Justin & Meredith Winokur's Kitchen Cooking Notebook

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Sweet Potato Chili Fries and Salmon with Brussel Sprouts


Emily was visiting and wanted to make use chile sweet potatoes fries (Local1). Emily followed that recipe pretty closely. We did half with the cooling rack on the pan and the other right on a tray. They came out pretty good. I think I would try that again, though I would work harder to make sure they are uniform in size.

I also made roasted brussel sprouts. They didn't come our super amazingly. I think they got a bit bitter but we still ate them.

Finally, I made (and also overcooked) seared salmon. There wasn't much to it. I used some Emril and spilled a bit too much on one piece but were good other than that.

  1. U: guest, P: name of my (smaller) dog, all lower case 

Broccoli Chorizo


Meredith did the work on this. We wanted to make our pretty normal cauliflower with soy chorizo but Costco was out of cauliflower so we went with broccoli. Meredith roasted it for about 30 minutes and then sautéed it with the soy chorizo and capers. She also tried something funky: she added some zested meyer lemon to it. I think that added a nice aroma, though I am not sure I really tasted it too much.

It was acceptable with broccoli, but was also much chewier and not as good as cauliflower.

Egg Bhurji Breakfast Casserole


Meredith made a big thing of Egg Bhurji in a casserole form to be prep-ahead breakfasts for whole30. She followed the recipe pretty closely except went heavy on the ginger. We also don't know exactly how much egg we used. Probably a bit heavy on them but that's fine.

We also realized, after the fact, that there was soy lecithin in the pam but we decided that there was such a little amount that we would still eat it, but not use it again.

It worked out well as a breakfast thing. It's a lot of chopping, but we'd prep it again.

Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potato


Not much to this, and I do not have a real photo, but we bought this Whole30 pulled pork and mixed it with green chile to stuff into sweet potatoes.

We used this pork which worked fine, but it was a bit fatty. By cooking it on the stove, we rendered out some of the fat.

Not much to it, but it was pretty good.

Walnut Chicken Piccata


This was our first day of Whole30 and decided to go with a chicken recipe. We used the recipe from Wholesomelicious (Local 1). We followed it pretty closely except we used two larger breasts. And, since we didn't scale the chicken, we had leftover walnuts so I mixed them with salt, pepper, and egg and made a small snack.

I think I had the pan on too hot and started to burn the walnuts. I had to take if off the heat and finish it in the oven. I then made the sauce (with tapioca starch instead of arrowroot).

We also quickly tossed the spiralized zucchini in the sauce for a little bit to soften it. Finally, Meredith topped it with some meyer lemon zest instead of parsley.

We liked it a lot. There was a lot of flavor; especially the walnuts got nice and crispy. The sauce was a bit lemony but not too bad. We would likely not make this off of Whole30 since it is a lot of walnuts but was great for dinner while doing it.

  1. U: guest, P: name of my small dog, lower case 

Shakshuka with Eggs


Second day of Whole30. We made shakshuka as a simple meal that we could also do some prep ahead. We cut the onions and peppers ahead of time to make life easier.

We had:

We sautéed the onions and red bell peppers (with some salt and pepper) until they were started to caramelize. I used a mix of ghee and olive oil. I then added the tomatoes and then a ton of spices:

It let it cook down and then poached eggs in it.

It came out very good. Wasn't too much work with the prep. The roasted tomatoes also gave it a very nice flavor. I also liked the caramelized flavor.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole with Spaghetti Squash


Meredith and I made Buffalo Chicken Casserole from Jay's Baking Me Crazy (LOCAL). It is a Whole30 recipe but it is also pretty good being full of vegetables from the squash and carrots. I used this Kitchn recipe (LOCAL) with some Frank's as sauce.

We followed the recipe, but used the ranch from this recipe (LOCAL) which we'll use later. We had to buy chipotle-lime Whole30 compliant mayo since that is all we could find at the moment.

