Veggies & Starches

The Return of Whole30

by Shawnda on April 1, 2014

in Breakfast,Vegetarian,Veggies & Starches,Whole30

Whole30 Breakfast: Spicy Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, and Eggs

Hey – remember that time I did Whole30 last year and it was so awesome that I had a very big and very public ugly-cry meltdown (The Meltdown, as we refer to it… when we dare refer to it) in the middle of Whole Foods over the price of strawberries and embarrassed the &^$# out of my husband and freaked out the produce guy?

Guess what. I’m doing it again.

[sarcasm] And y’all. Jason is so excited. [/sarcasm] Because he knows.


I’ve been battling plantar fasciitis for months now – that thing that cost me the marathon – and because “just wait out 12-18 months and let it heal itself” was not what I want to keep hearing over and over, I decided to see if an elimination diet to maybe resolve/reduce inflammation might help.

What have I got to lose? Besides a Blue Bell addiction and – fingers crossed – maybe some of the 12 lbs I’ve gained over the last 3 months by not running and stress-eating and stress-eating even more.

So on a whim – as in, just as I was shoving Jason’s lunch into his hands as he was walking out the door – I made the decision. And the announcement.

And then I got The Look. And then, The Sigh.

Probably because he’s worried about our friends & family seeing me on The News. And having to visit me in The Pokey.

Day 1
The biggest challenge today? Not licking the knife after making Landry’s PB&J for lunch. Otherwise, I’m fine. And everybody’s alive.

Breakfast - Spicy-ish Sweet Potato Hash-ish with green beans and 2 poached eggs.

Lunch - Because we got back from gymnastics and I hadn’t put up breakfast leftovers, I fried 2 eggs and had the same thing.

“Snack” (although you don’t really snack on Whole30 but I don’t know what else to call the tuna salad and broccoli that I ate between lunch and dinner – but I had tuna salad (with homemade mayo) and broccoli.

DinnerSpicy Date-Glazed Salmon, green beans, and baked sweet potato.

Last year at this time, I was feeling pretty confident. But being a little wiser, I know the murderous, sugar-withdrawal rage that is looming in 48 hours. And just want it to hurry up and get here so I can get it over with and hopefully not harm anyone.

Spicy Sweet Potatoes with Green Beans and Poached Eggs

A Whole30-friendly breakfast of spiced sweet potatoes, green veggies, and eggs.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (I use smoked)
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Steam-in-bag green beans
  • 4 eggs, fried or poached


  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pan.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a small sandwich bag and add dried spices - shake to coat well.
  3. Empty the bag into the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, unti. potatoes are fork-tender and nicely caramelized.
  4. Steam the green beans and prepare the eggs, as desired, while potatoes are cooking.
  5. Serve in the potatoes and green beans topped with eggs.
  6. And try not to stab anybody, 'mkay?


Yields: 2 servings

Spice rub from from Spicy Honey-Glazed Salmon

Estimated time: 15 minutes



Goat Cheese & Asparagus Grilled Cheese

Who else went overboard and bought nearly 6lbs of asparagus because it was $.88/lb?

Welcome to the hoarder club!

Who else has eaten roasted asparagus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner pretty much every day?

Welcome to the we-clearly-don’t-understand-hoarding club!

Goat Cheese & Asparagus Grilled Cheese

Cheap asparagus means two things: 1) Spring is just around the corner (and seriously, could it be any slower this year?!) and 2) I probably just justified buying a not-on-the-shopping-list bottle of wine with my new-found savings. Or, you know, three.

Goat Cheese & Asparagus Grilled Cheese

After the pan of Roasted Asparagus with Bacon Vinaigrette disappeared in record time [looks around and whistles], I whipped up second, “plain” pan specifically to use for grilled cheese sandwiches.

And breakfast.

Melty provolone cheese + plus gooey, tangy goat cheese + garlicky, roasted asparagus (+ bacon for Jason’s sandwich because if it’s green and not guacamole it better have bacon and heck, even if it is guacamole, bacon doesn’t hurt) = a pretty darn amazing grilled cheese sandwich.

So go ahead. Celebrate spring’s just-around-the-corner-return with a grilled asparagus & goat cheese sandwich.

Goat Cheese & Asparagus Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese goes spring with tangy goat cheese and roasted asparagus.


