Perfect Boiled Eggs

Hello, Whole 30, Mains, Sides

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Given the choice, I always prefer to start my morning with something savory. I love donuts and granola bars but there’s nothing like the perfect balance of coffee, cream and a little something salty. All that being said, I am pleased to introduce a fool proof process for boiled eggs — my tried and true morning delight!

B O I L E D    E G G S

Ingredients

2 Eggs

Process

1. Fill sauce pan with enough water to cover the eggs.
2. Place a lid over the eggs and turn the stove on high until the water starts to boil (approximately 7 minutes).
3. Turn the heat off, but leave the pan on the burner for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from stove and allow the eggs to cook in the heated water for 10 minutes (the lid should remain on during this process).

Note: If you’re into soft boiled eggs, skip step four and go directly to five. Also, you may want to skip the peeling directions below as you’ll want to treat these eggs a little more delicately. Lightly tapping the shell on the counter should do just fine.
5. Remove the eggs from the pot, and place them into an a bowl of ice water. Let the eggs sit for 10 minutes.

 

P E E L I N G   H A R D   B O I L E D   E G G S

1. Place one egg into a slender glass lined with a very small amount of water.
2. Cover the glass with one hand while clasping the bottom with the other, shaking the egg and glass horizontally from left to right.
3. Once the shell begins to break, remove the egg from the glass and peel.

 

 

Shrimp and Zoodle Scampi

Hello, Whole 30, Mains

zoodle-nightDuring Whole 30 I raved about the butternut squash noodles we made with red sauce but I have to say, the zoodles (or zucchini noodles) we had tonight blow that recipe out of the water! First of all, the texture of this vegetable is SPOT ON– the closest spaghetti substitute I’ve met so far. Another attribute? This tasty meal took all but 15 mins to prepare thanks in part to Whole Foods and Veggie Noolde Co!

S H R I M P   A N D  Z O O D L E S

Ingredients (serves 2)

1/2 Pound shrimp

4 Bacon strips (we used Pederson Farms)

2 1/ 2 Tablespoons ghee

1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 Teaspoon garlic

1/4 Cup lemon juice

10- 12 Ounces zucchini noodles

1 1/ 2 Cup cherry tomatoes (we got lucky and heirloom cherry tomatoes at Trader Joes)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Process

  1. Turn stove on high and cook 4 strips of bacon (turn this down to medium after the first minute or so). Remove the bacon and place on a plate with paper towels. Pour the bacon grease from the pan into a small cup.
  2. In a large pan, melt 2 1/2 tablespoons of ghee. Add 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the bacon pan. Add 1 teaspoon of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Let this cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and shrimp to the pan of ghee. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper  and flip after 3 minutes.
  4. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice to pan. After 3 minutes, remove the shrimp and set aside in a bowl (this will prevent the shrimp from over cooking).
  5. Add spiralized zucchini noodles to the pan. Let this cook for 5 minutes on medium low. Then, add back in your shrimp, tossing all the ingredients for approximately 2 minutes so the flavors can unite. zoodle-night
  6. While the shrimp and noodles finish up, chop 2 sprigs of basil and crumble all 4 bacon strips. Plate your shrimp, tomatoes and zoodles adding any additional basil and bacon on top.

 

Lemon Green Beans

Hello, Whole 30

Sometimes one really has to give credit where it’s due. Today’s post is a major shout out to my roommate Tamara and her Lemon Green Beans! Tam prepared this as a side dish for a dinner party we hosted a few months back and I couldn’t have been happier to finally learn her technique! These beans are not only a new favorite of mine, but the adapted recipe below is Whole 30 friend and has now made a guest appearance at my family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts. During a season of never ending indulgences, God bless these beans for adding a little green to the plate!

