Some starter recipes for our new endeavor! Oh, friends, this is going to be such a learning experience for us. We will laugh, likely cry, be a bit grouchy at first, but it will be worth it.
Go Girl Whole30: What are We Doing?
Again, for those who haven’t been on Facebook for a few days or just missed this somehow, this is what is going on. We are starting the Go Girl Whole30 tomorrow as a group! And, we would love to have you join us even if you can’t start tomorrow. There is a lot of prep that needs to go into this, so don’t feel bad if you can’t start tomorrow. We have several people starting on October 1st and 3rd and I will commit to staying on it until the end of October if you want to join any time this week!
Also, so I don’t get in trouble with anyone, I am not stealing this program from anyone. This is the Whole30 program made popular by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. I take no credit for the program but just think it is great and encourage you to read all about it AND think about doing it with us now or in the future.
Why Are We Doing It?
I also want to be really clear on our motives in doing this program. We do not care what your body “looks” like so please do not post any bikini pictures. This is all about feeling good and using our bodies to the best of our abilities to accomplish what God has set before us. God is not in the business of having us publish pictures of our bods for our friends to be jealous of. (Can you tell this is a soap box for me?) This is about how to make the inside healthier.
I also want to be weary of the fad diet thing. I have tried every diet over my lifetime and I am not about that anymore. But, we are also in unprecedented times in Western Culture where we have way, way more than enough food to eat and in fact we even have stuff that people call “food” that is not really that food like. This creates the need for awareness of what we are choosing to put in and why. What you put in matters both in your physical body and your mind. This is a REAL struggle and we are going to face it head on.
Righto? You in? If you are not, don’t worry, I will be bugging you more this week.
Default Starter Recipes:
Yesterday I posted a shopping list and some very simple default meals. I encourage you to read that post as there are some additional links in there for you. To be honest, this first week, it really needs to be super simple creating those defaults that can fall back on when we are first getting used to the plan and when we are busy.
As I post these starter recipes, please keep in mind that I am a loose cooker. What does that mean? That means I estimate the ingredients and then I tweak them by my own taste. So while you might make one of these and think it is the bomb, you might also feel like it needs more or less salt, more or less fruit or whatever.
Coconut Milk Smoothie
The Whole30 isn’t super pumped about smoothies and honestly, I usually am not either. Smoothies just are not my jam. But when you take out all my other treats, this tastes really good in the morning or even the after noon.
Into a blender or Ninja, throw the following:
1/2 can coconut milk (I use the full fat version)
1-2 kiwi or 1/2 cup pineapple
handful of spinach
1 cup of ice
1/4-1/2 cup water
Blend and drink. The water is just so it isn’t so chunky.
Veggie and Meat Soup (Amazing name isn’t it? I came up with it myself)
Here’s the scoop on soup and the lame name. (So much rhyming!) Soup is soooooo easy. And it is easy to vary the ingredients and still come up with something good. I will tell you the vegetables I use, but you can add some, take some out, choose different meat, whatever.
1/2 pound- 1 pound of chicken or hamburger
1 T minced garlic
1 container of mushrooms chopped
1 onion chopped
1 zuchinni chopped into small squares
3 T olive oil or coconut oil
1-2 cups of butternut squash peeled and chopped into small squares (potato works too and is easier)
1 Can of chopped tomatoes
3 cups of chicken or beef broth depending on your meat
Salt and pepper to taste and seasonings to taste
Put the first 6 ingredients in a large pan along with any seasoning you want to add (see below). Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook the meat until it is done and the veggies are soft. Add all of the other ingredients and simmer until the squash is soft.
You can also add a handful of Kale or spinach when the soup is almost done. Cook for 5 more minutes. Seasoning options: This first week, I would probably either do 4 T chili powder and 1 T cumin or some italian seasoning. This is easy and something most people have. But you can also use curry and ginger, you name it. Done!
Homemade Balsamic Dressing
1/2 cup of Balsamic vinegar
1/2 yellow or white onion, very finely chopped
1 big Tablespoon of minced garlic. (if you don’t have garlic, you can use garlic powder)
1/2-1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (this will make it slightly spicy, so you can leave it out if needed)
2/3 cup olive oil
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
I will post some specific recipes but just play around with this. You don’t have to do plain lettuce. One of my favorite salads is red cabbage, broccoli and peas. Now you can’t have peas on this little plan so I might actually do raisins instead and add some cauliflower. This is a very hearty salad and even heartier if you add some pecans, almonds, chicken or shrimp. Toss it in some of the above dressing.
