Whole30 Tomato Mint Salad


IMG_9661.jpgWhole30, Paleo, and Gluten Free


I grew up in a household that ate Fattoush and Tabbouleh.  I love those Middle Eastern flavors especially during the peak of the summer, when everything is fresh at the Farmer’s Markets. After going gluten free, I made modifications so that I could get the same flavors.  I sometimes would toast gluten free bread for Fattoush or use quinoa instead of bulgur wheat for Tabbouleh.  This recipe eliminates the grains completely and focuses on the flavors of the herbs and vegetables.  I eat it all of the time; alone or as a side dish.  This salad can be made in bigger batches.  It keeps well for a few days and gets better the longer it sits.


10 oz of San Marzano grape tomatoes sliced in half

1 cup of diced red onion

1/2 cup of chopped parsley

1/4 cup of chopped mint

1 cup of fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 good pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of allspice



  1. Rough chop mint and parsley.  Put in mixing bowl.
  2. Add halved tomatoes.
  3. Add lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Add salt and spices.
  5. Mix well.  Serve immediately or refrigerate.


Notes: Pairs well with Whole30 Middle Eastern Kafta Meatballs


Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowl



Whole30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free, and Dairy Free

If you want a quick and easy meal….this one is for you.  If you like wings but don’t have the time or energy this is for you.  If you want a one pot dish that is versatile and re-heats well for leftovers, this is the dish for you. SO delish!


  • 1 bag (12 oz ) of frozen riced cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 1 chicken breast (I had this meal prepped from this recipe- I had one chicken breast that I had not shredded yet) – Whole30 and Gluten Free Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
  • 1/2 cup of Compliant Hot Sauce – I like mine very spicy, adjust your sauce as you see fit.
  • 1 Tablespoons of chopped scallions
  • 3 stalks of celery cut into sticks


  1. Defrost the riced cauliflower.
  2. Heat up the avocado oil in a cast iron skillet and when hot, add the riced cauliflower.
  3. Stir allowing the cauliflower to cook through a bit for 5 minutes.  You will see little bits start to crisp up and get golden.
  4. Cube or Shred chicken breast.
  5. Add sauce and chicken to the riced cauliflower.  Cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.  Sauce will thicken up a little bit.
  6. Serve in bowl.  Add scallions to the top and serve with celery sticks.


Whole30 Middle Eastern Kafta Meatballs



Whole 30, Paleo, And Gluten Free

Kafta is something I ate all of the time growing up.  It would often be made almost like a meatloaf or on skewers. I modified it a bit for convenience, and made it into meatballs.  I also used ground beef and ground pork mixed together, instead of ground lamb.  I usually make the meatballs really big.  One or two is all you need for a meal.  These meatballs freeze really well as well.

This recipe makes 12 large meatballs


  • 1  pound of grass fed ground beef.  ( I used a 85% to 15 % ratio from Butcher Box)
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup of parsley
  • 1/2 cup of  freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon of turmeric


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
  2. Dice onion.
  3. Chop parsley.  I do this fairly rustically because I like seeing bits of green throughout each meatball.
  4. In a separate little bowl, mix spices and salt together.
  5. To a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef and pork.
  6. Add the onion, parsley, and spices to the mixing bowl.
  7. Add the lemon juice.
  8. Mix with clean hands.
  9. Form into large meatballs.  These will be wet, it is okay.  You will see liquid on the sheet pan and that is normal.  The lemon juice adds flavor and steams the meatballs a bit from the inside.
  10. Place meatballs on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  12. Once baked, switch the oven to broil and cook for another 8 minutes until the outside of the meatball crisps up a bit.
  13. Serve alone or with Whole30 and Gluten Free Lemon Tahini Sauce/Dressing ,







Dairy Free Alfredo Sauce




Whole30, Paleo, and Gluten Free

This meal came to me after a few days of being snowed in.  I used my pantry items from Thrive Market to create this meal along with a few spices, I had and some vegetables.  This sauce could be made many different ways, adding vegetables or shrimp etc.  It is very versatile and tasty!


