July 14, 2014

Homemade Chorizo

July 14, 2014

Mmmmm, I loveeeeeeee chorizo. Like, love love love it. While on Whole 30, it's hard to find some good, compliant chorizo. Even off Whole 30, most chorizos that are available are made with the gross parts of the animal--like ears, tongues...eyelids. Woof. I don't know about you, but I really like to know what's going into my food, and really like there to not be any gross parts. I'll totally continue making this chorizo while not doing Whole 30--it's stupid easy, and really tasty.

Next time, I'll double the sauce and freeze it so I can just dump it into some ground pork (or chicken, or turkey) as needed. The sauce is the most time consuming (time consuming does not mean difficult!) but I think it will definitely freeze well.

Homemade Chorizo

What you'll need:
1lb ground pork (you can substitute chicken, turkey, or beef) 
3 dried guajillo chilies (I found these in the Mexican spice section) 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
1/4 of an onion, diced 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1/2 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon oregano 
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
1 teaspoon salt 

Here's what to do:
1. In a dry skillet on high heat toast the chiles on each side. Once they start to puff, fill skillet with water (enough to cover the chiles) and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and cover with lid for 30 minutes. 
2. When chills are moist, drain the water and put the chiles in a blender with the diced onion, garlic, and vinegar. Puree until a smooth paste (like ketchup!)--you can add more vinegar if needed. 
3. Add the chile puree to the ground pork (I only used half of the puree, I froze the rest for another batch!) and add the spices.
The chorizo is so versatile! I used it in scrambled eggs, on salads, and in tacos. 

July 08, 2014

Steak with Chimichurri & Sweet Potato Fries

July 8, 2014

We started our second round of Whole 30 today. Well, I guess we started yesterday but last night I accidentally tripped and my face landed in two scoops of ice cream with a waffle bowl, soooooooooo I had to start over today. I'm pretty sure this round is going to be way way way way way way more challenging than the first round. I'm not as motivated this round. And, since I already completed it once I feel like I've got nothing to prove. BUT, i need to prove that I can complete it twice. Power through, Rochelle, power through. This is one of my go-to summer meals, and it's a perfect Whole 30 meal because I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything.

Steak w/ Chimichurri & Sweet Potato Fries with Pineapple Sauce-- Whole 30

Chimichurri is a refreshing herb sauce that goes wonderfully with chicken, seafood, and shrimp, and steak. It is one of my go-to sauces for steak, Whole30 or not. Sooooo good.  This pineapple sauce is inspired by a local restaurant. Naturally, I wouldn't think to pair sweet potato fries with a sweet sauce, but this is an excellent flavor combination with just the right amount of spice. Both of these sauces are super bright flavors, perfect for summer. 

Grilled Steak with Chimichurri and Sweet Potato Fries with Pineapple Red-Chili Sauce 

serves 2 

Steak & Chimichurri 
2 steaks, your favorite cut 
1 cup fresh parsley 
1/2 cup olive oil 
1/3 cup red wine vinegar 
1/4 cup cilantro 
2 garlic cloves 
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
1/2 teaspoon cumin 
1/2 teaspoon salt 

1. Season steaks with salt and pepper and grill to your liking. 
2. In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients and process until finely chopped. 
3. Serve sauce over steak. 

Sweet Potato Fries w/ Pineapple Sauce 
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries 
2 tablespoons coconut oil 
1 teaspoon smoked paprika 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 cup fresh pineapple 
1 red chili 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a sheet tray, toss sweet potatoes with coconut oil, paprika, and salt. Lay flat and spread out and bake for 20 minutes. Stir, and bake for an addition 10 minutes until crisp. 
2. Add pineapple and red chili to food processor and process until smooth. 

June 22, 2014

Sweet Potato & Bacon Stuffed Portobello w/ Fried Egg

June 22, 2014

This was my very favorite breakfast during the entire Whole 30. I made it once again after Whole 30 with white potatoes (Paul hates sweet potatoes) and we both agreed that it was actually better with sweet potatoes. I love the balance of spicy, sweet, smoky, and salty. You can cut (and even cook!) the potatoes in advance so all you have to do in the morning is heat and assemble. I like to always have cooked bacon on hand--I usually just bake a whole package every week to have on hand for salads and such (Bake on 350 for 20 minutes, flip, 10 minutes longer. Reserve the grease!)

