Tag Archives: Whole 30

What’s For Dinner 11/28-12/2

OK, first of all, can you believe we are nearly in December?! Craziness. Secondly, I’m sorry about the formatting in this post–I’m still getting familiar with WordPress, and am not sure why it’s being finicky. Here are some great wintery meals to share with your family! Remember, the crock pot is your friend. Don’t fight it!

Monday: Turkey (or chicken) soup, Almond flour “crackers” and Frozen bananas

Recipe: Turkey soup *Whole30 Compliant

*You can substitute chicken in this recipe if you prefer.

By now, your turkey carcass may be long gone, but if you still have it around, this is an easy way to use it up and make delicious soup! If you don’t have a carcass laying around, I love to get a rotisserie chicken, eat it up, and then throw the carcass in a pot.

4 TBSP olive oil

1 large onion, diced

5 large carrots, sliced

4-5 stalks celery, sliced

2 TBSP minced garlic

1 TBSP dried basil

2 tsp salt

pepper to taste

1 TBSP garlic salt

16 cups water

turkey or chicken carcass

Heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt and pepper and garlic salt. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until onion is translucent and a nice aroma is filling your kitchen. Add carcass and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a few hours. The longer it simmers, the better!







Recipe: Frozen bananas

3 ripe bananas

1 TBSP vanilla (the pure kind)

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of cloves

Mix vanilla, cinnamon and cloves in a small bowl and set aside. Slice each banana lengthwise and baste each flat side with the vanilla mixture. Lay on parchment paper-covered plate and freeze for 30 minutes.

  • Recipe: Almond flour “crackers” 

Use the pizza crust recipe from HERE, but use whatever herbs you would like to add (I used dried basil and parsley) and roll out more thinly than the pizza crust. Cook in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into small squares with pizza cutter. 

You may still be finding yourself with leftover turkey hanging around…a carcass, perhaps? Even better!

Tuesday: Crock Pot Cross Rib Roast with Veggies and Frozen Berry Salad

I love this recipe because of its simplicity. I don’t even peel the carrots or sweet potato–I think it gives it a wonderfully earthy taste, and keeps those extra nutrients in the dish! I didn’t even thaw my roast, just threw it in frozen.

Recipe: Crock Pot Cross Rib Roast with Veggies *Whole 30 Compliant

4 lb Cross Rib Roast

1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks

4 large carrots, cut into chunks

1 cup largely-chopped celery

3 TBSP. garlic salt

ground black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

5 cups water

Put roast in bottom of crock pot.  Add all the chopped veggies. Sprinkle the garlic salt and both peppers over the veggies and meat. Pour water gently on the side, so it doesn’t wash off all those seasonings on top. Set timer for 9 hours on low. Let it simmer in it’s own goodness all day, and you’ll come home to a wonderfully-smelling house!

I strained all the leftover liquid, threw out the stuff in the strainer and froze the beef broth for future recipes. No need to waste!

Wednesday: Baked Pork Chops, Artichokes with Lemon Ghee and Fresh Mandarins

It’s mandarin season! Seize the opportunity and grab some of this delicious fruit!

Recipe: Baked Pork Chops *Whole30 Compliant

4 center-cut loin chops (bone-in) about 1-1.5 inches thick

olive oil to baste

garlic salt


chili powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil (remember–easy clean up!) Place each pork chop on sheet and baste with olive oil and spices. Place in oven for 12 minutes. Flip over, re-baste and apply spices. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chops (mine were 1.5 inches thick). Let stand for 5 minutes before eating.

Recipe: Artichokes with Lemon Ghee Dipping Sauce *Whole30 Compliant

4 artichokes

3-4 TBSP salt


4 TBSP ghee (the great thing about ghee is that it is just clarified butter–no lactose or casein left in it!)

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add artichokes, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Melt ghee in microwave, squeeze juice from lemon and add salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Dip artichoke leaves in for a savory treat!

Thursday: Leftovers from Previous Days, Apples and Kale Chips

1 bunch Kale

olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper to taste

Kale chips last much longer and, in my opinion, taste better after being made in a food dehydrator. However, if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can follow this recipe, but just pop in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees, and they will taste great if served immediately. They will, however, get soggy if left overnight.

Remove stems from Kale by laying the Kale flat, folding over the leaves to one side, and then slicing the stem off with a big butcher knife.

Tear Kale into smaller pieces and lay on dehydrator in a single layer.

Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil (too much will make them really oily), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set dehydrator at 135 degrees and run for 4-6 hours. Again, if you don’t have a dehydrator, no problem–just follow the above directions, but place them on parchment paper-covered cookie sheet in single layer and bake at the above temp and time.

