Whole30 Lunch – Homemade Baked Potato Chips with Boiled Eggs and Tessamae Ranch Dressing

2018!  I am on Round 2, Day 2 of my Whole30 diet.  First round last year I lost 13 pounds, and looking to lose 10 more this time around.  I have to admit I gained 3 pounds or so since my last round.  I haven’t had raw sugar however I did have non-compliant meat and dairy products sparingly.  I think this had to do with the weight gain.  Also it is that time of the month as a woman, so typically I gain at least 5 pounds of water weight.  Crazy I know, but I am hoping this was the reason for the weight gain too.

Day 2 of the Whole30 and the menu I have had thus far consists of Kale Chips that I baked in the oven at 425 degrees fahrenheit, and actually only drizzled some olive oil on top with Himalayan salt and pepper.  I didn’t have a full breakfast this time around so by lunch I was ready to feast!

For lunch, I am doing hard boiled eggs and potato chips.  To make the potato chips, I sliced white potatoes thin, all the same size.  I drizzled them with olive oil, garlic powder, paprika and black pepper, saving the Himalayan salt for last.

Once I put them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes I worked on the hard boiled eggs.  I put them in cold water on the oven, and made 4 but only was able to eat three.  I kept them on the stove for 10 minutes boiling and then turned the heat on low to have it simmer there for another 5 minutes.  The inside of the yolk was still not all the way cooked, but I like it like that.

I added my favorite dressing that is Whole30 compliant, which is called Tessamae’s Ranch Dressing.  It is Whole30 approved on there website here: www.whole30.com, and they have others too like Caesar, Hot Sauce, Ketchup and more.  I found this in the vegetable section of my grocery store Ralph’s, but you could find it in the salad dressing aisle too.

I have to say it was so delicious, and even my picky eater of a toddler loved it too!  Obviously they are not officially on the diet, but here and there they get adventurous and try new foods which is amazing.

Enjoy your lunch, and hope you try it! 🙂

Denny’s Friday Night Family Dinner

Happy Saturday everyone! I am happy to announce that my husband was able to convince me to go to a restaurant with the boys last night after work! It is super scary as the kids can be so unpredictable sometimes, but we were able to successfully eat an entire meal and not get kicked out! 🙂

 

My husband went buck wild and ordered the chocolate milkshake, banana salted caramel pancakes, that came with two eggs, hash browns and sausage, where I ordered the eggs and hash browns alone since I am on the Whole30 diet.

 

Luckily the hostess sat us right by another table of kids, two boys actually, so Pierce was closest to them and had fun with the little boy sitting in back of him. It was really cute as the neighbor gave him a goldfish of his, which was super sweet as he was starting to get a little antsy.

 

Good news is that we were all able to sit through one of our first family dinners outside the house in a long time. It is nice to know that Denny’s is very kid friendly so you can go with your children, nieces or nephews too! They have crayons and puzzles for them to work on too as the meal is being prepped by the chef. They also had sweet and low and sugar packets and maple syrup to which the boys were counting and trying to eat too.

 

Our waitress was very friendly and accommodating and we were happy to have a full meal there without them running out of the booth, crying, causing a scene, etc. For some time we were avoiding family dinners outside the home for this reason. It is unnerving to have to put them in a public situation as you know with kids they can be very unpredictable.

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Another great thing about Denny’s was the arcade games for kids in the front. One was minion related which was perfect for my boys as they love Despicable Me 3. So they were watching it and then watching the other game too, where they were excited to engage with it as we were waiting to be seated, along with catching them for a second time on the way out.

 

We ordered french fries and ketchup for the boys which is their favorite! We also were excited to be out on a Friday night as most of the week is the same old schedule, so great to mix it up.

 

I would highly recommend Denny’s as a reasonably priced diner to take the kids to when you are looking for something new and exciting to do with your family too.

 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! LATER! 🙂

Take Back Your Mojo via our Whole30 Dinner – Mojo Cubano Marinated Pork

I have to admit I have never been to Cuba, but I would really love to visit now that it is open to Americans to come in and stay! I hate to drop the Kardashian’s name in it but I saw them visit and Jezebel wrote an article about it here. Too funny!

I am always looking for new Whole30 recipes and now that it is the new year I am more determined to be creative with my meals. It is easy to fall into the monotonous cycle of food, so I knew that when I started Whole30 I would become a better chef. In gardening, good gardeners have the green thumb, in cooking, I have the opposite! LOL! I always seem to burn, or under, or over cook, and just the act of cooking more has made me more present when I cook, despite my two little boys running around the kitchen. I have to say my cooking skills are like a C+ right now, better then the D- I had before.

