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.
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.
Example 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.
Day 27: Sous Vide Squid Stuffed with Tomato Salsa
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.
- 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
- Heat sous vide to 136 F. Meanwhile, salt and pepper squid and place in a vacuum seal bag. Pour olive oil over and seal.
- Add squid to sous vide and cover. Sous vide for 1 hour.
- A few minutes before the squid is ready, mix tomatoes, cilantro, scallion, lime juice and fish sauce together in a bowl.
- Remove squid from sous vide. Pour off any cooking juices and pat dry.
- Stuff tubes with salsa
- 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
Pretty simple meal. Really you just need to concern yourself with the quality of your ingredients, and you’re pretty much set.
- 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
- Lay slices of prosciutto down on a plate. Lay mint leaves on top of them. Place a fish fillet diagonally on each, and wrap.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, heat an inch or so of water in a large pot.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
And last night’s dinner was great. Now that I have sugar free fish sauce life is way simpler.
Thai Basil Chicken with Red Shishitos:
- 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
- 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.
- Add the chicken and cook through.
- Add fish sauce and mix well, turn heat to medium and cook down a few minutes.
- In the meantime, add guar gum to 1/4 cup of water and dissolve fully.
- Add that mixture to the stir fry and stir to combine.
- 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.
This morning I made time to pre-cook some scrambled eggs with scallions and fry up some bacon. Another perk of the make your own bacon project is that it also provides me with bacon fat in which to cook my eggs, and other goodies. Yay!
Lunch was leftover curry, which is maybe more amazing the next day.
Anything to perk you up in the middle of a work day is awesome. Also I’ve been finding that on this diet I never have that post lunch sluggishness that I get after many lunches. Instead I feel energized and happy.
After work I had to babysit my niece for a couple hours, which proved challenging when I showed up and she informed me that she had ordered us pizza. Which is like, my favorite. The good news was, her mom is from California, so she had ordered us Dominoes…which if you live in NYC is pretty much not acceptable as pizza. I still wanted it, though. Instead I ate another apple, and then stole a tangerine from my brother’s fruit bowl. I was a little later than I thought I would be getting home, so dinner was made for me!!! Totally worth being late. My honey sautéed some hake in some ghee with garlic and thyme, steamed some chard and whipped up some potatoes. It was great. And I was so happy that I didn’t cheat, particularly in the form of Dominoes. Day 16 success.
So, still having a bit of a rough time with this day. I knew I had a really busy morning, and I really wanted to exercise before the day got away from me, so I opted to run instead of eat before it all began. Fortunately, the “busy” entailed going to the farm and running the CSF (community supported fishery) pick up, so I got to pick up my veggies and fruit and chomp on amazing apples before I had a chance to get too hungry.
Also, I knew my bacon would be ready today. Which keeps any girl happy.
When I got back from the farm I was starving, so I warmed up the leftover stuffed squash and we split that for lunch.
Then I got the cured pork belly in the oven and some jerky in the dehydrator. Running out of things to grab and go is detrimental.
In the afternoon I made up some chicken salad (and some Whole 30 Mayo) to have around the house.
I was so excited about the bacon that we decided to do a breakfast dinner.
It was beautiful. Also I didn’t have to cook it. Also. My bacon is ready. 🙂
Things are progressing smoothly. I’ve also been feeling really good, with a lot of energy, despite this cold that I’ve definitely been fighting from the season change. Another work day! But this time I had time to cook up a little breakfast (above) before I left home and just re-heated once I got to work. Also, that pear was delicious.
Lunch was leftover chicken tikka masala. I also brought in some salad greens and a whole tomato that I chopped up into the greens at lunchtime, and topped it with a little olive oil and some vinegar. Yum.
All that was left was dinner. I had a steak prepped from my meat share, a 60 day aged Dominico steak. So, that was a no brainer. I also still have a bunch of potatoes so I decided to whip up a sort of potato nik. Super easy. Also something different and really yummy. And then I steamed some chard to make it all come together.