 L E M O N   G R E E N   B E A N S

Ingredients

2 Bags mixed green beans (frozen)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

4 Garlic cloves

1 1 /2 Lemon juice

1 Lemon, zest of (optional)

Salt and pepper

Process

1. Chop mince 4 cloves of garlic. Turn stove to medium-high and place garlic into a medium sized pot of olive oil.
2. Open 2 bags of mixed baby green beans and carrots (I used a frozen bag from Birds Eye) and add it to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Zest one lemon and squeeze the juice of two into the pot. After 5 minutes, turn down the temperate to medium-low. Tossing occasionally, allow the beans cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until they are tender.

beans

Coconut Cream Salmon

Hello, Whole 30, Mains

Looking back, I really have to credit my mother with starting my sisters and I on fish at a young age. Beyond the initial introduction (weekend lunches of Gordon’s Fish Sticks and french fries of course) my mother would prepare tilapia and salmon all the time. In fact, fish might have been one of the first proteins I learned how to prepare confidently on my own! Since those days, I usually try an incorporate a seafood item into the menu at least once a week.

Below is a salmon recipe I’ve fallen in love with since Whole 30. It’s sweet but savory and clean as can be. If you’re not doing the program, this would pair great with sautéed quinoa and kale but tonight I kept it simple and just roasted a little asparagus.
 

C O C O N U T   C R E A M   S A L M O N

Ingredients (2- 3 servings)
12 – 16 oz Salmon

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

1 Shallot

3 Cloves garlic

1 Lemon

Basil (fresh or dried)

Salt and pepper


Process

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Salt and pepper 12- 16 oz salmon (this was about 3 servings, and thus will be lunch tomorrow). Let the seasoned salmon rest on a baking tray outside of the refrigerator for 20 – 30 minutes.


Note: Generally speaking, I prefer to buy salmon with the skin on. The fat helps retain moister during cooking and ultimately peels right off once it’s baked. In fact, if you ever wind up with skin-on salmon from the sea food department, don’t even bother with any knife wielding beforehand. If you serve your salmon with a spatula, it’s unlikely the skin will even leave the pan! 

3. In a sauce pan, add 2 table spoons coconut oil,  1 large shallot (minced) and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Set this on high. 

4. Once these ingredients start starts to sweat, zest one lemon and also squeeze in the juice. Let this boil and bubble on medium temperature for a few minutes.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil (if all you have dried basil just do 1 tablespoon). Once this cooks down, pour on top of the salmon.

salmon-oven


6.    Place baking tray into the oven and let this cook for 20 minutes.

whole-30_salmon

Apple Roasted Chicken

Hello, Whole 30, Mains

Like most women (for better or worse), being competent in the kitchen is something that’s always been somewhat important to me. In fact, I think for most adults, learning how to host and hold their own is a right of passage we’re all a little intrigued by. For me, the following are a just a few scratch items high on my list to master…

kitchen-competencies

With this list in mind, when the opportunity to host a small dinner with my roommate and her boyfriend arose I figured there was no time like the present to start working on my Roasted Chicken game.

After scouring the internet for fall flavor guidance, I decided my “fun” ingredient of choice would be apples (instead of heading in a standard lemon-pepper technique) and I’m really glad I did! Sweet but savory is always the perfect combination for my palette and thanks in part to the sugar free Apple Cider brine, this chicken really fit the bill. My first whole roasted chicken experience went off without a hitch and now you and I both have a scrumptious, whole 30 approved (yep!) recipe that can stored in the cue for years to come. Childless, unwed, and still somewhat of a nomad— I obviously have plenty of time to figure out how to crush a full blown holiday meal but at least this is a start!

 

A P P L E    R O A S T E D   C H I C K E N


Ingredients

1 Whole chicken (about 6 – 7lbs)

2 Apples

6 Fresh Thyme

6 Garlic Cloves

1/2  Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Teaspoon pepper

1/4 Teaspoon powdered sage

4 Tablespoons ghee

4 Carrots

2 Onion

1 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Brine (Optional, night before)

1. Remove the giblets from the inside of the chicken.

2. Place chicken in a large pot or brining bag with 2 quarts of Apple Cider (check your ingredients for sugar), 1/2 cup salt, 1 table spoons black pepper corns, 6 bay leaves, 6 cloves. Leave this in the fridge overnight for 12 – 18 hours.

Process

For the Meal (Day of)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Chop 2 apples into quarters (I used green and honey crisp) and 1 yellow onion into quarters.

