Tag Archives: weight loss

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.

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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

Whole30 Day Fourteen: One Woman’s Treasure

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

Veal, Pork, and Spinach Omelette
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.

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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*

Recipe: Veal & Pork Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Sauce

Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, topped with pesto (Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio)
Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, topped with pesto (Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio)

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbs olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tin of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 500 grams veal and pork mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. Remove half of the onion mixture and reserve for the stuffing.
  3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. 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).
  5. 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).
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. Stuff the peppers with the mince mixture up to the top of the peppers. Cook at 220 for 15 minutes.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. Dish up the peppers with sauce drizzled over the top and a spoonful of pesto (see recipe here).
Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce
Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce
Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, topped with pesto (Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio)
Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, topped with pesto (Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio)

Tips

Serve with Pesto (mint, parsley, lemon and pistachio)

This dish reheats and freezes well.

Nutritional information can be found here

Recipe: Pesto (mint, parsley, lemon and pistachio)

Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio pesto
Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio pesto

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

  • 2 tbs (10 grams) mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbs (10 grams) parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbs (20 grams) pistachios
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Method

Place all ingredients into the blender and and blitz. You want this to be quite chunky so u can fully appreciate the texture of the pistachios. Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio pesto

Tips:

Quadruple the recipe! This pesto can be used as a condiment on any meat, and goes great with burgers and sausages. It also wonderful as a dip for seed crackers, zucchini flats, and vegetable crudités.

To use with fish, substitute the mint for coriander.

It will last for a week in a sealed jar in the fridge, or up to 6 months in the freezer. You may freeze individual portions in an ice tray and take out as required.

Nutritional information can be found here

Whole30 Day Thirteen: Get Stuffed

Breakfast: Spinach and Tomato Omelette

Crudités and Garlic Aioli

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 was technically true.

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.

Recipe: Veal & Pork Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Sauce

Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, topped with pesto (Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio)
Veal & Pork stuffed peppers with tomato sauce, topped with pesto (Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio)

Recipe: Pesto (mint, parsley, lemon and pistachio)

Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio pesto
Mint, Parsley, lemon and pistachio pesto

Whole30 Day Twelve: The Great ReVeal

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

Scrambled eggs, with veal, mushrooms and onion, topped with Dijon mayonnaise
Scrambled eggs, with veal, mushrooms and onion, topped with Dijon mayonnaise

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!

Scrambled eggs, with veal, mushrooms and onion, topped with Dijon mayonnaise
Scrambled eggs, with veal, mushrooms and onion, topped with Dijon mayonnaise

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.

Carrot and Celery Crudités with Ginger, Lime & Chilli Mayo. Delicious juicy cherries.
Carrot and Celery Crudités with Ginger, Lime & Chilli Mayo. Delicious juicy cherries.

Whole30 Day Eleven: Use Your Imagination (Veal Scaloppini Dijonaise Recipe)

Brunch: Mushroom, Bean, Red Pepper Stir Fry 

Leftovers from dinner last night, with the zest and juice from a lemon.

Dinner: Veal Scaloppine “Dijonnaise” (Mustard Mayonniase), Mushroom & Onion Sauce, Asparagus and Mashed Sweet Potato

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.

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Recipe: Veal Scaloppini Dijonnaise (Mushroom and Onion Sauce with Dijon Mustard Mayonnaise)

Ingredients

(Serves One)

  • 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)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  1. Mix mustard and mayonnaise together and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms release water. Put mushroom mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in the same fry pan and cook the veal 1 minute each side.
  5. (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.
  6. Add mushroom mixture to the pan, season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
  7. Place veal on a plate, top with mushroom mixture, spoon over remaining juices from pan, and top with Dijonnaise.

Tips

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.

