Whole30 #2: Day 1-3 Recap

I am documenting my second Whole 30 journey to help me see how far I’ve come from my first Whole30 (Feb 2015) to this one (April 2015). Plus, I don’t want to fall into any food ruts. Hopefully this will keep me inspired through the whole process. I’m looking forward to the transformation in how I approach food, cook with it, and enjoy it. Check out all my Whole30 related posts HERE from why I did my first Whole30, why I am doing this one, and food diaries. 

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 {Day 1}

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Here we go again!!

Like last time, the first day didn’t seem like it was such a hardship and I still felt normal. I’m awaiting my slump coming up in a few days. But the first day went perfectly. It felt great to start again.

Breakfast

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Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche and Homemade Bacon 

I couldn’t resist making bacon to kick off this Whole30. And damn, was it good!! It was filling after I ate it and kept me satisfied for a long time. Of course,

Lunch

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Simple salad with a sauteed pork cutlet. A Fruit bar

The greens for the salad were from a bag from Trader Joe’s, but it had butter lettuce in there that was really nice. I threw the salad together quickly so I forgot to put cucumber in, Bummer! But I took the time to make pork cutlets. We shared 1 large chop for our salads.

I then had the apple and strawberry Fruit Bar. yum!

Dinner

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Beef with roasted fennel, onion, and tomatoes

I had to go back to work to get some stuff done so I focused on making a quick dinner. I did the roasted veggies as they are pretty easy to prep and taste really good. The beef was just reheated from a bag I got from Costco when I went shopping on Sunday. I love that as it’s a quick complaint option for busy lunches or dinners.

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Late Night Snack

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Since I was awake and (mentally) active later that normal I had some nuts as a snack. I had about 20. I love pistachios!

{Day 2}

Thursday, April 2nd,  2015

Today felt good. It felt good that I was already 1 day into Whole30. I like mentally crossing them off the calendar. Getting through each day is a great accomplishment.

Breakfast

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Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche with Roasted Veggies

I ate this at work and it worked out well. I really like to eat breakfast there. Anyway, more quiche with leftover veggies from the dinner before. Really good!

Lunch

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Salad with a hard boiled egg, roast beef, & guacamole 

It was a big salad. I think all salads should be big salads. It was nice and filling from the volume of it and protein in it. I used up the leftover beef from the prior dinner. I heated it up since cold meat on a salad gives me the willies. I love fresh avocado on a salad but I didn’t have any at home so I used a 100-calorie cup of Wholly Guacamole. So good! I don’t like the yolk in a hard boiled eggs so I only eat the white park.

Dinner

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Sauteed fish (seasoned with Adobo) with garlicky asparagus and tomatoes

The fish was from a Trader Joe’s. I don’t remember the kind, but it’s from a blue bag. It’s light in texture, and thin, allowing it to cook quickly, which is great for our busy schedule. I peeled the asparagus and then put it in with the fish so it was a 1 pan dinner! I added the tomatoes just a few minutes before the fish was done to heat up enough to just burst.

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{Day 3}

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Today was the toughest so far, and it honestly wasn’t that bad. I wasn’t really craving anything but I was hungry. Very hungry.

Breakfast

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Spinach and Mushroom Crustless Quiche with slices of Homemade Bacon, Smothered in Frank’s Red Hot

We finished up our quiche by having a slice each. And I made the rest of the bacon too (divided up between breakfast and lunch). The morning was rushed so I basically ate my bacon while showering- no joke. ha!

I honestly think I couldn’t survive Whole30 (or life!) without Frank’s Red Hot. I buy it in bulk from Costcos!

Lunch

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Salad with homemade bacon and hard boiled egg white, a clementine, and mini Cashew Cookie Laura Bar (not pictured)

This was a damn good salad. Good flavors and textures. I loved the crunch from the bacon (leftover from what I made in the morning) and the softness from the egg white. Dressing was quickly thrown together with a complaint herb seasoning packet. It was pretty good! And I had a 100 calorie Cashew Cookie Laura bar. It got me over the hump that I was feeling about 45 minutes after eating lunch.

I focused on staying hydrated at work so I had a black coffee, water, and iced tea. Staying hydrated just helps me feel good, but helps with hunger too!

Dinner

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Thick cut pork chops (cutlets?) with roasted veggies, served with whole grain mustard 

I don’t know the difference from pork chops and cutlets. I should look into that. Anyway, these were really thick – about an inch! – boneless chops/cutlets. I seasoned the pork with Adobo and used the leftover bacon fat from the bacon I made in the morning to cook these bad boys. They were super thick so they took awhile, but I multi-tasked well and talked to my dad (feel better from your eye surgery!)The flavor from the bacon fat was so good!!

For the veggies I cut up fennel, onion, and kale sprouts. I got the Kale Sprouts from Trader Joe’s. It was the first time I had them so it was fun to try something new. Rounded out a really good dinner.

