Monthly Archive: January 2015

Spicy Chorizo and Seafood Stew

Now that it is cold I’m really enjoying two things: soups and spicy meals. This seafood stew has both! I used our homemade, ground chorizo in this recipe to give it a little zip. Check out the recipe that we followed to make our chorizo here. Of course, if you don’t have the time to make your own you can easily find compliant chorizo at many stores. In the past I’ve used Wellshire farms’ smoked chorizo sausage and found it quite nice. I really enjoy their products and have seen them at Whole Foods. I used some store-bought seafood stock since I didn’t have time to make my own. Honestly, I have never made my own fish stock and I use it so rarely that it is not something I keep on hand anyways.  I used Kitchen Basics Seafood stock. I think their vegetable stock is compliant as well. But make sure you check the label! In the past I have purchased items that I read were complaint in the store only to recheck the ingredients at home to find I completely looked over some sugar or MSG. Check and recheck your labels.


Spicy Chorizo & Seafood Stew


Spicy Chorizo and Seafood Stew

1 pound little neck clams
1 pound mussels
1/3 pound fresh, whole shrimp
½ pound small yellow potatoes
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes with the juice
3 cups fish stock- make sure it is complaint
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ yellow onion diced
½ pound ground chorizo- make sure it is compliant
1 Tablespoon ghee
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley- chopped, for garnish

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large pot or enameled Dutch oven with a lid- this is what I have

  1. To clean the mussels and clams, put them in a large bowl with 2 quarts of water to soak for a few minutes. Scrub them with a brush under running water. Discard any whose shells aren’t tightly shut. Remove the “beard” from each mussel with your fingers.
  2. Heat the pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat and melt the ghee.
  3. Once heated up, add the onion and garlic into the pot and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until translucent but not browned.
  4. Add in the chorizo and break it into small pieces. Cook the chorizo for 4-5 minutes until slightly browned.
  5. Add in the potatoes, tomatoes, and fish stock and simmer for approximately 6-7 minutes. The potatoes should be getting tender but will not be fully cooked.
  6. Turn the heat down to medium. Add in the seafood and place the lid on the pot. Cook for 8-10 minutes. After this time the mussels and clams should be opened and the shrimp is pink and curled. Discard any clams & mussels that have not opened.
  7. Sprinkle some freshly chopped parsley on top of each bowl to serve.

On another note, you can use raw, peeled, & deveined shrimp in this dish if the whole, head on shrimp is not your thing. I don’t mind just throwing the whole shrimp right in the pot!

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I’d love to hear your comments if you’ve made this stew.

Making Your Own Chorizo

My husband and I have recently been utilizing our meat grinder to make some delicious dishes. We enjoy our food spicy! You can easily make this recipe milder by adjusting the amount or type of chili you add to the ground pork. I found this page, the cook’s thesaurus, which list chilies by their heat level. We found our dried chilies at a local international market. I’ve seen several varieties of dried chilies in the international section at our local grocery store as well. We experimented with chilies and our heat preferences by grinding one chili of each variety and tasting them. It was a spicy adventure!

Pork buttchorizo1Homemade Ground Chorizo


4 pounds pork butt- excess fat trimmed and pork cut into ½ inch chunks
4-6 Tablespoons chili flakes* see mixture below
3-4 Tablespoons
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon paprika
5 cloves garlic- finely minced.

Chili Flakes:
1 Ancho chili
5 Arbol chilies
6 Pequin chilies
1 Guajillo chili
1 Morita chili

Kitchen equipment:
Food processor or spice grinder
Large bowl
Meat grinder– if you have it.


  1. Start by making the chili flakes. Trim the stems from the chilies and place in a food processor or spice grinder. Process on high until all the chilies are processed until small flakes. Remove chili flakes from process and set aside until it’s time to season the pork. Use 4 Tablespoons for a more mild sausage and 6 Tablespoons for a hotter sausage. If you want milder flakes, leave out the Arbol and Pequin chilies and add more ancho or Guajillo chilies.
  2. In a large bowl mix the pork chunks with the dry ingredients and garlic and let stand for 1 hour to let the flavors combine.
  3. Once the meat has had a chance to marinade process it in the meat grinder or food processor until well ground. Let the meat marinade at least for 1-2 hours or overnight before using.


