These are the perfect movie snack to replace potato chips, they don’t make a mess in the dark like kale chips, and they don’t annoy your neighbor like crunching on pork scratchings.
500 gms green beans
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt *
2 tsp sweet paprika*
1 tsp hot smoked paprika*
1 tsp garlic granules*
1 tsp onion granules*
Heat Oven to 190C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
Put all ingredients into a plastic bag. Shake vigorously until all the beans are coated.
Divide beans in half and spread out in a single layer on the prepared baking trays.
Bake for 10 minutes, check and turn the beans, cooking for another 5 minutes or until browned and crispy.
(Optional but recommended) Open the oven door for 10 seconds to let out most of the heat, meanwhile taking out the tray and giving the beans another turn. Then close the oven door leaving it a crack open. Let the beans cool and dry out further in the oven helping dehydrate them until they are very crispy. Check every 10 minutes to ensure you don’t overdo it.
* Replace spice mix with your favourite spices. In this instance I tried to replicate a BBQ flavour. Parmesan is also another great option.
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
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.
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.
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!
This is a traditional Israeli recipe which I have cooked many times, even substituting the lamb for pork, which I am sure is not very traditional! What I adore about this casserole is once it is on, you can simply walk away and do whatever your heart desires for three hours. I can only imagine that this would be the perfect meal for the Sabbath.
I used potatoes in this instance, however pumpkin can be easily substituted to align with a LCHF or Paleo diet. However if you are using pumpkin there is a slight change to the cooking method.
This recipe amazes me because it has no liquids or oil added to it, yet at the end you have this amazing mess of falling apart lamb and collapsed vegetables bathing in their own juices.
The first time I made this dish I was convinced that everything was going to burn on the bottom of the pot, and weakly tried to console myself with the fact that eggplant is great when it’s charred! Because of the specific layering in the dish you will find that juices are quickly released to circumvent any danger to your meal or your cookware.
1 Kg boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed fatty bits, diced
500 grams eggplant, sliced thickness of 3 cm
500 grams tomatoes, cut into quarters
500 grams red potatoes, peeled and diced medium (or pumpkin – see variation to method under Tips)
6 large cloves of fresh garlic, sliced
1 bunch of parsley, roots and tough stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 5 cm pieces
1 bunch cilantro, roots and tough stems removed, remaining stems and leaves cut into 5 cm pieces
1 tbs mixed herbs
2 tsp salt plus more to season to taste
Black pepper to season to taste
Arrange in layers – 1/3 of the amount of eggplant 1/3 of the tomatoes 1/3 of the potatoes in 1/3 of the herbs and the salt and 1/3 of the meat. Repeat two more times so that all the components are arranged in a pot.
Cover and cook on the lowest heat for 3 hours. Do not open the lid or stir the pot.
This is good to store in the fridge and can be reheated for 3 days. This freezes exceptionally well.
LCHF option – Use pumpkin instead of potato, but do not put in at the start. Instead add the pumpkin in the last half hour of cooking.
Nutritional information using potatoes can be found here
Nutritional information using pumpkin can be found here
I woke up feeling amazing today! Perhaps it was the sunny winter’s morning, and waking up with the sun streaming into my apartment. I was ready to conquer almost anything today. This included both housework and exercise! A very rare occurrence indeed. Usually I only find any pleasure in one of these activities when I’m supposed to be doing the other.
Breakfast: Veal, Pork, and Spinach Omelette
Yesterday I made some sensational stuffed peppers and had some left over veal & pork mince mix that didn’t make it into the dish. This morning I pan fried the mince (which was already mixed with onions, garlic and herbs) before sautéing some spinach until wilted, and finally added some eggs to make a rather rustic omelette.
Some of the Mint, Parsley, Lemon & Pistachio Pesto would have really made this dish, but alas with an unfortunate lack of foresight (or pure greed), I’d polished off more of it last night than I intended. In all fairness, I was taste testing it with zucchini flats to ensure that the flavour combinations were just right and that it would complement the stuffed peppers perfectly. I just had to be very, very sure, and of course have a few extra dips for luck!
Lunch: Banana & Coconut Cream
Due to the size of Breakfast I was not particularly hungry, however I was planning on a bike ride, so a banana dipped in some coconut cream seemed about right and certainly hit the spot. As an added bonus it also provided motivation to get going and burn off these carbohydrates! It is quite a joy to have a banana, something I’d never touch normally when Low Carb/High Fat. I guess we treasure what we can with this way of eating. One woman’s treasure.. well you know the saying!?!
Dinner: Leftover Veal & Pork Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Sauce, topped with Pesto (mint, parsley, lemon and pistachio), and a side of Green Beans
Serious yumminess, how was it possible it had improved even more overnight? I tried to restrain myself from going back for seconds, somewhat unsuccessfully. The rest of the evening is going to be spent horizontal, rubbing my belly. Over eating is not really part of the game plan is it? Tut tut! *hiccup*
4 small capsicum peppers, cut in half long ways (I used yellow, but any colour or a mixture of colours would work well)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Heat oven to 220 degrees. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is softened, approximately 5 minutes.
Remove half of the onion mixture and reserve for the stuffing.
Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add stock and season with salt and pepper, continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes or until slightly reduced (about half a cup reduction).
Remove pot from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, then use a stick blender to blitz the sauce until smooth. (The sauce should be quite runny, if it is too thick add a little water).
Place the mince, herbs, egg, and reserved half or the onion mixture into a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Using your hands roughly massage the egg through the mince. (The more you work the egg, the more the protein molecules will help bind the mince together).
Drizzle some olive oil over the outside of the peppers, and use your hands to coat. Place the peppers into a casserole dish large enough to fit the peppers snuggly.
Stuff the peppers with the mince mixture up to the top of the peppers. Cook at 220 for 15 minutes.
Remove the casserole dish from the oven. Spoon some sauce over each of the peppers, and pour the remainder into the casserole dish around the peppers (the sauce should still be hot, if not reheat so that it doesn’t cool down the peppers).
Cover the dish with tin foil and return to the oven. Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees and cook for approximately 25 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the size and shape of the pepper used.
Dish up the peppers with sauce drizzled over the top and a spoonful of pesto (see recipe here).
Dinner: Veal & Pork Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Sauce, topped with Pesto (mint, parsley, lemon and pistachio)
In the middle of an unplanned shopping frenzy at Harris farms over the weekend I’d scooped up some long yellow peppers. At the time I’d had a vague plan to stuff them. Now faced with an early dinner (as tonight I had tickets for the theatre darhhhling) and no “stuffing”, I hopped on my bike and made a beeline for Woolworths. I was feeling a little overwhelmed that everything I’d normally stuff a pepper with was now contraband. This of course wasn’t strictly true, but as certain key ingredients were disqualified, it wastechnicallytrue.
I thought about creating an Indian style curried lamb stuffing, but without yoghurt I was less than sold. I had a hankering for something more Moroccan or Middle Eastern in style, however I was now leaning towards pork as the stuffing as I had future plans for lamb this week. Oh decisions decisions!
In the end i found some veal and pork mince. Surely a pesto would work well with it? I don’t think I’ve ever put nuts with veal before, or pork for that matter. After some serious pondering near the bulk bins, I decided pistachio would work best. In the end a nice lemony, minty, nutty pesto provided flavour and texture that really complimented the stuffed peppers and tomato sauce.
Brunch: Scrambled Eggs with left over Veal Scaloppini Dijonnaise
I had been planning on keeping the remaining Scallopini for dinner tonight, however I woke up thinking about how much I’d enjoyed my dinner last night. Being the little piggy that I am, I decided that I wanted to try making a brunch dish out of it
I combined the leftover scaloppini and sauce with scrambled eggs and parsely, and of course topped it with the scrumptious dijonnaise I had made the night before. As strange as it sounds, it was awesome! I devoured it in less time than it should take a lady to eat a pile of food like that!
You can find the full Veal Scaloppini Dijonnaise recipe here
Dinner: Chilli, Ginger, & Lime Tuna Mayonnaise, Crudités, and a side of Berries
Perhaps because brunch was particularly large and wholesome, but most likely because I had a bullet proof coffee this afternoon, I was not particularly hungry. This was very fortunate, as I had already devoured my intended dinner earlier for brunch. I mixed together a tin of John West Chillli, Ginger & Lime Tuna with some mayonnaise, and cut up some celery and carrots. Voilà! Dinner was served.
Today I had my first serious cravings for dairy. In particular I was craving a creamy mushroom sauce, be it on pasta or meat I wasn’t particularly fussed. I soon discovered that once thoughts of pasta start they tend to gather momentum until they themselves are cravings in their own right. I had to do something, but what? I purchased some veal and mushrooms thinking I could try creating something with coconut cream. However, at the back of my mind, I started to recall a favourite dish at a local cafe back in my homeland a long, long time ago. It was a chicken and mushroom pasta with a mustard seeded cream sauce. Having played for days with different incarnations of mayonnaise, an idea started to form. What if I used Dijon mustard mixed with mayonnaise to go with the veal in lieu of a cream sauce? Thus, Veal Scaloppini Dijonnaise was created, and it was damn fine if I may say so myself.
Recipe: Veal Scaloppini Dijonnaise (Mushroom and Onion Sauce with Dijon Mustard Mayonnaise)
2 tsp plus 1 tsp oil (I use olive oil)
2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
200 grams veal scaloppini (if unavailable veal, beef, pork or chicken schnitzel can be used)
1/2 small onion (thinly sliced)
100 grams portobello mushroom (sliced)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
3 tbs beef stock, gravy or bone broth (optional)
Mix mustard and mayonnaise together and set aside.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms release water. Put mushroom mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in the same fry pan and cook the veal 1 minute each side.
(Optional) Remove the veal to the same bowl as the mushroom mixture. Add stock to the pan and deglaze. Add the veal back to the pan.
Add mushroom mixture to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
Place veal on a plate, top with mushroom mixture, spoon over remaining juices from pan, and top with Dijonnaise.
This is a great meal to prepare and get two days of meals with limited fuss. To make extra for the next day simply double the quantities, and proceed through to the end of step 3. Halve the mushroom mixture and refrigerate with half of the veal to continue tomorrow.