Whole 30 Day 16

Phew, is it Friday yet?! 4:30 is just so early… I really need to stop whining about that. This week I will try and change my mindset about that especially since I have so much delicious food to eat!
I was super tired this morning so I drank my coffee at 4:30 on my way to work, which really gave me some pep! I bought some roasted ground chicory too and roasted my coffee with that. It took me back to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Well, it wasn’t quite that good, but it was definitely reminiscent of that. I use a french press coffee maker too, so I just combined 2 tbsp of coffee and 1 tbsp of chicory root in the french press and voila, I have 16 oz of Chicory coffee! I never drink all 16 oz, but it’s nice to sip off of another cup when I finish my first :). The chicory just gives the coffee this rich, herbaceous, almost sweet little kick that is just so delicious.
Anyhow, enough about the coffee. Later, for breakfast, I ate a banana and 2 more of my kale egg muffins.
Lunch was a leftover stuffed green pepper and 2 stuffed collard greens.
For snack I had carrots, an apple and a (large) handful of pecans. Pecans are delicious! Slightly more sweet than almonds and much softer. Yet another great complement to the apple.
I got off work a little early today which was awesome so I was able to cook a bit for dinner. I REALLY felt like something cheesy, and pasta-ey, both of which you can’t have on the Whole 30. And while I know it isn’t the Whole 30 mindset to try and make these foods, I set out to do it. I’d heard of a cheese dip you can make with cashews and looked up recipes for that. Then I figured I could julienne and steam some zucchini and yellow squash to resemble pasta.

For the final product I mixed the two together and baked it at 350 for one hour. I even tried to create a crust on top by pulsing a few florets of cauliflower and garlic and sprinkling that on the top. That didn’t really work out too well as a “crust” because the cauliflower has a deceptively large moisture content. It was still delicious though. I mean who doesn’t love “cheesy” cauliflower.
The cheese dip was pretty easy with a vitamin blender. I just used a modified version of the recipe from vegan-heartland.com. Ok, this seems labor intensive, but it really isn’t that bad. I soaked 1 cup of raw cashews in water for 2 hours and drained them. I then pulsed them with a 1/2 cup of yeast, 1 tsp salt, garlic and onion powders.  Enough to make it crumbly, but not enough to turn it into a paste. I then added 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk (you could use almond too I suppose, but that might make it to nutty). I then added 3 tbsp arrowroot powder, the juice of 1 lemon, and 2 tbsp tahini. I put the vitamix on the “hot soup” setting and let that blend away for about 2 minutes, until the sauce thickened. It’s wild how this concoction tastes so much like cheese!

I placed about half of this into my baking dish with the steamed squash, zucchini and tomatoes and baked at 350 for 1 hour.

This was so delicious and you couldn’t tell tho wasn’t a cheese sauce. The zucchini/squash obviously tasted different than the pasta would taste, but it was a delicious, warm, gooey, cheesy mess and definitely satisfied the craving. I had half the dish (whoops) and a stuffed pepper to boot. Maybe a bit excessive, but I was really excited about my “mac and cheese” creation.

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