A Three-Course Meal That is Healthy and Tastes Good Too!

*By: Christi Shingara*

I’m not one to do cleanses or diets. I try to live by the mantra “everything in moderation.” However, a few years ago I did try the Whole30. If you aren’t familiar with the Whole30, it’s a 30-day clean-eating plan designed to revamp your eating habits by eliminating certain “toxic” foods. I never did anything like this before and researched the heck out of it until I was certain this was something I wanted to try.

First, I read the Whole30 book, and then I talked to some people that tried it. The feedback I got was positive, with most people saying it was an eye-opening experience as to what we’re actually putting into our bodies that we “think” is healthy. Much to my surprise, I found that a lot of the everyday foods we consume are really not good for us. Long story short, I ended up doing it and was impressed with the results!

It was certainly difficult, and the rules were brutal, especially for the first few days. I had withdraw symptoms from not eating the high amounts of sugar my body was used to. After the first two weeks, my body started adapting to the plan, and I noticed a change in my energy and physique. I felt more energetic throughout the day and my body was leaner. Food wise, I learned how to eat and cook much healthier because sadly a great majority of food in the grocery store is crap and pumped full of preservatives.

The other thing that happened after the 30-day cleanse was that my taste buds changed. I couldn’t eat foods that had added sugar because they was just too sweet. It was so weird and terrifying how it changed my sense of taste. Since the Whole30, I couldn’t keep up with the strict rules, and really no diet or cleanse is meant for the long-term. But it has changed the way I eat and how I do my grocery shopping. So, I decided to put together a three-course meal that is healthy and also tastes good. Don’t worry, it isn’t entirely the Whole30. Everything in moderation!

Appetizer – Bacon Wrapped Dates – by: Tastes Lovely

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the slices of bacon into 3 pieces.
  • Wrap a piece of the bacon around the date and secure with a toothpick.
  • Lay the bacon wrapped dates on the parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bacon is golden brown.
  • Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Entree Creamy Chicken Casserole (Whole 30 compliant) – By: PaeloOMG

Ingredients:

  • 1.5–2lbs chicken thighs, excess fat removed, diced
  • 5 medium heads of broccoli, stems removed, chopped into florets
  • 1 head of cauliflower, stem removed, chopped into florets
  • 1 container of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 (14oz) cans of coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I added less because I don’t like spicy food)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other fat)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat (or other fat)


Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place your cauliflower and broccoli florets in a 9×12 glass baking dish. Pour your olive oil on top of the florets and salt and pepper, as well. Mix around to coat the florets.
  • Baking for 15-18 minutes or until your broccoli and cauliflower have a slightly darker color to them.
  • While your florets are cooking, place a large skillet over high heat and add your bacon fat.
  • Once skillet is very hot, add your chicken. You want your skillet to be very hot so you will get a nice sear to your chicken.
  • Salt and pepper your chicken while it cooks in your pan.
  • Cook on both sides for 4-5 minutes, depending on how small you diced your chicken.
  • Once chicken is ALMOST cooked through, remove from pan and place either on a plate or directly into your baking dish with your florets if that has come out of the oven.
  • Now add your minced garlic directly to your pan that is placed under medium heat now.
  • Then add your diced onions in. Cook until translucent.
  • Then add your coconut milk and vegetable broth, as well as your garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and a bit of salt and pepper and mix well.
  • Once it is all thoroughly combined, pour directly onto your chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower dish.
  • Now toss in your mushrooms.
  • Add in a bit more salt and pepper.
  • Mix it all together into one large mess.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes.
  • Let cool to help the sauce thicken.
  • Eat.

Dessert – Three-Ingredient BrowniesBy: Danielle Fahrenkrug

Ingredients:

  • 3 large bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed) very ripe will give the best flavor
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 1/2 cups raw almond butter crunchy, oil slightly drained
  • (optional) ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 8-in. x 8-in. square baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray around the sides and bottom so the brownies do not stick.
  • In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Add the almond butter and mix until smooth. Add the cocoa powder and optional cinnamon and blend until no visible cocoa powder is seen.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until set and slightly dark on the top.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely before slicing.

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