Whole30

So I realize that I kind of abandoned this after the holidays (6 months ago…).  Life just got busy and while Matt and I were still cooking delicious things, I just didn’t have time to type up the recipes and remember to take pictures of my food.  But we’re back, because we’re doing a whole30 and if the two of us, who love eating good food, can do this I really do believe anyone can.  We’re on day 6 of our adventure, so stay tuned for how it all pans out.  So far, so good!

I decided the one way to make this work for me is that we have to be cooking delicious meals.  And since I’m spending SO much time searching for recipes, I might as well share the goodness with everyone!  I also have a whole30 pinterest board where I’ve been trying to save ideas.  I think there’s a way for you to find and follow that, I just don’t know how….

Well, here’s what we’ve been doing so far:

Breakfasts have been pretty basic – eggs.  I’ve had to figure out how to drink my coffee black (no dairy or added sweeteners allowed), and I did find the ones way to make bulletproof coffee so it’s more foamy.  You just mix your coffee with 1-2 tsp coconut oil and some cinnamon (if desired) in a magic bullet for a few minutes and it’s magical.

Lunches are just leftovers from dinner.

Dinners (and therefore lunches) have been great, some pics are below:

  • Zoodles with meat sauce.  We had made this recipe before, with ground beef added to it, so we made it again and we just don’t put parm on it anymore
  • Chicken with pineapple salsa (too bad the salad in the post isn’t compliant!)
  • A salad bar (we have dinner with our small group every Tuesday so this was an easy way to feed several people)
  • A modified version of a Turkey Chorizo Soup (recipe below)
  • A modified version of pork chops with peach salsa
  • Grilled salmon

Snacks – bananas, cherries, almonds, pistacchios, lara bars (they have a list of approved ones here), apples with almond butter, and Matt made some beef jerky this weekend so that’ll be nice for next week!

So on day 6 we’re still doing great.  I hear the second week is the hardest, because it’s no longer this new thing and you realize you have weeks to go, and your body starts craving the things you now haven’t had in over a week.  Stay tuned for that.  I will say that this is defintely not cheap.  But we’re basically not going to eat out this month – it’s too much of a hassle with wondering how things were prepared, what kind of oil it was cooked in, what’s in a marinade, etc – so our overall food spending should still be pretty even with what it was before.  They opened a new Whole Foods near us on Wednesday and had a ton of grand opening deals and coupons so we went there today and saved a lot of money, and it was the first time that I have genuinely enjoyed my time at a Whole Foods.

Here are some pics of this week’s meals, keep scrolling for the soup recipe 🙂

IMG_6123Zoodles with Meat Sauce

IMG_5751Turkey Chorizo Soup (the non-modified version we made earlier this year)

IMG_6324Pork Chops with Peach Salsa

IMG_6316Our Salad Bar

IMG_6345.JPGGrilled Salmon and Asparagus

Turkey Chorizo Soup Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Ground turkey, lean (sub other ground meat) – 1 lb
  • Chili powder – 2 Tbsp
  • Paprika – 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin – 2 tsp
  • Garlic powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander – 2 tsp
  • Oregano, dried – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Adobo sauce or seasoning – 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Onions – 1, chopped
  • Kale (1 bunch = ~6 leaves) – 1 bunch, leaves torn, stems chopped
  • Potatoes, any type – 1 lb, chopped
  • Oil, cooking – 2 tsp (we used olive oil because of the whole30)
  • Tomato paste – 4 Tbsp
  • Chicken stock – 4 cups (check your labels if making the whole30 version)
  • Limes – 1/2, sliced into wedges
  • Corn kernels, frozen or canned – 1 cup (leave out for whole30 version)
  • Sour cream – 6 Tbsp (leave out for whole30 version)

Directions:

  1. Prep: Prep garlic, onions, and kale as directed. Mix together chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, salt, and adobo. Prep potatoes as directed.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then onions, garlic, chopped kale stems, and tomato paste to heated oil. Saute until tender, ~3 minutes.
  3. Fold in ground turkey and seasonings and break up with a wooden spoon. Brown meat for 4 to 6 minutes. (If you couldn’t find lean ground turkey and a lot of fat has cooked out, drain out as much fat as possible before starting next step)
  4. Add potatoes and chicken stock. Cover and bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  5. While soup cooks, slice lime into wedges.
  6. Once potatoes are tender, fold in kale leaves and corn (optional). Turn off heat and season to taste with salt, pepper, other spices, or even hot sauce.
  7. Ladle into bowls and serve with sour cream (optional) and lime wedges.

 

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Gremolata Bowties & Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry

Another week has passed!  Busy season is going surprisingly well so far, but there are still almost 7 weeks left until October 15 so I’m sure I’ll be eating those words in a week or two.  Still working overtime, but not as much as I’ve historically been slaving away at this time of year so that’s a big win!

