If you follow me on Instagram (which I hope all of you do!!), then you know that whenever I am in Florida it is an absolute must that I have my favorite meal: sweet potato crusted salmon from the Food Shack. I don’t know why I never thought of doing something so brilliant, but ever since I had it a few years ago I can never get it off my mind. Finally, after 3 years of claiming I would do so, I have officially created a recipe in my kitchen for my own version and I can safely say it is BOMB. With a few extra steps, you too can be enjoying this incredibly crunchy exterior yet perfectly cooked salmon.
A Healthy Whole30 Snack
When it comes to snacking on Whole30, there are mixed opinions. Some believe the whole purpose of Whole30 is to break some of the unnecessary eating habits you have. However, if I’m hungry, I’m going to eat. This does not mean I’m snacking throughout the day, but by no means am I going to starve myself for a food plan (refuse to call it a diet) that I’ve decided to follow. That said, it is extremely difficult to find compliant Whole30 snacks other than fruits and vegetables. So as part of my Sunday meal prep, you better believe I’m also making some grab and go foods for the moments in between meals.
A weeknight Whole30 staple
Let me start right off the bat by saying in no way, whatsoever, is this meal replacing a delicious bowl of gluten and cheese filled spaghetti and meat sauce from your favorite Italian restaurant. Also, before the naysayers come at me about how quickly this meat sauce is made, this is not your grandmother’s Sunday sauce; this is a quick meat marinara sauce that does not take much time but still tastes delicious. Now that we’re on the same page, let me show you how to make a delicious and fast Whole30 approved dinner that you can surprisingly pull together with some potential staples lying around your kitchen (or am I the only one who regularly has zucchini and sweet potatoes on hand and ground beef in my freezer?).
The perfect meal to batch cook
When people think of Whole30 they think of lame, boring, sad salads. I get it, I thought the same thing as first. Little do these said negative people know that eating Whole30 compliant meals can actually be pretty freaking delicious. Not only delicious, but easy. This meal is so simple, includes a wide variety of ingredients that are easily interchangeable, and is the perfect meal for a batch cooking session. Cook a huge skillet of this stir-fry on a Sunday night and I promise, your hungry Whole30-doing self will thank you every day afterwards. Whether enjoying at work, while your coworkers eye you with envy mid bite of their sad salad mentioned above, or at night, sans that glass of wine that you crave so badly (sorry, I can’t help you there), it will hit the spot.
The too good to be true healthy dessert
Health kicks or diets can get crazy. A lot of us have been there: you decide to gung-ho cut out a ton of food groups, maybe specifically sugar or dessert, and then realize it is all you can think about. As someone with a serious sweet tooth but also a secret side love affair for all things salty, I combined the two with my new obsession over tahini and made the perfect healthy-fied dessert. No-bake raw coconut cashew tahini bars. Pop these babies in your freezer and have on hand for when you just need that extra something.
The quickest meal on this site
A few weeks ago I was in Florida with my family and, when I realized we had no lunch plans, I immediately raised my hand to create something delicious for everyone. However, as soon as my hand went up, the sun came out, and I immediately regretted my decision of volunteering to be inside the kitchen during the day (although, I must admit, the idea of driving a car to a nearby suburban Trader Joe’s with extremely wide aisles and a limited line is one of my ongoing daydreams). When I entered the store, I decided that I was going to make the easiest, quickest, and most crowd-pleasing lunch possible. That meant no oven, no stove-top, not even a microwave; this meal had to take me 5 minutes or less. I grabbed a bunch of random ingredients from the produce and pantry aisle and prayed for a successful pairing. I must have had the TJ gods on my side because I have been craving this salad ever since. It is SO easy, so refreshing, and surprisingly filling. A definite new weekday staple in my house.
The perfect celebratory healthy meal
Nothing screams “fancy as f&#@k” as filet mignon. When it is time to celebrate in this apartment, filet is on the menu. It is also something that is so deceivingly easy to cook but for some reason intimidating to most and therefore seems impressive to whoever you are cooking for (hopefully they don’t read this post and continue to feel special and in awe when they come to your home). With this perfectly seared on the outside and medium rare on the inside steak, you can pair it with some crispy and somehow still soft roasted fall vegetables. Honestly, steak houses get a bad rep for being an unhealthy option. Yes, they throw in an unnecessary bottle of heavy cream to their creamed spinach and fry one too many sides, but, if you keep it simple with a great steak and some roasted vegetables this meal is not only delicious but also incredibly healthy. And, even better, if you are one of the brave souls enduring an either paleo or Whole30 January, then you are in luck! Because this entire meal is approved. People on cleanses/resets gotta celebrate too? Just pourthat extra glass of red wine for your friend who refuses to cut out the booze.
The perfect Christmas dinner
When I think Christmas dinner, I envision sitting at a table with everyone I love, large glasses of wine, laughter encompassing the entire room, and an incredible meal on the plate in front of me. Typically, that meal involves two main things: vegetables and some type of perfectly cooked, fancy, wonderful, meat. Typically, it is a filet mignon or a pot roast. However, I am proposing we all change it up a little bit; its time to give the limelight to one of my favorite meats of 2017: lamb. This year, lamb has been one of my top obsessions. Not that it was ever something I didn’t enjoy (trust me, there isn’t a lamb chop that leaves my plate with a scrap of meat left on the bone), but recently I have found myself craving it hard core. Because of the price, and the fact that most of us are trying to cook on a budget, it is not something that I indulge in weekly. However, it provides the perfect candidate for the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas day. So, if you’re heading into this weekend hosting the holidays without a menu planned, I am here to help. Your family will love you even more.
The star of your Thanksgiving feast
Few words are needed to describe this dish and recipe. There is nothing more important for a Thanksgiving dinner than a well-executed turkey. Being my first time preparing a full turkey for my guests, I was incredibly intimidated. Thankfully, I have a local butcher that I love (shoutout to Dickson’s Meat Stand) who made sure they had the perfect bird ready for me to serve my Friendsgivings guests a week early. Most importantly, they spatchcoked this big bird for me to cut down roasting time (because who has time to cook a turkey for four hours) and guarantee more of my favorite part of turkey – perfectly roasted skin. This bird was dry brined and then rubbed with ghee and seasonings to make sure every bite was flavorful, juicy, and nap inducing.
An extremely easy, healthy, comforting, and filling meat chili
When the temperature starts to drop, my kitchen immediately transforms into a vessel for comforting, warm, rib lining meals that you want to have encompass you in a big open armed bear hug. That is how I feel about chili. When I enjoy a good bowl of chili my mind goes to a winter day on a comfy couch by a fireplace wrapped in a cozy blanket watching a football game. If that doesn’t sound like an extremely glorious Sunday to you, then we have different ideas of relaxation and comfort. Not only does this chili provide the ability to suddenly transport you to a different place, much better than the desk you may be eating this at for lunch, but it is extremely easy to make. And I’m not just saying that; this meal is sincerely stupid easy. I would stretch to even say it is the easiest thing that has ever been, or ever will be, featured on my blog. If you have an instant pot or slow cooker meal you are in luck because this baby is a dump and cook meal that requires the simple effort of pushing a button. It is a serious crowd pleaser and one of my Sunday meal prep staples as I am able to put everything in the machine, push a button, and get on with cooking my other meals. Plus, in my honest opinion, chili is one of the few foods that actually tastes better the next day once all of the flavors have combined and the sauce has thickened.