Citrus salad

Citrus salad | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant salad is a dinner salad that actually fills you up. And what a celebration of citrus season! #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #salad #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #saladrecipes #shrimp #shrimprecipes

Day 13: This is the part of Whole 30 when I start feeling like a toddler. I look at an egg and think "I don't WANNA." I'm like M when he asks to "go out" 400 times with increasing urgency each time, and then REFUSES to put on his shoes or walk down the stairs. I'm not even craving anything forbidden, I'm just mad about this choice that I've made and the rules that I've chosen to follow...wait...huh? I'm doing this to myself?

I've been thinking about immediate versus delayed gratification a lot lately as I try to decode both my toddler's crazy behavior and my own. In the example above, M wants to go out for some vague, hypothetical fun that isn't yet happening, but his other immediate desires (to continue playing, to avoid unpleasant tasks like putting on shoes and walking down stairs) interfere. He wants the results without the work. This feels a lot like cleaning up your diet. I want to be a healthy person, but sometimes it feels like a gargantuan task to resist the wine or cheese or pizza or cookies or hell, even sushi, that might interfere with that goal (as I've conceptualized it for myself for the next 17 days. I DO think I can be a healthy person in the future with all of those currently off-limits foods included, but really, 30 days is not a long time.)

So, I'm adding to Tuesday's list of reasons why I'm doing Whole 30. If I can practice restraint in various areas of my life, hopefully I'll set a better example for M as he grows up. Adulting is about dealing with the bleh stuff on the road to the good stuff and if he sees me not checking my phone every time my text bings or indulging every craving that breezes through my brain, he'll be better at delaying gratification too. And maybe one day he'll put his freaking shoes on without a fight.

Citrus salad | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant salad is a dinner salad that actually fills you up. And what a celebration of citrus season! #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #salad #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #saladrecipes #shrimp #shrimprecipes

That said, this salad is pretty gratifying. We're trying to make this Whole 30 more vegetable heavy, which means leaning on salads for one or two dinners per week. This one is very filling (half an avocado, 2/3 of a pound of shrimp, and a boatload of fruits and vegetables will do that) so you won't have salad for dinner and the contents of your pantry for dessert.


Citrus salad | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant salad is a dinner salad that actually fills you up. And what a celebration of citrus season! #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #salad #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #saladrecipes #shrimp #shrimprecipes

Citrus salad

1.5 lb raw shrimp (tails on)
¾ tsp (heaping ½ tsp) cumin
¾ tsp (heaping ½ tsp) coriander
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tsp olive oil
1 bunch lacinto, Tuscan, or dinosaur kale, chopped and tough ribs removed
1 pomelo or grapefruit
1 cara cara or navel orange
2 blood oranges
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
¼ red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
¼ cup roasted pepitas

For the meyer lemon vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 ½ meyer lemons or 1 regular lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over a medium flame. Add shrimp and sprinkle with spices. Stir to distribute. Cook until shrimp are uniformly pink and cooked through.

If the pepitas aren’t already roasted (I have yet to find Whole 30 compliant roasted pepitas, so we do our own), preheat your oven or toaster to 350 and roast the seeds until just beginning to smell nutty and to brown, about 5 minutes, but keep an eye out to prevent burning.

Wash the kale, remove the tough center rib, and chop. We bought this tool, which makes the job SO MUCH EASIER. Add to your serving bowl and set aside. Thinly slice the red onion, fennel, and avocado. Set aside. Remove the skin from your citrus fruits by cutting a slice from the top and bottom and then running your knife along the sides from cut to cut, removing the skin in pieces. Either slice or section the fruit by cutting along the thin inner membrane to remove each piece (slicing is easiest). Set aside.

Make the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients and shaking well to combine. Add the vinaigrette to the kale and toss. Add your shrimp, citrus fruits, avocado, fennel, and red onion in whatever presentation you like. Toss (or leave the components separate if serving this to guests or you just want to be fancy) and sprinkle pepitas over the top.

Yield: Serves 2 adults and one toddler as a main dish, 4-5 adults as a side*

*M doesn’t know what to do with raw kale, so he ate shrimp and avocado with kale, onions, and cheddar cheese in a tortilla. I sautéed the kale and onions a little bit before popping them into a tortilla and melting the cheese for a quesadilla.