If you don’t want to grind your own- you can start with a base of ground pork and just add the seasonings to it.  You can use this sausage as ground meat for tacos, as a breakfast meat, or in stews. I used some of this chorizo in a spicy chorizo and seafood stew- recipe coming soon.  If you feel so inclined, you could also stuff the chorizo into casings to make link sausages. We started making our own link sausages earlier this week and I hope to be posting a tutorial on that soon.

Warm Vegetable Slaw with Apple-Bacon Vinaigrette

I created this slaw recipe in response to a mystery box challenge that I saw on the Whole 30 Instagram page. The contest was put on by Whole 30 and OMghee. Three ingredients had to be included in the recipe: parsnips, apples, & ghee. Of course I could have gone with something a little more simple, but that wouldn’t be as much fun.

I really used this mystery box challenge to put myself to the test. I made the slaw, the BBQ sauce, and chicken legs ALL in one hour. Yep, I’m a nerd, I timed myself! Of course you don’t need to make this all in one hour, but it is technically possible.  I did create these recipes which probably does give me an advantage 😉 I found the most efficient way to do is to chop everything you need first. This way you don’t need to stop and chop while the cooking happens. Next, get the vegetables and chicken in the oven since once they are baking you can make the sauces. Then, in order, make the applesauce, BBQ sauce, and then the dressing for the slaw. Some of the preparation can also be done the day before, like making the applesauce, BBQ sauce, and chopping the vegetables.


Warm Vegetable Slaw with Apple-Bacon Vinaigrette


Warm vegetable slaw with apple-bacon vinaigrette

For the slaw:
2 parsnips
1 pound Brussels sprouts
½ granny smith apple
2 Tablespoons ghee- melted
Kosher salt and pepper
¼ cup water

For the applesauce:
1 gala apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup water
A dash of cinnamon

For the dressing:
2 slices of Whole30 compliant bacon
½ yellow onion
1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
2 Tablespoon applesauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
Kitchen equipment needed:
9 “x 13” glass baking dish
Stick blender or blender

Preptime: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Start by processing the vegetables for the slaw. Rinse, peel, & cut the parsnips into small matchsticks. Rinse and cut the granny smith apple in half, remove parts with a core and cut into small match sticks. Rinse the Brussels sprouts, remove the woody stems, remove any tough outer leaves, & thinly slice each sprout into ¼ inch slices.
  3. Toss the veggies with the 2 Tablespoons of melted ghee and season with a little kosher salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup of water to the pan and place it in the preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and slightly browned.
  4. While the vegetables are roasting, make the applesauce, which will go in the dressing. Rinse, peel, and dice the apple into small chunks. Place the apple in a small sauce pan with the lemon juice, water, and cinnamon. Simmer on medium-high heat for approximately 20 minutes. After the apples are tender use a stick blender or blender to make a smooth sauce.
  5. Next make the dressing. Cut the bacon into small pieces and cut the onion into a small dice. Place the mustard seeds into the vinegar and applesauce to soak while you cook the bacon and onions. Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Fry the bacon pieces for 2-3 minutes until the bacon begins to soften and render fat. Add in the onion and cook the bacon and onions together for approximately 8-10 minutes- the bacon will be crisp and the onions will be browned. Now add in the mustard, vinegar, and applesauce and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and keep warm until the vegetables are finished roasting.
  6. Toss the vegetables with the dressing and serve warm.



Smoky apple BBQ sauce

Smoky apple BBQ sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/3 cup apple sauce- you can use unsweetened, already prepared applesauce or make your own by following the directions below
1 large, dried ancho pepper
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon ghee
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Kitchen equipment needed:
Small sauce pan
Garlic press
Stick blender or blender

  1. Start by making applesauce- see below
  2. While the applesauce is cooking, remove the stem from the ancho pepper and soak it with some boiling water until it is soft- about 5 minutes. Drain the water.
  3. Blend the tomato paste, ancho pepper, applesauce, vinegar, paprika, cayenne, and salt into a smooth paste.
  4. Heat the ghee in the saucepan on medium-high heat. Crush the garlic and fry it in the ghee for 15-20 seconds.
  5. Add in the tomato mixture into the sauce pan, mix well, turn the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.


