Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Persian Spiced Lamb with Carrot and Fennel Slaw and Whole30 Day 20

It was another early morning at Clark Floyd CrossFit. I had a few pieces of honeydew before class, but it wasn't enough to stop me from falling flat on my face during clapping push ups. Ummm, I'm sure I'll do better next time. After class, we were in a HUGE hurry to get to work so Kevin had the idea to put some eggs and frozen veggies in a microwaveable container and nuke them for a few minutes. In reality, we had to microwave it for so long that we may as well have just thrown it all in a frying pan. So just let that be a lesson for you. The end result was tasty, filling and, unfortunately, enjoyed in my car on the way to work.

For lunch I made my Sunny California Salad recipe. I also had an apple with raisins and pecans later in the afternoon.

I really wanted to try something new for dinner so I scoured the kitchen for inspiration. I had ground lamb, fennel, carrots and a spice cabinet just waiting to be explored. I decided to make a carrot and fennel slaw with Persian spiced lamb. Kevin manned the stove while I made the slaw and when we sat down to eat, both of our bellies were happy to enjoy the fruits of our labor. We each threw in a small sweet potato on the side because we like to eat...a lot.

After dinner I had a small snack bowl with sliced banana, raisins and coconut milk. I still feel like my nighttime snack is usually more out of habit than hunger (damn, those habits...they really are hard to break) so for the remainder of my Whole30 I've decided to try and go without my after dinner snack. I don't usually eat dinner until close to 7:30 or 8:00 anyway so there is really no  reason to eat again. I just like my little snack time!

So I haven't gotten too much into my thoughts about this Whole30 and I will save most of it for after my 30 days have been completed, but I do feel much more in tune with my body. I can more accurately gauge which foods give me digestive issues, such as too many nuts or eating too late in the evening. I have also forced myself to open up the possibilities of what I consider "snack" foods. I used to stick mostly to fruits, nuts, nut butters, and Lara Bars. Now I will have jerky, veggies and salsa, lunch meat or even leftovers from a previous meal. I feel like it has taken me almost completing this Whole30 to realize much of this, which makes me wonder what I will do when I am through. I think I will continue to eat this way, but maybe with occasional exceptions, like actually being able to taste test the Paleo treats I am making to enter in the Kentucky State Fair culinary competition or sneaking a bit of 90% dark chocolate into the movies (shhh, don't tell). I don't think foods like almond butter and dark chocolate will sneak back into my diet as daily staples. I do think that I will continue to listen more closely to my body so I can feed it foods that make it feel happy and healthy.

But we can talk more about that later. For now, let's talk about this Persian Spiced Lamb recipe...

Persian Spiced Lamb with Carrot and Fennel Slaw
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 20
Total Time: 35


>For the slaw
4 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 fennel bulb, shredded
4 celery hearts, thinly sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp coriander
Salt and pepper to taste

>For the meat
1 lb ground lamb
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen peas
1 large handful spinach

>For the slaw
-Combine carrots, cabbage, fennel and celery in a large bowl.
-In a smaller bowl, stir together olive oil, lemon juice, coriander, salt and pepper.
-Pour olive oil mixture over slaw and stir well until shredded vegetables are evenly coated.

>For the meat
-Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
-When skillet is hot, add ground lamb, stirring often to break meat up as it cooks.
-When lamb has thoroughly browned, about 7-8 minutes, add all spices and frozen peas. Cook until heated through, about 5 more minutes, stirring to incorporate spices.
-Add spinach to skillet and continue to cook until spinach is wilted, 2-3 minutes.
-Divide meat mixture evenly among 4 plates and serve alongside slaw.