This past week I've been busy gathering recipes that i'll be coking for my first Whole30, during the month of February. I think the most dramatic change for me will be not being allowed to eat bread (my staple breakfast item!) and changing that for vegetables in the morning. Besides that I'm proud to say that, in my home, we always had a pretty good balance in our diet, with fruits, vegetables and proteins in the right amounts. The issues come to when they tell you that nothing that you eat can have sugar - at that moment you're thinking something along the lines of "I'll just cut back on the sweet treats"!
Well, it's not that simple!
Almost everything we eat nowadays has sugar in it, as long as it is a processed food. Deli meats, marinades and sauces, some spices and flavoring mixes. The purpose of the Whole30 program is to eat clean and that will be what I'll be doing for 30 days; my blog posts will have to be centered on wholesome and natural recipes which will be a good challenge that I welcome with open arms! I'm doing this to get the sugar out of my system and to try and figure out which food groups act as triggers to some issues I've been having such as migraines, inflammation and joint pain.
With that in mind I've already started changing some things in my diet so that when January 29th comes, which will be the first day of the Whole30 program, the change won't feel so dramatic. I've also started stocking up on some essentials like compliant bacon and sausage! Who can live without those, right?!
I started my Monday grocery shopping at Whole Foods. This was my third time there because, although it really is an expensive place to shop, I find that some items can only be found there. I was pleased to see that they had organic rainbow carrots and I decided, right there and then, to roast some carrots and then do something bright and nutritious with them. They had such a vibrant and beautiful color that I couldn't resist! Further down the aisle I found the perfect pairing for the carrots - organic purple kale! I had never seen such kale so I picked it up and an image of a salad bowl came to my mind and that was that, a salad bowl was going to be built that morning, in my kitchen!
I hurried to finish the rest of my shopping trip and ran over to the supermarket next door for some basic ingredients that I'm going to be needing for a seafood soup. Some shrimp, monkish, fresh and frozen fruit for my morning smoothies made up the rest of the list.
The first thing I did was to roast the carrots. I stated by washing them thoroughly, brushing them with a vegetable brush and holding them under running water. I patted them dry, cut some of the extremities and left the others and placed them on a lined baking sheet. I sprayed the carrots with olive oil and seasoned with pink salt, black pepper, garlic powder and dry thyme. Baked the carrots in a 400 F oven for about 40 minutes.
After roasting the carrots it was only a mater of getting all the other ingredients prepped and I just had to assemble the salad bowl. I love easy and quick lunches that don't take much time to prepare but are packed with flavor and nutrients!
1 - The first step is to roast the carrots, according to the instructions given previously. Let the carrots cool down for a couple of minutes and slice three of them to use in the salad. I sliced all of them and reserved in an air tight container in the fridge to use during the week with some of my other meals.
2 - Wash the purple kale and pat it dry with some paper towel. Arrange it on the bottom of the bowl as it is going to be the base for the salad bowl.
3 - Add the other ingredients alongside the borders of the bowl so everything fits nicely - half of an avocado (without the peel, of course!), the tuna, the olives, the carrots, the almonds.and the hard boiled egg cut in two halves.
4 - In a small glass container mix all the ingredients for the dressing and shake them vigorously. Pour it all over the salad so every bit of vegetable gets some of this deliciously tasty dressing!
Doesn't it feel like summer just by looking at this gorgeous salad?
I love incorporating all kinds of veggies in my salads so they don't get boring - there's nothing like a boring salad! Just keep switching the ingredients, try unexpected flavor combos and you'll find a whole new universe of options out there to make your lunchtime fun, colorful and nutritiously challenging!