Okay, time for a check in. This 10 days has gone by fairly easily! I feel like it’s become more second nature, and so it’s not as much of a struggle. Both my honey and I feel fantastic…like, I actually have thoughts first thing in the morning,(which have always been a sore point for me) while jogging or working out, or even just having a cup of coffee, like “It’s an incredible day to be alive!” Not sure yet which foods are the culprits but it’s obvious that it’s because of the diet.
The one thing that’s kind of a bummer is that it’s boring. I could totally see having this as the base of your diet, but the strict nature of this specific time period that I’m asking myself to not cheat at all, ever, is unrealistic and not maintainable. I can do it for the 60 days (I hope!) but I do find myself trying to avoid going out to dinner, or meeting friends for a drink, or doing anything with anyone that I’m not in charge of what I’ll be able to eat. And that’s a super bummer.
But, ya know, I feel good. 😀 I’ll be happy though when I get to the part where I can ease up a little.
Anyways, here are some of the things I’ve been eating:
More coming with recipes. These are just for inspiration. I find I eat a lot of big breakfasts and a lot of salads with a protein on top…sometimes taco meat, sometimes canned mackerel, sometimes tuna fish salad, sometimes grilled chicken, and so on.The trick is always having fresh and seasonal stuff around. I’ll keep posting recipes for the more complicated.
I’m really enjoying the big breakfasts, which I’ve never gotten into the habit of over the years. I used to not eat at all until lunch, unless it was like a hang over day when breakfast was at noon or 1 (back in the day) or just once or twice a week for a real breakfast. But I’m having a love affair with breakfast lately. Who knew. Maybe it has something to do with homemade bacon!
Anyway breakfast WAS late today (hahaha) and so I went with a small quickie lunch of heirloom tomatoes and avocado, which I could eat constantly, really, I think. Of course, you can still find perfect heirlooms this time of year, so I’m looking at it as taking it while I can get it.
I’ve really been craving tacos lately. So, I decided to have a taco salad for dinner. It fulfilled all of my desires, and then some. It actually tasted really close to a taco bowl from like Chipotle or something! Recipe below.
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tbls. cooking fat
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1 heirloom tomato, chopped
- 2 cups spicy salad greens
- 1 portion taco mix (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat cooking fat (I used beef tallow) in a skillet over medium heat. Once it’s melted, add onions, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add ground chicken and cook until browned.
- Add taco mix and water and stir well; cook down until the liquid is almost all gone. Remove from heat.
- Throw salad greens, tomato and avocado into a bowl, and top with taco meat. Toss well and serve.
Taco Mix: (makes 1 serving)
- 2 teaspoons Ancho Chili Powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
Oh! At the end of the day I roasted up a bunch of veggies that were getting older, now I’ll have roasted veggies ready to heat ‘n’ eat. So pretty, too!
Today was fairly unexciting. Fruit for breakfast, and a leftover stuffed acorn squash for lunch.
I knew I was flying solo for dinner, so I had planned on a big salad with some canned mackerel on top, keeping it simple. But when I got home, all my salad greens had turned. So, I just cut up an heirloom tomato and an avocado, threw on some salt and threw the can of mackerel right on top. I included the packaging because you totally want to buy this. It’s in there with some olive oil, a pepper, a pickle and a carrot, which I also threw onto the salad. And it was great, greens or no greens. Buy Cole’s Wild Chub Mackerel! They also have a Smoked Wild Mackerel that’s pretty delicious.
Behold, the red pear. So beautiful, and so tasty, all at the same time. Seriously, how pretty is that pear?
Anyway, I ate fruit for breakfast. A pear (that very pear) and an orange.
Lunch was leftover hake, chard and potatoes. A full recycled meal.
Had a half an avocado sprinkled with sea salt as an afternoon snack.
For dinner I got more creative. It must be autumn, because I’m all about the stuffed gourd these days. Today’s gourd of choice: the acorn squash. I thought it worked a little better than the kobocha cause it’s smaller, and made for a more individual serving size. However…kobocha squash is so fantastic tasting I really don’t mind sharing a half. Anyway I totally improvised this dinner based on what I had in the house. And it was outstandingly delicious. I can’t wait to eat more of it for lunch.
Chicken, Tomato and Onion stuffed Acorn Squash:
- 2 acorn squashes
- 1 1/2 lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 giant heirloom tomato, or 3 regular tomatoes, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- cooking fat
- olive oil
- guar gum
- 1/4 cup fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 425.
