Day 10- We’re 1/3 there! We’ve continued to eat great food, but this is SO time-intensive! Which is hard now that I’ve started back working an incredibly busy schedule. But thankfully that just means that T has picked up the slack and is doing more of the cooking.

One of my favorite things we’ve made is this cashew-arugula cream. It tastes incredibly sweet for not having ANY sweet ingredients in it. It’s delicious on vegetables (raw carrots, snap peas), but I also really liked it on some Mediterranean lamb meatballs we made.

Sweet and Nutty Cashew Cream:
Blend the following ingredients in high-speed blender or food processor until it forms a paste:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in filtered water for over an hour
- 1 lemon, juiced
- big handful arugula
- generous pour of olive oil
- splash of apple cider vinegar
- dash of salt


Enjoy!
-b


 

Today will mark 1 full week on the Whole30 program. For the first time, I did experience one of the warned-about stages, which has been fatigue. I just wanted a nap all day yesterday (but somehow forced myself to do work and take our dog on a 3-mile walk). Today, I actually SHOULD nap all day, because I have to work night shift. And then starting tomorrow, I’m working in the ER again, so we’ll see how the meal prep goes when I’m busier.

Here’s the recipe for (mock) Tom Kha Gai (no lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves required!). Eating this provided a nice break from the monotony of meat + veggies.

Easy Paleo Tom Kha Gai
{Thai Chicken, Coconut, and Lime Soup}

-2 chicken breasts
-2 cans coconut milk
-3 limes
-cilantro
-2 Tbsp minced ginger
-2 Tbsp fish sauce (sugar-free!)
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/2 tsp turmeric
-enoki mushrooms (optional)

1. Sauté the chicken breasts in a small amount of ghee until cooked through.
{Note, at this point, I left the chicken cooking while I visited our friends’ awesome puppy…so the chicken ended up very dry. If you have the desire to play with a puppy, do it either before or after cooking the chicken}.
2. In a medium-sized pot, bring coconut milk and 2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
3. Add ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, cayenne powder and turmeric (Turmeric will turn it yellow; leave it out if you don’t want yellow soup).
4. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes, to allow tastes to combine.
5. If adding enoki mushrooms, just add these right before serving. They cook in the hot soup in just a few minutes.
6. Add fresh cilantro as a garnish and serve!

-b


 

5 straight days of no added sugar, soy, grains, legumes, or dairy! As I mentioned before, we really didn’t experience “the hangover” phase, and now I can also say we didn’t experience the “KILL ALL THE THINGS” phase. But today I did want to EAT all the things…I was hungrier than usual, with the desire to snack all day. But I snacked on grapes and olives, so I think it’s okay.

Recent Paleo meals include…

Breakfast bowl of kale, plantain, and bacon, with an egg and spicy mayo:

Spiralized sesame zucchini noodles. Coconut aminos are a really, really great stand-in for soy sauce!

Mock Tom Kha Gai (Thai coconut, lime, and chicken soup)…recipe to follow later.


Crockpot chicken and gravy. Recipe from Nomnom Paleo (http://nomnompaleo.com/post/4807547385/slow-cooker-roast-chicken-and-gravy). Of note, I couldn’t find any chicken stock without sugar or MSG, so I boiled the spiralizer leftovers and browned giblets from the chicken. It made a nice chicken stock, the rest of which I’m saving for later deliciousness:

Our wonderful friends made a WONDERFUL meal of coffee-crusted pork tenderloin and salad. Enjoyed with apple peach butter!

And tonight, we had spicy curried drumsticks (drumsticks + ghee + spices in the (toaster) oven for 40 minutes at 400F). Served with Brussel sprouts and sautéed okra.


 

Delicious, smooth, tart apple butter with chunks of peaches. No added sugar- made from only apples, peaches, a splash of apple juice, and some spices. I know that this is a little sweeter than the typical Whole 30 fare, which is why we gave some of it away to friends and will use the rest sparingly. Which will be hard, because it is SO delicious.

We’re still going strong with the Whole 30 (day #5). I really didn’t experience the “hangover” period, possibly because (a) We didn’t binge much on unhealthy foods before starting, or (b) My stitched-up finger’s throbbing distracted me through days 2 and 3. The main “side effect” I’ve experienced from the Whole 30 is frustration with the food industry. There is added sugar (or weird preservatives) in EVERYTHING! It was nearly impossible (and so expensive!) to find allowed foods while grocery shopping, and I’m now finding out some of them weren’t even allowed! Applegate turkey meat (which we ate on Day 2) has carrageenan, a seaweed emulsifier that apparently can lead to inflammation. I guess if we were completely militant about this, we would start the thirty days over, but…that’s not happening. Onward and upward, with our newfound knowledge that we shouldn’t eat carrageenan. And armed with delicious fruit spread.

Slow-cooked Apple and Peach Butter
{Paleo and Whole 30-Compliant}

- About 6-7 apples
- 1-2 large peaches (I had a GIANT peach that I used)
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Core and cut the apples into about 6 slices per apple.
2. Put apples, lemon juice, and apple juice in slow cooker.
3. Cook on high about 3-4 hours, until mushy. Our “high” is HIGH, so it only took about 2 hours. At that point, I could mix it with a fork (into applesauce consistency), so I didn’t have to blend it.
4. Peel and slice the peach(es), and put the peach chunks into the slow cooker.
5. Cook on high about 1 more hour, until it is thicker, browner, and the peach chunks are soft.
6. Add spices; then enjoy!

-b


 

I’ve never been a huge egg fan, which is one reason I was a little nervous about doing The Whole 30 (because even good eggs are cheaper than other protein sources, so you end up eating a lot of them). In particular, I don’t like eggs in coconut oil. But, I’ve been finding ways to hide eggs in other food or make them more palatable. For example, yesterday we had poached eggs (much tastier, in my opinion, than pan-fried) on top of a mix-everything breakfast bowl of turkey slices, snap peas, tomatoes, and olives.

Also in Paleo news, we made our own ghee from Kerrygold butter (following Nomnom Paleo’s perfect directions), which was not only ridiculously easy but also fun and satisfying.

And for dinner last night, we made stuffed zucchini (stuffed with grass-fed ground beef, diced onions, yellow squash, tomato paste, and basil) and cherry tomatoes with olive oil and basil. Tasty and filling! I stayed full for 12 hours, which never happens.

But, the point of my post was actually just to describe this tasty sweet potato hash. When k and I lived together, we sometimes tried to make Indian sweet potato patties with these ingredients, but they always fell apart. So, let’s not kid ourselves; let’s just skip straight to hash.

Indian Sweet Potato-Spinach Hash

2 Tbsp ghee or other oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded with food processor
3 eggs
Handful of spinach, coarsely chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp curry powder
Cilantro

1. Heat ghee over medium in large frying pan or saucepan.
2. Mix together all ingredients except cilantro.
3. Add to pan, and allow to sit without stirring for at least a minute (so that the bottom of the hash gets a little fried). Then use spatula to flip it over in chunks. You may have to add more oil or ghee.
4. Once sweet potato is cooked, remove from heat and mix in cilantro pieces.

-b