Fulfilled Has Moved!

The transition has begun! This afternoon, I moved all of the content of Fulfilled to it’s very own home at fulfilledblog.com! The new home gives me the freedom to share some awesome new features with you, like printable recipe cards! There are more (super cool) updates on the way, but the new site is already up and running, so I didn’t want to delay in giving you access to the improved features! Every recipe that has been posted on this blog is now available on the new site.

I will keep the original version of the blog up and running for a while, but from now on, new posts will only appear on fulfilledblog.com.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to a fulfilling future of sharing healthy recipes and tips!

Allison

Do What You Pin: Lamb Curry (And a special announcement!)

Before I get started with today’s Pinterest recipe, I have some exciting news to share! Ready???

I’m the proud owner of fulfilledblog.com! I’ll be upgrading Fulfilled from WordPress.com to WordPress.org over the next few weeks and plan to make everything much easier to access. Recipe widgets and custom designs? Yes, please! I’m so excited to embark on this new phase of my journey as a blogger and recipe creator.

Even though I’m working overtime on these technical upgrades, I’m still setting aside some time to do what I pin! I continued my weekend of fabulous, flavorful cooking for two with this recipe for Lamb Curry from Easy Natural Food. Debbie’s recipes have been getting a ton of love from me recently – her adaptation of Carrot and Cilantro Salad inspired my recent Cilantro Carrot Slaw. I’d been sitting on her Lamb Curry recipe for months and couldn’t wait any longer to give it a try!

The recipe is quite simple, but packs a huge punch. It isn’t quick to prepare, but the active cooking time is quite short compared with the time the dish sits on the stove doing it’s own thing. It’s a perfect dish for a lazy day at home.

I started by sauteing the onion, garlic, and ginger.

20130721-234929.jpgAfter about five minutes, I added the lamb. The original recipe calls for lamb shoulder blade or arm chops on the bone, but the only appropriate variety I could find was this organic boneless lamb shoulder. I only used a pound of lamb because I was cooking for two and it’s a little pricey!

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After browning the lamb, I added the carrots and stock (I used vegetable stock), brought it to a simmer, covered the pot, and left the curry to do its thing for an hour and a half! I checked on it every 15 minutes or so, giving it a quick stir.

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After an hour and a half, I added the raisins and covered the curry again, letting it cook for an additional thirty minutes. Dinner is served!

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My impression going into this meal was that the curry would be very Westernized, and that ended up being exactly the case. If you’re dead-set on a traditional curry, this is probably not the recipe you want to go with. If you want to get some use out of your curry powder and try a delicious, comforting preparation for lamb, heat up your stove and make this ASAP!

Since I’m on a Whole30, I served the curry with some microwaved pumpkin quarters. If you’re able to, I would definitely recommend serving it with rice, as the pumpkin didn’t provide much of a contrast to the strong savory-sweet flavor of the curry. I’ll definitely be making some white rice when I revisit the recipe!

The only change I will make for next time is reducing the proportion of raisins to lamb. I used less lamb than the recipe called for, but was closer to the top of the recommended 1/3 – 1/2 cup raisin range. The result was undeniably delicious, but VERY sweet. As crazy as it sounds, if I were to be served this curry as a desert, I wouldn’t be totally confused.

For the original recipe, click here. And, as always, you can check out what I’ve pinned here.

A Paleo Feast: Almond Crusted Pork Chops, Homemade Applesauce, and Fig and Arugula Salad

I wanted to make an extra-special dinner for Nick last night. I’ve had a bit of a chip on my shoulder during my Whole30, feeling that I need to prove to everyone that Paleo food can be delicious and, in fact, better than the food everyone else is eating. Nick hasn’t given me any reason to think I need to prove this to him, but it’s important to me nonetheless. To prove my point, I put together a Paleo feast for two! Anytime there are more dishes on the table than diners, I figure it can be considered a feast.🙂

Our meal consisted of three dishes: Fig and Arugula Salad, Almond Crusted Pork Chops, and Homemade Applesauce. It’s fairly easy to put together, requires minimal ingredients for a meal of its caliber, and can be ready in about 30 minutes!

The applesauce has the longest cook time, so that’s where I started. I chopped four medium apples (Royal Gala is a great choice for this) into chunks, about 8-10 pieces per apple. I put the apple chunks in a saucepan with about 3/4 cup of water and a generous amount of cinnamon. You can customize your applesauce to be a cinnamon-y as you want! I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to medium, and covered the pot.

While that cooked, I started to heat some coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. I scrambled an egg in a small bowl and poured a large heap of almond meal seasoned with a little garlic powder on a plate. I salted and peppered my pork chops, dipped them in the egg, coated them in almond meal, and put them in the skillet!