I had never cooked anything in bacon grease before this. I am now obsessed--I can't believe I used to just throw it away. So much flavor, in the trash! I will save my bacon grease forever.

I used white sweet potato for this because it is a little less sweet that orange sweet potato, and it's a little more starchy--but you could definitely use orange if you prefer or if you can't find white.

White Sweet Potato & Bacon Stuffed Portobello w/ Fried Egg

serves 2

3 slices of bacon, cooked--reserve grease (Whole30 complaint! No sugar!)
1 large white sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 jalapeƱo, ribs and seeds removed, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 eggs, fried or poached
2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan, leaving the grease. 

2. Add the potatoes to the pan, arrange in a thin layer. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring only once, to create a nice crust. 

3. Meanwhile, drizzle the portobellos with olive oil and place under the broiler (on high) gill side up. Broil for 10 minutes or until they release their water. Drain the liquid and season lightly with salt.

4. Once the potatoes are tender, add the jalapeƱos, and onions. Cook for 3 minutes, then add the chopped bacon. Season with salt and pepper.

5. On a plate, spoon the potato mixture onto the mushroom and top with an egg.

Enjoy, my friends!

June 21, 2014

Shrimp Burgers w/ Peach Salsa & Chipotle Coconut Cream

June 21, 2014

This Paleo-fied burger is super-duper tasty. It has the perfect balance of sweet, savory, salty, and spicy. Paul & I ate it over lettuce instead of with a bun.

I'm not the biggest shrimp fan, I could take it or leave it--I think it's a texture thing. It's sort of like what I would imagine eating eyeballs to be like. Sort of crunchy, sort of soft. I really like the flavor of shrimp, though. In this recipe the shrimp is chopped in a food processor so you get the flavor without the eyeball texture--which for me, is a win. This recipe is super adaptable--you could ditch the shrimp and go for any white fish, and swap out the peach for pineapple or mango.

Shrimp Burgers with Chipotle Coconut Cream & Peach Salsa

makes 2 larger burgers
adapted from here.

Shrimp Burger
1 pound raw, peeled and deveined shrimp 
1/3 cup coconut flour (you could use almond flour)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 avocado, sliced for topping

Chipotle Coconut Cream
1/2 cup coconut cream (the fat from the top of a can of full fat coconut)
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 lime, juiced

Coconut Peach Salsa
2 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons toasted unsweetened coconut (make sure there’s no added sugar!)
2 tablespoons red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely diced
1/2 lime, juiced
salt + pepper to taste

Shrimp Burgers:
1. Add shrimp to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add egg, panko, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and basil. Mix until combined, then form into patties (form tightly with your hands, trying to prevent cracking). 
2. Heat a skillet oven medium heat and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook patties until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes. Repeat with remaining burgers.

Chipotle Coconut Cream:
In a bowl, stir together coconut cream, chipotle powder, lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on top of burgers, then layer with avocado and peach salsa!

Peach Salsa:

Stir all ingredients together and serve on top of burgers!

Enjoy, my friends!

June 10, 2014

Baked Eggs w/ Spicy Tomato Stew

June 10, 2014

Hey friends! What a busy week here! I'm guest posting this week on Whole 30's recipe instagram! So exciting! So, that means I have to take pictures of my food. When I have decent pictures, that means I can share recipes on my blog! Woot woot! Slowly but surely I'll get back into this whole blogging world..

While doing Whole 30, you eat a TON of eggs. Everyday seems like eggs and sweet potatoes. Which is fine by me, I love a good sweet potato hash with a soft, runny yolk on top...Buttt, I guess it can get a little old by day 20 or so,  so I tried to think up another good method to have my eggs in the morning. I tried an egg with some tomato sauce early on, because tomatoes are a great fat burner and an excellent antioxidant, but I just felt like it was missing something. I needed some more substance, like a good tortilla to dip in it. Wellll, tortillas are no bueno on the Whole 30, so I needed to find a different way to add substance. I added a bunch of stuff to the tomato sauce, and made it a hearty, tomato stew. I topped my stew with an egg and and baked it.

