Whole 30: Days 27 & 28

It’s the countdown! To…halfway. Meh. Anyways, days 27 & 28 both actually had fantastic breakfasts and dinners, both. Simple salads and picking at lunchtime both days. But seriously, those breakfasts and dinners.

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Example A. Simple. Elegant. Delicious. Perfection. Roasted the baby brussels sprinkled with salt and olive oil at 425 for about 40 minutes; meanwhile fried up bacon and poached some eggs. Boom. I could eat this every day.

IMG_5364.JPGExample B. I will be so sad when my local farm closes for the season. Right now, I’m just throwing in whatever’s lying around from it; peppers, mostly, but the most beautiful peppers…and this breakfast got some of their collard greens thrown in with some eggs and ham and scallions. The peppers went in the potatoes with some red onion and some farm thyme, and it was all magical.

The thing about these breakfasts is, I can’t really get into a full sized lunch, I’m really just in the mood to pick till dinner time after such a big feast. Still, they’re awesome.

Dinners!

Day 27: Sous Vide Squid Stuffed with Tomato Salsa

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This was outrageously delicious. Firstly I know, why do you have to sous vide squid, but I’m telling you, it makes squid like, the best food out there. It’s like butter melting on your tongue. And the whole thing is easy, only takes about 1 1/2 hours total even with the sous vide.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. squid, tubes and tentacles 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon ghee

Preparation:

  1. Heat sous vide to 136 F. Meanwhile, salt and pepper squid and place in a vacuum seal bag. Pour olive oil over and seal.
  2. Add squid to sous vide and cover. Sous vide for 1 hour.
  3. A few minutes before the squid is ready, mix tomatoes, cilantro, scallion, lime juice and fish sauce together in a bowl.
  4. Remove squid from sous vide. Pour off any cooking juices and pat dry.
  5. Stuff tubes with salsa
  6. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat. When melted and shimmering, add the stuffed tubes and tentacles. Cook until lightly browned; about 2 minutes on each side. Turn out onto a plate and top with more salsa.

Day 28: Prosciutto Wrapped Striped Bass with Mint and Steamed Chard

IMG_5372.JPGPretty simple meal. Really you just need to concern yourself with the quality of your ingredients, and you’re pretty much set.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. striped bass fillets
  • 3 oz. prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup mint, 2 tablespoons chopped, the rest whole leaves
  • 1 large bunch of chard, trimmed, and cut in 1/2 pieces, both ribs and leaves
  • Ume vinegar to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ghee

Preparation:

  1. Lay slices of prosciutto down on a plate. Lay mint leaves on top of them. Place a fish fillet diagonally on each, and wrap.
  2. Heat ghee in a large skillet. When melted and shimmering, add fish and cook through, flipping once halfway, about 3 – 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets.
  3. Meanwhile, heat an inch or so of water in a large pot.
  4. Place chard in a steamer. Once water is boiling, place steamer in pot and cover. Steam for 2 – 3 minutes until the chard is bright green but the ribs are still crispy.
  5. Transfer everything to serving platters. Pour the ghee the fish has been cooking in over the plated fish, and sprinkle with chopped mint. Pour Ume vinegar and salt and pepper to taste on chard. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Whole 30: Days 25 & 26

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I feel like this blog post should be titled “More of the Same”. I mean, even that breakfast looks uninspiring. (Although the leftover nik was delicious. I overdid the egg in the microwave trying to re-heat the nik…the egg was perfect when I left home). But still, the last few days I have been down on the diet. I’ve never been one not to break rules. I’m still feeling amazing, I’m just bored and want to change it up.

Also, I think the fact that this is called “Whole 30” and I’m not stopping after 30 days has been bumming me out. It’s some sort of mental thing, even though I’ve always known I was going 60 days with this I feel like, I should be super excited to be done with this right about now, and instead I’m like, hmmm, only half way through. I mean, I’ll get over it, and last night’s dinner was incrediballs, but I’m not there yet. So, meh.

I had some yummy things, but mostly boring things, like a canned Alaskan salmon salad and other salads. Breakfast yesterday was good:

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And last night’s dinner was great. Now that I have sugar free fish sauce life is way simpler.

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Thai Basil Chicken with Red Shishitos:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint shishito peppers
  • 1 – 2 cups thai basil
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. guar gum
  • sesame oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Heat a tbls. sesame oil over high heat in a wok. When it shimmers, add the garlic and peppers and stir fry until the peppers are charred.
  2. Add the chicken and cook through.
  3. Add fish sauce and mix well, turn heat to medium and cook down a few minutes.
  4. In the meantime, add guar gum to 1/4 cup of water and dissolve fully.
  5. Add that mixture to the stir fry and stir to combine.
  6. Once the sauce thickens slightly, transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately.

So? I just have to get it up to keep things creative. Also, the time has been going fairly quickly…so I’ll just keep hoping it flies on by.

