It’s January so we’re all eating healthy stuff, right? I know that if I start talking about “cleanses” or “detoxing” it brings up a lot of really strong emotions. The whole conversation can get really pretentious and conjure up ideas of juice diets or other really restrictive programs (which don’t always sound very healthy). I’m not sure if what I’m doing really falls in the same category, and I’m only talking it here because it’s worked so well for me and I want to share some of the recipes I’ve been making with you. The program is called the Whole 30, and it’s basically a strict version of paleo, where you take thirty days and eat only meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains and healthy oils. That means no sweeteners of any kind, no grains, no soy, no corn, no dairy, no legumes, no alcohol… and there’s probably other stuff that I’m forgetting but that’s the main idea. I did a full month in November and I felt like a rockstar so I’m doing another one. There’s no calorie counting or restricting and I just eat when I’m hungry. I really, really like taking a full month to make my diet a top priority and form new, healthy habits. There a lots of times where I get really busy and stop planning, and this program makes me take the time to actually eat breakfast, pack myself a real lunch, and cook a real dinner with vegetables in it. Yes, we have a vegetable farm, and yes, sometimes we get insanely busy and tired and eat macaroni and cheese from a box. Isn’t that horrible and messed up? It is. Different diets suit different people, so this may not be ideal for everyone, but I feel so much better omitting grains and sugar from my diet. I’m so happy I took the time to try it out and see how it made me feel.
I’ll be posting a couple of my favorite weeknight recipes during January in case other people need some inspiration. The first one I have to share are these turkey-mushroom meatballs. You can make them with spaghetti squash if you want to mimic pasta, but I actually like to eat them over a big pile of greens. It doesn’t really matter what kind; cooked greens are good, kale salad is good, collards, spinach, whatever. It all tastes good with tomato sauce and meatballs!
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 c. grated mushrooms*
- 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
- 1 tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 quart jar of tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the turkey, mushrooms, onions, parsley and garlic powder. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Form the mixture into balls and put then place them in the olive oil. Don’t touch them for a few minutes to let them brown. After that, gently turn the meatballs to continue browning the rest of them. Once they’re browned, pour the sauce over them and put them in the oven to cook for 20 minutes (just to make sure they’re cooked through). Serve over vegetables or with salad. Delicious as leftovers.
*Just grate button mushrooms on a standard grater. You could probably put them in the food processor too.