Monday, March 16, 2015

Day 8 / 25% done! / Roasted Italian Sausage and Root Vegetables

Today I'd like to take a break from my usual self-indulgent chatter about what I'm eating and not eating and how said eating/not eating is affecting my psyche and physique. Those two words, I've just realized, should never be placed so close to one another in a sentence. Egads. 

Day 8 is not so different from Days 1 through 7, other than that today was my most delicious day, fine dining at The Kenwood notwithstanding. Accordingly, I want to focus on the food. Today, Day 8 of my Whole30 Challenge, included a favorite dinner of mine that I did not have to alter one bit to make W30 compliant.

Cooked veggies and sausage!

This recipe was emailed to me by my friend Alicia about a decade ago, give or take a couple years. I have no idea where it came from but I love it because it's easy and reliable and it ends up delicious no matter what vegetables I use, or what herbs I use, or whether the herbs are dried or fresh. It's just perfect comfort food and the whole family ate it - huge bonus during these days of endless food preparation. (It's also, according to the W30 ideology, perfect post-workout food, especially if you opt for chicken sausage over pork, as chicken is a leaner protein and the perfect post-workout food is meant to have a full serving of lean protein + loads of starchy vegetables.) I think you'll love it as much as my nearly-four-year-old!

Roasted veggies and sausage

Dear Alicia,

Thank you for the gift that keeps on giving.

Love, protein, and healthy fats,


Day 8 dinner

Why yes, I do eat a lot! (Maybe I also had a second helping. You need quite a plateful to keep you satiated for 4 to 14 hours.)

Before I get to the recipe, for those of you who care, here's what I ate today:

Breakfast at 7:30 am - 2 eggs + kale scramble, sauerkraut (who am I?!), coconut oil
Lunch at 12:45 pm - leftover carrot-ginger soup; leftover shrimp, kelp noodles, and veggies
Dinner - salad with avocado, sprouts, carrots, and herbed-white wine vinaigrette; roasted root vegetables + chicken sausage

Day 8 BLD

It was by far my best food day since March 8th. Yesterday wasn't bad either.

Here's the recipe. Enjoy! xx e-nc

Root Vegetables Roasted with Sausage
Serves 4

About 1 lb potatoes (e.g. red, Yukon gold, Fingerling - I used 2 Yukons + 1 red)*
About 2 lb assorted root vegetables (sweet potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips — a good healthy mix)**
4-5 fresh sausages (I used 3 Sweet Italian + 2 Hot Italian)
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
A few sprigs of thyme (if you have some) or a spoonful of a good dried herb blend you have
Handful baby tomatoes (optional)
About 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut vegetables down to about 1/2" pieces of equal size. Toss all your root vegetables except for potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake in a roasting pan, covered with aluminum foil or a lid for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover. Add potatoes, along with the rest of the salt, herbs, another tablespoon of olive oil, and bake again for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown sausages on all sides in a pan or grill. Slice sausages crosswise into about 1/4" to 1/2" pieces. Remove casserole from oven, toss vegetables, and arrange sausages and tomatoes, if using, in the dish and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes (uncovered).

Add a salad and you've got a delicious (incidentally paleo/W30-compliant) dinner.

* You could use winter squash in place of or in addition to potatoes. They, like the potatoes, will cook more quickly than the other root vegetables if they are cut into a 1/2" dice. Add them to the pan at the same time you'd add potatoes. 

** Stay clear of beets. They super dominate, in a bad way (and I love beets). Tonight I used 1 enormous sweet potato + 1 rutabaga + 1 parsnip. I peeled the latter two but not the sweet potato, nor the potatoes.

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