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August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration

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Participating in the worldwide official Whole30® challenge this month? Congrats—you’re halfway there!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

You’ve valiantly persevered through bouts of carb flu and white-knuckled your way past the infamous “KILL ALL THE THINGS” phase. At this point, that Tiger Blood coursing through your veins is feeling pretty good. But despite your newfound superhero status, one nagging thought keeps flitting in and out of your brain like that jerkwad mosquito that buzzes by your ear at bedtime:

“I’m sick and tired of cooking every meal.”

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Yep. You’re thisclose to throwing out all your organic veggies and falling face first into a bag of cheesy poofs.

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I totally sympathize. Cooking and planning meal after meal (after meal after meal) can be a royal pain in the butt, so that’s why I try to make my dishes as pain-free and flavor-packed as possible. As much as it seems like a thankless chore, cooking at home with wholesome ingredients is one of the most important things you can do for your family—and it doesn’t have to suck the life out of you.

Here’s the thing: As I said in my Whole30 primer/survival guide, simple and quick does the trick. The majority of the recipes on my blog (and just about all of the recipes in my cookbook!) are Whole30-friendly, and all of ’em are rookie-proof. In fact, they all reflect the way I eat on an everyday basis. I’m the queen of lazy, so if I can do it, you can, too.

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And now, I’ve got even more Whole30-compliant recipes that you can whip up as you enter the home stretch, including essential flavor boosters, simple veggie sides, and family-friendly entrées! Best of all, these dishes pack a whole lotta bang for the buck, and belong in your repertoire even if you’re not on a Whole30.  

Ready to get reinvigorated?

Flavor Boosters

Don’t have time to make something complicated? Just slather your simply-cooked meats and veggies with a flavor-popping sauce and POW—you’re done. 

First up: Whole30 Paleo Sriracha!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

The toughest part of this recipe is sourcing red jalapeño peppers, but you can easily substitute green jalapeños, Fresno peppers, or a combination of spicy and sweet fresh peppers. Also, don’t touch your eyes or mucous membranes with your chili-tainted fingers. Gloves were invented for a reason, and that reason was SRIRACHA.

Hot ’n spicy not your thing? Then try my Tonnato Sauce!

Yeah, I know the combination of anchovies, capers, and tuna might sound weird to some of you, but this sauce is truly magical: it’s packed with umami and makes everything taste better—from hard-boiled eggs and grilled veggies to roasted chicken breast and crudités. My tonnato sauce keeps in the fridge for about a week, so it’s perfect in a pinch.

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Simple Veggie Sides

The two easiest ways to get vegetables on the table? Make a salad or cook your veggies in the oven (or in my case, the toaster oven). Both methods produce delicious results, and ensure that your hands-on time in the kitchen is kept to a minimum. Win-win! 

Heirloom Tomato and Basil Salad is a no-brainer in summer months because tomatoes are at their peak. Besides, who wants to labor over a hot stove in August?

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

My key tips for this recipe: make sure you never refrigerate your tomatoes, and start marinating your sliced onions in balsamic vinegar as soon as you start making this dish.

(Bonus: you can try this salad at Paleo Bars in select Northern California Whole Foods Market locations until the end of this month!)

Watercress with Seared Prosciutto + Peaches is another favorite of mine. Add a fried egg or two, and you’ve got yourself a complete meal in under 15 minutes.

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

I know: man cannot live on salad alone. So if you don’t mind using your oven during the summer, roast or broil your veggies. It takes just minutes to chop ’em up and season them. Then, leave your vegetables in the oven while you tend to your kids or kick up your heels in front of the boob tube. (Set a timer so you don’t burn them and/or set fire to your home.)

These days, I find myself turning to my trusty toaster oven more often than my wall oven because it doesn’t turn my house into a fiery inferno. Plus, it’s more efficient, and preheats in no time at all.

Almost every vegetable can be roasted or broiled, but my faves are:

Roasted Broccoli and Bacon!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Broiled Zucchini (or Eggplant)!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Roasted Green Beans(And for the millionth time, YES, GREEN BEANS ARE WHOLE30 APPROVED.)

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Easy-Peasy Family-Friendly Entrees

Cross my heart and hope to die: These five main dishes will keep you from calling out for takeout. And these recipes call for minimal equipment, so you won’t need to spend your evening washing your dishes. So give ’em a shot:

Asian Chicken Thighs!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cantonese Egg Custard with Minced Pork!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Fish en Papillote (in Parchment) with Citrus, Ginger, and Shiitake!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Slim Palate’s Pistachio-Crusted Salmon!

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

And last but not least, my crazy-easy Cracklin’ Chicken

August 2014 Whole30 Inspiration by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

(Just make sure you have a sharp pair of kitchen shears and a splatter guard before you crackle that chicken, or you will be cleaning your kitchen after dinner.)

Now, go forth and crush the second half of your Whole30!


Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).