whole30 week 2 recap

I may not be baking desserts during the duration of this challenge, but the kitchen adventures are still in full swing! I tried some really delicious recipes this week and added a whole lot more to my list of things to make – boredom will definitely not be an issue this month, that’s for sure. Poached eggs are still on the to-do list, or will be once I stock up on eggs again.

I wish I could say I feel like a new person, the way a lot of people do when they get past the detoxing stages of Whole30, but I do have plenty of energy most days and I’m finally waking up hungry. I enjoy breakfast so much more when I actually want to eat it, rather than just getting something in my stomach so that it’s not eating itself by lunchtime, so that’s a nice change. I stopped drinking black tea and my eye has stopped twitching. I had no idea I was so sensitive to caffeine!

I bought a kabocha squash this week. I’d been wanting to for a long time but for some reason I find kabochas intimidating. I’m still not quite sure what I’m going to do with it but I’ll report back at the end of the week! In the meantime, here are two of my favorite recipes from week 2 of my Whole30.

Coconut Cream Chicken Salad

{paleo}

serves ~3

adapted from The Urban Poser’s Cherry, Pecan and Tarragon Chicken Salad

1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
1/8 cup (or more) raisins
1-2 heaping tbsp pecan pieces
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
3-4 tbsp coconut cream (Trader Joe’s, or refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight and use the cream that accumulates at the top of the can)
handful of grapes, sliced (optional; cherries would be delicious too)
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

Mix the onion, raisins, pecans, and seasoning together. Add chicken and coconut cream and toss till well-combined. Add grapes or cherries if desired and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled.

IMG_1802It’s not the most photogenic stuff, so I don’t have a good “after” picture. That’s also due in part to the fact that it is delicious and I couldn’t wait to eat it long enough to make it look pretty.

My friend and Whole30 partner in crime Elaine and I sort of had plans to make this next recipe together, but I got impatient. It was a Monday night and I needed something incredible for dinner to celebrate making it through another Monday (not that it was a terrible day, in fact, I’m realizing that most of my Mondays are unexceptional. But when they deviate from the pattern, they’re no fun at all. Think about it – when was the last time you had a spectacular Monday? I can’t remember either). So I stopped at the store on my way home from school to pick up a head of cauliflower (thank goodness I stuck a couple bucks in my wallet, because for some reason my debit card was strangely absent and not being able to buy my cauliflower would have worsened my Monday considerably) and used the stew meat I had in the freezer to make this. It took some creativity to come up with a suitable sauce substitute given Whole30 restrictions and my lack of coconut aminos, but the result was definitely worth the effort!

IMG_1828Broccoli Beef with Cashews

{paleo}

serves ~4

adapted from Stir-Fried Beef with Cashews and Broccoli from BBC Good Food

Amino Sauce
2 tbsp coconut aminos
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp orange juice
1 tbsp sunflower or coconut oil
garlic, ginger, and pepper to taste

Non-Amino Sauce
1/4 cup chicken or beef broth
2 tbsp sunflower seed butter
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp – 1 tbsp spicy mustard
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cups raw broccoli
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
10+ oz stew meat or beef steak, cut into chunks
1/4 cup cashew pieces

Cook the beef until lightly browned and set aside. In a large skillet, combine sauce ingredients and bring to simmer over medium-low heat. Add onions and celery and cook until onions are becoming translucent, then add broccoli, mushrooms, and beef. You can add the cashews now or save them for a garnish at the end. Saute all ingredients until heated through and beef is cooked to desired doneness. (That’s not a word. But it should be.) Serve over spinach orrrrr…..

Ginger-Garlic Cauliflower Rice

1/2 head cauliflower
2 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp basil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger
salt and pepper to taste

Break cauliflower into florets and pulse in food processor until texture resembles that of rice – try not to go all the way to snow. Heat coconut oil in skillet and add riced cauliflower and seasonings. Cook, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is no longer raw (~10 minutes). Top with broccoli beef and devour!

IMG_1888So. Much. Tasty. It’s almost hard to try new recipes when I know I could just make this again! But branching out definitely has its rewards – like Paleo Pad Thai, which was this past Monday night’s experiment. It was the best meal I’ve eaten in a long time (actually probably just since spring break, but this was decidedly healthier). I’m not even sure I’ve had regular pad Thai but the paleo version was so good I don’t feel like I need to try it! Stay tuned, the recipe will be in my next recap post.

I want to hear from you – what’s your favorite recipe, and how did you find it?

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