Tag Archives: Clean Eating

Whole30 – 2 Weeks Down

Another week of Whole30 in the books!

Picking up where I left off: This week started out with a busy, but nice week – all at home! – and included one of my favorite Whole30 meals to date: Whole30 Hamburgers!

Whole30 Hamburgers | Oysters and Pearls

Said Whole30 Hamburgers garnered a lot of unfair criticism in our house.  That is, before they got eaten.  Wheat was extremely skeptical of my plan to perch a burger, topped with a fried egg, on top of a salad.  He hemmed and hawed and attempted to get me to change the meal plan to hobo pockets instead.  However, I eventually wore him down as I almost always do (he’s doing Whole30 with me, isn’t he? ;) and after a few bites, he declared that they were actually pretty darn delicious.  I concur completely!

The ground beef we picked up from our favorite local butcher, Jones’ Meats, and after Wheat seasoned them with salt and pepper and grilled them, we placed them on top of salad greens, sliced pickling cucumbers, sliced tomatoes, sliced dill pickles, topped them with a fried egg each, and then drizzled sriracha all over the place.  A 100 calorie pack of Wholly Guacamole on top of it all, for me.   So good!

June 11th: for breakfast I inhaled a hard boiled egg with sriracha and 2 juliet tomatoes, along with my usual coffee + coconut oil.  For lunch I had the other half of my hamburger that I couldn’t eat the night before on top of more salad greens, another pickle, and sriracha… all before I hit the road for Atlanta for one of my college besties’ wedding!!

I arrived in Atlanta around 4 and had picked up some roasted, salted cashews and almonds at a gas station pit stop on the way up for snacks.  For dinner, my girlfriend Courtney, her husband Matt and I hit a taco joint for a quick dinner.  I had tacos sans tortillas, which was weird.  And a side of steamed kale.  Not my favorite meal.  Guacamole and salsa help, but it was still weird.  No picture.

June 12th: started this day out with a verse from my devotional (Proverbs 15:23) that I liked so much I copied it down into my food journal:

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply… and how good is a timely word!”

For breakfast, I had an apple the hotel offered at the front desk on my way to a hot yoga class with Courtney!  We headed to Atlanta Hot Yoga in Buckhead for their 9:30 am Bickram class, based on my fabulous aunt-in-law’s stellar recommendation (check her fashion blog out at Undercover 411 if that’s yo thing).  It was intense but amazing!  A seriously great first hot yoga experience for me.  We left with a yoga high and headed to another one of Aunt Vicki’s Buckhead recs: Cafe Jonah and the Magical Attic.

Whole30 Compliant Meal at Cafe Jonah's in Buckhead, Atlanta | Oysters and Pearls

Here I had fresh pressed juice (hydration flavor – tasty and needed!), a green salad, a salad with mint, green tomatoes, honeydew melon, and cucumbers, smoked salmon with tomatoes and capers, and a side of fruit.  I was starving, it was 100% Whole30 compliant and it was also completely refreshing and delicious!  So glad we stopped in on Friday.  I cleaned my plate and my bowl.

We shopped a bit at Lenox and headed back to Roswell to get ready for evening festivities.  The three of us again left for dinner, this time headed to downtown Roswell (Canton Street) to piddle, eat, and have a couple drinks (not Whole30, I knowwwww) while we waited for the rehearsal activities to be done.  We had an awesome dinner at Salt Factory.  I started off with a salad topped with heart of palm, tomatoes, fresh radishes and herbs.  And I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I could not resist that goat cheese crostini.  #sorrynotsorry

Whole30 Compliant Salad at Salt Factory, Roswell, Georgia | Oysters and Pearls

 

For my main course, I had the blood orange glazed salmon on top of mashed potatoes.  I’m sure it was somehow not Whole30 compliant per se, but for the most part it checked all the boxes, so I’m going with it.  Plus, it was DELICIOUS.

Blood Orange Glazed Salmon at Salt House, Roswell, Georgia | Oysters and Pearls

 

June 13th: It’s MK and David’s Wedding Day!

I started the day with the hotel’s buffet (which was really, really good by hotel buffet standards). I had lots of bacon, some scrambled eggs, and a mess o’ strawberries.  After breakfast, Courtney and I went on a long (5.5 miles!) walk on a greenway nearby, and picked up cobb salads at Corner Bakery to eat by the pool with our friend Sara.  They were pretty decent – lettuce topped with bacon, avocado, tomatoes and green onions with a vinaigrette dressing.  We skipped the bleu cheese.  After a while by the pool, we got dressed and headed to the chapel to see our friend get hitched!

Our friend Mary Katherine is from Atlanta, but has lived in Shanghai since we graduated from college.  The groom is from LA, but they met in Shanghai.  They’ve travelled all over the world, and their cocktail menu commemorated some of the more special spots.

