whole30 recap week 3

What? Another week went by already? Must be this springy weather, time feels like it goes by so much faster when every second spent outside isn’t agonizing.

It was a busy week/end too. I saw Emily, the TA in Orvieto during my semester, and then there was FIKA and I had dinner with two of my future apartmentmates, and I went to Goose and CrossFit and I wrote an article for the Tartan and babysat for the first time. Yeah. Maybe that explains why all I want to do is crawl in bed and watch New Girl reruns until I fall asleep.

On Thursday – at least I think it was Thursday – I went to Trader Joe’s, which is a great place. When I’m home in CA, where there’s one three minutes away from my house, I sometimes go to get one specific thing and end up spending an hour there and buying eleven or more things. True story. That also goes for Whole Foods. But anyway. Trader Joe’s. I really wanted banana chips, like reeeeallyyyyy wanted banana chips, but when I found them I was just about to do a victory dance and probably open the bag before I’d paid for it when I read the ingredients list and realized they had sugar in them! Which is obviously something I can’t eat on the Whole30. And something I try not to eat anyway. But what the heck? Since when are bananas not sweet enough on their own?!

This story has a happy ending though – I know you were worried, so I thought spoiling the end was worth it in this case – because as I was getting in line banana chip-less (but with a basket full of nuts and seeds and avocados, all of which are happiness), I saw plantain chips on the shelf in front of the register. I almost just walked by so that I wouldn’t be disappointed again, but I took a deep breath and checked the ingredients and GUESS WHAT?! They didn’t have added sugar! Or any other non-compliant ingredients!

The victory dance was a little more subdued since there were a lot of people around the registers, but there was definitely some fist pumping going on when I got in my car and ate a handful of the chips dipped in crunchy almond butter. It was blissful.

You know what else is blissful? Dried figs dipped in almond butter.

And apple slices. And carrots. And frozen bananas.

I guess it’s just almond butter that’s blissful.

Which leads us to the best recipe I made last week…

{drumroll please}

Paleo Pad Thai!

IMG_2133(No, I did not eat dinner off of the carpet. The bowl was brown glass. Also chopsticks are non-negotiable.)

First we gotta talk about the sauce. The original recipe is called sunshine sauce, and it will brighten your day guaranteed.

Almond Butter Sunshine Sauce


makes enough for one batch of pad thai

adapted from Mel Joulwan’s Sunshine Sauce

2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3-4 tbsp almond butter (or sunflower seed butter, or peanut butter if not paleo)
1/2 tbsp spicy brown mustard (optional; check ingredients – French’s is paleo/whole30-compliant)
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/3 cup light coconut milk (or use full-fat for thicker sauce)

Blend all ingredients but the coconut milk in a food processor. Scrape down the sides and add milk. Blend till smooth.

IMG_2132And now for the pièce de résistance…

Paleo Pad Thai

{paleo, in case the title didn’t make that obvious}

serves ~3

adapted from Mel Joulwan’s Paleo Pad Thai

1 batch sunshine sauce
enough coconut oil to grease skillet
2 eggs
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup snap/snow peas, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 medium zucchini, grated/julienne sliced/spiralized
1-2 cups spaghetti squash
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
desired toppings – fresh cilantro, cashew pieces, green onions, lime/lemon juice etc.

Scramble eggs and cook them in large greased skillet like a pancake on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until top is no longer jiggly and bottom is beginning to brown. Remove from skillet and cut into thin strips.

Add more coconut oil to the skillet and add onions, snap peas, and mushrooms. Cook on medium heat until beginning to soften and add zucchini, spaghetti squash, chicken, and egg. Mix together and cook until heated, about 3 minutes, and then add the sauce and stir till everything is well-combined and the sauce has coated everything (trust me, you will want as much of it in every bite as possible). Cook for an additional 5 minutes or so and serve with desired toppings.

IMG_2179It was so good and I was so hungry that the mushrooms and chicken didn’t even make it into the mix the first night. But I added them to the leftovers and what I thought was the impossible happened – this mindblowingly phenomenal meal got even better. Whole30 has been awesome because I’ve been inspired to experiment with spices and different ethnic recipes, but I’m totally stuck on this sauce. I made more to cook my broccoli beef in today. I swear it gets more delicious every time.

I feel like I get more excited about everything just because it’s finally starting to feel like spring. I love hearing the birds in the morning and actually feeling the warmth of the sun! I’ve been dreaming about beach days and grilling chicken and eating as much watermelon as is humanly possible. The spring fever is fierce. Now if only the trees would grow their leaves back a little faster.

What’s your favorite part of spring?


4 thoughts on “whole30 recap week 3

  1. Omg so as soon as I saw this pad thai while I was browsing your blog the other day I was like I HAVE TO MAKE THIS. So I ended up buying a spaghetti squash the next day and fulfilled my dreams! I had to make some substitutions (almond milk was a sad sub for coconut milk) and made kind of a hybrid version of yours + the original sauce recipe, but all in all, it was totally delicious and satisfying. Thanks for the inspiration!! <33

    • it’s so good right?? I was totally planning on making it again but there were no spaghetti squashes at the grocery store last week 😦 gonna try again today!! the funny thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had real pad thai haha

      • Haha wait that is actually hilarious!! Where are you from?? My bf is from Wisconsin and he’d never had a burrito before going to school in Houston. Or sushi, I think. Or most Asian food. And now he looooves pad thai. Gotta say, I think this version is just as tasty as the real-deal, greasy fat-bomb stuff 🙂

      • I’m from southern California but I go to school in Massachusetts so it’d probably be easier to find good pad Thai back home – my family just doesn’t explore much, haha. I have had sushi and pho, which were both new experiences, since starting college though. but if you say this is just as good as the real stuff then maybe I should just stick to the healthy version! 🙂

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