Archives for category: Recipes

 

I am definitely beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s slightly terrifying and also exciting.

Out of the five of us who started this Whole30 challenge only 3 of us are really still in the same game, and 3 out of 3 we are deciding to keep sticking with this plan. Maybe not so strictly worrying about every single ingredient in there so that eating out can actually happen without anxiety, but I think my grocery list will most likely reflect this grain-free, sugar-free, soy-free diet. That’s not to say that gluten-free oatmeal or quinoa for breakfast won’t happen in the colder months, or a bar of 70% dark chocolate (without soy lichen) may not make it into my shopping cart on occasion, and raw dairy will hopefully be coming back (assuming it still agrees with me), but I am definitely going to be a much more conscious and aware shopper and eater.

I’m getting a head of myself here… I just can’t stop thinking about how life may or may not change after the next 4 days…

Over the last 5 days, however, there has been a bunch of snacking, some pretty basic yet delicious meals, and some great hanging out with the people I love.

IMG_1814

Ayrshire Bratwurst with fried eggs, greens, and grainy mustard. (If you also didn’t notice, I’m ready “Organic Manifesto” for work right now and it is AMAZING!!! I will definitely be blogging about that soon!)

IMG_1818

Ayrshire bratwirst, kimchi, scrambled eggs with beet greens, and grainy mustard.

IMG_1819

Tuna steak medallion marinated in s&p, ginger, garlic, toasted sesame seeds, crushed red pepper, coconut aminos, and rice vinegar cooked in coconut oil accompanied by shiitake mushrooms and baby bok choy cooked with s&p, garlic, and ginger in coconut oil with a big serving of kimchi.

IMG_1821

Halibut cooked in s&p and coconut oil with a squirt of lemon, kimchi, and the previous night’s baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms transformed into soup with homemade beef stock.

IMG_1822

Coming back to my Weston Price breakfast roots with 3 fried eggs and a big mug of beef stock. 🙂

There was one day I didn’t feel  like eating at all. It was Day 18 and I was feeling like I was going to turn into an egg…

Mom and I went to Potomac Vegetable Farms and were looking through the veggies for some inspiration to cook and eat. Okra was a plenty, and even though we had already made okra cakes, somehow we turned to our little green friends again. This time making a Whole30 friendly gumbo.

We started off by cooking some italian sausage from a local farm. Next, we sautéed the rest of our ingredients in the big soup pot.

IMG_1798

Coooking some chicken backs along with celery, leeks, red pepper, onion, and garlic along with our okra in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

We pulled off any meat from the chicken backs for the gumbo and then added in our homemade chicken stock, and the rest of the ingredients; being sure to add the shrimp in last to make sure they didn’t over cook.

IMG_1800

Then, we added chicken stock, local italian sausage, bay leaves, fresh chopped parsley, and some Whole30 friendly hot sauce and apple cider vinegar. Then, lastly we added the shrimp.

We also added a tiny bit of arrow root powder to thicken up the stock a bit. Be sure to keep stirring the arrow root when you add it in to make sure it doesn’t get lumpy!!

IMG_1801

Et, voila!

This really may have been the most amazing meal we made so far on the Whole30 challenge.

I’m sorry I cook with my eyeballs and my tongue, but if you have any questions let me know!! Give it a whirl!

A whole week has gone by and I feel like there is some news but not too much. Part of that may because I’m just in the groove now so somethings have just lost that sparkle.

I’ve been eating a lot of snack and left overs and just trying to keep up with calorie consumption while not getting bored and staying motivated. It’s hard to believe that 20 days have already gone by.

I feel like every time a new level of Whole30 has been reached by body back slides a little bit. I’m really trying hard not to over analyze and worry, but when food is your main concern 24/7, it’s hard not to. For instance, my skin was looking great, and then I’d break out, and then it’d look great, and then again, break out. It’s still in that hormonal balancing area of the face like I mentioned last time, so I’m not sure if hormones are truly balancing, or if I’m just getting ready to have my period. I used to break out in this region of the face when I was younger, but it hasn’t been so much lately. The same yo-yo feeling has been going on with the weight loss/feeling as though I look bloated factor. Again, maybe it’s just my period, and I have to say I’m excited to see what my period is like on this diet. (Look out boys! You know that post will be coming at some point!)

