So here we are in the midst of Holy Week and taking on the final week, week 7 of the Whole30 we vowed to keep all of Lent.

Review of Week 6: Last week we started testing dairy. Just one day - three portions of dairy consumed at three different times through the day with meals.  No big surprise there...it didn't go well for me.  It wasn't quite as BAD as I expected, but it wasn't good either.  It definitely caused digestive issues.  Dairy and  didn't seem to cause any obvious signs in my older son or my husband but dairy did possibly cause some digestive issues with my younger son - but not to the degree it caused me.

Unfortunately, my digestive issues with dairy lasted long enough that on our Wheat/Gluten Test Day, I wasn't 100% sure if it was the gluten or just the dairy still in my system.  I'll have to retry it to be sure, but I feel fairly confident that it was much more the dairy than the gluten for me.    Gluten also didn't seem to cause any obvious signs in my husband or sons.... nevertheless, my husband and I have read enough about this culprit to know that excessive consumption can lead to problems- and - strangely enough- though he didn't notice any overt signs, he didn't gain but he also didn't lose any weight during this week that we tried dairy and wheat/gluten.  Coincidence?  I think not.  We also noted feeling a bit sluggish the day of gluten.  Again.... coincidence?  We'll have to try it again another time, away from the dairy and compare results.

So What's Happening For Week 7?  Yesterday was Legumes.  This one we were hoping would not cause problems so that we could still rely on them for a good protein source next year during Lent when we typically fast from animal products. Besides the obvious 'gas' issues most people associate with legumes that I and my youngest certainly experienced, my husband got severe swelling in legs...something he hasn't experienced during all of the Whole30.  🙁   He loves peanut butter.  I think almond butter has found a permanent residency in our home.

This Thursday we will test non-gluten grains (rice, corn, etc.).

Sunday (EARRRRLY on Sunday - our service starts very late Saturday night and into the wee small early hours of Sunday morning) will be the celebration of Pascha (referred to as Easter in the West).  Traditionally, we make a Pascha Basket filled with ham, numerous cheeses, butter, Eggs, Horseradish, Salt, and of course, Pascha Bread - a large round loaf of bread made of white flour, eggs, milk and honey....hmmmm....   We will consume foods in the basket in the Church social hall with our church family admist many Orthodox greeting of "Christ is Risen!" Usually my husband makes a TON of Pascha bread.  He's at least limiting it this year.  We'll just have a small batch but it's a tradition that, at this point in our lives, just has to be had!  I will also be buying less cheese. I only have one package of raw cheddar for the basket.  There will also be chocolate, wine, and a few extra sweet goodies.  It will definitely be a 'feast of feasts' after the fast but not to the degree it has been for us in past years.

Week 7 Menu:

Monday:

Breakfast:  Fried Eggs served over a bed of sweet potatoes and kale mixed with sausage and onions.  Also, as this was Legume Testing day, we had an apple with peanut butter on the side.

Lunch:  We went grocery shopping during lunch hours...I know, but it was the only way to make the rest of the day work...so lunch was RX bars and cucumbers and carrots with humus.  The rest of the week will be leftovers as usual aside from Thursday (see below)

Dinner:  Mexican (Taco Salad) - I wasn't sure it would be all that good without the chips, cheese and sour cream...but it was great!  See recipe below!

Tuesday:

Breakfast:  Fried Eggs over sautéed kale mixed with green beans and onions

Dinner:  Chicken Legs, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli

Wednesday:

Breakfast:  Tomato Spinach Frittata

Dinner:  Crab Cakes over a bed of greens served with sliced tomatoes,  berries

Thursday:

Breakfast:  We'll be fasting this day as we have a liturgy service in the morning - but I will have rice balls with a side of mango prepared to eat after the service.

Lunch:  When we get home we will have corn with whatever leftovers we have for this day.

Dinner:  Gluten Free Pancakes with Sage Sausage and Cinnamon Apples

Friday:

Breakfast:  Scrambled Eggs, Sweet Potatoes or Kale

Dinner:  Ratatouille

Saturday:  Scrambled Eggs, Sweet Potatoes or Kale

Lunch:  Leftover Ratatouille

Dinner - No dinner today.... we will be fasting for the service tonight so lunch will be eaten just a little later.

Sunday:  We will be exhausted.  We typically do not get home until at least 4 in the morning.  I've tried for years to still have the traditional sit down Ham and Mashed Potatoes dinner but it just doesn't work.  This year we may have to take our daughter back to school on this day too so breakfast, lunch and dinner will be a 'whatever you can gather from the fridge and Pascha Basket on your own kind of day"...except for the little guy... I'll get him his food too!

