Shrimp and Cauliflower “Grits”

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This is so easy, and also, so delicious!!! Also, I’ll give a basic recipe for the cauliflower grits but think of it more as a cauliflower puree, and therefore you can change up herbs, etc., and eat with anything.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb wild shrimp, unpeeled
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into slivers
  • 3 tbls. ghee
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

Preparation:

  1. Heat broth in a large covered pot until it boils.
  2. While it’s heating, chop cauliflower into small pieces. Don’t worry about appearance.
  3. Add cauliflower pieces to pot and re-cover. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender.
  4. Add bacon to a skillet and fry until cooked to your liking. Transfer to paper towels. Do not discard bacon fat from skillet.
  5. Transfer cauliflower and broth to a food processor. Add 2 tbls. ghee, rosemary, salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
  6. Meanwhile, de-shell shrimp (and set shells aside to make stock.)
  7. Add a tablespoon of ghee to the bacon skillet and heat along with excess bacon fat.
  8. Once heated, add shrimp to skillet, sprinkle with red pepper flakes, and cook until done, about 2 – 3 minutes a side.
  9. Portion the cauliflower mash into bowls and top with bacon and shrimp. Eat immediately.
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Whole30 Fish ‘n’ Chips

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Really, can you Whole30 anything? I think, more or less. Well, maybe not bread related things. But certainly many things. And fish and chips, for sure. This was simple and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Haddock or other white, flaky fish
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • a few sprigs of thyme and oregano, removed from the sprigs and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Cut potatoes into fries, by hand, making them as thin or thick as you like them
  3. Toss with olive oil and spread on baking sheet
  4. Sprinkle herbs, salt and pepper on top and place in the pre-heated oven.
  5. Spread almond flour onto a plate, placed next to a large bowl with the beaten eggs.
  6. Dip each fillet into the eggs, and then into the almond flour.
  7. Heat ghee in skillet over medium heat
  8. When melted, add fillets to skillet, giving each one plenty of room. You can make them in batches if need be.
  9. Cook about 2 – 3 minutes on one side; flip and 2 – 3 minutes more on the other side.
  10. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fries, salad, Whole30 ketchup and Whole30 mayo.

Just realized I haven’t posted Whole30 ketchup and mayo recipes!! I will redeem myself and link to them.

 

Mint Chip Homemade Larabars

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Well, I’m a convert and I’ll never go back to store bought. I mean, that’s pretty much always the case, right? But in this case for sure. First off, I’m only sort of a larabar fan. Some flavors, sort of. But, I had this bar at Juice Press that was the same sort of ingredients as a larabar, but delicious. It was a mint chip bar. But, I think it was $4? So, I looked up what it was made of and made up a version. They are delicious. And all those bars cost about the same as 1 in the store, plus it took approximately 5 minutes to make and wrap the bars.

Also keep in mind that these are totally adaptable — swap out the cashews for almonds, swap nuts for oats, swap flavors, etc. For example, I’ll give you the recipe of what I did, but I think next time I would experiment with a higher date:cashew ratio. But here’s the gist:

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup cacau nibs

Preparation:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until it forms a ball.
  2. Press mixture onto a parchment covered baking sheet, and press down with hands to about 1/4″ – 1/2″ thickness throughout.
  3. Slice bars.
  4. Individually wrap.

Mine are doing really well in the fridge, it adds a little sturdiness to the bars. I’m way into them. Make them!

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The Sugar Fix

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Featured above: Delmonico Steak with Baked Potato Chips and Baby Brussels Sprouts with Homemade Bacon

So, I’ve been eating relatively healthy since the end of my Whole 60. Mostly I’ve just been keeping the diet up, adding things like legumes and some grains, but more or less sticking with it.

But I’ve noticed, the one thing that kept sneaking in: desserts. It’s odd, because sugar has never really been my thing. My thing is bagels, and pizza. Like any good New York Jew. But here’s the thing about my life post Whole 60: I haven’t been craving bagels or pizza anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had them and totally enjoyed them, but I haven’t been thinking about them the same way I used to. It’s sugar that’s been a constant desire.

Not even all day, just really after a nice meal at the end of the day. I’ve been massively wanting dessert. And actively disappointed if I don’t get it.

