Whole30 Day 10=Comfort Food

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Today's Whole30 menu was all about the comfort food. As I've mentioned (often) before, breakfast has been my biggest challenge on Whole30, and I've been missing sweet foods in particular--pastries, muffins, even oatmeal. I found this recipe for banana nut porridge last weekend and was just waiting for the right day to try it, and today was that day! It requires a little advance planning, as you have to soak the nuts the night before, but it's easy to whip together when you're running low on time. And it was so yummy. Definitely satisfied any potential cravings I might have for banana nut muffins, banana bread, oatmeal, etc.

As seen here, I paired the porridge with a side of scrambled eggs, but even so it was still sort of a fringe Whole30 meal. Technically, this is a bit more nuts (healthy fats) than I should have with any single meal (although not too much more--it's a cup and a half split into four servings), and it just tastes too good (and mimics oatmeal too well) not to be SWYPO. But I've been SO good these past ten days, I figured it wouldn't hurt to make something similar to something I might eat when I'm not dieting, yet still follows the rules and is made of all natural, paleo friendly ingredients. This is a dish that I would eat anytime, regardless of Whole30, so I don't regret trying it, SWYPO or not.

For lunch I had leftover curry chicken and spiced sweet potatoes (which I could eat like candy), plus I ate a handful of raw carrots, which are my go to veggie plate filler.

Dinner was a new adventure in comfort-food cooking. One of my favorite comfort foods (and my favorite pub food) is shepherd's pie. I've actually never attempted to make it before (because the old me rarely attempted anything more complicated than spaghetti), but I can't go out and get it, and I found myself with a craving for it last week, so I decided to investigate Whole30-friendly shepherd's pie recipes. I found this one, and with a few small modifications, our pies turned out beautifully:

The foundation for our four individual shepherd's pies.
All done! With the mashed cauliflower topping.
Sooo yummy.
This was our second attempt at mashed cauliflower, and this time the mash was much tastier. We steamed the cauliflower instead of roasting it, which I was skeptical of (I rarely like steamed veggies and love them roasted). We also blended it in the Kitchenaid Mixer instead of the food chopper, and it had a much better, potato-like consistency. With a little salt and pepper, some olive oil, and a pinch of nutmeg, the mashed cauliflower was just right. We will definitely make it this way again in the future. We also decided to make four individual "pies," more like what you'd get at a pub, which makes leftovers even easier.

As far as the beef mix goes, we had to make a couple of small changes and substitutions. We haven't been able to find any bacon that is Whole30 compliant (it is always processed in some type of sugar), so we had to substitute in some chicken sausage. Not nearly the same thing, but we figured it would give the meat a little more flavor. I also added in a couple tablespoons of minced garlic (because I put garlic in everything) and some thyme. I'm glad I did because I think the recipe might have been a little bland without it, especially without the bacon there to give it that flavor. With the garlic and thyme, though, the shepherd's pie was flavorful and satisfying.

Of course I missed having a pint of Strongbow alongside this shepherd's pie, and obviously it's more fun to have this dish in a pub with friends than at home on the couch, but I was really proud of how this turned out, and at least I now know that anytime I want I can enjoy one of my  favorite comfort foods from the comfort of my own home.


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