I’m doing the Whole 30 for the first time. It’s something I’ve been thinking and reading about for a long time, just never committed to. Fast forward years, when modern medicine has failed to help me with an ongoing-what-seems-to-be-another-chronic-issue, you just can’t help but think, it has to be something within my environment that is triggering these things. 30+ medications and treatments and not a single budge in improvement, when those treatments typically help 95% of the population? Well, I mean, I know I historically reside in the 5%, but for fucks sake! Anyway, more on that later.
Needless to say, I’ve been cooking up a storm and getting creative in the kitchen! Fortunately I consider myself pretty savvy in the kitchen and love food, so I don’t feel stress or obligation to follow specific recipes while completing this Whole 30. I probably will make some recipes, but it just isn’t my style. I’d rather create random things using quality ingredients. I had plenty of leftover protein to reheat from cooking throughout the week, so I needed a side to go with it last night, and I was craving some different flavors, Asian sounded tasty. What I ended up with had the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and nutty.
Asian Inspired Stir-Fry
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 cup finely chopped brussels sprouts
2 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP coconut oil
2 tsp dried ginger
Himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup coconut aminos
Put all veggies, garlic, coconut oil, dried ginger, and sprinkle of salt and pepper in saute pan on med-high heat, sauteing until coconut oil is mostly absorbed and onions are starting to turn transparent. Decrease heat to low-med and sprinkle chili flakes (personal preference for spice, but I used probably 2 tsp) and add coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute), continuing to saute until everything is cooked but not mushy, maybe 3 minutes more. Reduced to low heat and drizzle sesame oil over vegetables and toss. However you decide to plate this side, garnish with sesame seeds. If you think you’ll have leftovers, I’d garnish with seeds only on specific plates/bowls so the seeds don’t get mushy in the leftover portion to be reheated. Side note – I toss the sesame oil in recipes last, because it has a low smoke point and oxidizes when heated on high heat. Perfect blend of nutty, sweet, spicy flavor!
Finally getting around to blogging about this creation after a really busy Easter weekend! We had a random spring blizzard that came through Minnesota last week with non-stop snow from noon until 10pm at our house, white out conditions and a sudden craving for something warm and comforting. Since we were getting ready to head out of town I decided to make something out of what I had on hand and needed to be used. This might be one of my favorite recipes in a while – packed with nutrients, flavor and easy to make. It reheats really well – I’m having it for lunch today and it still tastes great 5 days later. Low glycemic, dairy free, grain free, gluten free – YAHOO!
Carrot Cilantro Bisque
10 larger carrots, washed and cut into 3-4 inch pieces
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cups water
2 cans full fat coconut milk (I use Natural Value, I buy on Amazon prime by the case)
1 large bunch fresh cilantro
1 tsp ground ginger
3 TBSP fresh minced garlic
Fresh black pepper
Start by boiling the carrots and onion in the 4 cups water, stirring occasionally. The water boils down, but the heat still softens the vegetables. Once they’re mushy use an immersion blender in the pot to puree them, I still had some chunks but that’s okay because once you add the coconut milk there is more liquid to blend with. Add the 2 cans full fat coconut milk and 1 tsp ground ginger, stirring until the coconut milk fat melts. Add the bunch of cilantro (I used the entire bunch stems and all, just tearing by hand directly into the pot). Blend again with the immersion blender so the cilantro is fine and any remaining chunks of carrot and onion are pureed. Season with salt and pepper (I usually go lighter with the Himalayan salt as it is saltier in taste) and the 3 TBSP of minced garlic and stir. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes and serve.
A note about the garlic: I added it toward the end because I wanted a really good garlic flavor, without it getting mushy. You know when garlic is cooked, but not overcooked? It was like that, just enough time so that it wasn’t overpowering/bitter but still firm.
I’ve read about the awesome properties of turmeric for a long time, and have looked at tons of turmeric tea recipes, so I decided to make a batch last night. Plus, remember, I told you I’m totally becoming obsessed with Eastern medicine/spices/herbs. I worked off of this recipe here: Turmeric Tea. I really liked her recipe and how simple/easy it was. I made a larger batch (just increasing spice quantities) so I can keep it in the fridge, and just have a mug when I feel like it. It was extremely easy, and literally tastes like warm comfort in a cup.
If you haven’t read about how powerful turmeric is, you should! Pretty interesting stuff, but most well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
8 cups water
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground turmeric (testing the waters here…)
I boiled everything for about 15 minutes, then let it cool a little and strained it. I don’t typically add any sugar/milk, etc. to my tea or coffee, but because my blood sugar was a little on the low side last night, I said what the hell, let’s try it with the honey and coconut milk. Holy soothing!
WHERE HAVE I BEEN, I HAVE NO IDEA. Seth deployed, months have gone by and my head is spinning.
I have TONS to blog about, and I’m very excited about that. First, is this recipe I made a month or so ago, for ginger turmeric baked chicken. I’ve been working on adding more fresh and dried turmeric to my food choices, as it’s one of the most potent anti-inflammatory compounds available. This recipe reminded me of a really good, cold weather, comfort food recipe. It was warm, satisfying and very fulfilling.
Ginger Turmeric Baked Chicken
1 large package chicken breasts (I don’t remember the lbs, but it was a large package and filled a large rectangular pyrex glass baking dish)
Fresh grated ginger
1 large or 2 small white onions
Put all breasts in the rectangular glass baking dish. Slather each breast in ghee. Generously sprinkle dried turmeric on each side, flipping after covering the first side. Grate fresh ginger directly over pan. Dash of salt and generous pepper. I loosely chopped 1 very large white onion into chunks, and just tossed it around the dish.
Bake at 350 degrees, until internal temperature reaches 160, or your preferred temp.
Reheats extremely well and your house will smell amazing!
I was in the mood for spice the other night, with a lot of vegetables in the fridge, so I threw this together and it was fabulous!
Spicy Asian Inspired Stirfry
1 package mushrooms
1 green bell pepper
1 red onion
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bag broccoli slaw
Crushed red pepper
Cashews for topping
I chopped everything so it was ready to go, then melted about 1 TBSP of coconut oil in a sauté pan. I added the more firm vegetables first, garlic, carrots, onion. Then I added the pepper, and broccoli slaw. I generously sprinkled with crushed red pepper, powdered ginger and black pepper. I continued sautéing until the broccoli slaw started to cook down, about 10 minutes, and then added the mushrooms (and a dollop more of coconut oil), until cooked. All vegetables were crisp, and spicy! Last, I topped with cashews, and tossed until they warmed. Sprinkled with coconut aminos as a soy sauce replacement, and voilà! Spicy Asian Inspired Stirfry 🙂