This breakfast was super easy, I cooked the stew up in one pot the day before. In the morning I put the stew into oven-safe bowls, cracked my egg, and popped it in the oven. AND, I was able to get stuff done for 25 minutes while it baked. Bonus! And when it's done baking, it looks like it has melted cheese on it. Double bonus!

Baked Eggs with Spicy Tomato Stew 

makes 2 servings

1 whole tomato, diced
1 15oz can of tomato puree (remember to check the ingredients)
(you can swap the whole tomato, and tomato puree for a can of diced tomatoes if you'd prefer)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 cup sweet potato, chopped
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 italian sausage link (Whole30 compliant, of course!)
1 cup kale, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon coconut/olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Heat oil in pan over med-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, stir for 5 minutes. Add onion, sausage, and kale. Lower heat to medium-low and cover for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato puree. Add seasonings and simmer for 5 more minutes. 

3. Transfer stew to oven safe bowls/ramekins. Crack egg on each and bake for 25 minutes or until the egg white is firm but the yolk is runny. 


May 29, 2014

Whole 30 Tips

May 29, 2014

I've had a lot of friends asking about our Whole 30 journey so I came up with a few tips I wish I would have known before starting Whole 30. This journey has been great, but it definitely hasn't been easy. Paul and I feel great and definitely notice a huge change in the way our clothes fit. We're not all the way done yet (we're on day 25) so we don't have all our results and stats.

1. Planning is key. 

In order to succeed you must plan! Plan to pick 30 days that work well for you, this journey is quite a commitment and you can't allow yourself any cheats, so plan accordingly. If the upcoming month is full of weddings, birthday parties, tropical vacations, and family reunions--maybe choose to wait until the following month. There's always going to be at least one social event over the course of 30 days, but try to make it easier on yourself by picking a season of less-busy.

Planning is also key with your daily meals. Make sure you're planning your meals for the week out and grocery shopping for the week.  If its 5:00 and you still don't know whats for dinner, you're more likely to order a pizza or eat something processed and junky. If you know what your dinners are for the week and you've done your shopping, you're more prepared to make something healthy and whole30 compliant.

2. Commit.

You've really got to commit to this thing. If you're "eh, sort of committed" but have plans to cheat at next week's birthday dinner, what's stopping you from cheating again? And again. And again. No cheating, friends. Or else you've got to start over. Committing also means ridding your house on non-compliant food. If it's not there, you're less likely to slip up and eat it. I went through and threw away everything in my refrigerator that wasn't Whole 30 compliant. For the things I couldn't part with/knew I would eat again once Whole30 was over, I put on the bottom shelves and covered them with towels. Out of sight, out of mind. Just know, what you eat is a choice. If you've made a commitment to stick this out for 30 days, you need to make good choices. I used to think I had no control over my cravings, and my need for cookies or the 7th slice of pizza. The commitment to 30 days has helped me realize that I can say no to those cravings.

3. It's hard, and it's time consuming.

I'm not going to lie, it's hard, especially the first week... But the further in you get, the easier it gets. It also takes a lot of time. The first two weeks I felt like I was in the kitchen or at the grocery store ALL THE TIME. But again, the further you get in the easier it gets. Grocery shopping takes twice as long because you have to read all the labels. And cooking may take longer if you're not used to chopping lots of veggies. Again, it's so worth it.

4. Read all your labels.

Every. Single. Label. You'd be surprised at how much stuff has sugar in it. Things you would never think of. Salt. Some salt has sugar in it. Bacon, yep, sugar. Deli turkey, yes again, sugar. Sugar is everywhere! So really, if it comes in a box or a jar, read the labels--even if you think it would be compliant. Just because it's organic, doesn't mean it's compliant.

5. Nutrition labels are NOT the same as ingredient lists.

In the first couple of weeks I was determined to find sugar free bacon. I called my local Sprouts to see if they carried any sugar free bacon. The butcher put me on hold to go check. He came back and said, "Yep! Our store brand of bacon has 0g of sugar." 0g of sugar is NOT the same as no sugar. I was at the store later that week and checked the ingredient list and the second ingredient was brown sugar. If there is less than 1g of sugar, they round down to 0g, but there still is sugar in it. Make sure you're reading your ingredient lists and not the nutrition labels.