3. Take the chicken out of the fridge and place it into a large roasting pan. Tilt the chicken up and dump a little salt, pepper, 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 apple quarters, 1 onion quarter and 1 garlic clove inside the cavity.

raw-chicken

whole-30_potatoes-for-chicken

4. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil  and season chicken (don’t forget to flip) with salt, pepper, and a little bit of powdered sage. Slide your hand under the chicken skin and rub a few ghee shavings along with 1 teaspoon of garlic.

5. Place carrots, remaining onion, thyme, and remaining apple quarters into the roasting pan, drizzling 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Put the roasting pan into and oven and place a few apple slivers on top of the bird. Let this cook at 450 degrees then turn oven down to 350.

6. After 15 minutes, turn oven down to 350 degrees. Allow chicken to cook for 20 minutes per pound.

whole-30_roasted-apple-chicken

 

Whole 30: Days 28 – 30

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Meal Summary

 

Day 28

Breakfast: Boiled Egg, Lara Bar

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad (grilled chicken, boiled egg, bell peppers, onion, raisins, sunflower seeds, balsamic vinegar and olive oil)

Snack: Carrot Sticks, Banana Chips

Dinner: Jerk Pork (see my post from Days 4-6 for my spice mix), Sweet Potato Chips and Guacamole

 

Day 29

Breakfast: Boiled Egg, Lara Bar

Lunch: Jerk Pork, Carrot Sticks, Apple Sauce

Snack: Almonds & Raisins, Sweet Potato Chips

Dinner: Salad (Pulled Chicken, Jicama, Red Onions, Carrots, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Lime)

 

Day 30

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, 1/4 sausage patty (greasy and questionably compliant)

Lunch: Hot Dog (no bun, also questionable), Mango

Snacks: Almonds & Raisins, Banana Chips

Dinner: Grilled Cheese (not even questionable– 100% not compliant)

 

Thoughts

 

God bless sweet potatoes! I’ve had a hankering for something crunchy (that wasn’t bananas) and on Day 28 I nailed sweet potato chips (recipe below). 2 sweet potatoes yielded enough my side dish on Day 29, definitely a snack at work on 28, and a snack or two while in the Keys.

Now, in the interest of full transparency—although Day 29 and 30 started off with good intentions, overall it was a bust. On Day 30 Jon had two short films premiering at the Key West Film Festival and once it show time, celebratory shots were poured and that was officially a wrap for all our efforts!! It was an unfortunate defeat– but I certainly don’t regret it. On the one hand, we were SO CLOSE. But the other hand though, I’m SO proud of Jon for sticking to the diet as long as he did!  Granted, I was just along for the ride but he definitely earned some slack! To be on the radio, talking about his films like a pro, then follow it up with two premieres—I mean, come on!

So, how does the story end? Well surprisingly, after the glasses clinked, our previous abstinence from booze became quite a conversation starter! Why dieting and lifestyle changes are taboo subject matter I’ll never understand— but as we shared about our Whole 30 experience, one by one our Key West family started sharing their war stories and efforts. Turns out, one of the couples have been on a vegan path for the past 6 months! Even though it was just a few minutes, it was really awesome to hear each of our friends spreading the gospel on what’s been working for them lately.

The reality of it is, none of us are perfect. In fact, I can tell you for certain that all of Jon and my meals from here are on out will not be clean. But at this point— our awareness is heightened, which is incredibly valuable. We made a conscious effort to eat whole foods and saw the impact it had on our mind, body and soul. Our recipes will not be retired and we now have the tools to eat clean and eat well as often as possible. The key to sustaining ourselves on this earth is not about revolving through cycles of Whole 30, or Atkins, or  juicing; running everyday or doing sit ups before bed– it’s just about taking care of ourselves and embracing the idea of continued improvement.

I appreciate you joining our journey and I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors! For recipes, hacks and encouragement just check out the rest of the blog! And yes, I did lose 5lbs and Jon dropped 20 🙂  .