Onto the recipe, this came out excellent! Normally on the Whole30 diet you cannot drink juice however you can cook with it. This was the first time I cooked with juice and it really added a tangy and bright flavor.

pork

Ingredients

• ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup lime juice
• ½ cup orange juice
• 1 teaspoon of lime zest
• 1 teaspoon of orange zest
• 6 garlic cloves, chopped up finely
• 1 ½ cups of cilantro
• 2 tablespoons of oregano
• 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
• 1/6 cup of mint leaves, chopped up finely
• 1 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
• 2 tablespoons of black pepper
• 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder, in one piece

Instructions

STEP 1 – Add the cilantro, mint, garlic, orange juice, zest, lime and orange juice, oregano and cumin to a bigger ziplock bag and add the pork. Mash it around so that all is mixed up and coated nicely. Place in refrigerator and let sit overnight.

orange zest

lime

STEP 2 – Preheat the oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit. Place a wire or cooling rack in your baking pan and take out the pork, leaving the marinade in the bag. Add the salt and pepper to the pork now, and add 4 cups of water to the bottom of the pan, then drop into the oven for 35 minutes. Bring the temperature down to 400 for an hour. If you are fancy and have a meat thermometer, inside temp of the meat should read 170 when ready.

STEP 3 – Pull out and let cool for 40 minutes before slicing, this allows the juices to redistribute to make sure you have the perfect texture! Carve and serve!

My mother used to make pork at home but would use a BBQ sauce which was nice. I will try to find another Whole30 compliant recipe and will share soon!

Bon Apetito!

Whole30 Dinner – Spicy Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

You guys are in for an extra special New Year’s celebration meal!  This was a nice comfort meal I made yesterday which made all members of my household happy! 👍😄

It does taste as good as it looks!

Ingredients

  • 3 Organic Chicken Breasts
  • 1 bag of Organic Mini Carrots
  • 3 Russet Potatoes, Organic
  • 4 tablespoons of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tablespoons of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 2 cups of wwater
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk for potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons of ghee for potatoes

Instructions

STEP 1 Peel potatoes, chop in half inch thick slices to cook faster if you are hungry. Put in boiling water and cook until mashable. Add almond milk and ghee, season as you wish.

STEP 2-4 Put oven roaster chicken in a pan with the carrots, water, olive oil, then season chicken with all the spices.  Put in oven at 400 degrees fahrenheit for an hour, 425 degrees fahrenheit for the last 10 minutes for a cripsy skin.

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There is something to be said about perfectly cooked chicken.  My mother mastered it as we were growing up and the secret trick is water at the bottom of the pan.  She always advised the first 1/4 inch of the pan should be water and it will come out perfect every time.  I have actually tried chicken without the water and it comes out awful.  Some prefer to boil their chicken, but in my opinion, it is gross.  The skin is the best part, so having it extra crispy and spicy is amazing.  If you are a dipper and love sauce, Tessemae’s has a ranch and Caesar dressing that you can use to help calm down the heat.  Overall this meal was an A++ so I definitely recommend you give it a try!

Have a great night!

Whole30 Lunch – Kale Chicken Caesar Chive Bacon Salad

Oh wow, this was the BEST salad I have had on the Whole30 diet since I started my first round in November this year!  I had leftover baked chicken drumsticks from dinner last night so I chopped this up and added Tessemae’s Caesar dressing.  It is definitely more pricey than the regular dressing you find that has sugar, but it is Whole30 compliant and saves time for you so you do not have to homemake the dressing yourself.  I am a big fan of Caesar salads and didn’t think the salad would be great without parmesan or croutons, but it was STELLAR!  It was also super filling as it is dinner time now and I am still not hungry.  Not sure if you are like me, but I am mainly cranky when I am hungry and this salad really kept me full for most of the day. As you can see I also made some bacon which was leftover from this morning.  There is this paleo friendly, sugar free bacon at the grocery store and that is what I used here.

After stripping chicken, breaking it this and the bacon into pieces in the bowl, and taking out the Caesar dressing, I started on the salad part.  I bought Red Kale from WholeFoods last night as I made a night time trip which was so relaxing. Only stressful part is checking out as there is always a line.  Hopefully now that Amazon is invested in the company they can work on speeding up the checkout process somehow!  I heard there are stores that you can actually check out of without actually checking out.  Obviously it is not widely accepted yet but this is definitely in the works in the future!

