Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti with Chicken-Herb Meatballs (Whole30 Compliant!)

This is my second time around doing Whole30, and I'm starting to get into the rhythm of cooking in this style of food AKA super insanely healthy. This spaghetti squash spaghetti is a great recipe because it's reeeeeeal yummy, ridiculously healthy and easy to prep. The key is to double (or triple!) the recipe to have leftovers for lunches or another dinner. Or make a ton of the meatballs and freeze a batch of them to have for another meal. This is a great family dinner!

Spaghetti Squash Ingredients:
- 1-2 Spaghetti Squash
- Olive Oil

Method:
1.) The easiest way to cook a spaghetti squash is to place the squash on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then rotate the squash, and bake for another 30 minutes. Once it's finished, slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
2.) After scooping those out, use a fork to "fluff" the noodles out from the squash. Place these in a bowl and set aside.

Chicken-Herb Meatball Ingredients:
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. minced herbs (I used a mix of rosemary, thyme and oregano)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tbsp. olive oil

Method:
1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) Combine the chicken, egg, onion, garlic, herbs and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well. Roll 15-20 meatballs, each one approximately the size of a golf ball.
3.) Heat a large skillet over medium-high and drizzle with olive oil. Once pan is hot, add a batch of meatballs (you might have to do this in several batches, depending on the size of your skillet). Turn each one every 30 seconds, until it is evenly browned all over. This should take about 5 minutes total. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 minutes. Let meatballs rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Top noodles with your favorite spaghetti sauce (after doing the homemade work for the noodles and meatballs, I don't dare prepare my own spaghetti sauce, too. I like to use the Costco or Whole Foods brands because they are Whole30-compliant and delicious.) Top with meatballs and fresh oregano or parsley. Bon Appetit!

P.S. - More about my Whole30 journey here.

Pork Chops & Spiced Apple Sauce (a Whole30 recipe!)

This is one of my favorite recipes from doing Whole30 last year. I am gearing up in my mind for doing another round of Whole30 (not anytime soon, in a few months) so I wanted to unearth a few of my favorite recipes that are easy and delicious and don't feel like diet food. That's what I really loved about Whole30 - everything we ate on the program was real, fresh whole foods. Lots of veggies, protein and healthy fats. This pork chop is no exception - it's super simple to cook (pork chops used to intimidate me), and the apple sauce is really easy and really makes the dish pop with flavor. Stevie asked for this one over and over when we were on Whole30, and we've continued to make it since coming off the program, too!

Ingredients:
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 bone-in pork chops (about 1 pound total)
- 3 tbsp. oil olive
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1/2 cup apple cider (in a pinch you can use no-sugar-added apple juice)
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 2 generous handfuls of arugula (or frisee or spinach, you can see the spinach pictured here)

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the salt and pepper in a small bowl and use it to season both sides of the pork chops.
3. Melt oil oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the olive oil is hot, add the pork chops and sear until you see a golden-brown crust, about 2-3 minutes. Turn over and sear the other side for 2 minutes.
4. Transfer the pork chops to a baking dish and roast in the oven 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness. (If you have an internal meat thermometer, you want the temperature to reach about 140 degrees).
5. While the pork is roasting, combine the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil and onion in the same skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the apple, apple cider, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Cook until the apples soften, about 5 minutes.
6. Optional step - transfer the apple sauce to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. I say this is optional because we have eaten this recipe with both smooth apple sauce and chunky, and it's delicious both ways.
7. Dress the plates with your green of choice (mine is arugula, because it's the perfect pinch of spice), and top with the pork. Dollop the applesauce on top and bon appetit!

And there you have it! It's really simple to execute this meal and it feels so hearty and wholesome. Also, a word on apple sauce - it is perhaps the most versatile food ever. I love finding new ways to serve it, bake with it and prep different dishes with it. Last month I shared about the different ways I make apple sauce, and included this wonderful spiced version. Let me know if you decide to try this recipe out and what you think of it! Happy cooking, friends!

P.S. - If anyone has done Whole30 while breastfeeding, I would love to hear from you! I'm interested in learning how to safely do the program without sacrificing my milk supply. Give me a shout in the comments with any advice or tips! Many thanks :)

TASTE: Lemon & Olive Chicken.

TASTE: Lemon & Olive Chicken.

Happy Tuesday to you! I hope your Valentine weekend was full of love and hugs and kisses and tasty treats. Ours was hilarious and wonderful. With all this incredible cold weather up in our business, I've got a warm yummy dinner recipe for you today!

This meal has quickly become a staple in our household. When I got this amaaaaaazing dutch oven for Christmas last year, I started experimenting with all the delicious ways I could cook easy meals and make them taste like Heaven. This dutch oven has made my success rate increase tenfold. Seriously. This particular recipe is a favorite because it's super duper easy to make (no, seriously) and it's mega healthy. There's nothing crazy bad in it, which makes it the perfect midweek pick-me-up that tastes like comfort food without hindering my waistline. (I've got other temptations to hinder my waistline) :)

I got this recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow's book, It's All Good, a publication that garners a lot of hate but I confidently stand by. Just because Gwyneth gets misquoted (okay, a lot) saying sometimes outland-ish, borderline pretentious things, her food life is the center of my envy. Everything I've cooked from that book has been GOLD. I've made a few changes (for the lazy crowd, you're welcome), so this recipe is officially easier than ever. Add a side of quinoa and a side of something green and this meal is going to become your new go-to. What's for dinner at our house tonight? I'll give you one, deeeeeelicious guess :)

Ingredients:

- 6 boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

- 1 Lemon, sliced

- 3 Shallots, sliced thinly into rings

- 1.5 cups Chicken Stock

- 1/2 jar Green Olives

- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled

- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil

- Salt and Pepper, to taste

- 1 sprig Thyme

Method:

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil in a cast iron dutch on the stove and heat on medium.

2. Generously salt and pepper chicken on both sides and place in dutch oven. Cook until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side. Cook for another 4-5 minutes (chicken should still be pink inside), then remove chicken from heat and transfer to a plate. DON'T WORRY. We aren't done cooking the chicken.

3. Add shallots and garlic to the dutch oven, cooking until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

4. Place chicken back into the dutch oven, along with any juices that collected on the plate. That's flavor town, by the way.

5. Add the chicken stock, olives, thyme and scatter on top of the chicken. Squeeze individual slices of lemon over the chicken and discard the skins.

Note:

I like to keep the lemons in the mixture so they cook together, but you don't have to since you won't eat them. Totally up to you.

6. Bring the mixture to a boil on the stove top, then cover and place in the oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes on 400 degrees.

Woop, there it is.

Tada! I personally like to serve this dish with an herbed quinoa situation (quinoa on the stove, cooked in chicken stock, and fancied up with any fresh herbs you've got on hand - THE BEST.) This meal tastes gourmet and looks like something Ina Garten whipped up, but the hands-on time is minimal. Enjoy! And let me know how it goes!