whole-30

Definitely embarrassing to post, but I’m still proud of my whole30 results. I lost 15 pounds in 30 days, got back to meal planning and sticking to it, lost that dang holiday bloat and weight gain. Round 2 was way easier so now on to making it a lifestyle again. I’m glad I kept at it over Valentine’s day because Halloween was the start of my demise and gain. Now 2 more pounds until my low and about 15 until my first big big goal.

5

Roasted Sweet Potatoes 

There are one million and one ways to make roasted sweet potatoes. They are one of the most versatile vegetables and can be dressed up in many ways ranging from savory to sweet. Here is just one way that I like to prepare these for meal prep. 

Ingredients 

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 

Seasoning blend: 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, ½ tbsp lemon granules, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg, 1 tsp ancho chili powder, 1 ½ tsp Herbs de Provence, ½ tsp smoked paprika. 

Olive oil 

Directions 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, arrange your sweet potatoes into a single layer. 

Drizzle a layer of olive oil over the potatoes and then sprinkle over the seasoning blend (you may or may not use all of it – if you don’t, save the rest from chicken, it’s incredible). 

Using your hands, toss the potatoes so that they are evenly coated. 

Roast in the oven until the insides are tender when pierced with a toothpick.

NOTE: For meal prep, I tend to “under roast” my potatoes because I do not want them to become too soft after reheating for a meal. 

Divide into meal prep containers after the potatoes have cooled. 

Enjoy! 

Finally! Almond milk made without carrageenan! For those of your who don’t know, carrageenan is commonly added to milks, ice creams, and yogurts for its thickening qualities, but has been known to cause inflammation and gastrointestinal issues. Until today, I was fairly certain all dairy free milks contained carrageenan. For those of you following whole 30, the unsweetened version from Califia Farms would be compliant.

10

Indian Meatballs with Sweet Coconut Curry Sauce 

Flavorful. Amazing. Incredible. Whole30 Compliant! These are spicy, so this is your warning. There was no holding back, but the coconut curry sauce provides the perfect balance. Served with spiraled sweet potato noodles, and this is the perfect meal prep!

Ingredients for Meatballs 

½ lb ground round (or ground beef)

1 egg 

4 cloves garlic, minced 

¼ large yellow onion, minced 

2 large tbsp cilantro, minced 

Seasoning blend: 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala, ½ tsp fennel seeds, ½ tsp Indian red pepper, ½ tsp tandoori masala, ½ tsp cumin, and ½ tsp cinnamon. 

Ingredients for Coconut Curry Sauce 

¼ large red onion, minced 

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 tsp tomato paste 

1 tsp curry powder

7 oz tomato sauce 

1 can (14 oz) full fat coconut milk 

1 tbsp cilantro, minced 

½ tbsp arrowroot starch/powder or tapioca powder 

1 ½ tbsp date syrup (softened [pitted] dates pureed with water), more if necessary

Salt and pepper to taste 

Parsley and cilantro for garnish 

Olive oil

Other Ingredients 

Sweet potato noodles 

Directions for Meatballs 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with a small bit of nonstick spray. 

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. 

Using a small ice cream scoop or a large tablespoon, form balls – this mixture should make 6-8 meatballs. 

Once the meatballs have formed, place them into the oven and let them bake or 15-18 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 150 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Directions for Sauce 

In a large, deep pan or pot, heat a few tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. 

Add in the onion and the garlic and cook until the onion becomes translucent.

Once the onion has cooked, add in the tomato sauce and the coconut milk. Stir to incorporate. 

Bring the mixture to a simmer and add in the tomato paste and date syrup. 

Toss in the cilantro. 

Reduce the heat and let cook. 

Stir and add in the arrowroot starch to thicken.

Once the meatballs are finished in the oven, place them into the sauce and allow to finish cooking for another 5-7 minutes. 

Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings and sweetness accordingly. 

Once the meatballs are fully cooked and the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove from the heat.

NOTE: sweet potato noodles are best when blanched. Do not eat them raw. 

Garnish and serve. 

Enjoy! 

2

Crispy, Juicy Chicken Thighs – Meal Prep 

A quick recipe for your meal prep needs 

Ingredients 

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

Seasoning blend – 1 tsp of each: kosher salt, black pepper, lemon granules, dried oregano, granulated onion, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, and ancho chili powder 

Freshly minced parsley or cilantro 

Olive oil

Lemon juice  

Directions 

Using the seasoning blend, fresh herbs, and lemon juice, and olive oil, create a marinade for the chicken thighs and let marinate for about 2 hours in the fridge, removing 30 minutes prior to grilling. 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and heat a cast iron pan over medium high heat. 

Sear the chicken thighs on each side to develop a crispy skin and finish in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Slice and portion for meal prep. 

Enjoy! 