As you can see I washed the kale first then hand separated it into small pieces.  I also had chives on hand and used a pair of kitchen scissors to cut and add chives into the salad as well.  I think chives are a lighter onion that does not overtake the salad.

After this was complete I added the chicken and bacon along with the Caesar dressing on top.  If you are fancy and like the Caesar dressing on every inch of the salad, I would definitely recommend putting all the ingredients in a plastic covered bowl, covering and then mix it by shaking it.  If you are not into chicken, then you can always substitute this with shrimp, chicken, steak, egg or garbanzo beans if you are vegan.  Tofu would be good too!

I dressed the salad right on top and it came out really delicious.  I ended up using more dressing later on, also adding some pink Himalayan salt and ground pepper to it as well to give it a kick.  I would suggest if you like your salads extra salty, you can add green olives and it should give you the salt fix you need.  Just be sure they are Whole30 compliant.

I wanted to share a few extra pictures of the Tessemae Whole30 Caesar Dressing, so you know what to look for at the grocery store.  Luckily I have found this dressing at Trader Joe’s, Ralph’s and WholeFoods thus far, so you should have no problem finding it.  Most salad dressings have added sugar, so you are in for a real treat with this one!

Happy Eating from Bradley Cooper and I! 🙂 🙂

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2018 New Year’s Eve Party – Whole30 Appetizers & Drinks

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!  Congrats on the end of 2017 and a celebration to the new projects and challenges to come!  I have recently written a blog about my 2018 goals, if you haven’t checked it out yet I would catch it here: 2018 New Year’s Goals

We are staying in on the home front tonight to ring in the New Year with the kids, and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.  I feel really blessed and have had a great, productive year, so my thanks to myself for all my hard work is to kick it at home, relax and chill with my family, surrounding myself with some extra yummy Whole30 treats!

We kept our Christmas lights up but removed the Merry Christmas wreath on the front door to stay festive all day. We may head out for a park trip with the kids but want to keep them on all day to let people know we are cool NYE folks. Even though we are old and not that cool. 😉

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I wanted to share a few PARTY TIME non-alcoholic drink ideas as we ring in the New Year tonight! For all these drinks you will need to take a trip to the grocery store and buy the following:

 

  • 2 packs of Organic Blueberries
  • 12 pack of La Croix Cran Rasberry
  • 2 bottles of Seltzer
  • 2 organic Organic Limes
  • 2 organic Organic Lemons
  • 1 pack of Organic Strawbeeries
  • 1 pack of Organic Raspberries

You can mix and match the seltzer and sparkling water with different combos of fruits, slam that in your fanciest party glass and get to drinking.

As for PARTY TIME Apps, I would suggest a few recipes below:

We plan on grabbing New Year’s Eve hats and horns, maybe even some confetti if I am feeling really ambitious and I know I will be the one picking it up!

I heard Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper are co-hosting the Annual New Year’s Eve tonight on CNN, People.com wrote an article about it and it looks like it could be funny.  I really loved the Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper New Year’s Eve that was hosted last year, she is hilarious.  Hoping that this year will be just as funny if not funnier!

I was thinking about dressing us all up in New Year’s Eve gear, but I think by the end of the day I will be too tired to be motivated to get all dressed up.  We will see!

Wishing you and yours a very HEALTHY, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  What are your plans tonight?  Doing anything fun?

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Whole30 Dinner – Chicken Sausage & Mashed Potatoes

It has been a long day y’all!  We had a lot of kids activities, including tutoring them with flash cards from Bob’s Books which are great for kids as they start to learn how to read.  We are also digging Netflix recently as they have two really great shows for kids speech and learning: Story Bots & Word Party!

At 4:45pm my husband asks, “What’s for dinner?”. I checked the refridgerator and turns out we had 5 russet potatoes there along with chicken sausage in the freezer.  I decided to make both mashed potatoes & soft potatoes with paprika, garlic powder and salt.  If you like hot spice, I would try red chili flakes or tabasco sauce.  Tessamae also has different Whole30 ranch dressing, along with hot sauce and others that are great for dipping.

As for the compliant Whole30 chicken sausage, I used AppleGate picture below for your reference when you are grocery shopping:

I had to defrost the sausage for 10 minutes or so in the microwave as they were like sausage ice cubes when I pulled them out.  Once they were defrost I put them on a frying pan on medium heat for about 4 minutes per side.  I like my sausage a little crispy brown on the outside.  After they were somewhat cooked I turned off the heat and cut the sausage into little pieces.  I then turned on the heat again in the frying pan and fried each little piece on both sides so they were extra crispy.