 Cas-iron chicken legs

Cast-iron skillet chicken legs
6 chicken legs
Kosher salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons ghee

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large cast-iron skillet

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat the cast iron over medium-high heat. Melt the ghee in the pan.
  3. Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper.
  4. Sear each chicken leg in the pan. Brown the chicken 3-4 minutes on one side, turn ¼ turn and brown turning until all sides are browned.
  5. Once all sides are browned, place the cast-iron skillet into the oven and roast the chicken for approximately 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
  6. Smother the chicken pieces in the smoky apple BBQ sauce or the sauce of your choice.
  7. Serve with “Warm vegetable slaw with apple-bacon vinaigrette” (see above) or side of choice.


 slaw with bbq chicken legs

Chicken Larb

As I have said before, I love Thai food. The flavors are bright, exciting and spicy. Unfortunately, it’s also usually full of sugar and soy too. So, I’ve been adjusting recipes to make them Whole 30 compliant.

I’ve been utilizing the meat grinder attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer. For this recipe I used chicken thighs and ground them together with the rest of the ingredients. If you don’t have a meat grinder, don’t worry. You can purchase already ground chicken, mix in the other ingredients, marinate, and then follow the cooking instructions.

Chicken larb


Chicken Larb

1 pound chicken thighs
1 medium shallot finely minced
¼ cup Thai Basil leaves-chopped
¼ cup mint leaves-chopped
4 fresh Thai green chilies- stems trimmed and finely chopped
3 Tablespoons lime juice
3 Tablespoons fish sauce

Kitchen equipment needed:
Meat grinder or food processor
Mixing bowl

  1. Start by chopping the shallot, Thai basil, mint leaves, and Thai chilies.
  2. Cube the chicken thighs into small chunks.
  3. Mix the chicken with the herbs, shallot, chilies, lime juice, and fish sauce in a bowl. Let the chicken marinate for 1 hour.
  4. Once marinating is done use the meat grinder to grind the chicken. There will be extra liquid at the bottom of the bowl once the meat is ground. Just mix the liquid back into the meat mixture once the chicken is ground.
  5. Fry the meat in a skillet until the chicken is fully cooked.


It’s simple and delicious too! I served the Larb over some Asian slaw and with cucumbers. But it is great served in lettuce boats too. By the way chopping herbs is something that I have always struggled to keep neat. Check out this YouTube tutorial by Gordan Ramasy. It’s really helpful.


chicken larb on slaw

More freezer meals!

I added two more meals to my freezer arsenal. I didn’t come up with either of these recipes but they are both worth checking out and making! I, for one, will be making both of these again.

No Bean Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili from Skinny Taste

20 ounce 93% lean ground turkey
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
10 ounce can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chilies
8 ounce can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin, or to taste
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

  1. In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces and season with salt and cumin.
  2. When meat is browned and cooked through add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potato, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and bay leaf.
  3. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup more water if needed. Remove bay leaf and serve.

See the original recipe here at Skinny Taste!


Crockpot Jambalaya by Food Renegade

5 c. chicken broth- make sure it is compliant
4 peppers – any color you want- I used one of each green, red, yellow and orange- seeded and chopped into chunks
1 large onion, diced
1 large can of organic diced tomatoes with the juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leafs
1 pound large shrimp, raw and de-veined
4 oz. chicken, diced into bite sized chunks
1 package spicy Andouille sausage, cut into rings- make sure it is compliant! I used Wellshire Farm’s
1/2-1 head of cauliflower
1 full bag frozen okra- I made this change from the original recipe
3 Tablespoon Cajun Seasoning*see below
1/4 c. Frank’s Red Hot or compliant hot sauce of your choice

Kitchen equipment
6 quart oval crockpot- or at least this is what I have

  1. Put the chopped peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, chicken, cajun seasoning, Red Hot, and bay leafs in the crockpot with the chicken stock. Set on low for 6 hours.
  2. About 30 minutes before it’s finished, toss in the cut up sausages and bag of frozen okra.
  3. While this is cooking quickly make cauliflower rice by pulsing raw cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice.
  4. For the last 20 minutes, add in the cauliflower rice and the raw shrimp.


*How to Make Your Own Cajun Seasoning (from Emeril!):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

See the original recipe here at Food Renegade!

