Party Food · Recipes · Vegetarian · Veggies + Side Dishes · Whole30

Spicy Tomato Magic

I first tasted this perfection when my friend Dave brought some over for a game night a while back. It was an original creation of his and I could not get enough. Unfortunately, when I asked for the recipe, there was added sweetener. So naturally I stole the idea and made my own, Whole30 compliant version. Thanks Dave. This is the condiment that will change your life. Spicy tomato magic.

Small sauce pan
Heat safe spoon

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup olive or avocado oil
2 tbsp Aleppo pepper
Salt to taste

Combine the tomatoes, oil, and Aleppo pepper in a small sauce pot. Stir well. Bring to a bubble (not full boil) over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Taste and adjust seasoning to preference. I like it spicy and salty, but you can definitely go for a more mild approach and it’ll still be yummy. Just keep in mind the flavors will intensify a bit as it cooks down!

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Lamb · Recipes · Whole30

FFF: Simon’s Lamb Balti

When I got the idea for my FFF series, I knew I had to include Simon, my little sister’s boyfriend. Great dude of course (I mean, he’d have to be to date my sister), but mostly I picked him because he’s British so I had a pretty good feeling he was going to choose a dish I would be thrilled to shovel into my own mouth.

I was so right. He went for lamb balti – a Pakistani and Indian dish that is exceedingly popular in the UK. I am doubly excited for this one as I stumbled upon a Balti spice blend on my first trip to the magical world of Penzey’s Spices recently and it smells absolutely incredible. (I have since been back several times and have bought almost everything.) #notspon

Apparently the name Balti refers to the type of pan the dish is cooked in, and unfortunately I do not own that type of wok, but I do have a really lovely stainless sautΓ© pan from All-Clad that was perfect for this.

If you can’t get your hands on a Whole30-compliant Balti spice blend, garam masala should be a perfectly acceptable base substitute as they have a lot of shared ingredients. If you are working with garam masala, you will also need plenty of garlic, some turmeric and ginger, and a little mustard powder. All that said, Penzey’s do have an online store and free shipping at $30.00. I am in no way sponsored by them, but I happily would be. Treat yo’self to some fresh new essentials and buy this blend.

Please note: I am not the right person / this is not the right blog if you are looking for a super authentic dish. The purpose here is to recreate dishes we love in Whole30-compliant ways, I am not trying to take over or recreate someone else’s culture or cuisine.

Large stainless sautΓ© pan or Balti-style wok
Spatula or other heat-safe cooking spoon

2 lbs lamb shoulder or stew meat, cubed
4-5 tbsp Penzey’s Balti spice blend
2 tsp ginger juice
1 head garlic
1 large onion
1 can diced tomatoes
1-1.5lbs creamer potatoes
2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
1 tbsp salt

Tablespoon #1

Pre-heat your pan. Slice onions into quarter moons and finely chop garlic. Once your pan is hot enough (there’s an art to this with stainless steel), add your oil of choice and let it warm up for about one minute. Add onions, garlic, and ginger juice. SautΓ© for about 5 min, then add the first tablespoon of your balti spice. Stir well to incorporate.

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Recipes · Soup · Whole30

CSA: Golden Winter Soup

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a CSA, it stands for Community Shared (or Supported) Agriculture and works in a similar vein to a cow- or pig-share in which a group of people (they can know each other or not) commit to sharing part of the harvest from a local farm. These have grown a lot in popularity over the last few years, but I’d never tried one before until a coworker mentioned Imperfect Produce. It’s the same CSA concept, where you commit to X amount of fruits and vegetables from a local harvest, but these are all slightly imperfect – either in shape, size, color, or any other physical “blemish” that makes them “unworthy” of the American supermarket. I really love this idea, both as a way to reduce waste and save money on groceries, and could not wait to get our first box!

I signed up for the small organic box every other week which nets us 7-9 pounds of local fruit and veg for $15-20. I also love that Imperfect Produce allows you to choose exactly what you want and how much – a main reason we had never done a CSA before. Lack of customization meant high risk for receiving items we couldn’t eat due to dietary restrictions, allergies, or just something we didn’t like! Particularly where we live, summer boxes almost always include copious amounts of corn from any farm we ever looked into for CSA options. Spoiler: corn is not a part of slow carb, keto, Paleo, Whole30, or the general low-carb diet I try to stick to for managing my chronic health issues.

