Whole30 Superbowl Eats

I seriously love football. One of my earliest memories is staying up "late" on Monday nights as a kid so I could hear the Hank Williams Jr. "Are You Ready For Some Football" intro to MNF. {Because to a 3 year old, that was one rockin' song}

Now Hank may have said some things that didn't go over too well and was replaced by the leggy likes of Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood, but my love of the game remains. I love it even more when it gives me the excuse to eat insane amounts of food. Because pizza. And wings. And velveta-chili dip. And beer.

Sadly, all of the aforementioned awesomeness is not allowed on Whole30. Now while some may choose 'The Big Game' as an excuse to cheat, I'm way too competitive to give up challenge points for one day of heartburn {If there's something to win, I want to win it}.

So I need to get a little creative with my Superbowl feast this year. Here's what's on my menu:

Buffalo Wings with Dairy-Free Ranch from Against All Grain
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Inspired by these Loaded Sweet Potato Skins from Fit & Fed, I'm going to do BBQ Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potato Skins
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Then the inside of the potatos left-over from making the skins are going to go into Bacon and Sweet Potato Jalapeno Boats from Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers {Instead of mixing bacon in with the sweet potato, I'm going to wrap in prosciutto, since I can't find Whole30 compliant bacon}
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Last but not least, I think I might try to whip of some of this Rotel "Cheese" Dip from Plaid and Paleo to go with some veggies and sweet potato chips
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And if all things go as planned, I'll have some home-brewed peach mango kombucha to enjoy it with :)

What's on your menu??

Seriously Budweiser- Stop Making Me Cry

First it was this one from last year's Superbowl. Literally tears rolling down my face

And now those sick jerks at Budweiser are at it again. Can't I just enjoy the Superbowl without all the feels?

Yet I can't. stop. watching. What is wrong with me?

Week 3 Menu

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Two weeks down. 25% there.

And to be honest, while some might be struggling, eating Whole30 food is kinda becoming second nature to me. Yes- it sometimes requires a call to a local restaurant to make sure their pulled pork rub doesn't include sugar (sorry Mission BBQ- I was that weirdo on the phone), but overall I feel like I've been doing pretty well. I haven't been going crazy with Twinkie cravings nor have I woken up from sleep walking with my face in a bag of chocolate chips. I consider that a win.

But for those that aren't having the easiest time, no worries. It hasn't been all rainbows and butterflies. I am a little concerned that while I feel a little better {still don't feel invincible, but better than I was pre-challenge), it's not really helping me look any better. I did a no-no and stepped on the scale this morning and I haven't lost a pound. Now, I realize that the scale only tells part of the story. I very easily could be gaining muscle {and probably am} while losing fat. But I was really hoping that this challenge would help my pants fit a bit better after some holiday feating. I just have to keep remembering that there's still 45 more days- I have a long ways to go. Here's hoping my body starts catching up :)

On the menu this week:
     Prosciutto Egg Cups with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
     Turkey Chili
     Porkchops and Applesauce w/ Brussels Sprouts
     Butternut Squash Lasagna
     Bacon-wrapped Meatballs with Sweet Potato Fries
     Clementines, Bananas, Olives, Pistachios, Coconut-Rolled Dates, & Homemade RxBars

Sunday's prep looked like this:
     Bake egg cups
     Roast sweet potatoes
     Cook chili
     Make RxBars

I'm in the middle of brewing my first batch of kombucha, so I'm hoping to get a how-to post about that up soon. And last week I clarified by own butter to make ghee so I'll make sure to write up how that went {in a word: awesomely}. However, not all kitchen adventures turn out well. Case in point: I attempts at homemade beef jerky tunred into a crumbly, charred mess. I think I'm better off just buying some.....Oh well, can't win 'em all.

{photo credit}

Apple Cinnamon Protein Bar

There's a great company out of Chicago that makes 100% Paleo, 100% Whole30-approved high protein energy bars. They only use fruit, nuts, clean egg white protein powder, and spices. They're awesome!
Unfortunately {like the rest of the paleo world} clean, whole food equals expensive food. 10 RxBars will run you about $30. I'm sorry, but $3 a bar for a post-WOD snack is a bit much for me. However, clean, whole food also equals ingredients that I have on hand and can easily replicate.