Questions about my methods for freezer storage or want to check out some other freezer meals I’ve stored? Check my previous post Five Whole 30 Approved Freezer Meals.


more freezer meals

Making Homemade Mayo and Ghee

When I am on Whole 30 preparing just a couple of homemade items goes a long way. There are plenty of great homemade sauces out there and I have made quite a few but mayonnaise and ghee are the two most important for me. Both are simple to make. Plus, making your own helps to ensure that you know it is 100% Whole 30 compliant. There are plenty of resources out there to tell you how to make them and you can find several other recipes by doing a Google search.

It’s very easy to make your own mayonnaise- especially if you have a stick blender like I do. Seriously, it only takes a couple of minutes. It is a great base for dressings, sauces, and salads (egg salad, tuna salad, and chicken salad).

I use my stick blender to make sauces, soups, gravy and mashed side dishes like cauliflower or sweet potatoes. I highly suggest getting one. It’s smaller and more versatile than using my blender to do these whipping tasks. There are tons stick blenders available on Amazon. When we got married we got a great set that included the stick blender, 4 different blades, an immersion cup, a whisk, and chopper with a lid. It’s this Miallegro. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be for sale on Amazon right now. To be honest you could go slightly less expensive by forgoing the extra attachments. I rarely use the whisk and chopper attachments.  I do use the actual stick blender and immersion cup quite often though.



Easy Stick Blender Mayonnaise

Ingredient list:
1 egg yolk from large egg
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard- make sure it is compliant!
1 cup extra light olive oil
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

Kitchen supplies needed:
Stick blender with immersion blender cup
Measuring spoons
1 cup, spouted measuring cup- I like Pyrex

  1. Place egg yolk, water, lemon juice, mustard, and salt at the bottom of the cup.
  2. Pour the oil on top of other ingredients in the cup.
  3. Let all the ingredients settle for 45 seconds.
  4. Place head of the stick blender all the way at the bottom of the cup. Switch the blender on and slowly lift the head of blender and tilt as necessary until all the oil has been emulsified.
  5. Store finished mayonnaise in a jar in the refrigerator for about a week.


There are a lot of recipes that call for a room temperature egg. I’ve honestly never done this. I have found that the most important step to getting good mayo using this recipe is to let the ingredients settle before blending them. If you don’t have a stick blender there are recipes online that give you instructions how to whisk by hand. Of course there are many different ways of making mayo- some use the egg white too, some use different oil. I suggest experimenting a little to find one you like most. If you haven’t done so, check the Whole 30 website for mayo and dressing recipes.


One creamy dressing I enjoy making from this mayo which is a zesty ranch. Again, there are tons of ways to make ranch dressing and you can find several other recipes by searching online. I started by getting inspiration for ranch dressing on the Whole 30 website. But I experimented a bit by adding a few other things and put my own flair on it. There is no wrong way to make ranch dressing. Here is how I make mine.

ranch dressing

Zesty Ranch Dressing

Ingredient list:
½ cup mayonnaise- recipe above
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon of each fresh dill, fresh chives, fresh parsley and minced shallot – all finely minced

Mix all ingredients together. I use a few pulses with my stick blender to combine. Store in a clean, dry container and store in the refrigerator.




Ghee adds flavor and fat to foods and is a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).  Clarifying butter removes the lactose and casein from the butter. It also a great, high temperature cooking oil. You can buy already prepared ghee, but I like making my own.

Ingredient list:
1 pound unsalted, grass-fed butter (I like Kerrygold)
Kitchen supplies needed:
Medium sauce pan
Fine mesh strainer
Paper towel or cheese cloth

  1. Cut up butter into smaller pieces and place in a medium sauce pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Bring butter to a boil and the reduce heat to medium- the butter will foam and bubble.
  3. Simmer for approximately 8 minutes. The butter will look golden and there won’t be much more foaming and bubbling. Also, there will be browned milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour the butter through a fine mesh strainer lined with a paper towel or cheese cloth and into a heatproof container.
  5. Store the ghee in a clean, airtight container. It does not need to be refrigerated. The ghee will keep in the airtight container for up to a month.

Here are a few pictures of the process:



Try to control yourself and not turn the heat up higher than medium-high. Making ghee doesn’t take that long and burned ghee sucks. Also, I have accidentally put my jar of ghee in the refrigerator after I’ve made it. This is fine, but I suggest that once you’ve put in in there continue to store in in the fridge.