I meant to take more photos, but I ate it all…

Our first box arrived full of some fantastic-looking veggies and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share my winter soup that can be made with… pretty much anything. I’m making this one “gold,” to play up the golden beets we received (and to get in some extra turmeric, which has anti-inflammatory properties) but you can skip that if a curried soup sounds like your worst nightmare. Yes grandma, I am talking to you.

For this recipe, you will need:
Large stock pot
Small bowls (2-3)
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Vegetable peeler
Immersion blender (blender or food processor are okay too, but stick blender is definitely my preference – and the least amount of mess)

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Beef · Lamb · Recipes · Whole30

FFF: Becca’s Winter Goulash

If you saw my Instagram post about paleo nachos a few weeks ago, you may have already realized what’s happening here, but if not – let me explain. A while back, my friend Sara mentioned that nachos were what she missed most during Whole30, so I did what I could to paleo-fy them for her. Guys, they were SO good. It was like getting struck by lightning, I had to do this for all the friends I’d talked into trying Whole30 (and some of the friends who still don’t think they could do it).

Enter FFF: Friend’s Favorite Foods – a new bekaneggs blog series in which I will attempt to Whole30-fy or at least paleo my friends’ favorite foods. Hopefully these recipes work out because I now have a long list of people waiting for a Whole30 version of their favorite dishes! (SWYPO dishes, problematic foods, and anything that is clearly not in the spirit of Whole30 will not be happening so if you’re looking for pizza, you’re in the wrong place). But I digress, let’s get to Rebecca’s dish.


My dad… isn’t much of a cook, to say the least – but the man knows his way around a meat stew of any variety. His super spicy goulash, an obsession that started when I dated a Hungarian boy in high school, is one of my favorite family food memories from the teenage years. I was thrilled when my friend Becca said goulash was one of her must-haves – and her reaction when I said I could make it Whole30 made me want to put it together asap.

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Beef · Recipes · Whole30

Laziest Whole30 Dinner: Two Ways

I’ve been pretty candid about my new job and unintentionally way too long hiatus from whole30- and Paleo writing (just the writing part, not the eating part), but I’ve got lots of recipes to share and am trying to stockpile some posts for you guys!

With that new and exciting job, I’ve got some great but also unconventional work hours which means that I am absolutely starving when I get home and Nick’s been waiting for me for nearly two hours. The point is, we’re freaking hungry and I just need to eat something nutritious and filling as soon as humanly possible so I can get on to the relaxing and the doggo snuggling!

How I feel when I get home from work at 8pm and we still need to make dinner

In case you missed it: meet our newest family member – Franklin! We adopted him from the Tillamook Animal Shelter at the beginning of November. Thank you so much to BAPBR for your courtesy listings for pitbulls at other shelters and for helping us with the adoption process! We are ecstatic with our big baby and kind of excited to eventually share some of his paleo-ish life too!

I digress. This dish – if you can even call it that – can go in either of two directions, depending on who is cooking that night and if Nick will submit to eating Thai curry again. The ingredients are pretty much the same either way with one or two swaps.

The basic concept is as follows: ground meat of your choosing, onion, steamed kabocha squash or pumpkin purΓ©e, bok choy or spinach (optional), and Thai red curry paste or Tessemae’s creamy ranch dressing.

For this recipe, you will need:
One large pan, nonstick recommended
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Microwave safe bowl (for version B)
Plastic wrap (for version B)

Ingredients for Version A –
1 lb ground meat (pork, beef, or dark meat chicken)
One large onion, chopped
One can pumpkin purΓ©e
Baby bok choy or spinach (optional)
2 tsp avocado oil or ghee
Tessemae’s creamy ranch dressing
Fresh or freeze-dried scallions (optional)

Ingredients for Version B –
1 lb ground meat (pork, beef, or dark meat chicken)
One large onion, chopped
One bag frozen kabocha squash (Trader Joe’s)
Baby bok choy or spinach (optional)
2 tsp avocado oil or ghee
Thai red curry paste (this one is my favorite)
Garlic powder (optional)
Fresh or freeze-dried scallions (optional)

Regardless of which direction you choose to go in, start by heating avocado oil or ghee in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add your chopped onion and cook, mixing occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until some caramelization begins to form (you can of course go for much longer, but the idea is we’re hungry and impatient). Version B also works great with my meal prep pulled pork!

Version A

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CrockPot · Pork · Recipes · Whole30

Meal Prep: Pulled Pork

Over the years I’ve come across countless recipes for pulled pork, and even the paleo ones tend to add copious amounts of sugar in one way or another for reasons I have yet to understand. This is not one of those recipes.

