10 Whole30 Holiday Recipes

Delicious Whole30 Thanksgiving and Christmas Recipes.

As the holidays approach, you’re probably already thinking about what to serve for dinner. Maybe you’re not hosting, but you’ve been asked to contribute a dish. Good food is a huge part of celebrating the holidays for me, but I also know that I feel so much better when I avoid certain foods. So this year I’m trying to find a balance of traditional and Whole30 holiday recipes for the holidays.

There are so many delicious Whole30 recipes to choose from. If you’re not familiar with the Whole30, you can read more about my experience here and here. Keep in mind that many of these recipes also fit Paleo guidelines, either as is or with some minor substitutions.

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Breakfast

We typically skip lunch and eat an earlier dinner on major holidays. A delicious and filling breakfast is essential to hold us off until appetizers are ready. I assure you this breakfast casserole is super yummy! Do some of the prep the night before to save time in the morning.

Breakfast Casserole

Sweet Potato Hash

Appetizers

It’s always good to have something to nibble on while dinner is cooking, especially if you have guests. Here are some tasty snack options on the healthier side.

Baked Zucchini Cups

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Healthy Carrot Fries with Curry Dipping Sauce

Main Dishes

Roasted Turkey 

Rosemary & Garlic Roast Beef (Substitute ghee for butter to stick to Whole30 rules.)

Sides

I love holiday side dishes almost more than the main event sometimes. Potatoes are my jam, you guys, but often it’s the carb-heavy sides that get the attention this time of year. I want to be sure to have some tasty vegetable options as well.

Crispy Roasted Broccoli

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts (If you’re doing the W30, be sure to use sugar-free bacon.)

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots & Almonds

Desserts

If you’re following a strict Whole30, you already know the bad news. Whole30-friendly desserts do not conform to the spirit of the program. Eating pie is eating pie, even if it’s made using substitutions that technically adhere to Whole30 rules. If you’re going to stay compliant over a major holiday, first of all, I’m super impressed. That takes some serious discipline and dedication. If you don’t want to feel left out during dessert, try some fresh fruit with a dollop of coconut cream.

If you’re more about eating the Whole30 way in general and not sticking to the program 100%, here are a few Paleo dessert options.

Classic Paleo Pumpkin Pie via Paleo Running Momma

Paleo Pumpkin Cake with Maple Frosting via Paleo Gluten Free Eats

Toasted Marshmallow S’more Tart via Against All Grain

Paleo Apple Pie via Bakerita

You can also find all these Whole30 holiday recipes on my Thanksgiving Recipe board here!

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4 Simple Whole30 Meals

On Tuesday, I shared about my first two weeks doing the Whole30. You can read about it here. Today I thought I’d throw out a few of the simple but delicious meals that I’ve been eating these past 17 DAYS!!

Four simple Whole30-compliant meals that you can whip up in no time.My goal was to keep it simple and to make sure I could quickly prepare foods that I would actually enjoy. There are a ton of great blogs with Whole30 approved recipes, but sometimes it’s nice to just have some go-to meals that you can count on in a pinch.

An easy & delicious Whole30 compliant meal.

GRILLED HAMBURGERS WHOLE30 STYLE

Thank heavens that sweet potatoes are allowed during the Whole30! I’m just sayin’. A quick lettuce-wrapped burger makes life easy, especially because the rest of my family can eat the same meal with buns instead of lettuce and it’s not a ton of extra work. I topped my burger with avocado and pickled red onion and it was delish!

An easy & delicious Whole30 compliant chicken salad.

CHICKEN SALAD WITH HOMEMADE MAYO

Whole30 approved chicken salad is not hard at all, but the trick is to either find Whole30 compliant mayo or make your own! Mel Joulwan, author of the blog and cookbook Well Fed, has a very simple recipe, which I used. There’s a very similar recipe in the Whole30 book itself. Some leftover diced chicken, diced carrots and celery mixed with your mayo of choice and you’re in business.

An easy & delicious Whole30 compliant chili.

SLOW COOKER CHILI

I just made this fantastic chili in the slow cooker this past week and it was a hit with the whole family! The recipe comes from Emily Eats Real Food and uses diced sweet potato instead of beans to make it Whole30 compliant. I used ground turkey instead of beef, and although I was a little sad not to top my bowl with sour cream, the avocado worked great.

Warm chia pudding is an easy & satisfying Whole30 compliant breakfast.

WARM CHIA SEED PUDDING

One of my favorite quick morning meals is warm chia seed pudding with almond butter and sliced bananas. It’s so easy! Grab the recipe here and add whatever compliant toppings blow your skirt up. I’ve developed a deep love for almond butter during my Whole30 experience and the bananas go perfectly. You can jump on Instagram and check out #emilyschiaseeds for more ideas of great combinations.