 

Recipe:

Paleo Taco Salad

This is a really simple dish that whips up in no time.

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs ground meat
  • Taco Seasoning  (I use the same one I used back in our NON-Paleo days)
  • Romaine Lettuce, cut fine
  • 2-4 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
  • black olives, sliced or whole (pitted)
  • avocados
  • Awesome Sauce* (or some other Paleo Taco Style Sauce)

Directions:  Simply fry the meat mixed with some onion and taco seasoning.  Serve over a bed of the other ingredients.  Top with Melissa Joulwan's Awesome Sauce (Found in Well Fed 2) or another Paleo Taco Style Sauce of your choice.

Do you have any other suggestions for toppings for a Paleo Taco Salad??

 

 

 

 

 

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During the second year of my marriage I bought one of those little casserole cookbooks by the checkout line. I loved that cookbook. Our favorite recipe from it was called Cornbread Taco Bake. I made this recipe at least once a month until about seven years ago.... that's when we changed our diet and I wasn't sure how to do the recipe. A lot of my recipes went by the wayside when we changed our diet because I didn't know how to substitute certain ingredients. Along the way I learned how to do that for the majority of my recipes but sort of forgot about others. I came upon the recipe for the Cornbread Taco Bake just the other day and thought, wow.... there's GOT to be an easy way to make my own cornbread mix rather than using the icky prepackaged mixes I use to by and now I have found organic french fried onions that don't contain a lot of the artificial ingredeints that the brand names do. So I googled homemade cornbread mix and this is what I came up with (with a minor substituteion of my own).

HOMEMADE CORNBREAD MIX

4 cups flour (I use a mix of whole wheat and white: whole wheat is much healthier but a mix offers the same texture as what most people are use to)
1 TBSP salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup aluminum free baking powder
1 cup solid vegetable shortening (I actually used half a cup of nonrefined coconut oil and 1/2 cup organic vegetable shortening - it turned out quite well! I will probably use all coconut oil next time!)
4 cups cornmeal

Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. With a pastry blender or using a mixer, blend this mixture until mixed well and fine. Add the cornmeal mix.

The original recipe says to store this in an airtight container for 3-4 months. I see no reason for this as it calls for nothing that requires refridgeration. My homemade bisquick mix calls for this too and I've never refrigerated it and have kept it around for many months....6 or 7. So I'm not refrigerating mine. I will see how it does.

FOR MIXING CORNBREAD

Combine 2 1/2 cups of your cornbread mix with 1 egg and 1 1/4 cup milk. Mix unitl the dry ingredients are well moistened. Pour into a greased 8" square pan or muffin pan and bake at 425 degrees for 15-25 minutes (depending on pan you are using of course) until golden brown and bread springs back when lightly touched.

CORN BREAD TACO BAKE

1 1/2 - 2 pounds ground beef or venison
1 package taco seasoning mix (or make your own like I did! See recipe below!)
1/2 cup water
1 can whole kernal corn (organic preferred...otherwise it's GMO in the United States)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups corn muffin mix prepared with egg and milk as directed in recipe above
3 oz. french fried onions
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby or monteray jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In large skillet, brown ground meat. (My venison doesn't have much liquid...if your meat does, you may want to drain it at this point.) Stir in taco seasoning, water, corn, green pepper and tomato sauce; pour mixture into 2 quart casserole dish. Prepare corn bread mix as directed and stir in HALF of the french fried onions. Spoon corn muffin batter along the edge of the beef mixture (so that there is a round open hole in the center- this is just for looks though so you could just spread it across the top of the whole casserole) Bake, uncovered at 400degrees for 20 minutes or until cornbread is done. Top the cornbread with cheese and remaining onions; bake, uncovered, 1-3 minutes or until onions are golden brown.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING

1 heaping TBLSP chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or 2-3 cloves fresh garlic)
1/4 tsp onion powder (or 1/2-1 tblsp fresh onion, minced)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dreid oregeno
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt* There is a huge difference between ordinary table salt and sea salt. If you have been told to watch your salt intake, this is the salt you should be using (It's the salt you should be using even if you haven't been told that. There are processing issues that make table salt bad for you... but that's all for another post, another day....)

Mix all the ingredients together. This makes ONE serving or the amount to be used if a recipe calls for one package of taco seasoning mix. You can double, triple the recipe, etc. and store it in an airtight container for safekeeping!

ENJOY!