Reintroduction: Alcohol!

So, I am a few days behind, forgive me. Or rather, blame my alcohol reintroduction!!

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We decided to have a couple of friends over for dinner on alcohol reintroduction night. That way we could keep the diet fully Whole30 aside from the booze, and still enjoy ourselves with friends. Also, just in case we got a little loopy (it HAS been 60 days), we wouldn’t have to travel and could just be home.

I also chose a nice, hearty meal to absorb the booze: I went with a Curried Shepard’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash.

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It was a big hit. It was also delicious, and probably helped a lot. Scroll to the bottom for the recipe.

Now. You see the tequila at the top. They are airplane sized bottles. We each had one. The rest of the evening I only had wine. My honey was not so wise…he kept popping into the local bar for celebratory shots. I’m so, so glad I didn’t join him.

Between 3 of us, (one was drinking white wine, the rest red) we probably drank about 3 bottles of wine. Normally, not so bad. And, we felt great all night long. We were both worried that we’d fall asleep early, or be way drunk and slur our words, or something…but no! We were fine.

The next morning, however: not so fine. I woke up feeling bad, but not terrible. I went for a run, and forced myself through it…I made it through the whole thing, feeling alternately fine, and like I might puke. But I made it. Then, I had a nice breakfast of greens, eggs, and bacon, and then I felt pretty much fine for the rest of the day. Not 100%, but not bad, either. My partner didn’t fare so well.

He had sort of the opposite effect: woke up feeling okay (still drunk, maybe?), and went for a run. He only made it halfway through his normal run, and then came home. We ate, and he felt no better. Then he spent the entire day feeling progressively worse and worse. Really I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him that hungover in my life.

Bottom line: we both way overdid it. We’re gonna have to be a lot more careful next time we drink. I think, 1 or 2 will have to do it until we can build back up some sort of tolerance. Wow!!

Curried Shepard’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients:

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • ghee
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb of grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • salt, pepper, granulated garlic (to taste)
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Score each sweet potato, and roast in the oven for about an hour
  3. While the potatoes are roasting, heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pot.
  4. Once heated, add onions and garlic. Once the onions have become translucent and softened, add ground beef and seasonings. Brown the beef and break up well.
  5. Add celery and carrots and cook a few minutes more, stirring occassionally.
  6. Add broth and coconut milk. Stir. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until liquid has cooked down substantially, to about 1/3 of the original amount.
  7. Add the peas and simmer for a couple more minutes.
  8. Once potatoes are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and cool to the touch. Peel, and put the meat into a mixing bowl. Add 2 heaping tablespoons of ghee and salt to taste. Blend the potatoes together until they are completely smooth
  9. Grease a baking dish and fill it with your meat mixture. Top that with the sweet potatoes and smooth to cover.
  10. Bake for 35-45 minutes in the oven.
  11. Remove and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Sous Vide Scallops with a Grapefruit/Red Onion Salsa served with Collards and Bacon; Prosciutto and sage wrapped Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and Salad; Hake and Sweet Potato Curry

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I know, I know, this took forever. So? I took a little break for the holiday. Sue me. Side note: Whole30 Thanksgiving was super successful. Blog post to come. Maybe in a few weeks. 😀 hahahahaha!

Anyhoo. Here’s these recipes.

Sous Vide Scallops with a Grapefruit/Red Onion Salsa served with Collards and Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. scallops
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 ripe grapefruit, segmented
  • olive oil
  • ghee
  • 1 head collard greens, chopped
  • 4 slices of bacon, sliced into 1/2″ strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Set the sous vide to 123 F. (Alternately the scallops can be cooked in a skillet, 2 – 3 minutes per side. Set aside and skip ahead to step 3).
  2. Salt and pepper scallops and place in a bag. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil over them and seal the bag. Place into the sous vide and cook for 30 minutes. Drain and dry the scallops.
  3. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons of ghee to a skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add grapefruit and stir to incorporate. If you want the segments to remain intact be gentle…I messed them up and ended up with a relish-like substance…which was also yummers, (hey, it all tastes the same going down) but still. Reduce heat and continue cooking for another few minutes.
  4. Add the bacon to another skillet and cook through. Once it’s cooked, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and then add the collards. (Do not remove the bacon fat!!) Cook collards through for about 2 – 3 minutes.
  5. Add the scallops to the pot with the grapefruit/red onion mixture and sear on each side, about 1 minute per side.
  6. Plate, and eat.

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Prosciutto and sage wrapped Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 14 oz. (or so) prosciutto slices
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
  • ghee
  • avocado or coconut oil
  • fresh sage
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Salad ingredients (I’ll let you create your own. I use Ume Vinegar generally to dress unless I feel like getting fancy)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. With a mandolin on the curvy setting, slice sweet potatoes to 1/2 inch slices. If you don’t have a mandolin, they just won’t be waffled.
  3. Spread sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and three or four tablespoons of avocado or coconut oil. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until browned to your liking, flipping once midway.
  4. Meanwhile, lay prosciutto slices on a cutting board and lay sage leaves on each. Place chicken, one fillet per slice, atop each. Salt and pepper each, then wrap the chicken in the prosciutto slices.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the prosciutto-wrapped chicken and cook 4 – 5 minutes on each side. Garnish with some chopped sage and serve with salad and sweet potatoes.

