WHOLE30 Day #21- 2nd Day Dinner…Done!

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WHOLE30 Day #21 – So last night for our main course protein, we had rotisserie chicken, AKA “the go-to fast food meal of Paleos.” It was delicious, and perhaps more important, it was convenient. But as is always the case in our household, we had more than half the chicken leftover afterwards. I suspect you’ve had a similar experience with whole chickens unless you’re serving a family of 6+ in which case my heart goes out to you! In the old (pre-WHOLE30) days, I would have easily used the leftovers to generate some sort of chicken and rice dish, but alas rice is no longer an option. So when my mother suggested I make a stir-fry for the second-day meal, my initial thought was: Ugh, impossible without rice! Then my next thoughts were of all the ways to mimic rice; how I should run to the store; purchase some cauliflower and try out that cool ricing technique I’d seen on so many Paleo blogs recently. But Hubs detests cauliflower and he’d surely see through that trick, I reasoned. Plus, I’d already pushed my luck with him only a few days ago with the fried sprouts adventure. Probably best not to force him into eating two such dreaded veggies in close succession.

After too many minutes spent pondering the issue, I went to refrigerator and stumbled upon my first tip for success when “doing” the WHOLE30.
Are you ready? Here it is:
Keep as much fresh produce in your house as you can (or have room for), even if you don’t know how you’re going to use them (that is, even if you have no particular recipe in mind for them).

Having spare fruits and veggies in the house has saved me on multiple occasions when trying to figure out dinner (see Turkey Cabbage Skillet as but one example). In this case, I rummaged through the fridge and found some fresh ginger root, extra celery, a couple of bell peppers and some colorful baby carrots (listed in the recipe as just carrots), etc. And I keep unsweetened pineapple juice on hand for making my WHOLE30-ish popsicles (see recipe here) as well as various forms of coconut – oil, aminos, etc. because I’ve become so fond of cooking with coconut (as I discussed in this post). So I decided to just give it my best shot with creating a stir-fry that would be satisfying on its own without rice.

WHOLE30 Rotisserie Chicken Stir-fry

WHOLE30 Rotisserie Chicken Stir-fry – Delicious 2nd Day Dinner Option

The result garnered rave reviews from the family and is pictured below. I’d encourage you to experiment with other veggies that may be favorites around your house. I think zucchini or broccoli would be terrific. But we had no zucchini on hand, and Hubs abhors broccoli (noticing a trend here?). One word of caution, don’t tempted to skimp on the veggies or to omit the eggs. You need the fiber, texture and crunch provided by the variety of vegetables, and the eggs provide additional protein and bulk to the mixture. Lastly, I did add a half packet of stevia to mimic the sweet and sour flavor of take-out stir-fry, which is not strictly WHOLE30 approved. You can omit it if you are a perfectionist. I think it’s better with it, but that’s your call.

• 1 Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
• 2 Tbsp. liquid coconut oil (I used Carrington’s brand)
• ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple or orange juice
• ½ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. garlic powder
• 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh, peeled ginger
• 1 whole red bell pepper, sliced
• 1 whole green bell pepper, sliced
• 5 large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks or thick slices
• 5 ribs celery, cut into large chunks
• 2 whole eggs, beaten
• ½ cup pineapple chunks
• 1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
• 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos (e.g. Coconut Secret)
• ½ packet stevia sweetener (optional)
• ¼ cup chopped cashews or sunflower seeds

1. Remove chicken meat (be sure to get both white and dark meat) from the bone and try to remove any visible fat and skin. Set meat aside.
2. Place a large skillet or wok over MEDIUM-HIGH heat and add coconut oil and pineapple juice, then add salt, garlic powder and fresh ginger. Stir to combine and allow to sauté briefly.
3. Next add peppers, carrots and celery. Cook for 3-5 minutes while stirring continuously.
4. Add chicken and eggs to the pan, again stirring continuously. You want to scramble the eggs and make sure the whole mixture is combined and the eggs coat the mixture evenly.
5. When the eggs are cooked, turn off the heat. Stir in the pineapple and the next 3 ingredients. Toss lightly to ensure even distribution of oils and seasonings.
6. Cover the mixture for a few minutes (5 minutes should do the trick).
7. Just before serving, sprinkle with sweetener (if using) and stir to combine. Then sprinkle with nuts.
Serve & Enjoy. Makes about 5 generous portions

Verse of the Day:
Because of your little faith,” He told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
Matthew 17:20 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Read more here.

Resource for the Day:
Bible Gateway Plus

WHOLE30 Day #10 – Breakfast Casserole Revised

Updated Make-Ahead Breakfast Casserole

The weekend is over, and a new WHOLE30 week is before us. Hubs is returning to work, and that means I need to prepare something he can take for breakfast each day. While he says that he really enjoyed my first make-ahead casserole, Hubs requested I make another this week with a few modifications. I’m posting the revised and updated version as a separate post because the tweaks make it sufficiently distinct, and Hubs says “better.”

