I’m getting super excited to be starting the Whole30 on Friday, May 1st with a group of local friends, family and community members who are joining me! Most of the support will happen through our FB group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Whole30DrLaelle/ , although I am hoping to get at least one blog post out each week as well.
This post is in response to a thread on our Facebook support group where I listed my favorite easy, go-to dinner meals for a week. I was asked to share recipes, but most of them I pretty much made up on my own (or looked at several recipes the first time, and have since modified them so much I don’t remember where they originally came from). So what follows is going to be a quick list of ideas and how-to’s for a week of Whole30 dinners. Not exactly recipes with specific amounts, because I would need to spend a lot of time in the kitchen measuring and writing down in order to make that happen. But I’ll try to give you a general idea of what I do and/or post to a recipe that should be close and work for you to follow until you make it your own :-).
So here goes!!
Roast 2 chickens – rinse, pat dry. Put in roasting pan (probably one for each chicken) and drizzle/brush with oil of your choice (ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, etc). Sprinkle with salt and pepper, putting aromatics (onion/garlic/rosemary/etc) in cavity of chicken if you wish. Cut up peeled sweet potatoes (I like the white or japanese ones best! but any will do) into ~ 2 inch chunks and put in single layer around chickens in pan. Roast at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Unless they are really big, that should do it! I never use a thermometer, but if you’re not sure they are done, please use one to check! Undercooked chicken is icky and can make you sick 😦 . I like to just pull on the leg and see if it easily detaches from the body.
Eat roast chicken and sweet potatoes for dinner along with salad or steamed broccoli.
Remove meat from bones and put aside in fridge for another couple of meals.
Put bones in pot, along with a carrot, onion and celery if you’d like, and cover with filtered water. Add 2 tsp apple cider vinegar and let sit for about an hour (helps leach minerals out of bones to make stock even healthier for you!). Bring to a boil, skimming foam and debris that rises to top before it reaches a full boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least 6 or as long as 24 hours. I will leave on my stovetop overnight barely simmering, then raise heat again slightly in morning. But not sure that is exactly a recommended method, so do what you feel comfortable with. You can always put bones, water and ACV in fridge overnight and start your stock the next morning 🙂 .
Strain finished stock. Let cool and then remove fat layer from top if desired. I like to store in quart size, wide mouthed Mason jars as they can be moved to the freezer if I don’t use them in a few days.
Make Tom Kha Gai soup for dinner – a really fun change from traditional chicken soup and everyone always loves it! Here is a good recipe to follow: http://againstallgrain.com/2012/05/11/tom-kha-gai-thai-coconut-soup/ . I like to add broccoli and/or spinach and/or serve over cauliflower “rice” to get more veggies and make it a one pot meal! If you don’t have lime leaves, you can sub lime zest instead. Also, I almost never actually go buy the galangal and it’s still really good! Of course if using leftover chicken, skip the step for cooking it in the broth, and just add in towards the end.
Grass fed beef burgers with baked sweet potato rounds!
Mix ground beef with salt, pepper, minced garlic and onion (fresh or dried) and any other desired spices. I often add a bit of Chili powder too. Make into patties an cook on both sides until done!
Peel sweet potato(es) and cut into 1/8 – 1/4″ rounds. Melt 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil on cookie sheet in oven set to 350. Spread oil on hot sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add sweet potato rounds in single layer and use brush to get some oil on tops from baking sheet too (or oil from your sprayer works too). Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn and bake for 10-15 more minutes. Really depends on how thick you cut them and how crispy you like to eat them.
For actually eating the burger, you have a couple of options. Can make small “sliders” and use the roasted sweet potato pieces on either side instead of a bun. Or you can use lettuce leaves and wrap up your burger. Or you can just eat the burger patty and toppings on a bed of lettuce like salad :-). I like to server with lettuce, avocado, tomato, red onion, pickle, ketchup, mayo, and mustard. But use what you have that sounds good and has “acceptable” ingredients!
