Whole 30: Day 20! (Two sauces and a confession)

I think I'm doing Whole 30 wrong. I'm periodically gripped by the feeling that I've eaten a forbidden food. It's almost like I've forgotten that I'm doing Whole 30. One could read this in two ways: It's possible that this has become habitual already, which seems like an important part of the 30 days. On the other hand, I'm afraid that my amnesia is due to the fact that I've changed what I eat, but not how I eat.

For example, yesterday I ate an entire bag of dried mango. (Sorry, I know no one wants to hear about this.) From a harm reduction standpoint, a bag of dried mango isn't exactly a snickers. But, does my body know that? Probably not. I've also been terrible about checking in with myself before snacking. Am I craving sugar? Am I thirsty? Am I actually angry, lonely, or tired? What if I'm just swallowing my feelings along with approved foods rather than "comfort" foods? I had hoped at the start of this 30 days that eating different foods would break the emotional eating cycle, but alas. There are still 10 days left to work on it.

On to more positive topics: Sauces!

Romesco and Chimichurri sauces.

Romesco and Chimichurri sauces.

Chimichurri *

1 cup flat leaf parsley (loosely packed)
1 cup cilantro (loosely packed) 
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 medium shallot
2 cloves garlic, halved
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
4 Tbs olive
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean the fresh herbs and tear off leaves. Combine parsley, cilantro, oregano, red pepper flakes, shallot, garlic, and vinegar in a food processor or blender. Add oil in a slow stream (if possible- when I use my small food processor, the top doesn't open while the blades spin, so I just dump the oil in with the other ingredients and blend away). Season with salt and pepper.

*A note about this chimichurri: In my research, I found A LOT of strong opinions back and forth about the amount of oil and acid in various versions. The closest recipe to mine is this one from Gimme Some Oven. You'll note that I halved both the acid and the oil. This chimichurri is best with a fattier piece of meat because the herbs and garlic are really the stars. I didn't want an oily sauce with a fatty steak. Oil + oil = gross. But I also didn't want a lip puckering amount of acid. One could combine citrus and vinegar to make a more complex acidity.    

Romesco     

This is basically Bon Appetit's recipe with a few small tweaks. I never have sherry vinegar, so I sub in red wine vinegar. I also halve the parsley because I don't love parsley. I also oven roast my own red peppers because it's easy. Instructions below!

1 red bell pepper, roasted
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbs fresh parsley
2-3 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To roast the peppers: Set the oven to broil. Place the peppers in a casserole or baking dish. Put the rack in the middle of the oven (I actually used my toaster oven). While cooking, keep an eye on the peppers so they don't burn. Flip a few times to ensure even browning. I don't let my peppers get too charred:

This is a terrible photo, but illustrates how wimpy my char is.

This is a terrible photo, but illustrates how wimpy my char is.

Once you have a light char on all sides, wrap the peppers in foil (beware the heat while wrapping) and let them steam for at least one hour. But feel free to forget about them and go about your day. Unwrap the foil, peel off the pepper skin, and they're ready to use!

Add the peppers, garlic, toasted almonds, tomato paste, parsley, red wine vinegar, paprika, and cayenne in a blender or food processor. Add the oil (again, pour the oil in a thin stream while blending the other ingredients unless using a small food processor). Season with salt and pepper to taste.