I learned an important lesson last year: In order to look and feel great, you have to fuel your body with nutrient-dense real foods. It sounds like such a no-brainer, but since my early teens, I stubbornly tried to fight this notion with the hope that I could lose weight by eating limitless pasta, 100-calorie snack packs and my favorite junk foods “in moderation.” And while technically these principles sometimes led to weight loss (depending on how much I was actually eating and whether or not I was exercising regularly), I was still left hungry and in a bad mood, with low energy, headaches and eczema for days.
In February 2014, I embarked on my first Whole30, eliminating gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, legumes and processed foods from my diet for 30 days. This was a challenge for me – not only because I love bread and pasta (and there is some variant of sugar in everything!), but also because I’m a picky eater and I had never really cooked before. Suddenly, I had switched to a heavily plant-based diet, which required me to experiment in the kitchen and try a lot of new things. To this day, I’m still figuring out how to balance Whole30 living with the occasional unhealthy craving, but through several rounds of the program, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I’ve greatly improved my cooking skills!
When people hear about the Whole30, one of the first questions they ask is What can you eat? The answer: A lot! Before Whole30, I never ate zucchini, green beans, cucumbers, or cabbage. I had no idea how to prepare sweet potatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, or any protein other than eggs. I had never heard of a spiralizer, and thought that “poaching chicken” literally meant that I had to hunt and kill my own poultry. Therefore, if I could complete 30 days of this program, anyone can do it!
Today, I’m going to share 50 of the recipes I enjoyed on the Whole30. (That’s right – 50 recipes!) Some of these will require slight variations in order to remain compliant, so I’ll make note of those as they pop up. As a rule of thumb, replace soy sauce with coconut aminos, don’t use the optional sweeteners or cheese if you’re sticking to the Whole30, and be mindful of what cooking fats you use. I’ll also share which of these recipes are regular favorites of mine. : )
Enjoy the recipe roundup and be sure to share with friends!
1. Watermelon Gazpacho (Our Savory Life)
2. Chilled Cantaloupe Soup (AllRecipes.com)
3. Creamy Dairy-Free Tomato Basil Soup (Paleo Comfort Foods)
4. Moroccan Carrot Salad (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @bloemingfabulous) – **FAVORITE**
5. Cucumber “Pasta” Salad (Holistically Engineered)
6. Pineapple Cabbage Slaw (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @whatjennyeats)
7. Red Cabbage Salad with Apples, Walnuts and Raisins (Clean and Delicious)
8. Lemon and Thyme Potato Wedges (Olive Tree Kitchen)
9. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Meyer Lemon Relish (Brooklyn Supper)
10. Sweet Potato Gnocchi (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen)– Tastes awesome with ghee!
11. Roasted Cauliflower Poppers (Whole Lifestyle Nutrition)– Replace butter with ghee. – **FAVORITE**
12. Shoestring Sweet Potatoes (Fit Foodie Finds)
13. Garlic Cabbage Steaks (Rockin Mom’s Kitchen)– **FAVORITE**
14. Butternut Squash Risotto (Paleo Grubs)
15. Moroccan Cauliflower Couscous (Unbageled)
16. Roasted Herby Spiralized Vegetables (Fit Foodie Finds) – **FAVORITE**
17. Creamy Dreamy Vegan Potato Salad (Max Pankow Fitness)
18. Cumin-Roasted Broccoli Spears (Daily Bites Blog)
19. Cauliflower Roasted in Dijon & Lemon Butter Sauce (Divalicious Recipes) – Replace butter with ghee. – **FAVORITE**
20. Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potato & Apple (Consider The Leaf Turned)
21. Broccoli Fritters (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @happywifestyle)
22. Easy & Healthy Fried Plantains (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen)
23. Sweet Potato Tater Tots (Paleo Grubs)
24. Garlic Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes” (Nom Nom Paleo) – Replace butter with ghee.
Vegetarian Main Dishes
25. Low-Carb Cauliflower Fried Rice (Amuse Your Bouche) – Replace soy sauce with coconut aminos. – **FAVORITE**
26. Zoodles and Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (J is For Judy)
27. Indian Pineapple Cauliflower Rice (Stupid Easy Paleo)
28. Spaghetti Squash Breakfast (Whole Fork)
29. Crispy Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Smoky Garlic Aioli (Oh My Veggies)– Replace flour with almond flour and skip the Parmesan.
30. Breakfast Bowl (@whole30recipes Instagram guest post by @inexactscience)
31. Curried Cauliflower and Potatoes (Hello Fresh) – Skip the peas. – **FAVORITE**
Meaty Main Dishes
32. Coconut Lime Chicken Bites (Daily Bites Blog) – **FAVORITE**
33. Sweet and Sour Chicken (Paleo Leap)– Skip the “optional” honey.
34. Zesty Chicken Bites (Lexi’s Clean Kitchen)– **FAVORITE**
35. Whole30 Approved Burrito Bowl (Katrina Runs)
36. Moroccan Grilled Chicken Kabobs (Closet Cooking)
37. Lemon and Cilantro Calamari with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Meatified)
38. Chicken Piccata (Elana’s Pantry)– **FAVORITE**
39. Paleo Chicken “Alfredo” Pasta (Just Jessie B)
40. Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers (Holistically Engineered)– **FAVORITE**
41. Stovetop Pulled Tandoori Chicken (The Big Man’s World)
42. Baked Pesto Chicken Skewers (Fit Foodie Finds)
43. Tuesday Night Chicken (Popular Paleo)
44. Paleo Curry Lime Chicken (Plaid and Paleo)
45. Paleo Sesame Chicken (Consider The Leaf Turned)
46. Garlic Butter Chicken (Life Made Full) – **FAVORITE**
47. Coconut Crusted Mini-Schnitzel (1000 Lovely Things)
48. Paleo Italian Chicken Fingers (Tastes of Lizzy T’s)
49. Almond Crusted Chicken With Strawberry Balsamic Sauce (Cooking Classy) – Skip the bread crumbs and replace canola oil with extra light olive oil. I used almond flour.
50. Green Fajita Chicken (Meatified)
Share your favorite Whole30 recipe links in the comments section below!