All of this most likely comes back to sleep. Sleep. The foundation of our lives. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of getting up early, and, ideally, getting to bed in time to grab a solid 8 hours. The only dilemma is that I’ve been pushing hard for the 4:30am wake up call. I have a lot of work to do lately between yoga, blogging, going to work, and reading homework (both actual homework for work as well as friend imposed homework), so getting up almost 2 hours before the sun gives me so much more time and freedom to get stuff done. However, in order to get 8 hours of sleep that means 8:30pm bed time, (It’s like I’m 8 years old again) and often I’m not even home till 9 or 10pm… Still working the kinks out on that…

Here are a few glimpses of meals that happened this past week.

Left over ground turkey curry over sautéed zucchini.

Left over ground turkey curry over sautéed zucchini.

My first attempt at homemade mayonnaise. Our pastured chickens' eggs made it super-duper yellow!

My first attempt at homemade mayonnaise. Our pastured chickens’ eggs made it super-duper yellow!

Mom's top-secret lamb burgers. I will tell you that they have toasted pine nuts in them ;)

Mom’s top-secret lamb burgers. I will tell you that they have toasted pine nuts in them 😉

Shrimp Salad (almost the same as the last time, but I used my runny mayonnaise as the dressing)

Shrimp Salad (almost the same as the last time, but I used my runny mayonnaise as the dressing)

All together with some green beans!

All together with some green beans!

Last night's dinner. Ayrshire Farm Bratwurst with roasted beets, sautéed beet greens, pastured eggs, Bubbies sauerkraut, and grainy mustard.

Last night’s dinner. Ayrshire Farm Bratwurst with roasted beets, sautéed beet greens, pastured eggs, Bubbies sauerkraut, and grainy mustard with tea.

Snack lunch. Baby carrots, smoked mackerel, and olive tapenade.

Snack lunch. Baby carrots, smoked mackerel, and olive tapenade.

Homegrown eggs and tomato scramble.

Homegrown eggs and tomato scramble.

Some of the most amazing cantaloup I've ever tasted!

Some of the most amazing cantaloup I’ve ever tasted!

 

It’s so hard to believe a week has gone by! I feel like I’ve been doing this forever, and that’s a good thing! I’ve been super busy and house sitting, so here are the past 4 days wrapped up together:

Eating this way is truly starting to become so second nature. Sure there are still moments when I drool over the delicious smelling bread and pastries from Spring Mill Bread Co. that I get to slice and wrap all day at work, but I am feeling great, sleeping through the night, and loving all of the cooking and eating I’ve been doing.

All Day 8 I was taking a CPR/First Aid/AED certification class. We were stuck in this class room with no windows, and they were constantly turning down the lights so we could see the cheesy informational movies. Since I know I would be there for 8 hours, I brought lunch and lots of high protein snacks (no fruit since I know I have been out fruiting myself!).

The thing I was most amazed by was how much energy I had. Everyone there was going out to the vending machine during the breaks for their diet sodas and granola bars (isn’t it cute how so many people think that’s healthy?) and they all fell asleep! At some point during the class everyone fell asleep except for me! I was wired! I definitely contribute that to my high protein low carb/sugar intake. Stellar.

After the class I went to have dinner with my two best friends. They knew I was doing Whole30 so we planned to cook dinner. I snagged a bunch of produce from the “free to staff” (a.k.a. not pretty enough for people to purchase) bin and we wound up with a stir fry of onion, yellow peppers, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and chicken all sautéed in coconut oil and lime juice. Delish!

20130809-182322.jpg

Cooking with the girls!

20130809-182338.jpg

Onion, yellow pepper, zucchini, shiitake mushrooms, and chicken sautéed in coconut oil and lime juice.

Day 9 was a Friday and it’s always my busiest day at that! I taught yoga in the morning after drinking coffee with coconut milk and oil for “breakfast” (not a very good one, I know).

