Tag Archives: food

Life after Whole 30

Whole 30 is dead, but we’re alive and we still have to eat. And because planning is a big part of my bliss, I wrote out a 30 day menu for this adventure and damnit, I was excited about making some of those dishes. So, while for lunch we may be enjoying bagels on the veranda with a glass of blush…

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Dinners have still been largely whole 30 compliant. Except for the BBQ pork mac and cheese I ate last weekend. At a restaurant. With my big girl clothes on. That day ruled. This day was okay too — I made a chicken thigh dish with sun-dried tom-toms, green beans and olives, recipe available here. 

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It was aight. Heavily seasoned with rosemary, which I discovered was growing abundantly in our garden. What an adventure it shall be to watch what else blooms! As has been usual, Jared who looooooves chicken, has been happy with all the meals. I have felt they were all fine and could be made better with the addition of cheese. This process has taught me that I will happily eat half the meat if I can eat twice the cheese, but I’m not sure that’s how it works…

 

 

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Day 2: Attempting Positivity

After reading my first two Whole 30 entries, Jared furrowed his brow and mused, “You’re going to be like this all month then?”

I can’t imagine to what he could have been referring; I’m an extremely sunny individual. With that said, I’ve decided all on my own to approach Day 2 from a more proactive stance. In pursuit of that goal, I decided to make a proper lunch for myself rather than graze on garbage snacks all day.

Since my go-to treats, cheese plate and trail mix, are verboten, I have employed the most powerful tool available to me: vinegar. If it stands still, I will be pickling it — this week it’s cucumbers, onion and beets. Next week — the world!

Not sure if it’s my new attitude or my heavy hand with the seasoning but this salad was tasty. I’d say I didn’t even miss the bleu cheese, but no one would believe me because it would be total bullshit — I always miss the bleu cheese. It could be ice cream and I’d miss the bleu cheese. Still, a solidly delicious lunch. I’m amazing. But vinegar is the real star here.

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Whole 30 – Day 1

Turkey and mushroom stuffed bell peppers.

They were fine.

Recipe:

Heat oven to 425 degrees

Cook the following on the stove in a skillet with olive oil:

1/2lb Ground Turkey

1/2 cup mushrooms; chopped

1 shallot; chopped

4 cloves of garlic; chopped

1/2 onion; chopped

1 jalapeño; chopped

Then stuff into the following:

2 Bell Peppers; halved

Finally cook in oven for 10-15min. Top with guacamole and salsa or not, it couldn’t possibly matter less. It will still be fine. Salad optional, but you should eat it.

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Whole 30

Or as I like to call it, wholly bullshit. Any diet that allows bacon and mayonnaise but prohibits whole grains and greek yogurt is a not rooted in any principles of healthy eating. With that said, as part of his never ending quest for self-denial, my partner has recruited me as accountability buddy and culinary architect for his next personal Everest: the Whole 30 Challenge.

As if we weren’t basic enough, we will now be spending the next month living an existence devoid of sugar, grains, dairy and alcohol. What I think I’ll miss most is my personality, as I’m sure to become someone who talks about how much better I feel now that I’m off sugar. The truth is, I’ve never really been on sugar and I already eat healthier than most people I know, but if it makes his heart sing, I’ll spend a month cooking fun new recipes and pretending I don’t miss beer. What’s better is I can blog about it, thus ensuring everyone I know is subject to the nonsensical ramblings of someone who hasn’t eaten cheese for weeks. You’re welcome in advance.

Because this journey doesn’t begin until tomorrow, I did what any reasonable 30 year old woman would do — I ate cookies and pizza for breakfast and a cheese plate for lunch. Then I took to Pinterest for inspiration and created a 30 day menu. I will post the results here for as many days as it takes for me to hate life, after which I will likely not bother. The best part of doing this now is that afterward, we’ll never have to talk about it again. I expect to experience nothing earth shattering and for it to be basically fine. So, stay tuned — it should be an aggressively mediocre month.

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Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

If you’ll remember a week or so ago, I bought a rotisserie chicken to make some particularly delicious crunchy tacos. As I mentioned then, I only used half of the chicken for that meal. This is what a did with the other half:

I was in the mood to make a lettuce wrap, something I always thought sounded nice but had never actually made. A few months back my housemate purchased a bottle of buffalo sauce that we used for one meal and haven’t touched since. We were short on time this particular evening, so I decided buffalo chicken would be a fun foray into the challenging world of lettuce wraps. Since I wasn’t making the sauce myself, I decided the homemade part of this meal would be the bleu cheese dressing.

