Whole30 Meal Plan: Week 4
We’re on our last week of Whole30 meal plans. Feelin’ good and the livin’s easy, right? It’s not hard to pull off Whole30 when it’s full of simple, delicious, approachable dinners.
As a thank you for following along, I’ve put together a Whole30 eBook with my favorite dinners. It will save directly to your computer, so after entering your email look for it in your downloads folder. These are the recipes I turn to again and again during a round of Whole30. And I hope you will too.
Memorial Hermann mindful eating class today! We’re talking all about meal planning, how to get organized for the week ahead and healthy, nutritious soup and stock. I’m teaching my formula “any vegetable soup” that’s also a great way to clean out your fridge!
How to Make Soup from Any Kind of Vegetable
- 1 to 2 pounds vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spinach, zucchini, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, green beans, etc)
- ½ cup aromatics, such as onion, shallot, garlic or leeks
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Spices or herbs: Fresh or dried thyme, fresh or dried oregano, fresh or dried basil, paprika, cumin, etc.
- 1 28-ounce can whole or chopped tomatoes
- 4 to 6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
- Optional additions: 14-ounce can drained and rinsed white beans or 1 cup cooked grains such as rice, wild rice or farro
- Choose any combination of 1 to 2 pounds of mixed vegetables. Choose what needs to be used up in your refrigerator. Almost any vegetable is delicious here, and I can’t think of one that wouldn’t work! Use broccoli, cauliflower (florets or riced), greens, potatoes, etc.
- Choose aromatics: Garlic, leeks, shallot, green onions, yellow, white or red onion. All you need is ½ cup, and it could be a combination of any two or just one of the above. The only caveat is I wouldn’t just use garlic, try to balance a couple garlic cloves with one of the other aromatics.
- Chop the vegetables and aromatics. Cut the vegetables into even bite-size pieces.
- Heat oil until shimmering over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large soup pot.
- Sauté the aromatics. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetables. Sauté the vegetables and continue cooking for a couple minutes. Add a generous sprinkling of kosher or sea salt. The vegetables will soften slightly and caramelize around the edges.
- Be sure to salt as you go! Season the vegetables well, especially if using low-sodium broth. Vegetables need salt and pepper and you will intensify their flavor by seasoning them as they cook. If you are adding other spices or herbs, add them now. You can add about a half teaspoon each of cumin, chili powder, paprika or garlic powder.
- Add the canned tomatoes and their juices and stock or water. Simmer, covered, until vegetables are cooked and softened, about 30 minutes. Taste the soup for seasoning and add optional garnish of grated parmesan, extra-virgin olive oil, crunchy salt or fresh herbs.
In my cooking class yesterday, I taught the students how to make chicken stock from a whole chicken. You remove the chicken from the cooking liquid after it’s poached, let it cool enough to shred the meat, then return the bones to the pot to simmer for a couple more hours. That’s what you call a “two-fer.” With the leftover shredded chicken, make chicken tortilla-less soup, coconut curry soup, toss it with Frank’s red hot and stuff it in a baked sweet potato, smashed potato nachos, add it to a stir fry or make chicken bacon club wraps. Freeze leftover stock in Souper Cubes!
Skirt steak skillet fajitas with peppers and onions. Leave out the whiskey in the marinade to keep this Whole30. Serve with a chopped salad of romaine or butter lettuce, radish, avocado, cilantro and tomatoes. Toss with Tessemae’s habanero ranch. If you have time to make La Taqueria sauce with this, you won’t be sorry.
If you have leftover skirt steak from Tuesday, chop it and make a steak cobb salad (with more habanero ranch or super simple salad dressing). Add hard boiled eggs, halved cherry tomatoes and avocado. No leftovers? Make lamb ragu and serve with roasted cauliflower or pasta for kiddos.
TGIF! Make a batch of buffalo chicken wings and fire up a movie. Or just dish up leftovers from the week!