This two part series on our first Whole30 food challenge is full of healthy snack and meal ideas that are not just for Whole 30-ers, so stick around even if you have no idea what Paleo means. Part 1 covers my Whole30 survival tips, breakfast and lunch. Find it here.
Doing dinner on the Whole30 is the easiest meal, in my opinion. You can eat meat, fish, seafood, broth, use endless herbs and spices, and of course tons of veggies.
There are so many different vegetables out there! Whole30 might be the perfect time to branch out and try some vegetables you don’t normally prepare. For example, learn how to prepare rutabaga, and give this celeriac dish a try.
Winter weather begs for hearty bowls of root veggie stew, or a steamy casserole dish. In the summer, fresh veggies abound and the weather is perfect for grilling. Considering this, Whole30 doesn’t sound too tough. On a normal week around our house, we often eat stir fry and curries, which are allowed within parameters (sub soy sauce for coconut aminos, for example). These dishes did seem lacking when served without rice, but cauliflower rice is a decent substitute. Still, sometimes we had curry in soup form, rather than over the top of something.
You can do the Whole30 and dine on steaks and all sorts of meat cuts. One of the barriers to Whole30, however, is the (likely) steep uptick in your grocery budget. Rice and beans are much more affordable that tons of vegetables and meat! We served the occasional piece of salmon, but for the most part, we didn’t rely on steaks, roasts, tenderloins and the like. Here’s a list of some our favorite mainstays:
- Herbed turkey burgers over steamed spinach with garlic aoli
- Oven roasted whole chicken with carrots and onions
- Tomato curry with chicken and cauliflower rice
- Hash – our version includes tons of diced vegetables and ground beef or turkey
- Chicken sausage and veggie egg bake
- Fish tacos in lettuce boats with cilantro, lime and garlic aoli
- Root vegetable stew
- Tuna salad in lettuce boats
- Chilli made with beef and lots of veggies, no legumes
- Veggie stir fry with coconut aminos (could add chicken or beef)
- Paleo Pho
Shown in photos above:
- Mixed seafood sautée with leeks, garlic, and summer squash on a bed of steamed kale.
- Sweet potato and celeriac stew with beef
- Vegetable coconut curry soup
- Syrian Maldoom in Conflict-Free Cooking: My Favorite Middle Eastern Recipes
Having a list of delicious sides in mind made meal planning easy. We love these foods, so didn’t mind eating them at least once a week. We switched up which sides were served with what main dish, so it never got boring.
- Curry roasted cauliflower
- Baked winter squashes
- Raw carrot sticks with aoli dip
- Oven roasted brussels sprouts
- Garlic mashed rutabaga
- Pan-fried turnips
- Oven roasted beets
- Picked veggies: pickles, green beans, red peppers, etc.
- Oven-roasted potato cubes
- Steamed kale
- Mixed greens dressed with oil and balsamic vinegar
- Vegetable ferments: sauerkraut, kimchee, etc.
Snacking on Whole3o is discouraged unless you fall into a few different categories. Doing Whole30 with a child and breastfeeding, we snacked without reservation. Here’s a list of some of our snacking staples:
- pumpkin or winter squash pudding
- smoked tilapia
- olives (For Twin Cities folk, Holy Land has great olive bar!)
- pickles and other pickled veggies
- fermented veggies
- lettuce boats filled with mayo and veggies or sardines
- almond butter on a banana (we did a piece or two of whole fruit a day)
- curry roasted cauliflower
- chicken sausage
- Apple slices stand in for crackers with chicken sausage and avocado (pictured above)
- Energy balls were a mash up of almond butter, raw pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, coconut flakes and chopped dates (pictured below)
Shelf stable things that lived in the diaper bag:
- assorted nuts
- nori sheets
- plantain chips
We really enjoyed doing the Whole30, but as I mentioned before, the increase in cost was hard to swallow. What Whole30 foods have you enjoyed? Do you have any cost-savings tips to share?