Celery Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

We had lunch with some friends today and I wasn’t sure if there were going to be any side dishes that were Whole 30 compliant. When you’re following something quite structured like I am, you can’t expect that people will know what to have on hand or even if that’s something they can do. One of the best ways to be sure you’ll have something to eat is to bring it yourself. You can’t go wrong as long as you bring enough to share!

I made this celery salad which has been a favorite of mine lately. It’s got a great combination of crunchy, sweet, bitter, and sour that I really love. It’s super quick to put together too and can go beside countless mains. So go ahead and make a batch to share – or make it just for you. Leftovers are great!

Celery Salad with Grapes and Walnuts 2013

Celery Salad with Grapes and Walnuts

6-7 celery stalks

1 c. grapes

1/4 c. walnuts, toasted

1/4 of a lemon, about 2 tsp.

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

Directions

1) Slice the celery as thinly as possible and place in a bowl. If you have a mandolin, now’s the time to break it out. Cut the grapes into quarters and add them to the celery.

2) Add toasted walnuts, lemon juice from 1/4 of a lemon, and olive oil. Salt to taste and chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

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Whole 30: Day 6 Recap

Whole9

I’m doing a Whole 30 for a couple of reasons: 1) I want to feel great from the inside out, 2) Putting some stricter guidelines around my food choices keeps me from getting distracted by things that might otherwise tempt me, and 3) Sometimes it takes a while to reap the benefits of a change and having a timeline provides the structure and encouragement I need when I begin to feel impatient.

I plan to share what I eat each day to help me accurately judge what my body needs and to, hopefully, provide a little inspiration or planning assistance if you’re trying to figure out your day as well. If you have questions about anything, please leave me a comment.

Everyone is different, so I hope you don’t judge me too harshly by what I eat. And maybe you’ll see something that resonates with you and, in that case, excellent! If not, I’ll be posting different recipes on the blog too, so don’t despair!

Here’s to the journey!

***************************************************************************************************************

6:00 Black coffee

8:00 3 Fried eggs on collard greens with avocado-citrus cream and hot sauce, 1/4 c. butternut squash

11:30 Pina Colada Chicken on Creamy Allspice Cauliflower Rice, Casablanca Carrots

3:00 Banana, a teaspoon of coconut butter

6:30 Chicken-basil meatloaf, Zucchini noodles aglio e olio, tomatoes

8:00 Hot tea

Food A big breakfast post-workout felt great. I had another busy day ahead of me and needed to be well fueled.

Mood Mood is still good. The Whole9 website predicts fatigue and lethargy for today and tomorrow, but I think because I was not so far off from eating like this, my body was already primed to burn fat as fuel and isn’t struggling as much with the transition. We’ll see tomorrow, I guess.

Sleep 7.5 hours. A bit of a restless sleep. Normally, at some point during the Whole 30, you start sleeping like the dead. I’m looking forward to that!

Exercise Yay! Good workout done early! I love it.

Run 1/2 mile

20 competition burpees / 20 box jumps / 20 toes to bar

Run 1/4 mile

20 competition burpees / 20 box jumps / 20 toes to bar

Run 1/2 mile

Avocado-Citrus Cream

Guacamole is awesome. I pretty much like it in all its different permutations, but I do have a go-to recipe that a friend taught me a while back and I love it. Sometimes, though, I want something a little different. I was looking for a smooth and creamy topper with a citrusy punch for my Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew and made this delicious concoction. It mellows the spices and gives it a creamy smooth finish that pops. If you want some heat, a jalapeno would be perfect in it.

What can you do with the leftovers? Put it on eggs – scrambled or hard boiled would be great, use it for a veggie dip – cucumber is particularly delicious, or just eat it right off the spoon.

Avocado-Citrus Cream 2013

Avocado-Citrus Cream

1 avocado

1/2 c. cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Juice from 1/4 an orange

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 t. salt

2 T. water

Directions

1) Place everything in a blender and blend until very smooth and silky. I used a Magic Bullet, but you could even mash it with a fork. A little chunkier but still tasty!

Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew with Avocado-Citrus Cream

I love pork for its incredible versatility. Depending on the spices you use, you can travel the world with this meat – and that makes me happy. Tonight I wanted to make an avocado-citrus cream I’ve been thinking about, so I went south for the flavor profile. I served it on top of butternut squash noodles but it was also great on its own. Depending on your chili powder, this can be quite spicy or not at all – so feel free to add more spice if you need to kick it up. Either way, the cooling avocado cream will round everything out perfectly.

