Did you know that 70% of a typical American’s diet is made up of processed foods? In fact, Americans spend 10% of money on fast food and will consume 130 pounds of sugar a year (1).
Cooking meals at home is a simple way to incorporate healthy, high quality food into your life while crowding out fast food, processed products, and sugar. But, as a busy working mama, I get that sometimes it’s just WAY easier to GrubHub your food to your front door. It takes some special kind of star alignment to get me in that kitchen. Because I know HOW to get those stars aligned, I do it more often than not.
One of those stars is about having a collection of delicious, quick, easy recipes that my kids are going to dig. To help you out, I’ve compiled my five favorite Whole30 recipes to get you started. These recipes are tried and true family faves and take very little time. I have more favorites, but I can’t just repost ALL of Alex Snodgrass’s (The Defined Dish) recipes. I mean…
So whether you’re prepping for your September Whole30 or just ready to trade in your fast food for something that won’t make you feel like crap, do yourself a favor and print out these recipes for next week- that’s 5 days of dinners ready to go!
Chicken Shwarma by Primal Gourmet
Ummmm… can we talk a second about the way Butcher Box chicken thighs crisp up and how amazing it tastes with the killer combination of spices? These tiny morsels of heaven are about half gone by the time they reach the table, so make a double batch if you want leftovers. This meal pulls together quickly, and for that reason, it’s on my list of rotating dishes. Pair it with the roasted potatoes (always make extra), a huge salad, and garlicky mayo and you have yourself a real winner of a chicken dinner. My toddler literally bathes in the sauce, even when I sub it out for Primal Kitchen’s Garlic Aioli.
Sloppy Joe Bowls by Physical Kitchness
There are a ton of great Whole30 compliant Soppy Joe recipes out there, but none reach the quality of Physical Kitchness’s version. It’s got just the right amount of sweetness and tangy flavor to make you think you’re eating the real thing. In fact, I would call this the REAL THING. Put that slop onto a baked sweet potato (or a baked white potato, I don’t care) and your family will be stoked. Also, my kids die for sweet potatoes. Hot tip: pop those sweets in your Instant Pot for 10-20 minutes before you go to bed. You can put them in the fridge when you wake up to reheat for dinner.
Hibachi Style Chicken with Magic Mustard Sauce by the Defined Dish
I am Alex Snodgrass’s biggest fan and recommend her recipes to all my mom clients because she IS a mom and she knows what they like. I picked this specific recipe because it’s super simple without any weird ingredients and totally delivers with flavor and an assortment of veggies. The sauce is crazy good- this time I bathe in it, but my oldest loves it too. The crisped up chicken is, again, my favorite thing. And the sautéed veggies are perfect for little hands. I love to serve it with rice for my kids and husband. Again, this one goes quickly!
Instant Pot Carnitas by Nom Nom Paleo
I couldn’t leave out Michelle Tam, because her Whole30 recipes are so versatile and accessible. I love making a huge batch of protein a la Nom Nom Paleo to repurpose throughout the week. These carnitas are literally good for everything- including crisped up and scrambled with eggs, served on a salad or veggie bowl, or tucked into a hash of potatoes, apples, onions and spices. Pop this in your Instant Pot on a Sunday afternoon for dinner and enjoy your ready-made protein for the rest of the week.
This recipe is the only one NOT online, but I had to include it for several reasons. One, I love subbing out regular beef burgers from bison on occasion. It’s a more sustainable protein and they are just downright delicious. Two, this is just a killer fall recipe. Do not go for the cheap grocery store balsamic. Find something thick and aged from a specialty store because it is soooo worth it with those shallots. I highly recommend picking up a Whole30 cookbook. This one’s in the OG, but there are some great finds in the Fast and Easy and the Slow Cooker book for those of you looking for more simple, wholesome recipes.
But WAIT. There’s more…
I know that many of us weren’t taught how to do it and we’re stuck wondering what’s wrong with us that we don’t know how to make food for ourselves, much less plan a week’s worth of meals (2). I’ve been planning my meals and meal prepping since I started my career as a nurse. I knew that if I didn’t take the time to do it, I would be left eating crap, which would leave me feeling like crap, which would leave me feeling like crap about myself. It’s a vicious cycle. After I did my first Whole30, my meal planning game got even stronger. Each Sunday, I make my plan for the week, giving myself wiggle room because I live in the real world and in the real world, I don’t cook 7 days a week.
To help you out, I’ve included my official meal planning template so that you can get started right now! I give this to all my Whole30 clients and now it’s YOURS for free. Go forth and eat healthier! I know you’ve got this.