  • For the roasted asparagus:
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For the grilled cheese:
  • 2 slices bread (this is my favorite sandwich bread)
  • Butter
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • Leftover roasted asparagus (don't forget those crunchy garlic slices!)
  • Goat cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Cut the bottom few inches of the asparagus bundle off and discard.
  3. Spread onto a baking pan, top with garlic slices, salt, pepper, and a generous drizzle of olive oil - shake pan to coat evenly.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes (longer if stalks are super thick).
  5. Heat a griddle or pan over medium high.
  6. Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread.
  7. Spread or crumble goat cheese over one unbuttered side of bread.
  8. Top with asparagus (cut in half or thirds to fit your bread) and a slice of provolone.
  9. Top with the other slice of bread and grill until the bread is golden brown and the cheese melts.
  10. Serve warm.


Yields: 1 sandwich (and plenty of leftover asparagus)

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 30 minutes



Sweet Potato & Spinach Carbonara

My friend Katie has been called The Carbonara Queen. Crab, jalapeno & corn, BLT, lemon & spinach. If it can be whisked into that creamy sauce of bacon, pepper, eggs, and cheese, she has done it.

She’s kind of my Pasta Patronus. And I’d like to be just like her when I grow up:

Zucchini Carbonara Roasted Broccoli Carbonara Fettuccine alla Carbonara

One of her last Carbonara creations was a beautiful stomach-growl-inducing adaptation: Butternut Squash & Spinach Carbonara.

I didn’t have butternut squash – or the desire to put on pants and mascara to go get some (that’s my minimum to go in public) – but I did have sweet potatoes. I pulled out my favorite basic carbonara recipe, a few slices of bacon, and was on my way to what would quickly become a house-favorite carbonara.

Sweet Potato and Spinach Carbonara

It’s because there’s bacon. And diced sweet potatoes that are cooked in bacon drippings until nicely caramelized, and then tossed with hot pasta and wilted fresh spinach until a beautiful, peppery, creamy sauce forms from the bacon, eggs, and cheese.

And bacon.

Carbonara is really the closest thing I can get to meatless meal without the natives rebelling. Or complaining about “spinach again?” But with this one, everyone wins here.

Sweet Potato & Spinach Carbonara

Creamy, peppery carbonara with caramelized sweet potatoes and fresh spinach.


  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/3-inch slices and then diced
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 oz finely grated Parmesan (about 1 3/4 cup), divided
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a saute pan over high heat and add the bacon, cooking until almost completely crisped.
  2. When the bacon has completely browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large bowl (big enough for mixing the entire recipe).
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until nicely browned and fork-tender (but not mushy), about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  4. Add the black pepper and spinach, cover, and turn off the heat - let sit ~2 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
  5. Mix the eggs and 1 1/2 cups cheese together with the bacon, stirring to mix well.
  6. Add pasta to boiling water and cook per package directions. Set aside 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
  7. Immediately add the hot pasta and a splash or two of the hot pasta water (~2 Tbsp at a time) to the bowl with the bacon mixture, while stirring/tossing vigorously to create a creamy sauce.
  8. Toss in the sweet potato mixture and additional splashes of pasta water if necessary to adjust sauce consistency (and if you add too much water, just let the pasta stand for a few minutes).
  9. Serve sprinkled with remaining cheese


Yields: 4 servings

Inspired by So Tasty, So Yummy

Estimated time: 35 minutes



Roasted Cauliflower

It’s mid January. And you’re probably still eating your vegetables, right?

A couple of months ago, I shared a killer-addictive recipe for roasted cauliflower. Who uses “killer-addictive” to describe cauliflower?

Someone who puts browned butter, prosciutto, and sage on cauliflower. That’s who.

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is in the market now and the heads are abundant, cheap and the size of your head. There’s nothing wrong with raw cauliflower, especially if there’s a jar of homemade ranch or a bowl of hummus nearby. But there’s no reason to stop there.

You can do far worse things to a head of cauliflower than roasting it broccoli-style with garlic- and red pepper-infused oil, until the florets caramelize and start to crisp. Say, something like this:

Roasted Cauliflower

But more on that later. Because to make that, you’ll need some of this:

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower roasted in garlic- and red pepper-infused oil.


  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
  • Black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Salt
  • Grated parmesan


  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil until hot over medium heat.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
  4. Swirl the pan occasionally. In the last minute, add the black pepper and red pepper flakes and turn off the heat.
  5. Pile the cauliflower into the center of a large baking pan and drizzle the garlic oil over top.
  6. Toss with two large spoons until distributed and spread cauliflower to an even layer.
  7. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 20-25 minutes, until nicely browned.
  8. Top with parmesan before serving.


Yields: 4-6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 40 minutes