Whole 30: Day 24

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So, that pork sugo scrambled egg mixture was too yummy, and I had to make it again today. This time, I paired it with 2 breakfast sausage patties from The Piggery and some of the best grapes in town. Yeah!

Lunch was leftover lemongrass broth. I brought it to work…and I’ve got to say, I’m so impressed with how it looked while traveling that I’m gonna post a photo just to show how pro this looks. Like, I would totally be fine if this was a delivery from an actual restaurant.

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Right? How good does that look?!? And, more importantly, how good does it TASTE. Seriously, make this.

For dinner I wasn’t feeling too fancy, and we had a bunch of leftovers in the house. I need to shake up my potatoes, so I decided to make another nik. (Recipe here). Then I took the broccolini from a couple of days ago and added the remainder of the pork sugo; sautéed that for a couple of minutes and it turned into a whole new meal. Yay! Repurposed food.

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Whole 30: Day 23

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This morning I was able to make me some eggs before I went to work. I scrambled them in bacon fat and then mixed in a couple tablespoons of pork sugo, which was the special item I got from this week’s meat club. I can not stress enough how great meat club is. Live in Brooklyn? Join it. I would say more, but the first rule about meat club is never talk about meat club.

For lunch, I packed a mason jar with salad greens and cherry tomatoes. Then I packed a half an avocado and a tin of mackerel. Boom. Lunch, done.

For dinner I had some wild Alaskan salmon sitting around, and it was super cold, so I decided to go quick and dirty with a lemongrass and ginger broth with salmon, shiitake and tatsoi. It was the perfect meal for a chilly evening.

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Lemongrass and Ginger Broth with Salmon, Shiitake Mushrooms and Tatsoi:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh or canned chicken stock or fish stock or beef stock
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, trimmed and halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely julienned
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (I used Red Boat, which is the only sugar free one I’ve found. It’s delicious…but if you know of others please let me know!!)
  • 1 lb. of salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, trimmed
  • 2 cups sliced tatsoi

Preparation:

  1. In a large wide saucepan into which a steamer will fit, combine stock and 5 cups water. Place over high heat to bring to a boil. Add lemon grass, scallion, ginger, lime juice and fish sauce, and reduce heat to low.
  2. Put salmon in a steamer over simmering broth. Cover and cook just until salmon has turned pale pink. Remove steamer from pan, and add mushrooms and tatsoi to broth.
  3. Return broth to a simmer. Remove lemon grass and discard. Add salmon cubes to broth. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Yum!!!

Whole 30: Day 22

Oh, my god, if only I was doing this for only 30 days!!! I would be so psyched right about now. Well, I guess I can take solace in the fact that 30 days is almost up, and I’ve been able to do it. So? The next 30 will be cake. And then, afterwards, I will eat cake. Like, a giant, sugary cake with lots of icing. And I will eat it alone. 🙂 In the meantime…

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Breakfast. This was a really good one. I just e-heated some roasted veggies…popped a tablespoon of ghee into a skillet and re-heated that way so they’d still be nice and crispy. Then I fried up a couple slices of bacon and poached some eggs. The eggs worked beautifully on the roast veggies, it was a match made in heaven.

Lunch! I went with the tried and true:

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Simple salad with arugula, avocado, cherry tomatoes and smoked mackerel. Used the oil from the canned mackerel for dressing. Always yummy, always simple and quick.

For dinner I got a little complicated. I had some broccolini that was totally beautiful and longed to be eaten. So I steamed it and marinated it with some water chestnuts while I made the rest. Pollack curry and roasted delicata squash with pomegranate seeds and a pomegranate molasses coconut yogurt for dipping. The whole thing was glorious.

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Here’s how I worked it, in the order I worked it:

Marinated Broccolini and Water Chestnuts:

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads broccolini (or broccoli, sliced in thin slices)
  • 1 can water chestnuts, chopped in half
  • 1 tbls. coconut aminos
  • 3 tbls. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. monkfruit extract (optional)
  • 3 tbls. sesame oil

Preparation:

  1. Mix coconut aminos, vinegar, ginger, monkfruit and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Boil 1 – 2 inches of water in a large pot. Place the broccolini in a steamer. Once the water is in a full boil, add the steamer full of broccolini, cover and steam for about 4 – 5 minutes. The broccolini should be bright green and still crisp.
  3. Drain, and place broccolini in a large bowl with the water chestnuts.
  4. Pour marinade over vegetables, mix well, cover, and allow to marinade for at least a half hour, but preferably more.

Next, Roasted Delicata Squash Rings with Pomegranate Seeds and a Pomegranate Molasses Coconut Yogurt Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 2 delicata squashes, sliced and seeded
  • 3 – 4 tbls. pomegranate seeds
  • 1 tbls. pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup coconut yogurt
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Place squash slices in a single layer on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Place into the oven and roast for 40 minutes, until the squash slices are nicely browned. Keep in mind the underbelly will be more browned…I prefer not to flip them as it kind of caramelizes the bottoms, which I find delicious. Alternatively, you could flip them halfway through for even browning.
  4. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle pomegranate seeds over.
  5. Mix pomegranate molasses with the yogurt, and serve alongside the squash.