Whole 30/Paleo Moussaka

Paleo/ Whole 30 Moussaka

Moussaka is quite a dish! It’s a delicious layered casserole that contains layers of eggplant, a hearty meat sauce, and a cheesy white sauce topping the whole thing off. I’ve made a vegan recipe in the past from the Veganomicon cookbook. Unfortunately, there were plenty of non-compliant ingredients including tofu and bread crumbs. Of course I had to adjust the recipe to fit Whole 30 guidelines. So, I took parts of the beloved Veganomicon recipe and combined it with this traditional Moussaka recipe I found at This recipe is definitely a labor of love but in my opinion it’s worth the effort. I wanted to start Whole 30 with a hearty dish made with love so this was the first recipe I made for day 1 of my Whole 100.

Whole 30 Moussaka

2-3 pounds of eggplant (two large or 3 medium eggplants)
Kosher salt
Olive oil for drizzling

Meat sauce:
1.5 pounds of ground meat- I used lamb but any combination of ground beef, ground pork or ground turkey will work
1- 28ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 shallots peeled and sliced thinly
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground all-spice
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Whole 30 Béchamel:
1 package of frozen cauliflower
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup pine nuts plus a few more for sprinkling.
1 clove garlic
Pinch of nutmeg
6 Tablespoon coconut milk
1 large egg

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large colander
Paper towels
9″ x 13″ Glass casserole dish- I have this Pyrex
Baking sheet
Parchment paper
1 large skillet
1 medium saucepan
Cheese cloth
Food processor or blender- I have this Kitchen Aid food processor and love it.
Rubber spatula

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and trim off the stem end of the eggplants. Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch round slices. Rub the slices in some salt and place in the colander in the sink or on top of large bowl to drain. Allow the eggplant to drain for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes rinse the eggplant with cold water and pat the slices dry with a paper towel or two.
  1. While the eggplants are draining, make the meat sauce. Heat the skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Start by sautéing the shallots for 1-2 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional. Add the ground meat and cook until browned until the center is no longer pink. Drain the grease from the pan. Add in the crushed tomatoes. Cinnamon, oregano, allspice, bay leaf, and vinegar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the eggplant rounds on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the olive oil into each slice to make sure they are coated evenly. It’s okay if the slices overlap a bit. You may have to roast the eggplant in 2-3 batches. Place sheet into the preheated oven and roast the eggplant for 15 minutes.
  1. While the eggplants are roasting prepare the Béchamel. Start by boiling some salted water on the stove over high heat. Once boiling add in the frozen cauliflower and simmer 5-7 minutes. Drain the cauliflower well and cool. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze as much access water out of the cauliflower as you are able to. In the meantime, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice in the food processor scraping down the sides every minute or so until a creamy paste forms. Add in the cauliflower, garlic clove, salt, nutmeg, and coconut milk to the food processor until sauce is smooth and even. Add in the egg and blend quickly until the sauce comes together.
  1. Brush the 9” x 13” baking dish with a little olive oil. Layer the eggplant on the bottom of the dish, trying to get a nice flat, even base layer. Top the eggplant with the meat sauce then top the meat sauce layer with the Béchamel sauce. Spread the Béchamel evenly over the top while trying not to disturb the meat sauce. Sprinkle the top of the Moussaka with a few pine nuts.
  1. Place the casserole in the 400 degree F oven and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until the top is slightly browned. Let the Moussaka cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing it.

 Paleo /Whole 30 Moussaka

I know that pine nuts are one of the “limit” types of nuts/seeds according to Whole 30, but since they aren’t forbidden I used them in the Béchamel sauce. I love the taste of the pine nuts. There might be another type of nut which you can substitute- maybe macadamia nuts- but you will have to experiment with that on your own. If you have any other suggestions for other nuts to substitute comment below. I’d love to hear what you come up with.

* Make it vegetarian: Omit the step where you add the meat from the red sauce but add all other ingredients as listed. If you want the Moussaka to be a bit more hearty you can additionally roast some thinly sliced russet potatoes like in the Veganomicon recipe.

Slice the potato, lengthwise, into approximately 1/4 inch thick slices. Toss to coat the potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, making sure each piece is completely coated with oil. Spread vegetables out with minimal overlapping. Roast the potatoes for about 22 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool. Then layer them on the bottom of the casserole dish and layer the eggplant and sauces as listed in the directions above in step 5.