  • 1 cup of raw cashews (I get mine from Thrive Market)
  • 13.5 oz can of organic coconut milk (I used Native Forest)
  • 30 oz of uncured bacon bits (I used Epic Hickory Smoked) (save 1 teaspoon and put aside for garnish)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 pound of your favorite veggie noodles- I made my own with my spiralizer using sweet potato
  • Nutritional Yeast (I use Bragg’s)


  1. The cashews needs to be soaked before doing this recipe.  This can either be done the night before or the hour before.  For the night before, cover in water and sit on counter.  For the hour before, cover with hot water and let soak.
  2. Once the cashews are soaked, drain the excess water, and give them a rinse.
  3. Add the cashews into a blender (I use my Nutri-Bullet), along with the garlic cloves, bacon bits, red pepper flakes, and sea salt. Blend until a thick sauce.
  4. Put veggie noodles in a microwave and cook for 2 minutes to warm up a bit.
  5. Add sauce to a skillet and warm through on medium heat, stirring.  This is just to let the garlic cook a bit. Stir for 3-4 minutes and remove from the heat.
  6. Once veggie noodles are ready, either mix noodles into sauce directly in pan; or put some veggie noodles in a bowl and spoon sauce over.
  7. Garnish with remaining bacon bits and chopped parsley. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast!

Note:  This easily could be thinned out with chicken stock to make a “carbonara” type consistency.  You could add more bacon at the end.


Beef Stroganoff


Whole30, Paleo, Dairy Free, Grain Free and Gluten Free

This is comfort food for me.  My Mom would make the recipe from an old Betty Crocker Cookbook. It has a tomato base unlike many stroganoff recipes.   It was my choice for my birthday meal for years.  As an adult, I would make it but tweak it with a homemade spicy ketchup.  Now that I follow a gluten free diet, I wanted to make an adaptation that would be both gluten free and Whole30.  While it does not look exactly like traditional beef stroganoff, it definitely has the flavors.

Ingredients: ( See link to shop for some of the ingredients down below Food Products That I Like )

  • 8oz of beef stew meat (I got mine from Butcher Box)
  • 16oz container of sliced  portobello mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of ghee
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 cups of raw cashews
  • 13.5 can of organic coconut milk
  • 6 Tablespoons of compliant tomato paste (no sugar added)
  • 2 Tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup of New Primal Spicy Marinade
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Kosher salt (broken up into 1/2 T increments)
  • 1 Tablespoon of black pepper (broken up into 1/2 T increments)
  • cauliflower rice, sweet potatoes, or spriralized vegetables to serve on



  1. Soak cashews in water overnight.  Just enough water to cover them.
  2. When ready to cook, put the cashews in a colander.  Rinse with cold water
  3. Add  1 Tablespoon of ghee to a cast iron skillet, and brown the mushrooms and onions.  Remove from heat
  4. Add 1/2 Tablespoon of ghee to the hot pan and brown the stew meat.  I do not full cook this because it will cook completely in the sauce. Season with 1/2 of a Tablespoon of salt and 1/2 of a Tablespoon of pepper.
  5. Blend together the soaked cashews with 1 can of organic coconut milk (for cooking), and garlic
  6. Remove browned meat from cast iron skillet.  Deglaze the plan with The New Primal Spicy Marinade.  Using a wooden spoon, scrape all of the bits from the bottom of the pan while this marinade simmers.
  7. Add in the coconut aminos, the tomato paste, and the mustard.  Add in the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of salt and 1/2 Tablespoon of pepper.  Whisk until it comes up to a simmer
  8. Add in the mushrooms and onions
  9. Add in browned meat.  Bring the heat down on medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  10. Serve over cooked sweet potato, veggie spirals, or cauliflower rice

My Whole30 Journey- Round 3


So the day has arrived.  I have just completed my third round of Whole30.  I am proud, I must admit.  I never thought this would be something I could stick with.  I have been on every diet/ weight loss program/health lifestyle program out there.  The parameters of Whole30 have given me control; the changes I see in myself are immeasurable.

I am going to just put this out there for those that do not know much about Whole30.  It is not a diet or a weight loss program.  For me it has been a lifestyle change; a reset in so many ways.  That being said, I have lost weight.   I know that is not the focus of the program, and I do not believe it should be.  In fact, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I have not weighed myself like a crazy person (sometimes several times a day).  I actually have my scale out in my garage so I will not be tempted to go out there…lol  But, I have noticeably lost weight over time.  I have changed sizes in clothing, my clothes are continuously loose which is a foreign concept for me.  So, after 3 rounds…I finally did weigh myself.  I have lost a significant amount.  Now, let me be very clear. I have A LOT of weight to lose to get to a healthy point.  For years no matter what I tried, I was not able to  keep the weight off long term.  I would lose some and then gain it back and then some.  I am also in my early 40’s and it is harder to lose weight. However, believe it or not, the other benefits of the Whole30 that I have seen in myself outweigh the weight loss.

