Whole30 Shopping and Week 1 Meal Prep

I’m sure there are some people who can succeed on the Whole30 without meal planning or meal prepping, but not me. Unless I spent $$$ at Whole Foods every day? Despite wanting to clean up my diet I’m still on an extremely tight budget (about $125 per week for everything for my family of three) and just can’t afford not to cook at home and buy all the things. Wouldn’t it be great if organic/additive free/sugar free food was the norm and the conventional extra processed stuff was the exception? Yes, yes it would!

That’s not to say I didn’t buy anything for my Whole30, I need bacon after all! So here’s what I’ve got stocked up:

  1. My organic csa basket: this baby has netted me a lot of produce to get through. I’ve got two bunches of asparagus, two bags of spinach, two bags of grape tomatoes, 2lbs of yellow onions, two spaghetti squashes, one butternut squash, two heads of cauliflower, 1lb of broccoli, three green peppers, 1lb Brussels sprouts, two sweet potatoes, avocados, and 1lb of snow peas. (Yes, we can and will eat ALL the veggies)IMG_3050
  2. Costco: I get my non-perishables at Costco as much as possible so that includes coconut flour, almond flour, avocado oil, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and canned tuna (nothing added in there). I also buy canned chicken but this will be out for Whole30 since they add “Food Starch” which can be from anything. Eggs in my house are practically non-perishable since we can easily go through three dozen in a week which means those are a Costco food as well. Since nut butters, nuts, and dried fruit are out for emergency food I needed meat. Thankfully Costco has some great options with 0 junk that I stocked up on included Aidells chicken and apple sausages, smoked pulled pork, and chicken basil meatballs. Once home, I repacked all of these into smaller servings so that I could stash the extras in the freezer for later.IMG_3065
  3. Sprouts: Sprouts is the store where I fill in the gaps… and shop like I don’t know what I’m doing. This time around I picked up sugar-free Pederson’s bacon, a bag of kraut, some cashews, lemons, green onions, cilantro, and shallots. I usually buy my coconut milk, coconut aminos, tapioca starch, and arrowroot powder here too but I’m all stocked up on these essentials already so I didn’t need more.

Now to the meal prep! I can’t follow a strict meal plan because on Saturday I have no idea what I want to eat each day for the entire week. Instead, I make a checklist of meals I have the ingredients for and am interested in and then as I cook them I check them off the list. Often, I add things to the list that weren’t already there (for example there is nothing Mexican/Latin on my checklist this week and I already can tell I want some taco-meat in my near future so that’ll have to be corrected)


This meal plan really should be called a “dinner plan”. When prepping only for myself I generally make a jar salad to take to work for lunch and egg muffins to take for breakfast. However, I’ve been meal prepping for family and friends the past month and got way fancier. My lunches this week were made on Sunday (when I made 96 meals in total) and include:

  1. Cuban pork lettuce wraps with mustard dipping sauce and cilantro-lime slaw
  2. Buffalo chicken cobb salad with avocado ranch
  3. Chicken shawarma with cauliflower tabouleh and tahini dipping sauceIMG_3066I’m about as prepared as I can be… now let’s just hope I can survive the ups and downs during the first two weeks and stay strong.

What We Ate 3

This post has been in my drafts forever (almost a week) because I need to sit down at a desktop and insert all of the links to the recipes but I haven’t done that. I refuse to wait any longer so the links will just be added later!

1: chicken basil meatballs with sweet potato fries and Brussels. This was an important freezer-Friday for me because I was so close to getting fast food when I remembered I had these meatballs and fries ready to go in my freezer. Being prepared saved me some regret and some money.

2. I think this was going to be Chicken pad Thai? But it ended up being a tossed together chicken, butternut noodle, Ming bean, broccoli, carrot and sunbutter sauce bowl-thing. And it was delicious.

3. My husband’s hands-down favorite meal this week. Sweet potatoes, Brussels and a ranch pork chop all roasted on one sheet pan plus cauliflower mash reheated in the microwave.

4. (Not pictured) Chili! We had about a dozen people over (aka my husbands mother and siblings) so we made a double batch of chipotle chili and I whipped up some cornbread muffins and white rice since they aren’t grain free although we usually are.

