Monthly Archive: November 2014

Top 5 places to get recipes and meals ideas for Whole 30

Sweet potatoes

I don’t always follow recipes. I usually just throw some stuff into a pan and hope for something good. I think I have a good idea of what will taste great, but sometimes I want to use a recipe that someone else has already tested. I listed my top 5 places to get great tasting food.

1: Nom Nom Paleo
Michelle Tam is a pro. I’ve never been disappointed in one of her recipes. She makes wonderful and flavorful dishes. She has a book (Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans)and a great website.  Plus she has an entire section on her website that is dedicated to compliant Whole 30 dishes.  I’ve also been able to modify some of her regular paleo recipes by removing sweeteners.

2: Stupid Easy Paleo
She’s a crossfitter, Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and paleo cook. She also has great recipes and has a section dedicated to Whole 30. I’ve tried quite a few of her recipes and keep going back for more.

3: Amazon Ashley
Amazon Ashley is a woman with great food ideas. I recently started following her on Instagram and started going through her blog. All her recipes are grain free, dairy free and sugar free. She also just came out with a book called “Clean and Colorful Cooking”.

4: HolyMamamoly
Mama Moly is such an inspiration. She is another person I recently started following on Instagram. She has done 100 days of Whole 30 and is still going! Her results from her healthy eating journey are amazing. I aspire to be more like her. She has great Whole 30 tips and recipes.

5: The Wonky Spatula
Here is another blogger who I find exciting to follow. Again, I just started following her on Instagram. She has delicious Whole 30 recipe ideas. I just really think her ideas of food preparation are similar to what I like to create for myself.


“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” ― Julia Child, My Life in France

Easy baked chicken pieces


We eat a fair amount of chicken at our house. I remember when I was first learning to cook that I was always afraid of undercooking chicken. I definitely feared getting Salmonella. Because of this fear I would overcook it just to be safe. Obviously this overcooking resulted in a dry mess. Now I use a meat thermometer and my chicken is always good. I HIGHLY recommend getting one.  There are a ton of brands out there.  We have this brand (ThermoWorks Instant Read Thermometer) and absolutely love it. It is kind of pricey and there are plenty of cheaper and nice brands out there.

I’ve tried many ways of preparing chicken but one of my favorite ways is to bake it. It is quick, not preparation heavy and it tastes great. I always use chicken pieces with bone and skin still attached for this method.  Boneless, skinless chicken could work here but cooking times will probably be shorter. Although, skinless chicken would not crisp up like skin on chicken does. Here is a quick rundown on how I prepare mine.

Baked chicken pieces

Ingredient list:
3-4 pounds bone in, skin on chicken pieces of choice (Note: I usually pre-marinade my chicken before baking and have included some suggestions below. If you don’t marinade ahead of time, that’s okay. Toss the chicken pieces with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and parsley flakes and a couple tablespoons of olive oil to lightly coat and then follow the directions below)

Kitchen supplies needed:
Pans and Wire Rack
Meat thermometer

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place wire rack in center.



3.  Place marinated chicken on rack with an even amount of space in between each piece.


4.  Place chicken in preheated oven uncovered. Bake thighs for 40-45 minutes. Bake legs for 35-40 minutes. Bake wings for 25-30 minutes. The chicken should be crispy and nicely browned on the outside and the internal temperature should read 165 degrees on you meat thermometer.


There are tons of marinades out there. But, I have had some difficulty in finding prepared marinades or sauces that are Whole 30 compliant. Because of this, I’ve come up with a few easy combinations that I can create at home. Try one of these and see what you think.

Each marinade covers 3-4 pounds of chicken. Finely mince any fresh ingredients and combine with wet and/or dry ingredients. Place chicken pieces into a large bowl or large storage bag and add marinade.  Coat chicken pieces with the marinade. Cover bowl or seal bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-3 hours.  Follow the directions above for cooking instructions.


1 crushed clove of garlic
1 small shallot minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons each fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley and basil leaves finely chopped

2 cloves crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon finely minced ginger
2 scallions finely chopped
2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
2 Tablespoons Red boat fish sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
The juice from half a lime
Optional: ½ teaspoon dried, Asian chili flakes or any whole 30 compliant Asian chili sauce

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

What to serve it with:
For the herbed chicken try serving them with sweet potatoes, mashed cauliflower, green beans, salad, or Brussels sprouts. For the Asian marinade, try it with an Asian style slaw, sautéed Bok Choy with sesame seeds, or mixed stir fried vegetables. For the Indian marinade, try serving it with cauliflower rice, crispy potatoes or bhindi masala.

Of course these are just a guide. Try adding your own combinations of herbs or other compliant seasonings.  I’m sure that there are so many other marinating possibilities out there. I’d love to hear any comments you might have about marinades or flavor combinations you’ve enjoyed.

Apple Butter

Fall is probably my favorite season. The clothes get cozier, the colors become more vibrant and the food flavors get more exciting. Apple butter is just one of the many things that I look forward to once fall starts, but finding a sugarless version of apple butter is basically impossible. So, if I wanted to enjoy apple butter I had to make my own.  Before I made it, I also wanted to make sure I had some uses for it as well. I’ve pretty much have only eaten apple butter on toast, biscuits or off a spoon.  Once I decided I had enough recipes around to justify making a large pot of the delicious stuff, I set off into coming up with the following recipe.