Hake and Sweet Potato Curry

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. hake, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • ghee
  • coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee to a skillet over medium high heat. Once melted, add onion and cook until soft and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes to skillet. Salt and pepper the mixture, stir, and cook through until the tomatoes are fragrant and dark, about another 10 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer the whole shebang to a blender. Blend at high speed until the mixture is smooth.
  4. In a deep, heavy pot like a dutch oven over high heat, add a tablespoon of ghee. Once melted, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomato and onion mixture and the can of coconut milk and stir. Bring to a boil and add the cumin, paprika and tumeric. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until potatoes a fork goes through one easily, about 10 or 15 minutes.
  5. Salt and pepper the fish, and then add it to the pot. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to sit for another 6 minutes. Top with cilantro and eat immediately.

Whole 60: Days 40 – 50

I have to admit, I’ve been really feeling this diet lately. I just, feel so good! I mean, at the same time, I can’t wait to have a drink; but really I think we’ll be eating primarily like this in the future. I’ve really learned a whole new way to cook, a whole new understanding of what I’m putting in my body, and honestly (and most importantly) what it feels like to live without all that crap in your body. And, it feels really good.

It also feels good to be approaching the holiday season feeling so healthy. We will be doing a Whole30 compliant Thanksgiving…mostly. I am making some desserts that don’t include sugar, even though you aren’t really supposed to do that. I’m using monkfruit extract in place of sugar, but only a bit…and I’m making a parfait with coconut yogurt that I think I can go sugar free entirely with…I’m gonna cook some berries down without sugar, they will still be sweet and delicious. So, it’s sort of cheating, but really not, considering we’ll have been on this thing for 53 days at that point, and considering we won’t be eating pie. Or stuffing. Or bread. So, ya know, you gotta live your life, too. We’ll just be so close to our 60 day goal at that point, seems a shame to screw it up just for a holiday.

Anyway, here’s some stuff I’ve been eating during the last 10 days. Recipes to follow.

Egg Fried in Delicata Rings with Potatoes and Bacon

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Sous Vide Scallops with a Tomato/Red Onion Salsa served with Collards and Bacon

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Prosciutto and sage wrapped Chicken Breasts with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries and Salad

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Mackerel Poached Egg Salad

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Hake and Sweet Potato Curry

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Poached Eggs on Roasted Brussels with Bacon

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Again, I’ll post the curry recipe, the prosciutto wrapped chicken, the scallops, etc., in the next few days. In the meantime you can use the images for inspiration using whatever you have in your home! Enjoy.

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 16

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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.

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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.

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Whole 30: Day 15

Man, this project is taking forever. I can’t say I won’t be happy when it’s finally time to move on to my next project.

The thing is, though…I’m feeling really good. Like, really really good. So, the project continues. Also, what’s the point in getting this far along if you aren’t going to get the answers that you’re looking for? So, pressing on.

This morning we had an early morning work thing at our local food coop. Yes, the infamous Park Slope Food Coop. So, we decided to grab some apples and jerky and make that breakfast.

Of course, the best part of working at the food coop is shopping at the food coop afterwards. I thought I did really particularly well this time around.

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Out of this, came an inspired and simple lunch:

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Made up some tuna salad, plopped it on a bed of salad greens, threw on some cherry tomatoes and splashed some Ume vinegar on the greens. Delicious.

For dinner I went a little more complicated. I had some gorgeous monk fish, and my favorite thing to do with it is make it into a mustard curry. So, I did that. I got the recipe from Mermaid’s Garden, where we have a weekly fish share. It’s pretty terrific. I alter fish for what’s on hand and also sometimes will do okra instead of cauliflower or swap out jalapeño for whatever hot peppers I have. If I’m in the mood for spicy I’ll up the amount of those hot peppers, and if not I’ll keep it as written. Usually I like to eat it with naan…but since that’s out this time around I opted for slightly less spicy since there was no starch to help numb the spice. I thought it turned out perfect. Also! This is a recipe that seems intimidating: it is really not! Pretty simple as long as you have everything prepped and ready to go. And you need the curry leaves. That’s pretty much what makes the whole dish. Recipe below:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound firm fleshed fish fillet, cut into two inch chunks
  • 2 cups sliced yellow onion
  • 4 cups tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (or 4 tablespoons of ghee)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 each dried arbol chile
  • 12 each  curry leaves
  • 1 tsp.garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeno, seeded & chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine (I subbed this for extra chicken stock cause Whole 30)
  • 2 cups fish or chicken stock or 1 cup bottled clam juice mixed with 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. coriander Seed, toasted & ground
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • ¼ tsp. allepo or cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 cup okra or cauliflower, sliced in ½” pieces
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Preparation:

  1. Warm a sauté pan over medium heat. Add half of the oil or ghee and the onions. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes dry out and darken in color, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in a blender.
  2. Heat the remaining oil or ghee over medium heat in a deep heavy pan such as a dutch oven. Add the cloves and cook until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and arbol chile and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  3. Add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger and jalapeno to the pan. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the white wine (if using), tomato-onion puree and stock. Bring this to a low simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the coriander, tumeric, Allepo/cayenne pepper and mustard powder to the pan.
  5. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper. Add the okra or cauliflower to the pan and cover. One minute later add the fish. Re-cover the pan and increase the heat to high for two minutes, then turn off the heat and allow it to sit covered for 6 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and add the cilantro.

I have made this a number of times and it is always outstandingly delicious.

Whole 30: Day 12

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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.

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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:

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…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:

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Kobocha Squash Stuffed with Curried Turkey and Potatoes:

Ingredients:

  • 1 kobocha squash
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 4 – 5 medium sized potatoes, thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbls. curry powder
  • sea salt to taste

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 425
  2. Cut squash in half and seed. Sprinkle with olive oil. Once oven is hot, roast at 425 for 40 – 45 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the potatoes to the same skillet and add water to cover.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Drain, and mash.
  6. Add potatoes to bowl with ground meat, along with curry powder and salt.
  7. 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.