Saturday, May 19, 2012

Avocado Caprese Salad (Whole30 Day 1)

In preparing for my Whole30, I did a lot of web searching for inspiring recipes. I started to get very frustrated that many bloggers would keep record of their mood and cravings, and perhaps give a run-down of a day's menu. Such posts were helpful for some general ideas, but I found most were lacking actual meals to recreate.

I realize that many following a Whole30 don't perhaps cook or eat from recipes. You don't need to follow precise directions to grill up a piece of meat or saute some vegetables. And since the whole notion of the Whole30 program is to avoid "paleofying" cookies, pizza, etc... well, I suppose the dearth of recipes on the subject makes sense.

I want to keep myself motivated and inspired this month, AND offer up something I hope could do the same for others. As such, I want each day I write to include a recipe that I either created to fit with the plan, or found elsewhere that is Whole30 compliant. I think it's nice to have a whole arsenal of recipes at the ready, as this is certainly a plan that requires being prepared.

Here's my day one menu:
breakfast - Paleo Parents pizza egg muffins (recipe follow this week), half an apple with a little raw almond butter on it
lunch - smoothie with spinach, coconut milk, half frozen banana & another tbs. almond butter
snack - two slices Applegate Farms herbed turkey & handful of raw walnuts
dinner - beef sliders over a avocado caprese salad
after dinner - finished off the caprese salad, which probably should have served two! oops.

drinks for the day - 2 cups coffee with just coconut milk & one kombucha, plus lots of water

My thoughts:
I'm proud of myself for finally shunning the stevia from my coffee, and not even taking a bite of my kids' frozen yogurt, cheese slices on their burgers or strawberry-mint limeade I made them (which included a little raw agave). I really think I need to watch both my fruit and nut intake; I know I should try to not dip into the almond butter jar more than once a day! I think my fruit intake was fine, but

For dinner I had planned sliders for my kids, and had originally intended to eat mine with a side of guacamole. I have a guacamole problem, however (I cannot stop eating it!) so I wanted to come up with a recipe that wouldn't use quite so much avocado. I made a rift on the classic caprese salad, with the avocado a perfect creamy substitute for standard fresh mozzarella.

Avocado Caprese Salad

1 large avocado, diced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
handful of basil leaves, thinly chopped
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Combine avocado, tomatoes, onion and basil. In a separate bowl, stir together vinegar, garlic and seasoning. Pour in olive oil in a steady stream and whisk until well blended. Drizzle over salad.

I really think including red pepper flakes gave this a little edge. You could likely use less dressing and oil, as I really saturated my salad and wound up with plenty of dressing on the bottom that I did not eat.

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