Sunday, February 21, 2016

Whole30 Part 2: Recipes

This is just a really long list of most of the things we ate while on Whole 30. You’ll notice I usually take recipes as suggestions, and just use what I have or what I think will taste better, so feel free to do the same. Some of the recipes weren’t exactly Whole 30 compliant, so I modified them by omitting sugar, using coconut milk instead of real milk, or clarified butter instead of normal butter. I find pictures are most helpful when deciding what I want to make, so I’ve tried to pin most of the recipes here, including ones I didn’t make but looked good. Some recipes are so simple, I've forgotten the source, so tried to write out directions. Most of them are linked though, and those websites are probably great resources too!  Hope this helps, if you are on Whole 30 and good luck!

Special ingredients:
Coconut aminos (whole foods or Wegman’s)

Taco Salad: Brown ground beef in a pan. Add whatever spices you want (I did cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and smoked chipotle powder) once mostly brown add diced onions (1/2-1 cup). Once onions are translucent, add diced red pepper. Cook for a 3-5 minutes depending how done you like your peppers. Serve over lettuce, spinach and sliced avocado.

Pork Loin with Cilantro Date Relish

Paleo Orange Chicken – I just used the coconut aminos.

Lemon Chicken – This sounds boring, but was delicious and easy (best if you remember to let it marinade ahead of time though).

Brisket – This was best for the weekend with guests. I didn’t actually use the linked recipe, but I wasn’t that happy with mine, so I’m hoping this is better.

Asian Meatballs – a lot of chopping so it these took a while

Seared scallops – use ghee instead of butter

Grilled tuna steaks with mango salsa – used this blackened seasoning then 2 minutes on each side, the salsa recipe is for salmon but was so amazing with this tuna

Grilled mahi mahi – I think we did six minutes on each side and then with leftover mango salsa from the tuna.

Roasted chicken – whole chicken with a little olive oil drizzled on, salt and pepper then roast at 400 degrees for 1.5 hours. This was easy, so we did it a lot.

Chicken tikka masala (crock pot) – I used already cooked chicken (from the roasted chicken the night before) and just simmered on the stove for about 20-30 minutes instead of doing the crock pot. I didn’t make cauliflower rice with this, but wish I had.

Carnitas – one of our favorites. This turned out better putting all the ingredients in the crock pot and setting on low for 8 hours (or high for 4) instead of slow cooking in the oven.

Roasted leg of lamb – was on super sale at the grocery store. I added some rosemary springs and a bunch of root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, parsnips, whatever you have works) when there were about 45 minutes left.

Shephard’s pie – for the mashed potato topping, I used a mix of clarified butter and coconut cream (instead of milk and butter) and no Parmesan cheese. I also don’t do the egg yolk for the topping because I can’t tell a difference, so why go through the extra step? To be Whole 30 compliant I didn’t use Worcester sauce (used coconut aminos instead) and didn’t use the red wine. I like it really with a lot of gravy, so used more like 1.5 cups of chicken stock. I usually make it with ground beef instead of lamb. I also like too add peas and shredded cabbage to the meat mixture. Ok, I guess that’s a lot of modifications, but I started realizing I could use a lot of my normal recipes with a few tweaks.

Chicken Mole – I think we had too much time on our hands, and decided to make this really complicated dish during the snow storm. We definitely didn’t have all the ingredients and so subbed chipotle peppers for ancho chilies (only used ½ the chilis called for), some non-peanut nuts for hazelnuts, dates for raisins, coco powder for chocolate. We also didn’t use tortilla chunks or sugar. Even with all those changes, this was really delicious, though definitely use pre-ground spices, otherwise you’ll end up with big chunks of cinnamon stick in it.

Jerk Chicken and shrimp with cauliflower rice – the recipe was really just for shrimp, but I doubled it and added some chicken (just baked the chicken breast). PS- cauliflower rice wasn’t that hard to do, but they sell it at Trader Joe’s which would have been a helpful shortcut to know.

Steak - we got the cut that was on sale. The butcher gave me a tip on how to make it more tender: coat it in salt for an hour then rinse before cooking. I didn’t use any rub, but I did use the Pioneer woman’s timing on how to cook it, and used clarified butter.

