Monday, August 18, 2014

Whole 30 Dinner Recipe Reviews

If you read my blog regularly, or follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've been doing the Whole 30 program for a while now (on and off a few times). :)  I have been going without dairy, all grains, alcohol (NOT an easy undertaking :)), sugar, and legumes for over a month (except for a week of blissful cheating at the beach).  I have been all over Pinterest and Instagram searching for good dinner recipes to make for the family that were Whole 30 compliant that everyone was going to like, which are not necessarily always mutually excusive.  They have both been great resources, and I have found some hits and some misses.  So, I thought today I would share some of the recipes I have tried out, so that if you are interested in trying out the Whole 30, or are just looking for some new healthy dinner recipes, I could filter out the bad ones for you!

So here's what we've had for dinner lately:

Sweet Potato Chili - Probably one of the best Whole 30 recipes I have tried!  I have had a lot of luck with soups, and when I'm cooking, I make a big batch and store the leftovers in single-serve tupperware for lunches or dinners later.  This chili, though.  I have never been a huge fan of beans in my chili anyway, so subbing in sweet potato in the place of them is fine by me.  Since the sweet potatoes cook in the spicy chili broth for about 45 minutes, they lose the majority of their sweetness, and taste more like regular potatoes.  Perfect for fall, for tailgates, or just a normal weeknight, this will not disappoint.  I used a tablespoon of cumin instead of a half (I love cumin), but otherwise, I stuck pretty close to the recipe and it was delish!  Find the recipe here.

Pared Down Chicken Soup- Another great soup recipe from the same blog as the Sweet Potato Chili.  A very basic recipe, in which you make your own chicken broth (SOOO easy, you must try it!), and then use it in the chicken soup.  It's delicious, simple, and makes a ton, so like the chili, you can make it, eat it, and refrigerate or freeze the leftovers for easy meals later on.  I added spinach to my soup, for added greens, but otherwise stuck to the recipe.  Also, when you're cooking the soup, continue tasting it for salt levels.  As it says in the recipe, this soup can be pretty bland if you don't add enough salt.  And you may not get the right level of seasoning unless you continue to taste it.  It was nothing special until I got the salt right in it, and then it really was perfect.  This is a great basic soup on it's own, but would be really great if you have a sick friend you need to take dinner to, or need to nurse your husband back to health!  It's very comforting and therapeutic if you're not feeling well.  Another big hit!
Find the recipe here. 

Sausage and Cabbage Skillet- This is similar to a dinner that I remember my mom making when I was growing up, that I always liked.  I love sauteed cabbage, and Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage is Whole 30 compliant, so that's what I used in this dinner.  I thought it was great!  Savory and very filling, and a hit with the kids, who love sausage.  I altered the recipe a bit, to be completely Whole 30 compliant.  I did not add any sugar, and used regular mustard instead of Dijon.  Otherwise, it was great and we ate it all!
Find the recipe here.

Chicken and Zucchini Poppers- So I was really excited about trying this recipe.  But honestly, they were a little disappointing.  Great for the kids, since they are chicken nugget sized, but I thought they were pretty bland.  Just meh.  There are definitely better dinner options out there.  They weren't bad, and I think it's a great idea to mix the zucchini into the meatballs if your kids don't eat veggies easily, but we probably won't have these again.
Find the recipe here.

Jalapeno Chicken Burgers with Guacamole- This was one of the first dinners I made, and it's delicious!!  You can really just make any burger (no bun) and top it with guac and it's gonna be good, but I did like using ground chicken, and adding onion, jalapeno and cilantro into the patties.  Easy, and Scott and the kids ate them up!
Find the recipe here.

Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp-  It sounded delicious, it smelled delicious, but taste?  It fell flat for me.  I am a huge fan of spicy thai green curry, and I think that's why I was not a huge fan of this recipe.  It was just not spicy enough or flavorful enough for me.  When I was working, there was a great Thai place we used to order lunch from, and they had the most amazing green coconut curry that was so spicy, it would make sweat bead up on my forehead, and it was perfect.  I guess I was hoping for that with this recipe, but I should've known that it just wouldn't compare to my old favorite!  Again, not bad, necessarily, but I'm going to stick to takeout for my next green curry dish.
Find the recipe here.

Hamburger Soup- I know, I know, another soup, but this was right on the money.  I have never made anything from the Pioneer Woman that wasn't delicious, and this was no exception.  I stuck to the recipe, except omitted the potatoes (though you can eat white potatoes on Whole 30 now), and added green beans and mushrooms.  It was so yummy, and made a ton, so there was plenty for leftovers.  And I seriously ate it all week long.  Perfect for a chilly evening, for a sick friend, or just you to eat morning, noon and night!

I hope you will try a few of these recipes that we had luck with, and will have some yummy dinners in the next few weeks!  Let me know what you think, and if you adjust the ones that we didn't love, tell me what you did to make them a hit!

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