A few quick and easy side dishes

I’ve outlined just a few of my favorite side dishes that I use often. Some, but not all of them, follow a general trend- cut veggies up, toss with oil and seasonings then roast them in the oven. I usually make my sides in large batches and have them in the fridge ready to reheat and eat next to my protein.


oven roasted broccoli

Oven roasted broccoli

1 pound broccoli florets
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Kitchen supplies needed:
Baking sheet

  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and chop broccoli into desired sized florets.
  3. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl then spread evenly over baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The florets will be tender and will be slightly browned.



Oven Roasted Brussels sprouts

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 Tablespoon melted ghee
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed
Baking sheet

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and trim hard end of each sprout and remove tough outer leaves then slice each sprout in half.
  3. Toss sprouts with ghee and season with salt and pepper then spread evenly over the baking sheet.
  4. Roast in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until tender.



Roasted carrots

Roasted carrots

2 pounds carrots
1 Tablespoon melted ghee
Salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed
Baking sheet

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash carrots, cut off ends and slice them into approximately 1 inch lengths. If the carrots are very large you can cut each length in half.
  3. Toss carrots with ghee, salt, and pepper.
  4. Roast in preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.



Cauliflower Rice

2 Tablespoons ghee
1 head of cauliflower
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion cut into a small dice (optional)

Kitchen equipment needed:
Food processor or box grater
Large skillet with lid

  1. Remove outer leaves from cauliflower then rinse and cut into florets.
  2. Use a food processor or box grater to process florets into “rice sized” pieces.
  3. Heat ghee in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. If using onion, sauté onion for approximately 3 minutes, if not using onion go directly to step 4.
  5. Add cauliflower and mix well with ghee.
  6. Turn heat down to medium heat, cover with lid and sauté for about 5 minutes or until cauliflower is tender but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper.

Tom Kai Gai- Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

Tom Kai Gai- Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

For me, giving up soy has been the most difficult food to give up during Whole 30. I am half Vietnamese, so I am used to eating foods with a fair amount of soy. I was surprised that rice was not more difficult to give up, but so far that hasn’t been a problem. I enjoy all types of Asian food but it is difficult to find Whole 30 compliant dishes that aren’t full of soy and sugar. I’m on a mission to make some delicious, compliant Asian dishes. I started with Tom Kha Gai- a delicious sour, spicy, coconut-filled soup with chicken and veggies. It is delicious and I think you are really going to love this recipe.

Whole 30 Compliant Tom Kha Gai
2 stalks of lemongrass outer leaves removed, smashed, and cut into ¼ inch pieces
10 kaffir lime leaves
1” piece of ginger peeled and cut into 4 chunks
2 Thai chilies- each cut in half
6 cups compliant chicken broth
1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
1 pound of shiitake mushrooms stemmed and caps cut into bite sized pieces
1-13.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk
2-3 Tablespoons of compliant fish sauce – Red Boat is a great brand

2-3 cups bean sprouts
A handful of Thai Basil Leaves cut into smaller pieces
2-3 Thai chilies cut into slices- optional if you like it spicy
2 scallions cut into small pieces
1 large tomato cut into bite sized chunks
1 lime cut into wedges

Kitchen equipment needed:
4 quart sauce pot or soup pot
Fine mesh strainer
Large bowl

  1. Start by preparing the lemongrass and ginger as described above in ingredients list.
  2. Place chicken broth, lemongrass, ginger, the two sliced Thai chilies, and the Kaffir lime leaves in sauce pot and bring to a simmer on medium heat. Once simmering, let the flavors combine for approximately 20 minutes.
  3. While the broth is simmering, cut the mushrooms and chicken into pieces. Also, wash the bean sprouts, chilies, scallions and prepare the garnishes as listed above.
  4. After the simmering period of 20 minutes strain the contents of the pot into a large bowl with the use of the fine mesh strainer to catch the lemongrass, chilies, and lime leaves. Discard the contents of the strainer and return the broth to the pot. Once again bring the broth to a simmer over medium heat.
  5. Add in the chicken and mushrooms and simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (meat thermometer should read 165 degrees F) and the mushrooms are tender.
  6. Add in the can of coconut milk and stir well.
  7. Mix in 2 Tablespoons fish sauce and taste the broth. I added an additional Tablespoon of fish sauce because I felt it needed more. I like a good amount of fish sauce.
  8. Dish the soup into bowls and garnish with a handful of bean sprouts, Thai basil, scallions, a few pieces of Thai chili, lime wedges and a few chunks of tomato.