20130719-110638.jpg The key to this dish is buying high quality pork. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should have the dewy pink color and plumpness that makes pork look super fresh. If your pork chop manages to look appetizing while it’s still raw, you’re probably in good shape.

I let the pork cook for about six minutes on the first side before I flipped it.

20130719-111351.jpg While the pork was cooking, I put together the salad. I skillet-toasted some pine nuts in coconut oil and combined them with quartered figs and an arugula blend. Olive oil and balsamic work great as a dressing, but for those not on a Whole30 you can add a little extra pizazz with a honey balsamic vinaigrette.

20130719-111746.jpgOnce the pork has cooked for about six minutes on both sides, everything is done! Just use a fork to mash up the apples and you’re good to go.

20130719-111837.jpgThe pork was the juiciest I’ve ever had. It was so good that even an iPhone picture was able to capture it’s perfection!

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Fig and Arugula Salad

4 cups arugula or arugula blend
4 fresh figs, quartered
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

Heat coconut oil in skillet and toast pine nuts in oil. In serving bowl, combine arugula, figs, and toasted pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with olive oil and vinegar.

Almond Crusted Pork Chops

2 pork chops, about 1/3 lb. each and 1 and 1/4 inches thick
1 egg
3/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Heat coconut oil in large skillet. Crack egg into small bowl and scramble, and mix almond meal and garlic on a small plate. Salt and pepper the lamb chops and dip them in the raw egg. Coat them in almond mixture. Cook in the skillet for about six minutes on each side.

Homemade Whole30 Applesauce

4 sweet apples (Royal Gala is a great choice)
3/4 cup water, plus 1/4 cup
cinnamon to taste

Core apples and cut into large chunks, approximately 10 pieces per apple. Combine with 3/4 cup water and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer. When water is fully absorbed, add additional 1/4 cup. After a total of 20-25 minutes, remove apples from stove and mash using a potato masher or fork.

Chicken Avocado Stuffed Pepper

Chicken Avocado is quite possibly the world’s best sandwich filler. Part chicken salad, part guacamole? Yes, please! When I’m staying away from bread, I love stuffing the mixture into a red pepper. It’s the perfect thing to pack for lunch the day after you roast chicken for dinner!

I love this recipe because the veggies are raw. It feels so good to know that I’m getting maximum nutrition out of my food by eating it in its natural state. Depending on what I have in my fridge, I like to experiment with different ingredients. Sometimes I’ll add spinach or corn, or swap out the basil for cilantro. This recipe is the basis for endless variations!

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Chicken Avocado Stuffed Red Pepper

1 large cooked chicken wing, cooled
1 red pepper
1 ripe avocado
1/2 tsp garlic powder, plus more to taste
1 tbsp fresh basil (1 tsp dried)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Pull chicken from bone and chop into small pieces. Mash avocado with chicken, spices, and lemon juice. Stuff mixture into pepper, halved lengthwise.

Tuna and Grape Salad

I want to create Paleo mayonnaise, but the blender I have is unfortunately not up to the task. I need to get a proper food processor before I can begin that challenge.

In the meantime, I have been creating mayo-free tuna salads. One of my favorites involves chickpeas, but since I’m in the middle of a Whole30, that recipe is off limits! I had a bit of a sweet tooth this morning, so I whipped up this version for lunch. The grapes give a nice, light juiciness, the celery adds crunch, and the dates give it the touch of sweetness I was craving. Dried cranberries would work well in this recipe too, possibly better than the dates, but I can’t eat them these days. Give them a try and let me know how it is!

20130715-200512.jpgTuna and Grape Salad

5-6 romaine leaves, or other lettuce leaves for wrapping

6 oz can of tuna, drained

approximately 12 grapes, halved

1 stalk celery, chopped into small pieces

2 Medjool dates, pitted and minced OR small handful dried cranberries

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp dried dill

salt and pepper to taste

Separate and wash romaine leaves and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Scoop onto lettuce leaves, fold, and enjoy!

Whole30 Food Log, Days 1-10

I’ve completed the first third of my Whole30! The experience has been incredible so far. Although being on antibiotics (only four days left!) has aggravated my chronic health issues, the rest of my body feels amazing and I can tell it is a result of this new way of eating. I already know I’ll incorporate more Paleo meals into my diet after the program is over.

I’m keeping a food log during the Whole30 process and I’d like to share it with you! I hope that it can help you if you decide to do your own Whole30. An important thing to point out is that I’ve never felt hungry or dissatisfied during this process. It’s quite the opposite: I’ve felt a good deal more satisfied with my meals. Bloating has decreased tremendously and I feel light as a feather. I actually experienced a bizarre hour or two yesterday where I felt like I was missing something, only to realize that it was simply the absence of the sluggish, heavy feeling that comes with feeling too full!