First grate or finely chop garlic, onion, celery and carrot

Mix in greek yogurt, lemon juice and bleu cheese crumbles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added the carrots and the celery to the dip to mirror the flavors typically served with buffalo wings. I used yogurt here for the dressing because I saw this as a healthier version of the traditional wings and bleu cheese. Once the sauce was finished, I shredded the chicken and warmed it through on the stove with the buffalo sauce.

I heated the rotisserie chicken with the buffalo sauce

I know many people use iceberg lettuce for lettuce wraps, but I hate iceberg lettuce so I used romaine and it worked just fine. As a final flourish, I shredded some carrots and celery for either a side salad or wrap topping, it’s up to you! These made for a pretty meal that was healthy, tasty and took less than 20 minutes to prepare. POP POP.

Served with a salad of shredded carrots and celery

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Texas Eats, from Austin to Abliene

I spent 10 days in Texas this May, which were glorious in many ways, but specifically in the family and the food. Since nobody wants to hear me get all mushy over my family, I’ll focus on the food! I enjoyed several delicious meals during this trip, but I’ve selected three to share with you today. The first is of my very favorite restaurant in the world and a common favorite amongst Austinites: Magnolia Cafe. Mottos include: “Everyone Knows, Everyone Goes” and “Sorry, We’re Open” (they’re open 24/7).

Ever wonder what your dying meal would be? I don’t. It’s this.

Queso with black beans, pico and avocado: “Mag Mud” — We’re married.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every meal I have here begins with their house favorite: Mag Mud. This consists of chili con queso, a Tex-Mex staple, along with black beans, pico de gallo and avocado. It’s quite simply the most delicious thing I’ve ever had anywhere. I generally continue my meal with the chicken enchiladas and I double up on the black beans cause, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t care for rice. I’ve had enchiladas all over the country, although having them all over Texas is enough to establish my credibility when I say these are the best. THE BEST.

No trip to Texas is complete without steak and potatoes…

… and a Shiner Bock!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My trip continued from Austin to Abilene to see my sister, Kate, graduate from college. I enjoyed this drive with my grandma and best friend, Velma Rae. On our first night in Abilene, Kate wanted to show off her town a little, which began with a beautiful meal at the downtown steakhouse: The Beehive Saloon. Here I enjoyed a deliciously tender strip steak with a loaded baked potato: the food of my ancestors. And, of course, no Texas trip is complete with a Shiner Bock.

An old-school country-style gospel band entertained us!

I did not take this photo, I was too hungry — Click to read the blog I borrowed it from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Texan through and through, Kate knew where she wanted us all to go for her graduation dinner: The Clyde Pizza House in Clyde, Texas, which has a reputation around town for being the best pizza in the area. I’m here to tell you this may be the best pizza in most areas, and I’m saying that as someone who, if not for Magnolia’s enchiladas, would choose pizza for her last meal. I know pizza and this was in my top five best pizzas ever. The crust was unlike any other I’ve had. The best part about this meal, besides the company, was the wonderful family band that played old gospel tunes… brought me right back to riding in a pickup truck as a little girl 🙂

My life and my love are in New York, but my heart remains in Texas.

We will be reunited some day.

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Lentil Soup a la Loren Lieberman

I apologize for my absence; I’ve been in Texas where I ate all sorts of wonderful food (blog to come) but for today I am going to share a wonderful recipe I was given by the lovely Loren Lieberman, beautiful mother of my dear friend Arielle.

During a happy hour date with Arielle, I expressed my desire to make my own soups, to which she replied that her mother made an excellent lentil soup. I was intrigued. You see, I have recently developed an affinity for lentil soup, which I had been buying in cans from the supermarket. Then a few weeks ago, to my horror, I discovered I had been paying $4.50 per can of soup! Never again!

I was ecstatic to try this soup made with lentils, carrots, celery, onion, zucchini, and a jalapeño.

Add everything to the pot, add parsley, bay leaf, salt, pepper

The recipe calls for any kind of stock, so I used veggie both because that’s what I had in the fridge and to introduce a few more vegetarian meals into my diet. The ratio of liquid to lentils is supposed to be 5:1. If you are in possession of a large pot, this is no problem for you. I only have two small pots, so I ended up adding too many lentils, making this soup a little thicker than intended, but it was still delicious!

I let the liquid come to a boil, then added the lentils while I chopped the other veggies. I then added everything and lowered the heat to a simmer, covered and let sit for one hour.

After an hour, I separated this into two pots, added a little more liquid and it turned out beautifully!

The biggest challenge with this soup was that I needed to freeze a portion of it because I was going out of town and I can’t count on my housemate to eat leftovers. I wasn’t sure how it would freeze, but I am currently enjoying a bowl of the de-frosted soup and it’s just as tasty! I believe I got about 8 portions out of this recipe and the total cost was less than $10. POP POP.

 

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