Meal Plan 25th - 31st May 2015

This week, is week four of the 'Whole Life Challenge'. The reason why it is called 'whole life challenge' is because it doesn't just focus on one aspect of your daily life, i.e. nutrition or exercise. The Whole Life Challenge focuses on 7 fundamental daily habits, that are the framework to creating a healthier lifestyle. The seven daily habits are nutrition, exercise, mobility, supplementation, hydration, lifestyle practice and reflection. For example, this week's lifestyle practice is encouraging participants to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Love it! I better tell my children about this one!

There are three levels in which you can participate in, I chose the 'performance' level, as I wanted to challenge myself. We are then given access on their website to the foods that are compliant and ones that are not. It is essentially a paleo diet, however, I did notice that some legumes are compliant, which I was under the assumption that legumes were not included on a paleo diet?? I wanted to include this information on my blog, as some of you may be following a strict paleo diet and wondering why I have chickpeas in one of the recipe this week... This is because it is on the compliant list for me, so I am going to enjoy! If you are limiting legumes from you diet, you can omit the chickpeas from the recipe. Soybeans and edamame are on the non-compliant food list for us. 

I hope that gives you more information in regards to what this Whole Life Challenge entails. If you want more information you can check out their website which is www.wholelifechallenge.com or if you have any questions or queries you are welcome to contact me! 

And now... This week's meal plan and associated grocery list for you... 

...Click to enlarge...

Few notes about the grocery list...
  • I have excluded jalapenos from the quiche. 
  • I have added a can of diced tomatoes, instead of using tomato sauce in the marinara sauce. 
  • There is a lot of fresh parsely required in the recipes, I would buy a bunch. 
  • Four of the nine brown onions are used in the pizza recipe, as I want to make carmalised onions.
Recipes

Braised chicken with chickpeas, lemon and garlic

The Australian Women's Weekly super diet. Edited by Susan Tomnay (Editor-in-chief). Published by ACP Books. Sydney, Australia. 2010. Pg 88 


prep + cook time 1 hour 15 minutes serves 4 nutritional count per serving 22.4g total fat (5.6 saturated fat); 2378 (569 cal); 24.7 carbohydrate; 63.5g protein; 8.4g fibre

1 tablespoon olive oil 

2 medium brown onions (300g), sliced thickly
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, crushed
8 chicken thigh cutlets, skin removed (1.6kg)
3 cups (750ml) salt-reduced chicken stock  (I plan to use bone broth)

1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
2 fresh chillies, halved lengthways
2 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

1 Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion stirring, until softened. Add paprika, garlic and chicken; stir to coat chicken in onion mixture.
2 Add stock, juice, chilli, chickpeas and mustard to pan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover; simmer about 30 minutes or until chicken in tender.
3 Serve sprinkled with parsley and rind.

Braised chicken, with lentils (meant to be chickpeas), lemon & garlic


(Crock pot paleo) Italian Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
http://paleonewbie.com/crock-pot-paleo-italian-meatballs-in-marinara-sauce/

Italian meatballs in marinara sauce

Crustless veggie quiche
http://www.willowandthyme.com/2015/01/30/recipe-vegan-crustless-veggie-quiche/

Crustless veggie quicke

Steak, kumara chips & garlic green beans


Steak

2 - 3 pieces of beef steak
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Kumara chips

3 kumara
olive oil
(or coconut oil)
salt & pepper
curry powder


Garlic green beans

250g green beans
2-3 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)
1 tbsp butter

1
Take your steaks out of the fridge, to bring them to room temperature while you prepare the kumara chips.
2 Peel and chop the kumara into good sized chips or wedges. Toss the kumara in olive oil (or coconut oil) and curry powder. Place evenly on a lined baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes at 200C.
3 Place a griddle over a medium/high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides, then rub the olive oil over the steak (not the pan). Place the steaks into the griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes each side for medium-rare/medium steaks. Let the steaks rest for around 5 minutes.
4 Trim off the ends of the beans and place into a pot filled with boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Put another fry pan on the stove top and fry the butter and garlic for 2 minutes, then add the drained beans to the fry pan, fry for 2 minutes.



