My Week of Dinners
My attempt at starting Whole30 on September 1 was an epic fail, so we’re starting again. Some of you may have seen my confessional photo of bread, cheese, and an Aperol spritz on IG stories. Plan ahead for successful travel on Whole30. If you research Whole30 friendly restaurants, pack airplane snacks, and make a plan you’ll be just fine. Even if you’re not doing Whole30, the dinners this week are perfect for healthy meals your whole family will love. You can find all my Whole30 meal plans and recipes here.
Have you registered for Kitchen Reboot? Hope to see you there!
Also! The Hunter Bell + Smart in the Kitchen Aprons are available for pre-order. I had so much fun designing these with Hunter using her Fall 2021 fabrics!
I’m making a shortcut bolognese for a group of hungry high school boys. Sauté a diced onion and garlic in olive oil, add about 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add some diced carrot and celery and sauté. Add a pound or two of ground beef, or half beef and half pork. Add another 1/4 teaspoon salt and sauté until it loses its raw red color. Simmer the meat in 1 cup milk, Marcella style. Once all the milk cooks off, add a cup of white wine and simmer on low. Once the wine evaporates, add 2 cups Rao’s Marinara or canned crushed tomatoes. Simmer, taste for seasoning, and serve with carb of choice. For Whole30, omit the milk and white wine and serve over roasted veggies.
Labor Day. My son has requested my pan-sautéd Cajun chicken. It’s easy, healthy, and fast. These can be grilled, but I love them pan-seared. Use an oven-safe skillet. Serve over tangy spinach salad or with sautéed collard greens. Here’s the recipe:
For the spice mix:
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 4 chicken breasts (sliced in half horizontally into two thinner cutlets and pounded thin, or you can purchase chicken cutlets and pound them thin)
- Avocado oil
- Mix spice ingredients together (onion-pepper) in a small bowl.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. After cutting the breasts in half to create two thinner cutlets, pound them out slightly. I use a meat pounder, but you can also cover the chicken with plastic wrap and use a rolling pin.
- Season the chicken on both sides with about a teaspoon of the spice mixture; set aside. You can do this step several hours in advance if you’d like.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat, you can use a non-stick pan, a regular stainless steel sauté pan or a cast iron pan – you just want to make sure it can be transferred to the oven. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil and warm until shimmering, swirl it around the pan. Add 2-3 chicken cutlets at a time, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook on medium to medium-high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side. Sauté them in batches if you have a small skillet and add more avocado oil to the pan in between batches. The chicken should be a golden color.
- Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and transfer to the warmed oven while you finish cooking the remaining cutlets. Make sure an instant-read thermometer reads 165 in the middle of each chicken breast.
- Serve with lemon wedges on the side.
Whole30 Chicken Tinga. Serve it in lettuce cups, in a halved avocado, in a bowl with roasted sweet potato and greens, or in a roasted pepper.
Tonight I’ll be on Instagram Live at 5 pm CST with Nicole Burke from Rooted Garden and Gardenary Co. We’re talking about easy weeknight dinners that will use up your bumper crop of zucchini and beans. Watch live for all the tips! It is the perfect time of year to make sheet pan ratatouille. Serve it as a side dish with simple roasted salmon.
Too tired to cook? One of my favorite lazy options is breakfast for dinner. Make-your-own omelets, fried egg sandwiches, breakfast tacos, avocado toast, or frittatas. Here’s my go-to Whole30 frittata.
Come-and-get-it! I’ll set out leftovers that need to be used up and let everyone make their own plate. We always have super simple salad dressing in the fridge, so I might cull together a tossed green salad.