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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Whole30 Wednesday: I Want Some Bread

Guys I totally want some bread.  I mean, I will be MORE than happy with Ezekiel bread or homemade sourdough... I'm not even craving the white stuff.  I just. want. bread.

But I digress... the point of this post is to show and tell some of what I've been making for us on this little diet/cleanse/thingy.  So Wordless Wednesday can wait, these next couple weeks will be all about Whole30!!  We are just under halfway through our 30 days.  And don't tell the Hartwigs that we cheated during our vacay.  Besides that, we're both sticking pretty strongly to it.

The biggest challenge I'm finding eating mostly meat/veg is that it's kind of boring to me.  Not necessarily taste-wise, but more textures.  I miss the variety that comes with the two food groups I'm currently ignoring (grains and dairy) Also, this way of eating is SUPER labor-intensive.  I mean, you guys know me, I'm all about how good food takes time to prepare.  But this kind of food (or making it interesting and yummy) takes not only prep-time (can you say chop those veggies? times a million?) but also planning time... menu planning and planning-way-ahead planning.

I have to be on guard for when I'll be out and about... what will I have on hand to take with me?  Hard-boiled eggs and larabars are my friend.  The coconut cream pie version is my favorite.  I saw one website describe them as "paleo-candy"...  definitely nice when I'm craving something sweet.  And available at my Commissary - yay!

Oh and I am also having a hard time making the girls eat this way, so I definitely caved after the first few days and got them some yogurt and bread to help me have something easy to throw at them while I was furiously chopping veggies!

Okay so for dinners, I've been all about roasting chickens.  Then I get the leftover meat for things like avocado chicken salad.  And I can boil the carcasses for stock to use later, PLUS I get more chicken after I pick those over.  Win win win. The chicken salad gets 4 Aiduk stars.  But you should use a homemade mayo (or skip the mayo) in order to make it truly Whole30-approved.  (You could try coconut milk?  Or just make the mayo, it's super easy.)

For the first couple days of the diet, I was really hungry.  Can any other Whole30-ers relate?  I just made my portions a little bigger at each meal and I seem to have balanced out now.

I made my first ever roasted ratatouille and it was DELICIOUS!  Jesse picked on me a little that it didn't look like how Remy made it in the movie.  Thank you Pixar nerd.  Anyways I used America's Test Kitchen's recipe and it will definitely be a repeat.  Speaking of repeats, the leftovers re-purposed well.   I put two poached eggs on top for a savory breakfast and I added the last bits to some chicken stock and wa-la!  "Instant" soup for lunch!

I also made my first ever frittata for dinner one night.  [Side note: this diet is definitely getting me into a more experimental and adventurous mindset, and I LOVE that!]  It was beef, bacon, asparagus, spinach and red bell peppers. Seasoned a tad spicy, with this yummy avocado dressing on top.  Next week I'll post the recipes I am using for the mayo and avocado dressing.  Anyways the frittata was great because the leftovers were delicious and portable (for J to take to work.)

I tried some things that were not as popular... like Indian beef and broccoli (ground beef, broc, carrots, coconut milk, and curry powder) which wasn't that popular because J isn't a fan of how the coconut kinda makes it sweet.  But I like it... a little sweet and savory at the same time.  Interesting.  Plus the milk makes it kinda saucy.  

The cabbage soup was a last-minute-freak-out concoction of stuff I had either in the fridge or freezer the night after we got back from the Netherlands.  Onions, garlic, cabbage, beef and bacon... seasoned with cumin, lemon, and parsley.  Not bad if I do say so myself.  But in this house, cabbage is kinda iffy in the popularity department.

Homemade meatballs with homemade marinara to dip.  I can't give you the recipe because I totally made it up and it wasn't that great ;o)  But the concept was to shredded eggplant and carrots in place of the usual bread crumbs.  It was okay.

