Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Whole30 Day 15: That's the halfway mark!

WE'RE HALFWAY DONE! Can you believe it?? I kind of can't believe it, but on the other hand, sometimes I feel like it's taking forever, you know?

But let me tell you, I needed a day like today. I just... feel good. Not overly anxious- which is a first. Not overly emotional, generally happy. My body doesn't hurt, comparatively at least. I don't have as much energy as I did last week, but it's more than adequate. And seriously, you guys, I had to re-tie my sweatpants tonight lest the keys in my pocket pull them right down off my hips. I have to stop myself at least once a day from trying to find a way around the no weighing or measuring rule. That might seriously be the hardest part right now.

Let's see...

today, as I've mentioned, was very affirming to this process. Yesterday this felt interminable. Today, I could go for a year. What a process.

ok, let's get to the food log, eh?

Meal 1: one egg cup and a smoothie with spinach, apple & banana

Meal 2: salad of mixed greens, carrots, apple, a small can of tuna, olives, and a squeeze of lemon juice. An orange. Some kale chips.

Meal 3: Hold on to your hats, kids. SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS. Yep. Yep you read that right. SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS. BEHOLD:

And seriously, I wanted to cry it tasted so good. There are a lot of delicious, delicious things on the plan. I enjoy most meals I eat. But until today, there was very little comfort food. Nothing gooey, nothing warm and savory and tasting of my grandmother and home.

And then there was spaghetti and meatballs. So let's walk through this picture. First of all, I'm not a food blogger, nor a photographer. So yes, that is a bad phone picture. Sorry, I was hungry. Ok, now that that's out of the way: yes, those are zucchini noodles. Yes, they DO taste like pasta (once they're cooked enough to lose that veggie crunch). The sauce is very chunky and full of veggies, and yes I made it myself. Including chopping up all the veggies, it probably took me 45 minutes to make.  Yes, I also made the meatballs. No, they aren't hard. They took slightly less time than the sauce. I've included the recipe below. Keep in mind, I based this on a recipe in my Paleo cookbook that I'm working through, but it is very much altered! I also basically just threw the things I had in. Do you have some mushrooms? They'd probably be awesome. Basil? Definitely. Think the vinegar and lemon make it too tangy? Add some dates, apple juice, or honey (if you're not on your whole30!) You get the idea. This is a great use up what we've got recipe!

For the meatballs:
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 egg
liberal sprinkle salt
3 generous shakes of garlic salt

For the sauce:
5 tomatoes, roughly chopped/diced
3/4 red onion, roughly chopped/diced
2 green garlic sprigs
fresh parsley (to taste)
1 spoonful minced garlic
sprinkle red pepper flakes
garlic salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tb. lemon juice
2/3 cup water

For the spaghetti:
3 small zucchini

start by mixing the first four ingredients together. REALLY well. The better they're mixed, the better your meatballs will turn out.  Roll the mixture into 8 small balls or 6 medium, or whatever. I know, they feel soupy. Mine weren't perfectly round. A whole egg is a tiny bit too much. Place them in a flat bottomed skillet- don't crowd them! Add a splash of olive oil and heat to medium high. Brown the meatballs on two sides at least. Yes, they're still very raw on the inside. I browned mine for about 2 minutes per side.

Leaving the meatballs be for a minute, prep your veggies (except zuccchini)and add them all to a bowl. Slide your meatballs onto a plate for a few minutes and add more olive oil to your pan. Add prepped veggies to skillet, cook for a minute or so, until fragrant. Then add the spices and the vinegar and lemon juice. Add meatballs back in, stir to mix well, cover and let simmer 15 minutes.

While the sauce is coming together, wash your zucchini and get your spiralizer out. (I got mine for $15 on amazon). Make your zoodles, place in the bowl you just emptied.

After your 15 minutes are up on the sauce, uncover and give it a good healthy stir. Make sure nobody is sticking to the bottom of the pan. At this point, a lot of the liquid will have cooked off. Mine was starting (just barely!) to stick and turn colors on the bottom, so I added some water, which offset it perfectly. Then cover and let simmer another 15 minutes.

When THAT 15 minutes is up, open up your pan and add your zoodles to the top of it. I didn't stir them up at all, just set them on top. I covered the whole meal up and let the zoodles steam for about 2 minutes. I think, next time I would do about 4.

Then, I just dished it up! Plenty for leftovers tomorrow- although I'm very tempted to eat the whole pan!

The zoodles were still quite crisp, although they softened as I ate. And when soft, they really are like spaghetti! I was amazed!

The sauce and meatballs were tangy and flavorful, balanced by the sweetness of the tomatoes. If I only had a facsimile for garlic bread!

Seriously, this meal was absolutely AMAZING. If you never take me seriously on anything, do it this once. YOU SHOULD EAT THIS. FEED IT TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS. IT IS AWESOME! This is the kind of meal that makes me believe in the sustainablility of the paleo diet. This is real home cooking- just made healthier. How great is that?

And now I'm off to bed before a busy, busy Thursday. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow but

Until next time~


  1. I think your picture is food-blog worthy! Did the meatballs stay together when you put them in the sauce? Mine never do...

    1. haha, thank you! Yes, they actually did! My suspicion is that the extra amount of egg helped somehow... and I was very gentle!