As I mentioned the other day, I've begun another Whole30 challenge – 30 days of absolutely no sugar, grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and most importantly, no nasty processed foods with questionable chemical ingredients. 30 days of all the meat, veggies, fruits, and nuts I want, all clean, fresh, and organic. I've had lots of friends ask me how I survive such a "diet". And my answer is simply: By feeding myself kick-ass food!
Check out some of my all-time favorite go-to Whole-30 approved recipes.
1 // Chipotle Chicken Sweet Potato Skins - This still reigns as thee most incredible meal I've ever made. I had a hard time heeding the Whole30's warning not to become addicted to sweet potatoes during my first challenge. How can you resist the sweet and savory goodness of tender twice-baked sweet potatoes brushed with an adobo sauce and stuffed full of shredded chipotle chicken, spinach, and topped with fresh cilantro? I modded this recipe a bit by stuffing the potato filling back in the skins for a heartier meal and opting out of the cheese and greek yogurt. Do your tastebuds a favor and give this one a try.
2 // Tuna-Stuffed Avocado - As a native San Diegan who grew up on 5 acres of land where my parents raised avocado trees, we had to find a lot of different ways to use up avocados for each meal. Stuffing an avo with canned tuna mixed with a bit of mayo* and topped off with a generous amount of fresh lemon juice and sea salt has always been one of my favorite meals. *Make sure to whip up your own mayo; store-bought is not Whole30 approved. Or you can mix the tuna with mashed avocado.
3 // Scotch Eggs - The perfect protein-packed paleo snack! For busy people on the go, so much of surviving the Whole30 is about strategizing and batching your meals. With these delicious sausage-wrapped boiled eggs, I could make a bunch at once and keep them in the fridge for a midday snack or easily add one to my lunch for more protein throughout the week. I often served with my homemade garlic aioli. Yum!
4 // Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs - I've never used this exact recipe's method, but the magic of spaghetti squash has become a major staple in my paleo and regular diet. It acts as a fantastic (and even better tasting, in my opinion) substitute for pasta without all those heavy carbs and gluten. I roast the cut sides down for 30 minutes in the oven at 400° and serve with a homemade tomato sauce. I even love the flavor of spaghetti squash on its own and have dressed it up just with some lemon and fresh rosemary.
5 // Broccoli Raisin Almond Salad - Another great go-to for batching and storing when I don't have time to make three new meals a day. And what's awesome about this is it gets tastier the longer it sits since the broccoli soaks up the apple cider vinegar, creating a sweet and salty slaw I can't get enough of! Never thought I could crave broccoli so much.
6 // Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice - Cauliflower "rice" is pretty much the most brilliant invention known to paleo mankind. These little ground up florets have played a role in so many of my Whole30 meals and I've even successfully converted a handful of my non-paleo friends to the delicious wonders of cauliflower rice. Flavor with any number of spices (I've done Mexican rice, Indian-style rice, and simple herb), serve as a side, or a main dish, or my favorite - as a bed of rice piled high with paleo Thai green curry!
After seeing some of these drool-worthy recipes that cater to a paleo lifestyle, I hope the Whole30 challenge seems a little less scary and/or crazy. Just because your diet changes doesn't mean you have to give up eating awesome food!
Feel free to ask in the comments below if you have any questions about paleo or how I've survived week one of my second Whole30 challenge! Also, check out my Paleo Planning Pinterest board for more mouth-watering recipes.