Dr. Oz Explains the Whole30 Diet
7 Weight-Loss Friendly Whole30 Recipes For People Who Hate Cooking
While lots of people are obsessed with the diet these days, just as many are turned off by the work it takes.
Billed as a short-term nutrition reset, the program involves 30 days of cutting out a bunch of foods deemed to be hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, and inflammatory, including alcohol and sugar; grains (wheat, oats, corn, rice) and legumes (beans, nuts, soy); dairy (milk, yogurt); additives (carrageenan, MSG, sulfites); and baked or junk foods. Instead, you’ll fill up on loads of veggies and natural fats (like avocados and nuts); moderate amounts of meat, seafood, and eggs; and some fruits. Whole30’s rules also take most prepackaged foods off the menu in place of, well, whole ones. That means you’ll have to prepare most own meals on your own. Add in a few more obscure rules (butter is okay, but only if it’s clarified), and Whole30 recipes have a reputation for requiring a whole lot of cooking.
With that said, plenty of successful Whole30 graduates have attested to impressive benefits of a diet that doesn’t involve counting or restricting calories, including weight loss, higher energy levels, improved athletic performance, better sleep, and enhanced mental clarity.
So what if youhatecooking, but want to try the Whole30? Fortunately, you don’t have to subsist on raw celery dipped in ghee for four weeks to make it through with minimal in-the-kitchen effort. To make things more palatable, we took the work out of Whole30 for you.
Here, seven Whole30 recipes that are easy to whip together in the kitchen in (almost) no time flat, rounded up from from the Whole30 team and registered dietitians who specialize in the diet:
Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde
“We love this recipe because it has just five ingredients and takes just five minutes to prep. The slow cooker does the rest!” says Jessica Beacom, R.D., co-founder of Whole30-friendly nutrition consultancy and recipe blog, The Real Food Dietitians. The following Whole30 recipe from Beacom and co-founder Stacie Hassing serves six to eight, so prepare it now and save the rest in the fridge for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
Place one pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs and one pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts in your slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine one 12-ounce jar salsa verde (choose one without preservatives or added sugars; Beacom recommends the one you can get at Trader Joe’s), one four-ounce can fire roasted green chiles, half a teaspoon ground cumin, and half a teaspoon dried oregano. Pour over chicken. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low heat for four to six hours.
When the chicken’s done cooking, remove the lid and allow it to cool slightly before shredding with forks right in the slow cooker. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to your plate, and serve on top of cauliflower rice or in lettuce wraps topped with chopped fresh cilantro and fresh-squeezed lime, if you’d like.
Related: 7 Women Share How They Lost Weight Without Counting a Single Calorie
Spaghetti Squash with Beef Marinara
“I honestly don't even miss pasta anymore. I've always felt like it just serves as a carrier for other delicious food,” says Stephanie Greunke, R.D., creator of Rock Your Hormones and the Real Food Mamas podcast. “In this case, spaghetti squash serves as the carrier for ghee and meatballs with marinara. It's a great way to get extra veggies in and is kid-friendly.”
First, prepare your “noodles.” Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place squash cut-side down in a large glass baking dish, and add water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes (the squash should look like spaghetti strands and shouldn't be mushy or crunchy).
After the squash has been baking for about 30 minutes, prepare the sauce. Brown one pound of ground beef, turkey, or chicken in a pan with one to two tablespoons of ghee. Once the meat is fully cooked, toss with a jar of Whole30-compliant marinara sauce (Gruenke suggests Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce and Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce from Trader Joe's). Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, use a fork to remove the inside and shred into noodles. Top squash noodles with a cup of beef marinara and serve.
Poached Egg with Tuscan Hash
“Delicious, healthy and super simple, this recipe from my book, Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts on the Go, is perfect for doubling and having for breakfast to reheat at the office or for a simple lunch or dinner,” says Diana Rogers, R.D., founder of SustainableDish.com. “Any ground meat can be used. You can’t mess it up!”
Cook a Japanese sweet potato (while you can roast it in the oven for about 45 minutes, the easiest way is to pop it in the microwave for about five minutes; it’s done when it pierces easily with a fork), then peel and dice it. In a large skillet, melt one tablespoon bacon fat. Add one diced onion and sauté until browned, for about three minutes. Add two cloves minced garlic, the diced sweet potato, one teaspoon fennel seeds, one teaspoon dried rosemary, and one teaspoon dried thyme, and sauté for five minutes. Add one pound pastured ground pork or lamb and continue sautéing until cooked through, about seven minutes. Add three tablespoons minced sun-dried tomatoes and cook for another three minutes, stirring well. Remove the hash from the heat and top with three tablespoons chopped fresh basil.
