Super Bowl on the Whole30

img_20170205_193458When most people start a “diet”, food program, or some sort of “cleanse”, we generally start on a Monday: after the weekend, right?  I mean, who wants to start eating right on a Friday?! What a waste of a perfectly good food-indulging weekend! We all want one last food “hurrah” before the “transformation” begins, and then come Monday, we start getting organized/in shape/eat right/whatever.  If you’re doing a longer food regimen like the Whole30, or something that you plan to carry over into some lasting habits–no matter when you start–you’ll hit a weekend and that’s where the test really begins.  Sure, it’s not so hard to get through the weekdays in a new routine.  Maybe you go to bed early to avoid late-night snacking. You have light meals and distract yourself from more daytime snacking by occupying yourself with work.  This doesn’t seem so hard!  And then the weekend comes.  Maybe you had plans to go out, enjoy company with friends, or just want to veg on the couch with the hubby and order take-out, eat ice cream, and have a glass of wine (or margarita)!  But all of that is dampened by food restrictions.  (This is one reason I’m not a fan of dieting for the sake of dieting, or long-term food-deprivation.  We live in such a food-centered society, it’s hard to really enjoy ourselves in social situations without food.  Good food.)  For me, food I love is a huge part of my enjoyment of life.  My Whole30 is not about weight-loss, or because of “issues” with any kind of food.  For me, it’s been an experiment and a hopeful minor lifestyle change.  I’ve wanted to see if my energy levels would change with a diet change (they have) and I hope to incorporate healthier lunches and snacks and be able to keep my everyday diet a priority in my life.  (It can be too easy to snack on processed foods or to take bites of my kids’ lunches rather than make myself a salad.  And don’t even get me started on my old “late-night snacking” habits!)

Anyway, I got through my first 2 weekends pain-free.  Of course, I wished I could indulge in some take-out or dessert with Randy on the couch while watching a movie or playing a game (I went with a few handfuls of almonds, instead), but all-in-all, they were good weekends.  When I planned for the Whole30, I had no plans on the weekends, but that quickly changed.  I learned to use restraint but be polite (which was hard on the first weekend when the homemade oreo ice cream came out!), and to pack my own snacks and be creative with what I could eat!  This has been a fun adventure.

img_20170205_193300Come Super Bowl Sunday, I knew I would need to be equipped with some awesome appetizer recipes so I could still enjoy the event.  (Events of the actual mind-blowing game aside, this is about food.) 😉  Here are some of my “healthy” Whole30 compliant recipes that were enjoyed by all on game night!  You can use them for your next gathering whether you’re on the Whole30 or not, because they’re delicious.  Trust me! 😉

Homemade Salsa & Guacamole

My recipes for homemade salsa and guacamole are naturally Whole30 compliant.  That’s what made them so perfect.  Actually, I do typically add a pinch of sugar to the salsa to cut through the bitterness of the tomatoes, but I just skipped that this time.  My trick when I’m making these two dips together is to use the food processor for the salsa first, then without cleaning it out, I start the guacamole right away in the same processor.  That way, the guacamole gets a hint of the salsa flavors in it.  So yummy!

Salsa (Measurements can be to your taste, depending on how strong you want your flavors)

  • 1/2 (or whole) onion, quartered

    img_20170205_193429
    Let’s talk about the chips!  No tortilla chips on the Whole30!  Technically, chips of any kind go against the philosophy of eating whole foods, foods with minimal ingredients.  But because these veggie chips (left) didn’t have any actual out-of-bounds ingredients, I made an exception.  Because, Super Bowl. PSA: One Potato Two Potato makes an excellent sweet potato chip!  I’ve only seen them at Starbucks so far.
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 (or whole) jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • handful of cilantro
  • 28 oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired smoothness.  Test with a tortilla chip before pouring into a bowl!  You never know if you’ll have to adjust something.

Guacamole

  • 4-5 avocados, ripened
  • 1/4-1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 (or whole) jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsps salt
  • juice of 1 lime

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired smoothness.

Stuffed Jalapeños

img_20170205_193354Normally when I stuff jalapeños, it’s with cream cheese.  That’s obviously a Whole30 no-no, so I came up with this little concoction instead.  To make the turkey sausage, I followed this Whole30 recipe (click the link below), which I love for breakfast sausage with my scrambled eggs.  So bonus, I only used part of the sausage in my jalapeño stuffing, and I was able to save the rest for some breakfasts this week!  

  • 10 jalapeños, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed (use gloves!)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed with salt, pepper, and ghee (clarified butter, whole30 approved)
  • crumbled turkey sausage
  • 10 strips Whole30 compliant bacon, cut in half

Combine the mashed sweet potatoes and the sausage.  Spread the mixture into each jalapeño half.  Wrap in a half strip of bacon and place on a rack, on top of a baking sheet.  Bake at 275* for 2 hours.  Serve hot.

I found these other 2 recipes, as well, which were a huge hit with me and our guests.

Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip  img_20170205_181916495

Chile Lime Chicken Wings

And here are the printables for my salsa, guacamole, and jalapeños!   Enjoy!

salsa-guacamole

whole30-stuffed-jalapenos

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