Pork and Pepper Stew with Avocado-Citrus Cream 2013

Mexican Pork and Pepper Stew

3 lbs. of pork loin, cut in 1 inch cubes

1 T. ground cumin

1 tsp. granulated garlic

2 tsp. salt, divided

1 T. + 1 tsp. coconut oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. chipotle powder

28 oz. diced tomatoes

2 c. water

Directions

1. In a large bowl, massage cumin, garlic, and 1 tsp. of salt into the cubed pork loin.

2. Melt 1 T. coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add pork without crowding the pot and brown well. This may take several batches. Set aside.

3. Melt 1 tsp. coconut oil in the pot and add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and 1 tsp. salt, stirring and scraping up any brown bits until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, then add the chili powders and coriander. Return the pork to the pot with its juices and pour in the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium to keep a lively bubble.

4. Leave the lid off and allow the mixture to bubble until most of the liquid is gone for a thick stew. This will take about an hour. Check the tenderness of the pork and when ready, serve with a generous dollop of Avocado-Citrus Cream (recipe follows).

Serves 4-6

Avocado-Citrus Cream

1 avocado

1/2 c. cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Juice from 1/2 an orange

1 clove of garlic

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 t. salt

2 T. water

Directions

1) Place everything in a blender and blend until very smooth and silky. I used a Magic Bullet, but you could even mash it with a fork. A little chunkier but still tasty!

Whole 30: Day 5 Recap

Whole9

I’m doing a Whole 30 for a couple of reasons: 1) I want to feel great from the inside out, 2) Putting some stricter guidelines around my food choices keeps me from getting distracted by things that might otherwise tempt me, and 3) Sometimes it takes a while to reap the benefits of a change and having a timeline provides the structure and encouragement I need when I begin to feel impatient.

I plan to share what I eat each day to help me accurately judge what my body needs and to, hopefully, provide a little inspiration or planning assistance if you’re trying to figure out your day as well. If you have questions about anything, please leave me a comment.

Everyone is different, so I hope you don’t judge me too harshly by what I eat. And maybe you’ll see something that resonates with you and, in that case, excellent! If not, I’ll be posting different recipes on the blog too, so don’t despair!

Here’s to the journey!

***************************************************************************************************************

4:45 Black coffee

8:30 Kale and eggs with salsa and avocado-citrus cream

11:30 Pork and pepper stew on butternut squash noodles with avocado-citrus cream (recipe coming soon!)

2:00 Small handful of grapes, a teaspoon of coconut butter, coffee

6:00 Pina Colada Chicken (from Well Fed 2) on my Creamy Allspice Cauliflower Rice (another recipe coming soon!)

Creamy Allspice Cauliflower Rice 2013

8:00 Hot tea

Food I miss mints! I’m not a mint junky or anything and I brush my teeth a lot, but sometimes I just want to pop in a mint. Maybe it’s for the sweet taste, maybe it’s to keep my mouth busy without eating, I don’t know – I just want a mint! Today when that happened, I stopped and recognized it for what it was. An urge. Food urges are easier to handle than true cravings (there’s a difference – believe me!) and I had just handed a mint to my son, so of course I wanted one. I waited it out, thought of something else and it passed. But I can already tell, that one will be coming up again.

Mood I was at the pumpkin patch with my kiddo and a bunch of school friends on a gorgeous fall day. I’d say my mood is pretty good today!

Sleep 8 hours. A complete accident because I shut the alarm off and we fell back asleep. I guess that extra hour was definitely NEEDED.

Exercise Generally I work out nearly every day. This week’s craziness made that hard. I am really craving a good workout and I’ve got it on the calendar for tomorrow morning, early, because the rest of Saturday doesn’t have room. When my days are overbooked, I have to the get my workout in at the crack of dawn!

Well Fed 2 Review: If I had to pick just one cookbook…

There’s no getting around it – I LOVE cookbooks. Since before I was really cooking, I used to read them cover-to-cover when commuting on mass transportation. I check them out at the library, I ask for them as gifts, I purchase them (my husband might say “with abandon”). I devour them before bed at night, in front of the TV I’m not really watching, whenever I have a spare 5 minutes. I truly love them.

