carrot and parsnip mash

Sometimes mashed potatoes are the best thing in the history of ever. And sometimes they aren’t. —Like when you’re doing Whole30. Mashed sweet potatoes are a nice substitute, but they are so . . . sweet.
So.
Here’s a savory substitute to gorgeous, fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes that is not only better for you, but also fluffy and gorgeous, pretty to look at, and entirely vegetable-based. I threw in a little coconut cream to make things extra decadent.
Want to make it more of a meal? Throw on a soft egg or a steak. BOOM.
Enjoy!

CARROT AND PARSNIP MASH

6 carrots, peeled, and chopped
6 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon onion flakes
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot boil chopped carrots and parsnips until fork-tender, just as you would potatoes. Drain and return veggies to pot. Add coconut cream, onion flakes, salt and pepper, and using either a hand-held beater or immersion blender, whirl until the veggies begin to soften and blend together. I like my mash a little chunky. A few pieces of vegetables mixed in with mash give this dish texture and color. But if you prefer them light and cloud-fluffy, continue whipping/blending until smooth.
Serve as a side with a pat of butter or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

guacamole and carrot sticks

Snacking is an art form in my mind and ought to be practiced often. As such, one might as well snack right. Whole30 has some great snacking options if you can force yourself to see past the typical crackers and cheese route. And guacamole and carrot sticks are a perfect option in this regard.

Whenever I’m on the road, this is my go-to snack. It’s portable, rich in flavor, filling, and good for you. Does colorful count? Let’s go with colorful too. Totally counts.
Enjoy!

I like using a food processor for this recipe because it simplifies the process. But a knife, fork and bowl work just as well for mixing up a batch of guac. Even better: a guacamole molcajete! Whatever tools you use, this is simply about blending flavors and textures.

GUACAMOLE AND CARROT STICKS
 

1 avocado, pitted and diced
1 tomato, diced
1 teaspoon diced cilantro
1 teaspoon red onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon garlic
a dash of lemon juice

In a bowl, toss avocado, tomato, cilantro and onion together. Blend and mash with a fork until the diced pieces  begin to break down and combine. Blend in garlic and lemon juice and mix until well incorporated.
Add carrot sticks, and if you need some protein, some uncured salami.

Note: I adore cilantro. But not everyone does. If you hate the stuff, feel free to substitute diced scallions or fresh parsley.

If you are using a food processor, toss all of the ingredients, including the garlic and lemon juice, into the bowl and pulse several times until the mixture is blended but still chunky.

sweet potato hash with a soft egg

Potatoes and eggs are usually the ubiquitous American breakfast food, but if eating clean has taught me anything, it’s that anything can sub-in when it comes to meal norms. And this ‘typical’ breakfast food works just as well for dinner. Especially if you throw in a grilled steak topped with arugula, or something similar.

But for today, this was breakfast. And it was beautiful.
You can mix up the sides endlessly because sweet potatoes play nice with so many flavors and textures. Salad . . . fresh fruit . . . crudités . . .pickled beets . . . a few slices of uncured salami . . . there really is no end to the options.
In my case, it was yellow tomatoes and a slightly overripe avocado.
Hey, whatever works!
Enjoy.

SWEET POTATO HASH WITH A SOFT EGG

1 peeled and shredded sweet potato
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and grate/shred one sweet potato and set aside.

In a skillet over med/high-high, heat olive oil until hot (but not smoking). toss in onion flakes and allow them to caramelize. Then toss in grated sweet potato and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Turn to coat with olive oil and allow the heat to brown the edges before scraping the pan, turning again, and allowing to brown once more. Scrape and brown the potato until it begins to crisp. Then, with a spoon, hollow out two “nests” in the bed of hash and crack one egg into each nest.

Slide the skillet into a 400-degree, preheated oven and bake the hash and eggs until the egg yokes are covered with a thin while film and the whites are firm.

Remove from oven and plate with fruit, veggies, or meat.

 

Cashew Butter

Back to snacking—I started posting about some favorite snacks last week, so let’s return to that subject. Because Snacks. It’s hard to go without a few in the course of a day, and making healthy snacking choices can be tough when you are SO TIRED OF BANANAS. (Bananas are the go-to snack at my house). So. Enter cashew butter and apple slices. Think: Carmel apple dip, only with nut butter. NomNomNom.
 

I started making all of my own nut butter back in September after reading an article about what kind of miscreant ingredients are contained in a typical jar of Skippy. And considering that we go through a large jar of peanut butter in about a week at my house, (lots of PB&J) a change was needed.

Nut butter is expensive no matter which way you spin it, because nuts in general are expensive. But if you can buy them in bulk, this will save you a bit. Cashews are my favorite nut, so cashew butter has become my nut-butter of choice. But you can make any flavor of nut butter with this method.

You will need a food processor for this job.