For the potatoes, I peeled the 5 small russet potatoes, sliced them into half inches and put them in water on the stove.  It came to a boil, and I kept them on the stove boiling on high for about 20 minutes.

Once the potatoes were soft to the touch via fork, I drained most of the water and put them into a bowl, mashing them up quickly with pepper, salt and garlic powder.

I felt like being fancy, so I didn’t mash all the potatoes and kept some of the sliced potatoes as a side with olive oil, salt and paprika.  Paprika has a little kick and looks pretty when plating so I tested it out.

Here is the sample of the mashed potatoes side, plated with the sliced chicken sausage.

Hope you enjoy this meal as it was pretty solid and didn’t feel like a diet meal whatsoever.  It was definitely a comfort food meal, and with the temperature dropping here at night, it really made me feel warm and comfy!

Let me know how yours comes out and if you had any tweaks to this, feel free to comment below.

Buen provecho!

Whole30 Baked Garlic Kale Chips, Blueberry Lemon Water & Cherry Tomatoes

Everyone wants to know what I am eating on the Whole30 diet, as many find it hard to be creative, full, and happy with the limited ingredients this diet has.

Great part is when you are withdrawing from dairy and sugar, you look much leaner in your face and eventually see weight loss on your entire body!  The first 7 days I had lost 7 pounds on the first round, all together I lost around 13 pounds.  I went off the diet around 35 days and since it was the holidays definitely had some cheat days with an english muffin one morning and a slice of toast and butter for another, but now I am back. I am very happy with the way I feel today and excited to share some good meals I already indulged in today to start round 2 of this diet.

First for breakfast I had 3 eggs with an apple on the side, not on purpose as my son starting eating an apple and didn’t want it anymore so I ate it.  I also had coffee with almond/coconut milk that is sugar free.  This is the brand I really like below is called Califia Farms Toasted Coconut:

I use this in my coffee all day long, and sometimes if I want somethong sweet at the end of the day I will put it in tea as well with coconut oil and it really does the trick.

I decided to make Baked Garlic Kale Chips today, because WholeFoods had Kale on sale for super cheap:

Again this is totally organic like the Whole30 diet recommends, and when eating the whole bunch here it really fills you up!

I also made a thermos of lemon water and blueberries, once I was done I ate all the blueberries and it was delicious!

Also munched on some Angel Sweet Sunset brand cherry tomatoes which are excellent:

Now for the Baked Garlic Kale Chip recipe:

Ingredients:

  • A bundle of Organic Red Kale
  • 1/6 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Organic Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan Pink Salt

Instructions:

STEP 1 – Preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.

STEP 2 – Wash the kale before using and dry.

STEP 3 – Fill an oven friendly 9 x 12 inch pan with the olive oil, salt and garlic powder.

STEP 4 – Dip the dried kale in the pan, add more olive oil if not coated and place in the oven for 10 minutes.

Did you try this recipe?  Let me know if you liked it or had any trips to improve what I gave to you here.  I have heard some folks using paprika or red chili powder on them to give some spice, even some crushed red pepper could give it some kick!

As a reminder most all spices are compliant on the Whole30 diet but you must make sure they are organic.  Although more expensive then regular spices you have to keep in mind it is to get your body detoxed of all the toxins that have polluted your body to this point.  This is why drinking a lot of water and spicing it up with lemon and blueberries, etc. is good too to detox.  Some others combined other fruits in their water, like oranges and limes, or raspberries and lemons, or even pommegranite and lemon.

Have a great Whole30 day! 😃

Whole30 Snack – Deviled Eggs & Homemade Mayo

happy_holidays

 

Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

I am excited to share the following:

1) I took off a week from my day job to potty train my twin boys and chill with my husband;

2) We booked a few days in the Westin Hotel in Long Beach and it was awesome. The room service and food were super and it was nice to not have to clean my home for 3 days.

3) I scrubbed marker and crayon off my wall with a Magic Eraser today.  Go me! This project is TO BE CONTINUED as I could not finish it all.

4) I made this amazing deviled eggs recipe that is Whole30 friendly as today marks round 2 of my Whole30 diet! As they say, R2D1, as I drank half and half on the trip and had an english muffin on the last day of our stay.

5) My husband is vacuuming now and it is almost like eating chocolate cake.

Here is the lovely pictures of the Whole30 deviled eggs!

devil3devil2devil

Ingredients:

  • 6 organic eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonaisse (Whole30 homemade mayo version below)
  • 1/6 cup mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

STEP 1:  Boil 6 organic eggs for 9 minutes and let cool.