So I got to work. RxBars are basically a Larabar with protein powder, and since I've made a homemade version of brownie batter Larabars, I figured an RxBar wouldn't be too hard to master.

And luckily I was right. The original has 7 ingredients: dates, egg white protein powder, almonds, figs, apple powder, cinnamon, and apple oil. Mine only has 5- I left out the figs and apple oil {because I have no clue what apple oil is...} and for apple powder, I processed freeze-dried apples into a powder {no idea if that's actually what apple powder is, but it worked :)} I was even able to match the nutritional context almost exactly.

Apple Cinnamon Protein Bar

What You'll Need:
{for 1 bar}
  • 10 Almonds
  • 3T Egg White Protein Powder {I used this}
  • 5g Freeze Dried Apples {I used Target's Simply Balanced}
  • A few sprinkles of Cinnamon
  • 4 Dates, pitted {not medjool}
{for 5 bars}
  • 60g Almonds
  • 1 cup Egg White Protein Powder
  • 1-28g pkg Freeze Dried Apples
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 20 Dates, pitted {not medjool}

What To Do:
  1. In a small food processor {I used my mini Ninja when making only one, but the 5 bar batch required a regular sized one}, blitz the almonds, protein powder, apples, and cinnamon until finely ground.
  2. Add dates and process until uniformly broken down.
  3. Add very little water {seriously, a few drops} and process. Continue to do this until the mixture starts to stick together. I added probably less that 1 tsp over the course of 3 iterations for 1 bar and about 1.5 Tbsp for the 5 bar batch. 
  4. Form into a bar or roll into bite-sized balls. I pressed into a small ramekin I had to make disks. Refrigerate in an air-tight container.

Fiesta Egg Scramble

Am I the only one that has the hardest time spelling 'omelette'? Are there 2 M's? 2 L's? I usually getting the double T's right. Oh- crap. That extra E.... No? Just me? That's cool too. It's why Google was invented.
Anyways, this isn't about my inability to spell breakfast foods. It's about making breakfast food. But since my ability to make omelettes is as skilled as my ability to spell them, we're going to forget about that nonsense of flipping and making eggs look pretty and just scramble everything together. 
This is just really simple, Mexican flavored inspired scrambled eggs, but that doesn't sound very exciting. Hence, fiesta! It's a Mexican breakfast party {or something like that ;-)}
Fiesta Egg Scramble

What You'll Need:
Makes 1 omelette

  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1-2oz Chorizo**, already browned and cooked through from prep day
  • 1/4 cup Onions and Peppers, already diced and sauteed to tender-crisp from your prep day
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Salsa

What To Do:

  1. Crack eggs in a bowl and beat well with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in your chorizo & veggies with the beaten eggs.
  2. Heat up skillet on med-low heat. When it gets hot, add ghee (or fat of choice). When ghee has melted, add your eggs/meat/veggies and move the pan around to spread them out evenly.
  3. When the eggs start to firm up, but there's still a little raw egg on top, break up eggs to 'scramble'
  4. When eggs are fully cooked, slide off onto plate and top with salsa.

** To make your own chorizo, add 1 Tbsp each of: chipotle chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, & onion powder and 1/2 Tbsp of salt to 1 lb of ground pork.**

Week 2 Menu & Sweet Potato Wedges {recipe}

Week 1: done! And I'd say it was a pretty good success. I had a few 'kill all the things' moments, but other than that, not too many side effects. I felt really good in the gym later in the week. On Thursday, we had a really quick but cardio-intense WOD and I was able to keep a really good pace and on Friday, I PR'd my front squat by 25 lbs. I'd say a success so far. :-) Next week, I really want to focus on getting at least 8 hours of sleep if not more. I can definitely feel a difference when I get just a little bit more rest.

Now on to Week 2! So what am I eating? I'm doing things a little different this week:

One- no trail mix snacks. Mostly because I find I eat it even when I'm not hungry because the sweet & salty combo is too good to resist.