5. Can The Husband have two favorites? Tacos are on repeat at our house but this was my first time making fish tacos. I topped these babies with mango salsa and chipotle mayo slaw and did multiple happy dances the flavor was so good. Plus I got to use the leftover slaw and salsa on some shredded chicken later this week for an easy snack.

6. Another roasting night and it’s really ugly (Husband cooked, plates, and pictured this one for me because the baby was being particularly fussy). This is a paprika garlic drumstick, with leftover roasted sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels.

7. BEST FOOD EVER! Oh my goodness tapioca starch has fixed all of my crispy Chinese food needs for life. Crispy orange beef with broccoli, green beans, and roasted cauliflower rice. This recipe was so amazing my mom made it for her family the next day.

What We Ate 2

This post took me forever to complete. Most of these dinners split across two weeks because of family birthday dinners, weekly family dinner with my mother-in-law, and back to work madness delaying me finding the time to write it all up. I’m pretty sure I already have Week 3 ready to go… whoops!

1. Cracklin’ Chicken is a favorite in our house and I always go back to it again and again. Nothing beats that extra crispy skin with the super juicy chicken underneath. We paired this protein with her garlic mashed cauliflower, buttery smashed sweet potatoes, and a zucchini gratin from ibreatheimhungry

2. (Not pictured) Maple salmon and smoked salmon are the husband’s two favorite salmon preparations (he only tolerates my other attempts). This salmon recipe from lexiscleankitchen was super simple and delicious although I left out the coconut sugar because that’s not something I have in my pantry. Served it with more garlic mashed potatoes and lemon butter green beans.

3. Whole30/Paleo Sloppy Joe’s. This is probably my all-time favorite comfort food. It hits all my sweet spots of salty and still sweet (from sweet potatoes underneath) with tomato-y notes and a savory goodness that makes me want to lick the bowl. Jaysbakingmecrazy has the best recipes and I turn to that website time and time again when I’m looking for something that warms my heart. I served on top of spiralized butternut squash noodles (from my meal prep) and roasted sweet potatoes.

4. Salmon Cake Eggs Benedict. This was an on-the-fly breakfast but I wanted to include it with What We Ate since we ate it! I mixed up my very first homemade hollandaise from StupidEasyPaleo, poached my very first eggs, and stacked it all on top of wilted spinach and salmon patties (recipe from empowered sustenance) using my leftover salmon and leftover sweet potatoes.

5. Very delicious but boring leftover dinner with the green beans and sloppy joe’s warmed up in the microwave…

6. Thai chicken stir fry from Kalyn’s Kitchen served on top of roasted cauliflower rice with sesame spiralized butternut squash noodles and a big heap of Mel Joulwan’s sunshine sauce. My son is obsessed with those noodles + that sauce and could probably eat 2-3 cups worth if it didn’t run out. Anything that gets him enjoying vegetables is a win in my book!

7. Over the weekend I marinated Juli Bauer’s Cuban Pork and will probably make a few meals of it. This night was pork tacos topped with pico, avocado, cilantro lime slaw, pickled red onions, and fresh avocado and served with a side of salty fried plantains. Definitely going to be a repeat dinner in the future!


CSA Pick Up and Meal Prep Week of 1/13/17

My CSA is the best. Each Friday afternoon they post what’s in the bag for the week as well as the prices of add-on items. I get until Sunday to place my order and make any substitutions that I need (for example we don’t eat mushrooms and usually swap white potatoes for sweet potatoes instead). I also tend to add on some of our favorites that we eat every week if they aren’t included (like zucchini, green onion, or cauliflower) but for the most part I let what’s in the bag determine what we eat that week so my family gets a good variety. This week couldn’t have been better suited for us! I only subbed out the carrots because we still had some left from a 5lb bag in our fridge:


This week’s bag included a cheddar cauliflower, celery, romaine, 1lb each of Brussels sprouts and green beans, apples, one orange, onions, a bag of spinach and yams.

