Surviving Whole30: Air Fryer Edition
How My Air Fryer Helped Me Survive the Whole30 Diet.
If there’s one piece of advice I gathered before starting Whole30 it was that preparation and knowledge is KEY. While the premise of the diet was easy “only eat whole, unprocessed foods,” there were a lot of these foods that were not permitted. BUT, this is not about the do’s and don’ts but rather about the #1 resource I used that made this month not only tolerable but FUN. Air fryers are fun and nobody can tell me otherwise.
How It Went
The first week of Whole30 was definitely the most difficult in terms of mental strength. While I thought my eating habits before this were on the healthier side, it never occurred to me just how many processed foods I was consuming.
I decided that I was going to be creative with the meals I was cooking so that the month was fun and opened my eyes to new meals and ways of cooking. As a frequent air fryer user I knew this would be my #1 tool to help me stay on top of my meals. With preparation being so important the air fryer was also the best possible mechanism for meal prepping because of how much I could fit in the basket of my Kitcher.
When I say I couldn’t have done this without my Kitcher Air Fryer I really mean it. It allowed me to prepare food in advance quickly and reheat my meals back to perfection. Another unexpected bonus of the air fryer is the mobility of it. Living with others who are also working from home, space in the Kitchen can get tight very quickly. I was able to bring my air fryer to a separate side of the kitchen and prep and cook without feeling like I was walking on top of someone else.
Here are the top 3 meals/snacks I made in my Kitcher Air Fryer while eating a Whole30 Diet. These meals/snacks are the ones I kept going back to and will continue to eat after the month is over!
By far one of my favorite meals I made throughout the process I discovered in my first week. This chickpea buddha bowl was so quick and left me very full. You can even double this recipe and make so you have leftovers for days.
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 sweet potato, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- ½ red onion, sliced
- 1 bunch of kale
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp each salt + pepper
- 1 tsp tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Prepare vegetables:
- Drain and rinse chickpeas
- Wash and chop sweet potato
- Slice red onion
- Chop broccoli
- Chop kale and remove large stems
- Place vegetables, minus Kale and Spinach, in large mixing bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil
- Season vegetables accordingly
- Place in air fryer and cook at 400 for 15 minutes (or until cooked to desired crispiness) , shaking the basket halfway through to flip vegetables.
- After 15 minutes add kale and spinach to air fryer and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes (or until wilted)
Meal #2 was very simple but always satisfying: Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs with Roasted Broccolini. When I made this recipe I ended up doubling it so that I always had something in the fridge I could to when I was hungry.
- 2-3 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
- 1-2 bunches broccolini
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp oregano
- Place chicken thighs in a medium mixing bowl. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and oregano.
- Remove chicken thighs and place in air fryer basket
- Repeat step 1 with broccolini and place in air fryer basket
- Air Fry at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until inside temperature reaches 165 degrees.
My biggest “fear” when it came to Whole30 was figuring out to curb my sweet tooth (or sweet teeth as my mom calls them). Sweet treats are something I wasn’t prepared to give up, and thanks to my air fryer I didn’t have to. Cinnamon Apple Chips were really easy, inexpensive and I made them at least 2 times a week throughout the month.
- 2-3 apples (I used Fuji)
- 3 tbsp cinnamon
- Cooking oil spray
- Thinly slice apples
- Toss in cinnamon
- Spray lightly with cooking spray
- Cook at 400 degrees for 13 minutes or until dried
As the month wraps up I’ve reflected on how this experience went for me overall. There were definitely times it was difficult or I had a craving for something not permitted by the diet. A good reminder I recommend people consider is that it is just 30 days out of your life! And in those 30 days I discovered some incredible recipes and learned new ways to use my Kitcher Air Fryer. Preparation is really the best way to get through it. Meal prep every week! The Kitcher Air Fryer has a 7-quart basket which means you can easily make several days worth of food at once!