I follow quite a few Paleo bloggers on Instagram, including the Whole 30 peeps themselves. From time to time, I’ll see posts like, “You might be Whole30 if…” which is a play on Jeff Foxworthy’s You Might Be a Redneck. I had my own moment of that this morning. I was preparing breakfast (9 minute steamed eggs with sweet potatoes, spinach, squash, dried porcini mushrooms and coconut oil) and I actually looked around my kitchen. I had bone broth simmering in the slow cooker, coconut kefir probiotics and homemade almond milk in the refrigerator, and I was gingerly trying to remove the shell from one of the grain-fed, cage-free, hormone-free eggs that had cracked open while steaming. They’re too good and too expensive to let any go to waste. You might be Whole30 if your kitchen looks like mine!
Speaking of Whole30, I’ve finally decided to do it! I’ve found that I’m having far too many instances of, “Well, just one won’t hurt me,” and it’s time to clean things up even more. I just got done with my second read-through of It Starts with Food so I’m ready to rock. Of course, my nieces are selling the World’s Finest Chocolate for their school fundraiser and of course I get my chocolate bars the day before I decide to start. Le sigh. Fortunately (provided I hide them) they will still be around when I get done. Anyone else want to do a Whole30 with me??
Had an awesome Paleo moment this morning. I haven’t tracked or weighed a morsel of my food in months, and I haven’t been obsessed with nailing the perfect workout (a.k.a. highest calorie burn) for just as long. I knew I’d been losing weight anyway. When my son graduated from high school in June I got a new sweater dress. It was tight. You know, like don’t breath or slouch tight. It still looked pretty good on, but I didn’t dare wear leggings with it because of how tight it was – I knew it would show the waistband and look tacky.
The weather is turning into fall, all my slacks were dirty, and I really wasn’t feeling a skirt. I thought, “I’ll try on the sweater dress with leggings and boots, and if it looks tacky, I’ll just change.” I bet you can guess what came next. It wasn’t tight at all! In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the way it was meant to fit. Pretty incredible feeling. So why do a Whole30? Well, frankly, I have yet to slay my Sugar Dragon. He’s in check, and I can give him a good whipping when called for, but he’s still alive and gets a little uppity from time to time. He’s gotta go. Also, my energy levels aren’t where I want them to be. I eat pretty clean, but the fact that I get these energy slumps tells me I can do better.
These coconut chicken fingers are a house favorite. My little Bronco Bear loves when I make them, especially if I make a jalapeno sauce with it (I didn’t have a jalapeno so I had to settle for green chilies – not the same). The chili sauce is not Whole30 approved, but the chicken fingers are. And they make great leftovers, too! I figured out the trick for getting the coconut to stick to the chicken – blend it. Not so fine that it becomes coconut butter, but you don’t want any big chunks. As a bonus, when the coconut is this fine, you can use the Shake-n-Bake method, which means it is far less time consuming than coating each piece individually.
2lbs chicken tenders (about 14)
1⁄4 cup egg whites
2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp onion powder
1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
2 T. coconut oil
1 small can diced green chilies
1 T. raw honey
1⁄4 tsp onion powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put chicken tenders and egg whites in a large mixing bowl and toss with tongs to coat.
Combine coconut, sea salt, coriander, onion powder and black pepper in a blender. Blend on low speed for about 30 seconds or until coconut resembles a course powder. Transfer coconut to a large plastic bag with a zipclose top.
Use tongs to transfer chicken tenders to the bag with the coconut. Fill with air, zip closed and shake well until evenly coated. Let as much air out of the bag as possible and zip closed again. Press coconut into chicken tenders. Transfer chicken tenders to prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from oven.
Melt coconut oil and use a pastry brush to dab oil on each tender. Note: Do not brush the oil on the chicken as it will pull off the coconut. Return chicken to the oven and cook an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
While chicken is baking, combine honey, chilies and onion powder in a blender (a personal blender like a Magic Bullet works well for this task). Pulse for 30 seconds or until chilies are smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer.
Serve sauce over the chicken tenders.