I’m following the guidelines of the Whole30 program with the exception of one recommendation. Whole9 advises against, but doesn’t strictly prohibit, smoothies. I’ve decided to continue to drink them (with only Whole30 compliant ingredients, of course!) because they are a great way to quickly fill up at breakfast and because I love them! I haven’t been having them every day, however, so I feel confident that I’m still succeeding at one of the programs primary goals, which is to break unhealthy food addictions. I’ve also fallen totally in love with dairy-free smoothies – something I probably would never have tried if it weren’t for this program. Coconut milk is the bomb!

Whole30 Food Log, Days 1-10

Day 1
Breakfast РScrambled Eggs with Saut̩ed Spinach and Banana, Peach, and Coconut Smoothie
Lunch – Baked Chicken and Sweet Potato
Snack – Roasted Almonds
Dinner – Beef Stew and Watermelon Slices
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Day 2
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, Peach Slices, Banana, and Chamomile Tea
Lunch – Beef Stew
Snack – Roasted Almonds
Dinner – Garlic Salmon with Asparagus and Kale, Apple
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Day 3
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs, Asparagus, Fruit Salad of Blueberry, Watermelon, Apple, and Mint, and Chamomile Tea
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Lunch – Roasted Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad
Snack – Avocado
Dinner – Asian Roast Chicken with Carrots and Red Pepper and Banana with Carob Powder

Day 4
Breakfast – Fried Eggs and Banana, Apple, Spinach, Basil, Coconut Smoothie
Lunch – Baked Chicken and Roasted Artichokes
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Snack – Raw Cashews and Chamomile Tea
Dinner – Turmeric Spiced Salmon with Kale and Carrot Stir-Fry and Half a Microwaved Sweet Potato

Day 5
Breakfast – Half a Microwaved Sweet Potato and Raw Cashews
Lunch – Salad from Great Food Hall Salad Bar
Snack – Raw Cashews and Banana
Dinner РAlmond Crusted Pork Chops with Saut̩ed Cabbage and Peaches

Day 6
Breakfast – Asian Style Scrambled Eggs (made with Coconut Aminos and Cilantro) and Minted Avocado Smoothie
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Lunch – Spinach Salad with Roasted Chicken Breast, Roasted Red Pepper, Roasted Garlic, and Beetroot
Snack – Roasted Almonds and Banana
Dinner – Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Pepper Ragu and Blueberries with Coconut Milk

Day 7
Breakfast РAlmond Crusted Pork Chop, Saut̩ed Spinach, and Blueberries with Coconut Milk
Lunch – Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Pepper Ragu
Snack – Banana
Dinner – Chicken Breast with Cilantro Carrot Slaw and Microwaved Sweet Potato
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Day 8
Breakfast – Scrambled Eggs and Peach, Pear, Banana, Coconut, and Mint Smoothie
Lunch – Almond Crusted Pork Chops and Cilantro Carrot Slaw
Snack – Roasted Almonds and 1/2 an Apple
Dinner – Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps and Blueberries and Raspberries
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Day 9
Breakfast – Oven Baked Salmon and Blueberries and Raspberries in Coconut Milk
Lunch – Roasted Pumpkin with Asian Ground Beef

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Snack – Banana and Raw Cashews
Dinner – Grilled Calamari Appetizer and Organic Chicken Breast with Avocado and Spinach at Divino (Yes, eating out during a Whole30 is possible!)

Day 10
Breakfast – Banana and Raw Cashews
Lunch – Salad from Great Food Hall Salad Bar
Snack – Raw Cashews
Dinner – Rotisserie Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Carrot Juice

Before I started this program, I didn’t know if I would be able to make it through, but now I’m happy that I still have 20 days left! I actually find this diet easier to stick with than my normal diet, probably because I love the challenge. I’m interested to see if my eating patterns change over the course of the next 20 days or if I continue to eat the same general breakdown of food as I did in the first ten.

Cilantro Carrot Slaw

As a food blogger and creator of recipes I often struggle with how original a recipe needs to be to truly call it my own. When is an altered recipe merely adapted, and when does it become an entirely new creation?

I found this recipe for Carrot and Cilantro Salad shared by Debbie from Easy Natural Food. She got the recipe from Cuisine Magazine and altered the proportions slightly.

When I made my version, I did a little more than alter. I consider it to be an entirely new recipe, albeit strongly inspired by Debbie’s post.