As I stated in the original post, this casserole is really versatile. Serve it as simple and elegant brunch dish, as a light lunch along side a salad or take it along to pot-luck type social function (you’ll be guaranteed a complete protein, some healthy fats and carbs). I personally love this casserole anytime of day and prefer mine served with a dollop of guacamole. The creamy, tangy goodness of the guacamole really helps to expedite the sense of satiation; while the healthy fat provides an extra dose of satiety to get you through the morning (or rest of your day or evening) without energy crashes or cravings. For more on the intricacies of satiety and satiation, be sure to check out It Starts with Food (pay particular attention to chapter 4). The science-y information provided is easy to understand and will help you get through the tough early-middle days of a #WHOLE30.

What’s New:
•Per Hubs’ request, I decreased the amount of potatoes by half because he felt the original version was a bit spud-heavy.
•He also requested “more eggs” so I added a half cup of pure egg whites for more eggy flavor and to really ‘up’ the protein content.
•I used to heartier meat this go-round which Hubs reports imparted greater flavor.

What’s the Same:
•I still used leftover meat, in this case ~8 oz. grilled beef/bison burgers. I really prefer poultry in the casserole, but my family prefers red meat.
•I wanted to keep the spinach and red peppers because I believe the extra fiber and nutrients are important
•The seasonings and preparation remain essentially unchanged from the original entry found here: Original Breakfast Casserole

•8 extra large organic eggs
•1/2 cup liquid egg whites
•8 oz. leftover (cooked) beef, crumbled
•1/2 pkg. ready-to-cook hash browns (plain shredded potatoes)
•1 red pepper, seeded, diced
•10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and well drained
•1 tsp. salt
•1 tsp. Dijon mustard
•1 tsp. hot sauce

1. Toss hash brown potatoes with salt and place in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 5-7 minutes (depending on size/power of your microwave).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit), and spray an 8X8″ baking dish with coconut oil spray.
3. Whisk eggs and egg whites together in large mixing bowl.
4. Fold in meats, vegetables (including potatoes) and remaining seasonings. Stir well to combine.
5. Pour into prepared baking dish. Cover dish with foil, and then carefully place into the hot oven.
6. Bake 55 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove foil to test for doneness (a knife inserted in the middle of the casserole should come out clean).
7. Allow casserole to cool at least 20 minutes or overnight before serving.
Makes roughly 9 large servings.

Wisdom for the Day:
God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan 6 and to honor his glorious grace that he has given to us freely through the Son whom he loves.
~Ephesians 1:5-6 (Common English Bible)
Read more here.

Resource of the Day:
12 Favorite WHOLE30 Recipes from The Kitchn

WHOLE30 Day#3 – The Struggle Is Real & the Search for Substitutes

The revised pop is the one on top :)

The revised pop is the one on top 🙂

Day #3 of our WHOLE30 process, and I’m feeling some ambivalence – sort of frustrated but still motivated to move forward. After yesterday’s foiled attempt to conceal my illegal coffee creamer consumption, I’ve decided to view this as a process and am no longer expecting perfection from myself. Not sure if that’s a cop-out or a wise perspective to adopt moving forward. Nevertheless, I’ve chosen to keep the coffee creamer for now, with all its artificial ingredients with the goal of giving up the creamer by the end of our WHOLE30 process.

I have decided instead to focus on finding a healthy and natural substitute for my beloved sugar-free tropical (artificially) flavored popsicles which are full of unpronounceable chemicals and dangerous food dyes. I recognize that according to the authors of It Starts with Food, would not recommend frequent consumption of fruit juice. However, to my mind, swapping out acesulfame potassium, locust bean gum, red and yellow dyes for pure unsweetened, unadulterated fruit juice seems a step in the right direction. Here’s what I did:

WHOLE30-ISH Juice Pops:

•2 cups unsweetened organic pineapple juice
•1 cup pure cranberry juice (check to ensure no added sugar or additives)
•2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Stir all liquids to combine and pour into a storage bottle (you will have extra liquid).
2. Lightly spray popsicle molds with coconut oil spray to prevent sticking and ensure easier removal.
3. Pour liquid into molds and insert sticks. Then simply pop the molds into the freezer for several hours or over night.
4. When frozen, allow the molds to sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature before removing. Then place popsicles in freezer bag.

This recipe makes roughly 24 popsicles at about 17 calories per pop.

Wisdom of the Day:
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
~Proverbs 16:24 (NASB)
Read more here.

Recommended Resource for the Day:
Imperfectly Paleo

Hi I'm Karen.

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