It got me thinking about what a job the sugar industry has done on us, really! Sugar is in everything, so my logic is, I must be craving the sugar that I normally would get in things like bacon, or ketchup, mayo, salad dressings, seasonings, etc., that I’ve now virtually cut out of my diet. So.

To combat this bad habit, and also cause we woke up on Sunday and had a big fully Whole30 style breakfast (pictured below), and then realized we had exactly 30 days until we went on vacation, we are back on Whole 30. Yay!! And, I’m actually already feeling so much better, and happier with the state of my life in general.

The PokPok Cookbook Project is still coming.  But it’s coming in April. March is strictly for feeling good. Recipes galore to come.

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Scrambled Eggs with Alaskan Smoked Salmon and Leeks, Cast Iron Potatoes and Steamed Kale

Whole30 Friendly Chicken Piccata

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This is really good. The more I cook trying to tweak for Whole30 style eating, the more I realize how so many unhealthy things aren’t really necessary for the same delicious meal. In some cases, of course, it just won’t work. But in MANY…there’s just no reason for the unhealthy crap!

In this case I looked around at how folks had been cooking Paleo-style chicken piccata and combined many aspects and ingredients to suit my tastes (and what I had in the house). Here’s what I came up with:

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup (100 grams) almond flour
  • ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ an onion
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 lemons, two juiced & one sliced
  • 2 tbsps capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Preparation:

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt 4 tablespoons of ghee.
  2. Season chicken cutlets on each side with salt and pepper. Dip into the whisked eggs, and then dip in almond flour to coat.
  3. Cook the chicken in the skillet until browned on each side and cooked through.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside, covered with foil or put in the oven on 200°F to keep warm. Add a bit more ghee to the skillet and scrape browned bits well to deglaze the pan.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
  6. Pour in chicken stock and lemon juice. Turn the heat to high and let liquid reduce by half. Add remaining ingredients, and reduce heat to low.
  7. Add the chicken to the pan and spoon sauce over the top; I gave it a few minutes to re-heat and soak up the flavors. I served with steamed kale and the combo was delightful.

Note: If you like a smoother sauce, you can make this without onions and garlic. But. They really add SO much flavor. I have done it both ways and recommend adding them. Still, a smoother sauce is more familiar and traditional, and it’s still pretty darn good. If you AREN’T using onions, add a teaspoon of guar gum or arrowroot mixed with a bit of water towards the end and it will thicken the sauce right up.

Whole3o Beef Stew

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Stews are so perfect this time of year. This stew is no exception. It can be done in a slow cooker, but really if you’re geeky like me and have the time, I recommend just stewing it old school slow and steady style. Also, you can easily double or triple this recipe if you want some leftovers to bring in to work (excellent idea).

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into inch cubes
  • 5 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 ½ cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • herbs to taste

Preparation:

  1. Combine the almond flour and pepper in a bowl, add the beef and toss to coat well. Heat 3 teaspoons of the oil in a large pot. Add the beef a few pieces at a time. Cook, turning the pieces until beef is browned on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch.
  2. Remove the beef from the pot and add the vinegar. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Add the beef, beef broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer.
  3. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the onions and carrots and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs. Ladle among 4 bowls and serve.

Broiled Mussels with Herb Butter

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So. These are obviously not on Whole30, but I feel pretty confident you could make them with ghee and almond flour and get an equally delicious result. I would maybe try to make it while the ghee was in a more solid state, maybe stick it in the fridge for an hour beforehand if it’s warm and more liquid-y. Anyway, you pretty much can’t go wrong if you have good mussels and herbs.

This recipe comes from the NY Times. Git the original here.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup oregano leaves (this is just what I had fresh in my fridge, I think you could use many different types of herbs and have a whole other magical experience: the original recipe calls for parsley)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons Pernod or pastis (optional. I left this out)
  • 2 pounds mussels, scrubbed
  • cup bread crumbs 

Preparation:

  1. In a food processor, pulse together oregano, garlic, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Pulse in butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons Pernod, if using, until mixture is combined. Scrape into a bowl.
  2. In a soup pot with a tightfitting lid, combine mussels, 1/4 cup pastis, if using and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until mussels have opened, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer mussels to a bowl until cool enough to handle; remove meat from the shells (reserving shells) and transfer to a bowl.
  3. Pry apart mussel shells and arrange half the shells on one or two large baking sheets; discard remaining shells. Place one mussel in each shell. Top each with a small spoonful of herb butter and a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Heat broiler to high and arrange a rack 4 inches from the heat. Transfer tray to the oven and broil until bread crumbs are golden, 1 to 2 minutes.