Globally Inspired Cocktail Menu at MK and David's Atlanta Wedding | Oysters and Pearls

I indulged in the Thailand Tonic, which was as tasty as the flowers were pretty.

Thailand Tonic Cocktail at MK and David's Wedding | Oysters and Pearls

It was the MOST gorgeous wedding.  The ceremony was held at Roswell Presbyterian, which was  beautiful and home for the Bride.  The reception was held across the street at an historic home.  It was simply stunning, just like the couple.  The toasts were so sweet, so heartfelt, that we all teared up.  Even the bartenders were crying!  MK and David are such a special, sweet couple.  I love you both very much!  So happy I got to be a part of their day.

MK and David Get Hitched | Oysters and Pearls

And while everyone was lookin’ pretty, I unleashed my inner nerd and was catching fire flies to show the gals what one looked like up close.  Because I’m cool like that.

Catching Fire Flies | Oysters and Pearls

The food was just as amazing, and I’ll admit, I cheated a bit and indulged in a small serving of the ravioli… along with a ton of veggies, baked chicken, fried green tomatoes, pesto chicken skewers, and hummus on pita (only one little sliver!).  Oh… and some late night pizza back at the hotel.  That one, I am sorry about.  I paid for it all day on Sunday!  But not sorry about staying up late playing Heads Up in the hotel bar with some of my best friends. :)

June 14th: The next morning, MK and David treated everyone who could make it to a fantastic brunch at Public House in Roswell.  I jumped back on the bandwagon with black coffee, an omelette with spinach, bacon, and sundried tomatoes topped with a side of guacamole, plus some fruit.

Whole30 Compliant Omelett at Public House, Roswell, Georgia | Oysters and Pearls

After lingering for far too many cups of coffee, we all finally said our goodbyes and hit the road. I miss them all so much already!  Luckily, we have a couple more reunions already on the books for 2015 – and I’m already counting down the days until we reunite again!  There really is nothing like time spent with college girlfriends.

I took the opportunity of being in a real city to make pit stops at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for some items we can’t get back in Bainbridge.  And once back in Bainbridge, Wheat and I reconvened over this very tasty, Whole30 approved meal.

Whole30 Squoodles with Shrimp, Sweet Peppers, and Tomatoes | Oysters and Pearls

Squoodles (squash noodles via Spiralizer) sauteed in ghee and minced garlic, along with sweet peppers and halved juliet tomatoes.  (Steps: warm ghee; add garlic, then peppers and tomatoes, then shrimp, then squoodles, then serve.)  Light, healthy, totally delicious, and no guilt whatsoever.

June 15th: Which brings me to Monday, Monday.  I picked up some gluten-free rolled oats at Trader Joe’s, and following the directions, I made some oatmeal (water, pinch of salt, plus some pecans, cinnamon and blueberries).  Not bad!  A little bland, though.  I want to puree some fruits and freeze them in ice cube trays to thaw and swirl into things like oatmeal and chia pudding in place of a sweetener.  Not pictured: I also had a scrambled egg with guac.  EDIT: I had a late night realization that although gluten-free, oats=grass/grain and are not Whole30 kosher.  Oops. Guess I cheated again. 

Whole30 Compliant Oatmeal | Oysters and Pearls

 

For lunch yesterday I had some vegan egg white salad I picked up at Trader Joe’s on the recommendation of my favorite yogi and yoga instructor and health nut and bestie, Ashley.  It was pretty good!  Upon closer inspection, it contains soy, so it wasn’t 100% Whole30 approved, though, so I probably won’t get it again.  We were out of salad greens, so I had it was random veggie plate.  The highlight was the pickled green beans from my sister, Anna Jo, and her husband, Marc!

Whole30 Lunch Ideas | Oysters and Pearls

 

And I’ll pick up next week after that!

Current thoughts on Whole30:

Well currently, Wheat is hangry.  Mostly because I had late night pizza and he didn’t (he stayed behind in Bainbridge to attend another good friends’ wedding!).  We are really missing some foods, but if the late night pizza did anything, it made me realize just what pizza does to me.  I was bloated and ill all the next day, and yesterday morning I woke up with what felt like a hangover – foggy and not sleeping well at all.  I feel so much better today after a full day of getting back on track, even though relatively speaking, let’s be real: it was the healthiest I’ve probably ever been at a wedding!

Anyone got any good Whole30 recipes or tips to share this week?

