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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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Raw fish and me? We’re married.

Truth is, I’ve never met a raw fish I didn’t like. Sushi, sashimi, ceviche, oysters, nom nom nom. But because I don’t have a professional fisherperson in my friend group (a position for which I am accepting applications by the way) the only dish I feel confident making at home is ceviche. I tell myself it’s safer from a tummy perspective because the fish “cooks” in the citrus but I honestly don’t have any evidence to back up that claim. It’s never made me sick, so that’s an n of 1 — but whatever, I’m the boss. I’ve also made ceviche before and know that it meets all the Whole 30 requirements so I will probably make it once a week at minimum just so I have something to look forward to. My life is V exciting.

Normally I make it with soy sauce and pickled ginger but those are no-no’s, so this recipe has a bit more apple cider vinegar, a touch of sesame oil and fresh ginger. I also added mango for sweetness — will be continuing that in the future. Also in my plans for eating more mango will be learning how to cut mango.

Recipe:

1. Chop or thinly slice: shallot, jalapeño, onion, mint and/or cilantro

2. Cut into cubes: cucumber, avocado, mango

3. Mix above items in bowl with apple cider vinegar

4. Take skin off salmon (just pull it off, much easier than you think) and cut into cubes

5. Put salmon cubes into separate bowl with lemon and/or lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and finely chopped ginger (normally I would also use soy sauce here, but instead I added a few drops of sesame oil). I also like to add wasabi, but found tonight that this really works much better with the soy sauce.

6. Salmon should be completely covered by the liquid — sit in fridge to “cook” for 10 minutes.

7, In the meantime, I like to crisp up the salmon skin on the stove for a little crunch, if that’s not your thing, maybe add some tortilla chips into the mix? Your call.

8. I put my ceviche over greens, tonight it was kale. Add salt. Then add some more. If your food tastes bleh, 87% of the time it’s because you didn’t season it correctly. Spices are everything.

Jared thought this ceviche was really good, I missed the soy quite a bit. He also wanted to add asparagus (to this and literally everything else we make) so I’ll be carrying on as captain of this ship for now. 3 days down. 20 to go. Math is hard.

Yes, we put kombucha into wine glasses. Cause we classy AF.

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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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Spring Time = Healthy Eating

So it’s springtime and for many people, some residing in my home with me, it’s a time for eating healthier and yes.. gym going. This post will not deal with the gym going, whether it’s a 6am or not, but instead with my newest task: healthy food that doesn’t taste like it’s healthy. Challenge accepted.

When all your meal consists of is veggies, chicken and pasta and everything has to be lightly grilled, creativity must take over. First you need a variety of vegetables, pick different colors.

1 red pepper, 1 zucchini squash, 1/2 purple onion, 3 cloves of garlic

This is whole wheat pasta. Rice noodles are also really good with this dish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First I grilled the more sturdy vegetables in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes while the pasta water boiled. Then once the pasta goes in, scoot the veggies to the side and add the chicken to the skillet.

I marinated this chicken in sriracha cause we're a spicy household.

Then I added broccoli and a chili pepper, soy sauce and a spicy thai peanut sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you prefer to use two pans, do that, but eventually you’ll need to throw everything together into one. Once the chicken is finished, throw in the broccoli and the chili peppers. I wait until the end to add these because broccoli is a delicate veggie that will be trashed if you put it in at the beginning and I like the chilies to retain their spice, which overcooking can prevent. Then I toss it with some soy sauce, low sodium (much to my chagrin), and this yummy spicy thai peanut sauce, but all that’s up to you!

This dish is easily made vegetarian, just leave out the chicken!

Here’s the finished product. To be honest, I prefer it with the rice noodles, but whole wheat isn’t bad and it’s definitely healthier if that’s your game. This is an easy, extremely versatile recipe that is healthy and packs a big punch of flavor. What sort of stir fry do you enjoy?

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Giants V. Patriots: The Sequel

In all the post Super Bowl excitement, I have allowed my blog to go un-updated. For this I apologize, but if you’re a football fan, you can understand how the few days after a Super Bowl win can feel like vacation. No, this won’t be a blog about the Giants beating the Pats… again. When you’re on the winning side of things, bragging isn’t so attractive, is it?

So, despite my living partner having a truly metaphysical connection to the fate of the New York Giants, and despite a loss for them being a bigger loss for him, we live in NY so he wanted to have a party! BUT since he had to work until 5 on Sunday, guess who has two thumbs and got volunteered to host a party? This girl! Luckily I have an intense love for hosting and feeding people (I’m a product of my raisin’). And when a good friend volunteered to help by making wings (which were amazing by the way), I was thrilled to get to focus my energy on a new recipe: chili.

I found a recipe online, but I couldn’t help but tweaking it. My trick? Just leave it on the stove all day… how could it not taste good?

1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 yellow onion, 3 stalks celery, 2 jalapeños

1 22oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 6oz can tomato paste, 1 7oz can chipotles in adobo sauce, 3 cans beans (black, kidney and pinto)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started by chopping all the veggies, then sautéed them in olive oil for 5-10 minutes, then added the tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotles, the beans and all the spices. I made two versions, one with beef and the other without (it’s easy enough to do and you never know who isn’t eating meat this week).

After a brief freakout followed by some swift action, I was back on track!

Here’s where innovation played a big role. Our cooking pots are somewhat limited, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me! Into the skillet with you, Mr. Chili! Don’t be afraid to improvise!

Spice-wise I basically added everything in my cabinet: Salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and worcestershire sauce.

Then you gotta let it simmer covered. The recipe I found said two hours... I left it on for more like five. Top Chef says the longer, the better.

I won’t lie, this was time consuming, but it’s the sort of thing you can make and eat for weeks (a lot of people even freeze it for months). We ran out before the game was over, much to my chagrin, as I’m always afraid we don’t buy enough food while partner is always worried about having too much. On this occasion, we were much more popular than we had anticipated. Bully for us 🙂

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