- Cut squashes in half and seed them. Place on a baking sheet with tin foil and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place baking sheet in the oven and let roast for 40 – 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add a bit of cooking fats to a skillet; once it’s warm add the chicken pieces and cook through, about 8 – 10 minutes; transfer to a plate.
- Add a bit more cooking fat to the same skillet. Once warm, add onions and cook until soft, about 6 – 8 minutes.
- Add tomato to the skillet and cook down. If needed, take 1/4 tsp. of guar gum and dissolve it in a small amount of water. Add to the tomato/onion mixture to thicken it up a bit.
- Return chicken to skillet and add thyme. Continue cooking for approximately 5 more minutes, to incorporate the flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the mixture into the squash halves, and eat immediately.
P.S. Acorn squash skin can and should be eaten! Not only is it very healthy, it gets all crispy and tastes great.
Potatoes save the day. Actually they really do.
So, it serves me right for being cocky. But of course it caught up with me. This was a tough day! It’s not really that I’m craving anything in particular, it’s just that I’m wanting a break from the constant prepping and cooking and planning. Also I’m a little broke this week and it’s expensive to prep everything yourself!
Anyway, that said, it turned out to be a better day than I thought it would be. But I’ve been a little under the weather and grumpy, so I started out a little pissy.
We made up a breakfast scramble of smoked salmon, tomatoes and egg.
It was good but I’ve still been feeling a little over it all. For lunch we had those delicious potatoes (featured above) with some leftover chili. I was really feeling over the leftovers, though, so I chopped up an heirloom and an avocado and made this deliciousness below:
…and actually that made my day turn around. It was so good. And so easy. I didn’t have to dress it with anything. Just a little sea salt.
I totally got inspired by that salad and by dinner was feeling much happier and back on track with the whole 30 in general, which I had been cursing up till that point in the day.
And then I busted this out for dinner, which pretty much ended the food day on a super high note:
Kobocha Squash Stuffed with Curried Turkey and Potatoes:
- 1 kobocha squash
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 4 – 5 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced
- olive oil
- 2 tbls. curry powder
- sea salt to taste
- Heat oven to 425
- Cut squash in half and seed. Sprinkle with olive oil. Once oven is hot, roast at 425 for 40 – 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, brown the ground turkey in a skillet over medium high heat. Ince brown, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the potatoes to the same skillet and add water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Drain, and mash.
- Add potatoes to bowl with ground meat, along with curry powder and salt.
- When the squash is ready, fill with potato turkey mixture and serve immediately.
This dish was life affirming. Also we shared one half and kept the second for leftovers.
I managed to squeeze in frying up an egg before I left home today, and I popped it in a tupperware with this half avocado. Why does an avocado make everything delicious?!? And again, these pears are really good, too.
Lunchtime brought the chili that cooked in the slow cooker overnight. Recipe is below.
Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne:
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, buffalo or venison, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 pound white onions, chopped
- 3 tbls. ancho chili powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ¾ cups beef broth
- 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 ancho chiles, stems removed
- In a Dutch oven over medium heat, stir the cumin seeds until fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside.
- Increase the heat to high. Working in small batches, add the beef cubes to the pot and cook, stirring, until well browned on all sides. Transfer the beef to a bowl.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and sauté until lightly browned.
- Transfer everything to your slow cooker and add the cumin seeds, chili powder, paprika, oregano, black pepper, thyme, salt, garlic, broth, tomatoes, 1 cup water, anchos and the browned beef. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
- Stir well, and serve.
If the bacon that’s been curing in my fridge was ready, I would have included frying up some bacon before the beef, and crumbling that into the whole ordeal as well…which only makes me cry to think about so let’s move on.
For dinner I sautéed some black bass in clarified butter and fresh thyme. Also made up some garlic chips (lightly fried in butter as well). I then removed them from the pan and in the same pan sautéed some collard greens in the garlic-y butter. Meanwhile I roasted an eggplant at 425. Bing bang boom.
Woot! 10 days in! This is easy. 😀 Of course, we’re really on a Whole 60, so we’ll see how easy it is by then.
Anyway, day 10 was pretty low maintenance on the food stuffs. I had two pears in the morning, one right after exercising and the other mid-morning.
Lunchtime was the winner of the daily meals. Leftover steak and potato nik, with a salad of avocado, tomato and lettuce topped with oil and vinegar. Could an avocado be any more perfect?
For dinner I pulled out some of those frozen fish cakes and ate them while I prepped a chili con carne for an overnight trip in the slow cooker. More on that tomorrow.
That’s it! Again I stress: leftovers. Extremely important.