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Since I’m in the middle of a Whole30, I swapped out the honey for 1/2 a shredded pear. I used a variety that is still rather firm upon ripening in order to avoid it turning to mush when I grated it. I’m a major lover of combining cilantro and lime, so I went with lime juice instead of lemon juice. I also drastically decreased the amount of onion in the recipe. I did this mainly because I have a hard time tolerating large amounts of raw onion, but the tangy flavor from the cilantro and onion was just enough. I wouldn’t add more even if I could!
20130710-213725.jpgThis slaw was unexpectedly delicious. It’s always nice to include an entirely raw dish in your menu plan! Whether you want to follow my recipe, Debbie’s recipe, or make up your own, I highly recommend it! And if you have the option, splurge for some organic carrots. In my experience, the organic variety taste infinitely better – a difference I don’t notice between the organic and regular versions of most produce.

Cilantro Carrot Slaw

Serves 2-3

2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 pear, grated (firmer varieties work best)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tbsp onion, minced
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and toss to coat with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Pepper Ragu

Comfort food is not the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of alternative diets, but this Whole30 compliant meal is the ultimate in comfort. It might just be that I haven’t eaten pasta in five months, but the creamy texture of the butternut squash was more satisfying than I remember pasta to be – and I felt healthy and energetic after eating it. None of that post-pasta sluggishness here!

20130710-175123.jpgTo make the sauce, I combined my favorite tried-and-true roasted red pepper sauce recipe with sautéed ground beef. When I make the red pepper sauce, I like to make a huge batch and save it in divided portions in the freezer. When I know I’ll need it, I move a portion to the fridge to defrost while I’m at work.

This is a great grain-free meal for anyone, whether you normally eat grains or not. And if you are grain-free, Paleo, or in the middle of a Whole30, this is the perfect meal for entertaining non-Paleo friends or getting your kids to enjoy a seriously healthy dish.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Red Pepper Ragu

Serves 4

1 large butternut squash halved and seeded
3 cups roasted red pepper sauce or Paleo spaghetti sauce of choice
1 lb. ground beef

If using homemade sauce, make your sauce before preparing the rest of the meal.

Place butternut squash halves face up on baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

While squash cools, brown ground beef in a skillet, adding the red pepper sauce when the meat is just cooked through. Stir until hot and bubbly and take saucepan off heat.

Remove skin from the squash and cut into small cubes, or use a small melon-baller to scoop out bite-sized pieces of squash. Serve covered with red pepper ragu.

Minted Avocado Smoothie

Nick and I used to frequent a salad chain in Hong Kong called Dressed. I’ve stopped going because I found some much better salad spots, but Dressed carries one menu item that can’t be beat: the Minted Avocado Smoothie.

Dressed’s version is made with avocado, yogurt, simple syrup, and mint. I would say it’s inexplicably delicious, but it’s unfortunately quite easy to explain: simple syrup makes everything delicious. Needless to say, I don’t order the smoothie anymore, and especially not during my Whole30!

This homemade version is sugar-free and still refreshing and tasty. It’s extremely different from the original, but still delicious and great for a filling breakfast on-the-go.

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Minted Avocado Smoothie

1 ripe avocado
1 ripe pear
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh mint leaves
large handful ice

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Depending on the consistency of your coconut milk, your smoothie may be quite thick. Add more ice or water until it reaches the desired consistency.

This recipe is shared on Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. Check it out for great, healthy recipes from my fellow bloggers!

Do What You Pin: Roasted Artichokes

I remember the first time I encountered whole artichokes. I was at dinner at a close friend’s parent’s house, and I mistakenly tried to eat the entire leaf. I felt quite embarrassed at the time, but it’s been over five years since that experience, and I’ve never been served another whole artichoke, so I suppose the rarity of the dish could account for some of my confusion.

When I came across this tutorial for roasted artichokes at Pinch My Salt, knew it was something I wanted to try. I’m always looking for new side dish options, and vegetable sides are especially important during my Whole30, when I can’t fill a third of my plate with a grain.

Here’s what I started with:

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I cut off the top third of the artichokes…

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…and the stems…

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…and stuffed them with garlic cloves. I then drizzled lemon juice, olive oil, and salt over the artichokes and wrapped them in tin foil smeared with more olive oil.

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Into the oven they go!

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I cooked them for an hour and they came out PERFECTLY.

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I’ve only had whole artichokes twice in my life, but these were the best ones I’ve ever had. The hearts were indescribably delicious. And eating the roasted cloves of garlic cooked in the center wasn’t a chore either.🙂

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I’ll definitely be serving these the next time I cook for my family or friends. Such a great food for a dinner party! Check out Pinch My Salt for a great tutorial to make your own!