Pizzas

For the pizza base I am going to use zucchini this time, quite excited about this!
http://primal-life.co.nz/blogs/recipes/17091832-grain-free-zucchini-pizza-base

There are a range of toppings to choose from on the link above, I think I might try three of them, and keep the leftovers for lunch the next day or dinner again. I like the look of the bacon & pineapple, tandoori chicken, & pepperoni. I love having baby spinach on my pizzas, plus its extra veggies for the kids, so I will include that as well !


Slow-roasted dukkah lamb shoulder

Canvas Magazine. 16th May 2015
Serves 4-6. 

1/4 cup rosemary leaves, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup store brought dukkah, plus extra to serve
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 x 1.6kg lamb shoulder
3/4 cup water

200g truss cherry tomatoes
Baby spinach leaves
 and lemon wedges, to serve


Preheat oven to 180C. Place the rosemary, garlic, oil, dukkah, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine. 

2 Place the lamb in a deep-sided oven tray and rub with dukkah mixture. Add the water, cover with aluminium foil and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and roast for a further 40 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the tray and roast for 8-10 minutes or until golden and tender. 
3 Slice the lamb and serve with the tomatoes, spinach leaves, lemon wedges and extra dukkah. 

Note: If you are not following a paleo diet, this is recommended to be serve with plain greek-style yogurt, enjoy the yogurt if you want!! 

Slow roasted dukkah lamb shoulder

Reviewing the week...

First meal of the week was the braised chicken with chickpeas, lemon and garlic. There was a little change right from the start, I went to get the chickpeas out of the pantry, only to find there was none. I substituted lentils for chickpeas instead. It still tasted great, thank goodness! I also served the chicken with some cauliflower rice, which I cooked with half an red onion (grated), and two garlic cloves.

We have a new family favourite now... Italian meatballs in marinara sauce. This was really delicious, the kids just kept on eating, once they had finished theirs they descended on their dads like seagulls! This meal is made in the slow cooker/crockpot, so it really couldn't get any easier! There are a few changes I would suggest: Use 1 whole onion in the meatball mixture, and make sure you grate this - this will lessen the possibility of your meatballs falling apart. I would only use on egg in the meatballs, instead of 2 as the recipe calls for. I used six garlic cloves altogether (3 in the meatballs and 3 in the sauce). In the sauce, I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 1 can of whole tomatoes. Along with the parsley I added coriander as well. This was a great winters meal!! Even though its not officially winter here yet, but it certainly feels like it!!

Crustless veggie quiche, somehow I didn't notice that this was a vegan quiche, that was made without eggs, using tofu and other ingredients instead. It quotes, 'not like your traditional quiche, which is egg laden'; sorry, but I want egg laden! Hence why a few changes were made... I excluded the tofu and used 5 eggs, 1/2 cup of almond milk and red onion (instead of yellow onion). If I wasn't eating 'paleo' at the moment, I would have included feta in this recipe, as it would have been delicious! However, it still was a divine tasting quiche! I served the quiche with roasted green beans and guacamole as well; the green beans were simply roasted in the oven at 200C for 25 minutes, in a little butter and two finely chopped garlic cloves.

Now... this is where my week went a little awol. My partner ended up going away for the night on Thursday, so I knew I could get away without cooking steak for me and the kids ;) I was freezing cold! Winterless north, yeah right!! Soooo I made pumpkin soup, paleo styles. This was amazing! I also did it in the slow cooker, I cooked it on high for 1 hour and a half, then on low for another hour an a half (while I went for a walk with the kids). Apples with the pumpkin was a great compliment. This is a recipe for you to try!

Friday night... leftovers! There was lots of soup leftover, so that was easy!

Saturday night, finally we are back in the game, I cooked the dukkah roasted lamb. This was amazing!! The photo does not do it justice, I need to learn how to take better photos of roasts... Dukkah is one of my favourite spices, so really this meal  couldn't of been any better for me.

I hope you enjoyed this week! 
As always if you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to contact me, through facebook www.facebook.com/atapinch or email atapinchmealplans@gmail.com. Thanks,



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