This week was the last week of the Financial Peace class I’ve been helping out with at church.  Gosh that stuff was so good.  People can hate on Dave Ramsey all they want, and while I will admit that I don’t agree with everything he says (and that’s okay!), I will say that the man is changing lives.  And if more people could get into this and follow the principles he teaches, this world would be a different place.  It’s funny how big of a difference having a written budget makes!  It sounds so simple, but that’s really at the heart of this.  I think people hear the word budget and think they’re only for people who are poor or living paycheck to paycheck, but it’s for everyone!  It is AMAZING how much money we’ve “found” since starting to just actually keep a budget.  I could go on forever.  If you want to know more about that stuff, ask me some time.  But be warned that apparently I get really excited and talk really loud when I get going about it (Matt shhh-ed me a few times while I was on the phone talking to mom today).  I’m really excited to see where this stuff takes us.  We’re probably going to be coordinating another one in the new year, it’s going to be great!

Another two quick, easy, and few ingredient recipes for you this week!  Both were absolutely delicious, easy, healthy, and will be made again (probably in the next 6 weeks…).  The bowties are the PERFECT mix of lemon, garlic, cheese, and deliciousness.  And the stir fry I was definitely skeptical about, but ended up being very pleasantly surprised with how good it was.  That lime did a lot for it.  Thanks, Rachel Ray.

Gremolata Bowties (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound bowtie pasta (aka farfalle)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup grated pecorino
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 2 tbsp. juice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions, reserving ¾ cup of the pasta water.
  2. In skillet, cook chicken in oil over high, stirring, until cooked through; season.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients to warm; season.

*Note that peas are not pictured in the pasta below because someone conveniently “forgot” to get them….

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Spicy Shrimp Stir Fry (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix
  • 4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lime (1 tsp. zest and 1 tbsp. juice)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Optional: thin sliced bell peppers

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook coleslaw (and peppers, if desired) in 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high, stirring, 2 minutes; season.
  2. Stir in lime zest and juice; divide among plates.
  3. In same skillet, simmer remaining oil, sriracha and 2 tbsp. water over medium-high, 1 minute.
  4. Add shrimp; cook, stirring, until opaque in center, about 3 minutes; season.
  5. Top plates with shrimp and sauce and enjoy.

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Quick Souvlaki Sandwiches

Since I’m a little behind on the recipe posting, we’re doing two in a row this week! (with two more to follow for recipes we’re making this week…)

Another 5 Ingredient meal from everyday with Rachel Ray, plus a few ingredients that we added.  Matt made these last week when I was running late getting home (and the pic below is the text message I received letting me I know I better hurry up before I missed out).  Another quick, delicious, and inexpensive meal, in other words, a keeper!

Quick Souvlaki Sandwiches

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, pounded 1/2-inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 pita breads, warmed
  • 8 ounces store-bought tzatziki
  • Optional: Cucumbers, lettuce and peppers for additional veggies, Middle Eastern seasoning mix for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and/or Middle Eastern seasoning, heat oil over medium-high.
  2. Add chicken; cook, turning once, until cooked through, 8 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let rest.
  3. Increase heat to high. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until charred, 2 minutes.
  4. Slice chicken. Top pitas with tzatziki, chicken and onions (and other veggies). Fold over and enjoy!IMG_2632

5 Ingredient Squash & Sausage Pasta

I swear our lives will slow down eventually…in just under two months.  This past weekend we were in St. Louis, MO and Springfield, IL for my friend Allison’s wedding.  It was a blast!  We flew into St. Louis early on Friday morning and spent the day exploring there.  Caught lunch with one of my coworkers who is in the St. Louis office, and hung out with our friend Brian for the rest of the day.  After dinner we had just a little 1.5 hr drive up to Springfield.  That went super fast compared to the 8-12 hours road trips we started the month with.  I’ve only been to Springfield once before and boy did I forget how much that town loves Lincoln…

Saturday was an absolute blast, such a nice ceremony and fun reception.  My friends Rachel and Kara made the trip down from Milwaukee, completing the fun.

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Due to the crazy business of our lives, actually caring about our budgets (thanks, Dave Ramsey…) and a free Everyday with Rachel Ray Subscription that I scored with my most recent Fabletics order, we’re moving to easier (yet still delicious) recipes.  One of the recent issues had a whole slew of really delicious looking 5 ingredient recipes, so we’ll be testing those bad boys out over the next weeks/months.  Quick, easy, and cheap, that’s my kind of meal!  Here’s the first of many –

Squash & Sausage Pasta (recipe from here)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed*
  • 1/2 pound summer squash, quartered lengthwise then sliced
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 12 ounces farfalle pasta
  • 3 tablespoons torn mint leaves
  • Optional: herbs and red pepper flakes for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Cook Pasta, being sure to save ¾ cup of the pasta water
  2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, until browned and crumbled (about 7 minutes)
  3. Transfer Sausage to a plate
  4. Add squash to the same skillet and cook on medium-high, stirring often (about 4 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, and other desired herbs.
  5. In the pot used to cook the pasta, stir in the pasta with the cheese and the reserved pasta water. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Top pasta with sausage, squash, and mint leaves. Enjoy!

*We used Trader Joe’s sweet italian chicken sausages for our version.  It was still pretty delicious but we decided that we’d go with regular sausage next time – more flavor.

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