Category Archives: Whole30

Whole30 Day Twenty Four: This Is Really Winter

Sydney has been hit by a polar blast. I’m sure that the vortex is my apartment. It is freezing today. I curse my floor to ceiling windows. Not only do they let the cold in, but my neighbours can see me shuffling around in my bright pink Nordic onesie (which is so 3 years ago!).

Breakfast: Smoked Salmon Omelette

I picked up a couple of packets of my favourite smoked salmon at the fish markets yesterday, which I folded into an omelette, and topped with some lemon zest. 

Lunch: Chicken Broth and Boiled Eggs with Mayonnaise

I would have loved a soup today, but a rummage around the freezer confirmed that all my soups contain dairy which is illegal under Whole30 rules. Luckily I found some chicken stock, so I reduced it in a pot to make it even more flavoursome. It certainly helped fend off potential hypothermia. 

Dinner: Mayonnaise Scallop “Mornay” and Lemon Pepper Sugar Snap Peas

Scallops were on special at the fish markets, so I picked up half a dozen to bring home to make into a Mornay style dish. I created this by spooning a coriander infused mayonnaise over scallops and baking them in the half shell. 

The scallops were paired with lightly steamed sugar snap peas with lemon juice, lemon zest and freshly cracked black pepper.

Recipe: Mayonnaise Scallop “Mornay”‘

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Whole30 Day Twenty Three: Is This Really Winter?

Oh such a perfect day sings Lou Reed in my head (do you also get the image of the baby crawling up the walls when you hear that song? *shudder*). Due to exceptional weather, which I felt must be taken advantage of, I started hatching a plan this morning to hit the fish markets. I called a friend and convinced them that there really was nothing better to do on such a glorious day. It was also one of the few places I could easily lunch on the Whole30. I did take my own mayonnaise and lemon just to make sure I couldn’t be tempted by any sauces or condiments. I also took a bottle of water so that I wouldn’t turn around to find an almost empty glass of wine in my hand.

Breakfast: Chia Pot

I’ve found a great brand of Chia pots made without sugar or any sweeteners. I know that they are easy to make, and would be a hell of a lot cheaper, but I don’t have any pots. Weak excuse? OK I am even shaming myself into making my own from now on (once I’ve gone through my little store of them of course!).

Lunch: Prawns, Sashimi and Oysters.

My favourite prawns are crystal bay prawns. They are certainly not as vivid in colour nor as large as tiger prawns, however what they lack in size and colour they make up for in taste and texture. Very sweet and quite meaty for their size, they don’t seem to overcook or go as watery as tiger prawns are wont to do.

We had two enormous servings of salmon and kingfish (about 25 slices of each, I couldn’t keep up!!). Kingfish straight off the boat is sensational, the texture still has a bit of bite to it and the flavour is very delicate.

If we weren’t sure whether we had consumed enough protein at this point, we also scoffed down half a dozen beautiful Sydney rock oysters.

Dinner: Spinach and Mushroom Omelette

I was meant to cook some seafood tonight, but as I didn’t finish our lunchtime seafood feast until 3pm, I didn’t have much appetite and to be honest I was completely fished out.

Whole30 Day Twenty Two: Thai’d Up

It is a very good thing that I am in a loving and committed relationship with Thai food as we saw a lot of each other today.

Breakfast: Strawberries, Boiled Egg & Mayonnaise

I’m starting to ask myself why I bought two punnets of strawberries? Strawberries again today.

Lunch: Eating Out – Spice I am – Chilli Basil Beef

I was definately “that person” in my favourite Thai restaurant today, however my waitress and the kitchen kindly helped me select something that had no sugar or soy. Just to be a complete pain in the ass I also had the extra condition of no coconut milk as I would be eating a coconut milk laden curry later and nobody needs that much of the good stuff! All things in moderation and all that.

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I’ve certainly done the menu at this place from top to bottom over the years, but have become entrenched in a few favourites. It was good to try something again that I normally wouldn’t order and really like, and it’s healthy! Huge amount of chilli. Perfection!!

Dinner: Massaman Curry & Cauliflower Rice

This curry is still giving, and I have a truck load of it in the freezer too!

Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin, & Cashew)

Whole30 Day Twenty One: Magic Beans

Breakfast: Sliced Strawberries & Banana with Shredded Coconut

I couldn’t face eggs this morning, so unfortunately my breakfast lacked any protein. My standard morning bullet proof coffee took care of the healthy fats. All I really felt like this morning was my favorite brand of spiced granola with Greek yogurt. The closest I could get to it without breaking all the rules was the shredded coconut I added to my sliced fruit.

