccoli crown and cut off the florets to distribute them alongside the carrots. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and lemon juice. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil on the vegetables and arrange the lemon slices by the fish. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley and bake it in the oven for about 25 minutes, keeping an eye on it.
3 - When the fish is ready turn off the oven and take the baking sheet out, not to overcook the fish. Boil the eggs and peel them to serve alongside with the fish and the vegetables.
This was a perfectly healthy and delicious dinner for the whole family!
The kids love fish and if you add eggs to it it's like "the best meal ever"! Isn't it rewarding to hear something like that from them when they're 7 and 9 years old? Teaching them how and what to eat has become another task as a mom and I'm taking it very personally; getting children on the path of healthy food it's an investment in their future health and teaching them things like reading ingredient labels and identifying unhealthy options really is looking out for them.
I'm proud to be an interested mind and I hope to influence my kids' decisions in terms of foods, for as long as they let me! I hope that by the time they start making their own decisions, eating outside, they'll have the tools and information to make the right choices and to practice a balanced diet with real food!
Last week was Valentine's Day and my husband was away, all week, travelling for work. I don't mind him traveling but the fact is that I usually try to cook a special, and somewhat different meal, on this day. Even though I was alone this year I decided to go ahead and get creative, maintaining the Whole30 approach. I'm on day 24, today, and I feel great - excited, energized and calm!
Salads are always a great option for lunch ad I decided to play a bit with a very common theme - surf and turf! I had this amazing beef strip steak, from Verde Farms that I wanted to use and some leftover frozen shrimp, from my fish and seafood soup with coconut cream, which you can find here. Every time I think of that soup I make a personal note to cook it again...it's just so good!
So, I'll leave you a very colorful and scrumptious recipe for a romantic lunch or dinner, any day of the year. I really feel like you don't have to label things or foods - eat food that makes you happy and celebrate each day with a positive attitude and mindset!
The set of spices I use from Primal Palate is the one on the link below and I've been using them almost everyday in meat and fish dishes and to give my roasted veggies a different and exciting flavor! Try them yourself and let me know what dishes you cooked with them!
1 - Start by getting your shrimp defrosted by running them under cold water or, even better, get them on the fridge to defrost overnight.
2 - Get your veggies ready - wash and cut the romaine lettuce in big boat shaped leaves, wash the radish, cut out the ends and cut it in very thin slices.
3 - Wash the cherry tomatoes and reserve.
4 - Peel the mango and cut each half in very thin slices but not all the way through, so you can open them up like in the pictures!
5 - Heat some avocado oil in a pan to cook the plantain. Peel the plantain an cut in slices. Cook each slice about 2 minutes on each side. Reserve on a plate until the time to assemble the salad.
6 - Heat the grill on the stove top and spray with avocado oil. When the grill is hot put the steak on the grill and season the upper side with the Primal Palate New Bae Seasoning. When you see that the steak is halfway cooked turn it and cook the other side for about 3 minutes, seasoning the side that is already cooked with the New Bae Seasoning. Remove the steak from the grill onto a plate for the meat to rest.
7 - Peel the shrimps and cover then with the New Bae Seasoning. Cook them on the same grill where you cooked the steak, until pink just about 2 minutes on each side. Reserve and turn off the heat.
8 - Assemble your salad: lay the romaine lettuce leaf boats on a serving dish and add all the elements besides the steak. Try to make your plate beautiful because colorful and beautiful food makes everyone happy, you know that, right??
9 - Cut the steak in strips and lay them all over your salad.
10 - To make the orange dressing use a glass jar and fill it with all the ingredients: juice of a small orange, the olive oil and the apple cider vinegar. Season with a bit of the New Bae Seasonig to keep everything in the same flavor level. About a tsp is enough.
11 - Drizzle half the sauce over the salad and reserve the rest on the jar, closed and in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The orange vinaigrette was very light, just like I like it! I'm used to having simple and clean flavors on the plate and I usually don't use many sauces or dressings, mayo or ranch. I think that when you have such great quality food you must be able to enjoy its natural flavor and this, sure was, a super tasty and delicious meal. I'll be cooking it again when the weather starts to heat up and we can fire up the barbecue outside!
Isn't that a gorgeous and romantic dish?!
I wish my Valentine had been able to enjoy this amazing meal with me but he wasn't around and I had to eat it all by myself - lunch for two days is always good and, after all, someone has to make sacrifices, am I right??!!
Another week has passed and I'm on to my last week of the Whole30 program! For this particular week I didn't do much meal prep because it was my husband's travel week so I just cooked for the kids and prepped somethings for myself to use during the week, but nothing major. I also had some delicious fish from "Sea to Table" and "Virgin Bay Seafood" to use and I always prefer to cook fish at the last minute, specially when it's the freshest fish, as these are!
Keeping things simple is the best way to go, either when you're doing a Whole30 round or not. Fresh flavors, good quality protein and fats is just what you need. Add a couple of pieces a fruit, with moderation, and you're set to go! A bit of creativity may help and I hope that by seeing my meal pictures I can inspire you to try something different, other than the sweet potato and eggs, option!
There are so many other delicious and colorful options out there. Just venture yourself and try something different this week! Eat the rainbow and feel the effect that has on you - I love changing somethings from week to week and, by now, you should all know my mantra:
Keep food boredom away!
Here is my food journal of the week. There;'s something different for everyone - meat, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts...just pick your favorites and go from there n building your own plate of deliciousness!
Roasted veggies (potatoes, cauliflower, squash, peppers, zucchini and onion) +
sauteed spinach +
3 slices of bacon +
1 apple +
1 Tbsp almond butter +
Salad base of romaine lettuce and arugula +
cherry tomatoes +
1 hard boiled egg +
1/2 grilled chicken breast +
capers and 1 Tbsp balsamic dressing from Tessemaes +
4 kalamata olives +
roasted cauliflower +
2 cooked beets +
Whole30 Chili +
2 Tbsp guacamole +
freshly chopped parsley
2 Bilinski's fennel sausages +
roasted asparagus +
sweet potato nests +
2 scrambles eggs +
1 banana +
1 Tbsp almond butter (I always recommend this one because, as I've said previously, once I tried this one I'm never going back!)
Tuna salad with a base of romaine and arugula +
6 kalamata olives +
roasted veggies +
mixed slaw +
1 tuna can +
fresh dill +
1 Tbsp Tessemaes balsamic dressing
Whole30 chili +
2 slices of bacon +
1 cup pineapple
Roasted veggies +
2 fried eggs in ghee +
3 slices of bacon +
roasted asparagus +
banana (the blueberries on the photo were a no go!)
Surf and Turf salad with base of romaine lettuce +
cherry tomatoes +
grilled shrimp and grass-feed strip steak from Verde Farms +
sliced ripe mango +
grilled plantains +
fresh fennel +
Leftover meatloaf (frozen on the 1st week of the Whole30) +
steamed green beans +
mixed slaw +
Steamed green beans +
2 scrambled eggs, in ghee +
1 pear +
1 Tbsp "Spread the Love"almond butter
Surf and Turf salad leftovers (I wish my leftovers would always look like this!!!). This time added no fruit because the mango was enough.
1 roasted chicken leg +
4 strips of beef (from today's lunch) +
1 Tbsp guacamole +
2 fried eggs, in ghee +
mixed white and sweet roasted potatoes (can you see that brown colors? Delicious!!!) +
1 banana +
1 Tbsp sliced almonds
Leftover Whole30 chili (see recipe here) +
1 apple +
1 Tbsp "Spread the Love"almond butter
Leftover chicken +
roasted potatoes +
arugula with green goddess dressing +
mixed slaw +
Canned salmon +
riced cauliflower with kale (seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder) +
roasted sweet potatoes +
1 pear +
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 roasted chicken wings
romaine lettuce +
roasted cauliflower +
kalamata olives +
parsley and balsamic dressing by Tessamaes +
base of arugula +
1 Tbsp guacamole +
ground turkey with cabbage and carrots +
2 scrambles eggs, in ghee +
roasted potatoes, broccoli , cauliflower and purple cabbage +
3 slices of bacon +
zoodles as a base +
roasted chicken breast +
kalamata olives +
fresh spinach +
green goddess dressing
base of spinach +
ground turkey with cabbage and carrots +
1 Tbsp guacamole +
1 pack of Seasnax roasted seaweed with lime
As usual, in the mornings I always had 1 coffee, sometimes with Nutpods coffee creamer and other times black but always with a single pack of Vital Proteins collagen peptides. Also, during the day I always make sure to drink, at least, 1,5 l of decaffeinated tea/water and I also have another coffee in the afternoon.
The breakfast is always my largest meal of the day. I'm able to do that as a stay-at-home-mom and I usually have breakfast around 9 AM. I make sure to reserve 30 minutes to have my breakfast in peace and quiet, just enjoying the moment and tasting every little bite of food. I always use my favorite cutlery set because I try to make of this moment something mine and dear to me. From there on my other two meals are smaller and served either in a cereal bowl or a dessert plate.
I've been feeling that I'm getting to feel fuller faster and I think I'll reduce a bit my portions for the next week.
Moods and emotions:
As usual, I feel happy, all the time and that has been one of the greatest NSV's ever! (Non-scale victory). I just wake up feeling good about myself and knowing that I'll have the energy to pull through the day without feeling like I'm on a job, with scheduled tasks: laundry, kids, dishes! No, I have those things to do but I do them without resenting them - they are a part of my routine and that makes me comfortable.
No cravings, whatsoever, and I had two events that could have triggered them! I picked up pizza for the kids on Friday - they were asking for it and they just have it every other month so I did pick the pizzas up for them and they were delighted! Just by the scent of the pizzas I felt like it was "too much"- too strong of a smell and I didn't even though about wanting to try a bite!
The other day was when I picked up a box of donuts; my daughter ate one of the donuts at the shop and I took the rest home for my husband and kids. They were really missing a sweet treat...maybe I'm a bit harsh on them but I feel like a treat like that every other month is enough! Well, all said and done I didn't even take a second look at the donuts or the pizza.
Victory lap for me! Yay!
Physical changes (visible):
My hair keeps feeling smoother and not so tangled up, as it used to be. My sweat pants (which I wear at home, all the time!) are loose in the front and I'm loving the feeling of it! Yesterday I also noticed that my face is kind of smaller...if that makes any sense at all! I just looked in the mirror and noticed something was different.
I'm having no bloating at all and the only uncomfortable day was day 2 of my period and that was it! No PMS symptoms and no bloating. I'm really loving the changes that I'm feeling and I'm starting to think that this really is the way to go about food.
Physical changes (inside):
I have no joint or back pain, as it used to happen by the end of the day. I'm also drinking bone broth daily and using bone broth to cook, as well as taking collagen peptides every morning. Those are really important steps on my diet that I will keep taking, for sure.
I just had one migraine and one headache and it was during my period which was AMAZING! I used to have a couple, at least, each week and I'm really curious to find out what are the trigger foods that make that happen. I just hope it's not something I really like...bread! Let's wait for the reintroduction and find out!
Food and behaviors:
I do feel that I'm not being held hostage by food. I feel free and I'm loving every single meal I cook. I also love organization and food prepping, so Sundays really are a busy but wonderful day for me. I get to end of the day feeling accomplished and feeling that I'm stocked up on healthy options, both for me and my family and that though really makes me feel a better person and happier, overall!
I continue to read every label and I'm also trying to get my kids to understand what to look for in food labels. It's extremely important to give them the basis to know what a proper and balanced diet is and that moderation is key to everything. Teaching them to make the right choices is one of my main goals.
Sleep and energy:
I've been sleeping really well and, with the exception of one night, when I had the fireman come over to the upstairs apartment at 3 AM, I feel that I'm having a much more deeper sleep and I wake up feeling more rested. I guess that is what keeps me going so sped up during the day! Really, I've never had so much energy! I finish doing the dishes after dinner and I still have to find something to do at night like...arranging food items by expiration date! Yes, that happened last night!
My energy level is through the roof (this expression reminds me of a really annoying TV commercial but!) and I wish everybody could feel this way!
Lifestyle and social:
I'm so excited to come up with new recipes that can be inspiring to everyone, even for those who usually don't care about cooking. It's such an interesting tool and, for me, it soothes me and gives me a sense of accomplishment that I'm really loving. I try to keep things simple, not too much sauces or dressings because moderation is essential, even during the Whole30.
I'm feeling really excited about this last week, R1D22 for me, today!
I'll extend my Whole30 for, at least, two more weeks after day 30. I really want to have some blood work done but, because I'm having gum surgery on day 31, I don't want the results to be affected by that. I may bleed a lot or get some kind of infection, take some medication or something like that. So, I'll keep going for another two weeks and then I'll have my blood work done and I'll start with the reintroduction. Another thing to consider is the hormonal changes - if I get to after the surgery but my period is about to show up I'll just postpone it so I don't misinterpret the symptoms I'm getting - they may be related to food or to hormonal changes.
So, I'm totally stocked up and my meal prep is all done - week 4, here I go!
Happy Whole30 week, everyone!
Feel free to email me or comment on this post with any question you may have and I'll make my best to help you out.
If you're like me and love cooking you're always up to a challenge! But you may be in for a teat if you think that will be enough to get you through your Whole30 week smoothly and stress-free! I'm a stay at home mom and, even I, have to meal prep. I do need my time during the week days to get through daily routine things like running errands, cleaning the house, going to the kids' activities, making sure that everything runs as it's supposed to be during the week.
I need time for my blog - to create new posts, develop new recipes and cooking them, all during the school schedule, which can be sometimes overwhelming. It does take a lot of my time and I found out that, since starting my Whole30 I do have more time for my hobby! This is because I meal prep for the week during my Sunday afternoon. Usually this is my Sunday schedule:
That's a pretty good picture of what goes on in the house on Sundays! The kids are always entertained that evening so I can concentrate on my cooking job and make everything I planed for.
Not all weeks are equal and I try to have different meals every week so I don't get bored! I'm always talking about avoiding food boredom because, for me, this is the major obstacle for most people when we're talking about eating healthy. Focusing on the same ingredients over and over again makes you feel discouraged and fed up - that can lead up to cravings when you feel like that's the only way to get something that you satisfy you or that will taste somewhat more like a "proper"meal.
DON'T FALL INTO THAT TRAP!
If you feel like you're running out of ideas go online and search for Whole30 recipes, there are thousands out there! On blogs, like mine, on Pinterest, on Facebook groups or on the Whole30 cookbooks. Get yourself half an hour during the week, preferably at the end of the day when the house is quiet and you feel like you're mind is clear and ready to start choosing different and exiting options!
I always have a list of staples that I like to have but I'll change them every other week. For example, last week I just had potatoes with two meals and I was feeling like having them this week so I decided to roast a batch to use throughout the week. The first thing is choosing your favorite ingredients and, from there, search for recipes that don't usually fit in your daily diet so you can try something new!
"What do I need to have on my Whole30 plate?"
As anyone who's doing a Whole30 knows there is a meal template that we're supposed to use as a guideline to build each of our 3 daily meals. You are always advised to get in your plate:
When thinking about your weekly meal prep you must consider all these components and make sure to have each of them available for every meal. Being caught red handed without anything prepped may be an easy step to self sabotage and we want to avoid that, at all costs!
I'll give you some examples of the ingredients and meals I prep and then, at the end of the post I'll post up some links to useful posts with "egg-less breakfasts", which I think is a very requested item! I love eggs and I still haven't got tired of them but I usually do eggs 5 days a week, for breakfast, and 2 days off of them. At the end I'll also post my own alternative breakfasts.
There are many different options for protein sources for breakfast. I think the main issue is to stop thinking about "breakfast food". Think of the first meal of the day as exactly that! It's one of the three meals of the day and you can build it with whatever you build the other two. Don't limit yourself to sausage and bacon or you'll be having nightmares about them by week 2! These are some options that you can cook or have at hand - some of them you don't even have to cook.
This was one of my favorite breakfast so far! Grilled chicken breast, sauteed spinach, roasted sweet potatoes and a grilled pear with 1 Tbsp of "Spread the Love" almond butter. Remember when I told you that breakfast is my biggest meal of the day? There you have it! A breakfast like this makes me happy, so happy!
This is extremely important, to get your vegetables going so you don't end up getting shortcuts that wont make you benefit from a full and balanced meal! I always have fresh greens and cooked options so I can make an array of different meals that will keep the excitement for eating good food going!
These are just a few examples of vegetables to roast and use during the week. Choose the ones you and your family like and get creative with fresh herbs and olive/avocado oil. There as so many option: Brussels sprouts, potatoes (white, red, sweet), onion, zucchini, carrots, beets, peppers, kale, cauliflower...just pick some and toss them in a baking sheet to roast! If you feel like it, toss in the protein also, at the same time, and you'll have another meal cooked!