1 lb. of your favorite nuts, roasted.
1 tsp sea salt
2 teaspoons coconut oil

In a food processor, toss the roasted nuts, salt, and spoon the coconut oil on top. Snap the cover tightly into place, and whirl on high for about 3-5 minutes. This process is kinda noisy, so warn your little people or pets if they get nervous around loud noises.
When the butter is smooth, scrape into a sealable container. Refrigerate.
1 lb. of roasted nuts makes approximately 1 quart of nut butter.

garlicky chicken and fresh tomato scramble

You know when you’re so hungry because you forgot to eat breakfast or plan for lunch and it’s 2pm and you’re ready to eat your arm?
Yah. Good times.
Well, this one’s for you.
Prep and cook time: 10 minutes flat. Boom.
You can eat and just tuck that Hangry back in a little.
The world is safe for another day.
I love how a good scramble can do that. *wink*
Enjoy!

GARLICKY CHICKEN AND FRESH TOMATO SCRAMBLE

 Note: This recipe is super versatile. Fresh out of chicken? Turkey works. Or pork. Or last night’s steak. Or even a can of tuna. Not a meat person? No biggie. Leave it out.

Meat of some kind, about 1/2 a cup, or not! (See note above).
1 fresh tomato
1 teaspoon diced garlic
1 teaspoon onion flakes
Pepper to taste
1 teaspoon clarified butter

In a frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and toss in meat. Turn and coat and then toss in garlic, onion, and diced tomato. Simmer and mix until everything is heated through and smells AMAZING. Crack two eggs right into the pan, and using a spatula mix it around a little to combine all the ingredients. Then allow the whole thing to cook, covered, for about three minutes or until everything has set. You shouldn’t have any runny eggs.
Serve hot with your favorite fruit or veggie.

 

savory applesauce

Sometimes dinner needs a little extra something, yaknow? I’m all for spice rubs, but my heart finds its home in sauces. And when you’re looking to dress up some chicken breasts, or pork tenderloin, or heck, even a pile of spaghetti squash, a savory-sweet applesauce really brings a lot to the table. Pun intended.

4 apples, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup prunes or apricots
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons clarified butter
water

begin by peeling and dicing your apples. —I like to make this sauce out of whatever fruit is starting to show its age in my fruit basket. Can’t let those mealy bruised apples go to waste!
Do the same with the onions and the dried fruit.
Then in a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the clarified butter and toss in the apples, dried fruit, and onions, stirring until they begin to brown/caramelize. Sprinkle cinnamon over the fruit and onions and then add just enough water to cover the fruit. Set it back on the stove and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally and continue to simmer, uncovered, until the fruit softens. Add water as needed, simmering all while while until the fruit melds and becomes a thick, chunky sauce. If you prefer a smoother applesauce, use an emulsion blender to emulsify.

Spoon generously over meat, vegetables, or even dessert.
(I love it over a heavy greek yogurt!)

 

Thoughts on whole30, round 3

I did my first Whole30 in September of 2015. I read the book. I was inspired to make some long-overdue dietary changes, and found it an educational and health-inducing experience. I learned SO MUCH about my body—how it reacts to food, my brain, my emotions, and my triggers. It was amazing. And it was a  successful experience! Even though I was (and have been) unable to exercise for a long time due first to a knee injury and then to its surgical repair. So my entire Whole30 experience happened in the kitchen. That said, I still lost a solid ten pounds and dropped two pant sizes.

But even better than that, I felt amazing. I was clear-headed, didn’t suffer from the mid-afternoon sugar drop off, slept hard and deeply at night, and got rid of some very persistent headaches.

The next couple months brought the onslaught of holiday chaos, a season of sickness in my family of six unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, (strep, ear infections, stomach flu, influenza, hand-foot-mouth, pink-eye, you name it—we had it). And all of that combined to result in high stress, lack of discipline, exhaustion, and an inability to finish my second round of Whole30. Over the last several months, the weight slowly crept back on, and all the once-alleviated symptoms that are a reflection of bad eating ushered themselves back into my life and body. Bummer.
But.
If nothing else, this PROVED to me the effectiveness of dietary change, and at the end of February I vowed to do another round. Adding exercise when I could (yay for a slowly-healing knee!)

And so, here I am on Day 3 (I started Feb 29) of my third round of whole30, and I’m excited. Invigorated. Inspired. And loving my renewed adventures in the kitchen. Which is why so many of the recipes I post here at eatwriterepeat are Whole30 friendly , vegetarian, or paleo. These recipes come out of my personal journey, and I’m honored to have you following along with me!

All this to say: If you are trying to make better eating choices, cooking choices, and health choices in general, I salute you. I partner with you. (SOLIDARITY!) —Whole30, 21-Day fix, or whatever other tool you are using!
Know this: I fail with you, get up and try again with you.I choose better than mediocre with you. Health matters. Yours and mine. And in case no one has told you today: I know how hard this is. And I’m proud of you for pressing in and pressing on.

Over and out.

—Beth