3 Whole30 friendly recipes from local restaurants to try for 2018

Salmon with glazed brussels sprouts at Righteous FoodsBrandon Wade

For many, January is a time for detox, which can seem like a dirty word if it means depriving oneself of habitual comforts in the form of food and drink. While there are more dietary programs out there than we can count, one that’s gained steam locally in recent years is Whole30, as evidenced by the number of restaurants adding compliant dishes to their menus.

Established nearly 10 years ago by sports nutritionist and author Melissa Hartwig, Whole30 is touted as a short-term dietary reset designed to squash unhealthy cravings, restore a healthy metabolism, heal the digestive tract and balance the immune system. As the name implies, the goal is to make it 30 days cutting added sugar, grains, dairy, legumes and, most certainly, anything artificial. What does this leave? Plenty. Think whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts (except peanuts – those are legumes) and a world of spices to help spruce up flavor.

As a four-time Whole30 participant (each January since 2014), this writer can sing its praises as well as admit its challenges. First, meal prep is crucial. Folks embarking on Whole30 will set themselves up for starvation or give-up if compliant snacks such as apples and almond butter, sugar-free beef jerky, hard-boiled eggs and raw mixed nuts aren’t on hand at all times. Sundays make the best day to prep a week’s worth of dinners, like egg frittatas, soups (check store-bought broths for sugar – and anything in a box or can, for that matter), steak and veggies, and easy dishes like stuffed zucchini or squash.

Second, accept the fact that alcohol is out. Period. If a nightly glass of wine is an established habit, participants will quickly learn how reliant they are on that ritual. Whole30 provides for many eye-opening realizations.

Also, find a support system. Doing the program with a friend or family member will increase the likelihood of completion and make sharing recipes (and challenges) easier.

Last, realize that eating out will be almost impossible. Those fajitas from your favorite Mexican food restaurant grilled with bell peppers? They might not be compliant if they were prepped with a marinade made with sugar, which is most likely. Speaking of added sugar, it’s in everything. From coconut milk to bacon, sugar (however it’s referred to, be it sucrose, glucose or carrageenan) is hidden in almost anything in a package. And it could be what’s causing lifestyle diseases and conditions from joint pain and high blood pressure to migraines and depression.

Speaking from experience, a journey through Whole30 will bring life-changing self-awareness, food education, and if completely compliant (yes, that sip of beer just ended your Whole30), bounds of energy by week three or even sooner. Even better, it’s a bit easier to find Whole30 compliant meals in Fort Worth than it was four years ago, thanks to restaurants like Righteous Foods, HG Sply Co. and Snap Kitchen. Each shared a recipe to illustrate just how delicious a Whole30 voyage can be.

 

Roasted Shrimp & Cauliflower Grits with Braised Greens
Roasted Shrimp & Cauliflower Grits with Braised GreensCourtesy photo

Snap Kitchen

Local Whole30 participants jumped for joy when Snap Kitchen opened a Fort Worth outlet in 2016. The Austin-based, fresh-meals-to-go retailer has an entire menu of compliant, delicious dishes. New this year is the Roasted Shrimp & Cauliflower Grits with Braised Greens. Pick it up at Snap Kitchen’s convenient storefront on West Seventh Street (there are also locations in Colleyville, Southlake and Arlington) or try a home version of the recipe featured here.

 

Roasted Shrimp & Cauliflower Grits with Braised Greens

Serves 4

Roasted Shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground fennel seed, toasted
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients until shrimp are evenly coated with the spices.
  3. Place shrimp on baking sheet in an even layer, leaving an inch or two between each shrimp. Roast in oven for 8 to 10 minutes until opaque in the middle. Serve atop Cauliflower Grits and Braised Greens (recipes follow) and garnish with green onions.

 

Braised Greens

  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 3 cups red chard, stems removed and chopped
  • 3 cups kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat ghee over medium heat. Add red onion and cook, stirring until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add red chard and kale, stirring greens until wilted. Add coconut milk, salt, pepper and paprika. Bring to a simmer, lower heat and gently cook for a couple of minutes to thicken liquid.

 

Cauliflower Grits

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups cauliflower pearls or “rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cashew sour cream (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, sliced
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add onion and cook, stirring, until brown and translucent. Add cauliflower, stirring until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Turn heat to low and add cashew sour cream. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Remove from the heat and add green onions, stirring to combine. Keep warm.

 

Cashew Sour Cream

Makes 3 cups

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Add cashews to a small pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and leave to soften 15 minutes.
  2. Drain cashews and combine with 1 cup water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and salt in a blender. Process until smooth.

