Refigerator Roundup

I’ve spent the week cooking, and fruits of my labors have actually resulted in a rather full fridge. We often don’t have too many leftovers lying around since we all eat them for lunch (or breakfast) the next day, but somehow I made enough to earn myself a night off! My dad always used to call leftover night “refrigerator roundup.” The allusion to herding cattle was lost on me as a child, but now I think the term is rather cute… calling all lost little leftovers! Here is the rundown of what we ate for dinner this week, in case you’re trying to plan your own Whole30 meals.

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The art of salad

Luc insists that I make the best salads. I tease him that he only says that to get out of making them for me, and I sometimes believe that’s true. I didn’t grow up eating too many salads that I can remember. Occasionally we’d have a lettuce salad, but those iceberg creations didn’t inspire me much. But over the years, I’ve made some pretty good ones. There’s no special trick, except maybe to add lots of variety: all sorts of colors, textures, ingredients can come together to make a great salad. I usually include nuts, but since I’ve been snacking on them far too much lately, I skipped them last night. Here’s what we ate on the side of our pork tenderloin with prociutto, fig, and onion jam. This salad made 3 large side-salad servings.

  • 5-6 loose cups mixed baby greens
  • handful micro greens
  • 3 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 small carrots
  • 1/3 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • scant 1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, sliced
  • dressed with roasted red pepper vinaigrette (from Health Bent’s cobb salad recipe, also amazing!)

Bean-less Chili?!?

When you live in a cold-winter climate like we do, a good chili is nearly a dinner requirement. So what do you do when you stop eating beans? Make bean-less chili, of course! When I mentioned this to my mom on our last visit, I received some raised eyebrows. How can you possibly have a chili without beans? Luckily, there are some good recipes out there. Robb Wolf and his Paleo Solution crew threw out a search for the best Paleo Chili, and while I can’t quite procure all of the peppers required to make the winning recipe, we’ve tried several from the very huge number of entries. Monday night I tried a new one, but it doesn’t quite compare to our tried-and-true chili recipe, below. I did not come up with this recipe but can’t credit the person who did, as we gleaned this from the Internet years ago.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds beef chuck roast (or other roast meat)
  • 1 pound ground pork sausage (Beeler’s breakfast sausage or other)
  • 2-3 green bell peppers + poblano pepper, if available (about 2-3 cups chopped peppers total)
  • 1 large onion, sweet or yellow
  • 6+ cloves garlic
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 4-5 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T liquid smoke
  • 2+ T chili powder
  • 1+ T salt
  • 1+ t black pepper
  • 1-2 t cumin
  • cayenne, to taste
  • Tabasco, to taste

Process:

Cut your beef into bite-sized cubes. This can be easier if your meat is not quite thawed, as the frozen beef holds up to the knife. Add all of the cubed meat to a large bowl. Add the pork sausage, breaking it up with your fingers as you go. Dice and add the onion and bell peppers, then mince and add the garlic. Add your salt, pepper, Worcestershire and liquid smoke, and then mix well with your hands. Cover the bowl, and let the chili marinate in your fridge all day, or overnight if possible. Minimal marinating time is 4 hours.

After marinating, brown your meat and peppers mixture in a large saute pan in several batches. When the meat is done browning, add it to the soup pot you’ll be cooking your chili in. Once all of your meat/peppers are done browning, add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and Tabasco. Simmer covered for 2 or more hours, until the meat is super tender. If you want a thicker chili, you can simmer uncovered for some of the cooking time.

February 15 – day one

It’s my first day of my Whole32. Here’s a look at what I had to eat today.

Breakfast: leftover Vitamin A Bisque, coffee. I’m drinking decaf right now to minimize the effects of caffeine on my nursing baby. I’ve also noticed my sleep quality decline when I do drink some caffeine. With as much sleep interruption as I get, I don’t need anything else impeding my rest!

Lunch: leftover Beef Stew and then a little leftover chicken curry, topped off with a few bites of Liam’s sardines.

Dinner: NY Strip steaks topped with carmelized onions and a dash of balsamic vinegar, roasted broccoli, and pineapple.

To make: trim broccoli into small florets; peel and dice stems. Lay out on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil (I used olive oil), salt and pepper. Toss around on the sheet with a spatula then bake in the oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes. I usually just check to see the edges of the pieces and florets getting a little brown.

While the broccoli is in the oven, slice an onion and saute in coconut oil or ghee over medium to medium-high heat until the onion becomes very soft and browned. It should taste sweet. Prepare your steaks while the onions are cooking: salt and pepper on each side. This is also when I cut my fresh pineapple. Once the onions are out of the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high/high and place steaks in pan. I cook them for about 2-3 minutes on a side, then finish them off in a hot oven for a few minutes. Let them rest for about 5-10 minutes while you’re setting the table, then serve.