Saturday, January 27, 2018

8 Days of Meals on the Whole30

Since January 8th, I've been doing the Whole30. It's basically a food program that re-sets the way that a person thinks about and consumes food. For 30 days, you are eating healthy, flavorful meals. There's no sugar, dairy, grains, corn, beans, and - for those who drink (which I don't) - alcohol.

When I've told people this, they say, "What's left?" Lots of food: meat, eggs, vegetables (with the exception of corn and beans, as I mentioned), and fruit. You can drink beverages that don't have any of the items noted above in them. Add in a wide variety of seasonings and fresh herbs - and there's plenty of food to eat.

To give an idea what I'm eating over the course of a week, I took photographs of some of the things I've made. Many of these are new recipes I tried as way to expand the options available on the Whole30. I've also included the recipes for each one.

Chicken, Kale, and Grape Salad
Thursday, January 18th 


2 cups skinless chicken breast (~1 lb.), cooked and shredded or cubed
1 cup chopped kale, packed
½ cup shredded or chopped red cabbage
½ sweet bell pepper, diced
½ cup grapes (can also use cubed mango)
2-3 green onions (white and part of greens), chopped (also can use a yellow or red onion)
3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, cubed
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste


In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, kale, red cabbage, bell peppers, grapes, green onions, cilantro, and avocado. Set aside.

Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Add to the salad ingredients and toss to coat.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: ½ avocado + ¼ of chicken salad Calories: 294 calories Fat: 19 g Carbohydrates: 12 g Sugar: 6 g Sodium: 150 mg Fiber: 5 g Protein: 28 g

Adapted from a recipe by The Real Food Dietitians.

Spicy Pineapple Jicama Guacamole
Friday, January 19th


3 large avocados
3 tablespoons lime juice
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
1¼ cup pineapple, diced
¾ cup jicama, diced
2 cherry peppers, diced (about ⅓ cup)
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper


Remove pit from the avocados and place flesh in a medium-sized bowl. Add lime juice and cilantro and mix well until mostly smooth, but some chunks still remain. Add remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate. Use your dipper of choice and enjoy! Serves 6-8. (Recipe is from Eat the Gains.)

Whole30 Stuffed Peppers
Saturday, January 20th

This got a little darker than I would have preferred.
However, it was still very good.


4 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (preferably round in shape)
3 tablespoons cooking fat
 ¼ cup finely chopped onion
 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
 4 kale leaves, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
 1 pound ground meat (beef, lamb, bison)
 2 tablespoons tomato paste
 ¼ teaspoon cumin
 ¼ teaspoon chili powder
 ½ teaspoon salt
 ¼ teaspoon black pepper
 1 cup finely chopped peeled winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc.)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a deep baking dish with parchment paper. With a paring knife, slice around the top of each bell pepper and gently pull up on the stem. Discard the seeded core. Place the peppers in the prepared dish. Bake for 10 minutes, until softened. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom. When the fat is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Add the kale and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon and stirring it into the vegetables, for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook until the meat is mostly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the squash and cook until the squash is slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Divide the meat and squash mixture evenly among the softened bell peppers. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, until the peppers look wrinkly and the beef is slightly browned on top.

Note: the preparation time and method for the peppers does not result in peppers that are as tender as we are used to eating. My mom used to boil the green peppers until they were soft so that they were easier to eat. They still would be firm enough to be stuffed, but tender enough to eat. I would opt for the boiling method the next time I make this recipe.

Salad with Fresh Vegetables, Blueberries, and Pistachios
Sunday, January 21st


Handful of organic mixed greens
Red onion, diced
Seasoned, baked chicken, cubed (see below for seasonings)
Cucumber, sliced and then quartered
Cherry tomatoes
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar
Sea Salt
White pepper

Seasonings for 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (used on many salads): 

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder


Mix together spices for chicken. Spray a pan with olive oil and place chicken in pan. Cover the chicken with the spices. Flip them over and season the other side. Bake in a 375 degree oven until done. Slice or cube chicken for use in salads once it has cooled.

To make the salad, start with the mixed greens, add the onion, chicken, blueberries, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and pistachios.

Drizzles over the top the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sprinkle with sea salt and white pepper.

Whole30 Classic Chili
Monday, January 22nd


1 pound ground meat (I used ground beef)
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (I used double that)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (I used a quart of tomatoes I canned during the summer)
2 cups beef broth (I used vegetable broth since it had a substantially lower sodium content)


Cook meat in a large pot until it is brown. Remove meat from pot, but leave the leftover fat in. Add the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, paprika, mustard powder, and salt to the pot. Reduce heat to medium/low and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add bell peppers, tomatoes, and broth. Return meat to pot. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.

Butternut Squash Soup
Tuesday, January 23rd


1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), baked and then scooped out
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (I didn't include this ingredient)
Sea salt
Black pepper


Bake the squash until it is tender. Scoop out the flesh and put in a bowl. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the roasted squash and turmeric. Add enough cold water (about 8 cups) to just cover the squash, and bring it to a boil over high heat. 

Reduce the heat a medium-low and simmer until the carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes. 

Using an immersion blender (or, in my case, a VitaMix mixer), puree the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 8-10.

Salad with Whole30 Chimichurri Sauce
Wednesday, January 24th


1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, and shallot in a food processor and mix on low speed. Drizzle in the olive oil while mixing; the dressing will begin to emulsify.

Add the cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper and continue to mix on low until the dressing is uniform in texture and the herb pieces are chopped quite small.

Put the sauce over a simple salad made with spring greens, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, and cubed chicken.

Note: the sauce is thick here because it came right out of the refrigerator. However, the longer it sits at room temperature, it becomes more liquid-like (just like salad dressing). If the oil and vinegar separate, simply whisk it together.

Turkey Chili
Thursday, January 25th  


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups shredded chopped turkey
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon cumin
2 cups vegetable broth (can use chicken broth also).
28 ounces canned and diced tomatoes, undrained (I used one quart of homemade canned tomatoes)
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the olive oil, turkey, and onion for five minutes in a large pot. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and vegetable broth. Stir well. Reduce and cook 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer another 20 minutes or so.

1 comment:

Rita said...

Wow! Everything (except the green peppers which do not agree with me) looks delicious. Being a 95% vegetarian who is trying to not eat as much dairy--it would be difficult for me, but it does sound healthy. I need to try to not eat sugar, either. Not easy. I have to admit that any type of diet I've ever been on was easier when I had to cook for other people. Harder living alone, I think. Great job! Congrats! :)