Cauliflower Fried “Rice” . One of my favorites and everyone in the family always enjoys it, even Ari who has tried to tell me “I don’t want that” the last 3 times I’ve made it but then ends of devouring the whole bowl! He looks at the peas and carrots and thinks he doesn’t want it, but it tastes so good he always eats it all anyway 🙂 . If you want a recipe to follow, this one is close to what I do (although I don’t add date paste or honey): http://www.edibleharmony.com/thai-paleo-fried-rice/
I like mine to look like traditional fried rice. So I brown the ground pork with minced ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper. Then set aside and cook chopped onions, then add diced squares of carrots (both orange AND yellow so we don’t miss out on the color from corn), then once mostly soft add in the “riced” cauliflower and some frozen peas along with 3 Tbsp or so of coconut aminos and 1 Tbsp or so toasted sesame oil. Cover for a few minutes, remove cover, add pork back to pan and heat for a few more minutes to meld flavors!
Baked “Fried” Chicken with Cauliflower Mash.
You can find lots of recipes for Cauliflower mash, just make sure to follow one without dairy! I like to steam cauli florets until really soft and then put in food processor with 1 tbsp ghee, salt, pepper, garlic powder, 1-2 tbsp coconut milk and blend until fluffy. Can also add 1/4 or so of a diced white sweet potatoe in when you steam the cauliflower for a consistency more similar to mashed potatoes you are used to. Chicken stock good to add if you need more liquid to blend well.
For chicken, I really like these (although skip the honey mustard on Whole30!): http://paleonewbie.com/paleo-chicken-strips-honey-mustard-sauce/
But more often, I am too lazy to cut up the chicken and use all those spices. So I take boneless, skinless chicken thighs and lightly coat in a mixture of mayo and dijon mustard (sub avocado oil for mayo if need egg free). Then dip in a tray with almond flour, salt and pepper mixed together. Coat well on both sides and then bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until coating is browned and chicken is cooked through.
** If you just don’t want to eat anymore chicken, this works well with fresh cod too! Cooking time closer to 15-20 minutes depending on size of your pieces. Can make tartar sauce from homemade mayo + cut up pickles + dried dill + dijon + fav vinegar or lemon juice.
Taco Salad or Lettuce Wrap Tacos. Brown 1 pound of grass fed ground beef (or chicken if you prefer). Add desired amount of taco seasoning (if no non compliant ingredients such as corn starch) or combo of chili powder, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt and black pepper (like this recipe if you need amounts to follow: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/) with about 2 tbsp of water and simmer until spices have blended into ground beef.
Chop tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, avocado, red cabbage and any other desired toppings. Serve on a bed of lettuce or wrap all ingredients up inside a lettuce leaf. Can also use a “Paleo Wrap” made from dehydrated coconut meat and coconut water. Top with salsa and home made mayo or cashew sour “cream” : http://www.food.com/recipe/cashew-sour-cream-non-dairy-sour-cream-alternative-substitute-204512
Red Meat Sauce or White “Cashew-Cream” Chicken Sauce over zucchini “noodles” or spaghetti squash
For either recipe, decide on zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. For squash, cut in half and bake cut side down, on baking sheet with about 1/4″ water for 30-45 minutes, depending on size of squash. For, should easily pierce flesh from skin on back side.
For zucchini “noodles”, use a spiralizer, or a mandolin, or a peeler, or a food processor with shredding disk, or a box grater even. Place in strainer and toss with sea salt (1 tsp or so). Let sit for ~30 minutes, then squeeze out water (I like to use a nut milk bag, you can also place in cheese cloth or a tea towel).
For meat sauce, brown a pound of ground beef with garlic, onions, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add 1 jar spaghetti sauce or make your own favorite recipe (I like to use a container of Pomi crushed tomatoes and maybe a bit of tomato paste for yummy light sauce). With zucchini noodles, add to sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes until desired tenderness. OR serve over cooked spaghetti squash.
For a creamy sauce, you can use either the alfredo recipe or chicken and mushrooms recipe from here:http://www.thespunkycoconut.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Paleo-Pasta-Spunky-Coconut.pdf
And then we’re back to Sunday again! You can repeat all of the recipes you like the following week. If you need substitutes for ones that just didn’t quite work for you, let me know. Enjoy!