Nutritional information can be found here

Veal Scallopini with mushroom sauce topped with dijon mayonnaise
Veal Scallopini with mushroom sauce topped with dijon mayonnaise

Whole30 Day Nine: Let Them Eat Fish

Brunch: Lemon Pepper Tuna Salad

Today was the monthly spring clean, which I have someone come in to help me with. This meant I needed something quick and easy for  an early brunch. No fuss. No mess. Lemon pepper tuna protein salad it was.

Around mid afternoon when we finished, I began to feel a little peckish. Realizing that I wasn’t going to make it through to dinner, I had some apple and mixed nuts, and enjoyed a pineapple coconut water to toast my hard work.

Brunch:Salmon cakes and Green Beans

This was one of the dishes from the Whole30 meal plan that I had not had enough appetite to make and eat, due to the vast quantities of food the meal plan called for. I was not sure what to expect from this. The idea of cooking a fish cake using sweet potato seemed genius (if not a little heavy on the carbs). On the other hand I’m not a big fan of fish cakes, nor particularly of tinned salmon. Due to the amount of salmon required, and tinned salmon is more expensive than fresh salmon here, this would not be a cheap dish to make (the recipe called for 540 grams of tinned salmon).

In the end I used less salmon, using only 3 x 120 gram tins. Mixing up the salmon (with sweet potato, egg, spring onions, parsley, tarragon, and paprika) I  suspected that I would not be missing the extra salmon and the ratio seemed fine.

The original recipe called for dill, however this is one of my pet hate herbs (along side dried oregano). I don’t mind it in small doses, but I wasn’t going to buy a big bunch of dill for this singular use. I substituted the dill instead for a little tarragon, about a third of the amount of dill the recipe called for as a little tarragon goes a long way.

Salmon and Sweet Potato cakes
Salmon and Sweet Potato cakes

The flavour of the cakes was good and they held together exceptionally well, not breaking when being turned. However the cooking time was far too long and they were quite dry. I was glad I hadn’t put in any more salmon as they would have been reduced to dry fishy ply wood. I soon found myself at the fridge reaching for my new friend Mayonnaise. Mayonnaise was then liberally spooned on top of the cakes, making them much more palatable.

I will try these cakes again, probably with tuna, or only when tinned salmon is on sale. I will also reduce the cooking time (220C for 30 minutes) to 20 minutes. With a little work these could become something quite good.

Pros: Quick and easy

Cons: Quantities seemed off, 540 grams of salmon is a lot for two portions. Cooking temperature was too high and/or cooking time was too long leading to dry fish cakes.

Rating: 4/10

Would I cook it again: Yes with adjustments.

Whole30 7 Day Plan – Day Seven: Pig in Everything

Today is the final day of the 7 Day Plan I’ve been following. I am excited to be leaving it and making my own meal plans, however it has been fun to try foods I normally wouldn’t choose and I feel I’ve learnt a few things along the way. I still have today to get through, but I have so much left over pork I knew from the moment I woke up that I was going to need to deviate from the plan!

Breakfast: Leftover Baked Sweet Potato stuffed with Pulled Pork Carnitas, and drizzled with Avocado Mayonnaise

Even though I’ve woken up with very little appetite, the thought of the carnitas makes me head to the fridge and get this meal into the microwave pronto. It was just as awesome as last night. 10/10 for easy reheating.

Pork Carnitas with Avocado Mayo & Sweet Potato
Pork Carnitas with Avocado Mayo & Sweet Potato

Lunch: Leftover Salmon cakes and Thai Salad

Breakfast was huge and very filling therefore as with past days I’m not hungry enough to have lunch. I’m definitely going to have to try these recipes before the Whole30 is over.

Dinner: Frittata with Chicken, Red Pepper, Onions, Kale, and drizzled with Avocado Mayo; Fruit Salad, Cauliflower Mash.

The plan is officially out the window, tonight I had.. you guessed it … pork carnitas, this time with some seasoned sliced tomato.

Pork Carnitas with Avocado Mayo and Seasoned Tomato
Pork Carnitas with Avocado Mayo and Seasoned Tomato