While the squash is roasting;

Pollock Curry:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pollock or other white flakey fish, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbls. ginger
  • 1 tbls. curry powder
  • cilantro to garnish
  • ghee

Preparation:

  1. Sauté onion, zucchini and cauliflower in ghee until soft, about 5 minutes
  2. Add 1 tablespoon ginger and 1 tablespoon curry powder (or to taste). Cook for a minute, then add fish, coconut milk, and 1/2 cup water.
  3.  Bring to a boil and cook through for about 5 – 8 minutes, until mixture has thickened up a bit.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

This all sounds way more complicated than it was. It was an incredibly satisfying dinner. You should definitely make this.

 

 

Whole 30: Day 21

So today I uttered the phrase: “So, this diet is totally a pain in the ass, but I’ve got to admit I feel really, really good.”  And it’s true. It’s a huge pain, because it turns out, pretty much everything has sugar in it, so if you want something, you have to make it. It does make me wonder, though, is this an American thing? Is it like this everywhere? I tend to think it must be. I just read something about how there’s a sugar shortage in Egypt and people are flipping out because sugar is in, like, everything they make. And now it’s going for some insane price on the black market. Anyway, it is interesting to be forced to notice everything that’s got sugar, and cream, and butter, etc. It’s an amazing industry.

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Today started out with this fatly stuffed omelet. Stuffed with an entire head of kale, Piggery ham slices (!!), scallions, and the last Piggery sausage. I browned the sausage and sautéed the greens before making the omelet, and I stirred a spoonful of coconut yogurt into the eggs before pouring them into the skillet. Delicious.

For lunch I created a Whole 30 style club salad. I wanted to finish off the ham before it went bad, so I chopped that up, threw some arugula into a bowl with the ham slices, cherry tomatoes, avocados, a few almonds, and two poached eggs. I sprinkled on some salt and pepper but otherwise opted to break the yolks and mix that up into the salad for dressing. Side note: this would also be glorious with bacon.

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For dinner I had some amazing wild white shrimp, so I thought I’d whip ’em up in a nice stir fry. I also had some gorgeous looking tatsoi, so I threw that in, too. Here’s my full recipe below:

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Shrimp and Tatsoi Stir Fry:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tbls. fresh shredded ginger
  • 2 tbls. minced garlic
  • 1 head tatsoi,both stem and greens chopped
  • 2 tbls. coconut aminos
  • 1 tbls. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. monkfruit extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. guar gum or arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions plus more to garnish
  • sesame or coconut oil or ghee for cooking

Preparation:

  1. Combine coconut aminos, sesame oil, rice wine, monkfruit extract (if using) and guar gum in a small bowl and mix well; set aside.
  2. Put a wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame or coconut oil, swirl it around and immediately add garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add scallion and tatsoi. Raise heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens just soften, about 2 to 3 minutes; transfer everything to a plate and set aside.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, add another tablespoon of oil, let it get hot, add shrimp and sprinkle with salt and pepper; raise heat to high, continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp turn pink and are no longer translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to medium, return greens to pan, and toss once or twice. Stir sauce to make sure guar gum is well blended and add to pan. Cook until everything is warmed through and sauce thickens. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve.

Whole 30: Day 20

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Again, with the big and wonderful breakfasts. Also again, thank you The Piggery for your awesome, sugarless breakfast sausage.

For lunch today we shared the leftover taco meat in a big taco salad. It’s exactly the same as yesterday’s, but I’m going to show you a picture anyway since it’s so pretty.

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You’re welcome.

Today was meat club day (the best day) and we got a bunch of amazing meat, including a half chicken. They always include ideas of what to do with the meat which I never do, because I’m me. But their suggestion this week for the half chicken piqued my curiosity… so I tried it. It’s called oyakodon, and they say it’s a classic Japanese home style dinner.

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The photo doesn’t do it justice. I wish I had taken a photo before I transferred it to the platter…it looked so cool in the pan. I’ll have to make it again and post a photo because this even looks a little gross and this is so, good. I had to change a couple of things to make it Whole 30 friendly, but it was very little, really. Here’s what I did:

In a small pan that will just comfortably fit the chicken, sweat some sliced onion, garlic and ginger. Add a cup of chicken stock, splash of coconut aminos, two teaspoons of rice wine vinegar, salt and the chicken on top. Simmer until the chicken is 75% cooked. Flip and cook a few minutes longer. Lightly beat two eggs and pour around the chicken into the broth/sauce. Simmer for a few minutes, until the egg thickens and is almost set. Serve over cauliflower rice. Anyway, again, this is really good. It cooks through tenderly and perfectly and the flavor of the sauce is spectacular. I swear a better picture will be posted eventually.