Lunch: Bean Fries

I love making bean fries, actually I think its the eating of bean fries I like, even though I’m not sure I’m allowed them on the Whole30. I think I may have skimmed over a warning that nothing should resemble pancakes or fries. However I don’t remember an explicit prohibition.

Recipe: Bean Fries

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Dinner: Mussaman Curry with Cauliflower Rice

I reheated some mussaman curry from last night and prepared some cauliflower rice using my fail safe method.

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Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin & Cashew)

Recipe: Cauliflower “Rice”

Whole30 Day Twenty: Spicing Up a Cold Day

Breakfast: Lamb Chops and Spinach with Aioli

I had some left over chops from last night for breakfast which I paired with steamed spinach. Luckily I also had some roasted garlic lemony aioli left over as well which was fabulous over the spinach. What an amazing breakfast!

Lunch: Boiled Eggs and Butter, Strawberries

Strawberries have been an exorbitant price lately, as high as $8 a punnet. I don’t like spending more than $4 for a large punnet but luckily today I found two punnets for $6 at Coles. It is unfortunate that I am not a massive strawberry fan, as they are one of the lowest carb fruits. I’m not sure why I think they are over rated, perhaps it is because they are either under-ripe when you need them, or over-ripe with mouldy ones on the bottom which have tainted the entire punnet. Maybe it’s because people seem to get so ridiculously excited about them that brings out my inner Debbie Downer. On the other hand it could have something to do with my brief teenage sojourn as a strawberry picker, where I managed to consume more than I put into the buckets, from which I was fired after a particularly awesome strawberry fight (which I totally won!).

Dinner: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin and Cashew)

I normally eat a lot of curries and predominantly Thai curries. My love affair with chillies becomes a marriage made in heaven when paired with the sweet-and-sour-and-saltiness of Thai food. Surprisingly my first curry attempt for the Whole30 was not an eye watering, nose running, brow perspiring spicy choice. Once again the weather has influenced my menu, and it being a cold day, I decided to do a melt in your mouth massaman curry.

I liked the challenges this curry raised. Firstly the meal choice was a decision made on the fly and I was going to need to prepare it quickly if it was going have enough time to simmer slowly for dinner. It was therefore impossible to source all the ingredients in time to make my own paste. I was going to have to cheat. This meant a trip to the local Thai grocery where I needed to find a Whole30 compliant paste. My normal emergency go-to curry pastes (Maesri) unfortunately contain both sugar and soybean oil. In the end, only one brand (Mae Ploy) had neither and fitted the Whole30 rules. Luckily it was one that I have had success with in the past, although it definitely needs some help to reach its full potential.

Secondly, peanuts which are such an integral part to massaman are a delinquent legume known to masquerade as a nut. This was easily resolved by substituting cashew nuts.

Thirdly, potatoes although technically Whole30 complaint, are very high in carbs in a dish already pushing nutritional boundaries. Therefore I decided to substitute pumpkin.

Finally, massaman usually includes sweetness from palm sugar which of course tops the list of Whole30 no-nos. This I hoped could be remedied by the use of the pumpkin, which should bring a little sweetness to the curry. I also decided to use lime juice instead of the traditional tamarind paste as it would have a little less tartness needing to be counterbalanced.

The end result was spectacular.

Recipe: Massaman Curry (Beef, Pumpkin & Cashew)

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Whole30 Day Nineteen: A Discovery in the Freezer

As an inner city apartment dweller I am incredibly space challenged. My kitchen in particular has very poor storage amenities. As a foodie who loves to cook, insufficient kitchen size and storage is the downfall of apartment living. I am also a renter so I am unable to alter poor design plans. Consequently I have cooking gadgets hidden behind the dining table and my hallway is lined with surplus kitchenware. I agree, this is not very glamorous!

On the front line of this war for extra space is my fridge/freezer. The kitchen carpentry has pre-defined my fridge/freezer space and size, and thus there is a daily battle for space for every item I bring home requiring cold storage. The situation has become precarious as this Whole30 experiment has meant I’m adding a lot more to my freezer than I’m taking out. However, during a routine reorganization today I found some lovely lamb chops languishing in the bottom of the freezer. Not only would I spoil myself with lamb chops tonight, but I’d also make much needed room in my freezer. Win win!

Brunch: Spinach, Onion and Garlic Omelette with Olives and Tomato

I think it was the memories of the lovely garlicky roast lamb last night because I was craving garlic. Garlic and chilies are like a drug for me, the more I have the more I want. I softened some garlic and onion in a fry pan, before wilting some spinach and scrambling some eggs into it. I served it with a couple of olives and a tomato.