Low maintenance, quick to prep, fall apart pork that’ll last you a full week of meals and suit any cuisine craving that might creep up on you? That sounds like my kind of Sunday. #mealprep

Note: I did actually eat this for the entire week while Nick was on a business trip. It lasted me 10 meals.

5-6qt crockpot
Carving fork (optional, but super helpful)
Tongs and/or slotted spoon
Large heat-safe bowl

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Poultry · Recipes · Whole30

Beka’s Buffalo Chicken

Buffalo chicken has been a favorite food item of mine since the early days of high school (that’s like 15 years!) Buffalo chicken pizza, buffalo chicken wrap, buffalo chicken… pretty much anything. Before Nick and I made the switch to Whole30 as a long-term option, one of my most common cheat day cravings was the buffalo chicken cheesesteak from Jersey Mike’s – a small but mass-produced taste of the east coast. I have missed buffalo chicken a lot, but I definitely do not miss how that massive sandwich made me feel – wheat, soy, dairy, sugar… all the inflammatory things! So I set out to recreate my own Whole30 and paleo version at home …it was way easier than I expected.

This is such a fast and seriously simple recipe that I almost feel a little silly writing it, but it only requires a few ingredients and you guys kept asking, so here it is. You’ll need chicken, tomato, hot sauce, ranch, and onions if you like ’em. That’s it. The hardest part is just finding a buffalo sauce that is actually Whole30. Tessemae’s makes a wonderful sauce in both hot and mild varieties, but my local Whole Foods has stopped carrying that item. I’m still on the hunt for local alternatives, supposedly Target is a good option, but you can also order from Tessemae’s online!Β While the brand is Whole30 approved, not all of their products are compliant. Be sure to check the ingredients for every item!

You can use any cut of chicken you like, but my two favorites for this recipe are “party” wings (drumettes and flats) and good ol’ boneless, skinless breasts. For wings, follow my DIY Default Wings recipe, toss the wings in the hot sauce, and drizzle with ranch.

For breasts, use this recipe:

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Whole30: NSV’s & More

Just a quick one today, as I suppose we should probably talk about this Whole30 thing now that it’s (kind of) over.

The NSV or “non scale victories” that Melissa Hartwig and crew suggest you may experience were… seemingly endless, actually. I went through the worksheet and was able to check off items in every single category excluding brain function and sleep (which are two areas I have struggled with all my life and was not expecting a miracle) so I am mighty pleased with those results. The Boyfriend had a similar experience – his NSVs are marked off with a check mark to the left of the boxes, mine are the x.

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Kid-Friendly · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian · Whole30

Ultra-Faux Pho

This is… this is not even fake pho. This is a supremely lazy/fast approach to a slightly-influenced-by-Vietnamese-Pho dinner, but one that always goes off without a hitch in my house and can pretty much be done with any veg and meat you have. So here it is, my ultra-faux pho.

Your ingredients list can really go any which way you like, but here are the basics for 2-3 servings:

1 quart chicken, beef, or mushroom broth (or half and half meat/veg)
1 lb meat (meatballs, sausage, shredded chicken, etc)
1 vegetable that you can make noodles out of (zucchini, sweet potato)
1-2 handfuls green leafy vegetables (baby bok choy, spinach, etc)
1-2 handfuls chopped mushrooms (optional)
4-6 eggs
Togarashi, to taste

Using a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or just a regular vegetable peeler, turns your noodling vegetable into said noodles. You can also buy pre-noodled zucchini or sweet potato – they are increasingly available in grocery stores (Trader Joe’s sells sweet potato ribbons and they are fantastic).

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Health · Information · Recipes · Whole30

Whole30 + Ice Cubes

If you checked out my most recent recipe or follow me on Instagram, you may have picked up on some recent little grumblings about Whole30. It’s often referred to as the Whole30 challenge, but it’s essentially a 30 day elimination diet that sounds a lot like paleo on steroids… or I guess, paleo on definitely no steroids whatsoever. The Boyfriend and I completed a round of Whole30 in November of 2015 and despite the struggle of sticking to the rules through Thanksgiving and managing the lack of local/seasonal produce in the winter, it was an overwhelmingly positive experience. We learned so much about our bodies – well, my body mostly – like that I am super sensitive to soy, and for the sake of my skin as well as any living creature in my general vicinity, I should probably not consume dairy, even on slow carb’s allotted cheat days.

We’re coming up on two years since our first Whole30 and I have been itching for another one. If we could make it through a round in November, then summer – with farmers’ markets and damn near everything in bloom – should be a piece of cake (except actually not cake at all because it’s definitely not Whole30 approved).

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