It’s the final stretch! I’m 80% done with my Whole30 🙂
I’m definitely burned out on cooking everything from scratch all the time. Geoff’s picked it up the last few days, but it’s been three weeks of nothing but scratch cooking. Today I couldn’t even be bothered with packing leftovers for lunch so I ate out for the second time since I started the Whole30. I decided to brave the salad bar at work and while the eggs probably weren’t pastured, and the chicken most definitely wasn’t organic, and the olives and almonds may have been in vegetable oil, and the bottle ptouch labeled “olive oil” could have been anything, and the balsamic vinegar may have had caramel added… I just didn’t care. It’s close enough and it was better than eating a LaraBar for lunch which I was very tempted to do. I don’t think I’ve bought groceries in a week because we are still skating by on what I bought last since I’ve been letting Geoff do the cooking (his idea of a vegetable is a potato bread hamburger bun and mashed potatoes).
I was still in my fuck everything funk around eating and meal prep going in to the evening. I got a text from my future-SIL asking if I could pick up the niecelet from school which I was happy to oblige. I hadn’t really planned on dinner food and was probably going to resort to eating a compliant hot dog and whatever vegies I could manage, but there’s something about having the niecelet around that makes me want to be the best version of myself. So, real dinner needed to be made. I had a couple quick meal ideas in my mind. I asked her what protein she wanted for dinner and after a conversation about what a protein was (not bread and milk) she decided on beef. I asked if she wanted steak or ground meat like meatballs knowing what she would choose. Of course it was meatballs. Then she asked what we’d have with it and I suggested zoodles. She didn’t let on that she didn’t know what those were 🙂 So we picked up some no-sugar-added sauce, zucchinis, and some ground beef and headed home to make zoodles and meatballs. Her mom arrived mid-meatball-mess so they both stayed for dinner. The spiralizer completely earned it’s keep when I watched the niecelet slurp zoodles just like they were pasta and, after some negotiating, she cleaned her plate.
It was the kick in the ass I needed to start cooking again. I was inspired by talking to my SIL about cooking spaghetti squash and admitting I’d been intimidated about trying it after failing at it many many years ago. So after dinner I cooked up the spaghetti squash that had been hanging out on my counter for most of the Whole30. 45 minutes at 400 degrees and it cooked up like a dream. It probably could have gone a little bit more but I planned on putting it in the fridge to be reheated so a little under was just fine.
I portion out the spaghetti squash I cooked the night before so I could just grab one in the morning. I dumped in three meatballs and some of the left over sauce. It was pretty tasty. There’s something appealing about the spaghetti squash “noodle” that is definitely different than the zoodles. It reminds me more of ramen or rice noodles. I really want to fill the jar up with hot chicken broth and eat it like a cup-of-soup. I may just do that.
I made up another big pan of Panang Chicken Curry for dinner (and lunches). Since the cauliflower rice was a hit in the fried rice I made it again to go with the curry. I still loaded the curry itself up with a lot of vegetables. Normally I just add onion, peppers, chicken, and cauliflower florets, but I finally thought to look up bamboo shoots and water chestnuts (two stir fry staples in my house) and realized they were compliant! So this time I used one whole onion, two peppers (one yellow, one green), a can of bamboo shoots, a can of water chestnuts, and two extra chicken thighs. Near the end of cooking I diced up a couple chunks of fresh pineapple and some thai basil and threw them in. Geoff was a big fan of the pineapple (because… sugar). I was pleased with how it turned out because it was much more stew like so it means we are eating a better protein/vegetable to coconut milk ratio. I know I’m not supposed to be worrying about calories and carbs, but if I can intentionally tip the scales toward fewer calories and carbs with out any real difference in satisfaction, then I’m going to do so.
Lunch was yet more left over spaghetti squash and meatballs. I’m really enjoying the spaghetti squash and still really want to try it like cup-of-noodle. I think it was a pretty good deal that out of one dinner (for 2 adults, 1 niecelet) I also go two lunches. Normally I’m *not* a leftovers fan so the fact that I’ve been enjoying my leftover lunches has been great. It’s definitely a nice change to having a salad every day.
I was SOO hungry when I got home. I actually jumped on Geoff for eating the curry out of the dish while I was still reheating it just because I was jealous he was eating. Hahah 🙂 I nuked the cauliflower rice a bit more this time because Geoff thought it was too “al dente” the first time. It didn’t get mushy like I feared so I’ll definitely cook it more in the future. With all the new house stuff going on (and school) it’s been nice planning for leftover nights a couple times a week. Again, not a leftovers person so the whole idea is kind of new to me, but with the right recipes it seems to work just fine. Some things, like the curry, only get better for sitting a night.
I was seriously snack-y still after dinner. I’m not sure why. I ate about 12 picholine olives (my fav olive!) and then went on to MAKE A CHOICE to eat a bag of apple chips. I still feel some guilt about the apple chips because I know it wasn’t the best decision, but I also really tried to make it a choice and recognize it as such. They were good though and I enjoyed my guilty treat 🙂
Tired of the Panang Chicken Curry yet? I’m not! There’s still another me-sized serving of the curry itself, but this was the last of the cauli-rice (as opposed to Geoff-size which would be 2-3x). If I could be healthier by eating just Panang Chicken Curry every day I would give it a try 🙂 I picked up a couple beautiful organic satsumas at the co-op and even though I still feel a little guilty about eating all the apple chips the night before I decided to add one to my lunch. Dinner is supposed to be a bunch of seafood so I’ll make up for the excessive fruit the last few days by having a super healthy dinner.
This dinner pretty closely resembled our first Whole30 dinner. Broiled cod, sweet potato, and a kale Caesar salad. I also made pan seared scallops and added a handful of Dungeness crab to the Caesar this time. Honestly I was so full after the giant bowl of kale that I didn’t eat my sweet potato at all (it’s in the fridge for brunch/lunch today, which ever comes first). I’ve added a new secret ingredient to my Caesar salad dressing which I think kicks it up just a little bit… nutritional yeast. I was looking at some other recipes that were dairy-free and happened to also be vegan and saw several references to nutritional yeast. A quick search showed that it was Whole30 compliant. So I picked some up in the bulk section of our local co-op. I think it does add an extra dimension to the dressing. Honestly, I can’t tell the dressing I make apart from the diary laden or commercial produced stuff at this point.
I spent my final morning slaving over the hardest week of Statistics homework for school. I decided to break late morning to get something to eat and also because I just needed to walk away from linear regressions for a little bit. I’m proud to say that all of the work did pay off and I got 100% on my exam. Woot! For my breakfast break I scrambled up a couple duck eggs with chopped green bell peppers, leftover crab meat, some bay shrimp, and chopped green onions. Drizzled with a little Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Sweet and spicy!
I apologize for the blurry picture. I had to hit up the grocery store for Super Bowl party supplies so I decided to make our last official Whole30 dinner an over the top one. I picked up a Kobe NY Strip steak, some king crab legs, and asparagus. I did the prosciutto wrapped asparagus I’ve seen on Pinterest about a million times. We also had my amazing homemade Caesar dressing over romaine. Geoff really ate most of the crab and part of my steak 🙂
So…. that’s it! First Whole30 in the books! I’ll post about my results and life after plan.