Then, I headed to work where I was really bad and had bananas with cashew, almond, and coconut butter along with some more coffee. Oh, and an organic coconut water!

Once I stopped back at the apartment, though, I made myself some proper food with scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes in coconut oil and a perfectly ripe avocado on top.

After teaching, I headed back to the house I was house sitting at and made myself an even more proper dinner and cooked fish for my very first time! It turned out beautifully. I seared a tuna filet medallion (as it appeared on the package) in coconut oil with salt and pepper, accompanied by green beans I blanched and then sautéed in coconut oil and a sun dried tomato paste. Once it was plated, I squeezed a fresh lemon over the whole thing. Yum!

Seared wild caught tuna with green beans in a sun dried tomato paste paste with lemon.

Seared wild caught tuna with green beans in a sun dried tomato paste paste with lemon.

Day 10 was Saturday and I woke up nice and early to go for a hike with my dear friend, Chloe. Before the hike I ate a Fields of Athenry sausage, coffee with coconut milk, and some fresh papaya with lime. I had plenty of energy for the hike, but I did feel slightly dehydrated so I snagged a smart water for some extra electrolytes.

Soon I was back at work and ate a bunch of nut butter again (I’m going to turn into a nut butter!) and some organic coconut water.

After work I headed back to the house and made myself some scrambled eggs in coconut oil with kimchi for some probiotics. It was delightfully light and filling all at the same time.

Day 11 I taught yoga in the morning, but ran out of time to have anything other than coffee with coconut milk and oil in it (I am starting to love this drink more than my usual coffee with whole milk!).

After yoga I headed back to my parents’ farm and was ravenous! I ate scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes and a little bit of spinach.

Our sheepies at the farm!

Our sheepies at the farm!

I went out to Beans in the Belfry  with my mom and grandma for a coffee. They both got cappuccinos and I was definitely jealous as I sipped by black coffee (cafes should definitely start having coconut milk as a non-dairy option!) and they noshed on a fresh fruit cup, which I avoided, but did steal a raspberry out of.

Once we got back to the farm again, I snacked on some olives, prosciutto, and sprouted almond butter.

Dinner was amazing! (Have I mentioned my mom cooks and does menu planning for a living?) We had steaks marinated in olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper along with some Whole30-ified okra/jalapeño cakes, and tomato salad! Amaze-balls!

Marinating steaks.

Marinating steaks.

Grilling.

Grilling.

Beefy perfection.

Beefy perfection.

Mom adapted the Okra Cakes recipe from a fabulous cookbook titled, “Cooking With Les Dames d’Escoffier: At Home with the Women Who Shape the Way We Eat and Drink.”

The original recipe.

The original recipe.

Instead of using rice we used grated yellow squash, and instead of all purpose flour we used almond flour and a touch of arrow root.

Our Modified Whole30 Fresh Okra Cakes Recipe:

1/2 pound fresh okra, tips and stems removed, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup sliced scallion

1/2 cup minced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeño seeded and minced

1/2 cup grated, salted, and drained yellow squash

3 tablespoons almond flour

1 tablespoon arrow root

1 tablespoon cilantro

2 large eggs beaten

Sesame Oil for frying

Prepping scallions.

Prepping scallions.

Okra is sliced!

Okra is sliced!

Ingredients mixed in a large bowl.

Ingredients mixed in a large bowl. Ours looks super yellow because we use our homegrown, free-ranged chicken eggs.

Sesame oil for frying.

Sesame oil for frying.

Frying up some okra cakes!

Frying up some okra cakes!

Placing cakes on drying rack with paper towels before placing in the oven.

Placing cakes on drying rack with paper towels before placing in the oven.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix ingredients in a large bowl. Heat sesame oil in skillet. Add 1-2 large spoonfuls to the skillet to create pancake of your optimal size (remember that smaller are easier to flip!). Once small bubbles begin to appear on the top and the bottom begins to brown flip your pancake. Once pancakes are browned place on cooling rack with paper towel and let it stay warm in the oven until ready to serve! Yum!

The finished products unite!