Baked tilapia (with butter and lemon) over a bed of some random veggie saute.  If I can remember right, it was tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, and probably onion and garlic.  Pretty good. 

Steak.  A real winner :o)  With sauteed sweet potatoes and granny smith apples (they taste GREAT together!) and this new fennel salad I've been into.  But I probably won't share the recipe with you because I'm the only one who likes it... it's got mint and lemon and almonds and fennel.  The fennel part is what I like because I'd never tried it before and was pleasantly surprised that the girl who hates licorice kinda likes the subtle hint of anise.  Interesting.

Sometimes there aren't any leftovers for lunch and I don't know what to eat... having a big tub of already chopped up veggies in my fridge has been a life saver.  If I'm not too hungry, I'll just eat a plate of veggies with a personal portion of guac as a dip.  (And in this photo on this particular day it was also tuna salad leftovers.)

A fast, simple, personal-sized guacamole recipe: mash up one avocado and mix with some lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Taste and check seasonings.  Wa-la.  Go enjoy your fast guacamole.

Oh and then there was the moment where I went a little off-diet and bought a bag of potatoes.  I can't remember exactly why potatoes aren't Whole30-approved... but I wanted some.  And they're a veggie.  And I wasn't turning them into french fries ;o)

So we had sausages from Globus with skillet potatoes and homemade sauerkraut.  Insert random kid-story:  you know you're an American when it seriously does NOT matter what variation of the many brats/sausages/etc are available at the vast meat counter in a German store... your kids will still call them HOT DOGS.  And eat them happily.  So I guess they can call em whatever they want!

And then I wanted to try my first ever Shepherd's Pie recipe and it was DELICIOUS!  (It will be more delicious next time I make it when I don't have to use coconut milk and I can add a splash of W-sauce if I so desire)

Um so that concludes our first week-ish on the Whole30 diet.  It's been... interesting.  Some days I hardly think of it at all... but then there are times where Jesse and I are literally craving everything "forbidden" we can think of.  And it's in those moments that I'm thankful I cleared out our cupboards and freezer of any and every temptation ;o)

Three cheers for diets.  Just kidding, I hate diets.  But as far as diets go, this one isn't so bad.


  1. Ohmigod the work you've put into this!!!! You deserve some serious props for this J. SO creative... not to mention beautiful photography! Keep it up! Halfway there isn't bad. Oh and thanks for making my mouth water at 11:00. I have no food in this house (we're house sitting) and now my tummy is rumbling for some Aiduk cookin'. Clever girl. (:

    1. Haha I told you it took me two hours to do that first grocery list!

  2. oh the hours of work behind all those pics.....!
    the frittata and beef curry look delish
    j's a blessed guy that you put all that effort into the fuel for the fam-
    just ignore him if he *complains* :)

    1. You know him all too well ;o) But he's been pretty good about it. He hasn't cheated much and he's only complained a little.

    2. It helps when I remind him that there's an end.

  3. So now I want to go play in the kitchen and experiment!! I'm definitely a huge chicken when it comes to that. Your pictures look amazing!!!!!!

    1. Do it! I feel like once I get in a rut it's like everything else... I just have to jump in and start trying new things and then the energy from that fuels more experimenting!

  4. Raw seeds and nuts are good sometimes when you just need something to chew or munch on. Almonds,walnuts,macadamia,sunflower seeds.
    Also Portabella mushrooms are good. I use them as a crust to hold pizza type ingredients.
    I've also stuffed them with Shrimp ,crab, lobster, and sausage.
    "still miss the cheese"

    1. Oh yum on the stuffed porto idea. I'll have to add that to next week's menu! We've definitely been munching on cashews, etc. but the truly Whole30 method discourages snacking... they want you to re-program yourself to eat mindfully and really satiate yourself at each meal. I used to think it was J who had the snacking problem but now I catch myself "wanting" food at night.. and I realize it's for no good reason!

  5. Your food looks so good! I definitely will be coming back when I need to cook again for myself.