Saturday, January 7, 2017

Days 3 & 4 of #Whole30

Week 1 - Days 3 and 4

So to be completely honest, and I had massive amounts of hesitation and anxiety about how successful I would be at this, it hasn't been that bad!  I know I am only 4 days in so maybe check back in this time next week and I will be scratching at the walls for a block of cheese BUT today all is good!

So what have I learned in the first few days?  Prep is EVERYTHING!  Whether is is cooking a few chicken breasts to have in the fridge to throw on a salad or having the produce in the house to make a healthy all comes down to the prep work!

So here are two of my favorite recipes we have tried in the past two days:

Loaded "Nachos"

2 Idaho potatos
4 ripe avocados
1/2 cup Trader Joe's Salsa Verde
Ground Chicken
Cherry tomatoes, halved
half a bunch of cilantro, chopped

Brown the ground chicken in a heavy skillet.  Add 2 tablespoons of the taco seasoning (or to taste) and 2/3 cup of water.  Allow the chicken to simmer and cook down all of the liquids, thus absorbing all of the seasonings.

While the chicken is cooking, slice the potatoes as thin as possible.  Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray and place the potato slices on the sheet.  Brush with olive oil or use the cooking spray again and just spray the tops of the potatoes.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and place under the broiler.  I always have to keep a close eye on things when I am broiling them so don't step away.  You want to make sure they are good and brown on top.  Once you have reached the desired readiness, remove the potatoes from the oven. flip them over, sprinkle with salt and place them back under the broiled.

Mix 4 avocados with salsa verde and cilantro.  

Once the potatoes are done, place a layer on a plate, top with guacamole and chicken, then repeat until all ingredients are used up! We topped our with salsa but you can really add any ingredients you want at this point!

Braised Chicken Thighs with Garlic, Lemon and Olives

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
12 garlic cloves 
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups) 
1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds discarded 
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, plus more for garnish 
1 cup mixed Greek olives
Juice of 1 lemon 

Remove the chicken from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking to remove the chill. Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. 

In a large ovenproof pan or Dutch oven large enough to hold all the thighs in a single layer, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic cloves to the pan and flip the thighs over. Cook until the garlic is fragrant and has gotten a little brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chicken and garlic from the pan and set aside. 

With the pan still hot, add the onions, lemon slices and oregano, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions have wilted and the brown bits on the bottom of the pan have loosened, 6 to 8 minutes. Nestle the thighs skin-side up in the onion mixture and add the garlic and the olives. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Scatter fresh oregano over it before serving.
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