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. 

Restaurant L- 1st Course

On a recent trip to Jean Robert’s new Cincinnati restaurant called “Restaurant L”, my husband and I were spoiled with some of the most luxurious, and thoughtful dishes- each one better than the last. Additionally, they paired each dish with a tasting of wine to help enhance our dining experience. Throughout the day I will be posting some of our favorite courses from the meal!
Our dinner started immediately as we sat down and were given glasses of champagne with an ambouche of duck confit before ordering. (Your 3 course dinner quickly turns into 5 with the extra surprises they treat you with). We chose to order from the Prix Fixe menu. The above dish was brought out to us first. This is their “duo of soup”. On the left a warm cauliflower soup with a tempura asparagus, contrasted on the right with a cold asparagus soup topped with truffle brioche croutons. Both soups were topped with a dollop of cream. These gourmet soups were bursting with rich, fresh flavors. My tastebuds willing my brain to get another bite faster… Stay tuned for more amazing courses from Restaurant L.  

Yogurt Power Bowl 

The easiest of midday snacks! Healthy, tasty and pretty 😍 I used a base of nonfat Fage yogurt for my bowl, but you can pretty much use any yogurt you please! The toppings can be flexible as well. I chose to add apple slices, frozen berries, honey and a broken up brown rice cake for crunch. The honey and fruit added a much needed sweetness to the yogurt. I’d rather add my own natural sugars than buy a yogurt that’s already packed with sugars. There is a nice balance of textures, temperatures and flavors 👌🏻

From Fast Food to Fresh Food

When people think of fast food the word “healthy” doesn’t usually come to mind. Well, Fresh Healthy Cafe is trying to change this perception! They have lots of healthy meals and snacks made right “in house”. They do super smoothies, pure smoothies, juices, power bowls, protein bowls, salads, wraps, and paninis! They have many different flavor profiles as well… they have Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican and of course American dishes on their menu. The dish I chose was the Kale Vegetarian Salad. I love a juicy steak as much as the next person… but sometimes a light, cleansing salad is just what I need! This salad consisted of kale, red peppers, red onion, feta cheese, black olives, sliced almonds, tomatoes and cranberries. It came with a lemon and olive oil dressing on the side. Fresh + tasty = sold. I’ll be back @freshhealthycafe

Orzo and Roasted Vegetables

This tasty recipe I got from my mother! In honor of Mother’s Day, here is how to create this dish! :

Start by preheating the oven to 425 and chopping up your veggies. You need to dice red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper and red onion to one inch thickness. Toss this with 2 cloves minced garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper onto a baking sheet. Roast these in the oven for 30 minutes or until browned (flipping once). Meanwhile, start the orzo. Cook it in salted boiling water for 7-9 minutes. Drain the orzo and put into a serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl along with any juices that they released when cooking. Add the dressing. This consists of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. (Super simple and fresh). Top it off with fresh basil, scallions, toasted pine nuts and feta cheese. This is a great recipe for parties because it can be made in large batches! It’s a tasty, fresh and healthy summer recipe!