—Snap Kitchen, 2828 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-717-7009, and 3720 Vision Drive, Fort Worth, 682-316-8040, www.snapkitchen.com.

 

Yellow Curry Bowl with Lamb Meatballs at HG Sply Co.
Yellow Curry Bowl with Lamb Meatballs at HG Sply Co.Brandon Wade

HG Sply Co.

Indulge in this creamy, comforting, veggie-heavy Yellow Curry Bowl from HG Sply Co. that’s packed with beneficial spices. Keep it vegetarian or add protein like grilled chicken, lamb meatballs or seared steak. Make a double batch to have on hand for different variations.

 

Yellow Curry Bowl

Serves 4

  • 2 cups cooked sweet potatoes, diced
  • 2 cups cooked cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups yellow coconut curry (recipe follows)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pinch coarse flake salt
  • 1/2 cup cucumber-cilantro-mint relish (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced long and thin on the bias
  • 1 tablespoon red Fresno chiles, thinly sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
  1. In a medium stock pot, place the cooked sweet potatoes, cooked cauliflower, tomatoes, rough chopped kale, yellow coconut curry and water. Bring the vegetables and curry up to a simmer over medium heat. Taste for seasoning and season with salt as necessary.
  2. To plate, divide the vegetables among four bowls, plating toward the center of the bowl. Pour the curry sauce evenly among the four bowls over the vegetables and around in a pool. Spoon the cucumber relish over the center of the vegetables and sprinkle the center of the bowl with the sliced green onions. Float the sliced Fresno chiles around the vegetables in the curry sauce.

 

Yellow Coconut Curry

Makes approximately 3 cups

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow onions, peeled and small-diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, pan toasted (see note)
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander, pan toasted (see note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 2 1/2 cups coconut milk (canned)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup tomatoes, cored and medium-diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse flake salt
  1. In a large sauce pot set over medium-high heat, saute the onions in coconut oil until they are completely softened. Watch the heat as to not caramelize them. After the onions have completely softened, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Make sure the garlic does not brown or burn. Lower heat and add all spices, stirring in with a rubber spatula.
  2. Once all the spices are thoroughly incorporated, add the coconut milk, water, diced tomatoes and salt. Cook over medium heat, scraping the bottom of the pot frequently with a rubber spatula until the sauce has thickened. The tomatoes will be completely softened and dissolved when the sauce is done, about 15-20 minutes maximum.

Chef’s note: Before starting the curry sauce, toast cumin seeds and whole coriander in two separate sauté pans set over low-medium heat. Constantly move the pans to prevent the spices from burning. Do not toast together in the same pan; the spices toast at different rates, as they are different sizes, so they must be toasted separately. They are ready when they begin to release their fragrance and slightly change in color.

 

Cucumber-Cilantro-Mint Relish

Makes 1/2 cup

  • 1/2 cup English cucumber, seeded and small-diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, washed, dried, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint, washed, dried, stemmed and chiffonade
  • 1 pinch coarse flake salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and toss together. Taste for seasoning and reserve refrigerated until ready to use.

—HG Sply Co., 1621 River Run, Fort Worth, 682-730-6070, www.hgsplyco.com

 

Salmon with glazed brussels sprouts at Righteous Foods
Salmon with glazed brussels sprouts at Righteous FoodsBrandon Wade

 

Righteous Foods

Coconut aminos can now be found in most grocery stores, as well as any gourmet grocer or health market. Find it by the soy sauce, because the flavorful sauce resembles the Asian condiment in taste, but is soy- and gluten-free. Use it in this quick recipe for Blackened Salmon shared by Righteous Foods that’s perfect for a weeknight meal.

 

Blackened Salmon and Coconut Amino-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4

  • 4 filets, 6-ounce wild salmon
  • 1 tablespoon blackening spice (sugar-free)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 24 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon roasted red pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Season salmon filets with blackening spice. Add salt if it is not already in the spice blend.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet or saute pan on high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil until it reaches the smoking point. Add filets to the pan and sear on both sides until blackened color is achieved (about two minutes per side). Lower heat and cook until fish is to the desired wellness. Set aside.
  3. In a saute pan on high heat, bring remaining coconut oil to smoking point and add Brussels sprouts to the pan. Cook thoroughly, being careful not to burn. Color and charring is desirable (about 4-5 minutes).
  4. Deglaze pan with coconut aminos until the liquid has reduced and the sprouts have a viscous glaze. Toss in diced roasted peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve salmon atop the Brussels sprouts.

 

—Righteous Foods, 3405 W. Seventh St., Fort Worth, 817-850-9996, www.eatrighteously.com

 

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