Little hands had already snagged some of the finished product before I took a picture. They don’t disappear when you cook them–just get smaller and crispy. =)

Friday: Shrimp Veggie Stir Fry, Green Beans and Pears

Recipe: Shrimp Veggie Stir Fry 

3 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP peanut oil

1 tsp coconut aminos (I got mine at Whole Foods–it’s a substitute for soy sauce)

2 tsp minced garlic

6-7 green onions, sliced thin

1 lb stir fry veggies (you can buy frozen or sometimes fresh in the produce section, or use whatever veggies you’d like)

2 lbs small precooked shrimp

salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and peanut oil over medium heat. Add veggies, green onions, garlic and coconut aminos and cook for 6-8 minutes, until veggies are getting tender. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, and cook until shrimp is heated through. Serve immediately and top with sliced almonds for a little extra crunch!

Have a wonderful week, and I hope you enjoy some if not all of these recipes!


Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whole30 Results and This Week’s Menu…

Well, somehow 3 months went by since my last entry. The Whole30 “cleanse” has come and gone. And what was the result, you may ask?

During the 2nd half of my Whole30, I noticed I was feeling tired, irritable and generally dragging. I realized that I was not giving myself enough carbs since I was training for a half marathon, so I started introducing dense carbs, like sweet potatoes and butternut squash, and quickly noticed an improvement in how I felt.

I completed my 30 days. On the 31st day, I baked almond flour chocolate chip cookies (made with dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips), and thoroughly enjoyed them. Boy, were they good. They’ve become a regular addition to our household…the “June Cleaver” in me just has to have some type of baked goods around for my kids.

So, what’s on the dinner menu this week?

Monday: Baked chicken thighs with pan-roasted Brussels Sprouts and caramelized onions, and sliced apples.

  • Recipe: Baked Chicken Thighs (Serves 2 adults, 5 kids…with a few leftovers) *Whole30 Compliant

3 pounds chicken thighs (I usually get the organic thighs from Costco)

Olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, whatever spices you enjoy

Preheat broiler. Lay chicken out on broiler pan and baste with olive oil. Sprinkle on spices. Put in oven a few inches from heat for 6-7 minutes. Flip over, and baste and sprinkle. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes, and enjoy!

  • Recipe: Pan-roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions (the only way to eat Brussels Sprouts!) *Whole30 Compliant

2 pounds Brussels Sprouts

1 onion

Few tablespoons olive oil

Garlic salt, pepper

Heat olive oil in large pan over medium/high heat. While that’s heating, cut rough ends off Brussels Sprouts and cut in half and slice onions in thin slices. When oil is hot, add onions and cook for 7-8 minutes until beginning to turn brown. Add Brussels Sprouts and garlic salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes, until edges of Sprouts begin to turn dark brown.

Tuesday: Crock pot pork chops, roasted broccoli, and blueberry/banana salad.

  • Recipe: Crock Pot Pork Chops (serves 2 adults, 5 kids…potential leftovers) *Whole30 Compliant

I love this recipe because I can just toss in frozen pork chops into the crock pot and don’t have to thaw them first!

6 pork chops (fresh or frozen)

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 TBSP dried basil

2 TBSP minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Put pork chops in crock pot. In separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and pour over pork chops. Set crock pot for desired time (when I use frozen chops, I put them in by 7 a.m., and set the crock pot for 9 hours on low). Close lid and let the machine work its magic!!

3-4 heads of broccoli

3-4 TBSP olive oil

Garlic salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces and lay on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Put in oven for 12-15 minutes and eat!

Wednesday: Leftovers with sweet potato chips and raisins.

Thursday: Baked salmon, cauliflower, green salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

4-5 salmon fillets

Olive oil

1/8 Tsp. cayenne pepper

2 TBSP minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and  lay salmon fillets (skin side down) on sheet. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients and baste onto fillets. Bake in oven for 12-14 minutes.

1 cup olive oil

Little less than 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 TBSP minced garlic

1/2 Tsp. salt

1/2 Tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small mason jar. Shake and enjoy!

Friday: Lettuce-wrapped hamburgers, roasted garlic fries, grapes

  • Recipe: Lettuce-wrapped hamburgers (I think you know the serving size by now…) *Whole30 Compliant

3 pounds ground beef

1/2 pound cooked bacon, chopped into bits

1.5 TBSP garlic salt

1 Tsp. pepper

pinch of ceyenne pepper

Large-leaf lettuce to wrap burgers in

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Combine all ingredients (except lettuce) in a large bowl. Form mixture into balls a little smaller than tennis balls and pat into patties. Place patties into skillet. Cook for about 5-6 minutes on one side, and flip over. DO NOT PRESS PATTIES DOWN WITH SPATULA–IT WILL SQUEEZE OUT ALL THE JUICES! Cook another 3-4 minutes and remove from pan. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve in lettuce with onions, tomatoes, or whatever other toppings you like.