That means this week we will be whole roasting cauliflower to serve with ribs, the apples, celery and romaine will go in my salads with the leftover celery heading to my mom and leftover apples for snacking green beans will be going in orange chicken bowls, Brussels will be halved and roasted to caramel-y goodness as a side, the orange will be turned into a mojo marinade, and the yams will be smashed and baked as a delicious starchy side of serve as substitute buns for burger balls. Yum!

Meal prep was a lot of fun this week and probably the most productive I’ve ever been. I made myself a planner in word and had it printed at UPS. As you can see my son was also very helpful…

The meal prep included cauliflower tots for the toddler, white sweet potato fries blanched frozen and ready to bake, sliced Brussels and green beans, salmon patties for snack, burger balls frozen and ready for dinner, five jars of chicken salad salad, and a chipotle lime mayo for everything.

Hope your three day weekend was awesome too!

What We Ate 1

Bora Bora Fireballs with Roasted Cauliflower Rice, Tropical Slaw and Sunshine Sauce

These coconut rolled pork meatballs were delicious albeit time consuming (maybe make ahead and freeze?) And the best part? My 22 month old devoured them. He had a full serving himself! The sunshine sauce made with sunflower butter (not almond butter) is the absolute best and I made a double batch so I could keep some in the fridge for dipping purposes. My husband liked the tropical slaw (and he hates salads, salad dressings, vinegar and slaw) so this recipe is a keeper for sure. I wasn’t a fan of the coconut in the salad but that could be because I used the same shredded coconut instead of the recommended coconut flakes. We also both agreed the dressing could use more sesame oil and the slaw could use more almonds.

Coconut Shrimp with Coconut Ginger Cauliflower Rice and Tropical Slaw

By far my favorite new dish this week. My oven temperature gauges broke so I ended up frying these shrimp in coconut oil on the stovetop and that was just fine. The tropical slaw held up great overnight, but because of the broken oven issue I switched the cauliflower rice to a stovetop rice cooked in coconut milk instead. Unfortunately, my husband was not a fan of this rice as much as the roasted rice.

3. Crockpot BBQ Ribs (from Juli Bauer’s cookbook) with Cauliflower Mash

… and coleslaw and asparagus fries. I got a little ambitious with the sides this night because I had a serious overload of cabbage (two whole heads for two people? yikes) and we had a bunch of asparagus stalks that were going to go bad. Unfortunately these ribs did not turn out like I had hoped. My guess is it’s all about finding the right BBQ sauce so we will keep trying! LOVE ribs.

4. Oven Baked Chicken Wings with Fries (No Picture)

On Thursday we had a bunch of family over (read: 12 people) to enjoy waaaaay too many chicken wings and so I couldn’t snap a picture. We used Frank’s Red Hot (all awesome ingredients) as well as a Cajun Hot (Franks + Cajun seasoning I mixed up) and a Thai Chili Sweet Sauce that I made using honey, vinegar, chilies, and ginger.

5. Ground Beef Taco Salad Bowls

What’s there to say about this one? Simple and delicious. You really can dump just about anything in one of these so that’s exactly what I did. My husband had his with corn tortillas and he was not impressed. We are big into marinated street tacos so I think the ground beef just didn’t stack up to what we normally enjoy.

6. Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken with Zoodles

This was rich-salty-savory-creamy deliciousness on a plate. I wanted to lick the sauce up with my fingers. We are team white rice, team corn tortillas, and team dairy on occasion in our house and I splurged for some organic heavy cream from pasture-raised cows that I used in this recipe and plan to use for a cheesy zucchini gratin next week. I love my cheese and probably won’t ever make a permanent split.

7. Crockpot Sesame Chicken with Rice and Broccoli

We wrapped up the weekend with a tried-and-true recipe that we’ve made a few times before. What I love is that it only takes about 15 minutes to prep and fry and then you get to leave it for 3 hours! I adjusted the recipe slightly to use only honey and no coconut sugar and I also add broccoli in the last 30 minutes to cook in the sauce. I want to adapt this recipe for orange chicken, mongolian beef, and my husband’s favorite takeout dish called “Twins Pork” (pork, bacon, broccoli, carrots, sliced jalapenos in a sticky-sweet secret sauce)