Yesterday, I spent two hours cleaning and prepping delicious Whole 30 food to enjoy for the entire work week. By 12:30, I had filled every tupperware bin in my kitchen with tacos, trail mix, steak salad, chicken salad, egg muffins and power balls. I took a deep breath, marveled in my accomplishment and stepped onto my patio. This is what I saw:
SUNSHINE. No clouds. Pristine 80-degree weather. What in God’s good name had I been doing inside – cooking – on a day like this? I needed to get to the beach. STAT. Without hesitation, I hopped into my mom’s car and returned the thing to her before heading to Golden Gardens with Blaze, my brother and a bunch of friends. After a couple of hours spent basking in the Seattle sun one thing was painfully clear: I was going to take a swan dive off of the Whole 30 wagon. I could see it as clearly as I could see the light at the end of the graduate school tunnel the day before our graduation ceremony. Sure, I could have avoided it, but I didn’t want to. I wanted to roll with the party train and enjoy the sunshine and a delicious meal to boot. So I did. I went for the gold. What would be the point in cheating if I was only going to go half way? From Golden Gardens, we headed to AQUA by El Gaucho where we were treated to the absolute best seat in the house. I chowed on steamed clams, pancetta-wrapped prawns and oysters, while the guys enjoyed the same plus crab cakes, crab macaroni and cheese and calamari. We all had a few cocktails.
It was a glorious evening… until this morning. The sun has come out this morning as brilliantly as ever and I have a headache that makes me want to shut the blinds. Today is my Monday and I would love nothing more than to sleep through the whole freaking day. What. A. Fail. Today’s workout is my final pre-half marathon run along a 6-mile route that I have dubbed the “Queen Anne Hug.” I usually enjoy the Hug, but have a distinct feeling that today might not be so fun. Oh well… you know what they say: if you’re gonna play, you have to pay. Count $20 deposited into the Bank of Mom for breaking my 30-day promise to remain true to the Whole 30 program.
My hangovers are typically associated with an achingly insatiable appetite. Back on the Whole 30 wagon, I’ve already had a big breakfast and am really looking forward to lunch (with Dad and Bro!) and dinner this evening. Spicy foods are a God-send for me when I’m feeling like I do this morning and these tacos will keep me going through the long work night I have ahead of me.
Chipotle-Lime Pork Tacos
2 tsp. coconut oil
1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1/4″-1/2″ strips
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 red onion, diced
2 chipotle peppers, minced (I used canned chipotles in adobo sauce, leaving the sauce out)
Scant 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp. lime juice
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
8 butter lettuce leaves (2 per serving, when ready to serve)
2 avocados, sliced (1/2 per serving, when ready to serve)
1 lg. tomato, sliced (couple slices per serving, when ready to serve)
1) Wash and chop onion, chipotle pepper, green pepper, cilantro and tomatoes
2) Season pork with salt and pepper.
3) Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add coconut oil to pan. When the oil is hot, add pork and sauté until lightly browned – about 4 minutes. Remove pork from pan and place in a bowl.
4) Add onion, chipotle pepper and green pepper to hot pan, sautéing until tender, 5-7 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes, reducing heat to medium-low. Simmer for a couple minutes, scraping pan to loosen any browned bits.
5) Return pork and any juices to the pan. Stir in lime juice and simmer until pork is cooked, 7-10 minutes.
6) Remove from heat and top with fresh cilantro, stirring to combine. Serve wrapped in butter leaves with avocado and tomato slices.
This is my “to-go” dinner for work this week. To keep tacos crisp, I prepped two containers for this meal: one with butter lettuce, avocado and tomato slices and another with the meat filling.
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 8 tacos