Thursday, January 10, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 9 - Thanksgiving Cups

Today marks day 9 for my Whole30 eating.  

I adapted a twist on the "Egg muffin" recipe that I've kind of fallen in love with. The only thing that could possibly make these any better may be adding a bit of coconut milk to the batter, I'll have to experiment and let you know the results!

Thanksgiving Cups


12 eggs
1 tablspoon of chopped onion
1 cup of ground turkey meat
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/4 cup cranberries (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
dash of salt
cupcake wrappers or extra oil to grease the pan


Preheat oven to 350.
Caramelize the onions in coconut oil. Remove from pan and set aside. Add a little bit more oil and cook the turkey meat.

In a large bowl, whisk 12 eggs. Add in the onions, turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie spice & salt.  Pour into muffin tin (I used cupcake wrappers to make cleanup easier and better for eating on the go). 

Bake for approximately 20-30minutes. Allow to cool in the oven, or else your muffins will fall flat like mine did...

Enjoy these little bites of Thanksgiving on the spot, or store in air-tight container in the fridge. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whole 30 - Day 7

Scrambled Eggs with Onions and Avocado

 Day 7 of Whole30 eating. 

 For breakfast I cooked red onions and garlic powder up with some coconut oil. Once they had started to caramelize (about 3 minutes over medium heat), I added 4 eggs and stirred until almost mostly cooked.  In the last minute I added 1/2 of a ripe avocado.
Served with 1/3 can of pineapple chunks. Drained the pineapple juice and squeezed some fresh lime into it.  Delicious and filling! 

Kiwi, carrot, nuts

Lunch today was a bit skimpy. I had planned to make something else, but forgot to cook it and got hungry first. Really more of a snack, but it filled me enough until dinner. 1 carrot, 1 kiwi, and about 1 cup mix of almonds, pistachios, and macadamia nuts.


For dinner, I cooked swordfish for the first time ever using this recipe: Swordfish with Avocado Salsa. The avocado that I had was starting to go bad, and I did not have much avocado to add so I also threw in the rest of the canned pineapple, really good!

I also made the most delicious creamed cauliflower ever.


Take 1 head of cauliflower, broken into flourets and steam it until tender. Remove and throw into vitamix or blender. Add water or canned coconut milk as needed to blend. Blend with salt, pepper, and garlic power until creamy and smooth.

Brunch Philly 2013: Whole30 and more!

Welcome to 2013. With all the New Year's Resolutions and new starts going around, it seems like January is as good a time as any to experiment with new foods. Last year, I tried eating only raw foods for a week. You can read about it here: Brunch Philly's Raw Food Experiment 2012.

This year, I've embarked on something much longer and personally bigger. But let me back up a minute. For health reasons, I've unfortunately had to eliminate gluten from my diet. It's not something that was easy to do and not something that I would be doing if I could avoid it. But after (finally) following my doctor's advice to remove gluten from my diet for 30 days, the results were obvious. I'm hoping that with enough time, someday I may be successfully able to incorporate it again.  But for the time being, I've been eating wheat-free since August.

This makes brunch a bit different, since my favorite brunch foods are the sweet ones: stuffed french toast, pancakes, crepes.... yet you may have noticed that in my most recent reviews I've ordered the eggs. But 2013 has brought an even bigger change.

Some additional health issues have lead me to a place where my body just doesn't feel like me. I needed a "reset" button. Through the wonder of the internet, I stumbled across Whole30. It's a fairly specific plan for 30 days that promises renewed energy levels, no more food cravings, and more.

Brunchmates can attest to my love of all things dark chocolate. The idea of removing it almost entirely from my diet for 30 days (with the except of baking cocoa to be used as a spice), was bittersweet. Cravings gone? Sign me up. Dealing with cravings until they're gone? No fun.

But the need for a reset was strong. So I signed up for Whole30 a week ago today.

I considered doing it as a vegetarian. I had been one for 9 years. But ultimately I decided that if I was going to do this, I was all in. So, yes, I've started eating some limited meat again. This has reminded me why I became vegetarian to begin with: I'm not really a fan. That said, I've decided to stick with it for 30 days and then reassess because so far my body is a lot happier.

This blog entry has gone on long enough, and without enough photos, but a few final things:

1. After the first 3 days of eating only foods approved on the Whole30 list, I am happy to report that indeed, food cravings are gone. And along with it the urge for late night snacking.   While I do really look forward to Day31 when I can eat some chocolate again, I'm already planning to include it on a much more limited basis.

2.  I will be updating Brunch Philly with photos & recipes that I'm trying. Similar to the Raw Foods Diet, one of the best things I find about these food experiments is that it challenges me to cook with new ingredients and expand my horizons in the kitchen. Take for instance tonight, I cooked swordfish for the first time ever along with an amazing creamed cauliflower dish and some homemade pineapple-avocado salsa! I promise that I'll be sharing recipes soon.

3. There are some much bigger things in the works for Brunch Philly. I cannot say more about it just yet, but we (yes, I've lured some brunchmates to join me in this project) have some pretty big things in store for 2013. So if all goes according to plan I'll have some pretty exciting news to share in a few months time.... Stay Tuned!

Down Home Diner in RTM, Philadelphia PA

In August 2012, some brunchmates and I enjoyed a laid back, delicious week-day brunch at The Down Home Diner.  Here is the previously unpublished review:

In the mood for a southern-style breakfast? Looking for a child-friendly dining experience? Looking for a good starting point as a tourist? Look no further than the Down Home Diner located in Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market.

Asparagus & Mushroom Scram
On a recent visit, I order the Asparagus and Mushroom Scram ($6.99), "barnyard fresh eggs scrambled with asparagus and mushrooms." Deciding that I was in the mood for some decadence, I  added cheddar cheese as well. The asparagus was fresh and cooked to a perfect consistency.  Overall an A+ omelet with the surprise bonus of a slice of watermelon! The potato hash-browns had a nice crispy edge-to-soft middle ratio, but otherwise did not stand out.

Country French Toast

 One brunchmate tried the Country French Toast ($6.99). It's nothing fancy, and could have probably used the addition of some fresh fruit or berries, but the thick yet airy slices are a good quality toast.

Another brunchmate tried the Corn Hoe Cakes with Turkey Sausage ($7.99). The sausage was flavorful and "far more substantial that other turkey sausages I've met. In fact, I might not have been able to tell the difference if I hadn't know. " The corn hoe cakes were very light, similar to a buttermilk, but had sweet corn throughout!

Corn Hoe Cakes with Turkey Sausage

My youngest brunchmate shared her parent's meal, but had her own glass of water. Our server was thoughtful enough to bring a glass for her that was only partially full so there were no fear of spills!

If you're looking for a quality diner experience in the heart of center city, look no further than the Down Home Diner!

If you go:
  • 51 North 12th Street  Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Phone: (215) 627-1955
  • They accept credit cards.
  • Down Home Diner Website