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Dirty Whole30

Just interested in the recipe for Slow Cooker Carnitas with Apple Slaw and Guacamole? Click here!

For most of March, I did the Whole30 Program (mine was more of a Whole28, although I did quit drinking a few days before it started).

Wait, what’d you do???

There’s a million books, blogs, articles, websites about what the Whole30 is, but it’s basically 30 days of no dairy, booze, grains, legumes, sugars, soy and other foods.

Why did you do this???

Well, a bunch of my badass friends had just done it and inspired me. I started the Whole30 because I needed a food reset. Years ago, I firmly lived in the food as fuel space. It was sad and depressing. I now live in the food as delicious fun space, which is satisfying, until my pants don’t fit. I thought this would help me find the balance between food as energy and indulgence.

And it did. I became so much more cognizant of what I was putting in my body. We all know that sugar is in everything; but it’s not until you’ve embarked on something like Whole30 that you realize SUGAR IS ACTUALLY IN EVERYTHING.

This program (and others like it) require a TON of time, planning and cooking. If you think you’ve cooked enough, cook more! Yes, you could do the Whole30 by eating roasted veggies and chicken every night. But I know I personally wouldn’t make it and would end up face-down in a pizza by day 7.  I cannot do anything where I’m bored or hungry, so that wasn’t an option for me. So, yes I ate well. Look at these perfect little compliant lamb chops Jay made me.  Continue Reading

Healthyish Recipes Sides Soup Thai Vegan Vegetarian

Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup

Snow storms do not make me excited. I am from the south.

Snow storms that interfere with a fun weekend meet-up in Richmond with my best friend, Brittany, make me especially unhappy.

Snow storms make Jay VERY excited. He is from Boston.

If you pray, pray to the God(dess) of your choice for us.

But as usual, we take lemons and make amazing vodka lemonades. So, let’s look at the bright side!

We are safe and cozy and warm. Jay is currently making amazing homemade meatballs (GIVE US THE RECIPE, JAY!) We kidnapped Emily and Deuce for a weekend-long slumber party. Cara needed a last minute place for Ziggy, so we have THREE dogs in the house, who love each other and are having a blast.

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Exhausted doggies. Queen Rosé in the middle on her throne amongst her men.

And most importantly, Relay Foods delivers groceries and I did not have to step foot in a grocery store. Thank GOD! (Want $30 bucks off??? Click here! Be lazy like me).

When Jay said he was going to make meatballs, it got me thinking about what my storm comfort food is. It’s cheese. Not cold cheese, but melty, oozey casserole cheesiness. So I’m definitely making artichoke goat cheese strata tomorrow. I also made Food Lab’s Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies to have on hand. You should do that. NOW. I’m also drinking rye whiskey with club soda and homemade ginger simple syrup – it’s delicious, but excuse the typos.

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Things snow is good for: keeping whiskey cold.

But let’s talk SOUPS.

I hate when people who cook say the following, but I’m going to say it – I just threw this soup together real quick. It actually is that easy. And because we give credit where credit is due, it is a riff off of How Sweet’s Thai Butternut Squash Soup. I changed a few things to make it my own, but regardless, you should go spend a lot of time on her site – she makes amazing things.

This soup can be vegan or vegetarian. You know fish sauce = umami, but if you’re being strict, you can omit.

What are your storm survival techniques?? What are your go-to comfort foods?? Did you lose power? Do you like snow storms (if you answer this, respond with where you are from – you know my psych brain makes everything research).

Be safe. Be warm. Be loved. And make this damn soup to be happy.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (I like mine on the sweeter side. Start low and add more later if you want.)
  • 4 cups uncooked peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups stock (chicken, veggie, beef, whatever your flavor!)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon of red miso (optional, but I used it tonight for the first time and it’s a game-changer – especially if you’re a vegan and not adding fish sauce)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon sambal or srirarcha (optional, but great for heat)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh cilantro for serving

Steps

  1. In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, add coconut oil over medium heat. When oil has melted, add onions, garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Sauté for about 7-9 minutes, things will start smelling REALLY DELICIOUS. Add brown sugar, and sauté for another 4 minutes. Get those onions translucent. Don’t burn your sugar, turn it down if need be.
  2. Add sweet potatoes (butternut squash works as well, per original recipe) and sauté for another 5 minutes. You want the carbs coated in that deliciousness.
  3. Pour in the stock and fish sauce. Cover and simmer on low to medium for about 15-20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Check occasionally. (If you have kaffir lime leaves, throw them in here – but this isn’t worth stressing about).
  4. When potatoes are soft enough (remove kaffir lime leaves if you used), using a normal blender or immersion blender, puree the entire mixture. Transfer back to pot on medium-low.
  5. Add coconut milk, juice of one lime, miso and sambal or sriracha (if using. You should.) Stir and let simmer for 5-10 minutes for flavor to develop.
  6. Add salt, pepper to taste, serve with cilantro and more sriracha, and a smidge more lime juice if you have – and live your best damn life possible.
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Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup!