I basically never use dinner plates anymore. Salad plates are the way to go and keep my portions under control. I tried a recipe for whole 30 meatloaf and it had artichokes in it! I’ve never cooked with them before. It was okay, but I’m glad I am trying so many new recipes and cooking a bunch. One of my fav things about whole 30. The husband is working on his big comprehensive exam paper and is stressed to the max. It would have been so much easier to order a pizza, but we made it work and it wasn’t too much prep. And I am seriously loving green beans. None of those frozen 99 cent green beans. I mean those are edible, but to mean it is so worth it to get the luxurious 1.99 green beans. They are infinitely better. Cook in some coconut oil with red pepper flakes, garlic, and salt and pepper and delicous. They are becoming a dinner staple.

Hope everyone had a great dinner! Happy Saturday night!

4

BakingWithBooks Does Whole30 - Red Curry Shrimp with Cashew Broccoli Slaw & Homemade Almond Sauce 

I was craving something spicy with peanut sauce (and Whole30 says no peanuts) so almond sauce it was. 

Ingredients for Curry Shrimp 

Jumbo shrimp (the amount is up to you), peeled, deveined, tail off

Red curry paste mixed with a small amount of light olive oi 

Kosher salt and pepper for seasoning 

Ingredients for Almond Sauce 

¾ cup almond butter 

½ can coconut milk (unsweetened) 

2 tsp red curry paste

2-3 pitted Medjool dates 

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 

Pinch of kosher salt 

Water - to thin it out to your desired consistency 

Additional Ingredients

Broccoli slaw

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Cashews, chopped

Directions  

Marinate shrimp for approximately 30 minutes. While shrimp is marinating, prepare your sauce. 

In a large bowl, combined all of the ingredients except the dates and water. Taste and adjust the flavor before adding everything to a blender, adding 1 date a time until you reach the desired sweetness. Use water to thin out the sauce to your desired consistency [though it should not be runny; it should be just thick enough to dress the slaw] 

Heat a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the shrimp until they start to gently curl. Do not overcook or else the shrimp will become chewy. They are done when they turn pink and the flesh is white. 

Toss your sauce with the broccoli slaw, add in chopped cashews for crunch. Top with your shrimp, another drizzle of almond sauce and serve. 

Can easily be made vegetarian or vegan by omitting the shrimp! 

Enjoy! 

Whole 30 Day 6

I almost had a breakdown in the grocery store because I so, so badly just wanted some candy and I was staring at the bulk bins contemplating how embarrassing it would be to just put my head in a tub of sour gummy hearts and cry

Whole 30 week 1- meal plan and shopping list

Breakfast Options:
-eggs and bacon (only whole 30 approved bacon)
-smoothies
-strawberries, coconut chips, almond butter

Lunch Options
-protein (chicken, meatballs or hamburger patty)
-fresh fruit (grapes, banana, cherries)
-veggie (snap peas, carrots, mini peppers)
-healthy fat (guacamole, nuts)

Dinner Options
-steak and sweet potato fries
-spaghetti squash (meatballs?)
-sweet potato sliders (chicken)
-sweet potato sliders (beef)
-fajitas
-bacon wrapped chicken
-leftovers

Other/sides/snacks
-nuts
-tomato soup
-Lara bars (whole 30 approved)

Shopping list:
-eggs
-bacon (whole 30 approved)
-bananas
-coconut chips (whole 30 approved)
-unsalted cashews
-frozen fruit (no sugar added)
-spinach
-almond butter
-avacados
-chicken breasts
-ground beef
-strawberries
-Raspberries
-cherries
-grapes
-carrots
-snap peas
-sweet mini peppers
-almonds
-canned coconut milk (whole 30 approved)
-steaks
-spaghetti squash
-spaghetti sauce (whole 30 approved)
-sweet potatoes (the red ones like yams)
-bell peppers
-onions


Depending on how many people you’re feeding, you can get how much you need. But that’s my meal plan and shopping list from week one! :)

3

Only 10 days left of whole 30! Lemon water has become a new staple that I love. So much better than lemon slices! Tonight I had left over bbq chicken from the superbowl. It was delicious. Even though my 6th hour was being nuts today and all I wanted to do was stop and get fast food on the way home, I didnt. I’m most proud of how we’ve been sticking to our meal plan. Before dinner went with the little one to the park and played lots of tag (aka get me) tp get my 10000 steps in.

How is your Monday? What was for dinner?

7

Spicy Chicken & Sweet Potato Bowl

protein packed and freaking delicious. 

Ingredients 

2 lbs chicken breast, cut into chunks 

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 

Seasoning blend: granulated onion, granulated garlic, ground ginger, Hawaiian lava salt, Mexican oregano, cumin, sweet paprika, black pepper, crushed red pepper, and chili powder. 

Bowl ingredients of your choice. I used purple cabbage, sweet peppers, Roma tomatoes, avocados, cilantro, lime, and Whole30 compliant taco sauce or salsa of your choice. 

Safflower or coconut oil for cooking. 

Directions 

Par-cook your potatoes for about 5 minutes in the microwave until they are fork tender. When ready, crisp in a pan with a small amount of oil. Use some of your seasoning blend to season the potatoes. 

