Homemade, Restaurant Quality- Whole 30 Style

My husband and I have recently started The Whole 30. For 30 days, the goal is to cut out ALL artificial foods, added sugars, GMOs, MSG, grains, dairy, and yes, alcohol…in hopes to have a better quality of life. They preach that they are not a diet, but a lifestyle. The creator of this plan does not want participants to count calories or even weigh themselves while on this plan. Many people have claimed that by the end of 30 days their usual headaches subside, skin clears, energy levels are more consistent throughout the day, sleep improves, knowledge of day to day foods increases… and that’s only the half of it. 

The first couple of days have been hard, but I must say, this Whole 30 thing ain’t bad if I can make meals like this 🤗😋 We have organic top sirloin steak that was cooked stove top with some olive oil and rubbed with generous salt and pepper. I got the pan nice and hot before cooking the steak 3 minutes on each side to result in a perfect medium rare (more on the rare side 😊) After you take the meat out of the pan, lightly cover it with some foil and let it rest. This part is more important than it seems! If the meat does not have the proper time to rest, it can result in inconsistently cooked meat. Give it some time and let its juices distribute throughout the steak. It’s worth the wait! Moving to the right, we have mushrooms and onions that were cooked down in a pot with some garlic, coconut aminos. Next we have roasted colorful carrots that were simply dressed with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and cooked in the oven for 30 min at 400 degrees. For these golden potatoes, I cooked them stove top at high heat until they got nice and crispy! They cooked with some olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and I added garlic for the last two minutes of cooking time. I made sure to toss these often so they could get crispy on all sides. AND lastly, I cooked a Anaheim pepper over the open flame until it blistered and became soft (I’m in love with the smokey, spicy flavor). A bite of steak with that spicy pepper and some mushrooms… just wow. Bon Appetit! 

Hopefully there will be some noticeable change at the end of these 30 days (onto day 3! We got this). If anything, the Whole 30 will be a great learning experience for us. We will most likely introduce foods back in slowly, but hopefully we will become more educated about what’s in our food. This will help us know what is best to eat and what to avoid, allowing us to adapt this information into a realistic lifestyle for us. 

Hostess With The Mostess

I love hosting parties. There’s something about inviting people into your home to share good food, drinks and conversation. However, cooking can be quite time consuming when you’d rather be with your guests. Here’s an easy appetizer that can help with time efficiency in the kitchen and help to hold your guests over until the main course. These are my olive tamponade crustinis over goat cheese and mascarpone. To create the base of these small bites, I cut up a baguette into 1 inch thick crustinis. I laid them onto a sheet tray, drizzled them with some olive oil and popped them into the oven until golden brown. While these toasted, I started on my olive tamponade. In a food processor, I combined pitted green olives, kalamata olives, Rosemary, capers and garlic. I added some olive oil as I pulsed this combination. I wanted to keep a thicker texture to the olives so I didn’t pulse them for too long. After everything had combined together I started on my cheese mixture. I mixed together goat cheese and mascarpone. I can’t say I measured this to perfection, but I tasted as I mixed. You can find a balance that works best with your taste buds! I added some orange zest to this combination. No salt and pepper needed! There is enough salt from the olives and capers in the tamponade. Once the bread is all toasted and golden in the oven, it’s time to put these together! Spread some of the cheese mixture on the crustini and add some of the olives on top. I am an olive fanatic and goat cheese lover…so this appetizer really hit home for me! Try this out and let me know how you like it! The beauty of this recipe is that you can be creative with the cheeses you choose or toppings you add. Don’t be afraid to get creative! 

Fruit And Veggie “Sushi” Rolls

I love Asian cuisine. I love to cook it and to eat it! Today I was in the mood to make a playful, and super flavorful Asian dish! I decided on making fruit and vegetable sushi rolls. These beautiful rolls are delicious and healthy. Here’s how I created this Asian inspired dish…I first thinly sliced my produce. I used red and orange peppers, poblano peppers, mango, green apple, and red onion. You may think this is a random combination, but I promise the flavors play off of each other perfectly! You have the sweet peppers and mango, tart green apple, spicy poblano, and the contrast of the red onion… it’s the perfect crunchy bite in a “sushi” roll! You can of course substitute these with your favorite fruits and veggies. I then made my guacamole spread! This adds a beautiful creamy texture to the rolls, and helps act as the “glue” that holds the veggies together. I simply mashed avocado, added some of the poblano seeds for an added kick, and then seasoned with some salt and pepper. Next up, time to make the cucumber ribbons! I did this with a mandolin slicer. Don’t slice too thin or it makes it hard to roll and the cucumber may rip on you. The cucumber is what holds the rolls together and needs to be sturdy enough! Now it’s time to roll these babies! Take a cucumber ribbon, spread some of the guacamole on it, add a couple slivers of each veggie and tear up a piece of basil and place on the veggies. Roll it all up and place seam down on your serving dish. Top them with sesame seeds and some grated ginger. Lastly, comes the dipping sauce! This brings everything together and really makes this an Asian dish. Combine a 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of white sugar, 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil and 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Whisk together and there you have it…A blast of colorful flavors all rolled up into one!