The 10 for 6 diet has definitely forced me to re-evaluate my relationship with food and strive to get a little more creative in the kitchen! Cooking all of our meals at home is actually very cathartic for me and it’s fun to cook alongside Zach and teach Brooklyn as she starts to get involved in the little things. If only we could think of a way to avoid doing dishes…
As I’ve searched for meals that are 10 for 6 friendly, I’ve built a little repertoire of my favourite dinners that are fast and easy! When I only get a 30min window before one of the kids starts crying or I have to lay on the floor to rest, fast and easy is a necessity!
To help streamline the process, I’ll make a weekly meal plan and write out all of the groceries we will need to pick up… well, actually, what groceries I ask Zach to pick up. There’s a funny quote I totally relate to:
“A chronically ill person can grocery shop and cook a meal; just not on the same day.”
It is absolutely imperative that your fridge has healthy options so that when you’re hungry, you don’t make a decision you’ll later regret! I also get some help (thanks Zach) with food prep like pre-chopping veggies or making salad dressings. We all need a Zach.
So this is what I’ve had on my plate this week. I typically will find a great recipe and then change things around a bit. For example, I love to add extra veggies to my chili or use my own version of a dressing. I also tend to gravitate towards making the same favourite meals but try to add at least 1 new thing each week - variety is the spice of life!
Nut bread with apple jam, avocado, bacon
This is called the Life Changing Loaf of Bread for a reason. Brooklyn even prefers “Mommy’s special bread” over her gluten free bakery bread.
A Bulletproof coffee is perfect for when you don’t have time to eat anything!
Homemade almond milk
My favourite recipe comes from the freshtake breakfast ebook. When I’m lazy, I just throw in dates instead of making date paste. Recently I’ve had to omit the hemp but it’s still amazing.
Piece of fruit (ex. apple, orange, banana)
A couple of figs or dates with a handful of nuts
Cucumbers or carrots with homemade AIP ranch dip
The coconut milk in the dressing gets firm once it’s been in the fridge, making it the perfect dip.
I usually make sure I cook enough dinner and put some aside for leftovers the next day
The Big Salad with homemade champagne vinaigrette
I like to throw in veggies like arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, bell pepper, micro greens, and red onion (pre-soak in a bowl of water to mellow the flavour a bit) as well as walnuts and pumpkin seeds. My favourite vinaigrette is from Against All Grain.
Blackened chicken salad
This Jaimie Oliver recipe is amazing. I especially love the minced herbs mixed with quinoa as a base. Throw in whatever you want, really. I skipped the cheese (don’t if you tolerate dairy!) and chilli pepper but added dates, grape tomatoes, bell pepper (watch out if you’re sensitive to night shades), and extra arugula. Doesn’t need any additional dressing but I put a little of this AIP ranch and it worked perfectly.
Lemon rosemary chicken
This is the epitome of quick and easy. I love this recipe exactly as it is except we usually use a little more sweet potato. You could also use ghee instead of olive oil for richer flavour.
Salmon with mango avocado salsa and cilantro-lime-coconut cauliflower rice
This salmon rub is perfection when combined with the sweetness of the salsa. The flavour combinations in this meal are unreal. This is my favourite dinner. I highly encourage you to purchase salmon from your local farmers market, it makes a big difference.
I start with this super simple base recipe and then add in extra veggies: orange and yellow peppers, cremini mushrooms, and some chopped spinach (which I throw in just a few minutes before serving). I always add way more of the spices, maybe almost double what’s called for (I just sort of taste and adjust) - it’s better if the spices simmer for a while.
Spaghetti squash boats
I’ll often cook the spaghetti squash sometime in the morning or a day before. I like to throw a chicken breast into the mix as well. It works to use spinach instead of kale. Brooklyn loves eating out of the shell!
Kale quinoa salad
One of my favourites. When you buy your kale, make sure you use it within the first couple of days or it will go wilty. It’s also imperative that you massage the dressing into your kale and let it sit for the 10min. I prefer pine nuts over the slivered almonds and I skip the parmesan (but everyone else gets it on their plates).
Raspberry apple cake
We made this cake for my birthday and it is the perfect treat even if you're following an AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet. The sweetness of the apple contrasts perfectly with the tart raspberries. I found my freeze dried raspberries at Trader Joes.
Dark chocolate peanut butter granola bars
This Against All Grain recipe is great for a little snack when friends come over or a sweet treat any time of the day!
I’ve mentioned before that while it’s great to use nutrient dense, whole food as a way to ease the burden on your body and nourish it so that you feel your best, no diet plan will ever cure lupus. What you choose to put into your body plays a big role in how you will feel, so I encourage you to do your research as to what foods are better or worse for you and listen to how your body responds. Diet is very important, but it is still only one part of a greater wellness plan.