Our word of the week is: OVERWHELMING!
That’s right, boys and girls, I was on a Whole 30 high from being so successful with Week 1 that I went a little overboard with planning my meals this week. I spent more money than I usually budget on groceries, because I ended up marrying myself to the kitchen. I gotta say, I can’t complain- I loved every recipe I made, and I had fun cooking. Now, looking back at my menu for the week, I’m thinking “what the heck! There’s not that much work here.” But hey, I still felt overwhelmed, ok? Don’t downplay your own feelings, Kylie!
“I can’t afford to eat Whole 30.”
Let me explain…
Here’s the thing about “not being able to afford Whole 30”: I can’t afford to stroll into a place like Whole Foods, where it would be ideal to shop, and buy the best grass-fed beef they have available the night I want to cook it. I’m doing the best I can, but that means planning and trying to buy the best quality meats whenever possible. I have figured out my local grocery store (Ralph’s) usually has pretty big sales on meat every 2-3 weeks. Whenever there is a sale, I STOCK UP and freeze the meat I buy! I can get some really top notch chicken breasts, whole chickens, and even grass-fed beef at an affordable price. But it takes a little planning in advance, and also flexibility in case the meat I wanted isn’t on sale. My usual back up plan is to always keep stock of extra cans of tuna and chicken sausages, in case I can’t get all the ingredients I needed for my original recipe. Until I’m rolling in the (gluten-free) dough like Kim Kardashian, I just have to be a little more strategic with my grocery shopping so this lifestyle doesn’t empty my wallet.
So don’t be discouraged! You CAN successfully do Whole 30 without overwhelming yourself!
Try to pick meals that have similar ingredients. That way, it will be easier for you to prep your ingredients in advance, so you’re spending less time cooking, and more time living and feeling great because you are not addicted to sugar anymore 🙂
I know I said I was overwhelmed this week, so my meal plan may not be ideal, but I’m going to post it here anyway so you can see what I did for dinner. My breakfasts consisted of a variation of scrambled/fried eggs with spinach, bell peppers, onions, and then chicken sausage and blueberries. Lunches consisted of either leftovers or chicken salad over spinach with veggies and fruit.
WEEK 2 MENU!
Here’s my (dinner) menu from the week!
- SUNDAY: Creamy Lemon Chicken with Asparagus and Mushroom, served with my own Cauliflower Rice recipe
- MONDAY: Shepherds Pie
- TUESDAY: Crockpot Carnitas, Kylie’s World Famous Guacamole, Roasted Veggies (SEE RECIPE BELOW!)
- WEDNESDAY: Leftovers
- THURSDAY: Leftovers
- FRIDAY: Romesco Garlic Shrimp, served with my own Cauliflower Rice recipe
- SATURDAY: Leftovers
** Comment or tweet at me (@TheKylieHodges) if you have any recipe requests for the meals listed above! They were ALL delicious!
Whole 30 Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Carnitas
Serves 4 with leftovers
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 pounds pork butter, cut into 4-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons cooking fat
- 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Preheat the oven to 350*
- Mix 1 tablespoon of the salt and all of the pepper in a bowl. Use to season the pork butt evenly.
- In a heavy pot over medium heat, melt the cooking fat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the fat is hot, add the pork (be sure not to overcrowd) and brown all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion, and cook, stirring until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring vigorously to prevent burning, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of water, the chili powder, and cinnamon. Increase the heat to medium high, return the pork to the pot, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the onion mixture and the pork to the slow cooker. Set the cooker on low and let it cook all day (8 to 10 hours).
- When the cooker is done, transfer the pork to a bowl and shred with a fork, discarding any excess fat. Incorporate the cooking liquid from the slow cooker, and then add the green onions and lime juice. Season with remaining 1/2 tablespoon salt.
- Serve with guacamole and roasted vegetables.
Roasted Rainbow Vegetables
Serves 4 with leftovers
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 red peppers, roughly chopped
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Preheat the oven to 350*
- On a large rimmed baking sheet, evenly spread all the vegetables in rows.
- Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and EVOO all over the tray.
- Sprinkle the thyme across the vegetables, and place in oven. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until vegetables are roasted and lightly browned on top.
Kylie’s World Famous Guacamole
Serves 2 – feel free to double/triple/quadruple recipe for more people!
- 2 avocados, cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons of red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon of cilantro, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 roma tomato, seeded & chopped
- 1/2 of a fresh lime, juiced
- a splash of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
I feel like I shouldn’t need to give directions on guacamole, because to me, this is one of those dishes that is open to interpretation. I can’t say that these are exact measurements because I eyeball it every time and continually taste, taste, taste until I like what I taste, but this is roughly how I do it.
- Mince your red onion, cilantro, and garlic, and combine in a large bowl.
- To seed your tomato, simply cut it in half lengthwise, then using a spoon, dig into the seedy-center and around until you have scooped out the guts. Then, lay the flat side down and chop the tomato into pieces. Combine with rest of ingredients in bowl.
- Take your avocados, and cut them in half lengthwise. WITHOUT losing a finger, hack the pit with your knife once and twist gently, safely removing it from the center, then discard the seed. Using a paring knife, gently make 1/4 inch slices going lengthwise down the avocado, then repeat across. Your avocado should look like it has a bunch of squares cut into it. Use a spoon to scoop out the avocado meat and add to the bowl of ingredients.
- Squeeze your lime half all over ingredients in mixing bowl, then add salt and pepper. Be generous with the lime juice, since this keeps the avocados from oxidizing and turning brown.
- Gently fold mixed ingredients together, to maintain the chunkiness of the avocados. I do NOT like mushy guacamole!
- Finally, drizzle a splash of EVOO on top of your mixture. I’m not sure why, but I saw a video of a famous LA chef do it and his restaurant is amazing, so I trust him.
- Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Try not to consume all of guacamole before meal is served.
*If you have leftovers, try and slice your squeezed lime half into thin slices and lay on top of the guacamole in its tupperware container, to preserve it in the refrigerator and prevent it from turning brown!