Whole30, Day 20: Cooking Up a Storm

with 2 comments

Between feeling like staying in tonight and having a potluck to go to tomorrow, I spent a LOT of the day cooking! Some delicious things, so it feels worth it, but I’m really tired now.


A huge portion of tasty food–2 fried eggs, a plateful of mixed greens, fried plantain slices (it was halfway between starchy and sweet), 1/2 avocado, cut into cubes. Couldn’t finish all the plantain and had to put away leftovers for tomorrow.

Coffee with almond milk


Salted pistachios



Toasted cauliflower salad

Shepherd’s pie

We got into a sticky situation while out running errands as we hadn’t brought snacks, I had eaten the ones that were in my purse last night, and we were both starving by the time we were halfway through our errands. We were returning something at Wal-Mart and found a few compliant items–fresh bananas, pistachios, almonds–which staved off hunger long enough for us to go home and make dinner. I made several things, some for dinner immediately, some for later.

What I made for dinner:

Shepherd’s Pie

2 large russet potatoes

1 Tbsp ghee

2 tsp nutritional yeast

Extra virgin olive oil

1 large package beef pot roast (I think we had something like 1 3/4 lbs?)

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp dried thyme

Coconut flour (about 4 Tbsp)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg



2 Tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped

Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the potatoes. Cook till tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, reserving the potato cooking water.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Grind the pot roast in a food processor. In a large oven-safe pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the ground beef. Fry, chopping and turning with a spatula, till the beef is cooked through, turning the heat down to medium and adding some of the potato cooking water after a minute or two to help the ground meat take on a finer texture. Remove to a separate container.

Return the pot to the heat and add additional oil. Add the onions, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring, till the vegetables start to brown. Add the garlic and coconut flour and cook for a minute more.

Return the beef and liquid to the pan and add the thyme, nutmeg, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and some additional potato cooking water. Bring heat down to a moderate simmer.

Mash the potatoes with the ghee and nutritional yeast. Taste and adjust salt.

When the beef mixture looks like everything is cooked through and the gravy is fairly thick (add some additional coconut flour or a dollop of mashed potatoes to help thicken it up more if needed), stir in the parsley, then spoon the potatoes on top in an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are getting golden brown on top. Garnish with additional chopped fresh parsley and ground paprika, if desired.

Toasted Cauliflower Salad

A take on the simple vinaigrette-dressed rice salad I love making in the summertime, that I usually do with Arborio rice that’s been cooked like pasta, boiled in plenty of water and drained, so it has a nice spongy texture. This is denser, wetter, more flavorful, and less chewy.

1 head cauliflower

Coconut oil

1 Tbsp capers

1 rib celery, chopped

1 green onion, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped

1 lemon

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into chunks and process in a food processor until it’s in small, couscous-like grains. Set out two cookie sheets lined with Silpat and grease with coconut oil. Take the cauliflower out of the food processor in handfuls, squeezing out excess liquid from each handful, and spread out on the sheets in an even layer as thin and fluffy as you can get it. Drizzle each sheet with additional melted coconut oil. Place the two cookie sheets in the oven and roast till the cauliflower is golden, 30-40 minutes or so. Remove from the oven and scrape the cauliflower into a large mixing bowl.

Add the capers, green onions, celery, and parsley to the bowl. Zest the lemon into the bowl, then juice the lemon into the bowl, taking care to strain out the seeds. Pour the olive oil into the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

And for later:

Sexy Spicy Broccoli

A modification of the recipe from the New York Times. I like having vegetables around that you can take portions of and eat with a fork, cold, without further prep–the big bag of sauerkraut in the fridge has been a really nice side dish to a lot of things this month.

1 head broccoli

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns

1/2 tsp black sesame seeds

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

(All measurements approximate)

Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets and put in a glass Tupperware container. Peel the stems, cut them into slabs, and add them to the container. Pour the red wine vinegar and salt over the broccoli and mix well.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, and Szechuan peppercorns. Let cook for a minute or two, but remove before the garlic starts to turn brown. Pour over the broccoli. Drizzle on the sesame oil and black sesame seeds and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.

Potato Salad

This German-style potato salad is vegetarian, but the smoked paprika gives it a suggestion of bacon-like flavors. There’s a nice, salty-tangy punch from the capers, and green onion is softer in flavor than the usual minced red onion. No need for mayo–the potatoes dissolve a bit with the dressing and mixing and collapse into their own creamy sauce. (Probably it would be good with mustard, but I’m not a huge mustard fan.) It’s delicious and is coming with me to my potluck tomorrow.

6 Yukon Gold potatoes


1 lemon

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp capers

1 green onion, chopped (both green and white parts)

3 ribs celery, diced

2 Tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried dill

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

(All measurements approximate)

Fill a small pot with water, salt, and bring to a boil. Peel and cube the potatoes and put them in the boiling salted water. Cook till tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.

Zest the lemon into the bowl. Juice the lemon into the bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix well to combine. Refrigerate overnight.

Fried potato skins

Fry clean potato peels in a single layer in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, with a generous amount of olive oil, till crisp and brown. Season with salt and smoked paprika.


Written by orata

June 21, 2015 at 12:02 am

Posted in recipes, whole30

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2 Responses

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  1. All if these recipes sound so ono (delicious)! And I’ll say it- that broccoli DOES look sexy.


    June 22, 2015 at 2:48 am

    • Thanks! The broccoli is great, first time I tried it with Szechuan peppercorns and it was a good addition.


      June 22, 2015 at 8:14 am

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