It was pretty good and made 5-6 meals worth. It was also pretty tasty, though overpowered by the Franks Red Hot.

Local Recipes

All local recipes are U: guest, P: name of my small dog, lower case

Turkey Chorizo with Sweet Potato Hash


I made turkey chorizo for breakfast using the Feasting at Home recipe (LOCAL). I do not think it is even intended to be a Whole30 recipe, but it worked fine for it. I thought it was a bit heavy on the seasoning, especially the oregano. Less in the future. And maybe more smoked paprika.

We also made (purple) sweet potato hash. I chopped them and microwaved them with a little bit of water for 5 minutes. I then crisped them on the cast iron with some ghee and added salt as I went.

It all came out pretty good. A nice breakfast. And we have some leftover chorizo for later.

Turkey Curry Meatballs


We made Coconut Curry Meatballs from Wholesomelicious (LOCAL). We used this as the base recipe but made a few changes because of what we had and general preference:

Between the lean meat (and no sausage), the difference of coconut flour (maybe?), and the egg, the meatballs were dry!. The flavor was good but they desperately needed some moisture!

For the sauce, we basically followed the recipe except that last 1/4 cup of coconut milk was the light kind.

The sauce came out very good but desperately needed some heat/spice. We should have thrown a bunch of chiles in there! The flavors were good, but this was just lacking the spice we like with Thai food.

We still liked it though. It made a lot of food with 50 meatballs (we ate half). We also did it on cauliflower rice (which I adjusted down the temperatures on that recipe).

Next Time

We need to put more fat in the meatballs (higher fat content turkey, additional other, some kind of real turkey sausage). They were simply way too dry! Also, everything needed more spice. There was none in the sauce and barely any in the meatballs.

Also, we really should have been using Thai basil, not Italian basil.

Finally, we need to up the spice level.

Turkey (and Beef) Scotch Eggs


We prepped ahead and made turkey scotch eggs. We used the recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo (LOCAL) (and using their gingerbread spice -- local is on the other page).

We halved it with an extra 1/2 lbs of turkey from the night before with 3 hardboiled eggs.

They were surprisingly sausage tasting, though a bit dry. I would consider this again either for breakfast or using this sausage mix for other things.

Update: Made with beef

I made these again later with 93% lean beef. I did everything else the same except I did the eggs for only 9.5 minutes so that the insides wouldn't get overcooked. As you can see in the second picture, they were a bit undercooked after everything.

I did my very best to wrap them all and it worked well enough, except when I cooked them, the beef pulled back on some of it.

I think I liked the turkey more. With the beef, the flavors didn't meld as well and gave it a less-enjoyable taste. Certainly not bad, but I would do Turkey (or maybe pork?) next time.

Salsa Chicken with Shishitos


I had originally made three salsa chicken breasts to prep ahead but we decided to eat them tonight. I pounded out the chicken breasts and then topped them with salt, pepper, and Pace Salsa (Whole30 Compliant). I baked it at 375°F for 25-30 minutes until it was done. (actually, I went a bit too long).

I also made Shishito pepper using my recipe. I used some extra ranch dressing from the Cobb Salad we made (but didn't really write up, recipe here. Same as used for the Buffalo Chicken Casserole.

All in all, it was a very simple. but pretty good meal. And very easy too!

Update: Salad

We used the leftover chicken and sliced it up to be chicken on a salad. We made a dressing by mixing Pace Salsa with the Cilantro Sauce. It worked surprisingly well as a salad dressing.

Whole Striped Bass and Roasted Potatoes


We decided to be adventurous and try making a whole fish. We got two small striped bass at Costco. We read a few recipes and went with Alton Brown's (Local). We were a bit surprised by the temperature and time, and sure enough, when we took it out, the temps were way above the 120°F they suggests. Still, it was perfectly moist. We kind of struggled to eat it but we eventually just pulled the meat off the bones.