6. Don't be afraid to ask to see the label.

At the deli in my grocery store I ask to see all the labels before purchasing an item. At the butcher counter, I ask them to print an item sticker with the ingredients listed of all the sausages before I buy them, even if they have the flavors of an item listed, make sure you check the label. (Example, the sausage label says, "ground pork mixed with apples and fennel" there are probably other ingredients in the sausage.)

One day I was getting turkey from the deli at Target. I asked the lady working to see the ingredient list of the turkey. She had the turkey in her hands and said, "turkey, salt, and water." Great! I bought a pound. I got home and scarfed some down and went to put it in the fridge and I read the printed sticker on the bag, "turkey, salt, water, and carrageenan (a big no no!)"... I panicked! I just scarfed this turkey down, but the lady didn't mention carrageenan! I got in my car ready to go to Target to throw a fit (I was going to have to start my Whole 30 over! I was MAD.) I couldn't believe I hadn't asked to see the label myself, I ALWAYS read the label myself. I got to the deli, ready to throw my fit, and asked to see the label. Thankfully, the label didn't have carrageenan in it, the product USED to have it and Target hadn't updated their computers yet. Phew.

Another time Paul and I decided to try out a new Paleo restaurant near our house. They were very proudly advertising sugar free, Paleo friendly food. I was so excited to not have to cook! I decided on a BLT of sorts...Before ordering I asked the owner if their bacon had sugar in it. Nope! She beamed. She seemed very confident of this. I was excited too, sugar free bacon!? YES! I asked what brand it was in hopes of finding it in the store. She went to grab a package to show me... Again, the second ingredient? Sugar. "Oh! I had no clue that was in there," was her response. Don't be afraid to ask to see the label.

7. Sugar is in everything.

I know I've already said this, but it really is in everything. You should also be aware of other names for sugar, as well as artificial sugars. In my experience, things advertised as 'sugar free!' are actually loaded with artificial sugars and chemicals. Other names for sugar include  fructose, nectar, cane sugar, glucose, maltose, lactose, maltodextrin, corn syrup, ethyl maltol, diatase, etc... So just because the label doesn't say 'sugar' does not mean there aren't sugars or artificial sugars hiding.

8. Soy is in everything else.

Soy lecithin, soybean oil, soy soy soy. It's everywhere. Be wary, and read your labels.

9. Corn is a grain.

What!? Corn is a vegetable! Nope, corn is a grain, and it's not allowed on Whole 30. Make sure you remember that. (And while we're on the topic of perceived vegetables, peas aren't allowed either.)

May 12, 2014


Well, I never thought I'd be back here! But, here I am! It's been 3 whole years since I've last posted. So much has changed!

I'm inspired to start sharing recipes again because of a new journey I've just started last week. It's called Whole30, have you heard of it? Whole30 is a nutritional reset for your body. It changes the way you think about food and the relationship you have with it. For the duration of the 30 days you don't eat any sugar of any kind, no alcohol in any form (not even cooking), no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no white potatoes, no peanuts, no soy, no corn, and no carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites (it's basically Paleo without the honey or agave.)

The goal is to try to eat as whole as possible, foods with very few ingredients,  to rid your body of all the excess crap. If you cheat or mess up, you're supposed to start your 30 days over. At the end you'll feel energized, have no unhealthy cravings, have a healthy metabolism and a balanced immune system.

Sounds hard, right? It's really not as bad as it sounds. I'm the girl that has dessert every night, constantly eats because I'm bored, and looooooves cheese--the thought of giving all these amazing things up for 30 days was absolutely terrifying. I was certain I was going to fail after day 1, meal 1. Day 8, meal 3 is done and Paul and I are still going strong--and already feeling great. We've noticed a huge change already with the way our clothes fit, and with our relationship with food. We're finding ourselves eating for nutrition now instead of eating out of pure boredom or because we are crrrraaaving that pizza. Or pizzookie, or brownies.  (I'm not going to lie, all those things still sound AMAZING, but I just dont HAVETOHAVETHEMRIGHTTHISSECOND.)

You can follow along with our journey here, as well as on Instagram @rochelleswhole30

I'm excited to share my recipes and tips and meals from this journey, as well as our progress.