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Dinner: Lamb Chops, Garlic Aioli, Asparagus and Chermoula Pumpkin

Oh chermoula how I love thee! If I had to choose between harissa and chermoula in a Solomonian test it would break my heart but I’d probably have to give up both. I’m not as fanatical as I was during the great chermoula Love Affair of 2013, but I still believe chermoula makes almost everything better.

I was tempted to make a harissa mayonnaise to go with this dish, just so there was no competition for my two favourite condiment’s affections. In the end I sensibly opted to go with a simple roasted garlic lemony aioli to compliment the lamb and let the chermoula coated pumpkin shine. The aioli was also perfect to dip my asparagus spears into. Yes it’s true, no one was here so I ate most of this meal with my fingers, and we all know food eaten with bare hands always tastes so much better!

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Whole30 Day Eighteen: Being Entertained

Today was a little nerve wracking as I had agreed to go to a friend’s house for dinner. This would be my first time on the Whole30 where I was not in control of what I would be eating. I explained before accepting that it may be too difficult to cook for me while I am eating this way, however my friend seemed keen to play host with the most and was very supportive.

Trust is paramount before accepting an invitation to eat at someone else’s’ home. People can have good intentions, but if they do not support what you are doing, they are liable to skip some of the rules, and at worse even get offended because you are being “silly” about what they consider to be unnecessary arbitrary rules. I knew I’d be safe with this friend as he is an engineer, and therefore has an affinity for being creative within a provided framework and abiding by rules. He is also very health conscious so is supportive of this experiment and even wanted to learn more about it.

Once what I could eat and couldn’t eat was explained, and the menu verified, the next hurdle to overcome was what beverage to take. What non-alcoholic, non-sweetened beverage was worthy enough? Why a bottle of the finest Kombucha you can find at your local whole foods store of course!!!

Breakfast: Salmon & Roasted Tomato Scrambled Eggs

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Using leftovers form last night, I flaked my salmon and quartered my baby roast tomatoes, and added them with some spinach into a fry pan to heat through. I then added a couple of eggs to make a luscious scrambled egg dish.

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Lunch: Seed Crackers with Tuna & Celery Mayonnaise and an Apple

I had my lunch mid-afternoon to ensure it got me through to dinner tonight. As I was eating at a friend’s house I thought it would be best to make sure I did not arrive starving because I would not be in control of when or what we ate. Arriving without desperate hunger ensured I would not be tempted to try a little piece of cheese or make any other poor decisions.  If I was unable to eat the entire meal due to non-compliant ingredients then I would not be famished.

Dinner: Roast Lamb & Vegetables

I had a wonderful dinner at Mr Engineer’s house. The lamb was cooked to perfection with wonderful roasted potatoes, Dutch carrots, pumpkin and onions. It was wonderful to leave my Whole30 self-imposed house detention and catch up with friends and enjoy wholesome food in great company. As an added bonus there were no carb babies or hangovers afterwards to be endured!

I took along a ginger and lemon Kombucha which Mr Engineer pronounced “not very sweet”, which is a little bit of a reality check for me, as it tastes very sweet to me! My palate has become incredibly sensitive to anything with trace sugar or even natural sweetness. According to the bottle any residual sugar was eaten during the fermentation process.

Whole30 Day Seventeen: Simple Salmon

Breakfast: Fruit Salad & Coconut Cream & Flakes

I pre-bought a tub of fresh fruit salad yesterday, as I had a hankering for some pineapple, which this morning I paired with some coconut cream and coconut flakes. This provided a good light start to the morning. I couldn’t think of any protein that I could bear to face this morning, so it certainly wasn’t the perfect well rounded breakfast.

Lunch: Cos Salad Whole30 Style

Cos leaves, poached chicken, macadamia nuts and mayonnaise blended with an anchovy fillet made a nutritious lunch. Once again I surprised myself by making this ahead and taking out with me for the day. Go me and my preparation! However, for the record, I wish I could find some Whole30 compliant bacon

Dinner: Cajun Salmon, Spicy Coleslaw, and Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes

Dinner took less than 5 minutes to prepare tonight. Bonus! I prepared my salmon by coating it with Cajun spice mix, topping it with lemon slices, and wrapping it tin foil. I then put it into the oven with some baby roma tomatoes drizzled with olive oil.  Finally I added some hot smoked paprika to my basic mayonnaise and opened a packet of coleslaw mix for my salad. So easy, it shouldn’t have tasted so good.

Another bonus about dinner tonight, I made enough salmon to have some for breakfast tomorrow, well that is that taken care of!

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Whole30 Day Sixteen: The Sober Game

If I was going to break the Whole30 no alcohol rule at any point in this journey then today would have been the day. My team had made it through to the finals of the Super Rugby and as I do not own a subscription to Foxtel I am unable to watch rugby from the comfort of my own home. Going to watch the game would mean leaving my healthy sanctuary and venturing out to find a venue that would inevitably sell deep fried food with sides of starchy carbohydrate and have wines by the glass or for that matter bottle. The trick here was that I was going to have to avoid all of these things.