It was a lot of work and kind of gross but also fun to try something challenging and new. The flavors were also pretty good, though I do not think Bass is my favorite fish. We would try to do a whole fish again, but use a different fish and different recipe/method.

We also made roasted potatoes like we had before on 2016-12-03. We tossed it with some ghee and then used Za'atar, salt, and pepper. I roasted it for 60 minutes at 375°F. I forgot to turn them at all, but it was also very good.

Fish Pictures

Karniyarik - Turkish Stuffed Eggplant


We made Karniyarik, a Turkish stuffed eggplant dish with beef. We used the recipe from The Domestic Man (Local 1). This dish is very well suited for prep ahead. We made the beef mixture on Sunday and did the eggplant and baking it on Monday.

We followed the recipe pretty closely. The only changes for the beef were that we used garlic powder. Otherwise, we just skipped the parsley, and did the eggplant differently. We halved the eggplant and salted it. After some time, we patted it dry before doing it on the stove (with [too much] coconut oil). I Think I would use ghee next time though...and maybe less.

We liked it a lot. It needed more salt but was otherwise really good. The serrano on top was also very good, I think we would add some hot peppers to the beef mixture too.

  1. U: guest, P: name of my Boston Terrier, all lower case 

"Green" Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles


We made shrimp with cilantro sauce/dip. We've done this before, but I think this is the first time we did it this with zucchini noodles.

It was really easy, especially since we prepped a bit ahead. Meredith made te sauce on Sunday and we defrosted the shrimp that night. Over Monday night, we marinated the shrimp until today.

I cooked it in something of a mix of stir-fry and sauté. I heated the cast iron pan on medium high and then did the shrimp while tossing it. I added some more chili sauce as it was cooking. Then, as it was almost done, I added the zucchini noodles, more chili sauce, some salt, and finally a bit of chicken broth. I think the broth really helped it since it have the sauce something to mix and stick to the zucchini to.

This was super simple. I think it took all of 10 minutes once we started today. It was pretty darn good, especially for how extremely simple it was.

It was also pretty darn healthy for a good amount of food. I think we would do this again.

Fajita Lettuce Wraps


This was a prep-ahead meal since Meredith needed to be out the door quickly. So all of the work was done on Sunday afternoon. This is to. be dinner and lunches for two people.

For the fajitas, I sautéed 1 large onion and 3 sliced (on the thin side) red bell peppers in ghee. I added some salt, garlic powder, and Penzeys' Mural of Flavor (see below).

For the chicken, I pounded it out just to be even and then put on some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and even more Penzeys' Mural of Flavor. I got the grill really hot to sear the chicken and then turned the heat to medium and did it for 4-6 min per side.

It came out really good. I liked the seasoning on both the chicken and the vegetables, though it was especially good on the chicken.

I also made a quick stir fry for just broccoli. I stir fried the broccoli and added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. I then added a bunch (too much) coconut aminos. It was ok with the stir-fry. Maybe a bit too sweet.

Mural of Flavor

From Penzeys Site:

Mural of Flavor blends over a dozen spices and herbs, creating a wall (hence mural) of flavor so delicious, there's no need to add salt. Inspired by the rich and mouth-watering flavors of the western Mediterranean, Mural of Flavor is wonderfully versatile. Try it on chicken, fish, pork and beef. Add it to soups, rice and potatoes. Shake it over sliced tomatoes, corn, popcorn and scrambled eggs.

Hand-mixed from: spices, shallots, onion, garlic, lemon peel, citric acid, chives and orange peel.

Romesco Cod


Meredith made romesco cod. We used the regular recipe sans ciabatta (for Whole30). She did the cod by seasoning it with salt and pepper, and then dredged it in coconut. She sautéed it with ghee and then when it was mostly done, she spread on the romesco.

We served it on a bed of arugula.

Whole30 Mayo


I made some Whole30 compatible mayo with the recipe from Whole30 (LOCAL 1). I actually tried to make this last week but it failed. I used real, good olive oil and I didn't read all of their tips that they post below the recipe.

