Monday, June 29, 2015

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa + 30 Days of Dinner

If you follow me at all on Instagram, you might have noticed less photos of cocktails and macarons and more photos of dinners. After a school year full of hours of daily carpool commuting, a big house move, and lots of work crammed into little time, I needed to get back to healthy eating. A few years ago I did a Whole30 and ate a "clean" diet for a good chunk of time. It was difficult to keep up, but I had more energy, slept better, and had a more positive outlook on things in general. So I decided to give it another go and just finished up another Whole30.

And I've been feeling so good this time around that I decided to extend it to a Whole60. I always find people sharing their menus and recipes super helpful and since I've already received questions from lots of people about this particular Whole30, I thought I'd share our month of meals. This is not going to turn into a Paleo food blog -- I plan on posting just once a month -- and if you have no interest in it, feel free to not read these particular posts!

I've found that I am most successful at Whole30s when I keep up our regular social life (even though that means not cocktailing when we're out with friends), eating out on the weekends (ordering as clean eats as I can find), and cooking extras to have plenty of food for leftovers (that way I have food already cooked for breakfast and lunch). So my month of meals generally means I'm cooking most weekday nights, but eating out or leftovers on the weekends.

One of my most favorite foods is sushi, but rice is a no go on Whole30. And even though I generally dislike cooked seafood, I've been on the hunt for recipes so that I still incorporate fish into our diet. This salmon was a big hit and was super easy to make. For the most part, the kids eat the main protein and vegetables we have, and then I add in an extra carb source for them (e.g., rice, quinoa, bread, etc.). Read through for the recipe and our full 30 days of meals at the end -- I started on a Wednesday, so that's when my meals start, but use the 30 days however you wish!

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa

- 2 lbs salmon, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp black pepper

for the Avocado Salsa:
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- juice from 2 limes
- 1-2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
- salt to taste

1. Mix the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper together, rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and this seasoning mix.
2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Pre-heat the grill.
4. Combine the avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Chill until ready to use.
5. Grill the salmon to desired doneness (I do just about 5 minutes total).
6. Top with avocado salsa.

Monthly Meal Plan 

Day 1 (W) -- Grilled Balsamic Chicken, broiled sweet potatoes, and green salad
Day 4 (Sat) -- dinner out - I had Greek meatballs and a salad
Day 5 (Sun)-- dinner out - I had a tomato "sandwich" and more veggies (thus, also leftover stew when I got home)

Day 7 (Tues) -- Lemon Chicken with Red Onion, Roasted Green Beans, and leftover cauliflower + carrot puree
Day 8 (W) -- Greek Meatballs with Avocado Tzatziki Sauce and veggie kabobs (I just slice and toss veggies in olive oil and spices, skewer them, and grill them for a few minutes)
Day 9 (Th) -- Italian Baked Eggs (sans cheese and bread) over sweet potato "noodles" and green salad 
Day 10 (F) -- Carne Asada with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa and baked sweet potato fries (this steak was delicious and is my new favorite steak recipe!)
Day 11 (Sat) -- dinner out - I had a burger and brussels sprouts
Day 12 (Sun) -- dinner out - I had a green salad with grilled chicken and brussels sprouts 

Day 13 (M) -- Citrus Bacon Shrimp + Grilled Stonefruit Salad (kids had pasta and meatballs)
Day 14 (Tues) -- Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos (in romaine lettuce "tortillas") and veggie kabobs 
Day 15 (W) -- Avocado Turkey Burgers, sweet potato fries, brussels sprouts, and watermelon 
Day 16 (Th) -- leftovers
Day 17 (F) -- dinner "out" - WholeFoods salad bar
Day 18 (Sat) -- dinner out - it was my first birthday dinner so I had oysters, steak, and potatoes with duck confit 
Day 19 (Sun) -- dinner out - my second birthday dinner :) I had oysters, a burger, and a baked potato 

Day 20 (M) -- Paleo Burgers and veggie kabobs
Day 21 (Tues) -- Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa over paleo rice and veggie kabobs 
Day 22 (W) -- Sweet Potato Chili (the kids LOVED this!) and Roasted Green Beans 
Day 23 (Th) -- leftovers + brinner for the kids 
Day 24 (F) -- dinner "out" - WholeFoods salad bar
Day 25 (Sat) -- dinner party at our house - I made Whole30-compliant food and a pasta salad for our friends, who also graciously brought more carbs and sweets for them :) I made Bacon-Wrapped Dates for an appetizer (without brown sugar and some without goat cheese for me and also served charcuterie), Carne Asada, and Sweet Roasted Beets with Herb Citrus Dressing
Day 26 (Sun) -- leftovers

Day 28 (Tues) -- Paleo Chicken Nuggets and Parsnip Fries (my nuggets did not turn out as nuggets, more like a coconut chicken stir fry. So I added cashews and it was delicious)
Day 30 (Th) -- leftovers, sweet potato wedges, and green salad

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