Late Night Snack

I was busy working on my laptop from having to leave early to get Autumn and I was crashing around 9.30pm (2 hours after eating dinner) so I had a heaping spoonful of crunchy almond butter. I started to feel better about 10 minutes later and go through my work stuff!

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What are your favorite Whole30 recipes? Please share!

Are you considering doing Whole30? Give it a try!

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Open Faced Summertime Tomato Sandwich {& a Nasoya Nayonaise Review}

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I haven’t been into cooking during the week. I try to do all my ‘big’ cooking done over the weekend and then just make something simple like boxed mac and cheese during the week. It’s too hot. I’m too tired. I don’t care.

But since I can’t live on boxed mac and cheese alone (or can I?), I’ve been trying to make some simple salads or sandwiches, besides PBJ. One that I have been turning to is a summer time favorite… a tomato sandwich.

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I just feel that you can’t beat fresh summer produce so you should take every opportunity you can to enjoy it. And don’t mess around with it too much. Some bread, your favorite mayo, fresh greens, and slices of juice ripe tomato. Plus don’t forget the fresh cracked salt and pepper. Really, enjoy the best of every ingredient since there are only 4.

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I recently received some Vegan Nayonsise from Nasoya to try. I’ve really been enjoying it on sandwiches, in dips for fries, and on burgers. Yes, I know. Dumb Dumb puts vegan mayo on a meaty burger. I’m pregnant. That’s my free card to do whatever. But really, because it is so good I’ve been putting it on and in all different things. I think that’s really impressive since I ONLY use Hellmann’s. Don’t try to give me Cain’s or Miracle Whip.

So naturally, I was hesitant to try the Original Nayonaise. But I was really pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. No, this is not your typical mayo since it is Dairy and Egg Free, which means it is not going to taste the same or look the same as a ‘normal’ mayo but it really is very good. I think it is a great solution for someone to enjoy if they are vegetarian, vegan, or have a food allergy.

I had done some side by side comparisons while playing around with the Nayonaise by making some foods with it and some with regular mayo and mixing them up. If you were not really looking out for the difference I think you would not really notice it. The taste is subtually tangier than Hellmann’s, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. I never experienced a funny after taste with the Nayonaise either. I think the biggest difference I noticed was that it has a different texture compared to mayo. When mayo is pretty smooth, it is rather gummy, but I didn’t notice any problems mixing it up or spreading it on my sandwich.

Besides it being a great product for vegetarians, vegans, or people with food allergies, I think it would be great for people who are watching their figure. Compared to the average mayo that has 90 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat per serving, the Nayonaise has only 40 calries, 3 grams of fat, and .5 grams of saturdated fat per serving. The Nayonaise has slightly more sodium with 115 grams compared to 90 grams but overall a very healthy mayo alternative.

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For real… look at this amazing perfect summertime sandwich.

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Nom, Nom, Nom!!!

Open Faced Summertime Tomato Sandwich

Makes 4 ‘sandwiches’

Ingredients

  • 1 boule of sourdough bread
  • your favorite mayo, such as Nasoya’s Vegan Nayonaise
  • 2-4 super fresh tomatoes, depends on size
  • 4 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Slice the sourdough into 1/4″ thick slices. Lightly toast, if desired.
  2. Slather on a generous amount of mayo.
  3. Lay on torn pieces of romaine lettuce. Top with 1/4″ thick slices of tomatoes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

*While I did receive this complimentary jar of Nayoniase from Nasoya, these opinions are entirely my own.

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Thanks for visiting. Please leave me a comment to provide some feedback. I appreciate all the comments I receive.

Penne alla Vodka {and a Tuttorosso Giveaway}

Penne alla VodkaJust a few years ago my sister gave me a cookbook from the elementary school my nephews go to that was compiled from the families of the school. The best thing is that I used to go to that school and now my 3 nephews go there. In all, I love that all of these family favorite recipes are available in a cute little book that was sold as a fundraiser.

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I was browsing through it recently since I’m trying to make a point of using all of the cookbooks I have. A recipe for Penne alla Vodka jumped out at me and low and behold it was a recipe from my sister’s mother (my sister is actually my half-sister, if you haven’t realized that yet). It was funny how it all worked out.

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The timing of all this could not be more perfect sinse Tuttorosso sent me some canned tomatoes to try as well as giveaway, more on that later. Tuttorosso, meaning “all red”, has been a primary staple in the pantries of discerning cooks since 1929. They produce more than 100 products in their lines of whole, crushed, sauce, pureed, diced canned tomatoes. Plsu they have a line of jarred pasta sauces. Anyone would prefer to use fresh tomatoes whenever possible but when they are not in season, or a good quality then you have to turned to a great quality of canned tomatoes. Shoot, these tomatoes are even great to use to compliment fresh in seaosn toamtoes in a sauce. I was so impressed with the flavor and consistancy of the crused tomatoes. When you open a can of their tomatoes the first things you notice are how vilbrant and fragrant they are.

