Whole30 Week 1 Meal Plan

Our family is starting another Whole30 today (which is simply really clean Paleo eating with no treats for 30 days).  We like to do this every 4-5 months as a sort of cleanse/recharge. This will be my first time to do a Whole30 while pregnant, so I’m interested to see how it will be for me. Actually, I was doing a Whole30 when I got pregnant, and made it to about day 24 before I started spending my days over the trash can 🙂 Anyway – my husband and I are very strict while doing Whole30 (we don’t have any “cheats”, cut out most condiments, cream from coffee, etc.). Our kids eat what we do when we’re home (which is most of the time), but I don’t worry about it if they get a treat from Mimi or whatever.

So I thought I would post our dinner menu for the week throughout this month.

M: Roasted Chicken, our favorite carrots, green beans (just got carrots and green beans from the farmer’s market. YUM!)
T: Mini burger (in lettuce wraps), guacamole with raw veggies, roasted sweet potato fries
W: Grilled Chicken Salad (see below)
Th: Rosemary Bacon Chicken, roasted broccoli, carrot and cauliflower mash
F: Greek Meatballs, asparagus, roasted veggies (squash, mushrooms, onions)
S: Leftovers
S: Breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs, bacon, veggie sauté (we like kale, onions, mushrooms, garlic, and red peppers), may make some almond flour muffins for the kids)

Roasted Chicken
1 Whole Chicken (about 4 lbs)
EVOO
Salt/Pepper

Wash and dry chicken then place in a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper on the inside and outside of the chicken. Roast at 450 degrees for about an hour (maybe 1:15 depending on size). Let rest about 10 minutes before serving

Grilled Chicken
I’ve been marinating and grilling some chicken breasts at the beginning of the week to have for lunches. This is the best marinade ever. Seriously.

Juice of 1 lemon
1 T mustard
1/3 c coconut aminos (soy sauce sub)
1/3 c olive oil
6 cloves garlic

Put all ingredients in a large ziplock and let chicken marinate at least 4 hours, but I prefer overnight. Grill.

Our Favorite Salad (right now 🙂 )
Grilled Chicken
Nitrate/sugar free pepperoni
Red pepper
Red onion
Cucumber
Hard boiled eggs
Over a bed of baby kale and spring lettuce mix

Dressing

½ c EVOO
½ c white wine vinegar
1 T dry basil
1 T dry oregano
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
½ t each salt/pepper

Shake in a jar. Keeps well in fridge.

What are you eating this week?

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Southwest Meatloaf

Meatloaf gets a bad rap, but we love it at our house! I got the original recipe for this Southwest version from PaleOMG (and have tweaked it a little for our taste) and it is so good. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to regular meatloaf – I’ve made it twice in the last 6 days!

Here’s how I make it to feed my family of 4 (with enough for lunch the next day):

In a food processor, finely chop:
1 red bell pepper
1 orange or yellow bell pepper
1 Purple onion
4-6 cloves garlic

Saute the veggies in 1 T coconut oil for about 10 minutes or until the liquid is gone and the veggies are getting some color.

In a large bowl mix:
2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
1/2-3/4 c almond flour (I was out and just ground up some blanched almonds in my food processor)
2-3 T hot sauce
2 T chili powder
2 t paprika
1/2 t each sea salt and pepper
the sauteed veggies

Toss the mixture with a fork, being careful not to “knead” the meat, but mixing until just incorporated.

I form 2 loaves on a sheet pan, but you can put them in loaf pans if you’d like. Bake 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving. We like it with lots of guacamole on top.

Here’s how I make guac:

2 ripe Haas avocados
juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c minced purple onion
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1 tomato, chopped
s/p to taste

Mix gently with a fork. We like ours chunky, so I don’t mix it much.

We ate it this week with mashed sweet potatoes (just boiled sweet potatoes mashed with coconut oil, slat, pepper, and a splash of heavy cream), and sauteed green beans.

Enjoy!

Nutty “granola” Bites

One of my favorite pre-paleo snacks was granola. I’ve tried several paleo versions of granola, but they’re always really crumbly and hard to transport. So, here is a yummy, portable granola-y treat.

I’ve made these with all different combinations of nuts and seeds, so feel free to use what you like!

1/2 c pumpkin seeds
3/4 c sunflower seeds (raw)
1 1/2 c coconut flakes – I use these big flakes and they make it so yummy!
1 c sliced almonds
1 1/2 c pecans, roughly chopped
1 c almond meal (I like meal better then flour here)
1/2 c melted coconut oil
1/8 – 1/4 c honey
1/8 c maple syrup
1 T vanilla
cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 325.

In large bowl, mix all dry ingredients

In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix really well – making sure all the dry get coated.

Grease mini muffin tins with a little bit of coconut oil. Fill tins with the granola mix.

Bake for 10 minutes then check on them and rotate pan. Bake 5-10 more minutes until the tops are starting to brown. Let cool completely in pan. You’ll have to use a knife to help them out. I often bake them in a silicone muffin tin and the pop out very easily.

You can also just make this on a sheet pan with parchment paper. Just bake for about 20 minutes, stirring it half way through.

These make a great snack for dirty handed little ones…

Enjoy!

Paleo-fied Sloppy Joes

One of the biggest transitions to cooking paleo (and real food in general) is it usually take some time and labor. At least  more time than dumping a box of noodles and a can of cream of whatever soup into a pan! For a busy mom, this is an adjustment. So I’m always on the look out for a quick weeknight dinner that doesn’t compromise on nutrition – or taste!

Here is just that kind of meal. Quick, easy, yummy, and still full of veggies, Paleo-fied Sloppy Joes.

