Interested In Whole30? 4 Recipes You Need To Try

Maybe you've heard of The Whole30 plan, a month-long "nutritional reset" created by certified sports nutritionists Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. The idea is that by cutting out stuff like sugar, alcohol, grains, and dairy for 30 days (meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and natural fats are fine), you can help improve your mood, sleep, energy levels, and body composition.

Now, the Hartwigs have come out with a cookbook to help you follow the plan:
The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. As these four recipes prove, the dishes are absolutely delicious — and even good enough to bring to a party and feed a crowd. 
Roasted Beet, Orange, and Avocado Salad 
Serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes  

2 medium beets
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 orange, halved, one half zested and juiced, one half peeled and cut into segments
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 avocado, split lengthwise, pitted, peeled, and diced 

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Rinse the beets thoroughly and carefully stab all sides with a fork. Place in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, tossing or mixing to thoroughly coat. Wrap the oiled beets in aluminum foil, pinching the top closed to create a seal. Place the beets in the center of a baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes. Check them by carefully opening the foil and sticking a thin knife into the center of a beet: If it goes in easily, the beets are done. If there’s resistance, close them back up and put back into the oven for 10 minutes. Repeat until the knife slides into the center of the beet easily. Let cool until cool enough to handle.

2. Remove the skin from the beets — you may want to wear gloves and an apron, as beet juice will stain your skin and clothes. Dice the beets into 1-inch pieces and place in a serving bowl. 

3. In a small bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of olive oil with the vinegar, orange juice, salt, and pepper, and whisk until combined. 

4. Add the orange segments and avocado to the beets. Drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle on the orange zest, toss to coat, and serve. 

If you’re planning to double this recipe for leftovers, double everything but the avocado. The dressed beets and orange slices will hold up well in the fridge for a day or two, but avocado tends to turn brown and mushy. Your best bet is to add a fresh avocado to your leftovers right before serving. 

Pro Tip: Beets
If you get whole beets with the stems still on, you’ll want to remove them before roasting. Cut them about an inch above the root, not any closer. You don’t want to risk cutting into the beet itself, as that will allow juice and flavor to leak out while roasting. Beets can really vary in their cooking times, so don’t be surprised if yours require a full hour to fully roast. Plan ahead, or roast them on your meal prep day — they’ll keep in the fridge for three to four days. Make sure you peel them before storing, though — they’re easier to peel when they’re still warm.

Chimichurri Beef Kabobs 
Serves 2

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 to 8 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes plus marinating 

For the kabobs:
1 lb lean steak (sirloin, strip, flank), cut into 1-inch dice
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares
1 onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds 

For the chimichurri:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 shallot, minced
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to prevent them from burning. 

2. Make the chimichurri: Combine the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, and shallot in a food processor and mix on low speed. Drizzle in the olive oil while mixing; the dressing will begin to emulsify. Add the cilantro, parsley, salt, and pepper and continue to mix on low until the dressing is uniform in texture and the herbs are chopped quite small.

3. Place the steak in a resealable plastic bag or nonreactive bowl with a lid. Cover the steak with enough chimichurri (about 1 cup) to coat thoroughly. Seal the bag or cover the bowl and marinate the steak in the refrigerator for 1 to 8 hours; more is better, especially for tougher cuts. (Feel free to leave your steak marinating overnight, or start your dinner prep in the morning before work.) 

4. Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the grill to high heat (500°F). (See below if you don't have a grill.)

5. Remove the steak from the marinade; discard the marinade. Prepare the kabobs by threading the steak, bell pepper, onion, and zucchini onto soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers, alternating meat and vegetables. You should be able to make about 6 skewers. 

6. Grill the kabobs directly over high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium (or move the kabobs to indirect heat) and brush with 1/2 cup of the remaining chimichurri. Grill to desired doneness, 12 to 15 minutes. (The easiest way to check is to remove one of the kabobs from the heat and cut into the meat, checking for color.) Serve the kabobs with extra chimichurri sauce for dipping; any leftover sauce can be refrigerated for 2 to 3 days or frozen in ice cube trays for up to 6 months.

If you don’t have a grill, you have two other options for the kabobs. First, buy a grill plate for your stove and follow the same directions — it’s just like a barbecue, minus the mosquitoes. Or, you can broil and then bake the skewers: Preheat the oven to broil (or 500°F) and place the skewers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil the kabobs for 3 minutes, then flip the skewers and broil for another 3 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and brush the skewers with chimichurri. Bake to desired doneness, 12 to 15 minutes. 

Pro Tip: Marinating
Don’t marinate in a bowl made of copper, cast iron, aluminum, or easily stained plastic. When you add high-acid foods like citrus juice or tomato sauce to these kinds of bowls, they can react with the metal and impart a metallic taste to your foods. Instead, use a nonreactive bowl like glass or stainless steel. Always marinate in the fridge to avoid bacteria growth, and make sure to discard any remaining marinade, since it’s been in contact with raw meat.

Pork Chops with Spiced Applesauce 
Serves 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes 
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 bone-in pork chops (about 1 lb total)
3 tbsp cooking fat
1 onion, sliced
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1 pinch nutmeg
2 generous handfuls frisée

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the salt and pepper in a small bowl and use to season both sides of the pork chops. 

2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the cooking fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the pork chops and sear until you see a golden brown crust, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and sear the other side for 2 minutes. 

3. Transfer the pork chops to a baking dish and roast in the oven until the internal temperature reaches 140°F, 10 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness. 

4. While the pork is roasting, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon fat and the onion in the same skillet. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apple, apple cider, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Cook, scraping all the tasty bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon, until the apples soften, about 5 minutes.

5. Transfer the applesauce to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Place the frisée on plates. Top with the pork and spoon the applesauce over the pork and greens. 

Don’t have access to frisée? You can use arugula, baby kale, or baby spinach. This dish can also make a delicious reappearance at breakfast — fry an egg or two and place over the top of the leftover pork, using the applesauce and freshly wilted greens as your side.


Cauliflower Rice 
Serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. To “rice” the cauliflower, place half of the florets in a food processor and pulse into a rice-like consistency, 15 to 20 pulses. (Don’t over-crowd the cauliflower in the food processor, and don’t over-pulse or the florets will get mushy.) Repeat to rice the remaining florets.

2. In a large skillet, melt the ghee over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When the ghee is hot, add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic is aromatic, about 1 minute. 

3. Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet and mix thoroughly with the rest of the vegetables. Add the chicken broth, cover the pan with a lid, and steam until you’ve arrived at a rice-like consistency, 10 to 12 minutes. (The cauliflower should be tender, but not mushy or wet.)

4. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the chopped cilantro. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

This is an incredibly versatile recipe. Make a Moroccan-style rice by adding 1/4 cup slivered almonds or pine nuts, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Make rice Asian-style by adding 2 tablespoons coconut aminos, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 2 minced green onions. Or make this a complete meal by adding a serving of your favorite chopped protein (like chicken, shrimp, flank steak, or pork) and any leftover sautéed vegetables you have in your fridge. 

Pro Tip: Grating
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a box grater to shred the cauliflower into rice. Patience, however, as it will take quite a while! You can also make fried “rice” by omitting the chicken broth, adding more cooking fat to the pan, and pan-frying the rice until tender, about 5 minutes. For an even more authentic fried-rice experience, stir two egg whites into the cauliflower while pan-frying. 

Recipes and Photo from THE WHOLE30 by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. Copyright © 2015 by Whole9 Life, LLC. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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