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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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.

 

Reintroduction: Legumes

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So, SO happy to eat some legumes. Firstly, I am madly in love with soy sauce, and happened to luck into some albacore tuna for this week’s fish share. That was a no brainer! I was also thrilled to discover that the soy sauce I had at home was tamari, and therefore gluten free, and THEREFORE good to go on legume day. Woot!!

Even looking at that picture now is making me drool.

Was also jonesing for some lentils, and we had a few leftover in the part of the cupboard that I shoved everything non-whole30 compliant before we started. So I whipped up some red lentil soup, yum yum yum!

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Oh, legumes! How I’ve missed you.

Lastly, I’ve been cooking for a service called Umi.Kitchen. I knew this was legume night, so I scheduled one of my favorite meals that I haven’t been able to eat: Sweet and Sour Eggplant with Tomatoes and Chickpeas. You can get the recipe from an old post of mine.

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It’s way, way good. I was so psyched to eat it.

All in all, I viewed legume day as a success. I maybe was a little gassy at the end of the night, but otherwise felt just fine, and today am fine as well. Also, I generally don’t eat so many legumes all at the same time…and also I’ve definitely been gassy while on the Whole30, so who knows really if it was the legumes. Further testing, necessary. Got up this morning and felt strong and good, did my run, back on the plan. What a delicious day!! Next up: non-gluten grains. (!!!) Coming Thursday.

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.

Meal Kit Review: Green Chef

A friend offered me a free kit, and Green Chef offers a Paleo option. So, I tried it.

Oh, also, side note? Today is day 59 on our Whole60!!! Whaaat? Yes.

OK, Green Chef, paleo version. The three meals, in the order we ate them (with links to the recipes on the Green Chef site) were:

Zesty Shrimp with Collards with Root Veggies and Squash, Cashew “Parmesan”

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This was good! Being Paleo and not Whole30, there were a couple of things throughout that I subbed…in this one, I subbed the bacon. It didn’t say specifically that there was sugar in the cure but it also didn’t say specifically that there wasn’t sugar. So? Bacon was subbed. I really liked the cashew parmesan element on the roasted veggies…also I don’t often include red onion in my roasted veggies and they were a spectacular addition. Also rutabaga isn’t something I generally think of, so it was nice to eat some things I wouldn’t normally buy. However, it was a pretty standard meal, I thought.

Caraway Meatballs with Braised Parsnips, Fennel & Cabbage, Pear and Rosemary

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This one holds a special place in my heart, since, wait for it…I didn’t make it!! If you’ve been reading my blog since the beginning, you know that I tried Blue Apron and was annoyed that the recipes were complicated and there was a near disaster with the meal I farmed out. But Green Chef held up for that test, with my honey preparing this whole thing with zero assistance and kicking its ass. Also, something I wouldn’t really think to cook, and pretty tasty. The pear makes it, for sure. Well, you know, the pear and the meatballs.

Herbed Chicken with Spiced Sweet Potato Mash, Cranberry and Pecan Salad

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This was probably my favorite of the three. I mean, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with mashed sweet potatoes and chicken. Also, I love a simple salad with just a nut and a dried fruit. However! I did have to sub out both the chicken broth (isn’t there no sugar in paleo, too?) and the dressing, which came again, with no listed ingredients, which is a bummer. It may have been fine but this diet has taught me to just assume there’s sugar in everything. Most of the time that’s true. Anyway, Green Chef, I’ll never know, cause you didn’t tell me the ingredients. It was also the most complicated of the three to cook…though still it wasn’t very complicated. The whole thing was really yummy, too, very nice flavors.

Things I liked about Green Chef:

  • It came with simple, easy to follow recipes that anyone could follow, even if they aren’t used to being in the kitchen. (Isn’t that the whole point of these things, really?)
  • The ingredients were all organic; they looked good, they tasted good, and they were obviously fresh.
  • Certain things were pre-chopped!! If there was a service that sous chef-ed for you, I might actually order it once it a while.
  • They offer paleo options! That’s nice. They also offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. Which is smart, cause you can appeal to more types of people.

I would probably say that between the two, Blue Apron has better tasting meals. But! MUCH more laborious and complicated, and the Green Chef meals were good, too.

Would I order again? Meh. Maybe. If I was feeling swamped one week and had a little extra money to throw around and didn’t want to go grocery shopping. But, normally, I’m super geeky about my food, and I like to pick out what looks best and use that as a guide for my weekly eating. It serves as inspiration. But! If you’re new to cooking? Sure, why not.

Whole30 Thanksgiving

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So. Before I even start with this post, let me just say: I totally failed at taking pictures on Thanksgiving. And I have very, very few.

So, you may actually have to read on this one. I understand if you skip this post. 😀

We went to a friend’s house up the road. We only agreed to this cause said friend agreed to brine turkey with no sugar and make Whole30 friendly variations of mashed potatoes and gravy. They also made killer sweet potatoes and amazing beautiful green beans. In short, they are the best friend’s ever. They had a few things we couldn’t eat, but very few, and only about half the people were drinking, so it wasn’t as hard as it could have been.

It just seemed crazy with less than a week to go with Whole60 that we would abandon it just for some bread and booze.

I brought a jug of kombucha, just to have something special to drink. Also, I super love stuffing so I found a paleo version and made that. Here’s a link to the recipe. It was delicious. But. I have no photos of it.  The good news? If you click that link you’ll see lots of someone else’s images. Suffice it to say, it was really pretty and very tasty and totally fulfilled my stuffing needs. I also brought a huge salad (and I knew everything in it!). And here ya go, I DID get photos of my desserts.

Now, I already said this in a prior post, but before any of you Whole30 rules finger pointers start freaking out, this was the one thing I decided to do that was technically cheating. But! There is no added sugar in these except for fruit, and all the ingredients are Whole30 approved. Um. Not only were they both delicious, but the dish I was describing as “somewhere between a trifle and a parfait” was a huge hit. People were telling me it’s the kind of thing they just can’t stop eating, and I was getting texts about it the next day.

I think the same might have been true of my cashew cheesecake, but for one vital error…I froze it too long, and it never defrosted enough to really taste. I actually had written it off, but the next morning it called to me in my fridge and I tried it again…and it was fantastic!! Who knew. Here’s some pictures of my trifle/parfait (made with coconut yogurt) and cashew cheesecake. The cheesecake also didn’t get any photos until almost too late…but you get the gist.

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I’m not posting recipes. All I did for the trifle was cook down some blueberries and then some blackberries and layer those compotes with coconut yogurt and banana slices; raspberries on top. Then I whipped up some coconut cream and plopped it on top.

The cashew cheesecake recipe is readily available online, although I used the Douglas McNish version in the cookbook, Eat Raw, Eat Well. I subbed monkfruit extract for agave or honey.

Whole30 Thanksgiving: successful. Boom.

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.