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3 Delicious and Satisfying Whole30 Recipes You Need to Try

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Whole30 has reputation for being well, really hard. It’s essentially a month-long experiment to see how your body responds when you eliminate alcohol, dairy, added sugar, grains, legumes, baked goods, all “junk,” and a few processed food ingredients. But while the list of “don’t eats” is daunting, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with raw veggies and dry meat. In her new cookbook The Whole30 Fast & Easy ($18, amazon.com), program co-creator and sports nutritionist Melissa Hartwig serves up 150 creative recipes that satisfy all the diet’s rules. Below are three of our favorites. Read on to learn how to make a warm salmon and potato salad, stir-fried shrimp with cauliflower grits, and cashew-crusted chicken with wilted kale salad. 

Warm Salmon and Potato Salad

Baby potatoes are tossed in a simple Dijon vinaigrette and served warm. The addition of arugula and salmon makes this a hearty side or even a quick lunch.

Serves 4

1½ pounds baby yellow potatoes, halved

1/3 cup avocado oil

1 Tbsp. Whole30-compliant Dijon mustard (try Annie’s Organic Dijon Mustard, available at thrivemarket.com)

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

1 can (6 oz.) salmon, drained

2 cups arugula

3 green onions, sliced

2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives

1 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley

  1. Place the potatoes in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a low boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the potatoes, salmon, arugula, green onions, chives, and parsley. Gently toss until the potatoes are coated. Serve warm.

RELATED: 23 Heart-Smart Salmon Recipes

Shrimp Stir-Fry Over Cauliflower Grits

Here’s a totally new way to do shrimp and grits. The shrimp is cooked in bacon drippings and flavored with garlic, green onions, lemon juice, and parsley instead of Cajun seasoning. It’s then served on incredibly creamy and decadent-tasting cauliflower grits. You will not believe what you’re tasting!

Serves 4

2 slices Whole30-compliant bacon, chopped (try Wellshire Farms Sugar-Free Paleo Bacon, available at Whole Foods)

Cauliflower grits

2 bags (12 oz. each) frozen riced cauliflower, or 6 cups raw cauliflower rice

¼ cup clarified butter or ghee

2 tsp. minced garlic

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ cup Whole30-compliant unsweetened almond milk

Shrimp

1 Tbsp. clarified butter or ghee

1½ pounds peeled and deveined medium shrimp

2 tsp. minced garlic

½ cup sliced green onions

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

  1. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and set aside. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of the drippings in the skillet. 
  2. Make the Cauliflower Grits: While the bacon is cooking, place the riced cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 minutes or until hot. Let stand 1 minute. Add the butter, garlic, salt, black pepper, and almond milk. Using an immersion blender, blend until fairly smooth. Cover and keep warm while cooking the shrimp.
  3. Make the Shrimp: Add the butter to the skillet with the bacon drippings. Add the shrimp and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and green onions. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes more. Stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Serve the shrimp on the grits, sprinkled with the bacon and parsley. (Tip: You can also use cooked shrimp in place of the raw shrimp.) Add them after the garlic and green onions have softened and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice.

RELATED: 21 Healthy Seafood Recipes

Cashew-Crusted Chicken and Wilted Kale Salad

While the chicken bakes to crisp-crusted deliciousness in the oven, you quickly wilt the kale and onion in bacon drippings in a skillet—then toss it with raw shredded carrot and grape tomatoes. The contrast of temperatures and textures is a nice change of pace from a traditional salad.

Serves 2

Chicken

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 large egg

½ cup almond flour

1/3 cup finely chopped raw cashews

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins (about 12 oz. total)

Salad

3 slices Whole30-compliant bacon, chopped

4 cups torn fresh kale

1 small red onion, slivered

½ cup packaged shredded carrot

½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

¼ cup raw cashews, toasted (see tip below) and chopped

  1. Make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly brush olive oil on a medium baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the egg and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, stir together the flour, cashews, salt, and pepper. Dip each tenderloin into the egg, turning to coat. Allow the excess to drip off, then dip into the cashew mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared pan. Bake the chicken, turning once halfway through cooking, until the internal temperature is 165°F and the chicken is no longer pink, 15 to 18 minutes.
  3. Make the salad: Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon, stirring, until browned and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels, reserving the bacon fat in the skillet. Add the kale and onion to the skillet with the bacon fat. Cook, tossing frequently with tongs, until the kale is wilted and tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cooked bacon, carrot, and tomatoes. Serve the chicken on top of the kale salad. Sprinkle with the cashews. (Tip: To toast cashews, heat in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.)

Excerpted from WHOLE 30 FAST & EASY © 2017 by Melissa Hartwig. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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