I am just going to admit, that I am a little crazy about this recipe. Don’t think I am weird, but I think roasted vegetables are my favorite food. Like, if I had to live off of one food, this might be it. To top that off, beets and butternut squash with onions are probably at the top of the list. Try them you might like them….fresh beets, not those weird pickled ones.
This recipe is good for a lot of different vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, beets, carrots, peppers, onions and potatoes.
Approximately 4 cups of vegetables
1/8 cup of olive oil (this should be a generous 1/8th of a cup….kind of between an 8th and a 4th of a cup)
1/8 cup chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon pepper flakes (optional)
***You may want to play with the olive oil and chicken stock ratio. You can actually use ¼ cup olive oil…it is just a little too rich for me and a little mushier. So, I like the chicken stock in there too. You can also leave out the egg….but if you aren’t vegan, I wouldn’t. It’s really a delicious twist.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. (I’ll just be honest, I use the bottom of the roasting pan that came with my oven. This goes along with my general mojo. You don’t have to have a lot of fancy gadgets or skills to cook well for yourself.)
Remove skin from vegetables if needed (squash and beets). Chop the vegetables in medium size pieces. For brussels sprouts, cut the end off and then cut the sprout in half, for beets, squash and potatoes I usually do sticks similar to thick French fries.
Once you get it all cut, throw it into a large plastic bag or a large plastic container that you have the lid for (we can never find the right lid. Has anyone else lost half of their life looking for the lids to their containers?). Pour the oil, egg and chicken stock over the vegetables, seal and shake to coat. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and roasted red pepper flakes into the bag and shake again.
Open the container back up and dump onto a baking sheet or a simple metal pan of any sort in a single layer.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes (remember ovens vary as do the vegetables…..so you might want to check it at 15 minutes and then you might also leave it in there for 25 minutes.)
Grilled or Over Roasted Meat or Fish
This is pretty much what we will be having at night this week. Whole chickens are great. You can throw one in the crockpot with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning in the morning on low and it will be ready for you when you get home. You can do the same thing with a beef or pork roast or chops. With those, however, I put salt, pepper and a can of plain diced tomatoes in with it.
Please tell me you know how to bake or grill chicken breasts. If not, we should talk.
Shrimp is another staple we keep because those babies take only about 10 minutes from out of the freezer to on the table. I take them out of the freezer, put them in some warm water to get the shell off, throw them in a pan with salt, pepper and garlic and some olive oil. Cook on medium/high for 5 minutes. You can also add some tomato if you desire.
Bonus Starter Recipe: Word on the street is that these are world famous.
Spinach Balls or Casserole
32 ounces of frozen chopped spinach (the little boxes are 10 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
12 ounces fresh mushrooms
¼-1/3 cup coconut flour
½ cup chopped or slivered almonds
½ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
Take spinach out of bags and put large bowl. Microwave for 3-4 minutes so that it is no longer frozen. There will be some excess liquid. Squeeze or drain a little of it out. You don’t need to stress about this but if you can get a little out, it will help them stick together better. With some brands of spinach, you can actually just squeeze it out with your hands. With other brands you might have to put it into a strainer.
Chop mushrooms and put them in a skillet with the olive oil. Salt and pepper the mushrooms liberally and cook until soft.
Combine all the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Mixture should be moist. Get spoonful of the mixture to make a ball slightly larger than the size of a small bouncy ball, about an inch or inch and a half in diameter. Roll it into a ball and place on a cookie sheet. Once the cookie sheet is full, cook for approximately 20 minutes. They should be slightly browned and firm. When I am lazy I just spray a casserole dish and spread it all out, cooking it at 350 for about 30 minutes.
I am a snack girl and since I exercise regularly, I kind of think I need them. Maybe not, but alas, I will be prepared if I don’t. Keep fruit and nuts with you. Most Larabars are great if you like them. My favorite is the blueberry pie. You can also do bananas with almond butter.
I know this was super simple. Some of you need and want more adventure than this and I will post some of that up towards the end of the week so you can prepare for next week. But, this first week, let’s all just try to stay on track. For me, if this gets too complicated, I am going to abandon it without a second thought.
Additional Links and Notes:
Pay attention tomorrow. We will be setting up a private Facebook group. We will still post here on this blog, but the day to day chit chat will go through the Facebook group. We will also set up a Facebook live event. AGH! That part makes me nervous, but we are going to give it a go.
You got this!