Monkfish Kimchi Stew

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This. It’s good. It’s also relatively quick and easy. You should make it. Here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. monkfish, cleaned and cut into ½” chunks
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • ½ cup yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup   gochujang
  • 4 cups  dashi broth or fish stock
  • 1 cup kimchi, rough chopped
  • 2 cups  napa or savoy cabbage, rough chopped
  • 1 cup  extra firm tofu, cut in cubes
  • 1 cup  zucchini, cut in ¼” half moons
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos (optional, can totally be left out)
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • ½ cup scallions, sliced fine

Preparation:

1.    Heat a heavy deep pan with a tight fitting lid over medium heat. Add the sesame oil, onion, garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrent, about 2 minutes.

2.    Add the dashi or fish stock, gochujang and kimchi. Cover to bring to a simmer. Add the cabbage, tofu and monkfish. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.

3.    Add the zucchini, soy sauce and fish sauce. Cover and simmer for one minute, then turn the heat off and allow the pan to rest for two minutes. Add the scallions to the pot and serve with rice on the side.

ps. depending on your kimchi (and fish sauce and stock) this is completely Whole30 friendly.

Project: Buy an Apartment and Move: Completed!

So, I have been missing for an instant while I…bought an apartment and moved!!! Yay! Anyhow, that’s been my main project for the last few weeks. Here’s an image of our first meal in our new home:

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Not too shabby for being not completely moved in and no grocery store trip since moving in. On the menu: crispy pork belly and purple brussels with an apple pork condiment and apple butter. YUM!

Anyhow, moving has brought it’s own set of eating challenges, even though I waited until the last minute to pack my kitchen and it’s almost completely unpacked already! And, we’re away this weekend, plans we made long before we knew we were moving. So, once we get back the plan is to go back on Whole30 for a month. You can expect some more of those recipes and, of course, words of wisdom.

And then…at least as of right now, I’m planning for my next project to be the Pok Pok Cookbook. So, keep posted, it should be an interesting project and it will definitely be a delicious one.

Whole60: Final Thoughts

Wow. Well, I have so many feelings about this whole experience. I’m not quite sure where to start.

It’s been a few days since the official end, so I feel I can really talk about it.

First off, I am really glad to be done with this. It was a long time, and felt very rigid.

However, I am really, really glad I did it. And even more glad that I did it for the full 60 days. It definitely taught me things about food, and my relationship to food, that I did not know. I also learned about my own self, and feel really proud that I managed to do this in full, not just without cheating, but without it even really crossing my mind.

We are planning to stick with this type of eating as a norm. Not necessarily because we reacted poorly to most of the food groups involved, but more because we feel so, so good eating this way. The amount of food we ate in re-introductions was not really enough to tell what makes you feel bad or not; but I have to assume that there’s something about the overall diet that feels amazing. I think it’s gonna take a bit more to understand what, exactly, causes problems; also, I feel like I may not react to eating a bagel with whole30 friendly tuna salad on it, but maybe I will react to a bagel with cream cheese and a sugary something…in other words mixing the groups may produce more of a reaction; or maybe it’s overdoing something that is the real problem. Oh, and for anyone who’s been actually following this journey and wants to know about the psoriasis and if this helped: it did not. But that became less and less the point of this the further along we got. And it was totally worth it anyway.

Anyway, there are things I hope to still find out. But at least now I am aware and able to see clearly and tell the difference between feeling great and feeling meh.

In the beginning I was even a little afraid to try things; it felt so weird to suddenly be eating these things I’ve been avoiding for 72 days. 72 DAYS!!!! And I was afraid that I would like, have a heart attack or something crazy adding them back in after all this time. And, I think I was kind of hoping I would just hate the taste of all things bad for me.

Well, that didn’t happen. It turns out I still love bagels, and chocolate, and ice cream. I haven’t tried pizza yet but I seriously can not wait. But, I AM waiting, cause I really don’t think I can eat too much crappy stuff all together. I just don’t want to wake up one day and realize I feel lethargic and lousy again.

So the challenge continues. I suppose it never ends, really. But this project, on the other hand, is a wrap.