I absolutely loved this soup and I hope you enjoy it as well. I’ve eaten Tom Kha Gai at Thai restaurants and I felt that this recipe comes very close to what I have had there. I hope to have more compliant Asian recipes coming soon. Have any suggestions of what I should try next? Comment below with your ideas.

Five Whole 30 Approved Freezer Meals

freezer meals                              soup

When we decided to do Whole 100 this year, we knew that being prepared before the start date was going to be important to our success. Being prepared is everything when completing Whole 30. Getting rid of forbidden items and stocking your refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets with approved items is key.

Two weeks before we began I made a few large batches of food that could be stored in the freezer. I wanted these meals to be quick to make, would freeze well, and would be delicious too. Of course you don’t need to store these in the freezer to enjoy them. Tons of foods freeze very well. Soups, stews and sauces do very well. Precooked meat and casseroles do well too. Some foods to avoid putting into your freezer are items like lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, eggs and potatoes. Freezing them will make them weird, rubbery and watery. I’ve not heard of anyone trying to freeze these items but if you’ve ever accidently pushed them into the back of your refrigerator and they have gotten frosted, you know exactly what I mean. I made all these meals during one long cooking meal preparing session. Of course you could make one or two of them per week, or make double of any of these to eat during the current week while still having enough for storing some in the freezer too.


vacuum sealer

We already had a vacuum sealer which worked well to store recipes that don’t have a lot of liquid in them. We purchased ours at a garage sale for $10 last year. We have two kinds of vacuum sealing bags; these FoodSaver bags and these VacMaster VacStrip Bags. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both bags say that they are safe to use in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave, and can be put in boiling water. This is nice because it gives a lot of options for reheating these frozen foods. I’ve used the “boil in the bag” method a few times so far and thought it worked well. If microwaving just make sure you vent the bag in some way to avoid an explosion.

The Food Saver bags say that they “Work with FoodSaver Heat-Seal vaccum sealing systems”. This leads me to believe that they would not work well with other vacuum sealing machines. They allow you to make any length bag you desire as they come on one large roll. They also come in a few different widths. We used the 8” bags. The VacMaster bags come in pre-measured sizes of various widths and dimensions.  They claim to work on “all vacuum packaging machines”.  So, apparently any vacuum sealing device, no matter the brand would work. Here are some pictures of each bag. The FoodSaver bags are on the left and the VacMaster is on the right.

foodsaverbag                           foodbag

I’m not sure if it is because our vacuum sealer is an older model but I thought the VacMaster bags sealed much better and removed more air than the FoodSaver bags. The extra strip down the middle is supposed to increase the suction, so I suppose that could be the reason. Perhaps a newer model vacuum sealer would work better than ours. It’s hard to say.

We also purchased some freezer friendly plastic containers from Target to store soups and stews. There are a slew of cheap plastic containers out there. I liked these ones because they are PBA-Free and are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. But honestly the price is very good as well. $3.99 for a 12-pack is very reasonable. Even though they are microwave safe, I try not to microwave in them. I find that even if a plastic container is listed as “microwave safe”, continuous microwave heating does damage the integrity of the plastic.

You don’t need to use my methods of storage either. I have heard of many people using Ziplock freezer bags, aluminum foil pans, or glass storage containers. It all depends on what kind of space or methods you think are best for you and your family.

So, here are five recipes that I made and stored using either the vacuum sealing bags or the plastic containers as I explained above.


Butternut squash soup 1

Roasted Butternut Squash soup
2 medium butternut squashes
1 medium apple of choice- I used a gala
2 Tablespoons ghee
4 cups of compliant chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup coconut milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed:
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Large sauce pan
Blender or stick blender
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Split the squashes in half and removed the seeds using a spoon. Place squashes cut side up on the baking sheet.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon ghee and brush tops and insides of the squash with it. Season with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
  5. While the squash is baking, peel and dice the apples and onion.
  6. Heat the remaining ghee in the large sauce pan and cook the onions and apples in the sauce pan for 7-8 minutes. Remove pan from the heat until the squash is finished cooking.
  7. Once squash has finished baking cool until you are able to handle it. Scoop the flesh from the skin of the squash and add it to the sauce pan with the apples and onions.
  8. Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium and simmer 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove pan from heat and add in the coconut milk. Puree the soup with a stick blender or transfer to a blender (do it in small batches to ensure that you won’t get scalded or make a mess) to make a smooth soup.
  10. If storing in the freezer separate the soup into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