Avoiding food could easily be averted by eating beforehand or checking the menu ahead and selecting a pub that had a compliant option. In the end I decided to eat at the venue as it would give me something to do if the game started to get a bit traumatic.

Avoiding alcohol on the other hand was fraught with much more danger. If we were winning I’d want to be celebrating, and if we eventually lost I’d want to drown myself in a vat of cider. Was it even possible to watch rugby sober? Was it actually possible to survive the aftermath of a game (good or bad) sober?

I found it difficult to find any buddies to watch it with me, as no one seemed interested in going to the pub with me if I wasn’t drinking (although they mostly muttered other excuses)!  In the end I watched it with a friend who has no interest in the game at all, but who was himself participating in Dry July, and therefore he had found his rather hectic social life had dried up a little bit. With some gentle cajoling (pure manipulation) I lured him to the Dolphin with promises of free Soda Waters. To highlight how much better his life was than mine, I explained that at least he had the option of sodas, juices, or even a Virgin Mary. The list was endless! I knew the highlight of any thirst quencher I was going to sip (soda water or soda water) would be the twist of lemon.

In case you were wondering… we lost.

Also, in case you were wondering… I stayed sober.

Breakfast: Leftover Jerusalem Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Like all stews this was even better the next day.

Lunch: Boiled Egg, Mandarin, Cashew Nuts

After a pretty hearty breakfast, I felt a bit peckish early afternoon so prepared myself a snack for lunch to get me through to dinner.

Dinner: Dolphin Hotel – Grass Fed Rump, Mojo Verde, Duck Fat Potatoes, Salad and Mayonnaise

This was pretty much the only option on the menu that could be made to fit Whole30. I prefer a fillet steak, but unfortunately that was grain fed. I appreciated that the menu indicated which steaks were grass fed, and which were grain fed. I opted for a 300g Grass Fed Rump from Cape Grim, Tasmania with a Marble Score 2 +. I am finding it difficult to comment objectively on the steak, it was relatively tender, but it was stone cold by the time it got to the table. We had seen it walked past our table 10 minutes earlier when I’d actually asked the lost looking waitress if it was for us as the meals certainly looked like ours. She assured me that they were not for us. We then saw it walked upstairs, downstairs, and back upstairs before becoming distracted by a try (not ours unfortunately). I would have sent the steak back when it arrived, but we have all heard what happens to steaks when you send them back.

I had inquired with the cashier at the counter when ordering whether the mojo verde or dressing on the salad had sugar added. I was informed the mojo verde was fine, but the dressing had honey. Luckily they had house-made mayonnaise which contained no sugar. The mojo verde helped offset the stone cold steak, and was a great option for a Whole30’er when the normal gravies and brandy sauces etc are not allowed.

The duck fat potatoes were a bit of a disappointment. I was imagining amazing crispy potatoes (of which I would only have one), but what came out was a soft stack of what tasted like baked potatoes. It was pretty easy to give those a miss!

It would have been a fine meal for Whole30 if only they had brought it to the table in time.

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Whole30 Day Fifteen: Blessed Lamb

Breakfast: Boiled Eggs, Mayonnaise, Berries

Breakfast was on the run today, so I ate some pre-prepared boiled eggs with salt, pepper and a spoonful of mayonnaise. A handful of berries helped my lunch box look a little more exciting.

Lunch: Asparagus with a Poached Egg and Dijonnaise

I have been jonesing for the Dijonnaise I made last week as part of Veal Scaloppini Dijonnaise. As I didn’t get home to have lunch until 2pm I wanted something pretty quick and easy, especially considering I would be starting dinner preparation in an hour! Within 10 minutes I was eating a nutritious satisfying lunch, made perfect by the sprinkle of tarragon which I added to the Dijonnaise.

Dinner: Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Tonight I made an Israeli dish that I used to like to make back in the days when I thought low fat was good! I ‘would use lamb leg instead of shoulder because it was less fatty (and let’s be honest less tasty!). What I adore about this casserole is once it is on, you simply walk away. I can only imagine that it is a perfect Sabbath meal.

I used potatoes tonight, as they are allowed in moderation on Whole30. However, pumpkin can be substituted on a LCHF or Paleo diet although there is a slight change to the cooking method.

The end result is not the most pretty dish, but instead a bowl of meaty juicy umami goodness. The ultimate for a cold winter’s night.

Recipe: Lamb & Eggplant Stew

Israeli Lamb & Eggplant Stew
Israeli Lamb & Eggplant Stew