• shelby

My Whole30 Challenge Diary: Day 27


Mon, March 27th

DISCLAIMER:

If you haven't already read my disclaimer, please click the link HERE from Day 1 of our challenge. As with any lifestyle or dietary change, if you have any questions or concerns, be sure to discuss them with your physician. Also check out the Whole30 website for specifics and additional info.

MARCH MADNESS UPDATE:

To sum up our 2017 March Madness in a nutshell, Duke didn't live up to its expectations (resulting in an unhappy hubs), the Blue Jays flew South rather quickly, and the Nebrasketball-ers didn't even come close to earning a spot on the sidelines.

Even though March Madness isn't officially over at this point, I'd like to announce that I AM officially the winner of our annual 2017 Amateur vs Guru Bracket. Yes, you've read correctly, the amateur once again beats the die-hard Duker. #amateurhourtakesthecake #whosthegurunow?!


GIF compliments of GIPHY.com

I'm about ready to break out in my best 80's victory dance, scrunchie and all. Hubs, I'll take that hot stone massage whenever you're ready! ;)


GIF compliments of GIPHY.com

BREAKFAST:

For breakfast, I had my go-to banana with almond butter and an Apple Pie Lara bar. Not the best Whole30 option, but quick, fast, and tasty, so it worked for me.

LUNCH:

Hubs surprised me with a massage for all my hard work (not my victory hot stone massage though, that's still coming...), so no new kitchen creations were made today. Having a few Whole30 Elk Sliders left, we finished off these for lunch with some fresh fruit and sugar snap peas on the side. The elk sliders did not improve on their photogenic capabilities during their time in the fridge, so I made a game-time decision and decided to do everyone a favor by not including another picture of them. I will however include a photo-friendly fruit pic. :)


TASTE TEST: Fruit is fruit. Pretty standard. It does taste sweeter than I remember pre-Whole30. The elk sliders still tasted fine, though I doused mine with Frank's Red Hot Sauce...

Apologies for the lack of cooking pictures so far, just doing my part to set the bar low for hubs day tomorrow. (kidding hubs!) ;) ​In case you didn't read our latest Whole30 Challenge: Weekend Recap, hubs will be the featured blogger tomorrow for "Takeover Tuesday" to give you an entirely different perspective. He'll be in charge of cooking all the meals, photographing his creations, documenting the day, and sharing it all on the blog. Good luck hubs!

MID-AFTERNOON:

Quick shout out to my Aunt Karen on her birthday today. I'll give her credit for inspiring my creativity in the kitchen (and supplying me with some fancy kitchen accessories that make cooking much easier and way more fun), and she is quite the master chef herself! She even had her own cooking show back in the day, but that's just one of the MANY things she's great at! Happy birthday Aunt Karen!! Both types of cards coming your way in two weeks! :)


GIF compliments of GIPHY.com

DINNER As mentioned previously, for sake of repetition, this week would be dedicated to one new Pinterest inspiration recipe a day, since I've exhausted most of my options by this point. I told hubs I would cook tonight since "Takeover Tuesday" is just around the corner, and he also was hard at work putting Humpty Dumpty Isabella (our vintage sofa) back together again. FYI: He took her apart 6 months ago to fix a spring but didn't know that this project would be quite the uphill battle... to the point where we almost paid someone to haul her away. That's a story and a blog post for another day, but I'm sure you'll get a little teaser in his blog post tomorrow...

Since hubs was working hard upstairs, I let hubs choose the recipe (pending we had most of the ingredients already in the house). He settled on this Whole30 Jerk Chicken & Avocado Mango Salsa recipe from A Saucy Kitchen, which I modified slightly to the one below. To see her original recipe, click here. This recipe is also Paleo-Friendly & Gluten Free.


Before I go into the recipe specifics, I'd like to quickly circle back to Day 1 of our Whole30 Challenge. For a quick refresher, I had discovered a Whole30 Timeline that mentioned the phenomenon of "Tiger Blood" that could be experienced in days 16-27... Well, 26 days ago, I didn't have even the slightest inkling as to what this would entail. My best guess imagined it would look something similar to this...


GIF compliments of GIPHY.com

Well folks, I think it's safe to say, I have the evidence in front of me... aka hubs going to town finishing projects off the honey-do list left and right. Let's just say he made up for lost time this weekend and literally finished a weekend's worth of work in 5 hours. He mowed the lawn, treated the lawn with weed killer, cleaned the patio woodwork, finished a vintage window frame, tackled the laundry pile with me (and even laundered/folded his questionable clean/dirty pile that had been sitting in the spare room for about a month), and put Isabella back together! Humpty Dumpty Izzy is back to good ol' Isabella! His new motto... "If at first you don't succeed, try again 6 months later with Tiger Blood." :)


GIF compliments of GIPHY.com

Main Recipe Modifications: Since I didn't have all of the ingredients in the original recipe, I put on my thinking cap and flexed my creative muscle. I didn't have any dates in the house or a scotch bonnet (heck, I don't even know what that is!), and only had ground ginger instead of fresh ginger, and I may have been short on the lime juice and 1 avocado...but I made it work. Since I was dateless, my first idea was a fruity Lara bar as I know they are made of dates, but apparently I finished the last one off this morning... On to creative idea #2... Thinking about the consistency and sweetness of a date, and what options I actually had available to use to avoid a grocery run, I decided to substitute 2 dried apricots (and 1 tablespoon of coconut milk just for fun) for the missing date. I also omitted the scotch bonnet altogether and made the other switches as necessary for the ginger and missing lime/avocado. Thankful I didn't have to make a trip to the store, and hopeful it would all taste ok, I gave the recipe a whirl.


TASTE TEST: The avocado mango salsa complimented the chicken perfectly. The dish was a lovely blend of sweet with a little spice and chock full of flavor. Hubs comment, "That was finger-lickin' good" as he literally scraped the last of the salsa with his middle finger...(because, "That was the longest finger for the bowl...") Oh hubs...


Whole30 Jerk Chicken & Avocado Mango Salsa

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

JERK PASTE MARINADE:

  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

  • 3 green onions, chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño pepper

  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 date, seed removed (I used 2 apricots instead since I was dateless)

  • juice from 1 lime

  • sea salt to taste

  • freshly ground pepper to taste

AVOCADO MANGO SALSA:

  • 2 large mangos (peeled, pitted, and diced)

  • 2 avocados, pitted and diced (I only had 1 and it still worked well)

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

  • juice from 2 limes (I used 1 lime and it still was an A+)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño pepper

STEPS:​

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine all marinade ingredients and process until fully mixed and smooth to make jerk paste marinade.

  2. Coat chicken breasts with the jerk paste. Place in large ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, but preferably 2 hours.

  3. Make the avocado mango salsa by combining all salsa ingredients in a bowl and place in fridge until ready to use.

  4. After chicken has marinated, take chicken out of the fridge. Preheat grill or skillet pan to medium-high heat, then place the chicken on the hot grill or skillet pan. Cook each side for 4-6 minutes. Keep cooking until chicken has internal temperature of 165°F. (I put a lid on my pan to retain the heat.)

  5. Remove chicken from heat and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

  6. Serve the chicken with avocado mango salsa and enjoy!

POST-DINNER Stay tuned tomorrow for "Takeover Tuesday"!!

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