 

Until Next Time

Shaved Summer Squash Salad

I’ve made this shaved summer squash salad multiple times since the first time.  It’s light and refreshing, and even Wheat was (mostly) content to have it as his entire meal for Meatless Monday.  Once.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad | Oysters & Pearls

It’s the perfect way to use those tiny, delicate summer squashes – both yellow crookneck and zucchini – without heating up a stove or an oven.  It’s best topped with a mountain of Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme and some feta, too.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad | Oysters & PearlsShaved Summer Squash Salad Recipe
serves 8

ingredients

– 10 small summer squash, approximately half zucchini and half yellow
– 1/2 cup pickled red onions, roughly chopped
– 2 fresh banana peppers, sliced
– 1 or 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, diced (optional)
– 4 or 5 green onions, sliced thinly
– 10 or so fresh mint leaves, torn
– 2 tablespoons lemon juice
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 tablespoons white wine or rice vinegar
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1/2 cup shaved Thomasville Tomme or Pecorina Romano
– 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

instructions

Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the zucchini into thin, wide strips.  I’m not joking when I say that purchasing this OXO Good Grips Y Peeler changed how I felt about vegetable peelers.  It’s amazing and a cheap kitchen addition that will make life much easier and enjoyable.

Using a sharp knife, cut the yellow squash into thin rounds.  Roughly chop the pickled red onions, slice and chop the peppers and onions, add the torn mint, and toss them all together with your hands.  In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper together.  Pour over the squash mixture and toss to coat.  Let sit for 20 minutes.  Add cheeses on top just before serving.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

The addition of mint to this salad makes it so refreshing for a light summer meal or a delicious side salad for burgers, fish, you name it.  It’s great on its own, served with a sliced homegrown tomato or two.

Shaved Squash and Zucchini Salad with Sweet Grass Dairy Thomasville Tomme | Oysters & Pearls

 I brought it to our farm to table supper club over at Randy’s and Carol’s, and I can attest it’s a wonderful summer side dish as well.  Improvise how you see fit – ditch the peppers, add more, add pickled banana peppers instead of pickled onions… The world is your oyster.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad Recipe with Thomasville Tome | Oysters & Pearls

Happy summer gardening and eating!

Shop this post:
dinnerware (Lenox French Perle)
wooden serving bowl (Pottery Barn, Similar)
vegetable peeler (OXO Good Grips Y Peeler)

You may also like:
Quick Pickled Red Onions
Hopkins Farms CSA
Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Making Class
Farm to Table Supper Part Deaux
Farm to Table Supper Club
Harvest Moon Farm to Table

Until Next Time

New York Times Kale Salad

Good morning!

I’ve been totally slack on recipe posts here lately, and for that I apologize.  To make up for it, I am going to share probably the most beloved and shared and blogged about kale recipe of all time: the New York Times Kale Salad.  Except I jazzed it up a little bit.  Obvi.

Jazzed Up New York Times Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Everyone and their brother, sister, and great Aunt Louise has probably blogged about this salad, but I’m late the game and I’m hoping that maybe you are too, so maybe you’ll keep reading.

I think this is my absolute favorite way to eat kale now.  It’s perfectly tangy and garlic-y and cheese-y while still feeling ridiculously light and healthy.  Plus, I love that you can make a huge batch of kale salad at the beginning of the week and the kale will hold up in the dressing for lunches for the week.  It’s a huge, healthy time-saver for me.

NY Times Tuscan Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

You can definitely make this salad sans dehydrated lemons, but thanks to a reader comment, I had the idea to add them to this salad and I’m not going back.

New York Times Kale Salad (aka New York meets SoWeGa)
serves 8 as a side

ingredients

– 1 large bunch kale
– 1/4 cup bread crumbs (I use store-bought panko or regular bread crumbs to save time)
– 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely (original recipe calls for 1/2 garlic clove, but I’m afraid of vampires)
– 1/4 cup finely grated pecorina Romano cheese, plus more for garnish and/or cheese lovers
– 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
– freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
– 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
– 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– Broken bits of dehydrated Meyer lemons for garnish

instructions

Wash and dry kale and pull out the ribs.  Tear into bite size pieces, or slice into ribbons, and place in a large bowl.  Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife, pound the garlic into a paste and transfer to a small bowl or measuring cup.  Add the cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and peppers and whisk to combine.  Pour over the kale and toss to combine.  (The dressing will be thick, and this is usually easiest to do with clean hands.)  Let the salad sit for 5 minutes prior to serving, then serve garnished with the bread crumbs, more cheese, a drizzle of oil, and broken pieces of dehydrated Meyer lemons.

New York Times Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon | Oysters & Pearls

Super simple, but so, so tasty.  The other Natalie over at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers is obsessed with it, so I finally got around to trying it.  Thank goodness!  Because it’s the bomb-diggety.  And the crunchy bits of lemon really take it to a whole other level.

New York Times Tuscan Kale Salad | Oysters & Pearls

If you’re wary of all things kale, this is a really great way to give it a fair chance.  I promise, you’ll love it!  And if not, I’ll take your leftovers.

Until Next Time