Note: Emily added avocado in hers at the end, thus the avocado in the pic. Not my style, but a great add if you like! Also, she’s vegan, she needs the protein!

xoxo

Healthyish Recipes Salad Vegetarian

Kale Caesar Salad with Shrimp

If you’re here, you made it through the holidays! Congratulations! You honestly deserve a medal. Instead, I’m giving you some veggies.

Jay and I gave the east coast a run for its money these past couple of months. Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my mother and brother, Christmas in Boston with Jay’s father and a stop in New York to see his mother. It was wonderful to see everyone, but dammit I am tired.

I hate to be a cliché, but my body is desperately in need of some vegetables. It’s been through the ringer these past two (okay, really 8??) months. So over the next few weeks I’ll be posting my heathy-ish recipes.

When I’m trying to be “good,” I have found that it’s much easier for me to be healthier when I’m not sacrificing flavor. Please don’t make me eat plain, poached chicken. Fresh ingredients, lots of herbs, good quality produce and a great cut of meat always help make that easier.

Everyone has different definitions of healthy. These dishes may not be considered “clean” but it’s probably way better for you than what you’ve been eating for the past two months (sorry, I’m projecting). I personally do really well when I decrease the amount of simple carbs I eat (EVERY BODY IS DIFFERENT. I am not telling you what’s best for you). So I try to aim for lots of veggies and proteins.

Enter, Kale Caesar Salad with Shrimp! The dressing and crouton recipes come from Bon Appetit’s Classic Caesar Salad recipe. I started using kale instead of romaine because it has a bit more nutritional value and I love the way it holds up.

Okay, let’s talk anchovies in the dressing – even if you don’t love the idea of them, don’t completely cut them out. I modify the amount in ours because Jay doesn’t love the fishiness, but you will miss that much-needed umami if you get rid of them completely. And yes, this dressing is worth the work. As are the croutons, which I know sounds really unnecessary. Just try them once (a loaf of bread, olive oil and 10 minutes – SO WORTH IT) and you’ll be shelving the boxed ones in no time.

Shrimp is optional. I usually do a quick lemon, olive oil marinade, let sit for 15-30 minutes, sauté and cool them down. Throw on a little parm and you’ve got an awesome, fresh, totally homemade Caesar salad! Aren’t you so amazing???

Ingredients

Salad Parts

  • 1 Bunch of Kale
  • ½ lb of thawed shrimp
  • Juice of one Lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Homemade Croutons
  • Homemade Dressing
  • Extra Parmesan Cheese

Homemade Croutons

  • 3 cups of 1 inch torn pieces of a bread loaf (I like a good whole wheat loaf.)
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Homemade Caesar Dressing

  • 3-4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained (I sometimes cheat and use anchovy paste. If going in this direction, use ½ tsp per fillet you plan to use. Original recipe calls for 6 fillets so if you want more GO FOR IT!)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 375.
  2. Mix the juice of one lemon, ¼ c olive oil and herbs. Toss your shrimp in the marinade and place in refrigerator until ready to cook.
  3. Toss the bread with the 3 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-13 minutes. These can easily burn, so peek at them around 10 minutes to see what’s going on.
  4. Time for the dressing! Chop the anchovies, garlic and pinch of salt together. Smash into a paste. Scrape this into a medium sized bowl.
  5. Whisk in your egg yolks, 2 tbsp of lemon juice and the mustard.
  6. Drop by drop add in the olive oil while whisking, eventually streaming it. Then do the same with the vegetable oil. You want to add both of these slowly as you want the dressing to properly emulsify, rather than become a broken mess. Keep whisking until dressing is thick and shiny.
  7. Give your forearms a rest. Then whisk in parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and more lemon juice to your personal taste.
  8. Turn a pan on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and add your shrimp to the pan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until shrimp are pink and cooked through.
  9. Remove your kale greens from the stem and chop as you desire (I like a fine chop on my kale, some prefer big leaves). Toss greens, shrimp, your amazing croutons and dressing together. Top off with some ground pepper and a little more parmesan cheese and VOILA! HOMEMADE DAMN CAESAR SALAD!!!