Healthy Cobb Salad.

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For those of you looking for a cleaner version of your good ol’ fashioned Cobb Salad, I’m here for you! Since January 1 I’ve been eating mostly Whole30 during the week and letting myself take a break from all the cooking and prep on the weekends (hello Friday night glass of vino) Needless to say I’ve been exploring different lunch options that are delicious and easy to make, and even though I’ve been at odds with salad for the past years of my life, I came up with this Healthy Cobb Salad recipe because I needed a salad that tasted a little bit more indulgent - and this does! The things that make this not-Whole30 are the dressing and the use of maple syrup in the bacon prep. But seriously, those two things make this taste so good! And it’s still using really clean ingredients so I feel verrrrry wonderful about it. Enjoy friends!

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- handful of spinach
- 4-5 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 avocado, sliced lengthwise
- 2 hard boiled eggs, quartered (my favorite is Neli’s 7 minute method for hard boiled eggs)
- Honey maple turkey bacon (see mini prep steps for this below)
- Cucumber (I forgot to add it for these photos but it would have added a nice crunch)
- Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing
- a bit of pepper

for the turkey bacon:
1. I simply mix up 2 tbsp. yellow mustard and 2 tbsp. maple syrup.
2. Lay 8-10 strips of turkey bacon on a baking sheet (with aluminum foil covering the sheet).
3. “Paint” the strips of bacon with the honey-maple mixture.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, and flip the strips of bacon.
5. Repeat on the other side, painting the bacon with the honey-maple mixture.
6. Cook for another 6-8 minutes (this varies oven-to-oven - you should be able to tell when the bacon is “done”).
7. I use a few strips of the bacon for this salad (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces) and store the rest in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
*This is the only way I will eat turkey bacon now because it is magnificent.

Salad Method:
1. Very simple. Combine everything and drizzle with dressing!

I hope you love and enjoy this one! Bon Appetit!

Whole30 Quick Reference Meal Guide.

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Since I just completed my round 2 of Whole30, I thought I would go ahead and share a quick guide to some of my favorite and most-prepared meals. You can find all my favorite Whole30 meals throughout this blog under the tab "Food & Drink", and then click through all the categories, but I thought I would make it super easy for those of you who want a quick reference for exclusively Whole30 recipes. This is an easy way to find what you're looking for over and over again if you're on Whole30 and needing to cook a lot :) I will continue to add to this post as I share Whole30 recipes that become favorites!

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Whole30 Breakfast:
Chicken-Apple Sausage and Spinach Frittata - (Probably our most-made breakfast during Whole30!)
Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash - (which we've made for lunch and dinner, too!)
Dragonfruit Smoothie Bowl - (omit the granola and honey and make sure the almond milk is Whole30-compliant, otherwise use canned full-fat coconut milk or coconut water.)
Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl - (omit the granola and honey, make sure the almond milk is Whole30-compliant or go ahead and use full-fat canned coconut milk or coconut water.)

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Whole30 Lunch:
Salmon + Caper Spinach Salad - (omit the Parmesan cheese)
Strawberry + Grilled Chicken Salad - (omit the goat cheese)
*We find ourselves eating a lot of leftovers for lunches so that we don't get bored in salad land :)

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Whole30 Dinner:
Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti and Chicken-Herb Meatballs
Pork Chops and Spiced Apple Sauce
Roasted Tomato Soup (omit the white wine and Parmesan cheese)
Lemon & Olive Chicken
White Pork Chili - My newest and favorite stew! Not just my favorite Whole30 stew, my favorite of all time!

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Whole30 Snacks:
Note: snacks aren't encouraged on Whole30 unless you are pregnant of breastfeeding, which I was during my round 2, so these are some of my faves.
Apple Sauce, 2 ways
Boiled Artichoke (omit butter, sub olive oil and extra lemon)
Lara Bar (I love the banana, apple and blueberry bars)
Almond Butter Energy "Milkshake"
Almond Butter Date Round Bites - Coming Soon!

