If you follow my blog, you know that I have to eat gluten-free and my husband Dale tries to eat close to Paleo when he can. When he adds a seemingly Paleo item to his plate that contains a non-approved ingredient (such as cheese), we call it Daleo. Well, for this month we are pushing the Daleo meals off to the side. Dale is an avid CrossFitter and along with his local CrossFit box, he is choosing to eat only whole foods this month. We are shopping at Whole Foods more frequently these days, but that’s not what this is about. They are participating in a Whole30 food challenge. For thirty days, starting June 1, participants are eating real food with no sugar, no chemicals, no alcohol and no processed foods. For us, leaving alcohol behind is easy. We’re not drinkers, but Dale will enjoy a glass or Port about once a year. This certainly won’t be the month he has a sip! If he has one slip-up and eats something not approved, like his Altoid Smalls, he has to start all over again. Once the challenge is up, he will reintroduce certain foods back into his diet to see how they make him feel.
With only a few hours notice to plan and prepare for a new way of looking at food, I wasn’t interested in jumping into this with both feet. I am a planner and I would want to use up special perishables before committing to this. So, I am supporting my husband and participating, but I’ll still enjoy a Henry Weinhard’s root beer or I’ll have cheese on something.
Tonight we are grilling some chicken and I am writing this blog post as our chicken marinates. The veggies are prepped and ready to be cooked once the chicken goes on the grill. We have a FoodSaver and a Foodsaver Quick Marinator, so we were able to throw the marinade and marinate the chicken after work and it didn’t take very long. If you don’t have this equipment, just plan ahead and marinate the meat for at least 4 hours before you grill. My marinade recipe is adapted from one I found on this blog post by another recipe blogger. Today, you’ll get three recipes in one blog post!
Whole30 Grilled Lemon-Garlic Chicken
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup coconut aminos
1 T. yellow mustard
1.5 organic lemons, juiced (save the half of the second lemon for something else)
3 large garlic cloves or 6 small ones, minced
large pinch of kosher salt
3 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill
2 pounds chicken parts, trimmed & washed
Put all of the marinade ingredients in a pint size Mason jar. Screw on a lid and shake vigorously to combine. Add more salt and pepper, if you’d like.
If using a quick marinator, place some of the marinade in the bottom of the dish, then add the met on top and pour the rest of the sauce over the chicken. If you’d like, reserve some for basting on the grill. Follow the instructions for marinating. It took us about a half hour to marinate our chicken. If you’re using a regular zipper-top freezer bag, place the meat in the bag and add the marinade, reserving some for basting if desired. Seal the bag, shake and massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, turning the bag over a few times, if possible.
Grill, let it rest, pray, serve and eat!
Here’s what we had on the side. This carrot recipe was adapted from the same blog post referenced above. It was simple, very tasted and we loved it, which is odd because we don’t like cooked carrots! I just had a feeling it would be good, so I’m glad we tried it and enjoyed it.
Buttered Carrot Coins
1 cup of thickly-cut carrot coins
1 tsp. ghee (or coconut oil, but it won’t have the butter flavor)
salt & pepper, to taste (I used Redmond Real Salt)
a few chopped, fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Melt the ghee or oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet.
Add the carrot coins and stir to coat them in the luscious clarified butter. Spread them out across the pan and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
Saute for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t let them stay in once place for too long or they may burn! If they aren’t caramelized by 15 minutes, crank up the heat a little until they reach the right color.
I LOVE zucchini, and before trying this recipe tonight, my husband would say he doesn’t like it. After tasting this recipe, he said that he loves zucchini and that this recipe was so delicious! I’m SO happy I ordered the Paderno Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer after a friend told me about. It churns and turns vegetables into long pasta-like “noodles” that are 100% vegetable but can taste like 100% raman noodles. Trust me. Those strange mushroom things in the bowl are the remnants of the zucchini. I eat ’em.
This is a recipe adapted from the talented author of my Well Fed cookbooks. You can see Melissa Joulwan’s original recipe here.
2 medium zucchini, washed and ends trimmed
heaping 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
heaping 1 T. almond flour or almond meal
1/2 tsp. coconut oil, melted
1 T. olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil
2 cloves freshly minced garlic
3 eggs, whisked in a separate bowl and seasoned with salt & pepper
1/2 tsp. ghee
kosher or Redmond Real Salt and black pepper, to taste
a few chopped, fresh parsley leaves for garnish
Create zucchini noodles with a Spiral Vegetable Slicer or julienne peeler. I call them zoodles because I like to mash up words and create new ones. However, I don’t think I created the name “zoodles,” for the record.
Grab a colander or wire strainer and place it in a bowl or rimmed plate, for collecting liquid. Put the zoodles in the colander and sprinkle with the salt. Massage and toss the zoodles with your hand and leave them in “time-out” to rest for 20 minutes, undisturbed. This process will pull out a lot of the liquid from the zoodles, making them more raman-like when you heat them.
Preheat a large skillet to medium-high heat. We have a smooth-top stove that gets VERY hot, so I cook this on level 6.
In a small bowl, add the melted coconut oil with the almond flour or almond meal and a dash of salt. Stir to combine and make wet crumbs, then scrape into the hot skillet. Stir quickly until the mixture looks like a deep caramel brown color – nice and toasty. You’re making faux breadcrumbs, so break them up so you have a nice topping. This should only take about a minute. Once cooked, remove the crumbs from the skillet and reserve for later. I used my favorite bamboo spoon for this process.
Rinse, drain and wring out the zoodles in a dish towel or heavy-duty paper towels. Get as much excess liquid out as possible, then place the zoodles in the hot skillet, still at medium-high heat.
Stir and saute the zucchini for 2 minutes until they’re tender. If you like them a little browned, stir them for another minute or so, being careful not to burn them. Then, pull them to one side as you turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the pan cool down a little, before you move to the next step.
Add in your olive / avocado / coconut oil to the empty side of the skillet and then drop your minced garlic into the oil. After half a minute, grab the bowl with the whisked eggs pour them onto the garlic side of the pan. Just before the egg sets, stir in the zoodles. You may want to remove them from the heat and continue stirring, if you don’t want to have scrambled eggs & zucchini like we had. Season with salt and pepper and a little bit of ghee for added lusciousness.
Serve with the almond crumbs and fresh parsley.
Here was my plate with all three recipes on it. Dale had the other half of the carrots and zucchini.
We hope you’ll enjoy these recipes and if you’re doing a Whole30 food challenge, we wish you success!