I can't go on this way for the next four years. So, just in time for a New Year, I'm reinvestigating the Whole 30 meal plan, devised by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. The Whole 30 is kind of like a Paleo regime on steroids: all of the normal Paleo no-no's: no grains, legumes, soy, dairy, corn, plus no sweeteners (except what is naturally found in fruit), no baked goods and no "treats" ( like the aforementioned sweet potato chips). Nut, tapioca and arrowroot flours may be used, but only for things like thickening sauces or as a binder (think crab cakes) not to bake Paleo breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, pies, etc. The idea is to help you get over your sugar and baked goods cravings.
Oh, and you have to follow it for 30 days (duh, that's why it's called the Whole 30). If you slip, you have to start over again, AND, you can't weigh yourself for 30 days. Really? For some people, that could be the hardest part.
Will you miss desserts? Yes, especially at first. Will you miss the sugar (or in my case, honey, maple sugar and coconut sugar)-induced food coma after lunch? Nope.
So, for your New Year's present, I went through all of my past blog posts and picked out a few recipes that would comply with a Whole 30. No, sorry, not the Strawberry Shortcake or the Paleo Sandwich Bread, but a perfectly delicious, perfectly legal main dish and a side, as well as a brand new Paleo breakfast porridge. I've purposely included some fairly simple recipes, because you may be impatient and grouchy at first when you start this regime.
I suggest that if you are going to try the Whole 30, you do some research on line and/or buy the Hartwigs' book, The Whole 30.
Roast Chicken with Braised Carrots and Radishes
1 organic roasting chicken, about 4-5 pounds
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 TBS dried herbes de Provence
1 bunch baby carrots, peeled
1 bunch radishes, leaves and stems removed, cut in half lengthwise
2 TBS duck fat, chicken fat or ghee, melted
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
2. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon over chicken, then place in cavity along with rosemary sprigs.Sprinkle with herbes de Provence.
3. Place chicken, breast side up,on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 1/2 hour, basting with pan juices from time to time.
4. After half an hour, turn chicken over, being careful not to tear skin(but don't worry if you do...it will still taste delicious).
5. Roast chicken for another 1/2 hour, basting from time to time, then turn chicken breast side up again and continue roasting another 20 minutes or so until leg joint moves easily and juices run clear (not pink) when thigh is pierced.
6. While chicken is roasting, prepare vegetables: Melt duck or chicken fat or ghee in a heavy pan and sauté carrots and radishes for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add water and cover pan. Braise for 5 minutes, then remove cover. Cook another few minutes until most of the water has evaporated and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
7. Serve chicken on a platter, surrounded by vegetables. Moisten all with pan juices.
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 TBS fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tsp ground cumin
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1. In heavy pan, melt coconut oil, then stir in mustard seeds, ginger, onions, salt and turmeric. Simmer for two minutes, being careful not to let the seeds burn.
2. Add cauliflower and stir, so florets are coated, then stir in ground cumin.
3. Cover pan and simmer 15 minutes until cauliflower is tender.
4. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.
Chia Paleo Porridge
2 handfuls frozen blueberries
1 handful frozen cherries
1/2 banana, sliced
3 TBS chia seeds (I use white chia seeds, because it looks nicer, but black ones are fine)
1 TBS hemp seeds
1 TBS golden flax meal
3 TBS organic coconut cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
1 TBS raw sunflower seeds, optional
1. Put blueberries, cherries, banana, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax meal and coconut cream in a microwave-proof cereal bowl.
2. Add boiling water almost to the top of the bowl.
3. Microwave on high for one minute, stir, then microwave on high for another minute.
4. If using, stir in sunflower seeds.