Sugarless Apple butter

Ingredient list:
7-8 large sweet apples
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
Dash of ground nutmeg

Kitchen supplies needed:
Large pot
Slow cooker
8” chef’s knife
Cutting board
Measuring spoons
Ladles and spoons to stir and transfer sauce
Stick bender, blender or food processor
If canning:  Ball jars with lids and rings and other canning supplies (jar lifter, lid lifter, canning jar funnel)

Start by making an apple sauce.

  1. Select 7-8 large, sweet apples. Any variety of sweet apples will do- Fiji, Gala, McIntosh, Winesap. I personally used a mixture of Fiji and gala apples. Really any type of apples will do as long as you use sweet apples and avoid tart varieties like Granny Smiths or Pink ladies. Remember that since no sugar is added you have to rely on the sugars in the fruit to supply all the sweetness.
  1. Wash and peel the apples. Remove the cores and chop the apples into a medium dice. If you have one of those apple slicers you can use that to remove the core and then chop the individual segments into smaller pieces.  I don’t have one so I just chopped them up the old fashioned way.

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  1. Place chopped apple into a large pot and add in about ¾ cup of water. You want about a ½ inch of water in the bottom of the pot. The apples will produce more liquid once they start to break down. Put the pot on medium-high heat. Once the water starts boiling reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the apples are soft and start to fall apart or in about 10-15 minutes.
  1. Using a slotted spoon, remove apples from the pot and transfer into a large bowl. You don’t want a lot of extra liquid in the apples when you blend them. Next blend the apples into a thick apple sauce that is free of chunks. I used my handy stick blender but if you don’t have one a blender or food processor will work fine. Just make sure to blend the apples in batches if you need to in order to avoid a mess. Once the mixture is smooth add in the spices and stir to mix the spices into the sauce. So now you have apple sauce. You could just set a small amount of the sauce aside to eat as is or use in another recipe.
  1. Place apple sauce into a slow cooker and set on to low heat and cover. Leave to cook for 6-10 hours checking and stirring the sauce halfway through the cooking time. As the sauce cooks down the fragrance will become stronger and the color of the sauce will change from a light brown to a rich, darker brown. The sauce will cook down to ¾ of the original volume. Blend the cooked apple butter again with one of the methods mentioned above. You want a smooth, thick texture. Taste the apple butter and make sure it is to your liking. If you think it is too thin, cook it a while longer. If you think it is too thick then try adding a little apple juice to thin it out. It is all about personal preference here.


At this point you can do a few things with the finished product. You may put the apple butter into a container with an air tight and store it in the refrigerator. Or you may can the apple butter.  Never canned before? Learn how!

Now you have a delicious apple butter. But what do you do with it? Basically anything you want. I’ve found that this apple butter goes well with pork and hearty root vegetables. Try my pork loin recipe or the waffled sweet potatoes.



Apple butter pork loin

Ingredient list:
2 pound boneless pork loin roast
1 cup apple butter
½  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt

Kitchen supplies needed:
Large, nonstick skillet
Kitchen Tongs
Meat thermometer
8’x11” Pyrex Baking Dish
Cutting board
8” Chef’s knife

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season the roast with kosher salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over heat, then brown the pork for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Place pork into the roasting dish and place into the heated oven uncovered.
  5. Mix the apple butter and cayenne pepper together and set aside.
  6. Roast the pork for 25 minutes then remove from the oven and slather it with the apple butter mixture.
  7. Return the roast to the oven and roast for approximately 20 more minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees.
  8. Rest the pork on a cutting board for 5 minutes then slice.

What to serve it with:
This pork roast goes really well with root vegetables as a side. I’ve done a mixture of roasted parsnips, carrots and beets. I also really like roasted Brussels sprouts. Other good options include mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or mashed parsnips. I have also used the meat between sweet potato “buns” and serve it as sliders with caramelized onions and sautéed kale.  The possibilities are endless.



Waffled sweet potatoes

1-2 sweet potatoes
Coconut oil
Kitchen equipment:
Box grater
Paper towels
Waffle iron
Silicone basting brush

  1. Begin by heating the waffle iron to medium.
  2. Wash, peel and grate the sweet potatoes using the large holes of a box grater.
  3. Squeeze the grated potatoes in between sheets of paper towel by the handful to get rid of any extra moisture.
  4. Brush the tops and bottom of the hot waffle iron with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  5. Place about ¾ cup of shredded, dry potato in the iron, spread it out, and close it.
  6. Cook until the hash browns are golden brown and crisp, about eight to ten minutes.
  7. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Serving suggestions: Try it with the apple butter spread over the top. Make it more savory by topping with spicy pork, salsa and eggs. Top with various vegetables like sauteed Kale, mushrooms and onions.


I’m sure that I will come up with a few more recipes to make with my apple butter. Comment if you have any other good ideas. Until then I’ll be eating it these ways or straight off a spoon.