Heat oil over medium heat. Once hot enough, cook chicken chunks and season liberally.  As a matter of preference, you can cook the chicken in the sauce or just add it at the end. 

Once potatoes and chicken are both done, assemble bowl however you’d like.

Enjoy! 

I’m done with the whole 30!!!! Yay! Go me! Now I’m going to probably continue it, for the most part at least, until my trip to Florida. I didn’t lose as much weight as I would have liked, just about 12 pounds, which seems to be my magic Whole 30 weight loss number, as it’s what I’ve lost for both my previous ones. 

Yesterday I went to the gym because it was raining all day and did an hour on the treadmill. I accidentally pressed the stop button a minute before I was done, so I did another minute and .05 miles after that photo, hahaha. I’m trying to get ready for this damned race! 

Last night I went out to an arcade / bowling alley with some friends from my old job. That was super fun. We played games and bowled and I jumped in one of one of the couple’s photo booth photos, haha. We all got in the photo booth at the end of the night. It’s one of those japanese ones that makes you extra pretty, but actually makes you look pretty bizarre. I love it. 

All in all a good day! I was tempted by the snacks at the bowling alley, but I just drank my water while everyone else was eating cheesy fries and nachos. I wasn’t going to break my whole 30 on my last day! 

Today I go back to work and I think I’m finally feeling like I’m not totally dreading it. So that’s good. Though I still look forward to my next day off, hahaha. 

5

Meal Prep Sunday! Bbq chicken for tonight (will serve over a baked potato), roast and veggies for dinner this week, eggs and a sweet potato apple egg bake for breakfasts. Can you tell I love cockpots?

Had a relaxing lunch while little J napped. I was down to the end of the salad container so I ate right out of it! Don’t want to dirty up another bowl! Added some tessamae ceaser dressing and almonds. Delicous!

9

BakingWithBooks Does Whole30 - Shrimp & Mushroom Shakshuka 

I have previously done a uova al purgatorio (eggs in purgatory) recipe. Shakshuka is very similar, but different spices are used because this is common in Northern Africa and other parts of the Middle East. Filled to the brim with vegetables and warm spices, this amazing egg dish is the perfect Whole30 compliant breakfast, dinner, or both. 

Ingredients 

1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes 

2 roma tomatoes, diced 

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded only if you don’t want a high level of spice, and diced 

2 large cloves garlic, minced 

1 ½ cup portobello mushrooms, chopped 

½ yellow onion, diced 

Bell peppers (red preferred, rainbow even more preferred), cut into strips 

Large handful (or two) of spinach 

4-6 large eggs 

½ lb jumbo shrimp (about 6-9)

Seasoning blend: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp black pepper, kosher salt to taste (you will not use all of this seasoning – unless you absolutely want to) 

Olive oil 

Directions 

In a large and deep skillet or cast iron skillet, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. 

Once the oil has come to temperature, add in your onions, garlic, and jalapeño, and cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Season with a pinch of the seasoning blend. 

Once the onions develop color, add in the peppers and the mushrooms. Cook for an additional 2-4 minutes while the veggies begin to soften. Season with another pinch of the seasoning blend. 

Add in all of your tomatoes, season, taste, and let the mixture simmer for about 3 minutes before adding in the spinach. 

Add in the spinach, give everything a good stir, and arrange your shrimp in such a way that an egg can be cracked in between them. 

Season generously, reduce the heat to simmer, and cover with a lid to allow the shrimp to cook. 

When the shrimp is near completion, crack an egg into a ramekin and gently pour it into the tomato sauce (you want the yolks to stay intact). 

Once all of your eggs are in the sauce, cover with a lid and let them poach until you reach your desired yolk consistency. 

Turn off the heat, taste and season one last time. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, and serve warm. 

Can be made vegetarian/vegan by omitting the shrimp!

Enjoy! 

8

Sweet Potato Spaghetti & Meatballs 

can be made vegan or vegetarian without the meatballs 

Ingredients for Meatballs 

1 lb ground turkey 

3 cloves grated garlic

¼ minced yellow onion

1 egg (completely optional) 

Seasoning blend - 1 tsp sweet paprika, 1 tsp granulated onion, 12 tsp ground ginger, 1 tsp ground rosemary, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and a pinch red pepper flakes

Ingredients for Tomato Sauce 

14 oz crushed tomatoes 

¼ minced yellow onion

1 tbsp Italian seasoning 

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Few tbsp of olive oil

Parsley or cilantro for garnish 

Spiralized sweet potatoes

Directions 

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs together and form into large meatballs – should form 8 large balls or about 12 smaller ones 

Heat a few tbsp of olive oil in a large, deep skillet or cast iron pan. 

When the oil has come to temperature, place the meatballs into the pan and brown on all sides 

Add in the crushed tomatoes and onions and season. 

Submerged the meatballs in the sauce and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, covered with a lid 

Remove the lid, push the meatballs to one side of the pan and add in the spiralized sweet potato – warming it by tossing in the sauce 

Plate, garnish, and serve

Enjoy!