Citrus salad | Me & The Moose. This Whole 30-compliant salad is a dinner salad that actually fills you up. And what a celebration of citrus season! #meandthemoose #whole30 #whole30recipes #salad #easydinner #quickdinner #dinnerrecipes #saladrecipes #shrimp #shrimprecipes

Spooky seed butter graveyards!

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. This spooky take on worms and dirt have chocolate candy skeletons, graves, and various types of dirt for your Halloween treats. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Speaking of scary: I count myself so incredibly lucky that M doesn't have any food allergies. He's outgrown the tomato sensitivity he had early on, but that was an annoyance, not a life-threatening emergency. I can't even imagine worrying that a farmer, factory-worker, chef, teacher, babysitter, or other parent somehow mislabeled something or included an ingredient that could really hurt my kid. Especially from mid-October to January, there are treats everywhere!

In that vein, these Halloween goodies are nut-free and egg-free and can easily be made gluten- and dairy-free as well. The chocolate is all store-bought, so use your go-to brands to be safe. ALSO- and most importantly- these treats are SOOOOOOOO GGGGOOOOOOODDDDD and relatively healthy!

Spooky seed butter graveyards

Chocolate skeletons
1 oz milk or dark chocolate
Wilton skull and bones sprinkles

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Heat the chocolate in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, until melted. On a plastic wrap covered plate, make nickle-sized circles or ovals of melted chocolate. Carefully place the skull and bone sprinkles into the chocolate. Refrigerate until set.

Chocolate mug cakes
Adapted from this recipe

6 Tbsp whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tsp olive oil
6 Tbsp milk (I used dairy milk, but almond, cashew, or soy would also work)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to remove lumps. Add the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour equal amounts into two ungreased mugs. With one mug at a time, microwave on high for 1 minute, check for doneness, and cook for 30 more seconds. (Note: we have a very weak microwave, so if you have a stronger one, check after 30 seconds. I usually tip the cup around to see if anything is moving.) When cakes are cooked, use a fork to remove them from the mugs and let them cool on a plate. Don’t worry about removing them cleanly, as they’ll be broken up for the “dirt” in the graveyards. Let cool.

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cakes are the easy and surprisingly healthy. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Sunflower-seed butter chocolate avocado pudding
Adapted from this recipe

¾ large ripe avocado (mine was about 7.5 oz with pit and peel)
½ large ripe banana (mine was 7 oz with peel)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup Spiced seed butter
2 Tbsp milk (I used dairy, but almond, cashew, or soy would also work)

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If making the Spiced Seed Butter specifically for these graveyards, be sure to read the directions and follow them exactly. You won't be sorry; this seed butter is GREAT. Makes about 1.25 cups of pudding.

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cake, avocado chocolate pudding, and some store-bought candies make an easy, festive Halloween treat. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Assembling the graveyards

Remove the chocolate skeletons from the fridge to warm up. Pour a few chocolate rocks on the bottom of your graveyard container(s). (Possible substitutions include chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate chips, carob chips, or you could skip this part entirely.) Nestle your chocolate skeleton(s) on the side of the glass container, pressing gently to try and mold the chocolate to your container (or skip this step too for allergen sensitivity, if needed).

Crumble the chocolate cake completely and gently add a layer of cake crumbles, pressing down lightly. Be sure to keep the cake crumbles behind your chocolate skeletons, if using.

Add a pudding layer and press gently to remove air bubbles. Clean up the sides of the glass container. Cover with more cake crumbles.

For the graves: Roll out a small amount of gray or white fondant using powdered sugar to prevent sticking. (I bought a tiny container of Wilton gray fondant at Michael's and threw away the box before checking the ingredients and can't find the information online. If fondant isn't an option, gluten-, dairy-, and/or egg-free cookies or marshmallows also make good "graves.") Cut out a very small square and tap with your fingers to round the corners. With an edible pen, melted chocolate, or gel frosting, write RIP on the grave and nestle into the cake crumbs. Place a crumb or two behind the grave to prop it up.

Yield: 4 medium graveyards or 6 small graveyards

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cake, chocolate avocado pudding, and some store-bought candies make an easy and festive Halloween treat. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt
Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cake, chocolate avocado pudding, and some store-bought candies make an easy and festive Halloween treat. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt