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?
At our house we love fish and seafood and try to have it, at least, 2 times a week. When we were living back in Portugal we had a much more fish based diet - fish is very abundant and cheaper also, which allows people to have a higher access to fish. We used to have mainly cold water fish, from the Atlantic because that's what we get over there. A lot of grilled salmon, steamed whitening, grilled sword fish and sardines, in the summer time!
When we moved to the US I really got hit with the reality that we had to cut down, maybe by half, the weekly fish based meals due to the higher buying price. There are cheaper varieties and I used to buy them once in a while but now that my perception of food has changed I really try to make good food choices, like buying wild-caught fish instead of farmed varieties. The quality of the food we eat really impacts our health and well being and, if making better choices gets us having a couple of great quality fish meals a week that's perfectly fine by me.
I'm still looking for a local fish market to buy sustainable and wild-caught fish so if anyone from around Scotch Plains has a regular place where they use to go and recommend, please send me a message or write down a comment on this blog post so I can check the place out and maybe even feature it on the blog, on the "local businesses" section.
For this recipe I used the Virgin Bay Sea Food Co. wild-caught rock fish and it worked out perfectly!
A firm white fish, sturdy enough to incorporate in a stew without loosing shape or flavor. This kind of dish really is a hearty and healthy meal - incorporating potatoes and peppers allows for you to have the vegetables along with the meal and cooking everything in just one pot makes it a winner for any home cook, right?
Keeping things simple during the week is my most precious motto for weekday meals.
Don't complicate and use simple but great quality ingredients and you'll do just fine and won't have to stress about cooking that much. I cooked the stew in a big pot and used 4 big portions of rock-fish which was enough for 8 individual servings.
1 big sweet onion, diced
3 grated garlic cloves
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
2 carrots, peeled finely chopped
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 small orange bell pepper, washed and diced
1 Tbsp tomato paste *
2 Tbsp parsley
2 bay leaves
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic powder *
1/2 fennel bulb, washed and thinly sliced
juice of half a lemon
4 large rock fish fillets
1 lb frozen wild-caught mussels *
2 large white potatoes, washed and diced in big chunks
2 sweet potatoes, peeled, washed and diced in big chunks
bone broth * to cover the vegetables (I used about 4 cups)
Dill to season at your discretion
* To make this dish Whole30 complain just make sure that this ingredients are compliant by reading the ingredient list on the package/can.
1 - In a big pot add the olive oil and when it gets to a good temperature add the onion and the garlic to cook them lightly. Add the bell pepper, the carrots and the celery and give it a good mix to combine all the vegetables. Let this cook in medium heat for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables get soft.
2 - Add the washed and diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, the bone broth and the thinly sliced fennel. Give this a stir and add the seasonings and the herbs - salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (I used 1 tsp), the bay leaves and the freshly chopped parsley. Let this cook in slow heat and with a lid on, for about 25 minutes.
3 - Add the chopped potatoes and cook for an additional 8 minutes and after that add the fish cut up in big chunks and the mussels. Season the fish with some salt and lemon juice.
4 - Cook with a tightly closed lid to get the fish cooked, around 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the chopped dill on top of the stew.
5 - Let the stew cool down a bit for a couple of minutes without the lid (so it doesn't overcook!) and serve it in individual soup plates with some of the broth.
If you you're not doing a Whole30 round feel free to have a sliced baguette to go with the soup, it'll go amazingly with the broth!
This is the absolute warm weather comfort food for me! I love salads and cold food too but a fish stew will always get to me! The combination of flavors is just mouth watering and, honestly, I can not wait to cook a batch of this scrumptious stew again!
As a plus, my kids loved it which makes it even better since cooking two different meals, one for us and one for the kids, was never an option around here!
Give this amazing meal a try and let me know how it went and if the whole family enjoyed it as much as I did!
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?
Wow! A lot has been happening around here and, unfortunately, I haven't had the time to update the blog as I had liked to but...that's life. Sometimes we get everything under control and sometimes we just have to roll with what we've got! I've been cooking up some delicious recipes which have made up for the endless weeks of soft food diet that I had to go through, after my gum surgery!
How I've missed REAL food!
To be able to chew and to savor, really savor, every bite of a perfectly balanced dish is amazing! I've finished my Whole30 experience and I've got a lot of conclusions to draw from it. I'll be writing down all my findings on a future blog post which, I hope, will be helpful to anyone interested in getting to know a little bit more about their body and its reaction to the different kids of foods. I will say this: I expect to keep my way of eating very similar to what I did for these past couple of months because it just showed me that it is exactly what I need to do to feel good about myself and about my body. Everything tastes grate, I feel amazing and, honestly, I don't miss much. The only thing I do miss, and I'll have it occasional, is a cup of oatmeal with fresh fruit, nuts and honey or a dairy-free yogurt (yes, I figured out that dairy is a major source of inflammation!) . As for the rest, when I feel like having it I will but, right now I'm feeling great and ready to enjoy food freedom!
1 large sweet onion
3 garlic cloves
5 slices of no-sugar bacon (I used the Applegate brand)
2 celery stems
1 bunch of spinach (about 100g)
1 lbs ground meat (I used "Verde Farms" 100% grass-fed beef)
3 plum tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1 cup homemade chicken broth (it's perfectly fine to use store bought, as long as you pay attention to the ingredients, stray away from artificial ingredients, if possible)
1 Tbsp red pepper chilli flakes
Basil and parsley (I always love fresh herbs and I can keep track of the amounts! I took a picture in the "preparation"section so you can have an idea of how much I used)
3 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp full fat coconut cream
1 tsp ghee
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 - Prep your veggies so that when you start cooking everything is ready and set to go into the pot. Peel the onion, garlic cloves, celery stems and carrots. Dice the onion and the carrots and mince the garlic.
2 - Wash the spinach thoroughly, to make sure that they get a proper rinse.
3 - Peel the tomatoes and dice them, reserving any and all juice that may come out. That's all needed to flavor up the meat sauce!
4 - Get the sweet potato mash going: peel and cut the sweet potatoes and steam them on the Instant Pot for about 10 minutes. While that is going start making the meat sauce.
5 - I love to cook on my Dutch oven because, in dishes like this, it deepens the flavors and keeps the temperature of the food up for a longer period of time which always adds up on the flavor scale! Dice the bacon slices and cook them in the pan with no other grease except its own! This is a great way to get a more flavorful dish - bacon!!!
6 - After the bacon is cooked, add the ground meat and let it cook until it changes color, maybe about 6-8 minutes. After that time, remove the meat and bacon mixture from the pan and reserve them. Saute the onion and the minced garlic in some olive oil. Let that cook up for a couple of minutes and add the carrots, the celery and the chopped up tomatoes. Give the sauce a big stir and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper flakes.
7 - Add the tomato paste, the chicken broth and the freshly chopped herbs - parsley and basil. Let the meat sauce simmer for about 40 minutes on low. On the last 5 minutes add the spinach and let them cook on those last minutes.
8 - By then, the sweet potatoes have steamed and it's time to move on to the mash. Remove the sweet potatoes from the Instant Pot and transfer them to a pan. Add the ghee, the coconut milk and mash, very carefully, with a potato masher. Take enough time to make it smooth because the texture will be crucial for the final texture of the dish. When everything is well incorporated and smooth, turn off the heat and reserve.
9 - Assembly time! When you have your meat sauce and sweet potato mash ready it's time to get this dish ready! I used big souffle dishes which worked out perfectly for this kind of pie! The size is perfect and the shape is also great for this kind of dish with sauce. First, place the meat sauce in the bottom of the souffle dishes.
10 - Cover the meat with a thick layer of sweet potato mash and, if you feel like it, decorate it! I just did a simple pattern with a fork, to make a texture like effect.
11- Add some coconut flakes on top of the mashed potatoes and heat each serving in the oven, at 450 F for about 15 minutes, just enough time to get some crunchiness on the coconut flakes and some browning on the mash.
This is a great tasting dish and, if you want to make the most of your time, you can make a double batch and freeze individual size portions to save for those hectic days when dinner time suddenly shows up unannounced!
I hope you f=give this recipe a try because it really is a delicious meal with wholesome ingredients that will please the whole family. If you do try it let me know how it turned out!
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!
As I've previously mentioned on another blog post I got some amazing meat from Verde Farms and I got to try this delicious recipe with the Ribye steak, which was perfect for two people. It's my personal opinion that meat doesn't need too much side dishes, it just needs the perfect ones! I added spinach for the green effect and vitamins boost and paired some parboiled potatoes that I, subsequently, crisped up in a pan with olive oil and, garlic powder and fresh herbs.
I'm loving the flavor of the meat and I understand why some people find it different the first time they try it. Well...it is different! This meat comes from grass-fed animals that are 100% free range. These animals diet's are truly natural and there are no added hormones or antibiotics, EVER. That will, obviously, give the meat a totally different flavor and a whole lot more nutritional value and wholesomeness!
The Ribeye steak is perfect to grill, saute or broil. It is a flavorful and tender steak that comes from the cattle's lightly worked upper rib area. This meat is lower in fat than the grain-fed Ribeye and has the right amount of marbling to preserve juiciness.
As some of you may already know, I'm on a restricted soft food diet after having laser gum surgery on my left side of the mouth...that will be the case for the next 6 weeks or so and I can't tell you enough how I'm missing some really good beef! I have some marvelous steaks waiting for me int he freezer as soon as I get of the diet! Really can't wait!
I hope you try this recipe with a good quality steak because it really is the start of the dish!
1 - The first thing to do is get your roasted red pepper sauce cooking! Preheat the oven at 400 F.
2 - Wash the peppers and cut them in large chunks. Put them on a sheet-pan and add the roughly sliced onion, seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of olive oil over the vegetables and toss them around to make sure that everything is evenly coated.
3 - Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the onions start to turn brown. Turn off the oven and remove the baking tray from the heat. Let it rest until the peppers and onions have cooled down a bit.
4 - On a deep container dump the onions and peppers and add the bone broth. With an immersion blender work your way down to the bottom of the vegetables until everything is well blended and you have a creamy consistent sauce. If needed add a bit of water to help this process.
5 - Reserve the sauce in an air tight container and use with your protein of choice to get a flavorful meal - chicken, beef or fish, anyone of these will work perfectly! Broiled fish fillets with red pepper sauce are amazing! If you decide to freeze some of the sauce reserve in smaller containers that you can use along the way.
This is a very versatile and robust sauce that I like to keep around. If I have something for dinner or lunch that's just needing some little push I'll add a dollop of roasted red pepper sauce and, instantly, it chances the whole meal!
When I cooked my roasted red pepper sauce I decided to keep it all in the fridge because I wanted to use it in different meals. I used it with spaghetti squash and chicken, as you can see in the meal pictured bellow. It really made that squash flavor pop out!
After finishing my Whole30 journey I'll definitely use this sauce on some hearty pasta dish or just a simple one with the roasted red pepper sauce and cheese - a good quality cheese! But now...back to the Whole30!
As, I've mentioned, I had gotten some amazing steaks and I decided to have the rest of the pepper sauce with one of them! Delicious and crispy potatoes and some sauteed spinach did the rest of the work! So, for the rest of the recipe:
6 - Wash the potatoes, cut them in half and boil them in water with salt just until they're firm enough to feel like cooked through but not completely. Take them out of the water and saute them in a pan with some olive oil. Add some fresh thyme leaves and season with some more salt, pepper and garlic powder. Always taste before adding some more seasoning. Cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes, turning them once in a while, to make sure that they get a pretty brown color on both sides. Crispy and golden is the goal!
7 - In another pan heat up some olive oil and saute the spinach for about 5 minutes, very quickly, seasoning them with salt. I didn't add anything more because I do love to taste the real flavor of the spinach!
8 - After having all of the other ingredients ready is time to cook the steak! Heat up the grill on the stove top and brush the steak with avocado oil, salt and pepper. Put the steak on the hot grill and let it cook, approximately, 6 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other. This will depend on how you like your steak, I like mine rare and this was perfect! My husband likes it medium so I had to cook his share of the steak a bit longer!
9 - Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for about 8 minutes or so. Slice it thin and now it's time to assemble your platter: Arrange the potatoes on one side of a big platter and on the other side smear some roasted red pepper sauce (heated just before assembling the platter). Add the spinach and the sliced steak, as seen in the picture.
Some beautiful and delicious meat with the perfect pairings for an amazing meal! This really gives a whole different meaning to the "meat and potatoes"everyday meal, doesn't it? This is an amazing Whole30 meal that will be a part of our menu a couple of more times until the end of the program and even after that - it's super flavorful, healthy and a hearty option that comes without all the guilty of a heavy plate of food!
I ended up having my share of the steak in a salad, with romaine lettuce, Green goddess dressing and some kalamata olives for the healthy plated fat. Finished it up with some sweet seedless green grapes.
I hope some of you will give this recipe a try because it really is a must! Also, don't forget to check out the Verde Farms website and look up all the other products that the brand has available.
Today is day 37 of my first Whole30 round and it just isn't as amazing as usual because I'm on the soft food diet. I'll be posting about that subject until the end of the week and I'll put up a list of some simple options that can be helpful to anyone in the same situation. It's not really exciting but it is doable! I'm really missing my hearty and wholesome solid breakfasts!
I really can not believe week 4 of my first Whole30 is over! Only two more days to get to the finish line and it's becoming even more natural to eat this way. I've come to the point where I don't even think about bread! Of course I like it but I've been feeling so good without it that I'm almost afraid of what it may do to me during the reintroduction phase. But...one thing at a time!
As some of you may know I'm going to have laser gum surgery performed on Wednesday. That might be a challenge but I've prepped this next week in a somewhat different way. I've cooked and frozen some soups to have during the days when I'll only be able to have liquids and then I'll add some really soft food when that time comes: guacamole, mashed potatoes, applesauce, mashed banana. At least, having prepped for a bit gives me a sense of calm and I don't feel stressed about not having compliant food available. I also have some Zupanoma soups to try, that I've gotten through an Instagram giveaway - can't wait to try those!
I've chosen some pretty basic soups that would end up with a very creamy texture because I'll be having them as the only item of my meal. I used bone broth in all of them, to get even more goodness out of these great soups:
With this being said I do feel nervous about this surgery and that has affected my mood by the end of the week. I usually keep it all together pretty well but with something like this I always fear that something might not go so well and...well. I rather just move on to the food journal!
I hope these pictures help other people to get ideas for meals that come a bit out of their usual menu - getting varied foods is key to keep food boredom away. I know you must be tired of hearing me say that but it really is true! So, inspire yourself and take a look at my week 4 food journal!
riced cauliflower rice with kale and salmon (leftovers from another breakfast) +
1/2 avocado +
1 fried egg, in ghee +
roasted potato wedges +
1 slice of diced pineapple
Romaine lettuce with green goddess dressing, from TJ's +
1 roasted potato +
5 kalamata olives +
grilled Verde Farms steak strips +
sauteed spinach +
roasted red pepper sauce +
seedless green grapes
roasted chicken breast +
roasted asparagus +
roasted red cabbage and cauliflower +
1 Tbsp spicy salsa +
5 kalamata olives +
1 cup roasted tomato soup
2 fried eggs, in ghee +
1 spiralized zucchini sauteed in a bit of olive oil +
roasted potato wedges +
1 sliced apple with 1 tbsp almond butter
steamed spaghetti squash (1/3 of a whole squash) +
ground turkey with marinara sauce +
6 kalamata olives +
roasted asparagus +
ground turkey with cabbage and carrots +
1 bacon strip +
1 cup of roasted tomato soup
1 grilled chicken thigh +
roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon +
roasted green beans +
butternut squash roasted ribbons +
1 banana with 1 Tbsp almond butter
Leftover chicken with mushrooms and tomato (Instant Pot recipe) +
roasted asparagus +
roasted potato wedges +
5 kalamata olives +
roasted butternut squash ribbons +
1 grilled peach (just on the grill, on the stove top, no fat needed)
ground turkey with marinara sauce +
sauteed spinach +
cauliflower rice with salmon and kale (leftover) +
1 roasted potato +
roasted green beans with almonds +
2 scrambled eggs, in ghee +
1 sliced pear with cinnamon and a few more almonds
This time I left some food on the plate, first time ever! I feel I'm starting to get full with less food. I left 1/2 of the potato and 1/3 of the green beans with almonds.
steamed spaghetti squash (1/3 of a whole squash) +
1 small grilled chicken thigh +
roasted red pepper sauce +
roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon bits +
freshly chopped parsley +
1 sliced apple with 1 Tbsp almond butter
Chicken stew with mushrooms and tomato +
roasted rainbow carrots +
roasted broccoli +
Romaine lettuce with TJ's green goddess dressing +
grilled mushrooms and zucchini +
1 grilled spicy sausage, from TJ's +
1 sliced apple with 1 Tbsp almond butter
Steamed spaghetti squash (1/3 of a whole spaghetti squash) +
roasted pepper tomato sauce +
roasted Brussels sprouts +
5 kalamata olives +
5 pieces of grilled plantain (just on the grill, no fat needed) +
1 grilled chili lime burger from TJ's (delicious!) +
1 TJ's chili-lime burger +
steamed bok choy +
leftover rainbow carrots and onions +
1 dollop of guacamole
roasted Brussels sprouts and green beans +
2 fried eggs, in ghee +
1 sliced pear +
1 bowl of Whole30 chili, from this recipe +
1 dollop of guacamole +
This was the perfect example that having Whole30 frozen meals is a must when you commit to the program. I had to go with my daughter to a birthday party and got home past 2 PM. I was really hungry but all I had to do was put the chili in the microwave and get it really hot, just like I like it!
1 TJ's chili-lime burger +
leftover roasted rainbow carrots +
leftover roasted Brussels sprouts and green beans +
6 kalamata olives
sauteed kale +
1 apple spicy sausage +
butternut squash +
1 pear +
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 bowl of carrot and turmeric soup with pepitas +
1 TJ's chili-lime burger +
1 Tbsp TJ's vegan pesto +
romaine lettuce +
1 radish +
1 Tbsp Tessamae's balsamic vinaigrette +
1 cup of roasted butternut squash soup +
2 slices of grilled bacon +
1 small slice of grilled pork tenderloin +
roasted asparagus +
1 pack of Seasnax roasted seaweed
As always, I had two coffees during the day - one at breakfast and the other one after lunch. I also kept taking my collagen peptides daily and used bone broth in my cooking to help our gut health and include some more natural goodness into our daily routine.
My three meals are done in three different sized plates: breakfast is the largest meal of the day, on a regular plate, lunch is served either on a soup plate or a cereal bowl and dinner is served on a dessert plate, sometimes paired by a cup of soup.
Mood and emotions:
Although I didn't have any negative feelings due to the Whole30 food choices I felt a bit crankier and stressed, thinking about next week's surgery. It was always on the back of my mind and ended up affecting how I felt all through the week. I didn't have any sugar cravings and I think for me that was a non existent issue from the start - I've never been a sweet tooth.
my energy level was a bit lower than usual which was also related to the stress I felt. Other than that I feel that I'm becoming more confident about myself and with my body which is a major issue for me. That dependency on the scale is also something that I still fight and, ultimately, I need to end it! I know that the number on the scale doesn't represent ME but I keep longing to see it - that must end! If I feel good, energetic and more confident about myself I mustn't need a scale in my life! So I guess the topic "less reliance on the scale" really isn't a check for me. Working on it...life long habits are hard to quit!
Physical changes (visible):
My skin is looking great and I haven't had any blemishes, not even during my period week! My hair is shinier, healthier and I don't end up with a brush full of hair every time I comb it! It really is a huge NSV and I wouldn't think that changing what I eat would affect my hair like that.
My clothes foot better and I feel confident wearing clothes that I wouldn't before starting the Whole30 program. I've tried on a couple of jeans that were thigh and now they're loose - I need to get a belt...or new jeans!
Physical changes (inside)
As in the last three weeks I haven't felt any joint or back pain and I'm always ready to do something. I feel more active and I haven't had any migraine after the couple I had last week, during my period. That's the most important NSV for me, right now! Only 2 migraines in 28 days is epic! I can't wait to find out which foods trigger my migraines...I have a suspect, let's find out during the reintroduction phase!
Food and behaviors:
I really have a new relationship with food, there's no question about it. I don't even consider snacking because I'm always focusing on building my meals according to the template. This way I can keep satisfied until my next meal without needing to eat something. Good fats keep you full longer. Everything is well!
I don't feel the need to eat that "little something" after dinner, as my husband calls it! He still has it but even that, which used to bother me at first, doesn't affect me at all. If he eats something I'll just ignore it, I don't need it, I'm not hungry. If I were hungry I'd eat a mini meal which would take care of my nutritional needs not my sugar dragon! I'listening to my body and I'm in charge of what I feed my body - choosing the right foods has been such an eye opener to me! I no longer need a reward in the form of food for anything...
Sleep and energy:
I feel that I have a much more deeper sleep that I used to have and I continue to wake up every morning with lots of energy and positive thinking. I fall asleep more easily except for this past night which was stress related, as I've already described in the beginning. Maybe I'll try some yoga tonight, to try and calm down before going to bed. That wouldn't hurt and would only calm me down, so it seemed like the perfect choice! Yoga it is!
Lifestyle and social:
My kids keep watching make this transition in our diet and they have been following along on some things. They still have bread, milk and sometimes cereal but they are attentive to the ingredients list of each item which I find curious! Funny enough, my son started making some remarks about my husband's snack choices, that was a fun thing to see! As of this moment they don't have any allergies or food sensitivities that I know of so I don't feel like restricting their daily diet any further. They are conscious about what food choices are good and what are not so good and we try to balance it all during our daily routine as a family.
As I've said on my previous weekly food journal I'm thinking about having some blood work done after finishing the Whole30 but before starting reintroduction. Because I'm having this surgery on Wednesday that could influence the results, I'll wait for, at least, another 20 days or so to do the tests and then start with the reintroduction. I'll keep posting a weekly food journal and I'm really curious to know about trigger foods!
I'm also taking a test to assess my sensitivity to 300 foods and nutrients which will be interesting to compare with my reintroduction results. I'll tell you all abut it as soon as I get those results back.
Until next week, keep cooking and trying new things as long as they're compliant, if you're on a Whole30 journey!
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??!!