  • Recipe: Roasted garlic fries

5 pounds russet potatoes (I know these aren’t strict “Paleo” but we do eat potatoes around here occasionally)

1/4 cup olive oil, plus another couple TBSPS, set aside.

Garlic salt

3 TBSP minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice potatoes into wedges and put into cold water as you’re cutting them. Once finished, drain off water and pour couple TBSPS of olive oil over potatoes. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Cover with lid and shake. Lay in single pile on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Put in oven for 25 minutes. While that is cooking, combine the 1/4 cup olive oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside. When potatoes are done, serve alongside olive oil/garlic dip. Yum!

Hope you can enjoy some of these delicious, easy recipes!


Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Dinner


Tags: , , ,

Our Journey to Healthful Eating

I’m a recovering Sugarholic. Yes, it’s true. Take a look at my innocent face and tell me that I don’t look like a girl who fights her sugar demons nearly every day. It’s been a lifelong struggle. Actually, I didn’t think it was a struggle until adulthood. I couldn’t have cared less when I was younger whether I ate Lucky Charms for breakfast, lunch, dinner and an evening snack. But after getting married at the ripe old age of 20, I started to think, “Hmmm…I should probably not stuff my face with sweets after every meal, party, or while watching the Food Network.” It was hard to be motivated to change, though, since I wasn’t struggling with my weight. I pretty much maintained the same weight since teenager-hood, with the exception of the all-to-familiar “freshman 15” that came and went.

It wasn’t until Superman started experiencing worse symptoms (see the “All About My Zoo” tab at the top of the page) that I thought maybe I should make a change not for weight, but for health. But boy, oh boy, was I in for a challenge. I would go on “sugar fasts” every once in awhile, thinking that if I could just avoid sugar for a few weeks, I would be cured. I read all the books: “Sugar Shock,” “Suicide by Sugar, “Sugar Blues”…you name it, if it was about how to magically break my sugar habit, I read it. And they were all very inspiring. But for some reason, weeks or months later, that darn stuff would sneak it’s way back into my life like crack cocaine. And there I’d be…poor, frustrated, Shanti. Feeling helpless against my addiction.

This whole experience with Superman has ingrained in me the old cliches: “We only get one body,” “We should treat our bodies like temples,” “You are what you eat.” And I was what I ate. That poison (in addition to the fast food, processed junk and yummy baked treats I would always make) made me feel like a darn fog machine. My brain couldn’t focus. I felt like I had potential in there somewhere, but I couldn’t make my mind hold still long enough to really absorb anything. I would get headaches, muscle aches, and a nasty afternoon slump. I went to a doctor because my joints hurt so bad and was told I had osteoarthritis. But the doctor didn’t give me any cures, just told me to take Aleve. Yeah, thanks a bunch, Doc.

We’ve been eating a Paleo diet (Google it if it’s new to you) since November 2010. I started by cutting out dairy, at the recommendation of a holistic doctor who did weird, wacky evaluations to come to the conclusion that I was dairy “sensitive.” I was skeptical, but after 2 weeks off of any milk products, you know what happened? I woke up one morning, and didn’t feel any pain! My joints felt like a 32-year-old woman’s joints should feel…not painful. Shortly after that discovery, I switched our whole family to a no-grain, no-dairy, no-sugar diet. And another miracle happened. Our second oldest son, Josh, who had been on 5 different asthma and allergy medications since infancy, no longer need any medications! Not one. We went a whole season, for the first time in his life without a breath of asthma. No seasonal allergies. No Flonase. No midnight Albuterol treatments. It was amazing.

And so, I’m a full-on believer now. There is definitely, most definitely, something to the tainted effects of the American food supply. I buy organic produce pretty much always, and do everything I can to eat only things that are pretty much a “whole food.” Of course, our kids still go to birthday parties, there is still Halloween and going to Nana and Papa’s, but at home, we eat well. And it feels awesome.

Sixteen days ago, I decided I was ready to really “reset” my body. I started the Whole 30 program (Google it, man!), which is basically the exact same diet I already follow, but I am not allowed to use any sweeteners whatsoever. No honey, no agave…nada. You see, I can cut out refined sugar easy enough. And then I just replace it with “natural” sugars and I’m happy as a clam. Kind of. But I’m ready. For some reason, I am beginning to approach my relationship with sweets differently. I see food now as fuel, and I don’t really want to waste my intake on junk that’s just gonna make me feel like junk 20 minutes later.

Now, I have no idea what’s going to happen at the end of my 30 days. Initially I figured I would want to go to the Cheesecake Factory and order me some of that divine chocolatey cheesecake goodness that I absolutely love. But now? I’m thinking I don’t really want to. And to hear myself say that is like hearing my five children all together in a small room playing nicely…it’s a bit frightening, but oh so joyous and rewarding. So, 14 more days to go.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Clean Eating Info


Tags: , , ,