So you can imagine, picking just one out of the many that I have come across would be extremely difficult. And right now, there are a number of paleo cookbooks that have either been released in the past couple years (I have several) or are about to be released (I have one currently on pre-order). It’s a very exciting time in the paleo culinary world! I can honestly say, though, that I waited for Well Fed 2 to be shipped to my house with nearly as much excitement and anticipation as its fabulous creator, Melissa Joulwan from TheClothesMaketheGirl.com. All but one of the recipes are Whole 30 compliant, too. As soon as I got it, I stayed up late, totally engrossed and wondering, “When am I going to have time to make my own recipes to share? All I want to do is cook from this book!”

WellFed2_cover72dpi

The Burgers, Balls & Bangers section alone will keep you busy. Taking different ground meats, adding spices from around the world, and serving them up in various shapes is something I do all the time. When following a paleo lifestyle, you learn to love ground meat for its versatility, quick prep time, and relative affordability. When I saw this section with 15 different combinations (15!), I realized that even if I made just one recipe per week, that’s nearly four months of different ways to eat ground meat! And it doesn’t include changing up the shape, which truly can transform the exact same ingredients into a different eating experience. Genius!

Then there’s the Sauces & Seasonings section. I immediately went out and bought two little sauce dispensers so that I could squeeze my ketchup or lizard sauce or mayo variation onto the plate in any design I want. Or just squeeze it because it’s fun! I stopped buying salad dressing a long time ago because it just has too many ingredients that don’t make sense to me and often there is a lot of unnecessary sugar. I am eager to try Melissa’s Go-To Vinaigrette – it looks like it has the perfect amount of zing!

Finally, there are a few recipes that have an incredible way of concerning me and intriguing me all at the same time. I sort of look at them as the You Want to Make What?! category, and I couldn’t be more excited. I don’t really like liver, generally, but the recipe for Crispy Chicken Livers looks amazing and as soon as I can get my hands on some chicken livers from a source I like, I will be making them. Sardines are another of those foods – but there you go. I actually have some sardines on hand because I have been wanting to love them and I think Pan-Fried Sardines might be the ticket! A little credit must go to Melissa’s partner-in-crime David Humphreys who photographed all the food. It’s pretty incredible how he makes food jump off the page and leave an indelible mark on your brain.

Seriously, how could you not want to eat this?

Seriously, how could you not want to try this?

Clearly, I’m a fan of Well Fed 2. But don’t just take my word for it – get a free PDF sample HERE and check it out for yourself! In case you’re wondering, I also have the original Well Fed and when I look at all the cookbooks I’ve accumulated and loved over the years, if I had to pick just one, I’d pick Well Fed AND Well Fed 2. You have to get both.

Whole 30: Day 4 Recap

Whole9

I’m doing a Whole 30 for a couple of reasons: 1) I want to feel great from the inside out, 2) Putting some stricter guidelines around my food choices keeps me from getting distracted by things that might otherwise tempt me, and 3) Sometimes it takes a while to reap the benefits of a change and having a timeline provides the structure and encouragement I need when I begin to feel impatient.

I plan to share what I eat each day to help me accurately judge what my body needs and to, hopefully, provide a little inspiration or planning assistance if you’re trying to figure out your day as well. If you have questions about anything, please leave me a comment.

Everyone is different, so I hope you don’t judge me too harshly by what I eat. And maybe you’ll see something that resonates with you and, in that case, excellent! If not, I’ll be posting different recipes on the blog too, so don’t despair!

Here’s to the journey!

***************************************************************************************************************

4:45 Black coffee

6:30 Berebere collard greens with sweet potato and eggs

11:00 1/2 apple, small handful of raw nuts

2:30 Salad with salmon, hb egg, tahini dressing and Casablanca carrots, decaf. coffee

4:00 Banana

6:45 Mexican pork and pepper stew with avocado-citrus cream

8:00 Hot tea

Food Feeling good about my choices, just scattered about my schedule.

Mood My mood has mostly been fine, but I have to admit, I’ve had a few grouchy moments. I have no idea why this happens.

Sleep 7 hours. Good sleep! I was a little tired when I woke up but have felt fine the rest of the day.

Exercise Yoga in the morning. Yay! The rest got crazy. I DID make it to the gym, but things happened and I really can’t count a 5 minute cardio burst as a workout.

Yesterday’s note: Day 4 and 5 are rumored to make you want to punch things in the face. I say, “Bring it!” But I might regret that… Today’s note: Um. Yup!