To poach eggs at your office, crack one to two into a microwave-safe bowl (a glass Pyrex dish works well) and pierce the yolks once with a fork. Microwave on high for 90 seconds (you may need a bit longer). Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and serve over the warm hash.
Learn how to poach an egg perfectly every time:
Cashew Tuna Salad Cucumber Bites
Creamy, crunchy, salty, and packed with flavor, “this healthy, satisfying recipe is ready in 10 minutes or less—no cooking involved,” says Beacom.
In a medium bowl, combine two five-ounce cans tuna, half a cup roughly-chopped broccoli slaw, half a cup diced bell pepper, one-third cup diced red onion, one-quarter cup chopped fresh basil, one-quarter cup roughly chopped dry roasted cashews, the juice from one lemon, half a cup mayo, and sea salt and black pepper to taste. Cut one medium cucumber, into about quarter-inch thick slices. Top tuna salad on cucumber slices; if you’d like, garnish with more chopped fresh basil and chopped cashews.
Related: The Secret Ingredients That Helped These 5 Women Lose 20+ Pounds
Baked Salmon with Cauliflower Rice and Pesto
While homemade sauce might seem fancy, pesto is actually super easy to make. Here’s another delicious Whole30-compliant meal from Greunke that involves buying a few ingredients but zero chopping; you can prepare the pesto and cauliflower rice while you wait for the salmon to bake. This Whole30 recipe makes four portions, so enjoy half now with a roommate or partner and save the other half for the next night’s dinner or a couple of lunches.
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grease a glass baking dish with ghee and add four four-ounce portions of wild salmon. In a bowl, combine one tablespoon minced garlic (which you can buy in prepared jars or frozen), one tablespoon dried dill, two tablespoons lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the salmon and place one-half tablespoon of ghee over each filet. Cover the glass dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes or until salmon is cooked and flakes easily with a fork.
While the salmon is cooking, prepare the pesto. Toss all of the following ingredients into a blender and blend into a paste as you slowly incorporate one and half cups extra-virgin olive oil: three cups packed fresh basil leaves, one-half cup walnuts, three teaspoons minced garlic, one cup spinach leaves, one tablespoon lemon juice, half a teaspoon salt, and half a teaspoon black pepper. This Whole30 recipe makes two cups of pesto, so you’ll have plenty leftover to toss onto other meats or eggs or use as a dressing on salads (tip: it’s good for three days in the fridge, so freeze it if you plan to keep for longer).
Zap four cups of frozen, prepared cauliflower rice in the microwave. When the salmon is done, serve each filet over one cup of cauliflower rice. Top salmon with pesto and enjoy!
(Learn how bone broth can help you lose weight with Women's Health's .)
Zucchini-Wrapped Prosciutto with Basil
“Quick, healthy, and out-of-this-world delicious, I absolutely adore these bursts of flavor,” says Rogers. “These little bundles are a simple appetizer to bring to a party or a nice addition to a soup for lunch.”
To make this Whole30 recipe, you’ll need two zucchini, one bunch of fresh basil, two eight-ounce packages of prosciutto, one lemon, and toothpicks. Slice two zucchini lengthwise using a mandolin (if you don’t have a mandolin, cut it along its length into very thin strips using a sharp knife). Place half of a slice of prosciutto along the length of one zucchini slice, then top with two to three leaves of fresh basil. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. When you’re done making all of the rolls, squeeze a lemon on top of them for a zesty kick. If you’re preparing them ahead of time, cover with plastic wrap and squeeze the lemon on top no more than two hours before serving.
Related: This Is The Diet Jessica Alba Used To Lose 11 Inches In 4 Months
Chicken Bacon Ranch Sweet Potato Bake
“With only seven ingredients and one pan, this recipe is a shortcut for people who can’t stand cooking,” says Beacom.
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Add three small peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, 12 ounces trimmed green beans, one small chopped red onion, three slices chopped no-sugar added bacon (Beacom likes Pedersons Natural Farms No-Sugar Bacon) and one teaspoon dried thyme to the pan, and toss with one tablespoon avocado oil to lightly coat. Brush a little olive oil on one and a half pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs, then layer the chicken on top of the veggies. Dash the entire pan with sea salt and pepper and a bit more thyme. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes (until chicken is cooked through), tossing veggies a couple of times. Remove from oven, drizzle with up to half a cup of Whole30-approved ranch dressing (she recommends Tessemae's Ranch Dressing) and serve.
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