The finished products unite!

Day 12 has been a long day. Working customer service today was crazy busy. Busier than I think I have ever experienced first hand, and it didn’t help that I was hungry! Actually, more like hangry…

I had a big mug of the usual coffee with coconut milk and coconut oil as well as a big mug of beef stock for breakfast. It was a great start to the day, but when lunch time rolled around and I didn’t have time to eat and I started to get really hungry, it stunk.

I ate a bag of Gone Nuts! Rosemary Garlic Pistachios and Almonds , which totally hit the spot. I also grabbed a Cherry Pie Larabar which was great. I’d never had one before and really enjoyed the tartness to it, as opposed to the other ones which seem so heavy on the super sweet dates. Then I drank some greens with a Multi-Green GT Kombucha. A quick and easy snack-lunch that was just right.

When I got home I made pre-workout dinner. I picked up some dark meat ground turkey and cooked it with jalapeño and a bag of frozen bell peppers with a clove of garlic in coconut oil. Next thing I knew, I decided to veer away from my usual go-to tex-mex seasoning and give curry a whirl! I had a box of coconut cream that I knew would be great so I threw that in along with some curry powder, coriander, basil, and some unknown, unlabeled spice in my cupboard. Haha! I baked a sweet potato and poured that delicious turkey-curry concoction  all over it and topped it with from dehydrated flaked coconut. Winner.

Turkey Curry Sweet Potato Bowl.

Turkey Curry Sweet Potato Bowl.

So, if you made it this far into reading this post, thanks. I know it’s been a long one, but it’s been four days with some pretty awesome food. Just goes to show that on the Whole30, or any other lifestyle changing diet, you can really focus on what you are gaining versus what you may be giving up. I am so excited to see what other recipes I come up with over the next 18 days!

Today was definitely better than yesterday!

I slept okay. Still woke up sweating and had some tossing and turning, but had a crazy detox dream. In the dream I went to my pediatrician and he was pulling black goo out of my throat. Gross.

The alarm went off at 8:30am. I wanted to give myself more time to hopefully sleep. I woke up and headed to teach yoga. I picked up a black coffee and a banana at Starbucks on the way. (Boy was it weird not ordering a whole milk latte!) I taught my class and then had an impromptu photo shoot, so I wound up burning a ton of calories more than I expected.

I got home and had so much to do I only got to chug a big glass of water and then jumped in the car for a birthday party of a good family friend. I ate some fresh black currants (which were a super special find!) and pistachios on the way along with some original kombucha left over from the other day.

Fresh black currants.

Fresh black currants.

At the party, I ate the crudités (sans the dip) and sipped my kombucha as I watched everyone drink the bubbly, and eat little sausages and cheese and other yummy things wrapped in phyllo dough. Almost the entire party people were asking me why I was doing the Whole30, since clearly I was healthy and didn’t need to lose weight. Isn’t it funny how everyone always assumes you’re changing your diet to lose weight?

After the party I went to do AcroYoga, slack lining, and frisbee in the park. I ate some more black currants, pistachios, and some SeaSnax . Overall, not too many calories for the amount of activity I was doing.

So, why haven’t I been that hungry today??

I’m not sure, but for dinner I’m having chicken livers, beef stock in a mug, and some almond butter for dessert, just to make sure I can get some nutrient dense, high fat animal products along with a few big glasses of water.

This must be the most beautiful, darkest stock I have ever made!! The spoon even stands up in it cold. Awesome.

This must be the most beautiful, darkest stock I have ever made!! The spoon even stands up in it cold. Awesome.

Maybe this lack of appetite and better mood means I will finally sleep better tonight. One can only hope!

Day 2 was great since I only had my three yoga classes to teach and no work at MOMs, although I did go in for some grocery shopping!

I taught class at 6am this morning and had a meeting with the studio owner right after, so I was lucky to find a few carrots left in my bag from the night before.

When I got home I was starving! Not only had I not eaten, but I had worked my butt off with my students so I’m pretty sure I was down a few hundred calories.

When I got home I was so happy to have my hard boiled eggs ready to go and ate one of those along with the rest of my champagne grapes and some turkey bologna.

