It’s been a little over a year since Joel and I did the Whole 30. While we’ve added some items back into our every day lives (mainly cheese and booze) we still made an effort to eat pretty close to it for most of our meals. I think the biggest impact it had on our diet was that it completely changed the way we buy food and prepare meals. Not every item we purchase is organic or locally made, but a good chunk of it is.
Every Saturday we head to the Riverside Arts Market to hit up all of our local vendors. Meat comes from JD Beef. Fruits and veggies from Reeds Produce. Spices, energy bars and other goodies from FreshJax.
On Wednesdays, Joel picks up our weekly Black Hog Farm from Bold Bean Coffee, right in our neighborhood. Eggs, chicken, breakfast sausage, fruits, vegetables — they supplement what I don’t pick up at the Saturday market.
One of my favorite recipes to make, which I made often prior to doing the Whole 30, is chicken saltimbocca. I grew up on Italian food, and still dream about a dish of veal saltimbocca I had one Christmas Eve at Il Piacere around the block from where I grew up in Garfield, NJ. Anyway, I found a healthier version of the chicken dish on Paleo Periodical that I’ve altered a bit over time to my liking, using as many local items as I can. I like to eye my measurements when I cook, so the below instructions are a little more general than most recipes:
- Chicken (1-1.5 lbs from Black Hog)
- Basil (not a fan of the traditional sage, so I substitute basil)
- One Lemon
- Olive oil (I used tuscan-infused oil from the Ancient Olive in St. Augustine. Yum. Thanks for the introduction Sara.)
- Garlic to taste
- Chicken broth (I make my own whenever I make Skinnytaste’s chicken ropa vieja in the crock pot)
- White wine to taste (I use whatever Chardonnay I haven’t finished off yet)
- Prosciutto (I got mine from the Publix deli. Not local, but close to my house)
I like to slice my chicken very thin for this recipe — makes it easier to cook through on the stove. Place the prosciutto and basil on the chicken and fold in half, securing it with a toothpick. Season liberally with any kind of Italian seasoning (I use Fresh’s Italian — so amazing), garlic powder, pepper, etc.
Our new house has a gas stove (which I love love love) and makes for such better cooking, particularly for this dish. Sear the chicken on the outside, on both sides, then reduce to medium heat. After another minutes or two, once you don’t visibly see raw chicken anymore, turn down the heat and add in the sauce ingredients: broth, lemon, garlic and wine. Usually I let the chicken simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes.
I like to keep the chicken in while the sauce cooks. It allows the chicken to soak up the flavors of the sauce while continuing to cook all the way through. Combined with that initial sear, it allows the chicken to fully cook while keeping it moist on the inside. Plus the prosciutto simmers with the sauce, adding a nice little bonus to an already flavorful dish.
Once it’s all done, I take the chicken out and throw in a bit of almond flour to thicken up the sauce a bit.
As a side, we had caprese salad. Sliced up some fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and some of the Tuscan-infused olive oil. It was the perfect side, filling us up plenty and making me forget for a second that there was no pasta to accompany the meal.