When you make a sheet-pan meal like the one you see above take advantage of the oven and cook extra veggies that will last you another couple of meals! Make the most of everything when planning and prepping!
Cooking fat and plated fat:
Two very important elements of your meal template!
Make sure to have enough of these in each meal in order to make you feel satiated from one meal to the next. I guarantee you that, if you do this right, you won't even remember to snack or "feel the need"to do it. I'm currently on day 21 and I have only felt hungry, after dinner, yesterday and it was for two reasons: I hadn't had enough for dinner because I was having a bit of a hard time having a migraine and didn't get enough food/fat at dinner and I was on my second day of my period which felt me feel hungrier after dinner. I got a small green apple with 1 Tbsp of almond butter and that was it - the only time I needed something and it was because my last meal hand't been built according to the template!
Make sure to always have a good stock of both these fats to guarantee that you stay compliant and that you're getting the right amounts of each in each meal.
Spices play a very bog roll on my Whole30, as well as fresh herbs! They make everything taste better and give you the change to play with different flavors so you don't get bored of eating the same thing allover again! Chang your spice game and start by trying out these Primal Palate spices! I just can't live without them!
It is recommended to eat fruit with moderation, mainly due to its the natural sugar content. I usually eat two pieces of fruit a day, one at breakfast and the other at lunchtime. It's also recommended to eat the rainbow - choose different fruits for different days and to make sure that you're getting a little bit of everything! One thing I usually try to do is, if I have a sweeter fruit at breakfast, like 1/2 mango, I choose a less sweeter fruit, like a green apple for lunch. It's all a matter of balance.
These are the main things I consider essential when I'm doing my meal prep, as I'm doing as I'm writing this blog post. This is the list of everything I'll be prepping between today and tomorrow - there is no school tomorrow so I get an extra day to prepare.
You can check all my meals on my weekly food journal posts but here are some ideas:
I have some very interesting suggestions for egg-less breakfasts, which I think is one of the "most wanted" Whole30 item! I hope that this post helps you to understand the Whole30 meal prep concept and importance. I really think is one of the main factors to get you going along, feeling excited about food and about this journey on which you decided to get into!
1 - Egg-less Whole30 breakfast ideas
Over on the Whole30 website, here, you can find new alternatives that will keep you excited about breakfast and, at the same time, keeping eggs out of the picture! (credit: Whole30 website)
2 - Kale, sausage and Pepper skillet (Primal Gourmet)
This breakfast is super easy and quick to make. Cook it during the Sunday meal prep and reserve in glass containers to use during the week. Just heat it on the microwave and go! Access the recipe,here. (Credit: Primal Gourmet)
3 - Plantain bacon fritters with avocado and poached egg (Paleo Running Momma)
A great suggestion that you can also prep ahead. If you don't have time to poach the egg in the morning just go with a hard boiled egg, I'm sure it'll be awesome too! Also, if you double the recipe you get to freeze extras to have at hand! Great recipe and super yummy looking! (Credit: Paleo Running Momma)
4 - Caramelized pork hash with brussels sprouts and sweet potato (I Heart Umami)
Another great recipe to cook ahead and to give you a fulfilling and tasty breakfast! Check it out here. (Credit: I Heart Umami)
5 - Warm pumpkin breakfast bowl (Jenny on the spot)
This really is a different and satisfying alternative to the meal template that we are used to. I'm trying this one out but I'm having some mini salad on the side so I can keep following the template. I'm all about rules if I see they work for me and the fact is that they have! Access the recipe here. (Credit: Jenny on the Spot)
As I've mentioned before, I haven't felt the need to snack but I've prepared myself for that event! I always keep a stock of Chomps meat sticks, Seasnax roasted seaweed and Wild Zora meat and veggie snacks. Also, almond butter and apples are something I always have and that is a perfect snack option too.
There's my coffee creamer, from Nutpods. I've tried the vanilla flavor and will go through the Original and Hazelnut over the next weeks. I like the flavor but I guess it must feel really soft/bland if you were used to having really sweet beverages or coffee drinks. Just give them a try and see what you think of them!
Any question that you may have, feel free to email me or reach out through my social media channels. I'm always trying to find out what specific information people are looking for so I can do my part and help a little!
Now, I'll get back to my meal prep!