Salmon - I did use my hand blender to make the mayo and used dried herbs

For most dinners I did two vegetables (except the Shepard’s pie and the jerk chicken). Sometimes (when it was easy like roast chicken), I did some soups or veggies that used the following recipes:

Carrot Coconut Ginger soup

Roasted Red Pepper Cauliflower Soup- just without all the non-whole 30 toppings

Squash soup – roast acorn or butternut squash, scrape out of skin, cook onion, garlic, then add peeled apple and squash, about 1 tbsp curry, blend.

Crispy Kale – I just did the kale part in this recipe without the coconut (though you could find coconut without sugar added for Whole30). I used the rice vinegar version she suggested.

Za’atar Roasted Carrots – if you have inflammation issues, you should stay away from too much tahini, but these were good even though I used a mix of cumin, cinnamon, and paprika since I didn’t have za’atar and never have parsley.

Otherwise, we roast vegetables a lot, which was so easy to just coat in oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, did a bunch of salads.

Grilled zucchini – cut in long strips (maybe 1 cm thick) or whatever shape works, drizzle with olive oils and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt, then cook on grill for 20 minutes or until ends get charred

Mashed potatoes – I found by using clarified butter and coconut milk instead or regular butter and milk, these turned out just fine and I couldn’t tell a difference.

For salad dressings, it’s easy to do olive oil and either balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of lime or lemon. Otherwise I liked the following dressings:

Our go-to dressing: orange or lemon juice from 1 fruit (usually ¼ cup), ¼ cup olive oil, minced garlic, a squirt of Dijon

Southwest Dressing – I just omitted the yogurt (or used the mayo below if I had it), and threw in come cilantro if I had it

BBQ Sauce – I think I might start using this after whole 30. I like that it wasn’t so sweet and had a good amount of tang to it

Mayo – I used it for a few things including salad dressing, or mixed with horseradish for a yummy sweet potato dip

Dijon – I didn’t make it, but I thought it was worth noting that the Giant and Safeway organic brands were whole 30 compliant, but the ones at more “heath food” stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s weren’t. Crazy how added sugar seems to show up in everything!

Clarified butter/ghee – you can google a recipe, but basically just put butter on low/medium heat until the top part is clear and the milky liquid falls to the bottom (5-10 minutes). Save the clear oils on top to use and discard the “milk solids” at the bottom of the pan. Cook a bit longer until the butter browns to have ghee for a more nutty flavor.


Usually on weekdays this was a mix of hard boiled eggs, nuts, avocado, carrots, fruit, or miscellaneous leftovers. I just didn’t want to devote more time to it than that. Weekends, however, were another story. I got tired of egg dishes all the time, so we’d usually do some kind of hash. Dice up a cup worth of potatoes and mix in whatever kind of meat and veggies you got and top with a fried egg. The possibilities are endless, but I used steps similar to this recipe, Asparagus Pancetta Hash, with other ingredients. Most sausage has added sugar, but I found kielbasa, chorizo, and bratwurst ones that didn’t at Whole Foods, Wegman’s and H-Mart. I never could find bacon without sugar added. Some of our favorite hash combos were:

-sweet potato, leek, apple, chorizo, hash

-regular potato, red pepper, sausage, onion, hash

Snacks & Desserts So the book really discourages you from keeping up your same bad habits, just with compliant foods, but I think the only way we could make it sometimes was by finding something that filled the worst of our cravings.

Snacks: olives, pickles, prosciutto, dried fruit, nuts

Chocolate coconut cream – whip a can of coconut cream on high with a tablespoon of cocoa powder, refrigerate for as long as you have the patience for, then top with fruit like bananas or blueberries. We found this to be almost like an ice cream stand in, although it has to be the coconut cream, not milk. (I usually found at Trader Joe’s though they seem to have some supply issues lately.)

Dried or fresh fruit – a couple dried dates or figs was enough sugar to get me through a few afternoons at work.

We did try poached pears one night too.

So that is about it... I think we're going to keep trying to incorporate more of the "whole30" meals even though we are off the diet, so let me know if there's something you've found that you love!

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