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!
Working my way back to blogging (and a whole lot of other things, slow and steady wins the race, right?)…I have a laundry list of so many things I want to write about. Travels, food, life, animals, diabetes, friendships, etc…it’s just finding the time to do so, to where I don’t feel rushed and write just to write.
Over the last year there has been a move, lots of travel and exploring living in a new area – fun, but that means I spend less time in the kitchen because we’re always trying new local restaurants the Twin Cities has to offer (A TON!). Fun to be a foodie here, but I miss the kitchen, cooking, experimenting and writing about it – if it turns out 😉 Anyway, returned home from another brief travel stint and had a hodge podge of ingredients in the fridge that needed to be used – and I’ve really been focusing on being less wasteful and not letting things go bad before we get to them. Here was the result!
Everything Egg Bake
3 white onions, diced
1 large jalapeno (1/2 deseeded), finely diced
2 TBSP minced garlic
1/4 cup avocado oil
4 cups spinach
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 dozen eggs
1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese
Saute the onions, jalapeno, minced garlic in the avocado oil on medium heat until onions start to brown, about seven minutes. Add the saute to a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach, tomatoes, diced ham and season with salt and pepper (to your taste). In a separate bowl break 12 eggs and beat well until whites and yolks are incorporated, add eggs to mixture. Mix together and gently toss the Gorgonzola cheese into the mixture. Pour mixture into a buttered 8×8 glass baking dish. Top with 4-6 small dollops of grass-fed butter. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and edges are crusting. Make sure the eggs in the middle are solid. It’s a beautiful dish!
Seth’s been eating it for breakfast and I’ve been having it for breakfast and lunch. It reheats quick, is full of nutrients and very filling. Enjoy 🙂
I decided to make use of what vegetables I had on hand after coming home from our holiday trip to Iowa as well as use some of my Penzey’s spices (I love them!) I’d been gifted to add a different flavor than the typical salt/pepper/oil roast.
I had 3/4 of a red onion in the fridge, 1/2 a container of cherry tomatoes on the counter, some open artichoke hearts, and a couple different kinds of mushrooms waiting patiently.
Artichoke and Tomato Vegetable Bake
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Artichoke hearts, water squeezed out
3/4 large red onion, diced
1/2 package crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 package button mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP minced garlic
Penzey’s Northwoods Spice
Add a little avocado oil (high smoke point) to a large saute pan and add onion and minced garlic, sauteing until onions start to turn transparent. Add mushrooms and artichoke hearts and continue sauteing until vegetables are warm all the way through. Drench in Penzey’s Northwoods Spice (I used the rest that I had, roughly 3 TBSP) and toss to mix. Dump the vegetable saute in a large glass baking dish and add halved cherry tomatoes. Gently toss everything together and put in a preheated 400 degree oven. Roast until done to your liking – I left mine in for about 40 minutes until they were starting to brown and the tomatoes were shriveling – that’s how I prefer my vegetables.
Side note: I didn’t measure the cherry tomatoes or artichoke hearts. I’d say roughly about 2-3 cups of halved cherry tomatoes, I used the rest of what I had in a large Costco clamshell container. Similar with the artichoke hearts, I had an open large 33oz size jar from Costco in the fridge that needed to be used, probably 3/4 full. Best tip I’ve received when squeezing water out of artichoke hearts? Literally squeeze them to death with your hand (make a fist), I don’t even cut them anymore because they come apart so easily. Kind of like a mash.
I’ve scrambled some of the leftovers with eggs for breakfast, reheated some last night for dinner with coconut aminos, etc.!
One of the dinners I made last week – I put together very quick, as I’d cut all veggies on Sunday to prep for the week, so all I had to do was literally dump them on the spinach. One of my favorite things about most seafood – it cooks fast! This meal was satisfying and filling, a perfect balance of vegetable, fat and protein!
Spinach Salad with Garlic Butter Ahi
Orange bell pepper
Baby crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 avocados
1 piece of garlic butter ahi
Throw all the vegetables and goat cheese into a bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle just a little olive oil and a small sprinkling of balsamic vinegar on top. Top with garlic butter ahi. To make the ahi, I simply melted a decent amount of grass-fed butter in a hot skillet, and generously sprinkled the butter with garlic salt (I’m out of my garlic butter). I let it heat until it started to cook on its own (like brown butter), and then placed both ahi steaks in the butter. I let it cook about 3-4 minutes on each side, on high.
I might just have to make this again soon – great way to change up protein source, not to mention, it was fabulous with the goat cheese!
So…remember that time when Seth was at sea and I tried to light the grill and almost blew myself up? Me neither. But I feel like my grilling skills are improving.
I decided last Saturday I’d try again. Grill lighting, went perfect, but even better was the food (crazy to think this is all for me, hahahaha). But hey, I’ve been eating leftovers for lunch and breakfast all week long…which makes life a whole lot easier. Plus, I get to be outside on a Saturday evening in my backyard (which is newly landscaped), with my awesome next door neighbors and their amazing kids! Sounds like a win for me 🙂
I grilled 4 veggie boats: 1 with purple potatoes, white onion and garlic; 2nd with eggplant and carrots; 3rd with tri-color peppers, mushrooms and garlic; and last, I decided to put the rest of the large bag of whole garlic cloves I had into it’s own foil boat and see how it came out. Hands down, the garlic became so sweet and slightly charred, I can’t wait to do that again. It also was really good smeared on my steak!! So I ate all of that, that night. Ooops.
I also grilled a prime filet from a local butcher shop, Iowa Meat Farms (shout out for Iowa, my home state that I miss dearly!). I complimented that with a side of grassfed butter for “sauce.” Don’t fear the fat.