This time, I followed the tips. I made sure the egg was warm enough, I used a more neutral oil (sunflower) and I added it super slowly. And I then used a 1/2 lemon at the very end. It did seem to work. We got real mayo. I only ate a little bit, but it tasted like normal mayo except needed some sugar (which makes sense as to why it is so hard to find it)

  1. U: guest, P: name of my Boston Terrier, all lower case 

Sous Vide Sirloin with Chimichurri


We made steak with chimichurri. The chimichurri was from The Kitchn (LOCAL 1). Meredith prepped it ahead following the same closely except using lemon instead of lime since we didn't have it.

I made the steak with the sous-vide using the same temp as 2016-07-01, that is 136°F for about an hour to an hour and half. This time, I salted it before since we missed it last time. I then seared it on the cast iron with ghee and a bit more salt.

Finally, we roasted some brussel sprouts at 400°F for 30 min or so with some fox point.

I liked the chimichurri a lot and I think it worked really well on steak. But I also think the steak was a bit tough. It could have been cooked at a bit lower and/or less time on the sear. It was still good, but could be better. It was also not the highest quality level of steak, so that may help in the future.

  1. U: guest, P: name of my Boston Terrier, all lower case 

Patatas Bravas with an egg


We spent about 4 hours preparing food for the week, but we also had to make ourselves a lunch. We went with our standard Patatas Bravas. I diced up a potato and a half of russets (it's rare I use russet but I went with it this time). I microwaved them for 7 minutes (which was a bit too long) and then roasted them for another 35 or so. They roasted nicely except they really tried to stick to the aluminum foil.

I made the sause as usual, though I forgot about blending any of it (which was missed). The onion was really big and I did french cut instead of the usual dice so there were large onion pieces. I will dice it next time (and remember to blend some of it). I also forgot the wine vinegar. Wine vinegars are allowed on Whole30, but I just forgot them.

We served it with a fried egg

Salsa Chicken Salad


We made salsa chicken like the other days for lunch. I hammered down the chicken to be roughly uniform thickness and baked it at 375°F for 20-25 minutes. We sliced it up and again made a dressing with cilantro sauce.

Snow Pea Shrimp Stir-Fry


We made a really large portion of Whole30fied version of the snow pea stir-fry with cauliflower rice.

We used coconut aminos for the soy sauce and a mix of Trader Joes Harissa and Tabasco Sauce for the sriracha.

We made a ton of it. We used a bit under a pound of shrimp and a big cauliflower thing from Costco plus about a pound of shrimp.

I used a bit too much salt on cauliflower but I think that worked really well. Also, the sauce with cauliflower mixed well.

And it worked well for Whole30

Breakfast Eggs


Meredith had originally planned to make breakfast egg muffins. She spiralized a russet potato and put them at the bottom of a muffin tin and baked it to crisp it a bit. She sautéed:

then added egg beaters with green sauce. After baking it for ~30 min at 400°F.

Sadly, they stuck so badly. We could barely get them out!

There was still tons of leftover potato and veggies so this morning, I started by laying out a bunch of the potato spirals and letting them crips. I then added some real eggs, some egg beaters, more green sauce, and green chile. It worked surprisingly well! The potatoes added a nice texture and everything else tasted good. Green chile and green sauce go really well in eggs.

Coconut Thai Meatballs


We made the Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs like we did on 2017-01-20. They were so dry last time that I:

This seemed to work pretty well. Between those changes and making them a bit bigger (only made 34 this time). Like last time, I finely chopped some basil for the dried basil and, since it needed spice last time, I added a finely chopped serrano pepper.

I made the meatballs on Sunday. Today, Meredith made the sauce using the recipe with the only change being the addition of two serranos.

We really wanted to use Thai basil and Thai chile peppers, but didn't feel like going all the way to the asian market.

The extra fat helped and the spice was good, though it could have used more still.

We served it on cauliflower rice.

Good and easy meal!