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The Penne alla Vodka was a huge success. I made a few changes to make it my own, like using panchetta instead of prosciutto, and increasing the amount of vodka. The starting point of a fantastic dish are great ingredients so from great crushed tomatoes to a good quailty vodka you will end up with a fantstic recipe. It is simple to whip up and makes for a great dinner to serve with some salad and garlic bread.

Penne alla Vodka

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4oz panchetta, diced
  • 28 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese

Process

  1. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and then add penne. Cook until al dente.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat,  add the oil, onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper.
  3. Once the onions are translucent, add the panchetta. Cook until golden brown.
  4. Add in the crushed tomatoes and turn the heat up to bring the sauce to a low boil. Add in the vodka and heavy cream and cook over high heat for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add the penne to coat the pasta.
  6. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese

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And now the good stuff… the GIVEAWAY!

You can win your very one Tuttorosso package that includes 3 28-ounce cans of a variety of tomato products, pot holder, magnetic kitchen converstion chart, and recipes.

To Enter:

Leave a comment telling me how you would use a can of crushed or whole tomatoes.

Extra Entries:

Spread the word- Tweet: “I love tomatoes! I want to win a @RedGoldTomatoes gift pack from @iamahoneybee. http://wp.me/pzEAP-2XJCome back here and leave me ANOTHER comment telling me that you did.

Follow @RedGoldTomatoes on twitter OR like Tuttorosso Tomatoes on Facebook for updates and to stay connected. Come back here and leave me ANOTHER comment telling me that you did.

Contest Ends Friday the 21st at Midnight EST. Good luck but if you don’t win be sure to go to your local grocery store and pick up some Tuttorosso for your own home cooking.

10.4-7: weekend recap

{Thursday night} bus ride home | pick tomatoes from our garden | pack an over night bag | leave for Greenwich | lots of rain then traffic| last 10 miles take extra 50 mins | chat with mom | bed

{Friday} chat with mom | get ready | Kris picks me up | McDonald’s | 9.05 wait in line for Vineyard Vines sample sale | shopping | chat with Kris | 1.18pm leave for MA | Shake Shake for late lunch | traffic and lots of accidents | gas | traffic and lots of accidents| took 5hrs 45 mins to get home door to door | talk with dad | wine | pasta with fresh garden tomato sauce | TV | bed

{Saturday} take videos of the rabbits | made egg whites with tomatoes and alouette cheese and english muffins | TV time | drop off Pricer, pick up Emily | lunch at Mi Salvador & Mexicano | laundry | watch The Newsroom | me: work on wigs, em: knit | price came home | drop off Emily | pouring down rain | lean cuisine | relax & watch DRV’d Food Network Shows | bed

{Sunday} pancakes for breakfast | Price did the dishes | watch SNL | cut coupons | Water For Elephants | Price went to Kurland’s | work on wigs | apple & peanut butter for lunch | watch NASCAR & Giant’s game | do my nails | Price back | make pasta for dinner | bath | blogging | wine | meal planning | bed

 

 

 

 

Party Pico de Gallo

Price and I recently had a party at our place for my birthday. It was centered around a Mexican theme so I’ll be posting a few recipes from that that works well for a fiesta or just a great gathering. Enjoy!

Pico de Gallo is one of my favorite things to have on hand for topping on our dinners because it’s a great addition to chicken, steak, pork, or even a salad. But I really love to share at a party. Chips and dip are classic party foods and there is a great reason for it. They are filling, great finger foods, and can be centrally located on a coffee table while people are gathered around.

I much prefer poco de gallo over a jarred salsa. There is no comparison really. Pico de gallo has such a fresh, vibrant taste from all the fresh vegetables in the mix. The lime juice really helps all the flavors intensify as well. I feel that little home made touches like this really make a meal so much people. Also when you serve this to guests they notice the homemade touch.

With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend this would be great to throw together for the big game, but really making a big batch works well for any sporting event or gathering, especially Cinco De Mayo. I suggest serving it with some tortilla chips, corn chips, pita chips, or celery at your next party.

Party Sized Pico de Gallo

Serves 20-25 people

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of Roma tomatoes
  • 2 large red onions
  • 4-6 cloves minced garlic
  • 5-6 jalapeños
  • large handful (approximately half a bunch) of cilantro
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt and pepper

Process

  1. Dice both onions and put into a large bowl.
  2. Remove the tops of the tomatoes. Halve the tomatoes length wise, halve again. Remove the seeds by sliding you knife along the inner membrane. Cut the flesh into long strips and the run your knife through the strips for a small dice. Add tomatoes to the onions.
  3. Add the garlic.
  4. Mince the jalapeños by cutting off their tops, halving them, removing the seeds (optional), and running your knife along the pieces until they are uniformly small. Add to the mixture in the bowl.
  5. Take your fresh cilantro and evenly chop the pieces, stems included. Add to the mixture.
  6. Squeeze 2 limes over the mixture. Gently mix the pico de gallo.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste. Give another quick toss to incorporate.