I cannot begin to try to describe how I felt for years.  I was able to “fake it’ really well.  I felt completely different from everyone around me.  My life was exhausting.  I was always having some sort of symptom; bloating, mouth swelling, hair loss, reflux, insomnia, chronic pain, inflammation, acne, eczema, depression, anxiety, panic attacks , mental fogginess. ..just to name a few.  I often felt like I was in a “gray space” where everything was going on around me.  I was part of things, but not completely.  I now recognize how much food sensitivities and allergies have impacted my life and well-being.  Whole30 has helped me identify many more “triggers”.  I feel like a veil has been lifted.  My mind is clear, and my body is functioning more productively.  I have more sustained energy throughout the day.  I am more in tune with myself than ever.  I do attribute this to Whole30 as well as other healthy habits I have incorporated as well.

I have had hormone issues for years.  Since the age of 17 to be exact.  I have had cysts, fibroids, imbalances, numerous procedures and surgeries.  My cycle when not on a pill has always been erratic and to be frank, my time of the month was often; hellish.  I feel like my hormones are more in check, I am regulated, and don’t have debilitating pain that often ensues when a cyst forms , bursts, or  feel terrible during a period.

My skin is better.  I have actually gone out a few times without foundation on, which is craziness.  I have been wearing a tinted moisturizer most other days.  My rosacea is better, I have not had any bad breakouts, and my eczema has been better.  With Celiac Disease, often comes hair loss.  I have a crazy amount of thick hair so while this never impacted me from a balding standpoint, but hair is always shedding all over the place.  I still notice some, but not nearly the amount that there once was.  I am not pulling handfuls of hair out anymore after running a brush through it.

Last but not least, but, for me the most impactful.  I am sleeping better than I have in …maybe forever.  While I do not get 8-9 hours a night, the hours that I do get are with further interruptions, restlessness etc.  I feel more rested.  This is an area that I will continue to work to improve on.  Insomnia was once such a debilitating part of my life…to have some handle on it without the use of any kind of medication, is amazing!

So, all in all… a positive experience.  I did tweak things a bit this round.

  • I eliminated fruit for the most part unless it was an ingredient in a recipe.  The only exception was blueberries which I would sometimes have with breakfast or in a salad.
  •  I started making Bulletproof Coffees a few times a week with ghee and Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.  The other days I had my coffee with Collagen and Nutpods.
  • All water that I consumed at home, had lemon in it.
  •  I changed my bowls to a smaller size when eating most meals so my portion size dropped a bit.  I did allow myself to have seconds but, only if I was feeling hungry
  • I did more Self Care throughout my week (baths, face masks, walks, reading, listening to music) and didn’t just save these things for Sunday.
  • I added a 5 minute meditation to some work days during my lunch break.  I would put in my earbuds and my @headspace app and disconnect for a few minutes.  I do think that this helped center me.

I do plan to continue with another round of Whole30.  I will be documenting my journey (especially the yummy food) on Instagram @eternalworkinprogressgal , and on Twitter and Facebook as well. Everyone has their own path.  Some of us tread water for a really long time.  It is nice to finally feel like I am swimming again.


Sweet and Spicy Beef and Potato Hash Stir Fry



Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Dairy Free, and Gluten Free

This recipe came together out of desperation.  It is a sort of hash/stir fry fusion.  I had a friend pop by for lunch unexpectedly while I was doing a Whole30.  Not wanting to order out, I decided to rummage through my refrigerator and throw odds and ends together.  In the end, it tasted really good and was super easy.


  • 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil (I use Primal Kitchen)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 of a yellow onion
  • 8 oz of  frozen riced cauliflower (defrosted)
  • 16 oz of diced frozen sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite hot sauce (I use Cholula; which is Whole30 compliant)
  • 1/3 cup of coconut aminos (I use Coconut Secret)
  • 5 oz of cole slaw mix
  • 6 oz of roast beef (I actually used Applegate Organic Roast Beef Lunch Meat; which is Whole30 compliant).
  • 1/4 cup of raw cashews
  • optional top with Marinate Onions (recipe from Teri Turner @nocrumbsleft)


  1. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger.  After mincing the garlic and grating the ginger, I put a bit of kosher salt on it, and use the side of my knife to make each one into an almost paste like consistency.  I find it mixes in better.
  2. Finely dice the onion.
  3. Add avocado oil into a wok or skillet on high heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, and onion.
  5. Add the sweet potatoes and riced cauliflower and cook through until crispy (roughly 8 minutes)
  6. Slice the roast beef into strips and warm through.
  7. Add the hot sauce and coconut aminos and stir to incorporate.
  8. Add the cole slaw mix to the top and put the lid on the wok.  Cook another 5 minutes just enough time to let the flavors meld together a bit and also let the cabbage wilt down.
  9. Top with cashews.

Note:  This can be served as is or with a fried egg on top.  I have had it both ways and it was good either way.