For the potatoes:
- About 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
- 1 medium onion, peeled
- 2 eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- Cooking fats (I used beef tallow)
- Grate potatoes and onion by hand or with grating disk of a food processor; drain in colander or strainer. Combine potatoes and onions in a large bowl with eggs, salt, pepper and almond flour.
- Put a good chunk of cooking fat in a large, deep skillet, either nonstick or seasoned cast iron; turn heat to medium-high. When fat is melted and shimmering, put all the batter in pan, and smooth the top. Cook, adjusting heat so mixture sizzles but does not burn. Continue until bottom is nicely browned, at least 15 minutes.
- To turn, slide cake out onto a large plate, cover with another large plate and invert. Add a little more fat to pan if necessary, and slide pancake back in, cooked side up. Cook 15 minutes or so longer, until nicely browned.
Another morning at home, another glorious breakfast! I pick up my CSA share from the farm down the street on Saturdays, so I popped by there for some fresh greens on which to place my eggs (also picked up), more purple potatoes and a specialty pork terrine from my meat share. Yum! I did the eggs over easy this time so the yolks soaked all over the steamed chard. Served with my homemade hot sauce that I finished yesterday. Delicious.
Then we were out for most of the day, and we actually ran into a challenge! Being out without food much longer than anticipated in an area of town not known for it’s healthy food options. Fortunately, this being NYC, there were abundant fruit stands, so we ended up just buying a bunch of fruit and eating that. It was totally yummy and felt much better than we would have had we gotten the empanadas advertised over the fruit stands shoulder.
But! By the time we got home we were still pretty hungry, so I abandoned any fancy cooking ideas and grilled up some pork chops and made a salad. We still had a tangerine and some blackberries from our fruit outing, so those went in the salad along with some spinach, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Dressed with a pomegranate concentrate/olive oil/red wine vinegar combo. I sometimes like the one flip method of pork chop cooking but tonight I alternated sides every minute, which I always find makes for a lovely light brown evenly cooked chop. Flowers harvested at CSA pick up as well. Thanks Added Value Farm! Day 6, complete.
This is so simple and delicious. You could probably throw whatever you have in house in here and it would be great. Definitely don’t leave out the chard, though, cause the chard ribs add a lot to it and are amazing. It’s basically all prep…once everything is chopped this takes about 5 minutes.
- 1 generous bunch of chard (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), stemmed, washed and chopped. (Keep the stems, also chopped, for the stir fry)
- 2 to 3 tsp. minced garlic (to taste)
- 2 tbls. minced fresh ginger (to taste)
- 2 eggs
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsps plus 2 tbls. sesame oil
- 1 medium carrot, cut in 2-inch julienne
- 1 habanero pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 green pepper, minced
- 1 bunch scallions, sliced, dark green parts separated
- 4 cups cooked brown rice, either chilled or at room temperature
- 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- coarse sea salt, to taste
- Combine garlic, ginger and habanero in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Prepare the other ingredients and place in separate bowls.
- Heat a wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat. Swirl in 2 teaspoons of oil. Add eggs, swirling the wok or pan so that the eggs form a thin pancake. Cook 30 – 60 seconds, until set. Using a spatula, turn pancake over and cook for 5 to 10 more seconds, until thoroughly set, then transfer to a plate or cutting board and quickly cut into strips.
- Swirl in remaining oil and add garlic, ginger and habanero. Stir-fry no more than 10 seconds and add chard stems, carrots and green pepper. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, until crisp-tender, and add light part of the scallions and chard leaves. Stir-fry until leaves wilt, 1 to 2 minutes, and add rice. Stir-fry, scooping up the rice with your spatula then pressing it into the hot wok or pan and scooping it up again, for about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, dark green part of the scallions, eggs and cilantro, stir-fry for about 30 seconds and remove from heat. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.