Meatballs 2 Ways (Whole 30)

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Apparently, meatballs are a thing.  This week I have made 3 different kinds and two other bloggers that I follow have also made meatball dinners. Although we all made meatballs, we all varied cooking methods, type and flavor.  What’s For Dinner Moms made slowcooker sweet and sour Meatballs.  Kitchen Portfolio made taco meatballs with black bean spaghetti.  I made wonton meatballs, from Nom Nom Paleo, turkey and cranberry meatballs and Thai green curry meat balls from the cookbook, Well Fed 2, baked in the oven.

I can’t speak for the other blogs yet but the three meatball recipes I made were beyond fantastic.  I like to eat them on a salad or just cold out of the fridge for a snack.  You could serve them with pasta with a sauce or in a soup of some kind.  The only changes I made were to the Well Fed 2 recipes.  I made the meatballs out of 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture instead of one tablespoon. I felt the meatballs were too small otherwise.

Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs

2 TBS warm water

½ tsp cream of tartar

¼ tsp baking soda

1 lb ground turkey

1 TBS orange juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup cranberries, coarsely chopped

1 ½ tsp rubbed sage

1 ½ tsp orange zest

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine warm water, cream of tartar and baking soda, mix well. In another bowl, combine the turkey, orange juice, garlic, cranberries, sage, orange zest, salt and pepper. Add the water mixture to the meat mixture. Using your hands mix well. Using 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture shape into 12 balls. Place the balls on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cook 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Thai Green Curry Meatballs

2TBS warm water

1/2  tsp cream of tartar

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 lb ground beef

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

2 ts[ fish sauce

2 TBS green curry paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

10 – 12 basil leaves, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, cream of tartar and baking soda. Miix well. In another medium bowl, combine the ground beef, coconut milk, fish sauce, green curry paste, garlic, basil, salt, ginger, and pepper.  Add the water mixture to the meat mixture.  Using your hands, Mix well.  Using 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture shape into 12 balls. Place the balls on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Cook 20 – 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

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20 Minute Beef Zucchini Skillet (Whole 30)

I think I have a problem.  My spice cabinet runneth over.  I have 27 jars of spices and that is not including salt and pepper and after a major spice clean out. Is 27 jars of spices extreme? Not if you actually use them.  You know, if you have been around A Solitary Feast for awhile, I absolutely love makeing spice rubs and spice blends for my food.  No matter how basic your ingredients are you make them amazing simply by adding spices, a spice blend or spice rub.  I used alot of spice blends and rubs on my Whole30 because they kept me from being bored with my food when I only felt like spending the minimum amount of time in the kitchen.

I made an adobo seasoning blend to make this stir fry from one of my new favorite blogs, Welless Mama.  It is a quick and easy Whole30 compliant recipe.  Oh, yeah, it tastes really good too, even if you aren’t doing a Whole30.

20 Minute Beef Zucchini Skillet

Adapted from Wellness Mama.com

1/2 lb ground beef

1 onion, thinly sliced

1-2 medium` zucchini, julienned

1 1/2 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp adobo seasoning

1/2 tsp dried basil

Heat skiller over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, onions,  and zucchini.  Cook until they are just starting to soften.  Remove from the pan and place in a baking dish.  Put under the broiler and cook, 7-10 minutes, or until the desired crispness is achieved.  Meanwhile,  brown the meat and spices until the beef is no longer pink.  Add the zucchini/onion mixture back to the skillet, combine well.  Serve.

 

Oven Baked Bacon (Whole 30)

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I am not the biggest bacon fan in the world.  I’ll eat it if it is on the table but I’ll always chose sausage links or patties when I make breakfast myself.  So I was at a loss with what do with some leftover bacon I had from a pork chop recipe I tried.  I remembered seeing a recipe for bacon baked in the oven in Christina Lanes’ Comfort and Joy cookbook and decided to try it for breakfast with my eggs.

OMG!!  It was the best bacon I have ever had.  It was crisp and well done.  It would have been even crisper if I would have put it on a rack.  It took about 12 minutes and I just cooked the eggs with the bacon for a very quick breakfast.   Oh, another great thing about bacon made in the oven, it doesn’t splatter and you don’t have to flip.

Oven Baked Bacon

the amount of bacon you want to cook

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Arrange the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Don’t overlap it or it will stick together and you won’t ever get it apart. Bake it for about 12 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.

Adobo Seasoning (Whole 30)

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Sorry for the unscheduled break but you know….life and all that.  Last week I was pulled from my position to go to the Bakery and cake decorate for the week.  It’s graduation season and we are getting hit pretty hard.  Fortunately, I work with 2 awesome women and we kicked serious butt.

