An Easy Whole30 Meal Plan the Whole Family Will Love
You may have noticed on Instagram stories that I have an intern right now. It’s a program through my children’s school called Interim Term. Lucky for me, there was a senior who wanted to cook and be in the kitchen for his three week internship. I’ve been able to test so many new recipes, work on recipe edits and tweak existing recipes. I’m starting to think I need a recipe testing intern on the regular! Here’s this week’s Whole30 meal plan and it’s full of family-friendly favorites.
I hesitate to share this just yet, but I’m throwing it out there anyway. Bison chili is a slightly smokey and spicy rendition of something I had in Sun Valley, Idaho, when we were there over the holiday break. I’ve made it Whole30 by leaving out the beans, but feel free to add them if you’re not doing a round of Whole30. Each to their own! If you have any notes or feedback on this recipe, let me know. I’m still tweaking it before posting the recipe “for real.” Basically, I’m asking you all to be my recipe interns.
Bison Chili (Whole30)
2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 4-ounce can mild diced green chilies
3 cloves garlic, minced, about 1 tablespoon
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chipotle chili paste or dry chipotle chili powder (reduce for milder flavor)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon coriander
¼ cup tomato paste (I like Jovial brand)
2 pounds ground grass-fed bison
2 14.5-ounce cans fire roasted tomatoes and their juices
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno chilies, chopped
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno juice
¼ cup packed cilantro, chopped
2 15-ounce cans drained and rinsed pinto beans or black beans (omit for Whole30)
Optional garnish: fresh cilantro leaves, thinly sliced radish, cubed avocado or compliant hot sauce
In a large pot over medium heat, add the avocado or olive oil and warm. Add the onion, bell pepper, green chilies and garlic and sauté about 4 minutes until vegetables are softened. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine.
Add chipotle chili paste, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander and tomato paste. Turn heat to medium low.
Add the bison, breaking it up as you add to the pan, and another ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper. Sauté, turning up the heat slightly if necessary, until the meat loses its raw red color, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the pickled jalapeños and juice, fresh cilantro and beans (if using), stir to combine and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. The longer you can let this simmer on low, covered, the more the flavors will meld and blend together.
Serve with optional garnish.
For a meatless Monday Whole30 dinner, make my new recipe for cauliflower gnocchi with sun-dried tomato and “any greens” pesto. Delicious! If you don’t feel like making the pesto (don’t worry, no judgement!) just use jarred Rao’s marinara.
Instant Pot pork picadillo for an easy dinner. Substitute ground beef or turkey if you’d like. Serve with cauliflower rice (make your own or warm avocado oil in a pan and sauté frozen cauliflower rice with a little onion, garlic, salt and a squeeze of lemon).
Sheet pan spatchcocked chicken. Sometimes I’ll add some za’atar to the top of the chicken. Chermoula sauce on the side. Cut up some rainbow carrots and halve some shallots to add to the pan and dinner is done!
If you have leftover chicken from Thursday night, save it and make chicken tortilla-less soup. Top with avocado and a squeeze of lime. Or use the leftover chicken to make Whole30 chicken salad that you stuff in an avocado. I like to mix mine with Primal Foods Chipotle Mayo (or regular), diced celery, minced shallot, herbs and salt.
We have a busy weekend full of an 8th grade musical performance and high school Cotillion. I plan to make a big batch of chili verde in the slow cooker that we can snack on whenever. I’m using 1 1/2 pounds pork stew meat (cubed pork shoulder) instead of ground pork. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours, just until the meat is tender and falls apart. Kids can have warmed tortillas with theirs. Top with radish and green onions and a squeeze of lime.