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17 Tasty Whole30 Recipes to Jumpstart Your Diet

Get your health in gear — without sacrificing taste
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Unless you've been living under a rock — without access to social media — chances are, you've heard at least some of your Facebook friends evangelize about Whole30. For the uninitiated, this popular diet involves eliminating foods like dairy, sugar and grains, while amping up your intake of veggies, unprocessed meats and seafood for, you guessed it, 30 days.

While the benefits sound promising (to miraculous, quite frankly), with program alums boasting results that range from major weight loss and better skin to a clearer mind and pain relief, giving up so many tempting eats (including sweets, caffeine, alcohol) is no small feat. That is, unless you're armed with tasty Whole30 recipes. That's where the following 17 mouthwatering meal ideas come in. Each one follows Whole30's rules, but doesn't skimp on flavor — so you won't feel like you're dieting at all.

Image via Claudia Totir/Getty

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 Whole30 Enchiladas
These enchiladas are wrapped in collard leaves instead of tortillas and filled with savory ground pork and roasted poblano peppers. Not only is it a vitamin-rich meal, it's extremely easy -- like whip-it-up-in-10-minutes easy.

Cilantro-Spinach Pesto:
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced red onion
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 fresh jalapeno , stemmed

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch collard leaves
1 pound ground pork
1 poblano pepper, roasted, stemmed, deseeded and chopped
2 cups mushrooms , diced
1/2 cup salsa verde
Almond flour, for garnish (optional)
Diced red onion, for garnish (optional)
Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce:
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 avocados , peeled and pitted
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno, stemmed
3/4 cup water
1-1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste

Make the cilantro-spinach pesto: Add all cilantro-spinach pesto ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. This pesto should be near the consistency of traditional pesto, but not quite as moist.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare your collard leaves: with a knife, cut off the edge of the stem where the bottom of the leaf is. Then use the knife to very carefully slice off the round part of the thick stem, so that you have a flattened stem. This step helps you roll the enchiladas, and the stem can be quite large and tough to eat. Fill a large saucepan about 1/2 full with water and bring to a soft boil. About 2-4 at a time, blanch collard leaves for about 60 seconds, or until they turn from a soft blue-green to a very bright kelly green. Remove from saucepan and drain. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat, then brown ground pork, breaking up with a spoon or spatula. When pork is browned and mostly cooked through, add mushrooms and sauté until softened. Add cilantro-spinach pesto and stir to completely coat and incorporate, then add poblano pepper. Remove mixture from heat. Working one at a time, lay your blanched and drained leaf onto a flat surface. Spread 1/2 cup or pork mixture on one side of the stem, as shown. Fold long edge over then fold bottom and tops over the mixture. Roll towards open edge then place seam-side down in a baking dish. Repeat until remaining mixture is used up, about 8 enchiladas. Top with 1/2 cup salsa verde and spread to mostly cover enchiladas. Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce: Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste. Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes then remove from oven and let cool slightly. Top with avocado sauce, red onions, fresh cilantro, and ground almonds.

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Crispy One-Pan Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
This chicken dish is the perfect entrée to serve with roasted veggies or slice on top of your favorite salad. The best part? Bacon, and lots of it.

5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each one cut in half
10 slices nitrate-free, sugar-free bacon
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Black pepper
Fresh herbs as desired

Mix the onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle over all the chicken. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap one slice of bacon around each chicken thigh half twice to cover the chicken surface as much as possible.

Add each piece of chicken to the skillet, seam side up. Allow the first side to brown about 2 minutes. Turn over each piece of chicken carefully, so the seam side is now down and browned side is up. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake until the chicken is no longer pink and bacon is crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.

If the chicken is cooked and the bacon isn't crispy enough for your preference, put the chicken under the broiler for a minute or until the bacon is cooked to preference (keep a close eye on it). Garnish with fresh herbs while the chicken is still in the pan, and serve with your favorite veggie and potatoes.

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Whole30 Chicken Salad Boats
When it comes to the Whole30 diet, it's crucial to get creative with approved foods. That's where avocados come in. When sliced and pitted, they make the perfect vessel for this chicken salad recipe.

2-1/2 pounds organic, boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2-1/2 teaspoons curry powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 small green apple, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 small yellow or orange bell peppers, diced
1 cup homemade paleo mayonnaise
Green onions for topping
Fresh parsley for topping
4 avocados halved and pitted

Rinse chicken thighs in cold water and pat them dry on a cutting board. Remove excess fat, if you'd like. Bring a large sized pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken and cook until the internal temperature reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you don't overcook the chicken or it will become tough and dry. Strain the chicken and leave to cool on a cutting board. After the chicken has cooled, cut it into bite-sized cubes.

Combine the spices in a small bowl and thoroughly rub them into the chicken with your hands. Transfer your spiced chicken into a large bowl. Add the vegetables and apple to the bowl of chicken and stir until combined. Pour the mayonnaise over the chicken and vegetables, and give it a really thorough mix with your hands. Make sure everything is completely coated with the mayo.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. tuff the avocado halves with the chicken salad. Garnish with green onions and fresh parsley.

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Easy Sweet Chili Salmon
Give your body a boost of omega-3 fatty acids with this tangy salmon recipe. Packed with potential benefits, like minimizing cell damage, salmon just might be your new Whole30 BFF.

4 fillets of salmon
Oil for searing

For the marinade:
1/4 cup liquid aminos (or use soy sauce)
Small handful of baby spinach, chopped very finely
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)

For the sweet chili sauce topping:
1/4 cup homemade chili sauce
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon liquid aminos (or use soy sauce)

In a small bowl, make the marinade and mix well. In a separate bowl, make the sweet chili sauce topping. Set aside. Coat a large frying pan with oil, and heat on medium. Once hot, quickly coat the salmon fillets in the marinade before adding to the pan. Sear on each side for 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and cover in aluminum foil for 3 minutes to rest. Evenly divide the sweet chili sauce topping amongst the four salmon fillets.

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