Happy New Year! I hope the new decade is off to a good start for all of you and if you’ve set resolutions for the year, I hope you haven’t lost the willpower to see them through just yet – it’s only day 2, 364 to go.
As you may know, if you have been reading closely or diligently watching my Instagram stories, I’m kicking off 2020 by trying out the Whole30 diet. For the uninitiated, Whole30 is an elimination diet designed to remove certain food groups and then reintroduce them after a period to identify possible food sensitivities.
What’s eliminated you ask? Well, a whole host of things, including: sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes. dairy, certain additives, and desserts. In essence, the goal is to focus on whole foods – meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts – and steer clear of the heavily processed foods that compel us to keep eating, without satiating our hunger.
Listen, I’m not a dietician or a nutritionist, so definitely consult a medical professional before making any radical changes to your own diet.
*I* have made the choice to take on the Whole30 challenge because, in spite of being an enthusiastic and adventurous eater, I have a pretty sensitive stomach and often find myself lacking for energy or sleeping poorly.
My hope is that by cutting out some of the food groups that might be giving me grief, I’ll be better able to identify my triggers and possible food sensitivities when I gradually reintroduce these items, one-by-one, into my diet come February.
So far, when I’ve shared the news with friends and followers, most people have been less than enthusiastic. On its face, it’s easy to consider all these eliminations as a form of deprivation and misery.
I will say, I’m only on Day 4 (having got a head start on things when no New Year’s Eve plans shaped up) but I have had more than a few pornographic thoughts about chocolate cake. I have a major sweet tooth and ALWAYS order dessert when I dine out, so, steering clear of sweets is certainly going to be a challenge for me.
All that being said, I put some real time into mapping out Whole30 compliant meals that I’m excited to make and eat – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m going to be sharing a lot of those recipes with you over the course of January and hopefully you won’t even notice that you’re eating a Whole30-compliant meal.
I thought we should kick things off with this One-Pot Greek Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Asparagus. There are few things I like more than a one-pot meal, because I absolutely abhor being stuck doing dishes endlessly after preparing a meal.
This dish is so simple and packed with flavour. If you’re also trying out Whole30 – you might want to confirm that your chicken stock is sugar-free, Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Stock is a good option.
In my oven, I roasted the chicken and potatoes for 25 minutes and then pulled it out, added the asparagus, lemon juice, and chicken stock, and popped it back in for another 15 minutes. After 40 minutes in total the chicken came out incredibly moist and juicy.
In a large 12-inch oven-safe skillet, layer the lemon slices, onions, garlic, and potatoes. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side down, over the potatoes and brush with half of the herb oil. Flip the chicken skin side up and coat in the remaining oil, being sure to cover the chicken completely.
You can ask the butcher remove the backbone and butterfly the chicken or do it yourself. To do it yourself: start by removing any chicken giblets, if applicable. Pat the outside dry with paper towel. Place the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down, so that the chicken’s back is facing up. Using a pair of sharp kitchen scissors, cut closely along either side of the backbone. Remove the bone and discard. Turn the chicken over so the breast is now facing up and press down firmly with the open palm of your hand on the breast and flatten the chicken.
Recipe adapted from: Gerard, Tieghan. “Spring Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken and Veggies.” Half Baked Harvest. April 2018.