Sunday Cookup 5: Epic Cheater’s Edition

Over the past few months I’ve learned that dairy and grains are not my friends.  But legumes and I can still hang.  I’m not about to go bury my face in a bowl of beans yet, but I seem to handle a shake of soy sauce or a handful of edamame just fine.

So, if you’re on a Whole30 journey to see how foods affect you, stop reading.  Now.  Come back next week.  You won’t hurt my feelings, it’s okay.

But if you are post Whole30 or are okay looking at mostly-compliant foods, keep reading.  This week the non-compliant foods I used include red wine, peanuts, soy sauce, and (GASP!) sugar.

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Before I dive into my cookup, my Sweet Hubs took this candid of dog and I in the kitchen. I love it. I’ve felt scattered and off my game at work all week, and the focus I see in myself here reminds me that I mostly have my ducks in a row.

Breakfast: Apple Bumpkin Breakfast Bake

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I haven’t tried it yet, but how could this be bad?  It’s apple, banana, coconut milk and pumpkin.  I followed the recipe as written but omitted the maple syrup.  I also realized I left out the baking soda after I poured it in the pan, but I think it will be okay.

Lunches and dinners: Coconut Lime Chicken

2014-09-21 20.45.10I made the sauce as written, omitting the serrano pepper because I didn’t have one.  I also subbed olive for canola oil.  I may not be following W30 to the letter, but I have maintained my fear of processed oils.  Instead of grilling the chicken I threw it in the crockpot with the sauce.  The result is a delicious, curry-coconutty, stewy chicken that tastes a lot better than it looks.  I think it will also look better once it’s served over a bed of cauli rice and topped with chopped cilantro.  Right now it just looks kinda beige.

Zoodles and bolognese sauce

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I’m experimenting with spiralizing zucchini in advance and eating zoodles during the week.  I also made a pretty mean bolognese sauce.  I started with a dice of 1/2 white onion cooking low and slow in my cast iron skillet with Kerrygold butter.  About 20 minutes later I added a pound of lean ground beef and the zucchini ends leftover from spiralizing.  When the meat was no longer pink I added 1/2 jar of Aldi brand organic marinara sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, spoonful of arrowroot powder and a generous pour of cheap red wine leftover from a Saturday night gathering.  I added two bay leaves and let the sauce simmer for about an hour.

I zoodled 7 zucchinis because 8 won't fit in this container.
I zoodled 7 zucchinis because 8 won’t fit in this container.

Veg: Roasted Broccoli with Homemade Bacon and butternut squash.  I also made a big and uninteresting salad.

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Who gets excited about broccoli?  Me.  This roasted at 425 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring after 20.  Delish.  This won’t last long at our house this week.

2014-09-21 21.03.31I roasted the squash whole at 400 degrees for 90 minutes.  When it was cool enough to touch I remove the skin and seeds.  I added coconut milk, a banana and Kerrygold butter before mixing with my immersion blender.

Tonight’s Epic and Woefully Non-Compliant Dinner: Zoodles and Stir-Fry Veg With Peanut Sauce

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Damn this was good.  The woefully unhealthy sauce is 1/2 cup each of honey, creamy peanut butter and soy sauce.  To this I added 3 crushed cloves of garlic, a healthy squeeze of sriracha, a tbsp-ish of fish sauce, 2 tbsp-ish of sesame oil,  scant 1/4 cup of rice vinegar and a tsp-ish of arrowroot starch.

I stir-fried 3 carrots and 2 bell peppers with a little coconut oil, then added 1/2 bag frozen peas and 1/2 bag frozen green beans.  When those were cooked through I added about 2 generous handfuls of deveined and mostly thawed raw shrimp.  About 5 big handfuls of zoodles went on top and I let the whole thing steam under a lid for about 5 minutes.  I added the sauce at the very end and barely let it heat through.  For garnish I put out a plate of zoodled cucumber, cilantro and chopped unsalted peanuts.

Does eating a big plate of veg and just a few shrimp undo the damage of all that sugar?  Probably not.  But guess what, it was delicious.

I regret nothing, and I may or may not have licked the bowl when no one was looking.

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