Monday, May 4, 2015

Whole 30 - Dinner

Everyone knows by now that I started my year with a Whole30 and I've been figuring out my new relationship with food. It's not always easy. I am constantly surrounded by things I would love to be able to eat but I now know do not agree with me. I have to learn how to come up with meals that do not have pasta or cheese. Those used to be staples for me. It's been a journey and the journey is far from over. Most days I make great food choices. But there are still days where I make choices I shouldn't... but those choices always make it easier to say no the next time because when I can say "THIS FOOD makes me feel like THIS"... that's what it is all about. Learning what leaves me feeling good and what leaves me feeling gross... and then avoiding those foods that leave me feeling gross.

ANYWAYS! Let's talk about Whole30 and dinner, because dinner is always the hardest for me.

The first time I did Whole30 I'm pretty sure I ate the same five meals over and over. This time I had a lot more variety. Here are some things I had for dinner... and still do...


 SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH MEAT SAUCE or MEATBALLS
I find a lot of people don't know how to cook spaghetti squash but it's actually quite easy. I do mine in the microwave. You need to stab it a lot with a fork so that it doesn't explode and then microwave it. It usually takes around 15 minutes. The ends get soft first but you will want the middle to be getting soft as well. If you don't cook it long enough the "spaghetti" will be stringy and a bit crunchy. If you cook it too long it will be mush. Once it is cooked, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and then scrape out the "spaghetti".

We like to serve this with meat sauce and peppers. We make our own sauce by buying canned tomato sauce and adding our own Italian seasonings.We also like to chop up peppers and onions, cook them up and serve them on top of the spaghetti and sauce.

This meatball recipe is good. It makes a lot so you can always freeze some for another meal.

Another way to mix this up is to make zoodles... Use a spiralizer to turn zucchini into "noodles". 


FAJITAS
Minus the wrap of course. And cheese. And... well... it's basically chicken, peppers and onions with fajita seasoning. But it's still good. Click here for a recipe.


TACO SALAD
Make your own taco seasoning and add your taco meat to a salad with your favorite veggies.


SWEET POTATO CAULIFLOWER SOUP
I know soup season is kind of over but this soup is really good! Makes for a good side or a light meal.


AMISH ONE-PAN GROUND BEEF AND CABBAGE SKILLET
My kids even eat this! I didn't realize I liked cabbage until I tried this recipe. Just leave out the butter and make sure your canned tomatoes are Whole30 compliant.


HAMBURGER STEW
This is something Mike found in a magazine. It calls for rice but we just leave that out and use cauliflower rice instead. It also makes a TON so you get at least two full meals out of it. Freeze some for another time.

2 lbs ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cans (14 1/2 oz each) stewed tomatoes, undrained
8 medium carrots, thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 to 2 tbsp salt
1 to 2 tbsp pepper

1. In dutch oven, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes, water, rice, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Uncover; simmer 20-30 minutes longer or until thickened. Freeze in 3-cup portions for up to 3 months.

To use frozen stew: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Transfer to a saucepan; add 1 cup water. Cook until hot and bubbly.


CHICKEN
Grill it.
Bake it.
Put it on a kabob.
Add it to a salad.
Use different seasonings.
We eat a lot of chicken.


For sides we usually have potatoes. I was glad I made ghee this time because it was nice to have on potatoes.  And then we have another veggie. We always joke that we have a side of veggie and a side of veggie. Walmart does have sweet potato fries that are JUST sweet potatoes cut like fries. You can find them in the produce section near the snap peas.


We always keep frozen hamburger patties on hand. When I need an easy meal I just cook up a burger with some peppers and onions. I found that mustard isn't so bad and goes well with this meal.


That's all I have right now. If you have some Whole30 meals you love please share them! I know my Whole30 is over but I still like to eat this way.






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