We have passed the Christmas hurdle, but we are still knee deep in the holiday season. So I bet you probably don’t want to hear about dieting yet, do you? Well too bad.
This year my new years resolutions will have nothing to do with food or weight loss. I’m tired of declaring myself in need of such specific alterations every January first. I’m also tired of setting rules and boundaries for myself, hopelessly attempting to live up to them and then receiving — like a crushing blow — the disappointment when I — of course — cannot.
That’s not how we get better or get happier, and it certainly has not worked for me in the past.
However, that does not mean that I’m not interested in getting back into top shape for my upcoming marathons and for my general wellness — because I am, in fact, very interested in doing that. Just so long as I don’t have to write it down and rigidly hold myself to it.
In my head, I’ve been tossing around the possibility of starting another Whole30 sometime in January. Part of me thinks it would be good for me to take on this nutritional recharge; things have been a little perilous in that department ever since I quit quitting sugar. But, while the first time I completed the program, I really, really loved it, the second time I — ehhhh — not so much…
I know that there’s no way to kind of do a Whole30. I am so aware of that. I believe in the Whole30 as a pathway for optimum health, but I also believe that optimum health starts with optimum happiness, and the last time I set myself up with this program, I felt deeply and inconsolably unhappy. So instead of holding myself to the very rigid guidelines of the Whole30 program, I think I’m just going to use it as a framework. I haven’t yet decided exactly how this will work, and perhaps I won’t do that at all — perhaps I’ll just play it by ear. In the meantime, I’ll practice getting into the swing of things with lots of meals like this one.
This is the kind of dish that I make most frequently. It starts with a cast-iron skillet and a bunch of things I pull from my fridge and pantry. This particular recipe is one I’m sure I’ve had many times over — since I almost always have all of these ingredients on hand. Feel free to use it as a template, as I often do myself. If you have broccoli, add some broccoli. If you’d rather have ground beef than bacon, do your thing. There are no rules.
Plantain Hash with Bacon, Kale, Raisins, and Tahini — Gluten-Free, Paleo, and Whole30 Compliant.
- 4 strips uncured bacon (read more about Whole30-approved bacon here)
- 1 medium ripe plantain, quartered lengthwise and then cut into 1″ cubes
- Garlic salt (I use a roasted garlic salt grinder I bought at Trader Joe’s)
- 1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped
- About 8 ounces of kale, ribs removed and leaves torn
- 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup no-sugar-added raisins
In a cast iron skillet, cook the bacon strips on low heat. When they are finished cooking, set them aside on a paper-towel lined plate. Add the plantain to the skillet and toss it in the bacon grease. Add some garlic salt and then cook the plantain hunks until they are browned and soft. Then remove them from the skillet as well.
Add the onions and a bit more garlic salt to the skillet and cook for a few minutes, until the onions become translucent and soft. Then add the kale and the apple cider vinegar. When the kale has wilted, add the raisins and stir. Then add the plantains back in and keep cooking until everything is warm. To serve, top with bits of crispy bacon and drizzle with sesame tahini. Salt additionally to taste.