I've been thinking about making a big batch of chili since I started the Whole30. No beans, of course! But, really, who needs beans when you can have a super amazing chili with veggies and great quality meat?? I got some Verde Farms meat products to try and I decided to test this chili recipe as the first experiment!
I used the 93% lean ground beef which comes in a 1 lbs vacuum sealed package. The Verde Farms products are all from grass-fed animals and 100% free range. There are no antibiotics used and no grow hormones either - just good natural food for the animals which results in superior quality beef. Verde Farms provides a complete line of grass-fed beef products to meet a range price-points and consumer preferences. Their grass-fed beef includes ready-to-cook grinds, patties, steaks, roasts, and marinades, and ready-to-eat options, including beef hot dogs and roast beef.
The company makes sure that the animals are raised as nature intended and seeks to democratize the consumption of high-quality, grass-fed beef worldwide. As the brand states in their own website: Verde Farms beef is better for you, the animal, the family farmer, and the planet.
The day I decided to cook this chili I, literally, opened the fridge and took out almost anything I though would go well with this beautiful ground meat. I think I overdid it a bit because I ended up not needing the eggplant which I'll use in another recipe further down the line! I used peppers, sweet potato (and the rest of one spiralized sweet potato, no waste allowed!), celery, onion, spices, bone broth and canned diced tomatoes.
The amount of chili I got from this recipe was enough to freeze two meals and for 3 additional meals, which was great for only a pound of meat! I always like to take advantage and make extra food whenever my husband has a travel week. I end up cooking the same quantity of food as if he was home but I'm able to freeze single portions to make up for those days when time is of essence! This is a very important thing to consider when I'm planning my meals for the week and my Sunday meal prep - in order to get the right quantity of each ingredient I have to figure out how much food or how much quantity of each meal I'm going to cook.
The bone broth I used, this time, was the Broth Masters beef and chicken bone broth and I'm really liking this one, both for cooking and for sipping. It's delicious on its own, really hot, straight from the stove top! The seasoning is perfect and I've been making an effort to save some because my son also loves it! It's amazing to see how, sometimes, kids love something that is naturally healthy like bone broth. I'm loving that he shares my passion for healthy food and I think we've come a long way since a time where he had too much sugar in his diet! Enough of that!
This chili recipe is super simple and the only advice I can give you to make it the most tasty chili ever is to use great quality meat, like the one I've used by Verde Farms. Use great quality protein in your meals to make them even more whole!
1 - I cooked my chili on the Instant Pot but it's perfectly fine if you cook it in a pan on the stove. Just adjust the cooking time. I turned the Instant Pot on the "Saute" mode and during the time it took to get at the right temperature I peeled and diced the onion. Add the olive oil and the onion to the pot and stir it for a bit. Cook the onion for about 3-4 minutes.
2 - Wash the peppers and the celery and peel the sweet potato. Dice the vegetables trying to have them all with the same size so they can cook evenly.
3 - Add the ground beef to the pot and cook it until it changes color and starts to get brownish. At this time season with salt, pepper and add the minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.
4 - Add all the vegetables and the canned diced tomatoes. Season, once more, with garlic powder, the New Bae Seasoning and the red chili flakes. Add the bone broth and the olives, stir the mix for a while and add about 2 Tbsp of freshly chopped parsley.
5 - Add the mustard greens and, if necessary, add some water just to cover all the ingredients.
6 - Cook the chili on the chili/stew mode and use the natural release method to let the pressure out. This will allow to deepen the flavor of the chili!
I loved the final result - a comforting meal loaded with veggies and a great tasting meat! Not only that but you have the protein, the potatoes, the veggies, the greens and also some plated fat (olives), all the components you need for a balanced Whole30 meal. It can't get easier than that!
I had this delicious chili twice and I also froze a couple of individual size containers for next week. I had the chili with a spoonful of guacamole and some more fresh herbs which is an addition that I make to almost all of my meals! I think herbs bring any dish to life and make any ingredient shine a bit brighter, don't you?
I guess I'll be having a couple of delicious dinners next week, without having the trouble of cooking anything at all! That's a perfect treat for me and I find myself thinking about how my eating habits will be after this Whole30...I'm loving every meal, every bite and, although I miss some things, I will sure use them with caution in the future because I'm seeing such great results with this program that I don't want to let go!
For now, I'll keep sharing delicious options that can help anyone looking for easy and simple meals for a healthy lifestyle!