These are just a few really easy meals that prove how uncomplicated it can be to embark on the Whole30. Even the homemade mayo isn’t as hard as it sounds!

 

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My Husband’s Nuts

In our house, my husband is the official bringer-of-the-bacon and in exchange for my gloriously luxurious life as a stay-at-home-mom (snort), I take care of most of the daily operations. This basically means that I deal with all the really mundane tasks like laundry, dishes and groceries, while also preventing our family from plunging into total chaos and teaching our children to not act like uncivilized barbarians.

When it comes to meals, my husband is pretty easy to please. If it’s relatively tasty, he’s happy. Until recently he hasn’t had much to say about the grocery shopping either.

And then I bought the wrong nuts.

Peanuts, to be specific.

Peanuts are one of his favorite snacks so on a recent trip to Costco, I snatched up a giant bucket of peanuts (because what other size does Costco really offer?) The problem, friends, is that I didn’t buy the name-brand Dry Roasted Peanuts. I bought some other random brand… and the man was not happy.

Of course he claimed that the name-brand nuts are better, and I calmly agreed told him he was being ridiculous and he should just eat his darn nuts and be happy that I even remembered to buy them. At any rate, we had like a gallon of the “wrong nuts” so there wasn’t much to be done.

Fast forward to this past weekend when we visited my in-laws’ house and my husband seized the opportunity to prove to me the superiority of the name-brand peanuts. If I’m being honest, I have to admit that he’s right. They ARE better. There it is in print for the world to see. The fancy pants big name nuts are better.

But do you want to know why these special name-brand nuts are better?

It’s not, as my husband guessed, because they’re dry-roasted. Oh not, it’s because one of the ingredients is dried corn syrup.

Obviously the name-brand nuts will taste better! They’re coated in salt and processed sugar. To me, that’s just an unfair advantage! I could dice up asparagus and cover it with salt and dried corn syrup and my kids would probably gobble it up.

Darn you corn syrup for making food simultaneously taste better and making us feel worse for eating it! And a big thank you to all the mass producers of crappy-ass, deliciously processed junk food for making it that much harder to feed ourselves and our families without hyper-analyzing every ingredient label in the grocery store. Apparently, not even peanuts can be a simple snack. They have to be laced in processed sugar to taste good, which then makes the regular nuts seem inferior.

The real problem here is that because so much of our food contains all these sneaky ingredients, our bodies are getting used to it. Plain, simple, from-the-earth food has started to taste worse to us because it doesn’t have loads of sugar hidden inside. I think most of us know that this is a problem. At the very least, we feel deep down that this isn’t quite as it should be.

But how do we change? How do we counteract the massively processed, mass-produced food infiltrating our pantries and refrigerators?

The easy answer is to only buy un-processed food and to make for ourselves what we can’t find in the grocery store. But for most of us, that isn’t an easy answer. Transitioning from store-bought to homemade takes time, energy and the resources to make much of our food from scratch. Did I mention time and energy?? I don’t know about you, but to me even the thought of making all our food is overwhelming. So does that mean I’m going to ignore the problem and try to forget about it? Nope.

Check back soon to read some of the baby steps I’m taking to keep our kitchen a little more healthy!

 

 

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

If you’re living in Low-Carb Land like me right now, you might be missing certain indulgences like, oh I don’t know, bread in general! But let’s get specific here. Pizza is a huge program buster, especially if you’re on a low-carb plan, so I went searching for alternatives. I didn’t have to look very hard because there are a lot of recipes out there for cauliflower pizza crust.

Even if you’re not avoiding carbs, this is a healthier, lower-calorie option packed with veggies. The recipe I used is from Sandy’s Kitchen and can be found here. After making cauliflower pizza a couple times, I now know that the key is making the crust thin so that it has the maximum potential for crispiness. Soggy crust is bad on real pizza and downright unbearable with cauliflower crust so spread it thin, people!

The crust is just grated raw cauliflower, shredded cheese, egg beaters and some seasonings. I used the shredding disk on my food processor but you could grate the cauliflower by hand too.

Using a spring-form pan makes it simple to get the crust into that perfect pizza shape, aka a circle. Covering the bottom in parchment paper before you snap the pan together and giving it a spray or two of cooking spray makes it a lot easier when it’s time to flip the crust.

After baking the crust for 30 minutes, you flip the crust and bake for an additional 10-15 to get it nice and crispy. The edges will look a little burnt but that means you’re doing it right!

Throw some toppings on with some sauce and some cheese and bake or broil for another 5-10 minutes. I just baked it and had no problem. I pureed a can of diced tomatoes and used about half a cup as the sauce. Yum yum.

So I’m not gonna lie. This dish will not be an exact replica for real pizza dough. But it’s definitely a reasonable substitution to help kick the craving. And it’s easy. Enjoy!
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