The Fast Five (Whole 30)

Taped to the inside of my  cupboard doors are 5 recipes.  I always keep the ingredients for these recipes on hand for those days when cooking seems like a chore, not a joy.  The recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less. The recipes weren’t Whole 30 so I can’t use them on a round.  I really missed them.  So I decided before I did my second round I would have a Whole 30 version of my fast five.  This is what I came up with.  At this point,  I probably could add many more quick and easy recipes to this list.  Like cooking in general,  cooking a Whole 30 only has to be as complicated as you want to make it. Find the non Whole 30 recipes for my Fast Five under the title of What to Cook When You Don’t Feel Like Cooking.

Sloppy Joes

Pan Fried Sardines

Teriyaki Chicken

 20 Minute Beef and Zuccini Stir Fry

Tuna Salad, 2 Ways

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Equipping Your Whole 30 Kitchen

You don’t need a lot of specialized equipment to do a Whole 30.  Pressure cookers are helpful and spiralizers make your food look pretty but they are just not necessary.   This post assumes you have the basic kitchen equipment of pots, pan, measuring cups and spoons and a chef’s knife.  The following are things I found helpful in my Whole 30.

  1. Paring Knives  You are going to be doing a lot of chopping and peeling on your Whole 30 so you are going to need decent, ie sharp knives.  I like Zyliss paring knives from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They come in a 2 pack with one blade serrated and one not for around $9.  The only bad thing is the knives can’t be sharpened.  It doesn’t really matter what kind of knives you get as long as they are sharp.
  2. A cutting board  I prefer wood to plastic because they don’t dull your knives are fast.  The main thing here is to get as big of board as possible.  There is nothing more frustrating than trying to chop a lot of vegetables in a little space.
  3. Vegetable peeler If you are handy with your knives you can use it to peel your vegetables.  The rest of us need a vegetable peeler.
  4. Small, medium and large mixing bowls  As someone who cooks and bakes a lot, I always thought I had enough mixing bowls.  When I did the Whole 30, I discovered I had a lot of small mixing bowls but no medium or large mixing bowls.  Get at least one 2 quart and one 4 quart mixing bowls.  You will save yourself some mess and ingredient waste.
  5. Food grade storage containers Like mixing bowls, you can never have too many food storage containers in all sizes.
  6.  Quarter sheet pans  These are the work horses in my kitchen, I use them for the majority of what I cook in the oven.  Make sure they have  a rim to catch meat juices and any oil or ghee you use for roasting things.

These are the things I found make cooking during your Whole 30 easier.

Preparing Your Whole 30 Pantry

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Yesterday we cleared the non compliant food out of our pantry.  Today we need to stock compliant ingredients for our Whole 30.  The question is what do we need to have to have a well stocked,  Whole 30 compliant kitchen?  That is a really hard question to answer because I don’t know what you like to eat.  I am going to list the things I have in my pantry that I use frequently.  I will tell you which ones you should definitely have in your pantry from the beginning and which ones are nice to have but if you can’t find them or don’t have the money for them aren’t necessary.

  1.  Meat –  I keep chicken thighs, ground beef and a few pork chops in my freezer all the time.  I stock up on things like steak, pork roast, ground chicken and ground turkey when I  find them on reduction for quick sale or on sale in general.
  2. Vegetables — Vegetables are the back bone of the Whole 30.  I always keep onions, celery and carrots available along with a big container of salad greens.  I try a least one new kind of vegetable every week.  I usually buy vegetables two or three times a week so they don’t go bad before I can use them.
  3. Coconut Aminos —  There aren’t many things I consider mandatory for any kitchen as we all have different tastes in food.  However,  Coconut aminos are one thing you absolutely need for you Whole 30 pantry.  Coconut aminos are used as a substitute for soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Red Boat fish sauce — Red Boat fish sauce is the only compliant fish sauce available at this time.   It can be tricky  to find.  If you can’t find it you can make it through a Whole 30 without it but I have used it in enough recipes that I can recommend you pick up a bottle if you see it.
  5. Arrowroot and Almond flour — Arrowroot is great for thickening things like gravy.  Almond meal is great for binding things like meatballs, meatloaf and salmon patties.  Both arrowroot and almond meal make an excellent coating for frying things.
  6. Medjool dates — I use Medjool dates in many of my Whole 30 recipes to provide sweetness.
  7. Canned coconut milk — I use a lot of coconut milk on my Whole 30 in place of dairy.  Some people say they can taste coconut in the things they make with coconut milk, I have never found that to be a problem.  If you do, feel free to use another form of non– dairy milk.

These are the 7 things I use the most often in my compliant kitchen.  You will find other things you may like to have in your kitchen as you go a long and  I am assuming you have the basic kitchen inventory like tomato products, herbs and spices and broths.  With the addition of these 7 things to your basic pantry you will have the ability to conquer the world of Whole 30 cooking.

Cran-Cherry Sauce (Whole 30)

People always assume because I am a fairly good cook, I am very picky about my food. I really am only picky about two things, my eggs and my cranberry sauce. I like my eggs over easy and by over easy I mean the white is completely cooked and the yolk is completely runny. The tiniest speck of hard yolk and the eggs are over medium. Since I can only cook my eggs the way I like them only about 40 percent of the time myself, I don’t usually make a big deal about this when I can’t get them exactly right other places. With Cranberry sauce, well, it’s a fine line between sweet enough not to be bitter and so sweet your teeth hurt.

When I decided I was going to start my second round of Whole 30 in November, I started looking for compliant cranberry sauce recipes. I really didn’t want to give up my cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving. I tried recipes that were sweetened with apple sauce, apple juice, dates, and half a dozen other things and , unfortunately, all the recipes resulted in exttremely bitter cranberry sauce. I was starting to think a good, compliant cranberry sauce was beyond my reach. Fortunately, I found a recipe in Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not that is compliant if you leave out the honey. The best part is that the recipe doesn’t need honey to give you a really tasty  just sweet enough cranberry sauce. I made a double batch. I ate a good portion of it with a spoon standing in front of the fridge. The rest I used to make a cranberry chicken recipe in my pressure cooker. This recipe will become my go to cranberry sauce recipe whether or not, I am doing a round of Whole 30.

Cran Cherry Sauce ( Whole 30)

From Nom Nom Paleo Ready or Not

6 oz frozen cranberries

6 oz frozen sweet cherries

¾ cup apple juice

2 TBS honey (omit if Whole 30)

Place all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat and simmer until the cranberries start to burst and the mixture starts to thicken.

Thanksgiving Round Up 2017

 

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Thanksgiving is only 18 days away.  Since I was planning on doing a Whole 30 in November, I planned a Whole 30 Thanksgiving feast.  I still plan on posting those recipes this month even though I am not doing a Whole 30.   For those of you not interested in Whole 30 Thanksgiving recipes, I am posting a round up of all the Thanksgiving recipes I have posted since the beginning of A Solitary Feast so you can plan your holiday meal.  I hope you can find things to enjoy.

Brown Sugar Rubbed Turkey Breast

Wildrice Stuffing With Cranberries And Walnuts

Balsamic Honey Brussels Sprouts

Scoop And Bake Dinner Rolls

Cranberry Pie

Spiced Cornish Game Hens

Homemade Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Classic Green Bean Casserole

Cranberry Sauce

Pumpkin Pie