I want to start out this first post ever by explaining why:
- I’m on Whole30 (for those of you who don’t know what Whole30 is, you can find information here. The general gist is that you eliminate things you might have sensitivity to for 30 days, like grains, dairy, legumes, alcohol, and sugars, and it helps reset your health).
- I’m blogging about it.
- I’m starting my blog five days in instead of on the first day.
The Tragic Backstory
Several years ago, I lost about 40 lbs on weight watchers. For the longest time, I was determined to be THE CELEBRITY SPOKESPERSON FOR WEIGHT WATCHERS because it is amAZING and rEvoLUTIOnaRY and it’s not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle change that teaches you Portion Control and How To Eat Right! And I kept it up, for several years after, until I started dating my boyfriend and we started eating cheese. All the time. So. Much. Cheese. Which was delicious, but definitely started adding to my waistline. Then there was a brief period of unemployment where it seemed reasonable to me to eat at Taco Bell once or twice a week, usually between midnight and 2 AM, and by the time I was out of that, I was about 12 lbs heavier.
Twelve lbs doesn’t seem like much, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s over 25% of the original weight I lost—and I’m 4’11, so it makes a HUGE difference. I went back on Weight Watchers, since I’d been so successful before, but they’d moved on from PointsPlus to SmartPoints, and it just wasn’t working for me. It didn’t carry the same logic as the PointsPlus did, and it allowed me to snack way too much at night. So after several months of trying and abandoning different dieting methods (at one point, I did a vegan detox, which is actually really similar to Whole30 in concept), I finally decided to do something that had real, concrete rules, instead of rules I just invented myself based on the way people talked about it.
So here we are. Whole30. It’s day 6 for me and the boyfriend (and the two friends we corralled into doing it with us), but I want to chart the next 24 days of my journey. Eating-wise, the first six days haven’t been too difficult. The worst part is that, without bread, we’ve been feeling kind of hungry at night. However, I did add sweet potatoes to my meals on day 4, and it made everything A LOT better. One of the cool things I’ve noticed already is that I have more energy. Usually, I drink several cups of coffee at home before I go to work, and then several cups throughout the day, and come home exhausted. For the past week, I’ve been having a cup or two at home, and then been fine at work without, and I still have energy to come home and make dinner.
While this isn’t strictly a ‘food blog,’ I’m going to post any recipes that I come up with here. So, first thing’s first—on day 2 of Whole30, we were going to have tilapia in a tomato broth over cauli rice, but when it came time to do it, I was like fuuuuck tomato broth, and came up with this instead.
Sunflower Seed Crusted Pan-Fried Tilapia
It’s not deep fried, so it’s compliant, and the coating was super healthy. We had it with delicata squash, which has thin enough skin that you don’t need to peel it. I didn’t take pictures of the process, because I’m a dummy, but I will describe it in as much detail as possible. I used sunflower seeds because I always have a giant bag of them and find that I never go through them, but you could just as easily use any nut or nut flour you have lying around. I also only used garlic powder to season it, but that’s because I was doing it on the fly. If you have dried herbs, why not use dried herbs. Or even add some chili powder or onion powder or turmeric. Give it your flair.
2 tilapia filets, cut into quarters
1/3-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp garlic powder, or to taste
1 tbsp of almond milk (or water, or nothing—this is for the egg wash)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil or coconut oil or whatever oil you choose to use on your Whole30 for frying
- Dry off tilapia with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.
- Add sunflower seeds and garlic powder to a food processor. Pulse until you’ve achieved a coarse-grain meal. Taste this for seasoning, and add salt/pepper/garlic to taste. Beat the egg and almond milk/water together in a shallow bowl.
- Set up your coating station: Fish, the bowl with the egg, and a plate with the crushed sunflower seeds. Add oil until it just covers the bottom of a frying pan, and set the pan on medium/high.
- Dip each piece of fish in the egg, making sure to shake off the excess, and then roll it in the sunflower seeds. Lay them flat on one side in the pan. I cooked mine four pieces at a time, and flipped them over after about 3 minutes, but this all depends on how thick your fish is. Tilapia cooks pretty quickly, but I overcooked a few and it was pretty forgiving. Didn’t taste fishy like some overcooked fish does.
- When it’s done, transfer to paper towels and let the oil drain off, and then enjoy! I might have made an aoili for dipping if I’d thought about it, but they were good sans sauce, too.
Tilapia frying. Doesn’t it look nice?
Look at that flake. Look at it.
Did you try it out? Let me know how you liked it or if you made any changes!