After my shower I hit the butcher shop in town. I’d never been before, but I was on a quest for bacon with no sugar and I had heard some good things about this place. When I went in I asked about the bacon, but it all had sugar… So, I asked if he had any pork belly. It was frozen solid in the freezer since he had just gotten it in… No pork for me… Instead I picked up a hanger steak and some chicken livers.

(If anyone knows of any good sugar-free bacon near DC, please let me know!!)

Next, I went to MOMs and picked up some produce. I got lime, cilantro, red onion, red pepper, poblano pepper, cherry tomatoes, crimini mushrooms, and berries. I also picked up some snack time items like flaked coconut and roasted and salted pistachios along with some Whole30 approved Applegate cold cuts and freshly ground Equal Exchange Peruvian Coffee.

The hanger steak rubbed with coconut oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder.

The hanger steak rubbed with coconut oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder.

I have never cooked steak before so this was a bit of an endeavor for me, but ultimately it was super easy and kind of amazing!

First, oiled my pan and steak on both sides with coconut oil and then rubbed the hanger steak with salt, pepper, and chili powder and finished it off with a drizzle of fresh lime juice. Then, around the pan I added a whole poblano pepper to roast, thickly sliced red onion, sliced red pepper, some halved crimini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and crushed garlic cloves.

Pre-broiled.

Pre-broiled.

I wasn’t so sure how long to cook the steak for so I started off with 2 minutes in the broiler (I like my steak very rare), but that did not look nearly long enough so I flipped it and did 5 minutes and then flipped it again for another 5, so 12 minutes all together. For a 1 1/2 inch thick steak, it worked. It turned out perfectly!

I let the steak rest for 10 minutes and then thinly sliced it against the grain. It was beautiful! It was perfect!

Perfectly rare. Yes, you may drool.

Perfectly rare. Yes, you may drool.

After slicing, I mixed the steak back into the fajita veggies, added another fresh squeeze of lime and served it up on the plate with a fresh avocado and garnished it with cilantro. It was bangin’! AND I have enough left over for at least 2 more meals!! Woot!

I remembered the cilantro after the photo, but seriously, how amazing does that look!?

I remembered the cilantro after the photo, but seriously, how amazing does that look!?

For my post-lunch, pre-yoga snack I also devised a delicious berry salad! Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries with chia seeds and coconut flakes. My sweet tooth is 100% satisfied!

Berries with chia seeds and coconut flakes!

Berries with chia seeds and coconut flakes!

I so completely appreciated having more time to cook and eat today! Day 2 was a complete success!! I hope you enjoy these recipes, too!!

I made sure I had good food in my fridge before the Whole30 challenge even started!

I had a whole batch of paleo, Whole30 friendly chilli.

20130801-193415.jpg
I made a big pot of beef stock.

20130801-193713.jpg
And a bunch of hard boiled eggs.

I also stocked up at the store on frozen cuts of fish, seaweed snacks, and coconut milk for coffee.

20130718-192822.jpg

Add some color to your normal routine! Try a familiar vegetable in a new color, like purple potatoes, purple asparagus, golden beets, or many others! It’s the season of brightly colored produce!

Tonight for dinner I accompanied my Mild Italian Sausage from Ayrshire Farms in Upperville, VA with fermented kimchi for probiotics and thinly sliced Purple Potatoes baked in coconut oil, cultured butter, salt and pepper at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Delish!

20130513-102637.jpg

20130418-121552.jpg

A while back I posted a recipe for an Oven Pancake, and after feeding my WAP pal, Chad, the other week, he was inspired to try one on his own today! The pancake I made him was with almond flour, but he decided to give it a whirl with some buckwheat flour and had tremendous success! He used a 1/4 tsp. of baking powder to help it rise (my recipe doesn’t use it because most baking powder has corn starch in it, and I worry about GMOs and my mom is allergic, but you can find corn free if you try!), honey for sweetener, and blackberries and blueberries.  Yum!

Have you tried to make anything on the blog, or have a WAP recipe to share? I’d love to hear about it!