Well, family, it’s here: Day 29 of our very first Whole30. And we’ve made it here relatively unscathed! My cravings are mostly under control and, though I haven’t been on the scale, I can tell I have lost some weight. I’m feeling pretty great, y’all!
One of the reasons I embarked on this Whole30 was to gain a new perspective on meal planning. And considering that, in the last 29 days, we’ve tried 23 new recipes or food preparation methods, I believe that one has been achieved!
Building our first meal plan for our first week of our Whole30 was terribly intimidating. I wasn’t yet comfortable ferreting out the non-compliant ingredients I was used to using in recipes, and I was wary of going all-in on any recipes that I might not love. My husband is notoriously picky, so some ambitious ingredients (salmon, zucchini pasta, stuffed peppers) were off the the table this time around. Additionally, we don’t have an especially roomy grocery budget, so we couldn’t rely too heavily on pricey specialty ingredients.
So what the heck have we been eating for the last 29 days?!
I decided to compile a list of our favorite Whole30 recipes we successfully tried this month. These recipes were all simple and made up of ingredients normal people can afford and enjoy! Ready to dive in? 🙂
Quick disclaimer: All of these gorgeous photos are the property of the bloggers linked in each caption. Please visit their blogs for the full recipes!
First up, let’s talk about breakfast! (Click the Read More button below on the right.)
I made these Sweet Potato Cups for breakfasts in week 1! Mine didn’t turn out as cute as the blogger’s, but they were plenty delicious with a clementine on the side.
These delicious, juicy breakfast sausages are straight-up ground pork and seasonings. Who needs all the grains and sugar and junk in commercially-prepared breakfast sausage?! Not us!
On Saturday morning of Week 2, I had a serious craving for diner-style home fries. Luckily, they are inherently Whole30 compliant! Though white potatoes aren’t the best choice, this foolproof recipe will be making an appearance in our post-Whole30 life.
Okay, this one isn’t so much a recipe as a method of cooking bacon I hadn’t tried before. AND WHY HADN’T I?! Y’all, this method churned out perfect, crispy bacon when I was expecting limp, greasy grossness. The best part is that I baked my sheet pan of bacon right underneath a pan of sweet potatoes that were cooking along at the same temperature.
Alrighty, time to move into dinner main dishes! Most of these recipes were dinner one night, and leftovers the next day for lunch.
Yeah, Whole30 burgers don’t get much cuter than these. We made these a couple of times during our Whole30, and though we didn’t always have all those gorgeous, colorful ingredients on hand, the burgers were delicious!
These crazy-simple meatballs are not quite as pretty to look at, but they are a power player in filling out a meal plan. Bake up some of these suckers and toss in compliant marinara sauce? Easy peasy!
This recipe was the very first one we tried on our Whole30! It kicked off a week of positively overdosing on bacon, and after that first week, I had to back off a bit on the bacon for Chris’s sanity.
I recommend this recipe to any unfortunate soul who dares to broach the topic of Whole30 meals to me. IT IS PERFECT, and different enough from “normal” stir fry that I know it will be in our regular rotation after our Whole30. Just note that rice vinegar isn’t Whole30 compliant, so you’ll have to sub regular white vinegar there; and don’t forget to use a compliant hot sauce.
This CrockPot pot roast recipe is as easy as it gets! Though I will say that my gravy never turned out that juicy… if you figure out the key there, you’ll have to let me know!
Another staple — grain-free meatloaf! This one is very similar to the meatballs linked above, but yummy in its own right.
This one is kind of cheating because we were actually making this recipe for months before our Whole30! Granted, we were using regular all-purpose flour back then (I think they have a Chick-fil-A esque texture that way); but Chris has said he prefers them coated in almond meal instead. Win!
We’ve made this one twice in our Whole30! The first time, I steamed a bag of frozen broccoli we already had in the freezer, and added the cooked broccoli toward the end of the overall skillet cook time. Also, I patted some almond meal onto the chicken breasts to give them a bit of texture. It turned out great! The second time, however, I popped another steam bag in the microwave, and it wasn’t until I cut into it and dumped it into the skillet that I realized I had accidentally steamed a bag of California veggies instead. It still tasted great, and I actually enjoyed the variety!
Okay, so what good is a main dish without a sidekick? On to the side dishes!
Whipped these up on Day 1 with those bacon-wrapped chicken thighs I already shared. This was a perfect initial foray into the world of whole foods! I mean, look a those colors!
Here’s another one that we’d actually been eating before our Whole30, but it just happened to be compliant! During our Whole30 we whipped this one up with some Aidell’s chicken and apple sausage (super compliant!). By the way, if you haven’t checked out Budget Bytes, you are missing out! I’ve never tried a recipe of hers that didn’t turn out perfect (I think it has a lot to do with those amazing step-by-step photos and realistic instructions)!
I’ve thought of food as yummy, mouth-watering, and appetizing before, but never “beautiful.” Not until I laid eyes on this whole-roasted cauliflower, that is! If you love cauliflower, you owe it to yourself to try this one.
Got a French fry craving that won’t quit? These are a perfect option during your Whole30! She’s not kidding when she tells you to leave space between each fry in the pan, though. (Not that I know from experience or anything…) And don’t forget to give that chipotle ranch dip a try!
Speaking of ranch… wanna talk condiments real quick?!
I would have never thought that homemade mayo could turn out so perfect. It was The Healthy Foodie’s gif of the blending process that convinced me to give this a try (check it out at the link above)! And yes, I shamelessly slathered this on my Smashed Potato Burger.
Once you’ve conquered compliant mayo, dairy-free ranch is a breeze! If you have a ranch addict in the house (or are one yourself), this is the way to go!
I do have one final recipe for you!
Honorable Mention: this here fried “rice.” I love cauliflower, even though it doesn’t always sit well with me in large doses. However, this aggressively-pinned recipe didn’t really turn out the first time we tried it. 1/2 cup of coconut aminos is excessive, to say the least, and not just because that junk is expensive. When I attempted this recipe a second time, I used less than 1/4 cup of coconut aminos, and I didn’t add them until after the cauliflower “rice” had had plenty of time to toast in the skillet. I liked it much better after those adjustments!
I hope these recipes inspire you to try your own Whole30. Honestly, if we can make it through 29 days of this, you can, too! Thanks for rooting for us as we head into Day 30!
You can see all the recipes I’ve tried (not just our Whole30 ones) on my Made It & Ate It board on Pinterest!
What’s your favorite Whole30 recipe? What challenges have you encountered with making a compliant meal plan?