Searching For The Magic Words (Recipes For Adults Who Eat Like Teenagers)

My sweet husband, who has been serving in youth ministry since he graduated from college, eats like a teenager. (We're in our mid-to-late thirties.)

Pizza, canned soup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, very few vegetables, Dr. Pepper, single-serving cakes, (or entire cakes from the H-E-B Bakery...) and queso. Lots of queso.

These were the foods that made up his diet when we got married. And, to his credit, he has the metabolism to pull it off.

For the first few weeks of our marriage, it was fun to let him pick our meals. Who doesn't love snuggling up with a good movie while eating comfort food? Then, about a month in, it dawned on me: I wasn't blessed with the same metabolism... something had to change.

So I asked my nightly-pint-of-ice-cream husband if he'd be up for trying Whole 30 with me. (I have very little self-control around an order of chips and salsa. I have to live in an all-or-nothing world until I can break the craving... and in the past, Whole 30 has been a great help as I've sought to adjust my tastebuds and start fresh.)

He, very reluctantly, agreed... after I promised it wouldn't be a month of salads, raw carrots, and boiled chicken.

I had completed the Whole 30 on my own about 5 years ago. I ate the same things over and over again, (it was the first time I'd tried many of these vegetables... who knew green beans could be so delicious?!) but this time I was determined to make flavorful, enjoyable meals that maybe resembled some of his favorites... and maybe, just maybe would be delicious enough to become regulars in our rotation even after the 30 days.

And that's how I found myself combing websites for Whole 30-friendly recipes with those four magic words: "My kids loved it!"

(This is also how I found myself dragging my whining dude through the aisles of our local grocery store as he essentially said goodbye to all of the foods he loves and would be living without for the next month... "Wait... no Doritos?! Ugh!" "Wait! I can't have cheese?!" It was equal parts hilarious and embarrassing.)

Well, we made it through the month... and actually really loved many of our meals!

We saved a ton of money cooking at home--and packing lunches. And we learned that Josh loves to be part of the meal prep process, so it's become a very fun nightly routine to dice vegetables and cross our fingers that it's worth all the effort.

Here are a few of our favorite meals from the month...

We still tag-team this Sweet Potato Hash on Saturday mornings. It's the picture at the top of this post... and, holy moly, it's good. (Made it this morning!)

This Sweet Plantain Apple Bacon Breakfast Hash. I knew the ingredients were good separately but I was so surprised by how good they were together.

These Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers are super easy and really delicious. Even a student, who was very quick to mention she hates sweet potatoes, asked for seconds!

These Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas were stupidly easy to make and crazy delicious. We ate them on their own or over cauliflower rice, but will definitely make them again with some tortillas.

Speaking of easy and delicious-- this Rosemary Balsamic Sheet Pan Chicken. Geeez it was good. Like, zero leftovers good.

And, lest you think we were strictly eating chicken and bacon, feast your eyes on this Paleo Chili.


I'd love to know if you try any of these. And, I'm definitely open to hearing about your favorite go-to healthy (or cozy) recipes! Share them in the comments below.

P.S. Since Josh wasn't completely miserable for those four weeks, we're sticking with a primarily paleo diet around here (she says, having just pulled some fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies from the oven) so, more recipes to come!

No comments