Sunday, June 3, 2012

Paleo Fried Chicken (Whole 30, Day 16)

I realize that at just past the midpoint of my Whole30 I am meant to be declaring my love of the program and thrill at the results I have experienced. I hate to be a party pooper, but I'm finding myself beginning to question the value for me.

Note I said ME. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating in the past, this thing is really causing me to obsess. This issue is addressed on the Whole9 website, and is a quite valid one. Also, I have been following a paleo lifestyle for over a year now. I was already avoiding most of the "bad" foods, so I can't say I've noticed any miraculous positive changes in mood, sleep, performance, weight, etc.

The only change I've noticed was the headache I experienced the first four days, which I am sure was due to cutting out sweetener. I do think it's good that I lessen my use of honey, palm sugar and stevia, but sometimes I wonder if cutting it out totally is a little more extreme than necessary for me.

Documenting and planning my meals for 30 days has kept me from overdoing it, or eating senseless spoonfuls of "paleo" cookie dough and other sweets. I just don't know that avoiding or editing a recipe if it calls for 1 tbs. of palm sugar is worth it though...

I must sound a bit negative, and I honestly don't mean to be. I love a challenge, and planning my meals so far has been a good one. I've cooked lots of good food so far, and hope to continue to do the same. Tonight's dinner, for example, was a slam dunk.

The kids asked for a "salad bar," and in thinking of a protein to go with it I stumbled upon a new-to-me paleo recipe site: TGIPaleo. The site isn't too fancy itself, but so much of the food shared on it is amazingly drool-worthy and inventive. I couldn't get over the photos of their fried chicken, and loved the technique of flash-frying then baking it.

only 1-2 minutes fried on stovetop...
I am not even a HUGE fried chicken fan, but this was amazing. The pepper and paprika in the coating really made for an authentic taste, and the kids, caveman and I all loved it. He has already requested I make it for his kids next week.

I used boneless thighs so it would be easier to serve our fried chicken over salad. While the kids like to just nibble on chicken and plain vegetables, I made a quickie Whole30-compliant dressing for the grown-ups.

Lemon-Mustard Dressing

2 tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. grainy dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of black pepper
4 tbs. olive oil

Stir together lemon juice, mustard and seasonings until well blended. Slowly pour in olive oil and stir with a whisk until combined.

Today's menu:
breakfast - smoothie (1/2 avocado, handful baby spinach, 1/2 frozen banana, ground flax, coconut milk)
lunch - leftover burger salad
snack - 2 slices turkey bologna, handful strawberries
dinner - fried chicken salad