I am amazed at the number of last minute orders people tried to place then got upset when I have to tell them no.  As my 7th grade english teacher said, “lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine.”  I know that seems harsh but I had plenty of people who ordered their cakes in advance.  I wasn’t taking last minute orders that put getting those orders done in jeporady.  I had one lady who called at 10:30 saturday morning and wanted 200 cupcakes frosted smooth with 2017 on each cupcake by noon.  Seriously!!!??? 90 minutes notice for 200 cup cakes? I told her I would be able to do it if she just wanted the regular swirl but to do it her way I would need more time.  She must not have needed those cupcakes very badly because she refused to compromise.   I had one lady tell me the only reason I wouldn’t do a last minute cake for her son’s birthday was because I was lazy.

I guess my reason behind this little rant is to encourage you to order cakes early during the next two months, prime graduation and wedding season.  If you don’t and you get turned down remember it isn’t because we don’t want to do your order, its we can’t do your order.

You are going to need this spice blend for later in the week.  It is also good rubbed on chicken and pork and sprinkled on vegetables.

Adobo Seasoning

2 1/2 TBS garlic powder

2 1/2 TBS salt

2 TBS dried oregano

2 TBS turmeric

2 TBS onion powder

1 1/2 TBS onion powder

1 1/2 TBS black pepper

1 TBS paprika

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and combine well.  Store in an airtight container.

Whole30 Wrap Up

Sunday was day 30 of my first Whole30.  I can’t believe I did it.  30 days ago going soda free, mostly caffeine free, sugar-free, bean free, grain free, soy free, seemed so impossible and so overwhelming. Now it is just part of my life.

The last week of the Whole30 was,  by far, the hardest week for me.  By day 26 I was so over it.  I just wanted to be done so I could eat something besides eggs for breakfast.  I just wanted to be able to call my friend, Steph, when I was having a rough day at work and say lets go to lunch.  I spent a lot of time thinking about all the things I was going to eat when I was done.  fortunately,  I was more determined to finish my Whole30 then I was to eat all the non compliant food I wanted to eat.

By Monday morning, I decided to not do the reintroduction.  I just wanted to be done.  I ate a bagel for breakfast and a cookie for a snack.  I called Steph and we went to one of our of our favorite places for lunch were I had  chips with my guacamole and cheese and flour tortilla with my tacos.  About an hour after lunch I had a nasty belly ache that lasted almost two days.  Because I chose not to do the reintroduction,  I don’t  know what caused it.   The worst part of my Monday is that, although the bagel and cookie were my favorites pre whole30 treats, they tasted like garbage post Whole30.  They were not worth it.  I did enjoy my meal with Steph until my belly started to hurt then it became not worth.  The day did convince me to keep to mostly eating like I have during my Whole30.  I don’t want to further undo all the good things I have done over the last month.  I won’t say that I will never eat a non compliant food, that’s just not realistic but I will conciously think it through and decide if it is worth it or not before I do.

A lot of you want to know what the final results are for my Whole30.  Do I feel better?  Am I sleeping better?  Was it worth it? In my opinion, it was definitely worth it.  I feel great.  I have more energy and it is more consistent throughout the day.  I don’t come home from work and pass out on the couch for a few hours before going to bed any more.

This time of year my allergies are usually killing me.  My nose is stuffy and usually running.  My eyes are blood shot.  Steph is always telling me how she can find the register I am on just by a for my sneeze.  This year I have none of that.   I am sure of that some of the energy I have comes from the fact my body isn’t fighting itself anymore.

I lost enough weight to need new a pants and jeans.  I got into a pair of shorts that I haven’t been able to fit in for the last two summers.  I didn’t weigh myself before I started my Whole30 because I wasn’t really interested in the wight loss aspect of the program so I will never know for sure how much I lost. I am okay with that.

The part of the program I was interested in was would I sleep better.  The answer is yes, I am sleeping better.  I still have nights where I wake up in the middle of the night but they are less frequent and when I do wake up I can usually fall back asleep instead of being up for the day.  It’s progress even if it isn’t exactly what I was hoping for.  I was hoping to be  sleeping through the night every night.  I have had problems sleeping for a long time so it is possible that I will need more than thirty days to completely get rid of the problem.

I am already planning to do another round of Whole30 at the end of the summer.  In the meantime I will be mostly eating the way I did for my first round of Whole30.  If anyone is interested in doing a round of Whole30 with me or you just need some moral support on your Whole30 journey email me at Juliesflock13 @gmail.com.