 

S W E E T   P O T A T O   C H I P S

Ingredients

2 Sweet potatoes

1/2 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt to taste

Process

  1. Heat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (unless your pan is typically on really good non-stick behavior— my surprisingly was).
  3. With a sharp knife, slice potatoes as thin as possible into discs. When complete, put potato slices into a plastic bag and toss with olive oil and salt.

whole-30_sweet-potato-slices

whole-30_sweet-potato-on-pan

  1. Place potatoes on the baking plan without overlapping. Let this cook for 45 – 50 minutes. At this point, they will start to dehydrate and you can scoop them up with a spatula and flip each chip over. Let this continue to bake for another 30 to 40 minutes or so, but be sure to check in!
  2. When you remove the chips from the oven don’t be surprised if some still look a little soft. They will crisp up when they reach room temp!

whole-30_sweet-potato-and-guac

Whole 30: Days 25 – 27

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Meal Summary

 

Day 25

Breakfast: Boiled Egg

Lunch: Brisket & Grilled Onions, Roasted Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Snack: Cashews & Raisins

Dinner: Turkey Burger, Long Beans & Baby Bok Choy

 

Day 26

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs & Potatoes

Lunch: Turkey Burger, Green Beans, Carrot Sticks

Snack: Banana Chips, Raisins

Dinner: Zoodle Stir Fry

 

Day 27

Breakfast: Lara Bar, Boiled Egg

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad (Chicken, sunflower seeds, onion, raisins, bell peppers, red wine vinegar, olive oil), Tangerine

Snack: Fruit Leather, Rx Bar

Dinner: Turkey Burger, Roasted Plantain, Apple

 

Thoughts

If you come from a large family or grew up going to youth group— you know a thing or two about Mustgo Night. It’s the  closeout sale of dinners and just about everything in the refrigerator that day literally must go.

Since Jon and I will be in the Keys for the better portion of the week— tonight we Mustgo-ed.

 

Z O O D L E   S T I R   F R Y

Ingredients (all optional)

Zucchini Noodles (one package from Whole Foods is 10.7 oz)

2 Chicken Cutlets

1/ 3 Cup carrots

2 Eggs

1 Onion

1/ 8 Teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Lime

1 Tablespoon coconut amino

1/ 4 Cup crushed cashews

1 Teaspoon garlic

Salt, black pepper and  red pepper flakes to taste

1 Tablespoon ginger paste

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Process

  1. In a sauté pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, cook chicken fillets simply seasoned with salt and pepper (I dredged mine in tapioca flour but regular chicken would be fine too). When the chicken reaches 165 degrees, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
  2. In a small pan, scramble 2 eggs in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When this is cooked, remove the eggs and set this aside.
  3. In a pretty large pan, sweat 3/4 of a whole onion, 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Turn the stove on high, then reduce to low with a lid on. Once the onions start to become clear, thoroughly wash a handful of raw baby bok choy and add it to the pan ( I broke off half the stalk on most of them). After 5 minutes or so, add 1/4 cup crushed cashews and a handful of semi cooked carrots (mine were frozen so I just brought them to up for a minute in the microwave). Season the pan with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
  4. In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, the juice of 1 lime, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set this aside.
  5. When the baby bok choy begins to soften, add your scramble eggs and the zucchini noodles to the pan. Season the noodles with a pinch of salt and pepper and work it around with the other ingredients (do not put the lid back on).
  6. Once the noodles begin to soften (3-5 minutes) pour the ginger liquid mixture into the pan and turn the stove up to high. At this point your noodles are already creating a lot of moisture so you’ll want this to cook down a little.
  7. Once this reduces, add the cooked chicken into the pan.  Add 1 tablespoon of coconut amino and work it all around.

stir-fry

Couple notes on this one…

  • I added my chicken at the same time as the egg and because of the “breading” it got a little mushy… If you just do straight up chicken, adding it in earlier shouldn’t be a problem at all)
  • I only had about 1 tablespoon of coconut amino left in the fridge so I intentionally salted as I went along. If you have enough of that soy sauce flavor you could probably stand to just mix 1/4 cup of amino with the ginger and call it a day. Alternatively, if you don’t coconut amino, you could just salt as you go long til it’s to your liking. It won’t be as Asian-y but it may not be worth $6 or a grocery run.

Again, all ingredients can be subbed out— we just needed to push some product today!