I am so excited by the number of people looking into doing a Whole30 lately! I know I mentioned this in a previous post, but it bears repeating. Finishing a Whole30 changed our lives. It opened our eyes to our emotional dependencies on food, our addictions to ingredients, and how to feed our bodies optimally.
It is a hard month, but totally worth it. Something worth mentioning, is that you will not be immediately transformed after the thirty days. You will likely be so excited to have made it through, that you will blow your reintroduction and add in three food groups on the same night. No big deal, learning yourself is a lifelong process. Initially, I went back to many of my old eating habits since I didn’t notice a major adverse reaction. It took six months to a year to figure out exactly which foods I should eliminate. Ironically, my diet is quite close to the Whole 30 program; my only variance is added sugar (sometimes) and the occasional crazy donut party.
The recipes below range from basic to date night. They have all become wonderful additions to my arsenal, and really help to shake up the old chicken and veggie routine.
Sunnyside Salad – This is my go-to emergency breakfast, which means I end up having it most days. Definitely no frills, but it does the trick when you are starving and eyeballing your stepson’s frozen waffles.
Paleo Egg Cups – Perfect for a grab and go breakfast, and so easily adaptable to what you have on hand. Just make sure you purchase Whole30 compliant bacon, or make your own.
5 Ingredient Breakfast Casserole – An easy throw together breakfast that will feed a large group. You can make this at the beginning of the week for meal prep and reheat as you go.
Cowboy Breakfast Skillet – I am such a sucker for breakfast hash! Loaded with protein and goodies, this skillet makes for a wonderful weekend brunch. Remember to leave out the cheese to stay compliant.
Monkey Salad – Many people complain of egg burn-out while on the Whole30. I was not one of them, thank goodness (I would be in the wrong business), but it is still nice to have a change of pace. This will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth, which you will inevitably encounter when cutting out all added sugars.
Chicken Club Lettuce Wraps – There are few things that I love more than a great lettuce wrap. I typically wrap mine in romaine, since it is a little easier to handle. To replace the dressing, try the Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette listed below.
Chicken Tortilla-less Soup – I like to make a big batch of crockpot shredded chicken on hand, which turns this into a twenty minute meal. If you are missing the appearance of creamy, cheesy soups, add a bit of coconut milk at the end.
BLT Lettuce Wraps – Didn’t I tell you? I love lettuce wraps! I hated BLTs growing up. I know, I’m crazy. They are SO good! This is the ultimate throw together comfort food.
Grilled Salmon Kebabs – Perfectly paired with an arugula salad and homemade vinaigrette. This salmon is so tasty and beautiful to plate. Doesn’t it make you want to have people over for a nice lunch on the porch?
Spring Chicken Bake – This chicken bake from Diethood is SO tasty. The first time I made it, I didn’t have time to brown the thighs. Don’t make that mistake. We still call it ‘Ugly Chicken’ but when you follow the recipe, as you should, it is a beautiful meal! Easy to portion out for lunches over the week.
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon – Traditionally, boeuf bourguignon is made with delicious (and Whole30 forbidden) red wine. This uses the brilliant combination of red wine vinegar (yes, it’s compliant) and dijon mustard to give it some life. The only Whole30 compliant dijon mustard I have found is Annie’s brand. You can look on their website to find a carrier near you. Hint: Organic Dijon is categorized under Gluten-Free.
Moroccan Chicken – Hello, date night! This is such an impressive meal to serve. You will completely forget you are on a diet. This will feed a small army though, so you may want to halve it. It is to be served with Moroccan Couscous, which you can easily replace with finely chopped cauliflower. Follow the directions for Oven Roasted Cauliflower Rice below, and toss in the cinnamon date sauce. Top with orange zest for a little flair.
Paleo Sliders – Y’all, this was such a great swap! We were all a little skeptical of the sweet potato “buns” in this recipe. But the (since reformed) non-vegetable eater in our house devoured these. I love when you can completely satisfy a craving with no guilt. These sliders definitely accomplish that. Instead of fries, we ate them with the Ugly Bean recipe listed below.
Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa – You don’t want to know how many times I have made this salmon. And even if you did want to know, I’m pretty sure I can’t count that high. This is one of the few recipes that I don’t feel the need to adapt. If you take away nothing else from this round up, try this dish! You will thank me for a lifetime. We serve it on a bed of spinach as a lunch, or with cast iron green beans for dinner. Seriously, guys. Try. This. Dish.
Grilled Salmon w/ Avo Salsa
Chipotle Stuffed Sweet Potato – Ahh, Tieghan. You never disappoint. There are not very many (if any) Whole30 compliant recipes over at HBH, but this young lady is a master of flavor profiles. If you can ever find a way to adapt her recipes to work for you, you should do it. This one did not require much adjusting, just leave off the cheese and cream and you are good to go. If you are still wanting a sauce to drizzle, try mixing your homemade mayonnaise (listed below) with some dill, onion powder, and garlic powder for a speedy ranch blend.
Paleo Lasagna – It is inevitable, as soon as you tell yourself all of the things you can’t eat, you will immediately start craving them in the worst of ways. That is what happened in our house, Morgan needed to eat lasagna like he needed air to breathe. It’s a little (lot) labor intensive, but Paleo Newbie did not disappoint! Pay attention to the ingredients on your sausage, or do like we did and season your own.
Oven Roasted Cauliflower Rice – Ohmahgosh! I had been living my life all wrong until I found this recipe. Who knew how much better cauli-rice tastes roasted?! It’s so good! I find that pulsing in the food processor brings a couscous or quinoa appearance, where running in through the grater attachment looks more like rice. Not that it matters, any way you make it this rice is good.
Cauliflower Mash – I have heard many horror stories about cauliflower mashed potatoes. They will never taste like the real thing on their own (unless you do half cauli-mash, half potato), but can come close when covered by a sauce or gravy. I like to serve these with meatballs and gravy, or at the bottom of a bowl of beef bourguignon (above). Obviously, butter is not allowed on Whole30. You can substitute with ghee, or do like I do and use bacon grease. Yum!
Smashed Potatoes – White potatoes are one of those iffy subjects with people. While they are (now) Whole30 approved, they should really be consumed in moderation. Yes, they are packed with nutrients, but they are also loaded down with carbs. If you lead a primarily sedentary lifestyle or if you are looking to lose weight, this may be a once in a blue moon treat. Man, oh man are they good!
Ugly Beans – Don’t let the name fool you, these little fellas are quite tasty. The perfect substitute for fries to nibble on with some Whole30 chicken nuggets or Paleo Sliders.
Homemade Mayo – I tried eight different recipes, numerous different oils, and cried a few tears before landing on this beauty. I didn’t even like mayonnaise before I started making it myself, but this stuff is SO good! The recipe says light olive oil, but please do not do that. It will ruin the flavor of your mayonnaise. Avocado oil is the only thing I will even consider putting in mayo, otherwise you are just wasting your time. The method here is a breeze as well! Say goodbye to the pains of over-whisked arms.
Fresh Tomato Ketchup – This is certainly a process to make, but you will be hard pressed to find store bought ketchup with no added sugars. Heck, even this recipe calls for brown sugar. But that is the beautiful thing about making things yourself. You can leave it out.
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette – Talk about tasty! Just as in the beef bourguignon, make sure you use Annie’s Dijon Mustard to stay in compliance. This is a little fancier than our every day dressing, but life needs a little sass sometimes.
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions
Something that I struggled with a lot during (and after) the Whole30 was keeping the textures of the foods that I loved. These are pretty simple little tips and tricks I have learned along the way.
If your recipe calls for butter, use bacon grease.
When you are really missing melted cheese, substitute some mashed avocados.
Instead of soy sauce, use coconut aminos.
When you’re craving a PB&J, hollow out strawberries and fill with almond butter.
Keep hard boiled eggs on hand in case of emergencies. And remember, Tabasco is Whole30 friendly!!!
When you are feeling like you have lost your mind, please reference the Whole30 timeline which is alarmingly accurate. And remember, you are not alone.
I can’t wait to hear how all of your Whole30’s go! If you find any other delicious Whole30 recipes, leave them in the comments below. Good luck, y’all!