sausage and peppers

Italian Sausage and peppers
1 package of Whole 30 compliant Italian Sausages
1 of each green pepper, red pepper & yellow pepper
1 large yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 jar of Whole 30 compliant marinara or sauce of choice
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large skillet
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Wash and dry the peppers. Remove seeds and slice the peppers into strips.
  2. Remove the skin of the onion and slice into strips.
  3. Mince the clove of garlic.
  4. Heat the oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add in the onions and peppers and sauté, turning often until vegetables are tender.
  5. Slice the sausages into rings and add to the pan with the peppers and onions.
  6. Once the vegetables and sausages are cooked well add in the jar of sauce and warm everything together.
  7. If storing in the freezer separate the sausage and peppers into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


Crockpot pork loin with sauerkraut, apples and onions
2 pound Pork tenderloin
1 medium granny smith apple
1 package of sauerkraut (32 oz.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds

Kitchen equipment needed:
6 quart oval crockpot- or at least this is what I have
Meat thermometer
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1.  Drain and rinse the sauerkraut. Mix the caraway seeds into the sauerkraut and put it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Slice the onion into strips and place on top of the sauerkraut.
  3. Slice the apple into thin wedges and place on top of the onions.
  4. Rinse the pork loin and pat dry. Place it on top of the other items in the slow cooker and season the meat with the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender and a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
  6. Once cooled, cut tenderloin into equal servings and separate the sauerkraut, apples and onions into equal portions and scoop into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


chicken leggs

Chicken legs in mushroom sauce
10 chicken legs
3 pounds mixed mushrooms of choice- portabellas, white mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, oysters, etc. cut into slices.
2 cups compliant chicken broth
2 Tablespoons ghee
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large, deep skillet with lid
Kitchen thermometer
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Rinse and pat the chicken legs dry then sprinkle the legs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the ghee in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add 5 chicken legs to skillet and cook until browned on each side- about 3-5 minutes. Remove the first 5 legs then do the same to the remainder of the chicken. Set chicken legs aside for now.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms in the skillet and mix them into the ghee. Cook the mushrooms until tender- about 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the skillet and add in the chicken broth. Cover the skillet reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and internal temperature reads 165 degrees F and the broth is reduced. Check the skillet about halfway through the cooking time- if it looks like the broth has reduced too much add a little more. At the end of the cooking time if there seems to be too much liquid, remove the chicken from the pan and continue to simmer the liquid until it is reduced to a gravy like consistency.
  5. Sprinkle the dish with parsley and mix it into the sauce.
  6. Once cooled, separate into desired portions and separate into storage containers. Label the containers with contents and date.



Whole 30 meat balls
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
½ medium onion diced
2 carrots finely chopped
3 cloves finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 leaves fresh basil chopped finely
½ cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
2 eggs

Kitchen equipment needed:
1 large mixing bowl
Small bowl for whisking eggs
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the large mixing bowl mix the beef, veggies and seasonings well.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add it to the meat mixture. Mix all the ingredients well.
  4. Roll the meat into 1” meatballs and place on the foil lined baking sheet leaving a little space between each. You may have to bake in batches if you have a lot.
  5. Place baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until browned.
  6. Once cooled, separate into desired portions and separate into storage containers. Label the containers with contents and date.


I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do. The meatballs are pretty versatile. I’ve reheated and had them just like they are. I’ve also added them to sauce and had them with “zoodles” and I have wrapped them in lettuce and eaten them as a “sandwich”.

One more thing, it’s questionable how long things last in the freezer. Before this, I have only done a few frozen meals.I’m sure that how long food lasts in the freezer is dependent on the method of storage used.  I thought this guide from Real Simple to be helpful. Dating and rotating meals in the freezer is probably going to be important in order to avoid freezer burned food in the future. I’ll try to update this as I gain more experience with freezer food storage.

If you have any questions about my methods or have any great tips to share please comment. I’d love to hear from you!