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Like I said, I will continue to add to this post as I keep finding recipes that are winners. If you need some more guidance, feel free check out my Whole30 Diary (Parts 1, 2 ,3 & 4), my reasoning on why I love Whole30, my 3 biggest takeaways from Whole30 and my favorite tools to use in the kitchen. Happy Whole30 prepping/eating/enjoying to you!

Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash.

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When I started doing Whole30 this time around, I asked on my Instagram for recipe recommendations. Thankfully, several people commented in that they love sweet potato/egg combinations, but I never really found any previously that I liked. I'm so glad I kept trying because thanks to you all, I finally landed on a breakfast hash that I LOVE. Stevie and I actually ate this for breakfast, lunch and dinner one day - that's how much we loved it (and also, we wanted to use up all our produce). But the combination of these flavors is seriously TO DIE FOR delicious - it tastes like something that you would order at a restaurant for a fancy brunch out. Seriously. Eat and enjoy! Plus, it's just a fringe benefit that this meal is completely Whole30-compliant! #winning

- 1 yellowing plantain, sliced on a diagonal like a banana
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and shredded (I like to use a potato peeler)
- 1 link Aidell's Chicken & Apple chicken sausage, sliced (also like a banana)
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil (plus a little more if you need it)
- a pinch of salt and pepper

1. Heat a skillet on medium (this one is my all-time favorite because it cooks so evenly), and add coconut oil. Wait until oil is melted completely.
2. Place all the plantain slices in the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes, flipping over and then cooking for another two minutes.
3. Once each side of the plantains is slightly browned, remove from the skillet and let cool on a plate. Divide the plantains between two plates for two servings.
4. Add the diced sweet potato and keep it moving around the skillet with a spatula. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, until slightly wilted. Add a little extra coconut oil if you need more for your skillet.
5. Add the sliced chicken sausage. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until heated well (I like mine to char a little bit, but you certainly don't have to let it cook that long since the meat is already pre-cooked).
6. Divide the sweet potato/chicken sausage mixture between the two plates. Top with two fried eggs and sliced avocado. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bon appetit!

- I've changed it up and added onions, spinach, baby kale, bacon and even cinnamon to this recipe - it all adds it's own flavor which is great! The options are really endless when it comes to a hash situation like this. I will say that the basic flavors of the egg, sweet potato, chicken sausage and plantain really "make" this dish - anything else that is added in just helps.
- You want to choose a yellow plantain that has begun to brown - this is when the fruit is sweetest. If you choose a green plantain, it won't be ripe enough and will make it very difficult to slice or cook with.
- You can also make this recipe with scrambled eggs instead of fried- just pour the eggs into the skillet with the sweet potato/chicken sausage mixture and allow them to cook together.

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P.S. - I'm working on a Whole30 meal reference guide that will house all the Whole30-compliant meals that we have been eating. I'll be sharing that next week, so keep an eye out!

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps.


This is one of my all-time favorite meals. Don't let the semi-lengthy ingredient list intimidate you - this is one of those meals where you buy a few unique ingredients once and then you have them stocked for a good long time. And the flavors and textures really make it a perfect meal - it feels so light and fresh and flavorful, yet it is super filling. Don't let the term "lettuce wraps" fool you. Every time I make this, Stevie overeats and then blames me for it for his overly-full feeling. He says it tastes too good. I tell him he needs more self-control. It's our bit, if you know what I mean.

My dear friend Tricia shared this recipe with me years ago, and it's one that has stuck around as a family meal standard. And since she shared earlier this week about how to get your child to eat anything, I thought it was only fitting that we share one of her grown-up delicacies, too. Thanks for inspiring deliciousness, Trish!

