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.

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.

Reintroduction: Gluten containing grains

This went unexpected well! Also, I was really excited for it.

I kept it fairly mellow as I didn’t want to freak my whole system out, but I had a breakfast wrap (!) with scrambled eggs, ham and avocado; then I had an everything bagel for lunch; made my own tuna fish salad to top it. I was hoping that my body would reject the bagel, but it didn’t. It accepted it and was thrilled about it. It may have been the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten.

For dinner I had the remainder of the bagel (come on, they’re huge and I’ve been on Whole 30 for 72 days at this point), and some pretzels; otherwise went gluten free with a chicken curry.

My body pretty much accepted all this no problem. I’ll keep this post short and to the point; a summation and final thoughts to be forthcoming.

Reintroductions: Non-gluten grains and dairy

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Okay, I’m a bit behind. Please forgive me…the holidays are suddenly upon us, I’m trying to close on an apartment, I was in these neighborhood kids shows last weekend, and I’ve been cooking for Umi Kitchen, which is new and a lot of work for the moment! So, I’m a little slower than usual on the blog. But you watch, they’ll keep coming!! Just let me do some holiday shopping and buy this apartment, too.

So, non-gluten grains! We did great with them. I felt a-okay with everything, oats, brown rice, even white rice. It was really, really nice to have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, it’s the right season for it and I’ve missed it. Although I do admit to really wanting a spoonful of brown sugar in there, as well. Next week!!! Also it was great to be able to buy something for lunch instead of bringing everything:

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This was my delicious lunch from Dill & Parsley. The sauce is just chili peppers and olive oil, so calm down. I think not having to prepare this made it more yummy.

Dairy, on the other hand, was not as successful!! I was so, so excited to have half and half in my coffee…I even went out and bought the good stuff, the farm half and half that’s not homogenized, and I couldn’t wait. And, it made me feel really gross, right away. I also cooked up an omelet with cheese, in butter:

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…and I could actually smell the butter as I was cooking, and my stomach was turning a little. It was okay, but I only ate about half my breakfast, and then I had a salad for lunch, in hopes of feeling a little better.

I did have some success later in the day with a wheel of camembert and slices of apples. But I’ll tell you, I think it was the apple that made the cheese more delicious, and not the other way around.

Maybe just my tastes have changed.

Anyway, I think dairy will take some more experimenting. It’s possible we’ll be fine with some things and not with others. It’s impossible to try every type of dairy in one day.

For now, I think I’ll stick with almond milk.