STEP 2: Peel eggs in cold water and place on a plate.

STEP 3: Cut eggs in half.

STEP 4: Scoop out the yolk in a little boil, add 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and mustard with Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste.

STEP 5:  Fill the empty eggs with the filling and sprinkle with paprika.

THEN EAT!

I suggest making and storing your own Whole30 friendly mayonnaise as it is super easy to make and much less expensive then buying at the store!

For Whole30 mayonnaise you need to combine the following,

Ingredients:

  • 1 room temperature egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of himalayan salt
  • 1/2 juiced lemon
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of olive oil

Instructions:

STEP 1: Mix the egg, mustard, mayo, salt, lemon in a bowl or food processor.

STEP 2:  For thick mayo, slowly add the olive oil bit by bit and process.

STEP 3:  Use it!  Feel free to store in a reused glass jar for later purposes.

I have to admit I ate all the deviled eggs just now, and am super full!  For desert I may munch on an apple and make some Lipton tea with coconut/almond milk which is all sugar free but tastes like a desert.  I wanted to say also that I saw someone at work (a skinny girl) feed herself with a spoonful of coconut oil.  I thought it as a very interesting way to potentially keep myself full before my next meal so wanted to share it with you just in case you were in the mood to try it.  I have coconut oil here that I have been adding to my morning coffee and it is excellent, but never thought to just scoop of a serving and eat it.  Will test it later and let you know how that goes in a later blog.

Now off to watch Despicable Me 2 for the 30th time, have a lovely evening and stick with the Whole30!  It’s so worth it!

LATER! 🙂

 

 

 

Whole30 Snacks – 10 Compliant Larabars

Today I was on a quest. A quest to find the best and easiest meal replacer as I forgot to pack my lunch before work today. It stinks when I forget, and typically it is leftovers from the night before. Problem is, my husband now wants in the Whole30 club! He has not been following it to a tee yet but getting close. We made an oven roaster with chicken breasts and sliced potatoes with cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt on top. Best trick my mom taught me was a ¼ inch of water and olive oil at the bottom, roast for an hour at 400 degree Fahrenheight and the last 10 minutes put it up to 425 degrees so the chicken skin is crispy! It is so good I am at work and my husband is asking me to buy chicken and potatoes again tonight!

 

Any way the point of this article is to review ALL the Larabars that are Whole30 compliant, so that you can go on and have a nice, wholesome snack when your husband ransacks your meal plan.

 

10 Whole30 Compliant Larabars to get through your work day!

 

1. Cashew Cookie Larabar

If you are a cashew nut lover and craving a cookie, this will fill you up nicely! Buy 2 if you are extra hungry!

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2. Carrot Cake Larabar
You are a bunny, I am a bunny, we all love carrots when they are sweetened up nicely and compact ready to eat! Give this bar a shot if you are craving for a dessert and on the go!

carrotcake.jpg
3. Apple Pie Larabar
Dang, da dang dang, this bar is scrumdidillyumptious! This reminds me of my Aunt’s famous Apple Pie she would always make with us for the holidays! It was so awesome. She did this with us before we had kids and she was such a great inspiration for baking and cooking. A+ momma there!

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4. Cherry Pie Larabar

Oh you fancy huh? You like this bar when you are an elitist cherry pie lover and can’t quite get all the ingredients together to make something happen. Would highly recommend snacking on this bad boy!

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5. Pecan Pie Larabar

Sweet baby Jesus is this real!?!? A whole natural pecan pie bar you can put in your mouth hole and enjoy on the go without the 50 plus instructions, buying pecans etc. You got it girl.

pecanpie.jpg
6. Coconut Crème Pie Larabar

Get your tropical skirt out, there’s about to be a hula party in your mouth. Enjoy this one if you love coconut and hate breaking it on your own!

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7. Banana Bread Larabar

Did you say BREAD? This banana bread bar IS compliant, no actual bread involved. Get your eat on with this one, you’ll be happy you did it.

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8. Lemon Bar Larabar
If you are a big lemon fan, I would definitely check this bar out as a substitute for hunger on the Whole30 diet. Enjoy!

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9. Chocolate Coconut Chew Larabar

Oh yes! I said the triple C’s – chocolate, coconut and chew. These mix of ingredients will give you a high you will take home with you to your team.

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10. Key Lime Pie Larabar

Fear not! No need to go to Key West to experience your Key Lime pie! You got it all here.

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Happy Snacking kids!  🙂