For wraps:
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1/2 white onion, diced
- Braggs Amino Acids, to taste
- Ginger (grated or ground), to taste
- Honey, to taste
- 1/2 cup natural cashews (you can also use lightly salted)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- juice of 1 lime

For Slaw:
- 1 package broccoli slaw (found in salad section of grocery store, near coleslaw)
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 packet Ramen Noodles (you won't use seasoning packet, only the noodles)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp. butter

For Dressing:
- 1/2 cup oil (Tricia recommends mixing olive oil with one other type of oil - sesame oil or even coconut aminos :)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- A few dashes of balsamic vinegar
 - 2 tbsp. Bragg's Amino Acids
- Pepper to taste

1. Begin by softening cashews in a cup of water. Set aside.
2. Brown the meat, onions and garlic in a saute pan until the meat is cooked through and the onions are soft.
3. Once the cashews are softened (about 10 minutes), drain the water and add cashews to the meat mixture.
4. Add Bragg's Amino Acids, ground ginger, and honey to taste. Once it's all mixed together, keep the meat mixture set on low heat.
5. In a separate saute pan, brown the Ramen noodles and almonds in 1 tbsp. of butter until lightly toasted. Set these aside on paper towel.
6. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the broccoli slaw with diced green onions and toasted Ramen noodles. Stir gently and add dressing.
7. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients and vigorously stir until mixed. Top the broccoli slaw and mix well.
8. Layer individual lettuce leaves with meat mixture and slaw. Drizzle with a bit of lime juice.

Bon appetit!

- The amount of Bragg's, honey and ginger is where you can get creative. I start with a little of each, and keep adding to the dish as I taste it and decide the intensity of flavor I want to work with. I probably end up with a couple of tablespoons each of honey and Bragg's, and a healthy dusting of ginger.

Spinach Salad, 2 Ways.

I hate to say that I'm on a diet for two reasons. The first being that "diet" sounds so negative and restrictive and I just don't think it's a realistic way to live. I am not a person that thrives on deprivation. I don't find it cool, endearing or impressive. But the second reason is that the kind of diet I'm currently on isn't really a traditional diet - it's mostly about being extra mindful about the kinds of things I'm putting in my body. I am breastfeeding a little giant and I don't think "dieting" in the traditional sense of the word is very healthy or sustaining for my little person. So I am fumbling around, figuring how the best way to eat healthy & wholesome for him while still achieving the right amount of weight loss for me.

I knowwwww that it takes time to lose baby weight. But I also know it's not going to just fall off, especially after baby #2. And I would like to fit into my clothes one of these days, you guys. That would be fun. So I am doing my best, cutting sugar and alcohol (again, for the most part - I will allow it here and there if it's a special occasion.) I am trying to focus on what I can eat instead of what I can't. So while I am trying to have lots of fresh fruits and veggies and wholesome carbs and - I am allowing myself to eat these lactation cookies. They are really tasty, and the only sweet thing I'm having in my life right now. But they are doing the trick!

I try to eat a salad every day for lunch. I am mostly annoyed with salads because they are rabbit food, so they have to be goooood if I'm going to eat one every day. These are two recipes that I love having over and over again, and I thought it was high time that I share them with you. I can barely call it a recipe, because I mean, it's salad. But still - here are two that are so super duper tasty and wonderful.

Salmon + Caper Salad.
- spinach
- salmon*
- 2 tbsp. capers
- 2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 an avocado, sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon
- olive oil + balsamic vinegar to taste

*I like to prepare my salmon by putting it in a glass pyrex dish, pouring some Italian dressing over the top and baking it at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. It's divine.

I start with a bed of lettuce, add the other ingredients, drizzle with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, and then chop up really good. I've realize that I enjoy salad way more if I chop it and mix it really well.

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad.
- spinach
- 1/2 chicken breast*
- 2 tbsp. sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp. crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup each: sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
- olive oil + balsamic vinegar to taste.

* I prepare my chicken breast by boiling it for 20 minutes in a pot of salted hot water. Once the meat is cooked and white all the way through, I drain it and immediately shred. I usually prep this on Sundays and keep the chicken in a seal-fresh container, using it throughout the week for anything from salads to tacos. It's super helpful to have cooked protein on-hand at all times!

Start with a bed of spinach, layering the rest of the ingredients on top. I like to dress with the olive oil and balsamic, but if you have access to sweeter balsamic vinegars (like pomegranate, etc.), this is a great salad to use it on! :)

And there you have it! Any yummy salad combos you'd like to share with me? I'd love to hear!