Last fall I was visiting one of my best friends, and she had a book sitting around that looked interesting. She told me about it as pushing a reset button for your metabolism, and changing one's relationship with food. I then poured through her book during my visit (and bought myself a copy at the Writer's Block Bookstore in Vegas)
We decided to start our Whole 30 experience on February 1, but some of my local friends were starting mid-January, so I followed suit. New Year's and our friends' wedding contributed to some unhealthy binges (lots of fun!), so I was very ready, come January 19, to start my first Whole 30!
The first week was not easy; days two and three saw me as foggy and irritable, respectively. The weekend was a little easier (early bedtimes, early wake-up times), and I got to do a trip to Costco with my neighbor and Whole 30 buddy, Brianna. Buddy trips to Costco are wonderful; I got insanely huge bags of sweet potatoes and pears, and she got a 4-pack of pork roasts. Since the price for the pork matched the combined price for the produce, we split everything! Win!
Over the past week I've been trying new recipes, plus writing my own. It's funny how limitations can lead to creativity; when I can eat whatever I want, I often go the rout of pork gyoza with soy-sauce and sriracha, or pasta and pre-made pesto. Both delicious, but kinda boring!
I've been posting some recipes on my Instagram, and I thought I'd share them here on my blog so they're easy to find and come back to. I think I'll share some great staples:
Garlic Sautéed Spinach
- Several cloves garlic
- 2 or 3 pinches (or shakes) crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bag, or several handfuls, fresh spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste.
In a cold pan, scatter the garlic and pepper flakes, then pour in oil and swirl to coat.
Turn heat on medium, and cook until the garlic is fragrant (starting cold makes the garlic infuse the oil). Add the spinach, toss with the garlic, and cook until wilted. Add salt and pepper.
This is fantastic for salmon or tuna salads, a base for chipotle-lime salad dressing (2 Tbsp, plus the juice of one more lime), or as mayo on Jiberitos, a Chicago-Puerto-Rican sandwich on fried plantain slices. It's also a great dip for baked sweet potato fries or roasted butternut squash!
- 1 egg, room temperature (1 hour on the counter is good, 30 minutes in your pajama pants pocket is great!)
- 1/4 + 1 cup avocado oil
- 1 tsp each of: mustard powder, salt, rosemary, and dried ground chipotle
- zest and juice of one lime
In a food processor or blender, combine the egg, 1/4 cup avocado oil, spices, and lime zest.
With the processor still running, slowly drizzle in the remaining 1 cup oil.
Set the processor to low and pour in the lime juice.
Store in a glass jar in your fridge; it should last about a week, if it indeed lasts that long!
Best Taco Meat
This is such an easy dish--I might double the recipe next time so we have more leftovers!
- 2 Tbsp cooking fat
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander, chipotle, and oregano
- 2 Tbsp chili powder (I used the Centrella brand, which contains salt--if you're using one without, add salt to taste)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 6oz can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
Melt the cooking fat in a skillet over medium-high heat, and when hot, add chopped onions. When the onions are golden, add the garlic for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the spices, mix around, and add the ground beef. Break it up until browned everywhere (no pink), and add the tomato paste and stock. Stir for 2 minutes over medium heat. Serve over baked sweet potato,spaghetti squash, or in an omelette the next day.
There are more recipes on my Instagram, but either I didn't see them as "staples" or I need to try them again till they work out better, and I may add them later!
Are you doing a Whole 30? What kind of experience have you had so far? Do you have any requests for recipes you'd like to see?