Another plus about this meal is it has lots of veggies hidden in it. I love that my 2 year old who is in a picky phase right now asked for seconds and thirds tonight!

1-2 lbs grass fed ground beef
4-5 carrots
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
16 oz tomato sauce
3 T tomato paste (I use the double concentrate in a tube)
1 t dry mustard powder
1 t pepper
1-2 t sea salt
1 t chili powder
1 t paprika
2 T honey
pinch allspice
pinch cloves
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T coconut aminos (soy sauce substitue)

Brown ground beef. Set aside.

To save time, I grated the carrots in my food processor. Then I chopped the onion, garlic, and red pepper in there too. Next I tossed all the veggies in the same pan the meat was in (I used the fat from the meat – since it’s grass fed, it’s full of vitamins – and I added a little coconut oil to the pan). Saute the veggies for about 10 minutes until soft and the liquid is gone from the pan.

Then add the meat back in with the rest of the ingredients. Put the top on your pan and let simmer on low for about 15 minutes – stirring so that it won’t burn. Then longer this sits, the better it is but it is also great if you only have 30 minutes to cook.

I served this with a bunch of roasted veggies (squash, zucchini, mushrooms, onions – tossed in coconut oil, salt, and pepper and roasted until brown. Then I tossed in some fresh basil before I served it). You could also try serving the meat over grilled portabella mushrooms, or roasted acorn squash, or baked sweet potatoes.

Enjoy!

Rosemary Bacon Chicken – Quick and Easy!

My friend Nikki has been raving about this chicken recipe, so I finally tried it last night. It’s a keeper! The original recipe is from Paleo Plan, but I changed it up a bit.

(Sorry for the blurry picture. That’s what you get when the food is hot and everyone is hungry!)

Rosemary Bacon Chicken

Chicken Breast (use 3-4 for my family of 4), cut into strips
Juice from 1 lemon
lots of garlic – I used 6 cloves
1/3 c olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Rosemary sprigs – 1 for each chicken strip
Bacon cut in half – 1/2 piece for each chicken strip

Mix the lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a big ziplock. Marinade the chicken strips  at least 3-4 hours – more if you can.

After the chicken has marinaded, place a sprig of rosemary on each chicken piece and then wrap each piece in a half slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.

I planned on grilling the chicken, but it was pouring down rain so I pulled out my grill plan inside. Grill the chicken about 3 minutes per side, or until done and the bacon is crispy.

I served this with some of our favorite side – Pan fried carrots, roasted broccoli, and roasted squash and onion. If you have never roasted veggies, you must try it! The high heat caramelizes the veggies and makes it taste as good as it possibly could. I don’t think I’ve met a roasted vegetable that I didn’t love.

Here’s how you roast vegetables:

Preheat your oven to 425. Put your sheet pan in the oven while you are prepping your veggies and let the pan get really hot. Toss you veggies in some melted coconut oil, salt and pepper, and experiment with different seasonings (garlic, thin sliced onions, red pepper flakes, and Penzy’s greek seasoning are some of our favorites). Then pour all the vegetables on the (very) hot pan and roast until they start to get some black spots. I usually stir then a couple times to make sure nothing burns. Broccoli takes about 10 minutes, squash and zucchini take about 20 minutes, and root veggies take up to 45 minutes.

And the carrots:

My kids beg for these, sneak them while we’re praying before we eat, and fight over second helpings. And they couldn’t be easier!

Slice carrots into penny sizes (I make about 2 lbs of carrots and there are no leftovers)
Melt about 3 T grassfed butter in your pan (you can use coconut oil, but the butter flavor is really good here)
Add carrots, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook over med-low heat until they are golden brown (about 25 minutes). They burn easily if the heat gets too hight, so keep an eye on them. you can toss them with chopped fresh parsley if you have some but they are good either way.

Enjoy!

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

I don’t remember where I originally found this recipe, but it is on our “favorites” rotation at our house! I’ve tweaked the original recipe a little to make it paleo, but in my opinion – it’s even better now (the original called for 2 CUPS of honey and brown sugar in the sauce. No thanks!)

Quick, easy, and delicious. Perfect for this beautiful spring weather we’ve been having!

1-2 lbs of pork tenders (depending on how many you are feeding. I make about 1.5 lbs for our family of 4)
2 T parsley (with all the herbs, I use fresh when they’re in my garden during the summer, and dry the rest of the time)
2 t oregano
1 t rosemary
1 t thyme
3-6 cloves fresh garlic, minced  (we like garlic! But use according to your own taste)
1 t sea salt
2 t ground pepper
1 t cayenne pepper

Mix all spices in a bowl then rub into the pork tenders. I put them in a ziplock in the morning and let them marinade for the day.

Make a basting sauce by mixing equal parts of good dijon mustard and honey. I usually use about 1/2 c each, mix them well and then set aside about 1/4 c to serve with the cooked pork.

Put the pork on a really hot grill then turn the heat down to med/low. Baste the pork with the suace every 10 minutes or so (the more the better!). Cook the pork on each side for about 15 minutes, moving it as little as possible. It is done when the internal temperature of the pork reaches 150 degrees. Remove from heat and let it rest for about 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the reserved sauce. Yum!

I served it last night with some yummy spring asparagus that I just sauteed in some coconut oil and salt and pepper for about 3 minutes and some roasted sweet potatoes (dice sweet potatoes and toss them in some melted coconut oil and  sea salt and pepper. Put them on a half sheet pan and roast them in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Stir them a couple times while cooking to make sure they don’t burn)

Enjoy!