Two- I really want to focus on a good post-WOD recovery snack. So to get more protein, I'm going to attempt homemade jerky. We'll see how that goes.... I'm also planning on tinkering around with making my own apple cinnamon RXBars ::fingers crossed::

Three- I had a TON of leftovers last week, so I'm only going to do 2 different dinner meals and since I'm not really eating any fruit throughout the day, each night will be with a side of sweet potato wedges {my fav!} for a bit more carbs {I don't want to be completely carb-deficient.}

Breakfast: Fiesta Egg Scramble {recipe post tomorrow}
Lunch: Buffalo Ranch Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Guacamole {I really like these cups because you can have guac on hand and it doesn't go brown in the fridge}
Snacks: Antipasto Snack {again, but this time with jerky}
Post-WOD: Jerky with some portable carb {banana, clementine, etc}
Dinners: Either Cajun Chicken or Grilled Italian Sausage with Sweet Potato Wedges {recipe for wedges below}

For my weekly prep work, I need to season and brown chorizo {for the egg scramble}, chop and saute onions and bell peppers {also for breakfast}, make jerky {fingers crossed it goes well!}, bake chicken {for lunch}, and assemble and bake stuffed peppers.

This week, I also have a few kitchen experiments going on. I want to attempt to make my own ghee using this recipe for NomNomPaleo and I purchased all the supplies to brew my own kombucha {or moldy juice as James calls it}.  I think I might have reached official 'hippie' status.....

But no matter....now on to my favorite side dish ever. I would literally eat sweet potatoes every day for dinner {and this week I will} and this is my absolute favorite way to prepare them.

Sweet Potato Wedges

What You Need:
  • Sweet Potato {1 medium potato per person}
  • Oil {I use olive oil because I don't like the taste of coconut oil, even though Whole30 recommends not heating olive oil
  • Salt

What To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 475F. Have your top rack in the middle of the oven with your bottom rack directly below it and lay a large piece of foil down on the bottom rack.
  2. You can peel your sweet potatoes if you'd like {sometime I do, sometime I don't- it just depends}. Then cut down into wedges. How I do this is I cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise, then aain in half again lengthwise {so you've quartered the potato}. I then slice each quarter into ~3 wedges. So you get about 12-15 wedges per potato, give or take. If it's a really long sweet potato, half each wedge.         
  3. Lightly toss with oil and salt. Place wedges directly on the top oven rack with the large piece of aluminum foil on the rack below {to catch anything that might fall/drip}.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the outsides have started to brown and the insides are tender. Serve immediately. Especially good with sriratcha ketchup when not on Whole30 :)

Day 3 and 4- More Of The Same and Antipasto Snack Pack {Recipe}

It's probably a good time to mention that these challenge posts might get a little monotonous. Mostly because between the hours of 6am and 6pm, I eat the same thing every day, all week long. This isn't a rule of the challenge or the Whole 30 program. This is just a Sarah-ism.

Personally, I just find it easier to cook a lot of one thing than lots of different little things. So all this week, breakfast has been {and will continue to be} eggs with sausage and sweet potato and lunch is a tasty bowl of italian sausage with roasted brussels sprouts. Snacks consist of almond/cashew/date trail mix and my antipasto snack, an idea a stole from Melissa of The Clothes Make The Girl and the Well Fed books. But since I've been referencing it enough and I plan to make it a regular {read: until I get sick of it, which I doubt will happen because I really love it}, I figure I'd do a post on it. {See recipe (and I use that term loosely) down below}

Day 3's dinner was left over spaghetti squash pizza pie from Day 2 and tonight I made Asian Chicken Thighs with green beans. {The green beans were frozen which I steam cooked in the microwave with some salt and lemon-pepper}.

I'm doing better on limiting fruits after dinner. My tooth brushing trick seems to be working :)

Antipasto Snack Pack
From Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan

What You'll Need:

  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips
  • Handful Black Olives
  • 1-2 Mini Dill Pickles 
  • 2-3 slices Deli Chicken Breast
  • Salt

What To Do:

This really isn't much of a recipe. I sprinkle the red pepper strips with a little bit of salt and combine in a small plastic container with the olives, pickles, and chicken. Makes a great snack full of veggies, protein, and healthy fat.